These are our writers’ favourite festivals in North England. For more festivals please see our special family friendly festival map.
We know there are other amazing festivals that we are missing out – and we’re attempting to get our reviewers around as many festivals as we can. The festivals below are our tried and tested choices, ones our writers go back to year after year.
Cheshire, SK11 9DW
20th – 22nd July 2018
Where it’s as cool to be a scientist as a rock star.
Bluedot Festival is held under the incredible setting of the Jodrell Bank telescope. There’s as big an emphasis on education as there is on music, so is particularly appealing to families who want their children to learn while enjoying themselves (the best way!) Prepare to be inspired, educated and dance your socks off.
WHAT MAKES BLUEDOT UNIQUE?
There’s no other festival with an emphasis on science in this way. The fact that they also have one of the best music line ups of all the festivals makes this one difficult for all geeks (young or old) to miss.
Read our review: 2017
Accessibility: 2 for 1 personal assistants, viewing platform, accessible camping, accessible car park, accessible toilets, assistance dogs passes.
Tickets: Adult Weekend ticket from £159, 11-15 £79, 6-10 £27.50, 5 and under free. See the website for further information.
Cheshire, CW9 6NA
25th – 28th May 2018
The biggest children’s festival in the country, Geronimo is jam packed full of activities. This is fantastic for families who want to gear everything around their children.
There are animals, there are drama workshops from Stagecoach, there’s circus shows, science, carpentry, puppets and even artificial caving! There’s so much for children to do at Geronimo your children they will never say they’re bored.
WHAT MAKES GERONIMO UNIQUE?
It’s all about the children at Geronimo. There are CBeebies characters, fun and educational activities – everything is designed with your little ones in mind.
Accessibility: Free personal assistant ticket, assistance dog passes, accessible camping, accessible toilets, accessible parking.
Tickets: Adult Weekend £66, Under 2s free. Camping Pass £85.
Just So Festival
Cheshire, ST7 3QT
17th – 19th August 2018
Families who love the arts and being creative, will love the haven of wonder and magic at Just So Festival.
You’ll never fit everything in so we have published a programme preview as it’s always good to plan some activities in advance. Or you can enjoy wandering around – as you will always stumble into something fascinating. Make sure you choose which tribe you want to be in, and join in!
Becoming part of a tribe at Just So is something the kids will always remember. This simple yet genius idea brings folk of all ages together and gives makes ever guests feel part of the show. The kids adored doing tasks to collect pebbles all weekend so their tribe could lead the way.
WHAT MAKES JUST SO UNIQUE?
Just So Festival’s strength lies in its championing of books, the arts and the imaginations. Parents who value encouraging creativity in their little ones will love this festival.
Read our reviews: 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011
Accessibility: Accessible camping, accessible day parking, accessible toilets, charging point, assistance dogs passes, 24 hour fridge, quiet space, changing space
Tickets: Adult £140, Child £50, Under 3s Free, day tickets available
Deer Shed Festival
Yorkshire, YO7 3BZ
20th – 22nd July 2018
Deer Shed Festival is all about the kids yet has cracking musical and theatre line ups every year. Arts and science tents provide endless opportunities to keep your little ones happy and busy. There are also woodland experiences to get the children into nature.
WHAT MAKES DEER SHED UNIQUE?
The people that run Deer Shed are massive fans of music and the arts in general, and they all have kids. They have, over the years, got increasingly fed up with paying a small fortune to get their families into various festivals only to be disappointed in the music or the entertainment, facilities and vibe. The Deer Shed Festival is their long considered response to this. As a result, the Deer Shed is a wonderful combination of thoughtfully selected entertainment, including spoken word, literary speakers, craft workshops for all ages, cinema and wilderness experiences. The music line ups are diverse, right on the money and include bold choices including Kate Tempest in 2017 and Goldfrapp and Drenge in 2018. On Sundays the pace of the festival slows down and kids are encouraged to experiment with playing with cardboard boxes and generally taking it easy.
Read our reviews: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012
Accessibility: Accessible campsite and car park, power point, fridge, viewing points (not platforms), disabled toilets, assistance dog passes.
Tickets: Adults £145, £155. Child £20-£50, 2 and under free. Visit the website for further information.