Some might think you must be mad heading to a festival with your family especially if you have small kids but, in reality, it’s not as crazy as you might think. Ireland is bursting with family festivals, full of activities to keep them entertained and fill up those long summer days. Here’s my 12 Top Tips for Going to a Family Festival:
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#1. Ear Defenders
Investing in good quality ear defenders for small kids are an absolute must. Children’s ears are pretty sensitive and prolonged exposure to loud music at family festivals could lead to permanent damage.
When you arrive at the festival sit down with the kids and explain to them how to cope if they find themselves lost at any point. Show them what festival stewards are wearing or like me, tell them to approach a mother with young children to help them if they are lost.
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Identification tags are a must when out and about at any time. Using their wristband write your number on it so if they happen to stray from the family they can approach a steward or the mother mentioned above to call their parents.
#4. Glow Sticks
For family festivals that run late into the evening bring glow sticks and wrap them around their arms like bracelets. This way if it’s getting dark you will be able to spot them from a crowd if they happen to get lost. The kids will also have fun wearing them.
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#5. First Aid
While there are First Aid responders at all family festivals it pays to bring some of your own essentials like antibacterial wipes, plasters, paracetamol for both children and adults. It can also be handy to pop a couple of hydration sachets in there too, you just never know.
Food at festivals can be quite expensive especially if you have a large family. Be prepared and pick up some non-perishable items before you go. Having little snacks handy will also help reduce the whining treat demands throughout the day.
#7. What to Wear
Prepare for all weathers especially on the Emerald Isle. Wellies, raincoats, ponchos and suncream. You can never be too prepared.
Lightweight fleeces are good for when it starts to cool down in the evening and you might want to tuck in a blankie or two for when kiddies get tired, they can just lie down and cuddle in while you enjoy the music.
#8. Travel Games
If space allows try pack some cards, miniature board games or even activity books. They will come in handy in the evenings, waiting in queues or if you just want to chill out in the afternoon.
#9. Keep Hydrated
Bring reusable water bottles with you to the family festival, it will help the environment and hopefully, save on queues. You will need water to drink, wash up and brush your teeth. For brownie points during the day pick up a miniature squeezy bottle of cordial or squash to add a little taste to their water.
#10. Plan Your Family Festival Time
Are there acts you want to see or particular entertainment you know the kids will enjoy? Download the festival guide before you go and try plan your time ahead of the festival. Most festivals have kids zones or special areas with activities.
Tip: decide what activities they would like to do ahead of time and go first thing to book them in as workshops will fill up.
Bring all the wipes. Baby wipes pretty much cover all bases from bums, bodies and face. A bottle of antibacterial hand gel is a must. And just realise that it’s a festival and you’re all going to be grubby for a day or so.
#12. Things to Help Kids Get Into the Festival Mood
Bring along some dress up costumes, face paint, bubbles and glow sticks.
Other Handy Things to Bring:
- A torch will be handy at night or maybe even a solar-powered lantern.
- Solar fairy lights to put up at your tent, it makes a welcome sight when you come back.
- If you have one put up a big flag or bunting by your tent so you can spot it easily when you’re going to and fro.
- Bring a fully charged power bank phone charger or two.
Favourite Family Festivals in Ireland
Here are some of our favourite family festivals in Ireland:
Groove Festival, brought to you by Energia, takes place July 7th & 8th 2018 at Killruddery House & Gardens, Bray, Co Wicklow for its sixth year. This year Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Heather Small –The Voice of M People, The Riptide Movement and Something Happens are among the musical acts. This year there’s also a new feature: Groove World of Magical Mystery! A magical world in the woods of circus magicians and acrobats, pirates looking for treasure, a dark Queen looking for the a fairy princess and a mad scientist trying to make them all disappear….Wondrous shows to make your hair stand on end!
This year’s family friendly Body&Soul Festival takes place in Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath from June 22nd – 24th 2018. Body&Soul invites you and your family to come down to the woods on the summer solstice weekend to dance with the fairies and follow twinkling pathways to secret corners unknown, all with new sights, sounds and stories that will thrill, excite and enchant the spirits of your Soul Kids.
One of Ireland’s most popular festivals, this year’s Electric Picnic takes place at Stradbally Estate, Co. Laois Friday 31st August – Sunday 2nd September 2018. This year’s headliners are Kendrick Lamarr and Massive Attack.
The “Soul Kids” children’s area is a wonderland for children and has a reception for babies, toddlers and children up to 12. It is programmed with all sorts of creative workshops, kids yoga, chill out space for parents, and games.
Over to you now. Anything else you can recommend for going to a family festival? Tell us in the comments below.