Festivals are a wonderful place to take a child. Not only are they exposed to some wonderful amazing world, they get to learn about new things, new music and try something they would never expect. There are so many different festivals out there. Day festivals where you are only there for a few hours, camping festivals where you get to get down and dirty in fields and urban weekend festivals that are normally in city surroundings over the course of a weekend.
Here are my top 5 tips for surviving a festival:
- Plan your day - As with anything, you have to plan when you go anywhere with a child. Festivals are no exception. When I go I tend to work out who we definitely want to go and see and where the important things like toilets are. It's worth remembering that you won't be able to get your kid to sit still through a poetry reading when they can hear the sounds of a recognisable TV character in the background. Having some back up plans is always good!
- Pack light - When we went to Butserfest last year we took a buggy with a rucksack. All that had was some spare clothes, blanket, sun cream, drink and small snacks (my phone and purse too!). When you go out parents tend to pack for all occasions. I chose to take a buggy for Max as I knew by early evening his legs would be fed up of running around the venue (and backstage!). It was great for keeping our stuff secure but it's also tatty enough that someone could take it/break it and it wouldn't matter too much. You don't need to take 3 books, 4 sets of clothes and an umbrella. Remember you have to carry it around all day!
- Ear Defenders are a must - Little ears can get damaged easily. That's why we always have a set of ear defenders with us at any gig/festival. Max might choose to take them off for a bit but for the most of it he will happily sit down with them on. They don't block out the noise completely, merely muffle it a bit so that it isn't as damaging. We love Edz Kidz ear defenders (they even fit over my ears!)
- Expose your child to the music - There's no use taking your kid to a rock festival if they have never heard the music before and will end up screaming the whole time. Similarly, if your child is scared of people dressed up in character outfits then it might be unsettling to take them to a big kid orientated festival where there will be loads of characters. You need to remember that more often that not a child will end up being dragged to something you want. Make sure it's something they love. Blast that cool music instead of the nursery rhymes!
- Embrace the experience - There is no use going to a festival and worrying about everything. It's a new experience for everyone so take it all in, be prepared to jump into something unexpected and be open to trying something new. Festivals are a wealth of culture so immerse yourself in them. There are so many out there for different people and families so find something that suits you and what you want. If you all fancy an ice cream instead of dinner then do it! Treat it like an adventure.