Watching Glastonbury (safely warm and cosy on the sofa in my PJs) I was inspired to write a blog on surviving festival season with the kids. But since I haven’t actually yet attended any festivals with my own child I thought it may be a wise decision to wait until afterwards (if I do indeed survive) Watch this space!
If you were a seasoned festival goer before having kids and are convinced that part of your life is well and truly gone then think again! These days there are plenty of family friendly festivals that don’t compromise on content so you can attend as a family whilst still enjoying some crazy time.
If you are worried about toilets and cleanliness then don’t despair. Yes, the loos can get a bit stinky at the end of each day but they are emptied and cleaned regularly and there are generally lots of toilets and showers onsite at each of the below festivals. Gone are the days when you had to climb over a mountain of poo by day 2 to do your business, festivals these days – especially the ‘posh’ ones take real pride in looking after their punters. All four of the festivals below offer a ‘Boutique’ Camping service which, although costing a small fortune, is well worth the money if you are a glamper rather than a camper.
Here is my guide to the best festivals for both adults and the little people!
Somersault Festival – 23rd -27th July
In its second year and organised by the same team behind Wilderness, Somersault is a lovely festival. Located in the beautiful setting of North Devon there are some great acts, comedy, and outdoor activities such as paddle boarding , surfing, and coasteering. There are feasts hosted by Fifteen, Valentine Warner, River Cottage and The Ethicurean. Headline acts include Laura Marling, Bombay Bicycle Club and Crystal Fighters. The kids area has an amazing array of free activities. Featured entertainment includes Bassline Circus, Hattie and Flora’s Art Camp, Hartbeeps Happy House and Rhubarb Theatre. If you fancy some peace and quiet then Mortimer Nannies will also be onsite to care for your little ones.
Camp Bestival. – 30th July – 2nd August
Probably the most famous ‘Family Friendly’ festival and winner of Best Family Festival for 4 years, camp Bestival is the sister festival to Bestival. Held in the grounds of Dorset’s Beautiful Lulworth Castle , the setting is magical.
There are far too many fabulous things happening at Camp Bestival to list in this small paragraph but highlights include; The Den – aimed at 13-17 year olds, this brilliant hang out features a Q and A with Professor Green, tutorials on how to make music videos hosted by the BRIT school, festival fashion workshops and late night ‘after hours’ revelry. The Kids itinerary is bursting at the seams – Mr Tumble is there, as are Dick and Dom and The Cat in the Hat live. There is softplay, circus skills, a bouncy castle, bed time stories, a toddlers area, Kids Comedy club and much, much more. For the adults the line- up is also immense, Headline acts include Underworld, Clean Bandit , Kaiser chiefs ,Professor Green and Wretch 32.
There are also a massive selection of DJ’s, Comedy, great food and Theatre.
Standon Calling 31st July – 2nd August
Standon is located in Hertfordshire and is a really intimate venue to see up and coming bands (Florence and Machine, Mumford and Sons, Bastille, Friendly Fires and London Grammar all cut their teeth here), as well as established ones. This year sees Little Dragon, The Dandy Warholes and Basement Jaxx headlining and there are a huge amount of bands over the weekend. Standon holds a 5am licence for you party animals and has its own nightclub ‘The Cowshed’ which features a whole host of amazing DJ’s. This is Standon Calling’s 10th anniversary and they have really gone all out this year, especially with the Kids area. Teaming up with Angel Gardens they have created an amazing array of activities such as Pony Rides, Trapeze lessons, a baby and toddler Tipi garden, campfire stories and sing alongs. There is a chill out space for older kids which features amongst other things – beatboxing lessons, graffiti workshops and DJ masterclasses. There is also ‘the wagon park’ which has a view of the main stage so you can keep one eye on the bands whilst entertaining the little ones. This area includes some amazing activities such as Hobby Horse Making, woodcraft survival classes, pizza making and panning for gold. There is also a heated outdoor swimming pool onsite if you fancy a dip.
Wilderness 6-9th August
Wilderness is an excellent festival balancing great music, gastronomy, debate, late night revelry, theatre, comedy and much more. There are all kind of things going on for the grown ups but the kids area is second to none. This year there will be family workshops held by the V& A museum, face painting by Squiggles and Wiggles, babysitting by Mortimer Nannies, fun and games from the Flying Seagulls and the brilliant Storystock amongst others. For the grown – ups there are numerous debates and talks, Banquets hosted by Angela Hartnett, Niklas Ekstedt and Raymond Blanc and headline music acts such as Bjork and Ben Howard. There is also an outdoor spa, archery, horse riding, wild swimming and a whole lot more!
Book your babysitting at www.mortimernannies.co.uk
Happy Camping xx