On the 21st August my wife and I set off for the Just So Festival at Rhode Hall in Cheshire with our three children: 2 boys aged 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 and our 10 month old girl. To say I was nervous was an understatement as camping at a festival with three kids under 5 was going to be tough but the activities on offer at the festival sounded so varied and exciting we just had to give it a go.
On arrival at the event (which was well signposted and easy to find) there was a little wait to get in but that just added to the excitement and also showed us how big and busy the festival was going to be. The tickets we had were for the whole weekend with camping from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. The gates for camping opened at 12.00pm and the festival opened at 2.00pm. Once in the grounds of the hall the marshals directed you to the parking spots then it was off to find a place to pitch your tent in the large camping area. Tickets allowed not only tents but camper vans and caravans (you just need to book a pitch in advance).
Once we had found a site to pitch our tent it was back to the car to collect the kit. A really good idea is that you can hire a cart/trolley from Mr Trolley who are based in the car park area to transport your stuff. After surviving putting up the tent (without getting divorced) we set off into the festival! A good idea picked up from another blog is to get your wristbands as soon as you can after you arrive to avoid the queues later as the event opened, so I had got ours while my wife carried on putting the tent up (she’s better at stuff like that than me!).
As you went through the entrance archway made out of suitcases it was like you were sprinkled with fairy dust and transported to a magical place far away from the stresses of everyday life. The fun began straight away and there was a buzz of excitement and anticipation in the air for the weekend ahead. The list of events and activities was so extensive that on the Friday we mainly stayed around the large central area and explored there. As you walk into the site on the left is a wooded area complete with fairy trail with little fairy houses and a number of smaller activities like Clay Faces (making faces on trees from clay), toasting marshmallows over an open fire, and magical stories round the camp fire to name just a few.
In the central area we saw and had a go at tight rope walking, hula hooping and circus tricks. The Peekaboo zone designed for babies had a changing area, baby baths, feeding tent and some lovely activities like Clay Babies for our little girl which she loved. The main stage was the centre point for the tribal activities – you can choose to join a tribe (all named after animals) and take part in fun activities to score points for your tribe over the weekend.
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