The ultimate family-friendly festival is ten years old this summer.
When: 27-30 July
Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset
What’s In It For You: We hate the term ‘something for everyone’ but Camp Bestival really nails it with its high-energy vibe, stellar line-up and cut-above street food. Stop by the Castle Stage to check out Mark Ronson, Leftfield or Madness, hit the dancefloor with festival founder Rob Da Bank or follow your heart to the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle and refuse to get off for the rest of the weekend.
What’s In It For The Kids: What isn’t? Camping heaven, circus skills, bushcraft, fairground rides, air guitar, art, science, disco, a fancy dress parade (this year’s theme is Pop Stars & Rock Stars), soft play, reiki, cooking sessions, Mister Maker and a special area for teens called The Den. Phew.
Tickets: Adult Weekend £197.50; Kids Weekend £0-£42; campbestival.net
Just So Festival
A woodland camping adventure for children and their families.
When: 18-20 August
Where: Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire
What’s In It For You: It’s a go-with-the-flow kind of festival with family fun right at the top of its agenda. Think campfires, woodland adventures, outdoor cinema, family yoga and dancing like wild things at the retro disco.
What’s In It For The Kids: Whether they’re hunting for fairies, listening to stories, joining in giant pillow fights (pictured) or getting stuck in to the ultimate midnight feast, Just So is kid heaven. The Tribal Parade finale is a highlight: choose your tribe before you go (fox, frog, stag, owl, fish or lion) and compete in games throughout the festival to collect golden pebbles for your team, post them in the measure-o-meter on the Village Green, then dress up and join your tribe for the parade on Sunday to celebrate the 2017 victors!
Tickets: Adult Weekend £140; Kids Weekend £0-£50; justsofestival.org.uk
Kids roam free at this creative weekend on the Welsh Borders.
When: 2-6 August
Where: Barton Hill Farm, Monnow Valley
What’s In It For You: Independent, intimate and small-scale, Starry Skies is the chilled out festival of your exhausted parental dreams. Join the circus, rave it up en famille or simply roam the stunning local countryside. Everything you need is on site but there are day trips and visits to a spooky local pub for the so inclined.
What’s In It For The Kids: Freedom, fun and adventure. They can forage in the forest, join a music workshop, build a den, go junk modelling crazy, practice for the talent show or just gaze happily at the titular starry skies.
Tickets: Adult Weekend £159; Kids Weekend £0-£41; starry-skies.net
Hip boutique arts festival with a luxury vibe.
When: 3-6 August
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
What’s In It For You: Err, did someone say lakeside spa hot tub with champagne on ice? Not just that, there’s a line-up featuring Two Door Cinema Club, Laura Mvula and Grace Jones, cut-above food (Petersham Nurseries, Angela Hartnett, The Pig), gourmet banquets from the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi and Thomasina Miers and seriously stunning scenery. Consider your childcare tag-team options when planning this one – you’ll want to do it all.
What’s In It For The Kids: Children are brilliantly catered for at Wilderness with a family camping area, bushcraft sessions, cookery, craft galore, family yoga and a children’s theatre tent run by Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre. Best of all if they’re aged between eight and 12 you can pack them off to overnight camp (book in advance) while you party till dawn.
Tickets: Adult Weekend £189; Kids Weekend £0-£116; wildernessfestival.com
Family friendly festival with a killer line up and beautiful location.
When: 13-16 July
Where: Henham Park, Suffolk
What’s In It For You: If you’re all about the line-up, this is the family-friendly festival for you. Work your way through Goldfrapp, Fleet Foxes, Mumford & Sons, Fatboy Slim and The 1975, step back in time with Ride, Beth Orton and The Jesus & Mary Chain, dance to Simian Mobile Disco, HVOB and Trevor Nelson or laugh at Simon Amstell, Dara O’ Briain and Nina Conti.
What’s In It For The Kids: There’s a family camping area, an Enchanted Garden with workshops, events and activities galore, a special kids’ area with music, performance, craft and storytelling, pink sheep (pictured) and a teen zone with its own stage. Tickets for children aged five to 12 are a very reasonable £10.
Tickets: Adult Weekend £197; Kids Weekend £0-£132; latitudefestival.com
A grassroots family camping adventure in the Sussex countryside.
When: 26-29 May
Where: Pippingford Park, East Sussex
What’s In It For You: Think new discoveries rather than starry headline acts and you’ve got the measure of Elderflower Fields. This is a festival that’s all about new experiences and embracing the great outdoors. Eat great food, watch your children run wild, escape to the woodland spa, relax in a hot tub (book ahead for both) or just prop up the prosecco bar.
What’s In It For The Kids: Elderflower Fields is brilliant for children. Encourage them to make friends and learn new skills at the sports and arts camp sessions (book ahead: the festival aims to make sure every child gets a chance to attend these free activities), let them get stuck in to building a playground with Woodland Tribe, learn to climb or master a half pipe in the skate zone. Don’t miss the chance to tuck into amazing local produce at the Sunday Family Picnic.
Tickets: Adult Weekend £130; Kids Weekend £15-£70; elderflowerfields.co.uk
Food and music are king at Alex James’ annual shindig in the sun.
When: 25-27 August
Where: Kingham, The Cotswolds
What’s In It For You: Food, glorious food, for starters. There are chef table sessions with the likes of Antonio Carluccio, Fearne Cotton, Tom Hunt and Mark Hix, feasts and banquets, cookery classes for kids and adults and street food galore. Music is eclectic and excellent: The Cribs, Madness, Olly Murs, De La Soul, Faithless and Hacienda Classical.
What’s In It For The Kids: The Big Feastival cuts straight to the chase with Justin Fletcher, Paw Patrol, Dick & Dom, activities aplenty in the Little Dudes Den and a brilliant vintage funfair. Plus, there’s a Haystack Mountain – need we say more?
Tickets: Adult Weekend £159; Kids Weekend £31-£94; thebigfeastival.com
*Starry Skies sold out as we put this together (argh!) but we’ve left it in so you can get in there fast for next year.