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Family Festival Essentials - Survival Guide

Find all your festival essentials that you need for a full of fun day.

Nadine Hill from JuggleMum gives some tips on how to have a stress free family festival.

If you’re going to a festival for the first time with kids, you’ll need this handy family festival survival  kit to be prepared.  Getting ready for an amazing summer is all in the planning and know-how so use these pointers to inform your summer holiday and get the most out of your festival experience.

Which festival?

The first thing to choose wisely is which festival to visit.  There are plenty of outdoor music events around but some are more geared up for children than others and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress by doing some research.  Your needs will depend on your family configuration and whether you have teens or toddlers.  Lollibop is great for families with children under 10, and Just So is also a focused kids festival- they say their event is for children and their families!   Blissfields is a smaller, more intimate festival meaning that the children won’t get overwhelmed and at the other end of the scale is Camp Bestival – one of the largest family festivals around and a four time award winner at the UK Festival Awards as ‘Best Family Festival’.  There really is something for everyone out there and a little reading up will help you decide which is right for you.

What to pack?

Usually the advice is to pack light but when it comes to families, it’s handy to take plenty of options if you don’t know how the kids will be.  As well as the basics like your tent, sleeping bags and roll mats, pack some toilet rolls (after the first day or so the paper supplied with the loos runs out!) and hand sanitizer to keep everyone clean.  Wet wipes are always useful, especially with children, and a fresh outfit each day is welcome after a night’s camping!  Have a warm fleece for evenings (see what to wear below) and take a torch for lighting the way to the toilets during the night!  Bring your toiletries for the showers and flip-flops are a good idea to shower in.  If you have a camping stove and cooking equipment it could come in useful but festivals usually have a wide range of food to purchase and it’s nice to get a hot breakfast that you don’t have to slave over!  At the very least bring a refillable water container, some cereal mini boxes, long life milk and bowls and spoons for everyone to get a quick breakfast then buy the rest of your food on site.  Don’t forget any teddy bears or other night-time companions for the kids and your festival tickets!


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Festival Clothes - What to wear?

British weather can mean that one moment it’s sunny and the next it’s cool so layer up your outfits to stay at the perfect temperature.  Make sure that everyone has comfy shoes (you could be walking a great deal) and a fleece for when the temperature drops at night.  Festivals have a look of their own and you will be able to buy many of the more decorative outfit accompaniments like floral headbands and friendship bracelets on the site if you forget to pack them.  Leggings and dresses are staples for the girls whereas the men often wear denim knee length shorts and a T-shirt, but generally anything goes!  A straw trilby to keep off the sun works well with the look and always take sun cream for everyone – you’ll be outside all day.  If you have very young children then take some ear defenders with you to block out the stage noise from their little ears – then you can rock out as long as you want!

Useful things to take?

Solar powered chargers for your phone are worth packing as the cost of mobile phone charging at festivals is high.  You’ll need plenty of money for food, any items the kids see (like bubbles or face painting) and possibly the toilet if you don’t fancy that long walk back to the ‘free’ loos!  A festival wagon like a pull along truck is great for transporting young children on the long walks between stages – you can cover a lot of ground at a festival and little legs get tired quickly.  Also bring along a favourite book or colouring set for some quiet downtime when the non-stop activity of a festival gets too much for the kids.  Glow sticks are not essential but fun to take and you can buy them freely at a pound shop before you go – they cost much more bought within the festival and don’t forget your camera to take shots of the bands, the family and the general atmosphere – festivals are a treat for the eyes with something new to look at round each corner!

Tips for first timers?

The best tip is to not try to do too much, it’s almost impossible to get round everything in one weekend and the most important thing is that you enjoy some chilled out time together enjoying the music.  Refer to the schedule for your ‘must see’ acts then go with the flow the rest of the time.  Often you happen upon something amazing when you are least expecting it and would miss it if you were too regimented.  Whatever you miss, you can always make a point of seeing next year – festival going can be addictive!

For more ideas on fun activities for kids this summer

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I like those festivals.

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Fab tips! I always find new adventures with the family quite daunting the first time around, so this is super useful, especially the packing tips.

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Great tips Nadine, I've never done a family festival but this gives me a bit more confidence to try it out!

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