GoMunkee’s been checking out the varied family-friendly festivals this summer within striking distance of the South East. Festivals used to be about hedonism and staying up all night. Now, the original party people still want to have fun and ensure that their children have a wonderful time too. The number of festivals in the UK has rocketed in recent years and there’s huge diversity in the offer – music, entertainment, cookery, curiosity, adventure, literary, circus, bushcraft… And loads of fun for children, teens and families, with many festivals just for children or putting family at the centre.
Curious Arts Festival 23-26 August 2019 East Sussex
A quirky festival of music, literature, comedy and irresistibly Curious happenings. This boutique festival is held in the lush gardens of Peppingford Park in Ashdown Forest. Everything’s just a bit curious, as you’d expect. There’ll be a massive choice of children’s activities on offer in 2019 to engross and exhaust little ones of all ages. Events are updated all the time. Children can enjoy a Curious Bear Hunt through the Park and budding writers may explore The Week Junior Journalism Course or attend the writing workshop. There are bedtime stories every evening as well as bat walks and an Alice in Wonderland Party. For grown-ups, there’s poetry, bookish talks by best-selling authors and live music, live stand-up, arts and crafts and immersive adventures…
Peppingford Park Manor, Nutley, Uckfield TN22 3HW
England's Medieval Festival 24-26 August 2019 East Sussex
A weekend packed with outdoor medieval-themed activities, set in the grounds of an amazing castle. The castle is the centrepiece of the entertainment, coming under siege and battle daily by re-enactors. Be enthralled by jousting, watch a longbow contest, cover your ears when the cannon is fired. Grand parades, medieval puppet shows, strolling minstrels, jesters, wizards and 12ft giants circulate. There’s a Kids’ Kingdom with staged performances, living history encampments and over 200 craftsmen and merchants plying their trades. A great day out for all the family.
Wartling Road, Herstmonceux, Hailsham BN27 1RN
The Big Feastival 23-25 August 2019 - Cotswolds
Food is at the heart of this festival, where children are encouraged to cook at this mouth-wateringly good Bank Holiday weekend. Held on former Blur bassist, Alex James’ Cotswold farm, it’s a guaranteed mix of fabulous food and high-end celebrity spotting – Raymond Blanc and Pru Leith will be two of the top chefs cooking up a feast this year. 2019’s musical line-up, includes Elbow, Rudimental and Jess Glynne.
For the kids there’s Justin Fletcher, Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig. Small chefs can head to the NEFF Kids’ Kitchen for hands-on cookery classes. Adam Henson will be introducing feathered and furry friends and kids children can become Greenleaf Tree Climbers – at the top they’ll have the best views of the festival. There are numerous international street food outlets, and kids can visit the RAU Vegetable Patch where they can learn about the journey from field to fork. The Big Feastival features a vintage funfair, complete with dodgems and a helter-skelter.
Alex James’ Farm, Kingham OX7 6UJ