Contrary to our festival preconceptions, being a mummy doesn’t mean you have to hang up your wellies and bin your rave paint. When you think about it festivals seem like a pretty suitable habitat for kids; it’s acceptable to be grubby, everyone is partial to a baby-wipe bath and its okay to dress up as a Disney character in public, in fact it’s encouraged. Kids will fit right in right?? But if you still think you’re mad at even considering taking a toddler to a festival then worry not. This definitive list will help you prepare yourself for an experience you will never forget – hopefully for all the right reasons.
Choose your festival wisely
Not all festivals are filled wtih loud repetitive music, mosh pits and ravers. Some modern day festivals are in fact aimed at families, offering film, comedy, visual arts and literature as well as just music. Bestival and Latitude are the bigger family festivals which even offer kids workshops so everyday really is a school day, but check out the less well known ones such as Shambala which offers lots of fancy dress, face paint and audience participation. With such a wide array of genres you will be spoilt for choice.
Who are you going with?
You’re going to need a partner in crime in order to make a carefree weekend actually carefree. Make sure you have a second half or even another family to go with so you can take turns in looking after the kids and have some you-time; it is a holiday afterall! Besides, there is nothing worse than missing the last song of your favourite band because your little one needs the toilet – If its you in a pickle then a Poncho, a bottle and a Shewee is all you need 😉
Packing for a festival can seem like an overwhelming task but if you plan ahead and pack smart it will really take the pressure off for a more enjoyable weekend. Make a list of all things you might need and bare in mind the mood swings of the British summer so you are covered for all eventualities; you can always keep spare clothes and waterproofs in the car as a just in case. For more ideas check out Peckham Mama‘s packing checklist for tips like porridge in a pot for mornings without washing up, to making sure you have the most comfortable inflatable bed you can afford.
Always be prepared
This is the key to surviving a festival with the family. You will need a Mary Poppins bag full of tricks and here are some of the essentials to keep with you:
- Snacks – with all routine out the window and no set meal times its crucial to have snacks with you to quell a hangry toddler and avoid long queues for food stands
- Calpol – because dealing with a crying child on a hangover is a fate worse than death, for the entire campsite.
- A sharpie – write your mobile number on your toddler’s forearm for in case they wander off. Or even better, buy a helium balloon and tie it to their wrist, its a great way to prevent that mini heart attack you get when you lose sight of them in a crowd.
- Ear plugs for and ear Defenders for your little one
- A bottle of bubbles because I wish I loved anything as much as a child loves bubbles. Ideal for keeping them entertained while you put the tent up. Of course no festival is complete without grown up bubbles too!
- a change of clothes for any mud-related tumbles
- Buy your KeriKit bag here – its a festival must-have and the Joy Backpack is the perfect festival companion
Let your hair down and enjoy
Although it will be a very different experience to your Festivals pre-offspring, festivals with kids can still be great fun. Just remember that all routines go out of the window, it is a festival after all. So don’t expect people to be quiet at 4am in case they wake the baby- it’s just not gonna happen so embrace it. No bed time and chips for tea is every kid’s dream, so crack open that luke warm cider and enjoy, all that preparation will be worth it and your handbag of tricks will have your back.