Last year, Franny Watts wrote an amazing piece on taking her children to Glastonbury. It’s turned out to be one of Mumfidential’s most popular and widely read blogs last year.
“I experience a deep sense of joy from being able to see the creative heart of the festival through the prism of my child’s eyes….and it’s great to be able to remember it all for a change!” she wrote.
Even if you don’t have tickets for Glastonbury, we hope that maybe her words inspire you to consider taking your children to one of the smaller family friendly festivals across Britain this summer.
Go on! Your children will love you forever.
Our guide to family festivals
Prepare for all kinds of weather
Now is not the time to travel light (sorry). Bring layers for every eventuality – one minute your children will be baking and the next they will (have had a water fight and) be freezing. Also, don’t forget, children wake up really early when they’re too cold so keep them warm in the tent.
These super waterproof, durable and lightweight Pac-a-Macs from Muddy Puddles pack into their own pocket and can be attached to a bag or buggy. Complete the look with some puddlestomper wellies. Both are available to buy as a festival bundle for just £35 with free UK P&P, which sounds pretty to us. www.muddypuddles.com
Don’t forget your pillow
Don’t forget about yourself when your fretting about how the children are ever going to sleep in a tent. Bring a comfortable camping mattress (preferably with a cotton sheet) and when the times comes, cuddle up in a Vango Harmony lightweight double sleeping bag (£70).
Invest in a decent tent
If you’re not glamping, the next best thing is a black out tent. Coleman’s Oak Canyon 4 (£349.99) is the perfect home from home for a family at a festival as it is not only breathable but also blocks out 99% of external light, ensuring that you can’t blame your children’s 5am wake up on a sunlight-filled tent.
Yep, I know. Why did these not exist sooner?
Bring dressing up stuff
If your children are into this, you need to get into it too. They will never forget the weekend you dressed up as a family. These sequin capes are designed by Pearl Lowe x Selfish Mother are designed to be worn by mini superheroes.
They are limited edition so snap one up when you can! (£60 but £10 from the sale of each cape goes directly to TOMMY’S baby charity).
Safety in numbers
A festival with kids will be so much more enjoyable if there are more hands on deck. You might like to consider traveling with friends, or taking granny with you, or a nanny. “Go with another couple and take it in turns to do the nights,” suggests seasoned festival goer, Jo Green.
Take your own sound system
For when the kids are tired and you’re chilling out back at the tent with a bunch of (new) friends. These 50s inspired Roberts Revival radios (£139.99) can be used as a portable speaker as they have batteries AND they can be used to charge your iPhone.
Mark your territory
Bring a flag or wind sock, so you don’t lose your tent in a sea of other tents that look exactly like it.
Label your children, too
There are a lot of people at festivals and small children easily get distracted and lost. If they’re not sensible enough to find a meeting spot, consider fitting them up with a tracking device. Either way, dress them so they stand out in a crowd and make sure you label them with your phone number.
Sun cream, sun hats, sun shades
Prioritise sun protection when packing as you don’t want to be the one walking around with the sunburnt kids.
Take something to cart them around in
Take a comfortable baby carrier if your baby is small. Toddlers and little ones will need a decent buggy to sit in, even if they’re a good walker, as days are long and tiring at a festival.
Some people take bike trailers, wheel barrows or these Radio Flyer wagons for them to sleep in later on – just make sure whatever you use has sturdy wheels as you don’t want to get stranded!
Be open minded and have low expectations
It’s going to be hard work, there will be times when your children are crying and you crave a shower and your own bed but if you relax into the vibe and don’t try to see everything, you will have an incredible time.
And don’t forget….
(from Mumfidential readers)
“A large plastic sheet to sit on and can be cleaned easily” Hannah Pain
“An ergonomicbaby carrier” Jodie Anne Hall
“Wetwipes, snacks and Ella’s pouches – particularly the breakfast ones!” Jo Green
Four Of The Best Family Festivals this summer
21st-23rd July at Pylewell Park deep in the New Forest
22nd and 23rd July at Jimmy’s Farm near Ipswich
21-23 July at Hill Farm, Oxfordshire with The Libertines, The Vaccines and Franz Ferdinand
27th to 30th July in the grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset.