The Best Family Festivals
When we think of festivals, taking the kids along probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind! Surely festivals belong to the pre-kids days? But actually there are a growing number of local festivals that are designed for families. These festivals are catered for children and promise a magical family time. These are the best family festivals for you to book.
Nozstock has been running for 21 years and takes place on a beautiful working farm in Herefordshire. There’s a great music line-up featuring artists such as Soul II Soul and Kings of the Rollers, but the real entertainment for kids is at the Little Wonderland Kids Area. There’s a whole host of arts and crafts such as making wands, crowns, wings and even tie-dye t-shirts, or let them try singing their favourite tunes at the Folk Jam area. You’ll also find family movies at the Wrong Directions Cinema every day until 6pm.
Tickets from £125 for adults / 12s and under free. 18th– 21stJuly 2019. www.nozstock.com
Cornbury Music Festival rather charmingly describes itself as a ‘unique hybrid of premium music festival and quintessentially English village fete’. Held in Great Tew Park in the heart of the Cotswolds, the festival boasts The Specials, Keane and The Beach Boys as its headliners this year. There’s absolutely masses for the kids to get involved in with an arts and craft venue, circus tent and a workshop and shows venue. The Mayflower Tent is a unique space for teenagers to hang out in and try their hand at henna dyeing, hair braiding or get involved with a full band rig.
Adults from £75, Teenagers (13-16) from £40, Children (3-12) from £15, Under 3s free. 5th– 7thJuly 2019. www.cornburyfestival.com
It’s off to the races with the Wychwood Family Festival, held at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire. Over 100 acts are expected on stage, including 80s favourites Toyah and T’Pau. There are loads of activities for the kids including arts workshops, circus school, learning dance routines and even a Family Songs singalong with Nick Cope, lead singer of the 90s band Candyskins.
Weekend tickets from £125 for adults, £60 for children (10-15). Day tickets available. 31stMay – 2ndJune 2019. www.wychwoodfestival.com
Probably the best known of the family festivals, Camp Bestival is the award winning family friendly version of Bestival. Held on the Lulworth Estate in Dorset, the festival still offers an amazing line up of artists, including The Human League, The Wailers, Nile Rogers and Chic, and Jess Glynne. The Upper and Lower Kids’ Gardens are where you’ll find tons of activities and space for the kids to run wild in. Kids can try their hand at learning a circus skill, ride on vintage fairground rides or zoom round in a go-cart or enjoy performances from kids’ entertainers including Mr Tumble. There’s a soft play area for under 5s, dedicated areas for teenagers and The Dingly Dell offering storytelling, campfire songs and creative play.
Weekend tickets including camping from £180 for adults, £11 for children, free for under 1s. Day tickets available. 25th– 28thJuly 2019. www.campbestival.net
There aren’t many festivals set in such stunning surroundings. Green Man takes place in the gorgeous Brecon Beacons in Wales and is full of activities and action to keep kids happy all day. The Little Folk area is right next to the family camping fields, full of workshops and music. Einstein’s Garden was the first science area at a UK festival, with over 100 family friendly performances including music, theatre, walks, talks and interactive installations. And Somewhere is the dedicated teenage area, with DJ workshops, fire shows, filmmaking fun and t-shirt designing, to name but a few. Adults will love the onsite spa and enjoy a great music line up including Eels and Stereolab.
Adults from £189, Teenagers from £121, Children from £21, Infants free. 15th– 18thAugust 2019. www.greenman.net
Head to Baldersby Park in North Yorkshire for a weekend of family fun. There’s music from Goldfrapp, Public Service Broadcasting and Drenge amongst others and loads of kid friendly activities. There’s cabaret, comedy and theatre along with book readings, family films, science workshops and lots of opportunities for exploring the gorgeous surrounding woodlands.
Adults from £135, Children (6-15) from £45, under 2s free. 20th– 22ndJuly 2019. www.deershedfestival.com
Cheshire Fest takes place at Manchester Rugby Club, with two days of fun-filled family friendly events. Kids can meet characters from Disney films, superheroes and even a giant T-Rex! There's a craft tent, artwork centre, science and slime workshops and a play centre full of crazy inflatables. The weekend is also full of fantastic performances from singers and dancers, and concludes with a fantastic fire dancing finale.
Child (aged 6 to 15): Single Day £8 / Weekend £12.75, Adult (16+): Single Day £17.50 / Weekend £25.50, VIP Tickets (18+, private tent and viewing area with washroom facilities, and a bottle of Prosecco on arrival) Single Day £50 / Weekend £90. www.cheshirefest.co.uk
Inspired by the Andalusian carnivals, Feria de Londres is a three-day free festival, taking place on the South Bank in London. Enjoy live Spanish music, Flamenco dance shows, tasting workshops and plenty of delicious tapas! There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained too, with activities including face painting, fan making and kids flamenco dance lessons.
Free entry. 24th-26thMay 2019. www.feriadelondres.com
Set at the truly stunning Chiddingstone Castle in Kent, the festival offers a great children’s programme alongside adult events. Celebrating 30 years of Wallace and Gromit, there will be modelling workshops for kids with Aardman Animations and a chance to watch all the films. Enjoy a musical performance of The Little Mermaid in the Orangery, learn how to make a film or listen to various authors talking about their children’s books.
Individual adult events £13.50, children’s events £6. Day tickets available, workshop tickets vary in price. 4th– 7thMay 2019. www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk/literary-festival-2019/
The Port Elliot Estate in Cornwall is the oldest continually inhabited dwelling in the UK, and the festival offers a feast of books, food, art, comedy, fashion and film. There’s loads for kids to get stuck into, including workshops in Bollywood dancing and costume design, wild swimming, kayaking and interactive theatre. You’ll also find some of the biggest names in children’s literature, often reading bedtime stories to help the youngsters off to sleep.
Adult weekend tickets from £170, 14-17 year olds £105, 8-13 year old £75, 0-7 year olds free. 26th– 29thJuly 2019. www.porteliotfestival.com
Celebrating its 20thbirthday, the Essex Book Festival has 250 speakers taking part in 130 events at venues across Essex. There are a host of family friendly talks taking place including a series of talks on Science and Imagination and drop-in workshops with storytelling sessions, nautical flag and knots workshop, Chinese calligraphy and origami boat building.
Various prices. 1st– 31stMarch 2019. www.essexbookfestival.org.uk
The Hay Festival is one of the most weel known in the UK, taking place in a tented village on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. With over 600 events going on, there's something to keep everyone happy. As well as numerous children's writers, the festival has a great range of activities for the kids to get stuck into. There's a dedicated 'Mess Tent' for them to try activities such as woodworking, an arts and crafts space and the opportunity to learn circus skills. There's also a tent for teenagers and students, with lots of career advice and talks.
Tickets range from £5 - £40 for events. 23rd May - 2nd June 2019. www.hayfestival.com/home