What happens when the Glastonbury crowd’s late-night antics at Shangri-la no longer float your boat and you’d rather enjoy a picnic on the grass, where the kids can play and you can hear yourself speak? You take you and yours along to one of these family-friendly music festivals instead…
16 – 19 July, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
When it comes to entertaining children, the folk at Latitude know exactly what they’re doing – in fact, they have nabbed gongs for the ‘Best Family Festival’ and Prima Baby’s ‘Best Family Day Out’. Not too shabby.
The Kids Area comes fully equipped with activities such as star-gazing, wood-crafting, pizza-making and pond-dipping – and there’s also a theatre, where the little ones can watch and take part in their own shows. The Inbetweeners’ Teen Area is where the slightly more grown up darlings can take part in music, media, fashion and technology workshops – and there’s the best energy burner on-hand in the form of an assault course suspended in the trees. Brilliant!
If you’re keen on camping, book into the family campsite where early morning yoga, face-painting and easy access to the kids’ area are all available.
Oh and of course there’s the small matter of the headliners for the adults; Alt-J, Portishead, James Blake, Manic Street Preachers and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are all showing up. Nice.
Tickets start from £84.50 for a Friday day ticket.
Smoked & Uncut Festival
12 July, 12-6pm, Lyndhurst, New Forest
Painting, crafting, face-decorating and a load of popcorn, candy floss, an abundance of toys and party activities served by R.S Currie and co’ – (if you’ve not heard of them, check them out – they know how to entertain little ones) – this is the order of the day Smoke and Uncut’s Lime Wood event. And that’s just for the kids. The adults get to enjoy sets from I Am Kloot, Saint Agnes and Polly & The Billets Doux amongst others.
Food and drink is only available on site, so bring a picnic blanket.
Tickets are £30 per person for the day or £100 for a family of two adults and two children. Under 5s go free.
30 July – 2 August, Lulworth Castle, Dorset
It’s time to live out the dream – just think, The Cat in the Hat live, Mr Tumble in-the-actual-flesh and the icing on the cake – entertainment from Dick and Dom. This kids’ paradise can only be found at the spectacular Camp Bestival which caters for babies, toddlers and the older ones. Soft play and the sand pit are always big hits with the under fives and the fairground rides are guaranteed to keep the teens busy all afternoon. Even Rob da Bank makes an appearance to host a music club. Although you may need to educate them on just how ‘cool’ that is.
And while they’re keeping busy, there’s comedy, theatre, author talks and DJ sets to keep you and this missus occupied – as well as live music, with huge acts like Underworld, Alison Moyet, Kaiser Chiefs and Bob Geldof making an appearance. We recommend sticking around for George The Poet. He is a legend in the making.
Adult weekend tickets are £195. Children under four go free but do need a ticket.
23-25 May, Tatton Park, Cheshire
This festival is dedicated solely to the little ones, so while you won’t be pulling any dad moves to Underworld here, you will be helping little mites enjoy everything from cooking workshops and learning circus skills to den-making and zip-wiring.
Rumour has it CBeebies’ faves Swashbuckle, Alex Winters and Ben and Holly will be making an appearance. Not to mention the mighty Mr Bloom – and wait for it – Elsa of Frozen fame. Don’t forget your camera.
Early bird tickets are currently £20 per person, while family passes are £75. Children under two go free.
All adults must be accompanied by a child.
Festival No. 6
3-6 Sept, Portmeirion, Wales
This beautifully set music festival not only has some quality acts on the bill (Belle & Sebastian and Grace Jones, we’re looking at you) but there’s also a great family vibe too. All children under 10 are welcomed in free. The Secret Outlaws Camp offers a pirate-themed play area where kids are encouraged to take part in performances, explore and get involved in nautical fun. It’ll be a wonder if you manage to leave the area!
Food and drink are top of the range too and suit all budgets – but prepare your taste buds for everything from real ale and pulled pork to oysters and champagne.
Early bird tickets are available for £170 (adults) and £80 (kids 11-15 years). Day tickets are yet to be released.