Just because you have children doesn’t mean you have to give up your festival-going habit – with the right research and a bit of clever packing, summer festivals can offer the perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors together as a family amongst like-minded people.
Here’s how to make the most of your festival experience and make sure the whole family has fun.
Choose the right festival
It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to assume a festival is going to be family-friendly just because the promoters have publicised a few kids’ activities– but this isn’t necessarily the case. Make sure there is plenty happening during the day that will appeal to your children’s age range, and find out exactly what kind of facilities are on offer for families. There may be a designated family camping area, for example, which is quieter at night and offers better facilities for those with young children. Some festivals are well-known for their laid back atmosphere, and if you choose these over rowdier events you’ll all enjoy a mellower experience.
While you don’t want to pack your entire household into your car boot, you will want to make sure you take some of the little things that will make your festival experience more enjoyable – and avoid any family disasters.
Firstly, with the unpredictable British weather, there’s a good chance it might rain, and with thousands of people trampling over the ground it can quickly turn into a mud bath. Reusable kids’ rain ponchos are more compact than most waterproof jackets, taking up very little space but making sure that your children stay dry. Choose those that come with a resealable plastic pouch to make it easy to store when you’re not using it. Another rainy weather essential is wellies, and while they are quite bulky you will be eternally grateful for them if the ground turns muddy.
The flip side is, of course, that if the sun does decide to shine you’ll need sun protection. To prevent sunburn and sunstroke, choose a high SPF suncream; try to stay in the shade during the hottest parts of the day; pack wide-brimmed hats to shade the face, neck and ears; and keep your whole family well-hydrated.
You may also want to pack your children’s favourite teddy bear or bedtime storybook to help them settle at night.
Keep your children safe
Pack a few first aid essentials – having your own plasters or antiseptic cream for minor accidents or ailments could save you a time-consuming trip to the first aid tent.
Occasionally children do get separated from their parents at busy festivals, and usually they are quickly reunited – but it’s still an experience all of us desperately want to avoid. As soon as you arrive at the festival, show your children what they should do if they get lost. Festival staff may have a uniform, so you could point this out to your children so they know who to approach. Alternatively, you could encourage them to look for another mum with her children, and ask her for for help. Consider getting each of them a wristband to wear, displaying their name, your name, and your mobile phone number – just in case you get separated. It’s also worth remembering what your children are wearing – you could even take a photo of them each morning on your mobile phone, so you can describe them accurately.
With all this advice on board, you should be well-prepared to take on festival life whatever the British weather throws at you!