Festival-going with kids

In a month’s time, we’ll be at our very first proper festival as a family. One where you camp overnight and everything. Actually, being completely honest, this is not only our first festival as a family, but my first Proper Festival EVER.

just so festival

To pop our festival cherry, we’ve opted for a weekend at the Just So Festival, a magical-looking family arts festival held in Cheshire. We’re no strangers to camping, and I’m resigned to not really washing for the duration of the festival and making use of a hat to hide my unwashed hair, so that aspect of it doesn’t worry us too much (apart from the logistics of how to get our extraordinarily heavy family-sized tent from the car park to the festival campsite). We’ve been super-excited about joining the throngs of festival-goers for months. But when we sat down for a little pre-festival planning session, we found ourselves getting bogged down with practical questions we had no idea of the answers to (like where do you buy milk for your tea? And does it matter how big our tent it?), and I could see panic setting in on Ben’s face.

I swept his fears heroically to one side, reassuringly telling him I would find all the answers we needed on The Interweb, and, more specifically, my own blog. So dear reader, I am bowing down to your ever superior knowledge. This is the place to share your considerably valuable pearls of wisdom, especially from those of you who are seasoned festival-goers and know all the tricks there are to know. Our main areas of concern are:

  • What basic provisions (milk etc) do we need to take?
  • Should we take food for cooking meals or do we decide that we’ll just pay out for some of the (amazing looking) food on offer at the wide range of food stands?
  • How do we get all our stuff (including two three-year-olds) from the car to the campsite? Do we hire one of those wagon things or would we be better off buying one of our own to use again in the future?
  • How much should I know about the line-up before I get there? Having been on the mailing list for months and months, this is probably where I need to admit that I haven’t read a single one of the emails that have popped into my inbox. If you’ve been to the Just So Festival before, is there a not-to-be-missed show that I need to know about? Basically, do I have to do any homework before we go?
  • Anything else I need to know?

Thankyou very much!

4 comments to Festival-going with kids

  • Linda

    I went to Camp Bestival with a family of four (pre-Kitty) and they took a wheelbarrow! Just a regular lightweight one from the local builders merchant. Put it on their car’s roof rack. It was used to cart the kids around, as a comfy armchair (with a sleeping bag screwed up inside) when watching shows, as a general go-cart to whiz the kids (and cider fueled adults) up and down when they threatened to get bored, and to lug the equipment about. Upside down it kept the drizzle off supplies. You need a certain carefree attitude to pull it off but I was impressed by its usefulness.

    • Heather

      After reading your comment we went and checked out some wheelbarrows but they’re not that much cheaper than the wagons! Plus I was slightly concerned about whether I could manage to wheel the barrow with two kids in it. Think we’re going to get a trolly/wagon thing with the hope that we’ll use it again in the future, an that it’ll hopefully hold enough value that we can flog it on ebay if not…

  • Helloitsgemma

    Go to Penny’s blog Aresidence loads of tips for what to take.
    Hiring a trolley can sometimes mean a big queue. Dunno how much they are but think you would get your money’s worth. I’ve written couple tip posts re camp bestival. I always take milk – frozen last longer – and tea, small stove for a brews, especially if you have early rising kids. Who wants to walk for a cupa first thing? I also take pasta pesto (decanted into plastic) for quick easy food for kids. Nothing more annoying than spending a fiver on a burger for a child to take one bite and then refuse it. Maybe your 2 are better eaters than my boy. Festivals are frenetic, factor in down time for kids. The first festival I do with my 2 half year old, I really only focused on kids stuff. Went with an open view, was mostly about him anything else was a bonus. We has a ball. Am sure you will. Enjoy.

    • Heather

      Thanks for all the advice – really useful, and Penny’s tips over on her blog are brilliant so thanks for sending me over there too. I will definitely take pasta and pesto, and I think factoring in some down time is a really good idea. I think I’ll need it, let alone the kids!

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