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It’s a huge part of the summer experiences – festivals pop up around the entire country, covering every topic from music festivals to food to literature to wellness and more, so no matter what you’re into , there’s a festival waiting to be discovered – for you and the rest of the family too! Once solely the preserve of groups of friends, festivals have evolved to become a part of family life too. With kid-friendly entertainment, activities such as face-painting, storytelling and drama workshops, they are now a must-do summer event. But if you’ve never done a festival before or if you’re a seasoned pro of them but are contemplating your first one with kids in tow, what do you need to know in order to make the experience swim rather than sink?
Organise Your Travel
It’s always a good idea when going to a festival with your small humans in tow to ensure that travel arrangements are sorted well in advance. Whether you’re hiring a camper van for the week, driving in a family car or travelling on the train, it’s always better to time your arrival a little on the early side. That way, you can claim the best camping spot. The worst part of any festival experience is generally the lengthy queues to leave the site and traffic on the roads surrounding, so consider leaving a little before the stated finish time to beat the rush and make sure that you don’t get stuck in a gridlock with tired and fractious kids to entertain.
Create A Packing List
The number of essentials you need to keep children happy and comfortable can be huge, so packing lightly or spontaneously is definitely a thing of the past. It’s a better idea to follow a family festival packing list to make sure that all the bases are covered. Remember to include items such as baby wipes (even if your children aren’t babies, there’s nothing better for taking care of sticky hands and wiping them down), lots of high factor sunscreen, waterproofs and wellies, hats, sunglasses, packets of tissues and insect repellent. Remember that concerts can get very loud, so bring ear defenders for young children or you may find yourself having to look up Miracle-Ear’s tinnitus treatment. Remember that kids can be less tolerant of discomfort and go for a level up on what you may normally have opted for – some extra blankets, inflatable pillows and foldable camping chairs can go a long way towards keeping everyone happy.
Overpack On Snacks
When blood sugar levels drop, that’s when kids can get extremely fractious, so it’s a good idea to overpack on healthy snacks. The food available at festivals can be quite unhealthy, with a lot of fried or sugary treats on offer – and while the occasional ice-cream is more than recommended, to stop costs mounting up and keep energy levels steady, take healthy snacks along as well. Dried and fresh fruit, unsalted nuts and packets of vegetable crisps are all a good idea, and you could also try involving the kids in making some homemade low sugar granola bars to take along. Pack plenty of juice and give the whole family reusable metal water bottles which can be refilled on site to stay hydrated.
With the weather being so unpredictable, even safe bet packing can go disastrously wrong, and even outfits which are suitable for the sunshine during the days can get too chilly when the temperature drops in the evening. Rather than taking up lots of room with bulky jumpers and thick coats, go for a mix of light layers, for yourself and the kids. Pack things like lightweight fleece jackets, compact ultralight down top layers and thermal tights and tops which are warm but non-bulky and can be layered under or over more summery pieces if it gets colder. Don’t forget the waterproof items as well – children can quickly get cold and miserable if they’re not dressed right for the conditions. Take lots of spares as well – all that running around outdoors means that kids often get through more changes than they ordinarily would.
Get Yourself A Trailer
Taking kids to a festival means transporting a lot of stuff – be it camping equipment, supplies or even the kids themselves when little legs get easily tired. A lightweight, foldable trailer can be a lifesaver in many circumstances, as it’s easy to take and provides instant transport or even an impromptu napping spot. It means that when you leave your tent, you can carry all your supplies for the day with you and not have to keep heading back – cool bags, rucksacks, kids things and an umbrella for shade or showers can all go with you.