Let’s focus on the positives first, Kendal Calling with Under 5’s is a great festival, set in the beautiful Lowther Park, to the North East of the Lake District. It’s been going since 2006 and has grown year on year. I came to the festival back in 2013 pre kids and we had a fantastic time then, too.
The views at Kendal Calling are fantastic and there are so many huge aged trees to provide shelter from the sun or rain.
Most of our weekend at Kendal Calling with Under 5’s was spent in ‘Kids Calling’ the children’s field. According to the website it says, ‘We have a dedicated kids area with everything from a mothers and babies tent to workshops for teens and all age’. My children are 9 months, 4 years and 6 years and they had a blast. However, I didn’t see many over 12’s enjoying the children’s area and I would say it is definitely focused for the under 10’s.
Within the kids area there was;
- Babby and toddler area with a small inflatable and a tipi with some books and games inside.
- A few deckchairs
- Info point and 3 toilets
- Circus tent which housed daily kids yoga, mini raves etc.
- 2 x Inflatables
- Large craft tent which had activities such as mask making, paper making, colouring and cardboard jungle this was run by Ragtag Arts and Community Store from Kendal.
- Outdoor theatre by The Fabularium which hosted 2 shows a day.
- We also joined in with a Kids Calling parade at 4:30pm on the Sunday.
The ‘mother and babies’ tent sound like a nice place to stop and give baby a feed, but there were no facilities, not even a chair. In my opinion it’s not particularly set up for little ones.
The kids enjoyed a lot of the activities on off and they managed to product lots of artwork! They enjoyed the show by The Fabularium very much. It was all very inclusive and not too busy so we managed to join in with everything the kids wanted to do.
The music on site was great, we managed to watch some fantastic sets on at the main stage such as The Wombats and Amy Macdonald.
We caught a beat boxing demo from Shlomo which some of the older kids were enjoying.
We managed to get face painting done by the Great North Air Ambulance Stall, who were a really friendly bunch. They also had some kids games, colouring and sweets!
The woodland area is a nice change of scenery to the main fields and there are 2 small open stages in there. We all enjoyed a dance in the woods.
There was a on site ‘cinema’ which was good for a film on the Saturday as a bit of rest bite from the rain. The kids watched Monsters Inc.
The food was ok, a lot of pizza and burgers. You had to ‘shop around’ for alternatives. The rotisserie chicken was amazing and fantastic value. You could pay £16 for a pizza. We probably spent £300 on food and drink in 2.5 days, with only 1 person drinking alcohol! We had some very good coffee.
There wasn’t a ton of obvious vegan options, most places had 1 vegan choice but I didn’t come across any vegan cakes/ice cream.
I’m sure you all want to know about the toilets! Well, pretty bog standard. Sometimes clean, usually without toilet paper. I prefer the cleaning stations outside of the toilets so you can wash your hands but there wasn’t any of that. Some toilets had hand sanitiser inside, but again often these were empty. There were sometimes huge queues for the toilets, mainly the main stage ones, but you could walk to others.
Ok so the negative points (and the reasons why I won’t be returning to Kendal Calling with Under 5’s).
- Our car to our family campsite pitch was just over a 1 mile uphill (we arrived midday Friday).
- Family campsite to arena was 0.7 miles (up and downhill).
- The site is very hilly and not easy with a buggy.
- The main stage has moved this year and the arena entrance was not particularly accessible with kids in buggies/trailers. Lots of congestion due to the layout of the site.
They might not sound like big things, but when you are lugging ALL the kit required for camping and 3 small children around a site, it really takes it’s toll! So a big yes to Kendal Calling, but a no to Kendal Calling with Under 5’s.
Alicia and family paid for their tickets to Kendal Calling and submitted this review to help other festival goers in the future.
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.