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The GO Outdoors Guide To Kids At Festivals

With many festival sites ensuring that they are child friendly, with Kid Zones and creches, appealing food and safe areas to play in, it is perfectly acceptable to take your children with you to a festival. 

As well as ensuring that they stay safe, you also need to ensure you have all the essentials to keep your kids happy in varying temperatures and in a whole new environment. 

For many parents this is the ideal time to give your child a small taster of the camping experience, life in a tent, meals outdoors, and the excitement of living away from home. 

Many of the essential items you buy for a festival can be used all year round, such as wellington boots and sturdy waterproof jackets, so if you choose the right items you can be prepared all year round, before festival season comes again. 

So what are the essentials when you’re taking kids to festivals? Here’s a kid’s festival packlist so you don't forget anything before you head off together for fun and adventure.

Kids Festival Kitlist

  •  Sturdy Walking Boots
  •  Wellington Boots
  •  A Waterproof Jacket
  •  Fleece
  •  Fleece Bottoms
  •  Shorts
  •  Comfy trousers for evening wear
  •  Sleepwear/All in one for young children
  •  Underwear
  •  Warm socks
  •  A thermos flask
  •  Drinks bottle
  •  Lunch box or Bento box
  •  A sun hat
  •  Sun cream and after sub 
  •  Sunglasses
  •  Name tags (See guide below)
  •  A kid sized rucksack
  •  A baby carrier (if needed)
  •  Reins / Harness
  •  Snacks (See guide below)
  •  Plastic cutlery and plates
  •  Plastic bags for wet clothes/food/sitting on 
  •  A kid sized sleeping bag
  •  A roll mat or air bed for comfort under the sleeping bag
  •  Earplugs to diminish noise at bed time
  •  A first aid kit 
  •  Spare batteries 
  •  A torch 
  •  Toilet rolls
  •  Games/lightweight books
  •  Insect repellent
  • Tags are a fantastic way of labeling your child! Attach some tags or printed labels with a contact number on to your child and/or their clothes, but remember to leave their name off. Let your child know about the tags so they can inform someone if they do go wandering.
  • A bright coloured t-shirt can be useful for spotting your child in a crowd.
  • Look out for a visible fixed meeting point, and make sure that it stands out. This shouldn’t be a stage, but should be something fixed, such as a Ferris wheel or a bungee swing- something visible from all areas of the grounds. Make sure your child knows to head here in an emergency. 
  • It may seem a little morbid, but with a digital camera try and take a photo of what your kids are wearing, so you can show a recent picture if they do go missing.
  • Explain to your children that they should look to find someone in uniform they are lost. Agree on a checkpoint that they can see.
  • Make sure kid’s understand not to pick up/put in their mouths anything they happen to find on the ground at a festival. 
  • If it’s sunny, make sure they wear baseball caps and lather them up in sun cream before the day begins

  • Muddy puddle clothes are good for fun without the messy aftermath, so look at wellies as well as waterproof trousers for your kids. 
  •  Walking Shoes are essential as children will be on their feet all day, and a spare pair of shoes can help if one pair become very dirty or uncomfortable.
  • Pop shorts in a rucksack so if the sun shines they can change, or dress them in shorts and add on layers as the sun goes down. 

Feeding Kids at Festivals -  Meal Ideas

  • Feeding kids can get expensive, so look to make homemade lunchboxes or packs up that they can carry themselves, or that can be eaten in a picnic style. 
  • In the morning, your kids will be peckish, but it might be an age until the stove is up and the adults have awoken from their slumber. 
  • Keep multi packs of cereal in their plastic packets and get the kids to add in milk and eat from the box. Novel, simple, and cheap. 
  • To keep kid's food nutritious, try and pack most of it yourself. BBQ's are fun, and you can make up lunches to cut down on costs.
Examples of great kid's snacks and meals to take:

  • Hot Dogs to be cooked 
  • Burgers to be cooked
  • Home /pre cooked pizzas or pitta bread pizzas topped with veggies
  • Precooked veggie burgers wrapped in tin foil and put in a bun on the day
  • Buns - For BBQ's
  • Corn on the cob 
  • Bread - To make up lunches on the go
  • Pitta breads- Can be stuffed with a variety of fillings
  • Mini bagels- easy to transport
  • Snack packs of dried fruit mixed with cereals
  • Oatmeal 
  • Nuts if they are old enough and not allergic
  • Fruit roll ups
  • Cheese packs and crackers on day one (before they spoil)
  • Home made flapjacks and granola put in a ziplock bag
  • Make homemade muffins with plenty of fibre, such as banana muffins, or carrot based muffins
  • Peanut butter and banana on bread
  • Rice cakes with jam, honey and sultanas
  • Don't forget juice packs which can be supped on the go

 Entertaining Children At Festivals

  • Prams and buggies can be a real pain, so why not try a baby carrier? These hold children up to the age of 4, manufacturer dependent, and make carrying them far easier than on the shoulders!
  • Buy children their own water bottle to carry or wear around their necks or on a belt to keep hydrated.
  • Your usual bedtime routine will be out the window when you’re away, so try get an all in one sleep suit, or some cozy fleece bottoms and a fleece top, in a thermal style, so they can get changed early on, have fun with the grownups and then go to bed without the fuss of trying to get on pyjamas!
  • Make camping fun with games and toys for them that pack down light, or give them a daysack or rucksack so they can pack their own. 
  • Give kid’s a site map so they can get involved with navigating their way around, a great way for them to show off their orienteering skills!
  • Earplugs are a good idea, especially if you are headed to a popular band at the main stage. 
  • For smelly toilets, take some lavender oil and pop it on a tissue. This can help distract young noses from bad smells, keeping them happy!
  • Use kiddy reigns to reign in your child and keep them  safe.