Family Friendly Festivals| 2016

The festival season is upon us, and instead of looking at pictures of my friends on Facebook living it up at one of the many festivals I wish I could go to, I’ve decided to get back into the game and go to some this year.

With a bit of a twist.

After all, the days of lounging around in the sunshine squashed between groups of friends for hours on end, merrily giddy on cider and contemplating my next portaloo break isn’t exactly child friendly.

And that’s the thing.  I come as a duo minimum now.  Preferably I come as a trio, but it all depends on Mr London Mum and his work schedule.

I figured if I was thinking about this, then other parents had to be as well.

So I’ve listed some of the most family friendly festivals I can think of (with a lot of help from my lovely blogger friends: Lucie from Lucie and the Bump, Bella from Along Came Jay, Romeca from Beauty, Bump and Me, Emma from Mamalina and Hannah from Budding Smiles).

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Without further ado, here they are in order of dates!

Big day out

Not long until this festival held in Maidstone, which kicks off on the 25th June and finishes on the 26th June.

With acts from The Hoosiers, Diversity, Lucy Spraggan, Union J and Toploader there’s a real eclectic mix of acts to suit everyone and every age.

They’ve kept a lot of things close to their chests so I can’t tell you much more than there is a specific kids zone which will involve Paw Patrol characters, Peppa Pig characters, The Gruffalo characters, a circus school and a fab sounding game of archery tag.

Under 5’s £1.00.

Larmer Tree Festival

Held from the 13th July to 17th July is this 5 day music and arts festival.

Larmer Tree Festival 2015 © Sebastian Schofield (2)

Awarded best family friendly festival and small festival of the year 2015, this is a festival for those that may be a bit apprehensive about dipping their toes into festivals with the family.  Winning an award for best toilets is an additional bonus!

Located within enchanted Victorian gardens straddling the borders of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire, this festival has it all from music (with Jamie Cullum headlining) to comedy.

With secrets gardens, wishing trees, a carnival, chakra soul dancing and even a knitting tent there’s so much to pick and choose from.

Children have Mr Bloom to keep them entertained as well as pitta bread workshops, Flamenco lessons and a bubble boogie disco to name a few things tailored just for them.

Under 10’s free.

Camp Bestival 

Camp Bestival is a multi award-winning festival, which is the little sister to the much-loved Bestival.

Located in Dorest and calling Lulworth Castle its home, this festival runs from the 28th July to the 31st.

With Reggie N Bollie, Bananarama, Tears for Fears, KT Tunstall, Fatboy Slim and the legendary Mr Motivator they have quite the line up!

And this festival has it sorted when it comes to kids.

With bikes, go karts, toddler areas, art areas, bouncy castles, fairground rides, soft play areas and sandpits there’s something to keep every little one happily entertained.

Under 1’s free.

Wilderness Festival

Wilderness is held in Oxfordshire and runs from the 4th to the 7th August.

It involves wild swimming in lakes, croquet, a boating lake, skinny dipping, a cricket match, the Cambridge/Oxford bearded kitten boat race  (?!) and so much more.

There’s music, talks, debates, theatre, yoga, a spa, pilates, hot stone massages, paddle board yoga- I mean they have pretty much got everything in terms of yoga covered.

And Ella Woodward from Deliciously Ella will be there with a pop up Mae Deli, along with some top chefs and some of London’s top restaurants making their way out there to host some epic meals.

One of my favourite child friendly parties Rave-a-roo will also be there to give that party festival feeling with your kids in tow.

Under 10 £6.25.

Shambala Festival

From the 25th to the 28th August is this very popular festival.  It’s sold out so I really shouldn’t mention it, but thought I would in case someone finds this article next year while searching for family friendly festivals.

Held in Northamptonshire in a secret location is this award-winning green event.

Join in on a Bowie ballet class, learn to swing dance, join a tropical coffee rave or draw male anatomy on the Sunday newspaper supplements- yes that’s an actual workshop!

There are hot tubs you can drink cocktails in, masseuses to rub away aches and pains and even insects you can crunch down as a meal if you dare!

Being very aware of the impact a festival has on the environment this is a meat and fish free festival, so they aim to show you how you can enjoy luxury dining and delicious food without the environmental impact.  In fact they’ve taken it upon themselves to do this in the most delicious way possible (yes there’s a lot more to eat than just insects!).

With a crèche on site at an additional cost you can enjoy some of that carefree festival joy you once felt in your youth if you so wish.

For older children they have bush camp nights, which are overnight adventures in a wooded glade while mum and dad get down to some serious tunes or join in on some workshops.

With glamping a possibility to book this is one serious luxurious festival.

Under 5’s free.

Into the wild

Held in the Sussex countryside and free from alcohol and drugs this is a very family friendly festival.

Held from August 26th-August 29th the popularity of this festival goes to show that a good time can be had just by enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and each other.

There’s a dedicated kids area which includes den making, headdress creating, fire building and more.  For the adults there are loads of free workshops to get stuck into such as yoga, meditation, tantra and printmaking.

With music from around the world including folk, hip hop, rock and more you could be dancing with your little ones under the twinkling stars before heading back to your teepee for the night.

Under 5’s are free.

thelondonmum

54 Comments

  1. These look great I’ll have to check out some family friendly festivals next year.

    • Definitely 🙂 If I make it to any I’ll let you know how it goes 😉

    • Same, our little one loves to dance and boogie so I think he’d enjoy quite a lot of the live music!

  2. I used to be a regular festival goer before I had the kids, I went to Leeds festival most years. You’re right though, the pre-children festival days are over! I’d love to take the kids to one, Camp Bestival looks amazing! I might save up for next year, it’s not quite so handy living in Northern Ireland though as it means a lot of travelling.
    BloggerMummyLauren recently posted…Snap It! A new Children’s Photography LinkyMy Profile

    • Yep that is much more of a travel, but it’ll be nice to get back out and enjoy that festival feeling again wouldn’t it? x

  3. We’ve been considering taking the kids to a festival this year now that the youngest is 5. I hadn’t thought to do it until recently as I didn’t realise how much was available for the kids. Great round-up! I do fancy a bit of glamping!! xx

    • You and me both- doing the research for this post was not good, I’m checking dates and seeing how many I can go to! haha x

  4. I love the sound of some of these, I have friends who go to camp besitval, I have never been to a festival and would love to go one day x

    • You should so go along with them, the bigger the group the more fun it becomes. It’s like a little mini holiday! They’re great! x

  5. This is such a useful list, parents still love going to festivals, so child-friendly ones are great. Last year we went to the Caversham Festival with Tyler, but this year it’s become Readipop. It was really good, we had a good time x

  6. I’ve yet to go to a festival (can you believe it? No-one ever does, lol!) “How have you never been to a festival?!” they always cry. I admit, they look great fun. (Maybe not the portaloo bit, lol.) I didn’t realise they could be so child friendly. I’m definitely going to have to pop my festival cherry next year, they look great!
    wendy recently posted…After school activities: The Busy Mums GuideMy Profile

    • How?? just how?? lol. Yes you’re gonna have to give them a whirl- maybe the Larmer tree one for the great toilets would be a good starting point 😉

    • I have still yet to go to Glastonbury- the thing I don’t like about it is having to buy tickets before they’ve announced who’s in the lie up. Plus those tickets are so hard to get it takes a lot of laptop patience! lol. x

    • With quite a few family ones on during school holidays it’s a great way to break up that holiday time!

  7. Wow i love the idea of the shambala festival. I have never heard of it but can totally see why its sold out!

    • I know, sounds amazing right.. one to buy before it sells out next year!

    • Exaclty- it’s taken me a while to realise it’s all there, but it really is!

    • Exactly, it’s such a shame to have to close the door on so many things when you have kids. These are great!

  8. I’ve always thought the Wilderness Festival would be fun, it sounds like it would lots of fun for adults as well as kids!

    • I know right!! SO many of these just sound great for me and it’s a bonus that it works for my son too lol x

  9. Some great festivals! We are heading to the good life festival this year and I can’t wait! It’ll be my first ever festival.

    • SO many are great for the really little ones too with nappy changing facilities and places to breastfeed if you like to be more private (although that’s entirely up to the mother of course). I’m surprised at how well they cater for families of all ages. x

    • And there are so many too- like SOOOOO many. I’ve just chosen a few to post up here!

  10. I never knew there were so many child friendly festivals! My daughter loves music as much as I do and it would be great to be able to take her somewhere that we could both enjoy without all the loud drunken people that you can find at a normal festival x
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    • Exactly, the loud drunken people are definitely not what you need around young kids. x

  11. These all look great, taking the children to a festival is definitely on my list for next year, our nearest is Latitude and that is amazing, so maybe we shall start there and work our way up and down the country sampling them all!

    • I love it too, I really enjoy eating meat, but am not against eating more veg or vegetarian food but I just don’t know how to make it tasty so it would be great to try a variety of vegetarain food and enjoy it x

  12. Fab round-up, a really useful post for festival-loving parents. Let’s hope that the good weather returns in time for these events!
    Sally Akins recently posted…Skin Care after 40My Profile

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