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Happy Campers: 9 of the best UK family festivals

By Dela Gonon
Posted 5 February 2020
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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 local festivals designed for families and children. More than just a kids’ tent in the corner, the best family festivals have kids at the heart and they are becoming increasingly popular.

Here comes our guide to some of the best children’s festivals in the UK for 2020 to help you create an unforgettable family experience! The only question is which one (or two!) will you choose?

 Two girls dressed as lions at Just So Festival

  1. Elderflower Fields - East Sussex and East Midlands

    22nd - 25th May 2020, Pippingford Park, Nutley, East Sussex
    29th - 31st May 2020, Stanford Hall, Leicestershire

    What started as a family and friends event which could only classify as a modest local festival proved to be so popular it rocketed right onto our list of best family festivals in the whole UK! This may, Elderflower Fields - The Family Festival is delivering a double serving of family fun with two separate events - one in East Sussex and one in Leicestershire.
    Sports, music, arts and learning how to help the environment all in one - Elderflower Fields posses the pure spirit of love and joy that every festival should have. No wonder families love it!

    Top 5 must-dos at Elderflower Fields: 

    • Get ready to shake it off in the Big Family Dance Off at the Leapfrog Lawns
    • Play a round of Disc Golf at Tumbledown Meadows and find out how good your aim is
    • Check out the music acts, including Wolfe Hogan, Soul Grenades and Mr.B The Gentleman Rhymer
    • Hear the trees talk! Geared with highly sensitive microphones you’ll be able to listen to the inner workings of a tree
    • Let your kids loose in the Urban Woods where lots of climbing, skateboarding and woodland adventures 
  2. Wychwood Family Festival

    29th - 31st May 2020, Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

    Get excited about the 16th edition of Wychood Family Festival - it comes in 2020 and it promises to deliver big time! This year’s acts include Embrace, Lightning Seeds, Seth Lakeman, Sleeper and lots more. Wychwood also hosts arts workshops, circus school, debates, talks and all sorts of fun for the whole family. No wonder this event is a regular nominee in the “Best Family Festival” at the UK Festival Awards! We’d say it’s time for you and the kids to join the fun…

    Top 5 must-dos at Wychwood Family Festival:

    • Unleash your hidden musical potential with Junk Drumming
    • Pick up some new dance moves with a variety of dance workshops from belly dancing to African samba
    • Laugh out loud with puppet shenanigans from Basil Brush, Great Green Planet Show and Colin Dymond Mainly Magic Show 
    • Get hands on with arts and crafts, including mono printing and kumihimo braiding
    • Get ready for some clown antics with EnviroMENTAL and Joseph D`Amour Bouffon 

    Nozstock rolling fields

  3. Larmer Tree Festival 

    16th- 19th July 2020, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire

    It takes experience to get things right and with 30 years under its belt, Larmer Tree Festival is sure to deliver an experience to remember for all the family. It's the longest-running family music festival in the UK, featuring an unforgettable mix of entertainment, including music, comedy, theatre, workshops and more. The venue,  Larmer Tree Gardens, is famous too! If you're a keen festival goer you may know it as the home of the popular End of the Road Festival. The 2020 line-up features James, Franke Tuner, Jack Savoretti, Beverly Knight and lots more. Oh, and especially, for the kids, YolanDa’s Band and Shlomo will be taking to the Main Stage. Want to know something cool? There's even a spa for when you fancy a bit of pampering! 

    Top 5 must-dos at Larmer Tree Festival:

    • Get ready for belly laughs with the Comedy Club 4 Kids and their family-friendly "How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?" show
    • Keep your mini festival lovers entertained with arts & crafts from Wand Making to Tree Typography
    • Feel the groove at the Magic Show and Disco - designed for the little ones! 
    • Catch up on the latest movie hits with your teens at the cinema tent
    • Sit down for a Teddy Bear’s Picnic and discover all the fun at the Peachick Play Area

  4. Nozstock: The Hidden Valley

    23rd- 27th July 2020, Rowden Paddocks, Bromyard, Herefordshire

    Come to the Rowden Paddocks in Herefordshire this July for a spectacular weekend at the 22nd edition of Nozstock: The Hidden Valley, one of the UK’s longest running family festivals. Wildly imaginative, as always, Nozstock 2020 will run under a futuristic theme - Into the Great Unknown. This year's line-up featuring Sister Sledge, Billy Bailey, Andy C ft Tonn Piper  and Flava D is sure to bring the awesome festival vibe you all expect from the event. But if you're looking for the best entertainment spot for families, it's definitely the Little Wonderland Kids Area where you’ll find enough arts & crafts activities to keep your little festival-goers occupied the whole weekend.

    Top 5 must-dos at Nozstock: The Hidden Valley:

    • Make magic wands, crowns, wings, and even a witch's hat at Little Wonderland Kids Area
    • Check out The Altered State stage for UV shows, theatre performances and stand-up comedy that will leave you in stitches
    • Enjoy family movies at the Wrong Directions Cinema every day until 6pm. There will be everything from undying classics to the most inspiring latest releases
    • Belt out some of your favourite tunes at the Folk Jam area. Everyone’s invited to sing and play; who knows maybe even one of the performing artists will stop by...
    • The kids are always keen to watch fireworks displays near you? Don’t miss out on the fireworks at the end of the festival; Nozstock is sure to close with a bang!
  5. Deer Shed Festival

    24th - 26th July 2020, Baldersby Park, Baldersby, North Yorkshire

    Pitched as the festival that makes kids the main event, Deer Shed Festival 11 promises to be the ultimate family festival experience. With kid-friendly music, comedy, sporting activities, science, workshops, cinema and great food on offer - you’re going to have one family weekend to remember!

    Top 5 must-dos at Deer Shed Festival:

    • Make the most of this year’s theme - Incognito! and join the massive multiplayer game.The family camping next door may not be who they appear to be...
    • Discover a new family favourite musician, by seeing as many of the music acts as possible. Headliners this year include Stereolab, Baxer Dury, Ghostpoet & Gate Le Bon
    • Check out all the fun for the under-5s, from puppet theatre, to nature kitchen play and a kids' disco
    • Learn essential spy skill including lock picking, spy forensics, Morse code and a whole lot more...Best family festival EVER, right?
    • Explore, explore, explore! There’s no special kids’ area - kids are welcome everywhere, so feel free to do as much as you like.

    A kid on his dad's shoulders at Camp Bestival

  6. Camp Bestival

    30th July - 2nd August 2020, Lulworth Estate, East Lulworth, 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.
    Of course, this wouldn’t be one of the best family festivals in the UK without an A-list line-up on the main stages, right? So, get ready for a weekend of quality acts, including Liam Payne, Fatboy Slim, Becky Hill and Groove Armada!

    Top 5 must-dos at Camp Bestival:

    • Take a bounce on the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle, fact!
    • Put your lab coats on and enjoy the wild side of science with Brainiac Live!
    • Wire walkers, aerial stunts and more - Cirque Bijou is a must in the evening
    • Watch Cbeebies star Mr Tumble live on stage for some classic slapstick comedy that will leave you in stitches
    • To earn its spot amongst the best family festivals Camp Bestival has to offer what kids love best - soft play!
  7. Green Man Festival

    20th - 23rd August 2020, Brecon Beacons, Powys

    Green Man has been known as one of the best family festivals for years. To keep the whole gang entertained, the organisers have prepared 10 awesome areas, packed with activities for tots, teens, and anything in between.
    And when it comes to awesome stage acts, Green Man has earned a top spot too! This year’s line-up features names, such as Michael Kiwanuka, Thundercat, Little Dragon and Caribou.

    Top 5 must-dos at Green Man Festival:

    • Send your teens to Somewhere - there they’ll find everything from film making classes to thrilling fire shows
    • Watch the best kids’ movies at The Cinedrone from 10AM every day
    • Into science? Check out over 100 family-friendly performance in the Einstein's Garden
    • Join Little Folk Parade on Sunday and see your under-12s take centre stage!
    • Stay longer and explore the woodlands; Green Man offers week-long camping on-site

    A father and daughter at Deer Shed Festival

  8. Just So Festival

    21st - 23rd August 2020, Rode Hall, Cheshire, North West

    We defy you to not have a smile on your face as you explore the enchanting Just So Festival, with families and woodland spirit at its core. Encouraging you to get involved at every opportunity, this laid-back family festival is a 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 at Just So Festival:

    • Meet emus and cassowaries in the Cloud Cuckoo Land...They even have bird puppets!
    • Wander into the enchanting Wonderland for night-time DJs, author talks & music workshops
    • Learn to lasso, try your hand at smoke signals and pan for gold at the home of the Wild West - the High Chaparral
    • Got babies or tots? Your mini festival-goers (0-4) will find lots of fun at the Peekaboo area
    • Pick up some circus skills at the Roll Up roll Up area
  9. The Big Feastival

    28th - 30th August 2020 , Alex James’ Farm, Kingham, Oxfordshire

    The Big Feastival is the UK’s best family festival if you’re a foodie! Street food to die for, all-star line-up of professional chefs and cooking classes for you and your mini Master Chefs - this is a feast for the soul!
    A proper family festival needs great music. Having scored names, such as Craig David and James Arthur in the past, it’s easy to see how The Big Feastival has earned its spot in the big leagues. Can’t wait to find out what awesome acts they’ll pull out of the bag this year!

     Top 5 must-dos at The Big Feastival:

    • Explore the fairground rides at Festival Fields - who doesn’t like a good merry-go-round?
    • Take your tiny helpers to Little Kitchen where they can pick up some handy cooking skills
    • Visit Little Dudes' Den for an activities galore featuring face painting, bubbles, storytelling, crafts and more
    • Find The Park, right by the Main Arena and get involved in active fun between the acts
    • Check out the soft play area for some tot-friendly games and entertainment


 Want to read more about enjoying events & festivals with kids? Have a look at the articles below:

Tips for surviving a festival with kids | 10 reasons why Edinburgh Fringe Festival is great for kids | 10 tips for camping with kidsFireworks displays near you | Events near you


Or you can just jump in and explore all the fun stuff to do in these locations:

Fun things to do in East Sussex | Great days out in Cheltenham | Great thigns to do in Gloucestershire | Lovely days out in Leicestershire Exciting things to to in Oxfordshire Fun family days out in Cheshire | Cool days oyt in Powys | Fun things to do with kids in Dorset  |  Unusual things to do in North Yorkshire