Festivals used to be about hedonism and staying up all night. Now, the original party people just want their children to be entertained and the option of a comfortable tent. And so, as the excitement of Glastonbury infects us all, you may as well enter into the spirit, don the wellies and book yourself and your kids into a family-friendly festival. There are so many nationwide that you can hardly go outside without falling over a bell tent and a band. Here's our round up of the best. Many of them are sold out for 2017, but grab a ticket, if you can. These are hugely popular, so check with the organisers when tickets are released for 2018, and get ahead of the game next year.

Faery Festival

19-21 May 2017, Alfriston, East Sussex

A mystical weekend in the beautiful Sussex countryside.  Entertainment for children is free and hosted by Fairy Dust Events.  Everything from dressing up, to puppet making and musical instrument sessions.  Plenty of fairy entertainment, including Zumba, pirates, treasure hunts and bubbles ... http://www.magicalfestivals.co.uk

Geronimo – The Children’s Festival

27-29 May 2017, Arley Hall, Northwich, Cheshire

2017 sees the addition of glamping and camping to Geronimo. Come for a magical adventure. This year’s theme is PRINCESSES, KNIGHTS and DRAGONS. Don your finest costumes, recharge your soul and enjoy the simple things. http://www.geronimofest.com

Elderflower Fields

27-30 May 2017, Uckfield, East Sussex

Elderflower Fields is a three day, green field camping festival, designed especially for families with children. A wild weekend adventure, packed full of music, sports, nature and the arts, all set in the heart of the beautiful Sussex countryside. http://www.elderflowerfields.co.uk


6-8 July 2017, Winchester, Hampshire

From humble beginnings - basically, a party in a field - Blissfields has grown into an eclectic weekender in Hampshire, staging new artists from the worlds of indie, electronica and hip-hop alongside big names. There’s a unique mix of genres coming to this year’s stage. Highlights in the Angel Gardens family area include a dad dancing competition and cheesy disco - and a kids' activism club for future campaigners. http://www.blissfields.co.uk

Chilham Chase and Chill

1 July 2017, Chilham, Canterbury, Kent

Fun-run, fete and all-day music festival. A full day of family fun and activities, games, food and drink including The Chilham Chase – a 2 mile fun obstacle race with prizes for various teams, Bird of Prey display from The Hawking Centre and Classic Cars provided by The Morgan Club. http://www.chilhamchase.com

Big Family Festival

1 July 2017, Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent

A big noisy one-day event with plenty of things for kids of all ages too: Hip Hop Dance School, Circus School, Bounceland, Let's Make Some Bubbles, CBeebies' Mr Bloom, Fairytale Princesses singing songs from Frozen. What more could you possibly want? http://www.bigdayoutfestival.com

Vintage on the Dock

July 9-10 2017, Albert Dock, Liverpool

A FREE, family weekend celebration of 20th-century vintage cool at the North West’s most visited tourist attraction. There are vintage vehicles, street performers including jazz dancing and the Beatles Story. Learn to DJ or enjoy a music-themed hairstyle at the Total Eclipse of the Head mobile Hair salon in a caravan: try the Kate Bush Bush, or 80s Power Mullet Montage. Good news for parents – it finishes at 6pm both days, so you get the evening off. http://www.albertdock.com/events/event/vintage/

Cornbury Music Festival

8-10 July 2017, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

A high-end open-air party in the heart of Chipping Norton country. David and Samantha Cameron were spotted here a few years ago. The supervised Kids Zone is right in the middle of the festival, so you can drop in and out. Activities are all free for children. As well as a circus skills tent and toddler disco, a new addition is the Mayflower Project Teen Tent, also supervised. This is a comfortable setting where young festival-goers can take part in activities and workshops or slump on sofas and roll their eyes at parents enjoying themselves. Older party goers can enjoy music from All Saints, Bryan Ferry, Seal and Jamie Cullum. http://www.cornburyfestival.com

Pommery Seafood Festival

9-10 July 2017, Dorset

Fish and chips on the seashore. What could be more British? 50,000 celebrants of seafood (and their offspring) descend on Weymouth’s stunning Old Harbour. It’s the ideal opportunity to encourage fussy eaters into expanding their repertoire. East London’s Billingsgate Seafood Training School and local chefs will educate you and your offspring about cooking (and eating) fish. There are also boat trips and crabbing. Free entry. http://www.dorsetseafood.co.uk

48th Stainsby Festival

15-17 July 2017, stainsby, Derbyshire

A smaller and more intimate festival which is – say fans – better than Glastonbury because you see all your friends there. Great for families, it’s held in vast marquees on a greenfield site in the picturesque hamlet of Stainsby. Enjoy incredible views across the pond to the extraordinarily beautiful Hardwick Hall. There are music workshops, a singing competition, storytelling, theatre, poetry, film and philosophy throughout the weekend with camping thrown in. Under 12s free. Youth weekend £30. Adults £55. http://www.stainsbyfestival.org.uk


14-17 July 2017, Suffolk

A proper pop festival in the beautiful grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk. This year’s line-up includes New Order and the Maccabees. Arranged around the verdant banks of the Latitude Lake is a stunning Kids Area, where children are entertained with fire shows, pizza-making, traditional woodland crafts and a host of exciting science experiments. Those who have put aside childish things, but aren’t quite old enough for full festival action, will love The Inbetweeners’ Teen Area. Here, teenagers can take part in music, media, fashion and technology workshops, or learn wildlife survival skills. http://www.latitudefestival.com

Nozstock – The Hidden Valley

22-24 July 2017, Herefordshire

Our Little Wonderland Kids Area encourages this creativity, letting kids (and big kids) imaginations’ run wild, with chances to get a bit messy in the process. The good news is that this year’s ‘Keepin’ it Surreal’ theme gives us free reign to make the weirdest and wackiest creations yet! This year we’ve got it all, from mask-making to kite-crafting and everything in between. Haven’t got time to think about a costume for this year’s festival? Fear not, our ‘Surreal Sculptural Headdresses’ and ‘Festival Fashion’ have got you covered… in glitter and feathers. Throughout the weekend, parents and littl’ns can channel their inner Dali and create a masterpiece at our ‘Freedom of Expression’ table, then make a frame worthy of showcasing the work at the ‘Surreal Frame’ workshop. To top off the topsy-turviness, you can experience the world upside down by making your very own pinhole camera. And there is so much more in the melting clock – we mean, melting pot – of activities our wonderland has to offer. Check out the full listings of activities on our Little Wonderland page and grab your tickets to join in the fun – remember 12s and under get into Nozstock for free! http://www.nozstock.com

Deer Shed Festival 8

July 22-24 2017, Baldersby Park, North Yorkse

On families, the organisers say: ‘If you go and watch a Pixar movie with your children, everyone has a great time. Not just your kids, EVERYBODY! We strive for this holy-grail every year. We don't have kid's areas as such, they're not zoo animals! The whole site is accessible to everyone and we will welcome you as though you were our house guests, which you essentially are. But we are a cultural event too and you will be exposed to many new things. We like new things. You might be challenged by some of them, but we want every family member to leave Baldersby Park inspired, if that's OK. And finally, our music line-up, hitting you through extremely high fidelity PA systems will be as thrilling and contemporary as you will find at any UK festival in 2017 - it's just that you can share that thrill with your kids and feel perfectly safe at the same time. http://www.deershedfestival.com.com

Curious Arts Festival

22-24 July 2017, New Forest, Hampshire

A quirky boutique festival held in the lush gardens of Pylewell Park on the south coast. Attended by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who will be hosting a children’s reading session as well as writer Deborah Moggach and musician Billy Bragg. Everything is just a bit curious, as you’d expect. Children can enjoy a Curious Bear Hunt through the Park and budding writers may enjoy The Week Junior Journalism Course or Writing Workshop. There are bedtime stories every evening as well as bat walks and an Alice in Wonderland Party. http://www.curiousartsfestival.com.

Camp Bestival

28-31 July 2017, Lulworth Castle, Dorset

Four nights of camping doesn’t seem like enough time. Headliners include Fat Boy Slim. There’s eclectic food for everyone, such as Asian street food, Seadog sustainably sourced seafood and Pimp my Ramen – Britain’s only burger stall selling American inspired ramen burgers with a Filipino twist. There’s also the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle (they believe!). The side turrets are equal in height to the walls of Cardiff Castle, making it taller than the Great Wall of China. Bubble Shows and appearances from CBeebies’ LazyTown and Mr Tumble will keep the youngest happy. http://www.campbestival.net


4-7 August 2017, Oxfordshire

Combining nature, culture and music with great food in the lovely setting of Cornbury Park, Wilderness is a cultural haven for all ages. Wilderness is a family-friendly environment. Rough and tumble in the great outdoors, camping under the stars, colourful characters roaming free. Explore the family dreamland. The Kids’ Area of the festival is teeming with activities to keep your little ones (and you) entertained throughout the day; workshops, games, circus skills and lots more! http://www.wildernessfestival.com

Starry Skies Festival – Where kids roam free

2-6 August 2017, Monnow Valley, Welsh borders, Herefordshire

For Edition Five, the organisers will once again be putting together a whole host of activities to participate in, whatever the weather! Forest school for all ages, drama, dance, fancy dress and Family Sports Day are just a few of those on offer. Don’t forget to relax and do absolutely nothing though – remember you are on holiday, it’s okay to stay in your pyjamas all day if you want to! What your kids should definitely be doing at Starry Skies this summer: • Going feral (and you not minding!) • Making loads of new friends • Learning new skills like baking bread or hunting for insects. • Rolling down a big hill until they get dizzy. • Sleeping like logs after all the fresh air • Showing off grubby knees from so many outdoor adventures http://www.starry-skies.net

Doune the Rabbit Hole

19-21 August 2017, Sterling

Doune the Rabbit Hole is an intimate, independent music and arts festival located amidst the glorious ancient oak trees of the Cardross Estate, near Lake Menteith in Sterlingshire. Doune the Rabbit Hole is truly family friendly. In conjunction with Kidding Around Collective, throughout the weekend, we offer a huge range of activities for kids of all ages, from games and circus skills to crafts. We also have a special Family Camping Area, which is positioned away from the late-night revellers so you an all get some sleep in before the inevitable early rise! We’re very proud to have been named in various publications as being among the most family-friendly festivals in the UK. http://www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

Beautiful Days

19-21 August 2017, Ottery St Mary, Devon

Beautiful Days is held in a small, lovely location. A small, but increasingly popular festival, Beautiful Days is a good option for first-timers. Crucially, it also has a history of award-winning toilets. Great line-up of live music from Leftfield, James, The Proclaimers and The Coral. Family-friendly - the children's area hosts interactive workshops, rides and storytelling, and there's a family rave on Friday night. http://www.beautifuldays.org

The Just-So Festival

19-21 August 2017, Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire

An arts festival for the family. Every magical area has a different theme: The Spellbound Forest contains woodland theatre by day and bonfires at night. The High Seas includes rowing boats and outdoor showings of Swallows and Amazons. There’s children’s theatre including Around The World in Eighty Notes and a Just-So Bake Off, which invites you to bring your best cakes to the competition. Tiny festival goers will enjoy the Peekaboo area, where they can get their kicks with a bubbly bath time, baby massage and baby yoga. Adult weekend ticket, £125; children £35; Under 3s free. http://www.justsofestival.org.uk

Shrewsbury Folk Festival

26-29 August 2017, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Here, there is a children’s folk festival within the main event. The theme for the – aptly named – 'Pandemonium' is bees and the environment. There is music, dance, song, drama and crafts for children aged up to 11 with a glorious children’s parade at the end. Go family dancing at the inclusive family ceilidh, or 11 to 20 year-olds who don’t want to be with parents can hang out at their own youth festival: Refolkus, with music, song and dance workshops. http://www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk

Upton Sunshine Music Festival

26-28 August 2017, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire

Inflatable village and go-karts. http://www.uptonfestival.co.uk


22-27 August 2017, Northamptonshire

Shambala is a place to play, revitalise, and make lots of new friends while enjoying the eclectic mix that perfectly blends creativity and participation, meaning the festival really pushes the boundaries when it comes to embracing families. With too much to mention in a sentence, the winner of the Festival Kidz 'festival of the year' for 2013 dedicates camping space, a family yurt telling bedtime stories, a vibrant kids field with endless activities, and even a Bush Camp, where children are taken offsite for a whole night to experience an inspiring adventure. And that's just a taste! http://www.shambalafestival.org

bOing! Kent’s International Family Festival

26-27 August 2017, University of Kent, Canterbury

Join us again this summer for a weekend of the very best live performances from across Europe, to excite and inspire all ages. bOing! 2017 is the biggest bOing! yet, with performers coming from Finland, Norway, The Netherlands and Portugal, joining the very best from the UK. This year we are excited to have been awarded EFFE status by the European Festivals Association, confirming bOing! as one of the leading European arts festivals. bOing! is free to enter and everyone is welcome to enjoy the brilliant bOing! atmosphere. http://www.boingfestival.com

The Big Feastival

26-28 August 2017, Cotswolds

Encourage the children to cook at this mouthwateringly good weekend. Held on ex-Blur bassist Alex James’s Cotswold farm, it’s a guaranteed mix of fabulous food and high-end celebrity spotting. This year the musical line-up includes Mark Ronson, Kaiser Chiefs and Tinie Tempah, along with chefs Raymond Blanc, Tom Kerridge and Jamie Oliver. Smaller chefs can head to the Neff Kids Kitchen for cookery classes, and the whole family can feast on hot dogs, mac and cheese, Mexican food, crepes, churros, pies, cheese, fish and pizzas. Street stalls are considerately offering child-size portions. The Little Dudes’ Den includes face painting, jam sessions and giant haystacks. http://www.thebigfeastival.com

The Good Life Experience Feastival

16-18 September 2017, Hawarden Castle, Flintshire

Take a break from consumer society with this back-to-basics festival curated by Catatonia’s Cerys Matthews. Craftsmen will demonstrate ancient skills such as mosaic-making, knot-tying and blacksmithery. Sit around a campfire with television presenters Ben Fogle and Jeremy Vine and enjoy outdoor cookery demonstrations from top chefs such as Thomasina Miers. Both family and pet friendly. Kids activities are free: there’s a vintage fairground, axe-throwing for young Vikings, archery for and abseiling for the fearless. http://www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk
These are just a selection of the many varied family-friendly festivals taking place across the UK this summer. Sign up to GoMunkee's newsletter, and we will let you know as soon as tickets go onsale for festivals in 2018. Have a brilliant summer.
By | 2017-07-27T19:58:19+00:00 May 18th, 2017|Adventure, Cultural, Family, Summer|0 Comments