All About UK Harvest Festivals in 2018 | Day Out With The Kids

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Autumn Fun: All About Harvest Festivals in the UK & Where to Find Them in 2018

Dela Lozanova

14 September 2018

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7 minutes
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What is Harvest Festival?

Brits have celebrated successful harvests since pagan times and we continue to enjoy a good Harvest Festival to this date. This event is all about putting beautiful home-grown produce to the forefront.

That being said, a Farmers’ Market is only one of the many things you’ll find at your local Harvest Festival. Harvest-themed games and crafts are another safe bet. There are also likely to be farm animals, live music, and various farming demonstrations. Really, a good Harvest Festival should have something to capture every member of the family.

Seasonal veg at Harvest Festival


When is Harvest Festival celebrated?

Harvest Festival takes place on the Sunday nearest to Harvest Moon (the full moon closest to the autumn equinox). This year the autumn equinox is on Sunday, September 23 and Harvest Moon - on Tuesday, September 25, so the 2018 Harvest Festival falls on Sunday, September 23.

However, as you’ll see further down, this doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate harvest all through September, and even October!

Harvest Festival ideas that will get the kids excited


Harvest Festival has so much more to offer than just food! As delicious as home-grown apples and pumpkins are, kids need a little bit more to get excited. Here are a few Harvest Festival ideas to win the tiny ones over:

  • Make a Corn Doll: What is a harvest festival without a corn doll?! Back in the day, these were made in hope to please the Harvest Spirit and guarantee good crops the following year. Nowadays, corn dollies are still an inseparable part of Harvest Festival because they're super fun to make. Ready to create your own with the kids?

Corn dollies at Harvest Festival

  • Harvest Festival Games: Oh, where do we even begin with this one? Spoon races, pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, haystack search - there’s just so much going on at Harvest Festival...
  • Harvest Festival Songs: Who doesn’t love a good singalong? Singing Harvest Festival songs is one of our favourites. Don’t know any? Ask the kids for help. Many of these songs are taught in school. You may be surprised how well your little ones know the lyrics.
  • Get a Sweet Treat: In case you need any more ideas on how to get your kids excited about Harvest Festival, just mention candied apples, candy corn and pumpkin seeds; then sit back and watch the sweets do their magic.

 Candied apples at Harvest Festival

6 Harvest Festivals to do in the UK in 2018

Want to join in on the fun? Here are some great Harvest Festivals you can attend with the kids this year!

Pumpkin scarecrow at Harvest Festival

1. Harvest Festival at Tatton Park, Knutsford (15th-16th September)

If you still haven’t decided what to do this weekend, head to Tatton Park for a whole day of seasonal festivities! The young craftsmen in the family can have a go at making corn dolls and even scarecrows.

There will be live music, plus you’ll get the chance to see a steam engine running, watch sheep racing and much more. You’re welcome to bring your pets along too!

Admission: Included in the standard entry price

2. Harvest Stomp 2018 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London (23rd September)

This is your chance to enjoy a fun-filled Sunday in London for free. Harvest Stomp 2018 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has all the makings of a great harvest festival - live music, food stands, mobile farms with cuddly animals and traditional garden games.

Sounds like a great time for the whole family, if you ask us!

Admission: Free

3. Daylesford Harvest Festival at Daylesford Organic Farm (22nd September)

If you fancy a traditional, old-school harvest festival, which celebrates local farmers and produce, this is the event to attend. Hosted at Daylesford Organic Farm in Daylesford near Kingham, this festival has it all - from traditional games, to culinary competitions, craft workshops and great seasonal food.

Kids can also meet the happy animals at the farm, practice bushcraft and ride mini tractors, amongst everything else.

Admission: Free but you need to register in advance

4. Harvest Festival at Bowhill House, Selkirk (30 September 2018)

This farming & forestry themed event takes place in the stunning Bowhill House and Country Estate in Selkirk. Stop by if you fancy taking a peek into farm life. You’ll get the chance to catch wood turning and horse logging demonstrations throughout the day.

Love food? Why not enter the Bowhill Bake Off! Bakers will compete in 2 categories - Over 12 Years and 12 Years & Under, so your young kitchen helpers can have a go too.

Admission: Included in the standard entry price

5. Hampshire Harvest Weekend at Winchester Cathedral, Winchester (6th - 7th October)

Winchester Cathedral is throwing a weekend-long, family event to celebrate local food and farming. This will be a proper countryside affair with vintage tractors, falconry displays, farm animals and a all sorts of tasty produce from the region at the Hampshire Fare market.

Plenty of games and activities are planned for the kids, including horse-drawn wagon rides and meeting farm animals up close. In the mood for some Harvest Festival songs? A special Evensong service celebrating harvest will take place in the Cathedral on Sunday afternoon.

Admission: Free

6. Family Harvest Event at Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles (13th - 14th October)

Interested in the history of farming? The Family Harvest Event at the Chiltern Open Air Museum is a unique opportunity to see a fully-restored 1947 threshing machine in action. You’ll also get the chance to take part in the traditional harvest-themed games and craft activities.

Don’t just stare at the displays of beautiful local produce! Make sure to stop by the BBQ and taste the delicious home-cooked food before you leave.

Admission: Included in the standard entry price

 

So here it goes, time to go out and celebrate Harvest Festival with the kids! We can’t wait to hear how corn doll making went…

 A young boy with vegetables ready for harvest festival

Looking for more exciting things to do this fall? It’s nearly pumpkin picking season and we’ve got some more ideas for great family days out in the UK this autumn!


Things to do in Buckinghamshire I Things to do in Hampshire I Things to do in the Scottish Borders I Things to do in Gloucestershire I Things to do in Greater London I Things to do in Cheshire

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Dela Lozanova

14 September 2018

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Dela is a Digital Content Executive at Day Out With The Kids. Originally from sunny Varna on the Bulgarian seacoast, she now lives in Coventry and travels regularly throughout Europe to escape the rain.

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