8 Festivals That Are Appropriate for Children

Like if this guide is helpful
8 Festivals That Are Appropriate for Children

Festivals have long held an important function in communities. For thousands of years, different cultures across the globe have found cause to gather in celebration, whether to mark a change of season, a religious event, or a historical occasion. Contemporary festivals come in many forms, larger ones drawing people from near and far. Family-friendly festivals, with their range of offerings, including music, performance, workshops, activities, and copious food and drink, are a dynamic option for a short family holiday.

When looking for a festival appropriate for children, it is important to consider whether there is a dedicated area for kids, with a well-planned, varied programme of performances and activities. Accommodation is another important factor, whether visitors are planning to camp, bring their caravan, or stay in a nearby hotel or guest house. Finally, it is worthwhile to research what kinds of facilities there are for parents and young children, such as areas for lost children, special family camp areas, nursing areas, and more. Fortunately, there are many festivals designed with families in mind, so all ages can have an enjoyable experience.

Brief Overview of Child-Friendly Festivals

While there are numerous festivals throughout the UK that are appropriate for children, some receive consistently positive reviews from parents. They combine a strong lineup of entertainment, including music, performance, and more, and also include extensive programming for children. In addition, they have taken the needs of parents and young children into account when organising things like campgrounds and other special facilities.

Festival

Dates and Duration

Attractions

Accommodation

Charity

Galtres Festival, York

August; three days

Music of all genres; over 100 local beers; gourmet food; special performances and activities for children

Camping grounds on-site; hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and guest houses nearby in Helmsley

Donates profits to local charities and organisations which are selected yearly

Shambala, Northamptonshire

August Bank Holiday Weekend; four days

Performance, workshops, and more; extensive children's programme, dedicated areas and activities

On-site camping; dedicated family camping field

N/A

International Youth Arts Festival, Kingston

July; three weeks

Young performers present their work in all areas of the arts; workshops for young attendees

Local accommodation in Kingston

Connected with the Creative Youth organisation

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness-shire

August; two days

Music festival with numerous other activities; fancy dress theme

Camping on-site; family camping areas; caravan and campervan area; yurts and tepees for hire

N/A

Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, Pilton

Weekend closest to summer solstice; five days

Major musical acts plus extensive lineup; performing arts; areas dedicated to education and discussion; expansive children's area with broad range of programmes

Camping on-site; two family camping areas; caravan site; tepees for hire

Portion of proceeds go to charities like Oxfam, Greenpeace, and others

Beautiful Days, Devon

August; three days

Music festival with major headliners; children's area with an extensive range activities

On-site camping, including a family field; caravans not permitted; tepees for hire

N/A

Imagine Children's Festival, London

February; two weeks

Wide range of performances, workshops, and activities for children; focus on the arts

London accommodation

N/A

Sunrise Festival, Somerset

Late May, early June; four days

Eco-living and alternative culture festival with music, workshops, talks; extensive children's area with activities and performances

On-site campgrounds with dedicated family area; boutique camping for hire including yurts, tepees, and bowtop wagons; caravan and campervan field

Donations made through The Natural Communities Foundation, which selects organisations to sponsor

Each festival is discussed in more detail below. Since facilities and programming can change from year to year, visitors should check the festival's website in advance for details on the upcoming events.

Festival # 1: Galtres Festival, York

The Galtres Festival has been attracting families for a number of reasons. First, there is the music: from punk bands and folk fiddlers to blues guitarists and acoustic acts, there are over 100 acts performing over the course of the three-day festival. Galtres also features all different kinds of performances in its numerous venues, including dance, comedy, drama, and cabaret. Visitors of all ages can participate in workshops and open-mics.

The Galtres Festival is constantly expanding its options for families, and features a wide variety of events for young attendees, including storytellers, musicians, performers, activities, contests, and more. Another main attraction of the festival is the extensive range of local beers and ciders, as well as delicious, organic food from local establishments. There is an afternoon tea tent that is open all day, and plenty of other places to relax amidst the excitement.

Every year, the Galtres Festival donates its profits to local charities and organisations, reflecting its commitment to the local community.

Festival #2: Shambala, Northamptonshire

Known as one of the most family-friendly festivals in the UK, Shambala is a festival committed to creative participation from visitors of all ages. Although music is part of the festival, Shambala is not a music festival per se; instead, it has a balance of different events and performances that cover a broad spectrum of interests. There are art installations, cabaret and spoken word performances, debates, comedy, a cinema, workshops and spaces devoted to well-being and creative expression. Plus an extensive selection of events and activities designed just for children: an adventure bush camp, storytelling, workshops, a craft area, a kid's field, and site-specific art installations in the enchanting festival grounds.

The grounds offer many conveniences for families, such as a creche for children aged two to five, a family yurt for refreshment and relaxation, and a 'Baby Space' in the centre of the event for nursing and baby care. Lively and engaging, Shambala is also committed to being a sustainable event; in 2013 it became the UK's first bottled-water-free festival.

Festival #3: International Youth Arts Festival, Kingston

The International Youth Arts Festival, connected to Kingston's year-round non-profit organisation Creative Youth, is a celebration of youth achievement in the arts. Their local and international performers range in age from 5 to 26, and the programme, which lasts three weeks, includes theatre, dance, comedy, literary and visual arts, music, fashion, film, and combined arts.

Many events are appropriate for children; age suggestions are indicated by the festival for each performance. There are also workshops, parties, and a gala dinner. Festival-goers can purchase tickets to individual events, or a festival pass. Creative Youth runs year-round programmes designed to foster artistic development in young people and help budding artists with the business and creative aspects of their careers.

Festival # 4: Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness-shire

This boutique festival set in the Scottish Highlands has been attracting hipsters and families since 2003. The music bill features top headliners and dozens of other acts. Other arts have a strong representation, including cabaret, dance, and film. There is a dedicated family area, and a wide range of activities for children. On-site family camping and quiet camping areas are designed with the needs of parents and children in mind. There is also a site for caravans and campervans, or the option to hire a comfortable yurt or VIP tepee.

Festival #5: Glastonbury, Pilton

In spite of its status as one of the world's largest and most well-known music and performing arts festivals, Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts remains dedicated to being a family-friendly event. From its very inception in 1970, founder Michael Eavis has conceived of the festival, held on his farm, as a mellow, friendly celebration of arts and peace. It consistently draws major headliners, such as Neil Young, David Bowie, Radiohead, and Stevie Wonder, plus scores of other artists from different genres. Theatre, circus, comedy, cabaret, poetry, and visual arts are also part of the fun. As part of Glastonbury's commitment to creating opportunities for growth and discovery, a large area of the festival grounds is devoted to complementary and alternative medicine, discussions and debates, religious expression, and more.

With the sheer variety of things to do at Glastonbury, families are likely to be able to find something for everyone. Children have their own space in the Green Field, with a tremendous variety of offerings: performances, arts and crafts workshops, interactive educational programmes, games, picnic areas, and a toddler area for very young festival-goers.

Festival #6: Beautiful Days, Devon

A small festival with a lot of popularity, Beautiful Days was named Best Family Festival by the UK Festival Awards in 2011. The festival boasts numerous stages, including a seated theatre, and big-name headliners as well as up-and-coming acts. Beautiful Days was started in 2003 by the band the Levellers, whose intention was to create a family-friendly music festival with on-site camping. The award-winning children's area includes lots of workshops, activities, and entertainment; the festival works in collaboration with the Majical Youth Theatre to make this an especially exciting and inspiring space.

Other children's events occur throughout the festival grounds, including storytelling and play sections in the camping areas. While there is a dedicated family camping site, the family-oriented nature of the festival means that all camping areas should be a comfortable place.

Festival #7: Imagine Children's Festival, London

Children perform, participate, and play in the Imagine Children's Festival. Held over the course of two weeks in London's Southbank Centre, the festival includes plays, storytelling, music, interactive installations, puppet shows, science presentations, educational events, and plenty of workshops on everything from sushi to songwriting, beatboxing to bookmaking. Performances are by adults and children alike, with material for all ages, including a Baby Opera for the youngest attendees. The rich array of offerings is designed to stimulate and inspire children, no matter what their interests. The festival includes both free and ticketed events.

Festival #8: Sunrise Festivals, Somerset

Sunrise Festivals, dedicated to sustainable living and alternative culture, have gained a wide popularity since the first Sunrise Summer Solstice Celebration in 2006. The festivals continue to evolve their concept of a festival as a micronation. The musical lineup includes reggae, folk, dub, and more, and other areas of the celebration include talks on political, environmental, and economic issues, and an eclectic range of workshops in areas like eco-building, woodworking, and dance, yoga, meditation, and more.

The children's area is a large component of the festivals: kids can learn about nature, outdoor skills, and crafting in the forest school, enjoy a performance in the undercover theatre, or just play in the extensive, creative playground. Performances and workshops for kids also abound. Adults can appreciate the organic brews and local food from carefully selected vendors, and visitors of all ages are welcome and encouraged to join the playful, creative, and diverse offerings.

There are on-site campgrounds with a dedicated family area that is farthest from the loudest venues. There are also boutique camping options like spacious, furnished bandwagons; visitors in need of a little relaxation can book a luxurious wooden hot-tub or a barrel sauna.

Planning for a Festival with eBay

When planning for your next family festival, eBay can help you in many facets, from basic supplies, to bus or train tickets and accommodation. Sometimes it is even possible to buy tickets on the website, although some festivals have strict policies about ticket reselling, so it is best to verify this in advance. To start shopping, go to the eBay home page and use keywords to search for whatever you need. For example, you can type in "4 man tent" or " London hotel". Once you have your search results, you can refine them further by selecting your price range and other limiting factors.

Before making your purchase, take a few moments to read the item and seller information carefully. The listing should contain clear details, whether they be product specifications or things connected with a booking, such as date restrictions or the number of people allowed. Also, do not forget to check the seller feedback and browse comments left by past buyers. This gives you an idea of how reliable the seller is. Should you need to ask them a question, eBay makes it easy to do so through the website.

Conclusion

Festivals are an excellent way to take a short break with the whole family. The UK has numerous festivals all year long, many of which are intended to delight visitors of all ages. Several festivals are particularly oriented towards children, with an extensive lineup of performances, activities, and workshops designed to entertain, stimulate, and expand young people's horizons.

The Galtres Festival, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, and Beautiful Days are smaller, boutique festivals specialising in creating a family-friendly atmosphere. Set in beautiful surroundings, they offer fine food and drink, excellent musical lineups, and extensive activities for children and adults. Glastonbury is one of the world's largest performing arts festivals, yet remains devoted to creating an environment in which visitors of all ages can explore and discover. Shambala and Sunrise Festivals are particularly committed to sustainability and alternative cultures. Children are the centre of attention at International Youth Arts Festival and Imagine Children's Festival, urban events featuring performances by and for children, as well as workshops, parties, and more. With so many choices, families are sure to find a festival that is right for them.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides