We are big fans of festivals and our children love donning their wellies, attaching their fairy-wings and having some fun for a weekend in a field somewhere in the UK. We have rounded up the best festivals with kids across the UK for 2017 and we’ve listed them by date so it’s easy to check the diary and work out which best suits you – check out the titles in blue as they have also been Globalmouse reviewed and given our stamp of approval.
The best festivals with kids across the UK – May:
Shindig – Bath – 26 – 28 May
Shindig is one of the festivals we’re really looking forward to this season. With a lineup including The Heavy, Dub Pistols and Laid Blak there’s plenty going on musically but this is also very family friendly. With a fully programmed kids area there will be activities running from 9am – 5pm every day and a performance show for kids to watch between 5-6pm (teatime). Then, for the children that want to stay up, bands are on till late. Also, films that are suitable for kids will run in the cinema till 10pm. Shindig is a great way to start the festival season in style. Globalmouse writer Laura is going to Shindig this year and has rounded up everything she’s looking forward to here.
GoFest – Surrey – 28 – 29 May
We love this festival that bills itself as the “sporting Glastonbury”. It is jam-packed full of sport, dance, health and fitness for all the family, so it isn’t your usual festival. We love that they have different zones and activities from all ages including toddlers and teens. This is a real feel-good festival of fun (and returns to Manchester in June). Read our full review of GoFest 2016 here.
The best festivals with kids across the UK – June:
Wychwood – Cheltenham – 2 – 4 June
Kicking of our list is Wychwood in Cheltenham which really is a fully rounded family festival.With everything from The Leveller’s to CBeebies Katy Ashworth . There are also some great workshops including dance, musical theatre, circus, arts and crafts, magic, poetry.
GoFest – Manchester – 24 – 25 June
This is the Manchester version of GoFest – the Surrey one happens in May. Check out our listing there for more information.
The best festivals with kids across the UK – JULY
Blissfields – Winchester – 6 – 8 July
With music from Cinematc Orchestra and Metronomy and a whole craft area this is a great festival for 2017. But the real draw for families will be the Angel Gardens Family Area which has so much going on both educational and fun, in fact you should be able to apply to your school for an educational leave of absence which won’t be counted as an absence day. We love the Blisscotheque and also the stinging nettle cordage workshop!
Cornbury Festival – The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire – 7 – 9 July
This is one of our favourites and certainly one of the best festivals with kids – you can read our review of Cornbury Festival 2014 here and also read what our children thought about Cornbury Festival 2014 here for a real insight. This year there is Bryan Adams, the Kaiserchiefs and the Pretenders amongst many more. The kids zone as ever is jam-packed with everything from circus skills to yoga and balloon modelling.
Latitude Festival – Beccles, Suffolk – 13 – 16 July
We love Latitude Festival which is always so much fun and you can read our review of Latitude Festival 2014 here and also what our children thought of Latitude Festival in 2014 here. We loved Latitude as it had something for all ages including teenagers. This year there is theatre, dance, music and crafts. We love the area for children aged 12 and up who can delve deep into the woods to enter another world of music, media, technology, wildlife survival skills and assault courses suspended in the trees!
Chagstock – Devon – 21 – 22 July
The Shires and Soul II Soul head the line up at this lovely festival in Devon. There’s always old fashioned family fun on hand such as the beautiful swingboats they have on site to ride on. Have a go at water zorbing or enjoy some crafts with the onsite activity team, there will be plenty to occupy the kids here.
Secret Garden Party – Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – 20 – 23 July
Secret Garden Party’s theme for 2017 is Sweet Dreams. There will be a host of interactive delights in the dedicated children’s area as well as family fun going on around the park. The line up for 2017 includes Metronomy, Crystal Fighters and Toots and the Maytals.
Nozstock – Bromyard, Herefordshire – 21 – 23 July
We love the sound of the Enchanted Glade at Noztock, the children’s area at this really fun festival, it is full of fun activities for all the family to enjoy. From circus to theatre shows there is so much going on and the only thing that will tear you away is the line-up including SeaSick Steve, Happy Mondays and General Levy. Globalmouse’s Laura is going to Nozstock and has rounded up everything she is looking forward to here.
Deer Shed – North Yorkshire – 21 – 23 July
Deer Shed merges music, arts and sciences to create a festival with so much going on. There’s Kate Tempest, The Divine Comedy and Teenage Fanclub amongst many other music acts. With Aardman model making workshops, superhero poster design class and lots more including some special activities for under 5s this is a great family friendly festival.
Womad – Malmesbury, Wiltshire – 27 – 30 July
Womad is a whole world of fun for families with a great theme ofEarth, Fire, Water and Air for 2017. There are a huge number of activities and classes on offer for children and as kids under 13 go free it’s very family friendly. There’s a great vintage steam fairground, dance and drum tents and a Taste the World stage for kids cookery sessions. With work from Benjamin Zephaniah, Zhou Family Band and Alsarah & the Nubatones this looks set to be a fantastic festival for 2017 and up there with the best festivals with kids.
Standon Calling – Standon, Hertfordshire – 27 – 30 July
We are loving the look of this festival set in the Hertfordshire countryside, not least because it’s the only one with a heated swimming pool. We love that everyone throws themselves into the fancy dress theme each year and that this year the Gary Numan, Kate Tempest and KT Tunstall are heading the line-up (from, if you like, a special kids area with a view of the main stage). Kids are properly embraced at Standon Calling and it’s a great festival for all the family.
Camp Bestival – Dorset – 27 – 30 July
Camp Bestival is the mother of the family-friendly festival and 2017 has a great line up with Madness, Mark Ronsen and All Saints leading. The kids provisions at Camp Bestival are fantastic with their own acts from Justin Fletcher to Dick and Dom and Mister Maker and a whole host of activities including fairground rides, the insect circus and our favourite the Dingly Dell which is packed full of fun. This is one festival your kids really won’t want to leave. You can read our review of our time at Camp Bestival in 2016 here.
FarmFest – Somerset – 28 – 29 July
FarmFest is set in the heart of Somerset and has loads going on for kids including three dedicated kids tents. There will be make and take puppet sessions, sing-a-long workshops and circus skills. we love the sound of the hot chocolate and bedtime stories. This is one of the smaller festivals, all set in one field, and so has a very family friendly feel to it.
The best festivals with kids across the UK – August
Wilderness – Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire – 3 – 6 August
Grace Jones and Bonobo are topping the bill at the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire. There are fantastic opportunities for kids to enjoy some real old-fashioned fun with horse riding and wild swimming on the list. We love the sound of pimp your pineapple, release your inner cartoonist and the Pachamama crafts. There are talks and debates as well as live theatre. This is an overload of culture and we think it looks fantastic.
Lakefest – Gloucestershire – 10 – 14 August
Lakefest is a great festival for kids with so much on offer including: watersports, kite making, clay modelling, treasure hunts and glamba drumming workshop.
BoomTown – Winchester – 10 – 13 August
BoomTown is a festival for everyone, no matter what your musical leaning and there really is so many different styles of music included in the BoomTown line-up. Kids will love all of the performers wandering the site and learning some new circus skills or taking part in one of the many workshops in the dedicated KidsTown. BoomTown definitely needs to be part of the list of the best festivals with kids.
Green Man – Brecon Beacons, Wales – 17 – 20 August
For a much less typical vibe, the Green Man set in the Welsh countryside is a great family friendly festival. With PJ Harvey and Kate Tempest leading the line up there is plenty musically. We love the sound of the Little Folk area which is packed full of activities your kids will adore including creative workshops like puppet making, and musical activities. This is a festival that is as chilled out as they can get. Read our review of Green Man Festival 2015 here.
Beautiful Days – Exeter – 18 – 20 August
This is a great festival for families with plenty going on for children including – crafts, theatre, dressing-up, circus, rides, story-telling, face painting and more. We love that there are special storytelling and theatre performances put on for kids from early in the morning! Music includes acts Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, the Levellers and Public Service Broadcasting.
Just So Festival – Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire – 18 – 20 August
This is a fantastic festival for families with everything from a Spellbound Forest to a Woodland Theatre. There are circus workshops, campfire stories and the Away with the Fairies area to enchant little ones. There’s lantern making, pirate training camp and yoga for the littlies. We absolutely love the look of Just So and it is one of the best festivals with kids.
Shambala Festival – Northamptonshire – 24 – 27 August
Shambala was our first festival with kids and that was many years ago now. We loved the kid’s field then and our children had a great time. Shambala for 2017 looks even better with a brilliant kid’s forest area and a stack of crafts. One of our favourite things was the annual Shambala fancy dress walk around the site which had us all up and dressed up as pirates, it was great fun. This year’s theme is Cloud Cuckoo Land which sounds like it will be great fun.
Solfest – nr Aspatria, Cumbria – 25 – 27 August
We love Solfest’s aim to bring different generations of a family together from Grandparents to babies. They have plenty going on for everyone with lots of workshops and events and a specially dedicated Children’s Arena and music from all the different genres.
The Big Feastival – Cotswolds – 25 – 27 August
Jamie Oliver and Blur’s Alex James are back for this really fun festival in the Cotswolds. With an emphasis on music, food (of course) and activities it really is a feel-good weekend in the countryside. There’s sure to be a great music lineup and kids will love the ‘Little Dudes Den’ which is full of activities and workshops.
The best festivals with kids across the UK – September:
End of the Road Festival – Larmer Tree Gardens, Wiltshire – 31 Aug – 3 September
As we’re heading to the end of festival season, the End of the Road Festival is the perfect antidote to the end of summer vibe everywhere else. There are lots for children including Wonderlands, an area full of workshops including circus tricks, origami and yoga. This is a festival dedicated to some of the best Alternative Music and Folk music and has a chilled out vibe totally in keeping with this whimsical setting in the Larmer Tree Gardens.
Festival No. 6 – Portmeirion, Wales – 7 – 10 September
Wild Beasts, Kate Tempest and Rag n’ Bone Man head the bill at Festival No. 6 in the beautiful town of Portmeirion and we love that there are talks and discussions too. There’s lots for little people with Portmeirion’s Pockets of Play – a world of play, exploration and expression. There will be arts and crafts, lantern making, story telling and joke contests.
Equinox Festival – Lincolnshire – 22 – 25 September
Closing the festival season on Globalmouse Travels in the Equinox Festival in Lincolnshire. This is a non-sponsored and non-corporate festival and is set in a wildlife reserve and has music from all genres. Kids will love the wandering entertainers and circus workshops.
Are you heading to a festival this year? Is there somewhere we’ve missed off that you would recommend as one of the best festivals with kids?
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