Thursday, 14 August 2014

Festivals With Kids In Tow!

Thinking about taking your kids along with you to a festival? Already brought the tickets and wondering how you're going to manage? I'm here to share some tips I picked up from our recent festival trip with Small (2 years old).

The first thing I'll say is be prepared for it to be a different experience. I went to quite a number of the big festivals in my pre child days that were filled with friends, antics and booze. This was obviously not going to be the case this time - the important thing to realise is that different doesn't mean bad or worse. Bug Jam 2014 was in fact my first alcohol free festival and indeed my first I actually went prepared for. I think we actually took TOO much stuff, but it was a far cry from chucking a shed load of booze and a tent in the boot of the car and taking off. With this in mind (and the fact that we're off to another festival tomorrow) I've put together a list of things I think will make a festival with kids go all that more smoothly!


The basics

Suitable tent - we had to admit to ourselves that my pre child festival tent wasn't suitable. Although big, the sleeping layout just wasn't going to work so we had to invest in a new one.

Sleeping bags - we went for a fun Vango Penguin themed sleeping bag for Small to try and make sleeping in a different environment a bit easier for her.

Air beds - whilst maybe not essential, they can be purchased quite cheaply and make things WAY more comfortable.

Cooking - If you are going to make your own meals at the tent you need to make sure you have a safe cooking setup. We brought a folding camp kitchen so the gas cooker is away from the curious toddler. 

Things To Make Your Life Easier

Wagon - If you have young children or toddlers you are going to need some way of transporting them when they get tierd. At most festival sites a pushchair is out of the question, but some kind of wagon would be a good idea. We take a Radio Flyer which is also handy for transporting our gear from the car to the camp area. If your child is too young for a wagon, take a serious look at baby carriers!

A way to wash - whilst big festivals don't have showers, some smaller ones do. It's worth figuring this out as kids have a way of getting muddy without trying! If your festival doesn't have showers then consider taking a big folding basin and washcloths or a camp shower?

Clothes for all weathers - Despite what the weather report says, you never know what it will actually be like! Take cooler clothes as well as waterproofs, wellies, puddlesuits and warm fleece jackets for the evenings or as an extra layer at night.

Potty - If your child is in the early stages of potty training or sometimes doesn't give you much warning then definitely take a potty. Sometimes camp toilets can be a walk away and not always clean.

Toys & Games - sometimes it rains and you might be stuck in your tent for a while. Make sure you have something to occupy everybody!

First Aid - at the very least take a small first aid kit with some plasters and antiseptic wipes. Bug spray and sun cream are also pretty essential!

Comfortable backpack - If the festival is a good walk away from the camping area you are not going to want to be traipsing back and forth every 5 minutes. You'll want a comfortable pack so you can carry essentials for the day like waterproofs, snacks, drinks, nappies, wipes, first aid kit etc 

Picnic Blanket - Even if there is some seating, the likelihood is there are going to be 1000's of people competing for them. Carry a small roll up plastic backed  blanket and you'll always have somewhere to sit without lugging around heavy camping chairs.

Safe water - consider where you are going to get your drinking water from. Is the tap water in the camping area good quality? Why not take some big bottles of water with you, or if you camp often take a look at something like the 'Lifestraw Family' which makes water safe.

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