Advice and essential items for a kids festival #3

Very often, when we have children, we park the things we used to do in favour of more ‘child friendly’ pursuits. That said, there are certain things that we can still do with the kids in tow! Festivals are a brilliant way of spending quality time with our littles, whilst enjoying live music and a carnival atmosphere.

These days there are a wealth of family friendly festivals the length and breadth of the country — you can cut your teeth on a day pass or pack up and go for a long weekend. So with a bit of careful planning — and the right gear — there’s no reason why we (or the littlest members of our families) should miss out.

I’m delighted to be taking my tiny boys to Camp Bestival in just a few day’s time and — even though we’ve taken the twins to a festival once before — I just wanted to make doubly sure I’m prepared for every eventuality.

To make sure I don’t forget anything, I’ve interviewed four seasoned  festival goers who like nothing more than taking their children along to a festival.

Firstly we had Tamandra — you can see her essential items for a kids festival here.

Then  we spoke to Melanie — see her festival checklist here.

Essential Items for a Kids Festival Part 3

The third part of this little series is with Mandy.

She and her partner Darren have two little girls; Lily and Rosie.

Lily was the first of my friend’s children that I went to a festival with. She was 2 or 3 at the time (she’s 9 now) and I was fascinated by how Mandy and Darren coped with having a little one in tow.

Particularly as they always camp in a tent!  

They didn’t seem phased at all and it was a lovely to watch Lily having such a lovely time with her mum and dad.

essential items for a kids festival
Mandy and Lily having fun at the Big Chill

They’ve since had a second daughter, Rosie, and the whole family still enjoy festivals together. I asked Mandy:

What do you like best about festivals with kids?    


Great music. Dancing in a field. Fancy dress. Facepainting. Art & crafts. Photobooths. Shenanigans with friends — old and new.

Generally soaking up the festival spirit with my kids and making some memories. 

essential items for a kids festival
A chip off the old block — like mother like daughter :)

What’s your ultimate festival checklist when camping in a tent with kids? 

Keep it light – you never know how far you’ll have to walk from the car park!

A blow up mattress and pillows plus a picnic blanket — and a bag to put your muddy clothes in — are essentials in my book.

What are your 5 essential festival items?

1. Fancy dress hats (my knitted rainbow dreadlocks is a particular favourite).
2. Wet wipes.
3. Comfy trainers.
4. Highlighter pens to mark up the running order.
5. An airbed — but don’t forget to bring a decent battery operated pump too.

Advice and essential items for a kids festival

1. Fancy dress hats — Village Hats
2. Wet Ones — Superdrug
3. Vans Black & Green Hawaiian Print Classic Slip On  — Schuh
4. Highlighter pens — The Works
5. Aerobed — Argos

Are there any festival essentials you’d take that aren’t on Mandy’s list? Have a look at Tamandra’s checklist and Melanie’s essential items for a kids festival too.


Please share, if you like this!

About Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

109 thoughts on “Advice and essential items for a kids festival #3

  1. How wonderful to have such a great friend to have modeled festival-going with children in tow! Thanks, as always, for your lovely cohostingness. So grateful I found you, Lisa, and #TwinklyTuesday.

  2. This is great information. I am such a home body sometimes that I forget that it’s ok to get out with kids in tow sometimes. I am always more apt to do it when daddy is in tow too ;o) Thanks so much for hosting #TwinklyTuesday

  3. Fab post! I wouldn’t have a clue what to take for a toddler to a festival and would probably need a whole camper van to fit it all in hehe! I hope you have a wonderful time and can’t wait to hear all about it! Thanks for being such an amazing co-host of #TwinklyTuesday xxx

  4. That’s so lovely of you to say sweetie — thanks so much :) It’s something I love so much — am really passionate about it — it’s lovely to be able to introduce my little ones to it :)

  5. Might come round to the festival idea if fancy dress hats are an essential! I’m now picturing the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! #twinklytuesday

  6. I’m so jealous! I’d love to take my little one to a festival – the atmosphere is just like nothing else. My festival memories are sadly very distant and I don’t think there are any festivals like this here in Mexico. Have fun! #TwinklyTuesday

  7. I’m just going to flake out and go my top tip is: Hotel Room.
    All the comfort that you need – go to the festival in the day and then have a nice comfy bed and your own loo at night. Though I am probably missing the point here. I agree with the wet wipes – those babies are great for everything! #twinklytuesday

  8. Am loving these festival posts! I have to admit to taking an air bed but forgetting the pump or the batteries for it before ;) #twinklytuesday xx

  9. Loving these festival posts! I have to admit to taking an air bed before and forgetting the pump or the batteries for the pump ;) #twinklytuesday xx

  10. I’ve never taken the twins – as I feel as though I would be panicking the whole time and not enjoying it, but I didn’t realise how many child-friendly ones there were! Great tips and I might just try it! Have a fab time at Camp Bestival darling! I cannot wait to hear about it :) Jess xx

  11. I’m not brave enough to take my kids to a festival or anything to do with camping for that matter but if I ever do you can be sure I will browsing blogs and googling for essential lists and this is a great place to start :-)

  12. I’ve never been on a festival before but I’d love to one day. Have fun at Bestival! :) #twinklytuesday

  13. More wonderful festival tips & advice. I think it’s wonderful to bring the kids places that everyone can enjoy – especially places that you love yourself! I’m looking forward to when my kids are a little older (my 2 year old specifically) to go do more things like this. Thanks so much for hosting #TwinklyTuesday

    1. My two are two and Camp Bestival will be their second festival experience, this weekend! :) I think — even at such a young age — they LOVE it!! SO much fun for the tiny people. Seeing their faces when they see all the colour is magical! :)

  14. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to take the boy to a festival, I’d be worried he’d be really bored – are there specific family ones now? Friends of mine always go to Latitude with their brood, but they have a handy holiday cottage right next door…!

  15. Great post. I am getting so excited for Camp Bestival now, although it does look like it will be a bit chilly!

    1. It’s going to be SO exciting!!!!!!! WOOP!! Just take lots and lots of layers — something waterproof to go over the top. And more socks than you need! There’s nothing worse than having damp socks — and no dry ones to change into!!! :) xx

  16. I am so incredibly jealous. Going to a festival with your kids looks like it would just be so much fun. I really wanted to go to one of the children’s festivals on this year, but wanted to go glamping to circumnavigate the need for a tent and all the gear, but of course it all adds up. Maybe next year. #twinklytuesday

  17. I have never been in a camp festival before. I thought it could be tricky to be there with your kids. I’m not a big fan of camping but I’ve read about glamping that could be more my cup of tea. It sounds that it is is a great fun anyway. Great tips for people like me that doesn’t have a clue what you need for a festival like this. Thanks for hosting, xx

    1. It’s certainly different from festivalling without kids — but with a bit of preparation — taking the littles is SUCH fun!! And I’m totally with you — I’m not a fan of tents either — glamping is my favourite option!! ;)

  18. A really interesting post. I am sure lots of people get put off attending festivals with toddlers or young children. Great to see what a positive experience it can be for all involved. Loving some of the things on people’s lists such as the Maurice Sendak book and a fancy dress hat. Hope you and your family have an amazing time at Camp Bestival! Thanks for hosting #TwinklyTuesday

  19. My wife had taken our girls to a couple of concerts and we’ve taken the kids camping once but so far no festivals. I loved the pink ear protection. We did the same with our little one last year at a concert. Really nice post and lots of useful tips. #TwinklyTuesday (I promise I put the badge on the post I linked. :))

    1. Thanks so much Rob!! :) We’ve got ear defenders for our boys too — green and blue!! :) I think kids love the whole festival environment — so safe and happy :) No worries about the badge hun :) xx

  20. Good luck at Camp Bestival! We hope you have a fab time, we’ve just got back from Jimmys Farm Festival and it was a bit hairy with bad weather! Hope the sun shines for you. We also have ear defenders to help little ears and swear by them! #twinklytuesday

    1. Thanks lovely — yes — I read about the Jimmy’s Farm thing!!! Apparently they’d put campers in a ploughed field?! Thats ludicrous! You can’t alter the weather but you can definitely make conditions more comfortable can’t you?! So silly of them!!! Hope you had a nice time regardless!

  21. It only dawned on me last night that Camp Bestival is different to the IOW Bestival, doh! I’ve not taken my kids to a festival although it is something I would love to do. Great essentials, I love the fancy dress hats! x

    1. Yes – organised by the same team but different events. Camp Bestival is in Dorset (Bestival is less family friendly and is on the Isle of Wight!!). Have been to Bestival and I’d probably take the boys when they’re older — but certainly not whilst they’re so little. Camp Bestival is perfect though :) xx

  22. Love that fancy dress hats are on the essential list haha that’s so cute and I can see that the kids would love it too!!
    I’m all about an air bed instead of sleeping on the floor!!
    Not long till you go I’m excited for you :)

  23. I’d love to attempt a festival with the kids but I’m yet to have the courage to attempt it. I’m pocketing your post though for future reference for when I eventually have the courage to give it a go!

  24. I love those fancy dress hats! There are some incredible tips here. I can’t wait to take my daughter to a festival. I’m bookmarking this page. Pre-baby I had no idea there were so many family friendly festivals. I am so excited for next summer now. x #twinklytuesday

  25. Great pics – festivals are so much more fun when the sun shines! I love the fancy dress hats. #twinklytuesday

  26. I agree that there can be a tendency to think “Oh, that’ll never work with a toddler in tow”. I’ve always tried to do my normal thing with Gwenn and sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it hasn’t!! x

    1. Well — we’ve got twin toddlers and took them last year for the first time. It was certainly harder that when we go on our own — a different kind of experience altogether — but it was awesome to see them enjoying themselves so much!! :) xx

  27. So lovely that there now more family friendly festivals. I’m not a festival kinda girl but it’s an experience I’d love to expose my little one to, when he’s old enough to take it all in more. It just sounds like so much fun activities is available for children to have a superb time.

    Takeaway tip from your post: travel light because you don’t know how far you have to walk to and from the car park. :-) #TwinklyTuesday

  28. This is a useful post. I have not taken my girls to a festival but we have been camping a few times and I think the list is quite similar (hopefully excluding the ear defenders!!). After reading this post I might look into going as a family- it sounds like they cater well for children which I was not aware of. #Twinkly Tuesday.

  29. I have never been to a festival, with or without children, I would love to go to camp bestival next year. #twinkytuesday

    1. We always do one grown up festival — usually Glastonbury — without the kids and then one with them! Although this year we’re taking them to Camp Bestival in a couple of days and Shambala at the end of the month! :)

  30. oh yes you wouldn’t want to forget the pump! Hats and dress ups sound super fun #twinklyTuesday

  31. I actually never thought to take a child to a festival but it looks like a great experience for them!xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.