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Happy Campers: 5 family friendly festivals for your diary

Lisa O'Keeffe

06 May 2017

Time to Read

5 minutes
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Wellies? Check. Tent? Check. Bringing the kids to a festival? Let us convince you…

Weekends in a field don’t have to be a distant memory when you have kids, thanks to a growing number of festivals designed for families. More than just a kids’ tent in the corner, dedicated festivals that have kids at the heart are becoming increasingly popular, and provide the perfect opportunity for an unforgettable family experience.

Here’s our guide to some of our favourite 2017 family festivals taking place all over the UK this summer – the only question is which one (or two!) will you choose?

Family festivals are a great alternative to summer holidays

Geronimo Festival

27-29 May

Arley Hall, Cheshire

Aimed at children under 13 and their families, Geronimo is all about playing, learning and creating magical memories. Quite fitting then that this year’s theme is princesses, knights and dragons, and that there are a huge range of activities to enjoy. With glamping and camping added for the first time this year, book your visit now for a magical adventure at the festival dubbed as ‘Glastonbury for Kids’ by the Daily Mirror!

Top 5 must-dos:

  1. Roll up for not one, but two full circuses on site at the festival, plus daily circus skills workshops
  2. Meet and greet giant tortoises, and trust us when we say they’re huge!
  3. Listen to guilty pleasures or poptastic favourites, with a silent disco and wheel of chance adventure at Our Kids Social
  4. Experience all the thrills of caving, with UK’s first fully mobile caving experience! Perfect for little explorers, it’s the perfect taste of the real thing
  5. Put young engineers to the test in Cyclops Pedal Power as they generate electricity, make play dough circuits and get stuck into science

Weekend tickets (excluding camping) from £55, under 2s are free. Find out more, and book now by clicking here! Day tickets also available.

Geronimo Festival is home to main stage acts for the whole family

The Geronimo Festival sign is the perfect place to pose for a family photo!

Deer Shed

21-23 July

Baldersby Park, North Yorkshire

Pitched as the festival that makes kids the main event, rather than just a dedicated tent, Deer Shed promises to be the ultimate family experience! Combining music, comedy, sporting activities, spoken word, literary book club, science, workshops, cinema and food, all suitable for a family audience, you’re guaranteed to not run out of things to explore throughout the weekend.

Top 5 must-dos:

  1. Enjoy a multi-sensory performance of Where The Wild Things Are, presented by Mud Pie
  2. Feeling hungry? Try the human version of the popular Hungry Hippos game!
  3. Turn detective with a Forensics themed science activity based on this year’s Wilderwild theme
  4. Discover a new family favourite musician, by seeing as many of the music acts as possible
  5. Shake the room with a visit to the notorious Boom Chikka Boom Baby Rave

Weekend tickets (including camping) from £135 for adults, and £10 for children, under 2s are free. Find out more, and book now by clicking here! Day tickets also available.

Deer Shed Festival in North Yorkshire is perfect for kids and families

Kids will love festival-style transport at Deer Shed - like sitting in a wheelbarrow!

Camp Bestival

27-30 July

Lulworth Estate, Dorset

Ask anyone to name a family-friendly festival, and Camp Bestival is likely to be a name you hear quite a lot. Sister festival to Bestival, Camp Bestival is the award-winning family-friendly version, with a host of activities and performances suited to a younger audience. Learn circus skills, experiment with paint and glitter in Art Town, or listen to the line-up on the main stages, including Madness, Louisa Johnson, All Saints and Anne-Marie.

Top 5 must-dos:

  1. Take a bounce on the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle, fact
  2. Get practising your best air guitar moves, then compete for the title of ‘Best Family Jam’ in the UK Festival Air Guitar Championships
  3. Take younger festival fans to see Mr Tumble and Dick and Dom take to the Castle Stage
  4. Be a dancing queen at the Kids Disco, featuring the World’s Largest Disco Ball – if that doesn’t keep you dancing we don’t know what will!
  5. A visit to Camp Bestival doesn’t mean missing out on everyone’s favourite activity; soft play. The under 5’s tent is filled with a host of soft-play mayhem, plus regular workshops

Weekend tickets (including camping) from £197.50 for adults, and £15 for children, under 1s are free. Find out more, and book now by clicking here! Day tickets also available.

Camp Bestival is the perfect family festival this summer

Camp Bestival takes place on the stunning Lulworth Estate each year

Just So

18 -20 August

Rode Hall, Cheshire

We defy you to not have a smile on your face as you explore this enchanting festival, with families and woodland spirit at its core. Encouraging you to get involved at every opportunity, this laid-back festival is a family treat beyond your wildest dreams, and with some traditions we love the sound of, they seem to have everything, well, Just So!

Top 5 must-dos:

  1. Bring an extra pillow, you’ll need it for the raucous family pillow fight on the Village Green!
  2. Visit the Spellbound Forest before bed, for an enchanting evening of campfire singalongs and stories
  3. Earn the ultimate bragging rights, by taking part in the mums' race as part of the Great Just So Sports Day
  4. Put on your dancing shoes and head to the Footlights stage to enjoy an exciting line-up of over 20 brilliant artists and bands
  5. Take part in the Tribal Tournament, in fancy dress. That’s all we’re going to tell you, but trust us!

Weekend tickets (including camping) from £149.10 for adults, and £53.40 for children, under 3s are free. Find out more, and book now by clicking here! Day tickets also available.

Visit Just So Festival with the family this summer

Two little lions love dressing up at Just So Festival

The Big Feastival

25-27 August

Alex James’ Farm, The Cotswolds

Combining top-class food with live music, you already get an idea of why The Big Feastival has made our top 5! Food is definitely at the heart of this festival, so you won’t be surprised to see a stellar line-up of chefs demonstrating top grub in the NEFF Big Kitchen over the weekend, though with names including Olly Murs flying the flag for music, it’s definitely earnt its Feastival status. With loads of family fun to enjoy too, we recommend a visit here this summer.

Top 5 must-dos:

  1. Visit a pop-up of one of our most popular attractions, as Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park team set up camp with some of their favourite furry and feathered friends
  2. Brand new for this year, don’t miss Crayons & Crafts, with themed activities each day
  3. Treat your taste buds by seeing how many of the street food outlets you can sample – trust us, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
  4. Visit the RAU Vegetable Patch, where little ones can find out more about the journey from field to fork, before heading to the NEFF Little Kitchen for hands-on cookery classes
  5. Visit the festival’s signature vintage funfair, complete with a Helter Skelter and dodgems!

Weekend tickets (excluding camping) from £159.50 for adults, and £31.15 for children. Find out more, and book now by clicking here! Day tickets also available.

Kids cookery workshops are just one thing on the lineup at The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival is set on Alex James' farm, and was founded by Jamie Oliver

Inspired to book a family festival for your summer adventure this year? Don’t forget to read our family festival survival guide too, filled with top tips for a stress-free festival!

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