Top 7 family-friendly festivals 2018
Dust off your camp chairs, wellies and tents… in a few short months, family festival season will be upon us! While there’s never any guarantee of balmy weather, summer in the UK is nothing short of spectacular, thanks to its cracking lineup of action-packed festivals.
You name it, there’s a weekend celebration for it – from music and comedy, to food, drink, arts and more. For family festival-goers, there’s a particularly stellar selection of events on offer, meaning there’s just as much going on for the kids as there is for us grown-ups! Here are GP’s top seven child-friendly festivals:
Latitude is as hot on comedy as it is on music, with headline acts The Killers, alt-J and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man joining funnymen and women Bridget Christie, Harry Hill and David O’Doherty. This Suffolk festival has a real family feel, boasting designated kids and teen zones and an enchanted garden packed with activities for all ages. It’s also the only festival where bright pink sheep graze the fields – and yes, they’re real!
The Curious Arts Festival, held in pretty Pylewell Park in Hampshire, has got it all: singers, authors, comedians and a little something it calls ‘curious adventures’ where families can get involved in snail racing, fine-tune their literary skills or just spend some time de-stressing in a yoga or meditation workshop. The festival calls itself ‘dreamy, eccentric, fun and ultimately, irresistible,’ and we couldn’t agree more.
WOMAD in Wiltshire hails itself as a ‘global fiesta of music, food, dance & art, and a place where everyone is welcome.’ When you’ve finished bopping along to a band you’ve just discovered, kick back in a hot tub or hammock in the spa zone, take part in one of the many different workshops, or listen to your favourite poet recite his or her best work. Kids will be spoilt for choice in the ‘World of Children’ – and, if they’re under 13, entry to the festival is free!
Winner of the UK’s Best Family Festival at the Family Traveller Awards 2017, Camp Bestival in Dorset will be many kids’ idea of heaven – think kids’ discos, wild tree climbing, science tents, dressing up areas, fancy dress parades, face painting and so much more. There’s also a top lineup of acts for parents to boogie along to, including Simple Minds, Rick Astley, Clean Bandit and Orbital. This year’s theme is all-things-nautical, so dig out your eye patches and repeat after us: ahoy, matey!
Kids are encouraged to run wild at Valley Fest, held in the beautiful surrounds of Chew Valley Lake in Somerset. This is a great event for foodie parents, with the big top tent hosting talks and demos from top chefs all weekend long. Make sure you take part in the two planned feasts: The Midnight Feast, held under the stars, and The Sunday Picnic, where you can all kick back on the grass and admire the lake views while tucking into some hearty, organic grub.
Nestled in the Brecon Beacons, Green Man Festival has a certain magic about it that’s hard to put into words. The festival has ten areas, from the natural amphitheatre at Mountain’s Foot, to the grassy quadrangle making up the Walled Garden and the gothic stable block in The Courtyard. Right next to the family camping zone is the Little Folk area, which this year will be transformed into The Lost City of Atlantis, packed with games, workshops and activities to keep little ones entertained all day (or shall we say, weekend) long.
You might know Alex James as the bassist from Blur, but he’s also the host of this awesome festival, which takes place on his sizeable farm in the Cotswolds. The lineup includes the likes of Basement Jaxx, Craig David and Paloma Faith, but younger kids might be more interested in some of their favourite characters who are making an appearance this year, including Peppa Pig and her brother George, Paddington Bear and the Gruffalo!
We get it: too many festivals, too little time! Whichever festival you end up buying tickets for this year, don’t forget to pack your GP essentials! Double up on your PowerBanks to make sure you never run out of power: bring one of GP’s smaller chargers for use throughout the day (making sure your phone’s topped up for all that photo-taking, social posting and video recording) and one of GP’s larger PowerBanks for a full overnight charge of your phone and torch.
Be prepared for a lot of envious looks from less organised festival goers! Only question is: will you share your power?!