When we think of summer we immediately think festivals, camping and road trip fun and the fact we are now parents have not changed that at all and we have been taking our son to festivals since he was 2yrs old and he loves every element of it from the packing to pitching the tent to the morning routine of making coffee on the camping stove to running around barefoot with his face painted. As long as you pick your festivals wisely taking children is not an issue at all and something we very much encourage. We have put together a few of our favourite family friendly festivals you should check out
1. Wychwood Festival 30th May - 1st June
This festival is a great place to start the season and we thoroughly enjoyed it last year and are planning to go back for more this May. It's great for those with little experience of festivals as it's very civilised - with very clean toilets, warm showers, close parking, easy access, flat pitching for tents and an array of places to eat and drink. It may not have the depth of some of the larger festivals but it's perfect for kids and very family friendly with a lovely children's meadow with workshops and storytelling sessions. It has an eclectic mix for the line up which some impressive bands this year including Reef, The Boomtown Rats and the Stranglers. Tickets are a very reasonable £125 with under 5's free and under 15 half price.
2. Beyond the Boarder 4th-6th July
A festival with a difference - Beyond the Boarder is the Wales International Story Telling Festival based in the beautiful costal town of Llantwit Major in the grounds of St Donats Castle. This festival is one with families in mind and combines literature, spoken word, music and art to together to create a hotpot of creativity with three days immersed in tales, wonder and folk law, plus real ales, a lantern walk and world food there is something for everyone. Tickets are £110 with under 16's half price and under 5's free
Larmer Tree Festival 16th-20th July
This has been on our a list for a few years now and this year we are going to try and make it a reality as it seems like such a wonderful festival - especially with it's slogan - "the happiest, friendliest, quirkiest festival in the land" - that's sold me. It's set in beautiful grounds of the The Larmer Tree Gardens on the Dorset boarder, with excellent facilities and interesting family friendly ares including the flag circle, lost wood and water garden plus and a top notch line up including the legend that is Tom Jones as well as Squeeze, Frank Turner and Tom Odell to name a few. Tickets start at £160
Camp Bestival July 31 - 3rd August
Camp Bestival is the Mecca for child-friendly festival fun. It manages to combine all the elements for every member of the family to find something to enjoy and be entertained for the whole weekend. They have a stellar line-up this year with De La Soul, Sinead O'Connor and DJ Yoda for the adults through to Mr Tumble and Ben and Holly for the kids as well as tons of workshops and creative areas. Last year we loved the evening walks through the lit-up forest as well as all the wholefood eateries. You really won't be disappointed if you go to Camp Bestival, although because of it's hilly location I do recommend arriving earlier to get a good camping pitch or booking a flat pitch in advance as well as purchasing a small wagon if you have any children under 5 in tow.
Adult weekend ticket £19, 5-10 year olds £20, under 4's free
Shambala festival 21-24th August
Shambala is a popular small family festival with a diverse line up of music across 12 live stages, indy films, workshops, fresh organic market and speakers corner to name a few. They really cram a lot into one weekend and have an amazing kids section including a day creche so you can have a few hours of adult time if you wish. Shamabala always has a real buzz about it and every year people keep coming back for more. There is an enchanted wood, healing meadow and craft area as well as loads more. Tickets start at £99
Of course there a lots of festivals I have not mentioned that are also amazing such as Beautiful Days, Green man, Isle of Wight, Cornbury, Lollibop and the list could go on and on, we may also visit a smaller festival such as the Welsh Workhouse festival - a festival I worked at a few years back and really enjoyed the smaller intimate venue, either way we cannot wait for summer and camping fun. You can read more about our family travel adventures on www.sidestreetstyle.com