Family fun at the Hay Festival 2016

Globalmouse Travels guest writer Fiona and her family headed for the Hay Festival to discover the latest offerings for book loving families.

This was our second visit to the Hay literature festival. In fact it was our children (aged 4, 6 & 8) who begged to come back, so inspired were they last year to become authors and illustrators and this year did not disappoint.

There was so much to do. The tried and tested formula of interactive story telling with a well-known author/illustrators gives the children a chance to explore their creative side and sketch alongside the professionals. While watching Lizzy Stewart read us her storybook “There’s a Tiger in the Garden” my 4 year old kept saying “mummy did she really draw this!!”

Hay Festival 2016 - copyright:

Being Roald Dahl’s centenary we also went to a wonderful rendition of Revolting Rhymes set to a live orchestra.

Beatrix Potter took my 6-year-old and the rest of the audience back 150 years. “Turn on your ears, turn on your heart, now let’s begin…” She then began to tell the well-known tale of Peter Rabbit. But just as we neared the end and the naughty rabbit is sent to bed the pages fly out her book and disappear and the children are invited to rewrite the ending with their own renditions.

As well as ice cream stalls and people walking about with baskets of strawberries and asparagus, Oxfam have a well stocked second-hand bookshop with really decent children’s literature; everything from Pippi Longstocking to Shakespeare for children. The children loved choosing a book each and we were pretty pleased to have change from a tenner!


The Make and Take tent is always incredibly popular, and the crafty volunteers have tons of ideas and are always on hand to help. With buckets of tissue paper, scissors glue and colourful ribbon – our girls came away with Dahl-inspired paper foxes (Fantastic Mr Fox), and glass dream jars (BFG) full of glitter & clay sweets (Charlie & the chocolate Factory)- Child Heaven!


It is worth noting that we only dipped into the children’s festival.

The Hay festival attracts personalities from around the world and more organised parents out there may well be able to slip in some adults talks as well.


The Festival is a completely wholesome experience for all the family and we can’t wait to return next year.

Find out more about Hay Festival here –

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