Eight of the best family friendly festivals

The summer is almost upon us. And what better way to spend it than enjoying time with loved ones alongside the sights and sounds of a family friendly festival.

Long gone are the days when festivals were the preserve of adults alone. Most major gatherings now cater for a younger audience and there’s a host of events that specifically appeal to a family audience.

So what are you waiting for? Take your pick from this fantastic list, dig out the shorts (and your wellies) and enjoy a slice of the good life.

5-7 July – The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire

They say: The Cornbury Music Festival is one-of-a-kind: a lovingly crafted, top notch, very English open-air party, tailor-made for the whole family.

What’s on: A high-end open-air party in the heart of Chipping Norton country.  The Kids Zone offers a cornucopia of workshops, activities and shows to keep children of all ages entertained throughout the weekend, this year with a circus theme. Musical highlights include The Specials, Echo & The Bunnymen, Beverley Knight and Gaz Coombes. The Hairy Bikers will be offering a festival feast.

Music on the Marr
July 18-21 – Castle Carrock, Cumbria

They say: Welcome to Cumbria’s most eclectic – and friendliest – small music festival and ‘Please Dance’.

What’s on: Now in its 10th year of celebrating great music and excellent entertainment for all. Real music by real musicians, real comedy by truly funny people and real ale by local brewers. Good food, outstanding hospitality, circus skills, magic and lots and lots of smiling are more than encouraged. Musical highlights include Merry Hell, Tide Lines, Blazin’ Fiddles, Lankum and the Baghdaddies.

Port Eliot
25-28 July – St Germans, Cornwall

They say: We invite you to our little corner of Cornwall when we’ll celebrate words, music, imagination, ideas, nature, food, fashion, flowers, laughter, exploration, fun and all that is good in the world!

What’s on: Swim in the estuary, picnic under a 300-year-old tree, rock out at the Park Stage, canoe on the river, catch an intimate gig in the church, watch a cooking demo in the Big Kitchen or dance ‘til the wee hours in the Boogie Round – the options are endless. Musical highlights include Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon, Droogs and Aldous Harding.

Camp Bestival
25-28 July – Lulworth Castle, Dorset

They say: A multi-award winning festival that combines an all-encompassing family festival experience with an action-packed camping holiday.

What’s on: Set in majestic grounds on Dorset’s dramatic Jurassic coastline, Camp Bestival features an enormous kids’ garden. With activities from soft play and circus skills to go-carts and glitter, there’s plenty of excitement for all ages. Plus, there are special shows and performances and fairytale escapism in the Dingly Dell. Musical highlights include ile Rodgers and Chic, Jess Glynne, The Human League and Lewis Capaldi.

Deer Shed Festival 10
26-28 July  – Topcliffe, North Yorkshire

They say: If you go and watch a Pixar movie with your children, everyone has a great time. Not just your kids, EVERYBODY! We strive for this holy grail every year.

What’s on: The theme for 2019, Generation XYZ, is an opportunity to curate arts, science and sport programmes with the things beloved by each generation. Highlights might include reliving your retro video gaming glory days, learning to fence, immersive theatre, a pop quiz hosted by Shed Seven’s drummer or attending a baby bubble rave. Music includes The Wedding Present, Slow Readers Club and Ezra Furman.

Just So
16-18 August – Rode Hall, Cheshire

They say: A family weekend adventure beyond your wildest dreams.

What’s on: This festival brings art, music and theatre to a series of wild natural landscapes, with whimsical activities, performances and installations. Highlights include the Just So Bake Off, the midnight feast is well worth staying up for, campfire songs and stories in Spellbound Forest and the fire garden. Then there’s the wildly competitive Tribal Tournament. Choose to join the fish, frog, fox, owl, lion, stag or bee tribe and take part in tribal games.

23-26 August – Thame, Oxfordshire

They say: Discover another lovelier world. Where three generations can party together. A place you can wear whatever you want, sing your heart out, play like a child and dance like no-one’s watching.

What’s on: There are three dedicated venues for children, as well as activities across the site and timetable. It’s a mixture of fun and learning.  Children are not only entertained, but they will take away new skills and experiences, such as learning a new instrument or song, create something beautiful or relax with yoga. Musical highlights include The Selecter, Newton Faulkner, Hothouse Flowers and Steve Harley.

Towersey Festival - family friendly festival

The Good Life Experience
12-15 September – Hawarden, Wales

They say: This is a life that’s fulfilled and considered, yes, but is also fun and values the things that matter…. family, friends, a real connection with The Great Outdoors, books, proper food and drink, discovery, music that comes from the soul, great books, craft.

What’s on: World famous chefs will cook over a campfire, there will be raucous music, poetry and inspirational speakers. There will be axe throwing, archery, fire walking, leather-working, bushcraft, great food and drink, dancing and loads more. Caught by the River, The Idler and The Dylan Thomas Mobile Bookshop will be there.

family friendly festival