10 Top Tips for Surviving a Festival with Kids

The Shropshire Kids Festival
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We love a Family Friendly Festival here at Mini Travellers and have some great reviews on the site linked to this post, Dates of the Top Family Friendly Festivals

Family Friendly Festivals are amazing and wonderful for children and adults alike but here are 10 Top Tips for Surviving a Festival with Kids and making it even better!

1. Choose Your Festival Carefully

There are some amazing festivals out there that are very family friendly, but read reviews carefully. Work out what will be best for you and your family? Do you want bands late into the night, or do you want a child focused event which is pretty much done by 10pm?

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Choosing a family festival can be a fun and exciting activity that allows you to spend quality time together and create lasting memories. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you choose a family festival:

Research Festivals In Your Area

Start by researching festivals happening in your local area or within a reasonable distance. Look for family-friendly festivals that offer activities and entertainment suitable for all ages.

Consider Your Family’s Interests

Think about the interests and preferences of each family member. Are you all into music, arts, food, or outdoor activities? Narrow down your choices based on festivals that align with your family’s interests.

Check Festival Reviews And Ratings

Read reviews and ratings of festivals you’re considering. Online platforms and social media can provide valuable insights from previous attendees about the overall atmosphere, activities, and suitability for families.

Review Festival Schedules And Activities

Once you’ve identified a few festivals of interest, review their schedules and activities. Look for festivals that offer a variety of activities and entertainment suitable for different age groups. Check if they have special events or areas dedicated to families, such as children’s zones or family-friendly performances.

Consider Logistics And Accessibility

Evaluate the logistical aspects of attending the festival. Check the festival’s location, transportation options, parking availability, and any other factors that may affect your family’s convenience and comfort.

Assess Affordability Of Festival Ticket Prices And Extras

Consider the cost associated with attending the festival, including ticket prices, food, and any additional expenses. Determine if the festival offers any discounts for families or if there are affordable options available.

Seek Recommendations Of The Best Family Festivals

Reach out to friends, neighbors, or colleagues who have attended festivals before and ask for their recommendations. They may have valuable insights or suggestions based on their own experiences.

Plan Ahead

Once you’ve chosen a family festival, make a plan for the day. Check the festival’s website for any guidelines or regulations, create a schedule of activities you’d like to participate in, and pack any necessary items such as sunscreen, snacks, and water.

Review RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021, festival tips with kids

2. Could You Be More ECO Friendly?

Choose Eco-Friendly Festivals

Look for festivals that prioritize sustainability and have environmentally conscious practices in place. These festivals may focus on reducing waste, promoting recycling, using renewable energy sources, and implementing eco-friendly initiatives. Supporting such festivals helps create a demand for sustainability in the entertainment industry.

Bring Reusable Items

Avoid single-use items as much as possible. Bring reusable water bottles, food containers, and utensils. Use cloth bags or backpacks instead of plastic bags to carry your belongings. Having your own reusable items reduces waste and helps keep the festival grounds clean.

Pack Sustainable Food And Drinks If You Are Camping

Bring your own food and snacks in reusable containers to avoid purchasing single-use packaged items. If the festival allows, consider bringing a portable grill or cooking equipment to prepare fresh meals on-site. Opt for locally sourced, organic, and vegetarian/vegan food options whenever available.

Dispose Of Waste Properly

Follow the waste management guidelines provided by the festival organizers. Separate your waste into recyclables and non-recyclables. If recycling bins are not readily available, take your recyclables home to ensure they get properly recycled. Avoid littering and dispose of trash in designated bins.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Be mindful of your energy usage during the festival. Limit the use of electronic devices and conserve battery life by putting them on power-saving mode. Unplug chargers when not in use. If the festival offers charging stations, use them responsibly and avoid overcharging.

Respect The Natural Surroundings

Many festivals take place in outdoor settings, so it’s essential to respect and preserve the environment. Avoid littering, stay on designated paths, and respect any wildlife or plant life you encounter. Follow any rules or guidelines provided by the festival regarding protecting the environment.

Support Eco-Friendly Vendors

Look for vendors and food stalls that prioritize sustainability. Support businesses that use compostable or biodegradable packaging and offer eco-friendly products or services. By choosing eco-conscious vendors, you encourage sustainable practices within the festival community.

Here are 12 more Ways to have a sustainable eco-friendly festival!

3. Plan To Enjoy Festivals With Friends

Festivals are more fun I think in bigger groups, particularly if it rains! You can band together, share toilet trips with kids, share the trips to the bar and generally enjoy the fun together making memories.

Nozstock Family Friendly Festivall

4. Pack The Right Festival Clothes!

With British Summer as it is you are going to need Wellies, raincoats, sun hats and suncream as a starter for 10. If you’re camping think about it getting colder at night, if you’re not think about where you will put everything during the day as it turns from sunshine to rain or vice versa.

Packing for a festival with kids requires careful planning to ensure you have everything you need for their comfort and enjoyment. Here’s a packing checklist to help you prepare:

  1. Clothes
    • Comfortable clothes suitable for the weather (consider layering for changing temperatures)
    • Rain gear (ponchos or waterproof jackets) in case of rain
    • Extra pairs of socks and underwear
    • Sun hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sun protection
    • Closed-toe shoes or comfortable sandals for walking
  2. Food and Snacks:
    • Healthy snacks and fruits to keep the kids energized
    • Bottled water or reusable water bottles to stay hydrated
    • Non-perishable food items for meals or backup options
    • Reusable utensils and food containers
  3. Comfort and Safety:
    • Blankets or small foldable chairs for seating
    • Portable shade tent or umbrella for sun protection
    • Insect repellent to keep bugs away
    • First aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic ointment, and any necessary medications
    • Wet wipes or hand sanitizer for hygiene purposes
    • Baby wipes and diapers (if applicable)
    • Extra clothing for accidents or spills
    • Comfort items like a favorite toy or blanket for younger children
  4. Entertainment and Activities:
    • Coloring books, crayons, or small travel games
    • Portable speakers for music
    • Binoculars for observing the surroundings
    • Bubbles or small toys for outdoor play
    • A camera or smartphone for capturing memories

5. But Don’t Overpack

Whilst advising above that you need to take all the right clothes, I am separately advising that you need to try hard not to overpack.  If you’re camping think about how you will get your kit from your car to your tent. Your car is very unlikely to be next to your tent unlike when you camp normally.  A recent festival trip saw a friend of mine taking a LOT of trips from car to tent and back again!

Nozstock Family Friendly Festivall

6. Pack Piriton & Calpol

English Summers and fields can bring with them midges and bites.  Piriton is my go to item to pack, just in case.  Together with Calpol which can also cure a multitude of sins. Also pack Avon Skin So Soft, see why here.

7 . Food & Drink

Think about food and drink.  Do you want to buy food at the festival? If you do consider the cost and make sure you’re happy with this? Most festivals won’t prevent you taking in picnics or even alcohol – just check the rules for each festival yourself.  It makes sense to take water and snacks, particularly with young children who may not always appreciate the selection on offer.

Geronimo Festival

8 . Don’t Forget Ear Defenders

Consider taking some ear defenders with you.  Even the older kids might find the music loud at some festivals and will welcome the ‘break’ from the noise.  My very nearly 7 year old found the music a little too loud at a small music stage at Nozstock 2017, whilst the younger twins got on the stage itself so you can never be sure which children might need them.

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9. Take A Pushchair/Trolley/Sling?

Consider what you want to take with you? Read reviews from other festival goers who have attended before, see what they recommend.  Is the ground too bump for a pram, would a sling be better?

Check out our bumper post about Baby Carriers!

Would a pram help them sleep at night? Would a trolley work better all round.

Check out this ‘festival’ trolley that was decorated by one of our team for the recent Deer Shed festival.

Dates of the Top 15 Family Friendly Festivals 2017 and Dates of the Top 16 Family Friendly Festivals 2018.

10. Have A Plan For If The Kids Get Lost At The Festival?

Festivals can be busy chaotic places.  You need a plan in case they get separated from you.  Most festivals will suggest you write the kids number on their festival wrist band,  We have from time to time done this on their shoes too.  If they are too little for the bands, as they can come off, think about decorating an old plain t-shirt with your phone number on the front.  

Elderflower Fields festival giant bubbles www.minitravellers.co.uk

Have Fun and Relax

Music will go on until later.  Campfires will burn.  Sweets will be used to get an extra hour out of the kids, and marshmellows will be roasted over the bbq.  The kids might even get their first taste of a fizzy drink.  But most importantly you will have fun and so will they, if you relax and settle into the festival spirit! And don’t worry if it rains, check out Donna’s tips for surviving festivals in the rain.

Now just to decide which one to book!

Dates of the Top Family Friendly Festivals

Family Friendly Festivals are amazing and wonderful for children and adults alike but here are 10 Top Tips for Surviving a Festival with Kids and making it even better!
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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

6 thoughts on “10 Top Tips for Surviving a Festival with Kids”

  1. Fab advice as always Karen. I can’t imagine having to take more than one trip back to the car for luggage so always try and keep packing to a minimum. I do make my poor kids carry quite a bit though! Luckily the two festivals we enjoyed last year had a car park right next to the camping field – this is definitely not always the case though!

    I always pack snacks (and sometimes sneak them in if food is not allowed) as festival food can cost a fortune and my three seem to be constantly hungry! We tend to eat breakfast in the tent, homemade sandwiches for lunch and buy our evening meal and one snack per day from the food stands.

    I would also add – take your own water. My three don’t like drinking from a tap in a field and say it tastes of poo! Their words not mine! haha!

    Reply
  2. These are great tips, Karen. We’ve only been to one festival with our kids, and I don’t think we’d have enjoyed it anywhere near as much if we hadn’t gone with about four other families. The distraction of other children helped our kids forget the rain!

    Reply

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