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10 Reasons To Festival With Kids

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I’ve just returned with my now 4 and nearly 3 year old from a muddy, rainy Glastonbury and figure if I could do that and we all still have a great time then I can do anything.  So here are my reasons why festivals with kids are awesome. NB – this feature isn’t just about family friendly festivals, in fact if anything I think children are even more fun at less child-orientated events.

1.  Sharing music love
I can’t drive, ride a bike nor play a musical instrument so until they’re old enough for differential calculus (I’m a whizz) then passing

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on a love of music is one of the few things I have to offer.  Both my two are transfixed by bands and increasingly my eldest will just start dancing as soon as she hears a song she likes. Now I just have to get them into drum ’n’bass at 3am.

2.  Social Magnets
People talk to you when you have children in tow.  I defy anyone not to enjoy the overwhelming number of complete strangers praising the cuteness of your kids. At a one day festival when my daughter was a couple of months old (and as far as I could see the only child there) I returned

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3
from the loo to find a swarm of people by the buggy.  Her Dad had pulled her out and they’d been mobbed by people wanting to take her pic.  Also entertaining is the look of sheer terror on the face of some 20something when their boyfriend/girlfriend starts up a conversation asking all about having a baby.  Top tip: If you want your child to be on the news get ’em face painted and possibly with ear defenders on early Day 1 of the festival near the main stage to catch the media eye.

3. Natural Entertainers
Daughter excelled herself as we walked

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through the Pyramid Field at Glastonbury shouting at everyone ”You’re all in time out.  You’ve all been naughty”.  Ah, yes, how right you are and in how many ways… Meanwhile my younger child spent the walk back to the campsite one evening pointing and asking ”Is that our tent?  Is that our tent?”.  At every tent.  For 40 minutes.  Inadvertently they made me laugh when they asked for a ”party balloon” from the nitrous seller who was sat nearby ”No darling, it’s not for that kind of party”.

4. Excuse to do stuff
With a child you can

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finally go create those fairy wings or mad hatter’s hat you fancied in the making tent.  Also sing-a-long-a Frozen 11am Sunday morning with 1,000 others was quite spectacular…and believe me the adults were emoting to Let It Go as much as the kids.

5. Shared experience
There’s something magical about the sense of unity at festivals and storing up all those shared family experiences of ”we were there!”.  ’Course this can backfire – walking by Ed Sheeran when he gets the audience to join in on a swooping chorus and swing their jumpers round

SelfishMother.com
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their heads has guaranteed that this is now my children’s favourite song.  Damn him with his catchy pop/rap hybrid.

6. Wide eyed wonder
Festivals really are an amazing multi-sensory spectacle these days and seeing my children respond to all the colours, people and sounds makes me very happy.  CLICHE ALERT:  It really does make you see things afresh through their eyes.  Oh and flags. Flags are really, really goooooood.

7. Camping
All children love camping in my experience and their sheer exctement about it makes something that under normal

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circumstances is arduous and a bit crap actually quite pleasurable.  Well, up until the moment my son decided he would only sleep in our double sleeping bag so I had to sleep on his airbed.  Which is for up to 3 year olds. At 2 am.

8. Festival food
It is a cliche that festival food is now a true smorgesboard of deliciousness – but it’s true, and a great place to expand a child’s taste.  Or say ”sod it” and give ’em chips everyday. I’ll let you guess which I do.

9. Freedom – it’s catching
One of the defining qualities of a great festival

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is the sense of freedom.  An escape from workaday drudgery and normal rules of engagement.  Everyone relaxes and takes things as they come.  No standard bedtime, kids are out dancing till they collapse asleep in the trailer and we can wheel ’em back.  Less stress all round.

10.  Show off to mates 
Everyone always has their survivor tale – turn up at festival to find borrowed tent has no poles so you spend 4 nights sleeping under a bit of flat canvas? Dance for 48 hours solid in dance tent in leaking shoes and end up with trench foot? (Steve

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and Susan – I’m looking at you.) But take young children to a festival and you will come over as totally nails. Regaling friends with stories of poonamis/changing toddler in torrential rain whilst older child falls asleep and wees for England in the bike trailer wetting all blankets and pillows when an hour’s walk away from the tent will have them agog with your guerilla parenting skills. Tip: The only answer when asked ’what did you do?” is always ”bought a pint and thought through my options”.

So that’s it.  All that, plus awesome pics for

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the family album too.  You might like to know that when I asked my daughter what she most enjoyed about Glastonbury she told me ”The loos” (apart from the one she emerged screaming from to the amusement of a huge crowd – I guess we all feel like that a bit).  Interesting choice young lady.  I’m sure you’ll go far.
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- 21 Jul 14

I’ve just returned with my now 4 and nearly 3 year old from a muddy, rainy Glastonbury and figure if I could do that and we all still have a great time then I can do anything.  So here are my reasons why festivals with kids are awesome. NB – this feature isn’t just about family friendly festivals, in fact if anything I think children are even more fun at less child-orientated events.

1.  Sharing music love
I can’t drive, ride a bike nor play a musical instrument so until they’re old enough for differential calculus (I’m a whizz) then passing on a love of music is one of the few things I have to offer.  Both my two are transfixed by bands and increasingly my eldest will just start dancing as soon as she hears a song she likes. Now I just have to get them into drum ‘n’bass at 3am.
2.  Social Magnets
People talk to you when you have children in tow.  I defy anyone not to enjoy the overwhelming number of complete strangers praising the cuteness of your kids. At a one day festival when my daughter was a couple of months old (and as far as I could see the only child there) I returned from the loo to find a swarm of people by the buggy.  Her Dad had pulled her out and they’d been mobbed by people wanting to take her pic.  Also entertaining is the look of sheer terror on the face of some 20something when their boyfriend/girlfriend starts up a conversation asking all about having a baby.  Top tip: If you want your child to be on the news get ’em face painted and possibly with ear defenders on early Day 1 of the festival near the main stage to catch the media eye.
3. Natural Entertainers
Daughter excelled herself as we walked through the Pyramid Field at Glastonbury shouting at everyone “You’re all in time out.  You’ve all been naughty”.  Ah, yes, how right you are and in how many ways… Meanwhile my younger child spent the walk back to the campsite one evening pointing and asking “Is that our tent?  Is that our tent?”.  At every tent.  For 40 minutes.  Inadvertently they made me laugh when they asked for a “party balloon” from the nitrous seller who was sat nearby “No darling, it’s not for that kind of party”.
4. Excuse to do stuff
With a child you can finally go create those fairy wings or mad hatter’s hat you fancied in the making tent.  Also sing-a-long-a Frozen 11am Sunday morning with 1,000 others was quite spectacular…and believe me the adults were emoting to Let It Go as much as the kids.
5. Shared experience
There’s something magical about the sense of unity at festivals and storing up all those shared family experiences of “we were there!”.  ‘Course this can backfire – walking by Ed Sheeran when he gets the audience to join in on a swooping chorus and swing their jumpers round their heads has guaranteed that this is now my children’s favourite song.  Damn him with his catchy pop/rap hybrid.
6. Wide eyed wonder
Festivals really are an amazing multi-sensory spectacle these days and seeing my children respond to all the colours, people and sounds makes me very happy.  CLICHE ALERT:  It really does make you see things afresh through their eyes.  Oh and flags. Flags are really, really goooooood.
7. Camping
All children love camping in my experience and their sheer exctement about it makes something that under normal circumstances is arduous and a bit crap actually quite pleasurable.  Well, up until the moment my son decided he would only sleep in our double sleeping bag so I had to sleep on his airbed.  Which is for up to 3 year olds. At 2 am.
8. Festival food
It is a cliche that festival food is now a true smorgesboard of deliciousness – but it’s true, and a great place to expand a child’s taste.  Or say “sod it” and give ’em chips everyday. I’ll let you guess which I do.
9. Freedom – it’s catching
One of the defining qualities of a great festival is the sense of freedom.  An escape from workaday drudgery and normal rules of engagement.  Everyone relaxes and takes things as they come.  No standard bedtime, kids are out dancing till they collapse asleep in the trailer and we can wheel ’em back.  Less stress all round.
10.  Show off to mates 
Everyone always has their survivor tale – turn up at festival to find borrowed tent has no poles so you spend 4 nights sleeping under a bit of flat canvas? Dance for 48 hours solid in dance tent in leaking shoes and end up with trench foot? (Steve and Susan – I’m looking at you.) But take young children to a festival and you will come over as totally nails. Regaling friends with stories of poonamis/changing toddler in torrential rain whilst older child falls asleep and wees for England in the bike trailer wetting all blankets and pillows when an hour’s walk away from the tent will have them agog with your guerilla parenting skills. Tip: The only answer when asked ‘what did you do?” is always “bought a pint and thought through my options”.
So that’s it.  All that, plus awesome pics for the family album too.  You might like to know that when I asked my daughter what she most enjoyed about Glastonbury she told me “The loos” (apart from the one she emerged screaming from to the amusement of a huge crowd – I guess we all feel like that a bit).  Interesting choice young lady.  I’m sure you’ll go far.

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