Family Festival Tips
Flowers in hair, glitter on faces, and wellies on feet means one thing: festival season! Some of our favourite stars have been entertaining crowds of thousands of festival-goers this summer, and it’s not about to stop there.
If you weren’t able to feast your eyes on some musical magic this summer, then we’ve got you covered with Festival Fields. Avoid the mud-wading and meet your fave festival stars where you can spend as long as you want taking the perfect selfie.
If you are still craving a genuine festival experience this summer, there’s plenty of festivals on the horizon for you to pick from. Just because Glastonbury is over, doesn’t mean the festival fun is. So find your most colourful rain mac, because we’re going to help you prepare for this summer’s festivals – oh, and you can bring the kids too…
Here are our top family festival tips:
Festivals are full of thousands of people so it’s easy to get lost, and even easier if you’re a child. As a precautionary step, it’s a good idea to give your little one a wristband that has your emergency contact details labelled on. This will help if they decide to have a little wander around the campsite and get lost.
On arrival to the festival, make sure you look out for meeting points and lost-and-found tents. Make sure everyone’s aware of the designated meeting place if anyone does get lost. It’s also handy to take something clearly noticeable for kids to spot you in the crowd. This could be a large flag (with PG-rated slogans on of course), or inflatable objects.
As with any trip away, take a compact first-aid kit in case of any bumps and bruises accumulated from running to see the next big act. If you’re running to get to the front and be that barrier guy or gal, make sure you’ve got some ear-defenders for the kids. Remember their little ears are still sensitive, and sometimes it’s hard enough to get them to listen to you without having to beat the constant ringing of bass decibels.
With safety preparations ticked off the list, it’s time to arrive at the campsite and get yourself sorted. If you’re heading to a popular festival (which most are), there’s no perfect time to arrive, but we suggest the earlier, the better – so you can pick the ideal place to set up camp.
Our top tips are to stay away from fences and toilets. If you’ve been to a festival before, you’ll know all about some festival-goers’ antics, and it’s definitely not a pretty sight, and especially not a sight for children! With regards to toilets, if you’re accompanying a little one, taking a potty or even a bucket will do wonders if they need to go during the night. This will save you having to trudge around the dark campsite not being able to foresee any deep muddy puddles (or worse!).
Unless you’re like our resident adventurer Bear Grylls, then you’ll probably struggle at putting up the tent. There’s seemingly always a pole missing, and by the time the tent’s up properly, it’s time to take it down again. To save all the tenting around, think about paying a little extra to stay in a pre-made tent (we recommend the tipi style). That way you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying yourselves, and the little ones won’t get restless whilst you search for the last remaining peg.
You could also purchase a pop-up tent, but word-of-warning: don’t open it up in the wind, because we don’t want a family of four running around the campsite chasing their tent through the mud, although it would make a great Facebook story…
Don’t forget to make seating arrangements. No, we don’t mean deciding who has to sit cramped in the middle of the tent – we mean actual seats. You’ll be at this festival for a few days, and there’s only so much of sitting on the floor someone can take. Camping chairs, inflatable seats, or even sun-lounger cushions will all make your seating arrangements a lot more comfortable.
You’re going to a festival, where packing efficiently is key, so try not bring with you a tour rider like Lady Gaga of satin sheets and white couches, unless you are Lady Gaga (then the more couches, the merrier).
Toiletries, toiletries, and more toiletries. If you think you have enough wet-wipes, add another five packets. Festivals can get messy; add in children, and it’s a whole bundle of muddy mess. Don’t forget to bring toilet roll either; relying on festival toilets to be stocked is a big mistake, as they’ll most probably run out within the hour.
At Madame Tussauds Blackpool we love a good selfie, so make you take lots of festival snaps to show us. Taking disposable cameras will allow you to give your phone a break to save its battery if you need to text or call anyone. A portable charger is definitely a must, or think about investing in a solar-panelled battery case to ensure you constantly have phone life. To get the kids involved, how about going old-school and using walkie-talkies. Just make sure you have enough spare batteries, and off you go on your family adventure. Just remember to take them back when it’s bedtime, otherwise you’ll be up all night saying ‘roger that’.
Disco lights, strobe lights, all kinds of lights, but when all of the acts are finished, you’ll need to find your way back. On a family festival adventure, it’s important to make sure you take torches, battery-powered lights, and lanterns. We don’t want the kids (or you, for that matter) walking into the wrong tent – that could make things awkward.
One of the best things about going to a festival is the food. The selection of food places makes our mouths water at just the thought. As delicious as they look, they can prove to be quite pricey, especially if that’s all you’re buying for the whole family over the next few days. Solution? Bring your own snacks! Stock up on easy-to-make food – after all, you’re at a festival, not on Masterchef. Think noodles, soups, cereal bars, dry snacks, and tinned food with ring-pulls, unless you want to carry around a can opener… Taking a cooler box would be ideal to store your food (and drinks) to ensure any perishable goods will survive the festival air.
Now to the fun part of planning outfits. It’s no secret that you and the kids are going to get muddy, even if it’s sunny weather, because somehow festivals and mud go hand-in-hand, so it’s important not to take any valuable pieces of clothing. Waterproofs are a must, but definitely also stock up on rain macs and wellington boots. Make sure you pack a few extra outfits for the little ones, and be prepared to throw any drenched clothes away. Remember to keep it out of the tent, because you don’t want to fall asleep and turn over to a pillow full of mud.
Have you ever seen families trying to push a buggy around a festival field? Funny thought, right? So don’t do it, it won’t work! Opt for a three-wheel push-chair instead, because it’s a lot more durable to push through the muddy floor. Some families get inventive by using wheelbarrows or shopping trolleys to transport their kids around. Plus they can come in handy when carrying things to and from the campsite.
To summarise, here’s a quick checklist:
It’s important to remember that festivals are all about having fun, and there’s no better fun than family fun! Bringing travel games along will help keep everyone entertained around the campsite, plus it’s always good to see which members of the family have a competitive streak. We suggest not taking the Monopoly board along, because that never ends well.
Do you have fun costumes for the kids to parade around in? Think fairy wings and face paint, the little ones will love dressing up. That doesn’t mean the adults don’t have to dress up though – and a group fancy dress always goes down well.
Just remember, if you’ve been to a festival before, it’s going to be a completely different experience bringing a family along. It will be exciting, new, and a great memory to hold with the kids.