With summer just around the corner, what better way to enjoy the holidays with your little one than by going to a family festival? With so many to choose from that host a huge range of activities, you'll not have to struggle planning outdoor games every day to keep them entertained through the summer.
Your little ones will love getting their wellies muddy and dancing to a diverse range of music - it's a wonderful sensory experience for little ones of all ages! There are even some onsite babysitting services, loads of delicious food and drinks to choose from and different camping options that will suit your family.
It's never been easier to take your whole family to a festival with a huge range across the country, and they can be so much fun that you'll cherish the memories for a lifetime. We've found the best family-friendly festivals across the UK this summer that are fun for all the family, so why not take a look?
Where: Henham Park, Suffolk
When: 2nd - 25th July 2021
This proud family-friendly festival is probably the most grown-up one you can take your children along to, with George Ezra and Lana Del Ray taking to the stage this year. They have dedicated kids and family areas where there's a range of fun activities such as circus skills classes for your children to join in with. They also have an environmentally-friendly ethos, so you can teach your little ones all about helping the environment!
Where: Brecon Beacons, Wales
When: 19th - 22nd August
This is the greenest of festivals in the most beautiful of natural settings in the Brecon Beacons. With 25,000 festival-goers, it’s not the smallest on the circuit but organisers pride themselves on the festival’s family-friendly vibe throughout. And though this is one big party, it still feels personal because it’s separated into 10 self-contained areas. The dedicated children’s area, Little Folk, is where it’s at for toddlers and babies, so make that your whole world for the weekend. Handily plonked right next to the family camping area, all the activities and acts inside are absolutely free, so you can relax and let your little one experiment with even the most adventurous activities on offer. Bliss!
Where: Ashdown Forest, Sussex
When: 10th - 12th September
Into The Trees is less of a festival and more of a weekend getting grubby and exploring nature in the woodland of Ashdown Forest. Although it's not a festival, is the perfect way to spend quality time as a family while exploring the great outdoors and learning about nature. There's a whole range of outdoor activities, ranging from pond dipping to tree climbing. Relax in the peaceful forest and watch your little ones run freely around the beautiful landscapes, all while enjoying delicious food. The best part is the tickets cost between £5 and £15!
Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset
When: 29th July - 1st August 2021
Camp Bestival was one of the first to be organised explicitly with young families in mind when its founders, DJ Rob da Bank and his wife, Josie, realised how difficult juggling partying with parenting can be. So headline acts will Fatboy Slim and Kelis will keep us grown-ups very happy. But, unlike many of the larger festivals that simply make concessions to youngsters, the kids have equal entertainment status here. A large section of the festival site is devoted exclusively to children in The Upper Kids’ Garden, with a separate toddlers’ area and a chilled feeding area. Then there’s the Soft Play Tent, dedicated to under-fives and filled with ball pools, ride-on cars, trained staff to supervise and all sorts of activities involving music, dance and sensory fun. But nothing tops the one and only Mr Tumble on stage – a live performance from this rockstar of the rugrat world is like nothing else on planet Earth!
Where: Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire
When: 12th - 15th August 2021
This festival is a haven for everyone, from babes in arms to ageing hippies, and even the family dog! Every single one of its workshops is designed so that the whole family can take part, together, whether that’s tribal drumming, learning circus skills or blowing bubbles. There’s plenty to make your life as a parent easy, too. Alongside the dedicated kids’ play area, there’s a baby zone with sensory activities, storytime, treasure blankets, and an infant chill-out space. The baby-changing facilities are fab and there are kid-sized loos spread about the site, with signs pointing to them made by the mini festival-goers themselves in one of the first activities of the weekend. And the family camping area, where little ones can sleep under 300-year-old oak trees, is well away from the late-night revelling. And there’s plenty of that for the grown-ups, too, as Doune showcases the very best indie music from across Scotland and the wider world.
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
When: 1st - 4th August 2021
While it's unfortunately sold out for 2021, it's worth bearing WIlderness in mind for 2022. This family-friendly festival is bursting with creativity, with a huge range of arts and craft activities to take part in, including costume making, theatre groups, dance classes, fairytales, poetry and songs for all the family! They even have a designated quiet, family camping area and a babysitting service available too.
Where: Rode Hall, Cheshire
When: 20th - 22nd August 2021
You’ll find rural, hand-crafted, fairytale fun here with woodland tea parties, circus tents and more storybook characters than you can shake a just-made sparkly wand at. This art, music and literature festival is curated specially for children, and the event's programming for little ones is second to none. Peekaboo is an area dedicated to under-fours and their families, with sensory storytelling sessions aimed at non-walking and new-to-walking babies, pottery classes for youngsters, early morning yoga sessions, baby massage and bubble parties. Even bumps can enjoy some mum-induced relaxation with prenatal yoga classes and pregnancy treatments. And the day-to-day necessities are made simple with a baby-feeding boudoir and bath-time sessions. When you finally run out of steam, choral lullabies at the end of the day will soothe you all to sleep. Magic!
Where: Alex James' Farm, The Cotswolds
When: 27th - 29th August 2021
With free day tickets available for under 12s, this festival will be a big hit for all the family. Peppa Pig and members of the Paw Patrol will be making an appearance over the festival weekend, along with Jess Glynne and Lewis Capaldi who will be taking to the main stage. There's a family-friendly pitstop for those much-needed breaks your little ones might need to chill out, food for children and you can even hire ear defenders just in case it's a little loud.
Where: Standon, Hertfordshire
When: 22nd - 25th July 2021
What began life as a BBQ birthday party for family and friends in the grounds of a manor house has turned into a boutique festival routinely reviewed as one of the UK’s finest for families. There’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent to see, good grub, hot-tubs atop a hill, and even a heated swimming pool. And life is made easy for parents: a riverside meadow is cleared of cows and turned into a family camping area, baby-changing stations are stocked with spare nappies and some of the showers even have special facilities for the littlest festival-goers. Mums have been known to eulogise over the cleanliness of loos here. Within the kids’ field there’s a dedicated under-fives area, chill out space, baby yoga and massage, toddler rave and messy play. In the evening, relax with some campfire storytelling before loading your sleepy one into the buggy and catching headliners you'll love.
Where: Baldersby Park, North Yorkshire
When: 26th - 28th July 2022
Deer Shed has quickly developed a reputation as one of the best family festivals of the summer. That’s down in no small part to its low ticket prices, but also to its focus: it’s not just about the music here, it’s an arts, science, comedy and lots-of-other-stuff festival too. Kids are welcome everywhere, rather than being cordoned off into one area, and it’s the people without kids that get the pitying looks. Little ones are particularly well looked after. There’s a craft tent specifically for toddlers, the soft play area is reserved for under-fives, and there’s a dedicated programme of events for this age group including messy play, sensory workshops, parent and baby yoga and dramatized lullabies. What’s more, the NCT move in during the festival, bringing with them baby-bathing facilities, nappy-changing kit, space in their dedicated tent for breastfeeding and microwaves for bottle warming. In all, it’s a bit like having Mary Poppins on site.
Where: Jodrell Bank, Cheshire
When: 21 – 24 July 2022
This intergalactic festival will be perfect for children who love science. The line-up includes everything from live music to a ground-breaking programme of live science experiments, expert talks and immersive artworks! With free entry for all teens, children and under 5’s. With workshops and activities happening each day, such as T-shirt making workshops and a giant balloon mousetrap, your days will be jam-packed! The motto is Observe. Explore. Experiment. And that's exactly what you'll do.
Where: Secret Country Estate, Northamptonshire
Although not going ahead in 2021, Shambala is an eco-friendly, family-friendly festival celebrating world music. It aims to be as green as it can be and is even meat and fish-free, making it the perfect veggie paradise. With nature workshops and woodland adventures, your little ones will love getting to explore the eco-friendly setting and learn about why it's good to be green. There's even a family camping field close to the car park, with compost loos, hot showers, washbasins, and even kid-sized loos!
Where: Chelmsford, Essex
It’s a festival, but not as we know it... Everything about this festival is designed specifically for preschool kids, so don’t go expecting beer, bands or bad behaviour – you don’t even stay over at this three-day event. You won’t find a ‘main stage’ or an ‘arena’ anywhere either: instead, across a village of tents, teepees and domes, you’ll find theatre, music, storytelling, dance, baby massage, sensory play, sing-along sessions... you name it, it’s here. There’s even a mini-farm with alpacas to pet, a giant sandpit and picnic areas, and support for parents from breastfeeding to baby first aid. And since you don’t sleep on-site, you can also guarantee there will be a clean bathroom and fresh sheets waiting for you at the end of the day and a familiar bedtime routine for your baby!
Where: Barton Hill Farm, Herefordshire
It’s the teeny-tiny scale of this festival that makes it so special – just 250 families over three fields. So this isn’t a feat-of-endurance festival, but more of a fab place to relax and have fun. And there’s as much to wow the babies as the bigger kids. The Bub Hub is a cosy yurt housing morning songs, baby massage sessions and evening lullabies, and you can drop in at any time for a feed, nap or a chill. But it’s outdoors where the fun really starts. The Toddle Out team create adventure trails through the wood and mud kitchens in which to cook up messy pies, then there’s rolling down hills and hunting for insects. Yep, getting grubby knees is where this festival’s at. So you’ll definitely need to find the Baby Baths crew – on site every day from 5-7pm – to get them gleaming clean before all that fresh air delivers a spark-out sleep. Oh, but don’t miss the Little Fluffy Clouds Family Rave first, a chance to pop about to tunes from your own youth, all on vinyl and not a laptop in sight!
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