Our review of Deer Shed Festival 8 – how much fun could my toddler possibly have?
Over the weekend of 21st-23rd July 2017 we were invited to Deer Shed Festival at Baldersby Park, Thirsk.
I have been to a lot of the big named festivals over the past 10 years, but this was my first experience of a festival with a child in tow, and one so clearly aimed at families. Read on to see how much fun our almost 2 year old had!
I would say that this was my toddlers favourite thing about Deer Shed Festival. A huge sandpit, complete with tons of buckets and spades, a slide and a boat. We spent a lot of hours in here over the weekend. The sandpit is about 16 sq m and about 20cm high. There are some deck chairs for parents to relax on (if they’re not dragged into the sand!) and the whole thing is under cover to protect from the elements!
Right next to the sandpit was a covered soft play area. This was also a huge hit. There was just the right amount of bits to build a decent assault course.
The NCT have a stall which offers sling hire, a place for nappy changes, a potty, sofas for feeding, high chairs, sterilisers etc. Everything you need for babies is here. They even had a separate tent with toys in which was nice for a bit of toddler downtime.
Every evening they bring out the garden trugs and all the babies can have a warm bath! This was great after lots of sandpit time and running about in the mud!
What kid doesn’t love a cardboard box? On Sunday morning there appeared a corner of the festival full of cardboard boxes. This entertained children of all ages; there were forts and castles, houses and dungeons. Huge grins spread across everyone’s faces. There were scissors to cut out windows, duct tape to attach them together and colouring pens to draw with.
This is the Under 5’s tent at Deer Shed Festival. In here there was always playdough or colouring on low level tables, as well as a soft play corner. There are also a few sofas for the much needed rest for parents!
This tent was the hub for little ones activities, there was storytelling, baby massage, baby yoga and a toddler rave. Yes a toddler rave, complete with dance music, bubble machine, a foam machines and a load of toddlers dancing about under a big parachute, this was put on by the fab Boom Chikka Boom company.
This was £1 per ride and my little one loved it. He also loved the look of the big wheel but was too little for it.
As with all festivals I have experienced there was a great mix of food stalls, all really accommodating to put some of mine on an extra plate for my son. At Deer Shed Festival there were some stalls selling kids portions and there was also a fish finger stand! The food can be pretty costly but we quite enjoyed sampling a lot of the stalls. You could always take your own food in to keep the cost down.
I would say the most popular shop on site was the bubble shop. The what I hear you say, yes, the bubble shop. Bubble Inc is a travelling bubble shop, selling, well, bubbles. This was a huge hit and meant the festival was full of bubbles wherever you looked. (Handy hint, you will need AA battery’s for some of the bubble machines which would be a lot cheaper to bring yourself!)
Ok so my kid had a pretty amazing time. 2 things you will need if you want to bring your kids, a garden trolley and earphones.
So what did we think of Deer Shed Festival
I really liked that Deer Shed Festival doesn’t have a specific kid’s field, so you didn’t feel like you were in a separate part of the festival for the weekend.
The activities available for older children, although we didn’t get involved in them, looked awesome. There is a huge science tent which was full of young teens and loads of crafting activing for children. On Sunday there were kids walking around with cardboard guitars and shields where ever you looked.
I can only imagine that if you had kids of varying ages, that they would all love this festival. It really did cater for all. Check out Mini Travellers reviews for Deer Shed Festival 7 and Deer Shed Festival 6 for reviews of the festival with older children.
There was music, comedy, literary, sports activities, workshops and cinema to enjoy of which we hardly got involved in!
Toilets at Deer Shed Festival
There didn’t appear to be that many toilets on site but I only had to queue twice the whole weekend. They were pretty clean too. They were a bit muddy by Sunday but I imagine this was really unavoidable.
Sometimes there wasn’t any loo paper which could be improved but generally for portaloos they were pretty good.
Outside every toilet block was a hand gel station which I was great and always had the gel in them.
Camping at Deer Shed Festival
We were lucky enough to be in our camper van, these were probably the furthest from the arena but even so it wasn’t a long walk. Most of the camping was family camping with a small amount of adult camping to one area.
Rubbish at Deer Shed Festival
I was really glad to say there wasn’t much rubbish around at all. The bins never got too full before they were emptied. There was a lack of obvious recycling, I can only hope that they sort all the rubbish once taken away from the public areas and then recycle.
Cups at Deer Shed Festival
Deershed has a plastic cup scheme. You have a buy a cup for £2 and it’s yours for the weekend. On Sunday you can swap it for a Deershed 8 cup to take home as a souvenir. This was great in that it meant you didn’t see millions of plastic cups everywhere and lots of rubbish. Slightly annoying that you couldn’t return them to get the £2 back, as we ended up with a few of these when we forgot to bring them back into the arena on Saturday.
Ticket Information for Deer Shed Festival
Early Bird tickets for Deer Shed Festival 9 are available from 10.00am, 12th September 2017.
More details and terms & conditions will be available here in good time: https://deershedfestival.com/tickets/
To find other Family Friendly Festivals in 2018 why not click here.
NB: Alicia received tickets to Deer Shed Festival 8 in order to review but all views and opinions are her own.
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