(http://www NULL.larmertreefestival NULL.co NULL.uk)Larmer Tree: 16th to 20th July 2014
Website: www.larmertreefestival.co.uk (http://www NULL.larmertreefestival NULL.co NULL.uk/)
Location: Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset/Wilts borders
A smallish festival in one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK. Everyone is welcome here whether you are 1 or 101. For older kids and teens, Larmer Tree’s Youth Zone is particularly good, and provision for younger kids is nothing short of excellent.
Highlights for Kids and Families:
One of the more exciting but less well known festivals in the UK is gaining fans year on year. This year it sold out weeks in advance, and I would advise anyone wanting to go next year to get tickets early. I only hope that it doesn’t grow any larger because this year it was the perfect size to create a fantastic atmosphere without feeling too crowded.
Shambala Festival (http://www NULL.shambalafestival NULL.org/) gets its name from a visionary mythical kingdom in Buddhist teachings: a place that only individuals with the appropriate karma can reach and experience. And it truly feels as if every August bank holiday such a kingdom grows up briefly in Northamptonshire. It is a festival that simply begs you to join in – whether it is with the dancing and carnival, dressing up, crafts, the permaculture workshops, the debates, the interactive art installations or the flash mobs – everything there is designed to encourage a fun and lively community spirit.
Although family friendly, this has the feel of an old-style festival with plenty of hippies, new age, arty and creative types and even the odd nudist – so if you’re easily shocked be warned – this is a place for real festival goers who have children rather than those looking for a camping suburbia. (more…)
Croissant Neuf – not just ‘family-friendly’ but a real family festival
Croissant Neuf gave me many new festival experiences, and for someone who has been to so many festivals that is an unusual thing.
(http://www NULL.shambalafestival NULL.org)21st to 24th August 2014
Website: www.shambalafestival.org (http://www NULL.shambalafestival NULL.org)
Location: Near Market Harborough, Northamptonshire – exact location only revealed to ticket buyers!
“Good morning, Shambala, it’s really good to see ya, Good morning Shambala, we’ll have lots of fun. Playing and dancing and singing songs, Shambala is where I belong!”
This is the song my children have been singing all year from the moment we left Shambala festival last August – the song they sing in the Family Yurt every morning of the festival. The wonderful family yurt is actually in the family camping area which is great as it means the children have somewhere to play without having to go into the festival. There is always a warm welcome, a helping hand or (and this was most welcome last year while struggling with my 2 year old twins) a hug from a kind crew member.
Larmer Tree is a wonderful family friendly festival for all ages
Review and pictures by Naomi Jones – with her girls Eloise (6), Charlotte (3) and Amelie (3)
I have wanted to go to Larmer Tree festival for so long – mainly because of its reputation for being one of the most family friendly and inclusive festivals in the UK. And it didn’t disappoint.
All the essential info sheets and tips for taking your family to a festival – all handily linked on one page!
If you are new to the world of festivals, or are taking your children for the very first time, it can be a bit daunting but we are here to help. Here at Festival Kidz, we have a wealth of knowledge and advice to share with families who want to experience the wonderful world of family friendly festivals but aren’t sure where to start…
Do festival kids really need ear defenders?…
YES THEY DO!!
I wish I could say, “Nah, they’ll be fine – it’s all just a marketing ploy to make us poor parents spend more money!” but sadly I don’t believe that’s true.
Noise-induced Hearing Loss is clearly the major concern here. But apart from the permanent damage loud environments can do to hearing, I have also noticed that being around loud music and lots of background noise for prolonged periods makes my children quite irritable! However, when they wear their ear defenders they find watching bands at festivals really enjoyable because it reduces the sound to a comfortable level for them.
Can it be done? Should it be done?
If we can enjoy a festival with a five year old and twin toddlers then you can enjoy one with your toddlers too, if you want to!
I read the FestivalKidz website extensively last year to get some tips and it was extremely useful. Now with a few festivals under my belt, I’ve joined the Festival Kidz team myself and I’d like to share some more advice that we have learned ourselves through trial and error. So here are my best tips, starting with…
Despite there now being well over a hundred different family friendly festivals to choose from in the UK, I’m still getting the same common reaction from the majority of people: “Why on earth would you want to take your children there?”
So if you are wondering what is so appealing to parents I’ve compiled this top ten list:
Moe’s Bee Crèche at Shambala 2012 – parent review.
This was the first year that Moe had run a crèche at Shambala Festival, and I hope it’s not the last.
We have three children – a 5 year old and 2 year old twins. Even at a festival where there’s lots to occupy them everyday life is incredibly tiring, so given the chance for three hours off we grabbed it eagerly.
We went to have a look round the crèche on the Friday morning – we were allowed to take the children in and to see how we felt about it. (more…)
One of the original Festival Kidz founders, Romany has written family festival features for many websites and magazines and has served on the UK Festival Awards judging panel (Best Family Festival category).
She was accidentally recruited when she entered our competition and won tickets to Summer Breeze. It was the first time she had braved a festival with all 3 of her children but she had such a positive experience that she felt compelled to write about it – and sent in a review which the then owner, Romany, loved and published. After a few more reviews Romany asked if she wanted to join the Editorial Team and Naomi accepted it as a dream come true!
When Boutique Babysitting (http://www NULL.boutiquebabysitting NULL.com) started up last year, some people were wondering what the point of taking your kids to a festival was, if you were just going to dump them in a glorified creche…
But they sort of missed the point…
We’re there on page 25!
Well that was a nice surprise to find ourselves in the Telegraph Magazine this morning. We knew we would get a mention as the ‘Children’s Notebook’ columnist (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/journalists/daisy-bridgewater/), Daisy Bridgewater, had interviewed us about Festival Kidz. What we didn’t expect was a nice little ‘feature’ box all about the new website! For those of you that haven’t seen it, it goes like this:
festivalkidz.com (http://festivalkidz NULL.com) If you have the stamina to consider taking young children to one of this summer’s family friendly festivals, this brand new website should be your first destination.
Founded by seasoned festival-goers Romany Greatrex and Louise Harris, it provides detailed information on everything from the big hill at the Big Chill to the state of the loos at Lollibop.
A map shows family-friendly festivals in your area, and an online shop sells essentials such as sunhats and baby carriers.
Festival Kidz stands at many of the festivals themselves offer a rental service for wagons, gps child-tracking devices and hip seats.
Thank you Daisy - we’re glad you like us! x
Louise ponders the dilemmas of transporting growing little ones round a humongous festival site
Its April and the Glasto Planning has started, the sun has been hot hot hot and as well as assessing the Glasto weather predictions (rain by the way), we’ve also been assessing the ‘buggy / transport situation’. Transporting children around Glastonbury is a much more significant issue than at any other festival site in the UK because the site is so vast and the terrain so variable.
So our current dilemma goes a little like this: