a field somewhere

Best family festivals

Best family festivalsIt’s grey and cold outside and I am dreaming of a field somewhere. Worry-free long sunny days surrounded by gorgeous vibes and happy faces.

To cheer myself up I decided to write about my best family festivals and remember some of my most special moments last summer. Hope my list of music festivals good to take kids to in UK helps if you’re looking for the best family festivals this summer.

Listed in date order

Wood – Oxfordshire – May A tiddly little festival of just 800 people but great value and a super relaxed weekend run on 100% renewable energy. Great activities for kids and due to the small size you can allow children to be free and to explore without worry.

Elderflower Fields Festival

Elderflower Fields – Sussex – May More than a festival it’s about getting back to nature and experiencing the great outdoors with your kids. It offers a relaxing camping weekend while your kids have the chance to try new sports, arts and other activities. Less about music and dancing and more about discovery and adventure. It’s a rare opportunity for kids to enjoy the freedom we had as children. 2014 review.

Three Wishes Faery Fest – Devon – June Celebrate the summer solstice in a magical setting with stunning views and gardens at this enchanted event. If your little ones like fairies and magic then this is a must visit. Lots of alternative music with a very Celtic, folky feeling. Pixie ears a must! Under 7′s are free.

Blissfields – New Forest – July A mid sizes festival with a relaxed vibe and a friendly crew. Great selection of music and exceptional activities for kids including pony rides, cookery workshops and old fashioned family sports day. Read Daisy’s Blissfields review here.best family festivals

Chilled in a Field – Kent – July Another gorgeous small festival with around 2000 guests. Situated at The Hop Farm in Kent this is a party for ex-ravers and their kids. A really relaxed vibe and easy weekend of camping at a great site. Read the 2016 Chilled in a Field review.

Larmer Tree – Wiltshire – July Set in stunning gardens with wandering peacocks, beautiful pagodas and fluttering butterflies a weekend of relaxation with an option to stay for a full week. Now celebrating more than 25 years, Larmer Tree is a medium sized, really easy festival with plenty for little ones as well as adults and even teens.

Womad – Wiltshire – July Has a special place in my heart as we spent our early festival years visiting at its original home of Reading. It’s a biggy now and we’re not keen on the sponsorship and number of market stalls these days, but for world music, arts and dance you can’t beat it. So much to discover and a feast for kids imagination.

Green Man – Wales – August A stunning Brecon Beacons site with the option to extend your camping all week. Now established as one of the most family friendly BIG festivals with regulars returning year after year. They haven’t sold out to sponsorship and remain a ‘true festival’ with great eco credentials, and due to its size, many added bonuses for older kids like Science and Literature. Great value considering what’s included with under 5’s free and older kids just £5.

Just So Festival

Just So Festival – Cheshire – August If you’re new to festivals this is such a perfect introduction. 3000 people, it’s relatively small and low-key but perfectly formed. Late night partying it is not, but there is plenty to keep the family entertained with an excellent Arts, Music and Theatre programme.  Everyone is made to feel part of the celebration with a tribal tournament that the kids loved. Great value and amazingly cheap beer! Just So Festival review.

Shambala Festival

Shambala – Northamptonshire – August Our personal favourite and probably as big as a festival needs to be for us. A crazy weekend and not for the wallflower, Shambala is about getting stuck in. They were the first festival to ban plastic bottles, in 2015 where 100% powered by renewable energy and in 2016 went entirely meat free for our planet. AWESOME! The kids love watching grownups behave like children with non-stop fancy dress (my review here), jelly wrestling, human fox hunting and plenty of other Shambaholics  you’ll see why it’s one of our top family festivals.

Although we didn’t go to every one of these this year, I’ve had expert input from festival veterans over the summer. A sum of 50 years experience between us!

These are just my best festivals for families. I know some of the bigger, more obvious festivals are not included here, but hopefully you will find those easy to get info on. I haven’t included festivals that have dreadful eco credentials, sold out to mass sponsorship or end up covered in rubbish at the end of  the weekend. Although other festivals are fantastic, those elements are not things I want to bring my kids up around and sustainability is really important for me.

We have spent 20 years going to festivals and now prefer the smaller events as they offer the best value for money, a more relaxed weekend and are just easier with kids. Glastonbury and other biggies are amazing. Our kids love these too and I’d always recommend giving them a go at least once with your family. Just be prepared!

My top tips for taking kids to festivals here.

Every event has its own merits, these are just my best family festivals for kids. I’d love to hear about yours. For more reviews and info on festivals check out Festival Kidz. 

 

18 thoughts on “Best family festivals

  1. 76 sunflowers

    Love the timing of this post – I too am dreaming of digging out my Saltwaters and flip flops and lounging in a field by my tent 🙂 We’ve been going to Camp Bestival since 2010 and have been lucky enough to be an official blogger for the last three years. We love it but I worry we started too big – I love the look of the smaller festivals but fear the kiddos will expect too much, if that makes sense?! Shambala looks like up my street and friends have recommended that too! Happy camping to you for 2015 🙂

    1. a field somewhere

      We love Camp Bestival too and have worked there for many years in the past with our kids. Last time we went there were just a few too many temptations for pester power for me as I don’t like to constantly say no. But mainly it’s just too big to let my kids explore on their own which is a real bonus for us now. My 9 year old is far too cool to want to hang around with her parents all day!

    1. a field somewhere

      Give it a go. It certainly has the edge for us. Just crazy enough. We took the kids to Secret Garden Party this year too which was seriously awesome. Kids loved it and I quite liked the fact that it wasn’t over run with little people (although I did feel like the only person over 30). Proper bonkers though and not aimed at families at all but great fun.
      Get in there quick what ever you fancy. Shambala sold out in record time last year. Have fun!

  2. Coombe Mill

    It looks like you’ve had loads of fun exploring all the different festivals and finding out about all the kid friendly ones. There’s not long to wait until it’s the season again and it’ll be over too quickly! Thanks for linking up with Country Kids

  3. hpetty42

    It’s great to see a mention of Chilled in a Field Festival. We are keeping it small in 2015 based on festival goers feedback and reduced priced tickets are almost sold out, so if you’d like to come and join us, do book soon!

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  6. Messed Up Mum

    I can’t wait to start taking my 20mth old to festivals, I want to take him this year if I can, hence my entries to your latest comp! Lovely blog x

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