We have been going to festivals with our kids for a few years now. Over those years we have learnt a lot. Believe it or not people, it is very doable, we've met people with newborns, literally a few weeks old. Is it stressful? I'm not gonna lie, it can be - but when isn't life with kids slightly stressful?
Here are a few things we suggest to make things run a little more smoothly:
Invest in a trolley
Yes, a pull along garden style trolley. Most festivals (bar one) that we have been to, you won't be able to park close to where you are pitching up. Obviously if you have a camper van you won't have to worry about this. But if you have a tent and all the other camping gear, bringing your own trolley takes away the expense of hiring one. You may need to leave a big deposit (sometimes £60) and also you will have a time limit to get that trolley back to them. From experience, the first camp set up can cause a few frayed tempers - you may need two or more trips back and forth to the car with a heavy load.
Expect some noise
All the festivals we have attended have been family friendly and we have made some great friends. Our kids have amazingly slept in and slept well despite any noise. You may well hear music going on into the evening and people talking, but usually the kids are so shattered that they sleep through it. If you have a crying baby or a toddler having a tantrum at 3am - try not to fret, we have heard many an angry whisper from a desperate parent trying to calm a child down, but most of us have been in that same boat.
No matter the weather. bring wellies. There is always dew on the grass in the mornings, having wellies makes that trip through wet grass to the toilet a bit nicer.
Festival food is on the pricey side but it is way too tempting. Your kids will constantly be telling you they are hungry and there is nothing worse than a hangry child. Cereal bars are great at keeping them quite for a while.
A fire bowl
Great for cooking on and sitting around. Most festivals allow off the ground fires so fire bowls are great - perfect for sitting around on the cold evenings and toasting marshmallows too. Don't forget to bring some wood and firelighters and obviously never leave it unattended.
Sneak back to camp around lunchtime to use the showers, in the mornings there will usually be a queue for them as well as early evenings.
Another good investment, you can easily carry them around with you. When we camped at our first festival we had 2 small tents and a not much else. All the extra equipment makes it so much more comfortable.
Go with the flow
You will get a programme of events, may are repeated throughout the weekend, so don't stress too much if you've missed out on something. Kids of all ages become tired and tetchy, we have let our eldest go back to the tent to just chill for a bit as she often doesn't want to join in with certain activities.
Immerse yourself in the experience. It is so nice to not be in your usual setting, so many of the Dad's dress up and it is just so great to see.
Are you heading to any festivals this year?