Wondering about taking the kids with you to a music festival this summer? We have picked 7 family friendly festivals known for their music but also other things, including art, dance, literature and more. These are all taking place this summer in Ireland, UK and Europe.
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Family Friendly Festivals in Ireland
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.
Past acts have included Lampchop, Gary Numan and Goldfrapp. For the wee ones check out the Soul Kids programme with lots of fantastic activities for children, including yoga, creative workshops and wonderful surprises.
“We’ve been to Body and Soul for 4 years and the kids love it! There is a lovely wooded area when you can wander around and you’ll happen upon all kinds of quirky entertainment. The Soul Kids area is great for the younger ones and because it’s contained within a walled garden, it is beautifully sheltered and safe. We’re going again this year and we can’t wait – the count down is on!” – Paul
More info at www.bodyandsoul.ie.
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. At time of writing, this year’s line up hasn’t been announced so keep an eye out on their social media for updates.
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.
“Electric Picnic is all about the music. Most of the big acts start late in the evening so make sure to factor that into your plans each day. The family camping is well away from the general area so it’s relatively quiet and the Soul Kids area has loads on during the day. There’s so much to see and do, there’s even a circus on site!” – Mary Kate
Family Friendly Festivals in the UK
Now in it’s 12th year, Latitude Festival takes place at Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolks Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th July 2018. In 2017 the headline acts included The 1975, The Weekend and Mumford & Sons, this year’s line up is still to come out.
Latitude’s awards for “Best Family Festival” and “Best Major Festival” (UK Festival Awards) are testament to the huge array of family-friendly activities available at Latitude for children and parents alike.
Arranged around the banks of the central Latitude lake you will find the incredibly enticing Kids’ Area, where children are entertained all day and into the night with everything from pond dipping and stargazing to bush-craft skills and French knitting. A real hive of activity, your only problem is how you’ll fit it all in!
“All 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed Latitude, it’s very child-friendly. There were lots of kids activities throughout the day and we loved the library tent where you could borrow kids books from and bring them away with you. There was plenty of wide open space too so you never felt over crowded and you could easily find a good spot at the back where it wasn’t too loud” – Jill
WOMAD 2018 takes place 26th – 29th July at Charlton Park, Malmesbury with a feast of world music. There’s usually a couple of acts you will have heard of, but one of the joys of WOMAD is experiencing all sort of music you haven’t heard of before.
WOMAD is a feast of culture. Apart from experiencing the hottest musicians and inspiring new talent from around the world there is always much more to discover. Children and families have always been a priority at WOMAD so it’s no wonder that festival atmosphere is safe, welcoming and a little bit magical. And with children aged 13 and under free, it’s very child friendly.
“The good thing about Womad and kids is because the acts are not that well-known (but of exceptional quality) you can discover the acts with your children. It’s great to see them respond to “non-pop stars”, as it were. One of our favourite things was the Food & Music workshop where different musicians talked about their life and album while cooks made a dish from their country and we got to taste it at the end” – Ramsay
Camp Bestival takes place 26th – 29th July 2018 at Lulworth Castle in Dorset
This year top acts include Simple Minds, Rick Astley and Orbital.
Kids are king at Camp Bestival. There is an avalanche of activites for children of all ages; 2 to 62! A large section of the festival site is devoted to the little-uns with the Upper Kids Garden and Lower Kids Garden, separate Toddlers’ Area, Breastival Mother and Baby Chill Out section plus activities, theatre, shows, fairground rides, facepainting, Soft Play Tent and Sandpit (for under 5’s) as well as a separate area dedicated to 13-17s.
And inter-mingled amoungst all this are plenty of food markets, cafes, bars, talks and music stages to ensure the slightly older clientele don’t stand a chance of getting bored.
Family Friendly Festivals in Europe
Tollwood Summer Festival
The Tollwood Summer Festival celebrating its 30th year this year, takes place from 27th of June till 22nd of July 2018, at Olympiapark Süd in Munich, at the foot of the Olympic Hill. It’s known for its theatre productions from all over the world, for its concerts with regional, national and international stars of the Rock and Jazz scene, and for its more than one hundred free shows featuring performance groups and bands from the genres of Rock, Pop, Salsa, Reggae and the Blues.
It also has a big ecological and social commitment, with more than 70 percent of all events being free of charge, while the big theatre and concert events are offered at far below the usual local price.
There’s also a special “Market of Ideas”, with hundreds of small stands with handcrafted arts and culinary treats (all certified organic) from all over the world.
This year’s big acts include Billy Idol and Earth, Wind and Fire.
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Pohoda takes place 5th – 7th July 2018 at Trencin, Slovakia, situated 120km from Bratislava and 190km north-east of Vienna. The Chemical Brothers, Ziggy Marley and Jamie Cullum are amongst this year’s acts.
Described as a music and arts festival where alternative, indie, electronica, world music & punk meet classical; alongside literature, dance, visual art, film and theatre, it specialises in putting together interesting combinations of different artists – for example, in 2014 the Ukrainian Philharmonic were followed onstage by Kraftwerk and their incredible 3D show.
The festival is based at a former military airfield in the valley of the river Vah surrounded by three of the Western Carpathian Mountains. From a visitor’s point of view, the festival area is easy to reach and provides an ideal and generously designed area for a limited capacity of 30,000 visitors. Forget about queuing for food or toilets, cramped camping or moving around the site in large crowds – the capacity is set in a way that ensures it is comfortable and open, to match the name of the festival: Pohoda/Slavic/: peace, ease, contentment.
Children up to 12 years of age (and including) have free admission to the festival and there’s a Children’s park available at the festival where you can have your child babysat by a professional service provider. The park has several attractions available, programmes for children, and a changing table as well as a family camping area.
Over to you now. Do you plan to take in a music festival this summer with the kids? Which family friendly festivals have you gone to? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.