2013 is going to be an amazing year for family-friendly festivals.
Whether a festival is good for you depends on what music you’re into and what other things you like doing at festivals, as well as the age of your kids. If you are new to festivals with kids, you may want to read our guide to Choosing the right Family-Friendly Festival.
These festivals are our favourite general family-ones (see also Best Festivals for Toddlers 2013)
Festivals which we think have something extra-special about them:
Bearded Theory – Friendly welcoming atmosphere and a very loyal crowd who return year after year. Family area run by Angel Gardens. Lots of fun to be had by all.
Beautiful Days – Winner of Best Family Festival 2011 at the UK Festival Awards on the strength of their kid’s activities and workshops and welcoming atmosphere. The kid’s area is set right in the middle of the arena so you can still be part of the festival while you are supervising your kids.
Blissfields – Once a small gathering of friends in the Bliss family fields, now grown into a proper little festival. Boutique yet entirely unpretentious – friendly and fun!
Camp Bestival – Totally geared up for families. Large enough to boast some big names across many genres to appeal to the entire family. So many activities and shows, you’ll struggle to pack it all into the weekend. Quite crowded and on a very large site, but great for mixed age kids as there is something for everyone.
Winners of Best Family Festival 2010!
*Chilled* in a Field – Teeny tiny and organised with passion. Great quality music and incredibly chilled friendly atmosphere.
Cornbury – ‘Posh’, easy to manage, big names on the line up, big kids area and very well organised. Lots for the whole family to enjoy.
Croissant Neuf Summer Party – Lots of circus fun to be had, top-notch green credentials and amazingly friendly atmosphere. Great for an alternative festie-fun-loving family.
Deer Shed – Organised by families with an aim to make the festival enjoyable for all ages. All sorts of nice touches such as kid’s activities in the camping field so they are entertained while you pitch the tent. Children feel included and they are integral to the programming rather than an afterthought.
Elderflower Fields – Oozing quality and celebrating British country-chic… and you can join in a free local produce sampling picnic on Sunday – how lovely is that?!
End of the Road – Intimate and friendly, and a stunning venue. Dedicated children’s and family area and they will be offering more performances, workshops and activities in 2013 than ever before.
Just So Festival – A festival of creativity, arts, stories, fantasy and imagination aimed at families. Super friendly and set in a site of true beauty, this festival is ‘just so’ gorgeous. An absolute must for young families wanting to indulge their artistic leanings.
Glastonbury – If you were lucky enough to get tickets, this is one magnificent party. The Kidz Field and the Green Kids area in the Green Fields offer festival entertainment to kids like no other festival. The line up is staggering and the whole experience is colossal. Go forth and soak up the vibes, man… (or just watch the highlights on telly!)
Green Man – Hottest acts on the new music scene. Beautiful location in the Brecon Beacons. Great imaginative and inspiring kid’s areas to go above and beyond normal festival expectations. Stay for a week and turn it into a holiday.
Lakefest – Great line-up, incredibly affordable accommodations options including bunk-houses, on-site waterpark and a kid’s area make this a good choice for families. And you can even take the family dog! ** WIN A FAMILY TICKET **
Latitude – Fantastic Children’s Arena (practically a festival in itself) and a great Inbetweeners Teen Area to keep older kids interested, engaged and thoroughly entertained. A great mix of Literature and Music, and multi-coloured sheep! 😉
Larmer Tree Festival – Set in gorgeous surroundings, the vibe is very relaxed and friendly. It feels very safe – it’s busy, but never over-crowded. Tons of excellent children’s and adult’s workshops, engaging youth zone, and lots of space. Truly something for everybody, regardless of age.
LodeStar – A great well-chosen line-up of emerging artists coupled with good range of food options and a site as flat as a giant bowling green make this a very relaxing festival to be at. It’s a small festival with loads of space to chill out and play. Winners of ‘Best Festival Toilets 2012’!
North Nibley Music Festival – Not-for-profit, family-focused, community event with a relaxed and welcoming vibe… Sold out already, so put it on next year’s calendar!
Penn Festival – Small and friendly with a local feel. Hidden away in a lovely rural location. Perfect festival for those of us who love a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s. And a fab circus area provided by the lovely team at Bigtopmania.
Shambala – Lovely thought gone into accommodating the needs of young families, workshops galore, amazing activities for older kids and teens, a fantastic onsite crèche, and lots of site art all make this a festival bursting with creativity and edge.
Standon Calling – Swimming pool on site. Fantastic music. Fancy dress mayhem. Reasonably small, so it doesn’t get overcrowded. Popular with mixed-age families and has a very loyal following.
Starry Skies – Not quite a festival, but a family camping weekend with a festival twist. Organised by Shambala and includes music and all sorts of back to nature activities for wild free ranging kids to explore.
Sunrise: Another World – With their award-winning kids’ area, the whole family can be entertained with arts, crafts and plenty of undercover activities. Their motto: ‘kids always welcome, adults welcome if they behave!’
Towersey Village Festival – Diverse line up, musicians of all ages hanging out having spontaneous jamming sessions, kid’s playground, and a massive amount of kid’s shows and workshops.
Wilderness – A feast of utter gorgeousness, where nature, art and music come together in a wild yet earthy celebration of our existence. Set in a naturally beautiful site with spas, lake swimming, creative exuberance and expressiveness.
Wild Heart Gathering – Alternative, enchanting and inspirational. A feast of beautiful music, workshops, stories, talks, exquisite nature & transformational learning amongst gorgeous lakes, magical woodlands & wild grassy meadows.
WOMAD – Stunning and eclectic World Music line up and more cultural education opportunities than you could possibly imagine! Lots of workshops, great festival site and a very warm and music-loving crowd.
WOOD – Tiny festival in a gorgeous location. Campfires, workshops, yurts, tipis, music, green grass, trees, compost loos, crafts, talks, yoga… [UPDATE – we’ve just come back from Wood 2013 and it was FANTASTIC – definitely a date for next year!]
Wychwood – Laid back and mellow. There are plenty of activities and workshops laid on and there’s a Children’s Literature Festival with lots of top kids authors. You can drive up to the campsite to unload. Copes well with rain due to lots of hard standing areas.
The list could go on and on… and we know you’re all going to tell us we’ve missed some of your favourites off… so come on, what are they? Comment below and share your gems with us! 🙂
It’s not only about the activities laid on for kids, sometimes it’s just about a special ethos or particularly welcoming atmosphere… but not all festivals suit all families – it really depends on the age and stage of your kids, and your level of expectation, experience and personal tastes!
If you’ve been to any of the festivals featured on our website, please leave your comments to help other families decide if that festival will suit them.
PS. If you’re a festival organiser and feel you’ve been overlooked, send a family ticket our way and we’ll send a team member down to check out your family-friendly credentials for future lists – if we don’t know what your festival is like then we can’t recommend you! 😉