I am so excited to be hosting the guest bloggers for this Best Family-Friendly Festivals in the UK post! Keeley, Pete and Emerson, aka Vibes Life Us, are absolute festival family GOALS and certainly know through experience which the best festivals for kids are. I met them through Instagram a couple of years ago and their little one Emerson has been to so many festivals in his short life already so I don’t know many people more qualified to give you some ideas for festivals with children. They’ve included some of the larger more well-known destinations in this list alongside some lovely independent boutique family camping festivals, so there’s something for every festival loving family!
Keeley, Pete & Emerson at Boomtown Fair
We have always loved going to festivals, we met at a rave in 2002.. and have pretty much continued dancing our way through the last two decades together! We knew that as soon as Em came along, we would be taking him along for the ride. We had no idea what that ride would look like but it was happening!
It goes without saying that a festival with kids is different, but the pure joy you get from seeing how your kids are natural at soaking up that atmosphere, and the sense of freedom they get away from tablets, tv and technology makes it so worthwhile.
We’re fortunate in the UK, that we have so many festivals that cater to families, so we are giving you our round-up of the best ones. Em has been lucky enough to have been to a fair few festivals in his three trips around the sun, the ones we haven’t been to have been recommended by the AMAZING festival community in the UK Festivals Facebook community group, and from the research that we have done.
10 Best Festivals for Kids in the UK
From big family festivals to micro ‑ this guide has a family-friendly festival for everyone, whatever your experience with bringing kids to festivals is.
Sussex UK | May
Elderflower Fields is the festival that kicks off festival season for us in the UK. It’s usually held over the May bank holiday, in the beautiful country setting of Pippingford Park, but this year will be taking place from 23rd‑27th July.
The So Sussex team purposely keep this festival small, making it an ideal choice for first-time family festival-goers. The Elderflower Fields programme is packed full of performances & activities that will keep the whole family entertained whilst getting in tune with nature.
The Dragonfly Stage is the place where you can catch a great mix of music from jive to West African grooves, and the very special So Sussex Family picnic ‑ which gives you a ‘Taste of Sussex’ that is included in the ticket price. It’s a great way to try local food and meet other families. There are plenty of activities from skateboarding, nature walks, pond dipping, and axe throwing, bedtime stories and campfires.
Limited Tier 4 Tickets for Elderflower Fields South are available Now at £143.10 (inc BF) per adult. Elderflower fields Midlands will be launching in 2022.
Dorset | July
Camp Bestival is the current Best Family Festival winner at the UK Festival Awards, and when you see the facilities on offer that Rob Da Bank and the Camp Bestival team have put on you can see why. Held over four days on the stunning Jurassic Coast, this family-friendly festival has a mini-vacay vibe. The theme this year is The Movies, so expect a blockbusting, action-packed weekend full of amazing headliners and activities, including Groove Armada, Fatboy Slim and children’s (ok & adults) favourite Mr Tumble. Their finale fireworks display is also incredible
The whole festival has been designed with families in mind, and the mix between amazing artists and activities for kids is spot on. The lower kids garden is pure magic, and Emerson especially loves the Dingly Dell where he can whip us up a treat in the Mud Kitchen. Check out our full blog post about our trip to Camp Bestival in 2018.
Limited Tier 4 tickets are on sale now from £200 per adult. Payment plans are available
Northamptonshire UK | August
Oh Shambala Shambala Shambala, one of our regrets in life is leaving it so late to actually go. Our first Adventure in Utopia was 2019, and it’s easy to see why this festival is at the top of many a person’s fave festival lists. For many reasons Shambala is like no other, the site it’s held on is breathtaking, and extra kudos is it’s nice and flat, meaning there isn’t too much of a hike from your car to pitch which is great for little legs!
Once you’re inside the team have thought of everything – this is the perfect family-friendly festival. There were nappy bins, and food compost bins, the family yurt was incredible to get Em ready for bed. With no corporate sponsorship and an impressive commitment to making their event as sustainable as possible, they have a diverse loyal following of free thinkers, who want the world to do better. We were instantly struck with how friendly, colourful and full of good vibes the Shambalans were. No judgement from any corner.
Not only does the festival look amazing but Playtopia is the place where PLAY is celebrated. This kids field is huge, and runs from 9‑5 each day. With tons of workshops, play equipment and entertainment from the likes of Arty Farty and Super Pirates. We loved the monster puppet making in the puppet theatre, and of course, there is our festival favourite Tribe Woodland deep in the woods where children can build their own adventure playground. You can also catch the legendary Flying Seagull Project who will keep adults and little ones entertained with their circus acts, high jinx and comedy remixes of wheels on the bus. Their fireworks finale in front of Kelmarsh House an absolute spectacle and perfect end to this beaut festival.
Tickets for 2021 have sold out, Ticket Sellers are the only ticket sellers for Shambala so keep an eye on their site, sign up to Shambala’s mailing list and whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to buy tickets from anyone else
Wales | August
Starry Skies has been described as “A gloriously mucky family camping holiday from Shambala Fest” it has all the nostalgic feel of those camping holidays you loved as a kid, but with the vibe of a festival with that Shambala magic; a combo that you know is going to be a guaranteed memory maker!
This intimate 4-day experience is held on a farm in the Welsh countryside, surrounded by rolling meadows and woodland for the kids to explore by day, and of a night it is a stargazers paradise due to being in the dark skies reserve. When it comes to entertainment Starry Skies have got a great mix of activities, live music, circus acts from Big Top Mania and R & R and we can’t forget about the epic fancy dress party.
The festival site is small, which gives it an intimate feel and depending on your kid’s age you can really relax knowing they can’t wander too far. We loved that the activities were conveniently put into age brackets which made it really easy to choose what activities to do with Em during the day.
We loved the slip & slide, the daily yoga, den building and campfire songs. It’s the perfect place to get back to nature and let your kids roam free, and is a great family camping festival if you’re looking for those festival vibes on a smaller scale.
Starry Skies is 4th‑8th August 2021, we are awaiting confirmation of whether it’s going ahead ‑ which will be made this month. So make sure you’re following them to be first to know.
Hampshire | August
There is no doubt about it Boomtown Fair had grown into a beast of a festival. A full-on independent City with separate districts, each with their own personalities that showcase a multitude of different genres of music, character and good vibes. From Oldtown, to Whistler’s Green to Barrio Loco there was an area for everyone.
Kidztown was always going to be Em’s favourite (that and the bouji ass Paradise Heights 🤣). Kidztown is like a festival in itself, a mini town where your kids can role-play to their heart’s content. Stop a bank robbery, get a passport, go to the cinema! In previous years it’s had its own lineup with creative workshops, kids entertainment and some bloody awesome acts like Beans on Toast, Junior Jungle, Big Fish Little Fish, Dr Syntax and let’s not forget the giant sandpit.
What sets Boomtown apart from other festivals, is the meticulous planning and vision that the crew put into building the sets and stages. These are the backdrop for the storyline that is the backbone of the festival and has evolved through the years (chapters). You can choose to immerse yourself into the ‘maze’ as much or as little as you want. The actors are on point and will honestly make you feel that you are in another world.
This year things are changing and Boomtown is being reborn for Chapter One: The Gathering. The lineup will be kept secret, and a new story will begin. The layout will be completely reimagined and this reset will see a new era in the city after the State of Emergency was declared in the story at the end of Chapter 12 (You can catch up on the Boomtown story here). It’s going to be a monumental rise from the ashes… no one knows what the new city will look like but we are all ready for it as Boomtown has now sold out!!
We do, however, know that with the new site changes, the offering for families will be scaled back this year, you can keep up to date on family information here. There will be a resale in May, so make sure you sign up to the Boomtown mailing list to be in the know. This is a festival not to be missed.
Into The Trees
Sussex | September
Just as we start our Festival Season in Pippingford Park, Into The Trees festival held on the same site over the weekend of 10th ‑ 12th September is a great way to end the summer. This is a super chill affordable event, that is the perfect place to relax, whilst also seeking adventure, and spending quality time outdoors as a family.
There is no big stage, just intimate woodland gigs, lots of nature-loving activities ‑ think star gazing, tree climbing, kayaking and the most epic marble run. It’s also home to the dreamiest late summer sunsets.
Tier 2 tickets are available, a weekend ticket is £47.70 inc bf.
Devon | August
When I put it out there to the UK Festivals Facebook Group, what their best family festivals were, Beautiful Days was mentioned again, and again, and again as a great festival to do with kids!
Beautiful Days festival is an independent festival founded by Levellers that is due to take place 20‑22nd August 2021, in Devon. It has won multiple festival awards and is often shortlisted for Best Family Festival.
A great mix of headliners that in the past has included Ziggy Marley, and The Stranglers, with family-friendly activities, a huge children’s area, comedy & art with not a peep of any corporate branding. Beautiful Days has created a festival where the young & old come together for a weekend of celebrations in the Devon countryside.
Nozstock The Hidden Valley
Herefordshire | July
Nozstock: The Hidden Valley Festival was another firm hit for families on the #UKFestivals Facebook group. Founded by a fun, musical loving family & their pals it is taking place 22nd ‑ 25th July.
Nozstock’s aim is to bring play to everyone who reaches the hidden valley in the lush countryside of Herefordshire. It’s a festival that caters to all ages. Dancing under the sunset in the orchards, or raving in cowsheds their lineup has a broad spectrum of music over 12 stages/ areas that will get young and old dancing their way through the weekend.
The Dingle hosts workshops, arts & crafts, and yoga, and the dedicated Little Kids Wonderland. If you want to read more then check out Cookie Crumbles blog posts on the festival which she has described as having “Fun Around Every Corner.”
Nozstock has sold out this year but make sure you sign up the mailing list to be notified of any resales.
Green Man Festival
Wales | August
We have wanted to go to Green Man for years, but we are yet to make it to the breathtaking site nestled in between forests & waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons, with the jaw-dropping backdrop of the Black Mountains. A Settlers Pass is your ticket for one whole week to explore this majestic Green Man Land, with the festival taking place 19th ‑ 22nd August. There is a strong community spirit amongst ‘the settlers’ which makes it a great festival for families.
Green Man Festival has 10 areas to discover. Mountain’s Foot is home to the Mountain Stage, and lazy picnics, whilst Einstein’s Garden is the first UK Festivals science engagement area… Little Folk is the place to be if you’re under 12. Creative workshops, The Flying Seagull Project and the Little Folk Parade on Sunday afternoon are not to be missed.
It looks like all systems a go for Green Man 2021 with line-up and ticket info coming shortly so make sure you give them a follow, and join the mailing list to stay up to date.
Just So Festival
Cheshire | 20th-22nd August 2021
Just So Festival is an intimate festival that takes place at the height of summer over the weekend 20th‑22nd August. It’s an imaginative outdoor adventure for families with plenty of art, literature, theatre, dance & music to take you, and your family on a magical journey that will have you feeling a million miles from your day to day life. Set in the stunning grounds of The Rode Hall Estate, in Cheshire the team’s mantra is, “If we don’t give you goosebumps, we are not doing it right” so you can expect magic!
In addition to comedy street shows, puppet making, and a rainbow colour fight ‑ new for 2021 is The Observatory, an area dedicated to the planets and stars and where you will find a starlight bar amongst other out of this world activities.
Of course, there is an array of musical acts from all over the country, that will have you and little ones bumping to afrobeat inspired rock-funk from Agbecko to the more classical sounds of singer and harpist. Peekaboo is an area dedicated to those under 4, and the midnight feast and silent disco sound right up our street ‑ but the real highlight of the festival is the Carnival of the Animals ‑ owls, foxes, frogs, stags, lions, bees or fish … choose your team and dress for the occasion ready for the final parade.
Check out Dirt and Diggers blog post for a more detailed review.
Tickets are on sale now, but due to reduced capacity are limited. Weekend adult tickets are £155.15 inc BF and payment plans are available.
Tribal Hearts Festival
Befordshire | 13th-16th August
Tribal Hearts Festival is a unique grassroots festival focused on family life, wellbeing, conscious living & creativity. This celebration of family fun & getting back to nature takes place in the beautiful Bedfordshire countryside.
Tribal Hearts Festival is a place where families can connect with each other, themselves, and Mother Nature. They pride themselves on not only being a “Family Friendly” but a “Friendly FAMILY” festival ‑ with a packed schedule to keep every family member entertained over the weekend of the 13th ‑ 16th August.
These are just some of the activities on offer: Silent Disco, Den Building, Mud kitchens, Forest schools, rock climbing, workshops, arts and crafts, family yoga, meditation, & holistic therapies. There is also a baby tent, live music, an ethical market place & plenty of vegan street food to keep your belly full, and your heart complete.
You can buy tickets using the deposit scheme with instalment 1 due 13th April. Early Bird camping tickets are still available currently at £68 per adult with free parking.
Which Family-Friendly Festivals are You Going To This Summer?
Let us know what you think? Which family-friendly festivals have you been to? Have we missed out any great festivals to take children to? Don’t forget to share your festival memories using our hashtag #FestiVibesFriday !
We are also well aware that some of these have now sold out in the mass rush to make Summer 2021 the summer to rival the Summer of Love… save and pin this post so you know which festivals to take your kids to next year, and make sure you sign up to each of the festival’s mailing lists for details of resales.
Thank you so much to Vibes Life Us for this epic post covering the absolute best family camping festivals in the UK!! Make sure you check out their blog and follow them on Instagram, Fridays on their channel are always Festi Vibes Friday so you can expect loads of great festival content from them then as well as heaps of tips and inspiration for doing festivals with kids.
If you want to check out more UK festivals, head to my definitive guide to the Best UK festivals happening in 2021!