Our First Family Festival

I love a good festival, having been going to V Festival now for over ten years – eek I suddenly feel very old! I have my tickets booked and paid for this year too. Unfortunately the other half doesn’t share my same enthusiasm for outside music events. Now being a Mother of two boys I am keen that in time they get to experience the festival environment in a family unit before at some point I am sure experiencing it themselves. So this year for Monkey’s birthday I thought I would introduce him and the other half in a gentle fashion and we went to The Big Day Out at Mote Park over in Kent.

Our First Family Festival

It was a two day festival run over a weekend, we went on a Sunday, with no camping. This I have discovered is more of an issue for Hubby than the actual live music. Resolution made. If this weather ever improves we are going away for a weekend camping this Summer – suggestions of must take items in the comments below please… and I really need to get a tent big enough for the four of us.

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So I guess the question is how did it go? Well as we turned up to threatening black skies and several inches of mud at the carpark entrance Hubby was rather grumpy. But since this is a family festival and Monkey’s Birthday I had invited his parents and mine which seemed to soften the blow a bit. Wrist bands donned we entered the small site. Being an hour and half away from home the first stop was to feed Kipper. Thankfully there was some picnic tables as you walked in. Monkey was extremely excited and wanted to go and investigate, so we sent him off with the grandparents to scope the place out. Kipper fed we headed towards the three large bouncy obstacle courses which were set up in the centre of the arena.

Hubby was impressed that they were free, plus as we had got their when it opened the queues to get on them were short and went quickly. Naturally Monkey needed to try each one out with his little friends, who had also joined us as a Birthday surprise. He really enjoyed them and would have quite happily spent all day on them going back and forth. Suitably worn out we opted to stop for food. The options available were your typical festival foods of burgers, sausages, pork baps and the like, we settled on Bratwurst. It didn’t take long for the kids to spy the sweet stall conveniently situated right next to the eating area. Monkey was particularly taken with some bright blue sweets, of course he had to eat all his lunch before Hubby took him to pick some. It wasn’t cheap at £1.99 per 100g, but then they had a captive audience! I had secretly packed a Birthday cake and we sung Happy Birthday and ate cake before heading off to the meet and greet area.

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Monkey was particularly keen to meet the Paw Patrol characters Chase and Marshall who we had briefly seen on the way in. There was an arena made out of hay bails and the characters walked round posing for photos, giving high fives and tussling hair. They had a session every half an hour alternating between The Gruffalo and Paw Patrol.

Monkey was very excited to meet his two current heroes:

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Right next to the meet and greet arena was a circus area. Monkey wasn’t that interested in playing with hula hops and the bouncy castles were more attractive than walking the tight rope. However it seemed to be a draw for older children. Instead he wanted to head towards the fairground. To our delight the helter skelter would allow us both down at the same time. I have a picture as a child of going down a helter skelter with my dad at Barry Island. Whenever we have seen one recently Monkey is normally too short or I’m not allowed on with him, so it was great to finally find one we could experience together.

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The fun fair was packed into a small area and was very busy, which made negotiating it with a pram interesting. Monkey went on several of the rides with his grandparents, they were not badly priced all things considered. There were also stalls nearby, we saw a lot of kids with bubble guns and their faces painted. Due to Monkey’s eczema we steered clear of the face painting this time round. He has never had it done, it was only recently that he had his first bubble bath! Hopefully in time he will be able to. It was difficult to lure him away from the rides, he loves them so much and made us promise to take him when the fair comes into town.

I was disappointed to find out that the Lightening Seeds were headlining which meant they did not come on to almost 8pm. With two young children and no camping it meant that we weren’t staying that late. I will have to get my 90s vibe another time, we did manage to catch a couple of the acts. Although I had made a rookie mistake and left the ear defenders at home so we watched from a distance.

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I actually feel that day festivals with children are probably harder work than weekend ones. Partly because you need to lug everything around with you rather than having a base to return to. Also I would get a festival cart which would also be a great home for tired out children should we be staying over night. Also not driving would mean that we could partake in a drink or two. Monkey had a great time, Hubby not so, but I am hoping that the one I have booked for August maybe a little larger. One thing for sure – I will not be forgetting the ear defenders this time! Overall we were really lucky with the weather, festivals are definitely very different with children but in a good way, I am determined to get Hubby to embrace them…but first I think I need to start with staying under canvas.

What are your top festival and camping tips? I would love to hear them in the comments below.

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29 Comments

  1. July 5, 2016 / 6:45 am

    Ah Happy Birthday, it sounds like he had a great time! Unfortunately I have not tips for camping as this is something I also try and avoid, years of caravan stays as a child has made the lure of a cottage more intense as I’ve gotten older!

    #TwinklyTuesday

  2. July 5, 2016 / 7:20 am

    Happy birthday!
    Aw, missing my childhood.

  3. Mouse, Moo and Me Too
    July 5, 2016 / 10:07 am

    This looks fab. My daughter would have crapped herself with joy at the Paw Patrol characters! Festivals and events seem so much more family friendly these days – we’ve not ventured to one but there’s a big one where I live and lots of my friends take their children along now. Wishlist item for next summer I think. #TwinklyTuesday

  4. 2travellingtots
    July 5, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time! We just came back from Glastonbury with our boys and it was amazing – totally different experience with kids though right?! #TwinklyTuesday

  5. July 6, 2016 / 6:43 am

    Sounds like you guys had a lovely time even if hubby didn’t! #BloggerClubUK

  6. Angela Milnes
    July 6, 2016 / 7:06 am

    Wow this looks so fun! I’d love to take Sylvia on an adventure like this! I bet it was lovely.

  7. July 6, 2016 / 7:13 am

    This looks like a really fun event although I agree it seems day festivals are harder work just with the sheer amount of luggage you have to take with you. I’m sure many birthday memories were made! #bloggerclubuk

  8. July 6, 2016 / 7:13 am

    Oh I really want to take the girls to a music festival and this one looks fantastic. I have no tips for camping as I am rubbish at camping. Last time we went camping we had torrential rain, trench foot was a real possibility and we couldn’t get anything to dry. Then a person in the next tent died. I think it is fair to say we won’t be camping again anytime soon! #bloggerclubuk

  9. July 6, 2016 / 7:42 am

    Happy Birthday Monkey! What a great sounding festival! We’re massive festival goers and we all went to Blissfields at the weekend. Love all the characters and the cute little stage 🙂 Camping can be hard work with little ones – but so worth it for the memories xx #TwinklyTuesday #BloggerClubUK

  10. July 6, 2016 / 8:23 am

    I was never brave enough to do the festival thing with my children and years of camping as a child in France and the Isle of Wight with my family have forced me to avoid that too! My eldest is now doing the whole festival thing on his own and I am shocked at how expensive the whole thing is. Good luck with getting your husband to embrace the whole festival vibe! #BloggerClubUK

  11. July 6, 2016 / 10:57 am

    I think we might be able to cope with a day festival….not sure I could manage sharing a tent with our 2 kiddiwinkles after a few ciders 🙂
    #BloggerClubUK

  12. July 6, 2016 / 11:22 am

    It sounds like he had a great birthday. We have similar issues with regards to face paint with our eldest unfortunately. We absolutely love festival season and although our 2 year old has already been to a few with us it’ll be our 9 month old youngest child’s first festival in about three weeks time. If you’re after a family tent big enough for four of you have a look at 5m bell tents. We absolutely love ours!
    Potty Adventures
    #BloggerClubUK

  13. alisonlonghurst
    July 6, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    I think it sounded like fun, but I can also feel your hubby’s pain. I would suggest a tent with pods and lots of booze for August – enjoy 🙂 Alison x #BloggerClubUK

  14. July 6, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    I love music festivals too but haven’t been to one in a long time. In fact, the last one I went to was pre-kids so I never paid attention to whether or not they were family-friendly (one of them I definitely wouldn’t have brought children as adults were constantly flashing people). You post makes me want to go again. To, ya know, one more family friendly, LOL! I know my youngest would love it! #bloggerclubuk

  15. mary croft
    July 6, 2016 / 6:56 pm

    My husband loves festivals and kept on telling me that when the little man is older we can go and I keep telling him..”no, we can not possible do that! It is not for children!” You have proved me wrong! It looks like you had loads of fun!
    …I, however, think that I would not be quite ready yet and the stress would get to me! So good for you.

  16. July 6, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    First happy birthday! What a way to spend it. I must say I had no idea it was a family festival as well…what a fab idea, although I’m with hubby on the no camping thing. I think this is a great idea for a family day out (weather permitting) and am off to google local festival xx #Bloggerclubuk

  17. organisedjo
    July 6, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Looks like Monkey had a great day for his birthday. Love the photo of him with his cake and you two coming down the heater skeleter. We love camping, we are just about to explore France for a week from a campsite this summer. I’ve got a post on my blog about camping tips – include ideas for what to take to keep the kids amused, how to make it a comfy stay etc. #BlogersClubUK

  18. July 6, 2016 / 9:38 pm

    Firstly I can’t even begin to get my head around how you’re doing stuff like this having recently given birth. You constantly amaze me! Secondly confession: never been to a festival. Yeah…I’ll just let that one hang in the air! Well done for convincing the Hubs and happy festival going. #BloggerClubUK

  19. Double the Monkey Business
    July 7, 2016 / 7:03 am

    You are a lady after my own heart! I love festivals too, and I plan on taking the wee ones when they are bigger, I think they will love it. When I mentioned to the hubby he thought I had lost the plot!! I also want to do glastonbury glamping for my 40th, again the hubby thinks I am joking (I am not!) #BloggerClubUK

  20. July 7, 2016 / 11:43 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to try a festival with my Little one. It looks so great! And a happy birthday to you! #BloggerClubUK

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  21. July 7, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    We have a festival booked in August but as an anti camper we have an apartment booked nearby!! Haha not helpful at all! Sounds like you had a good day though! #BloggerClubUK

  22. July 8, 2016 / 3:35 am

    Looks fun! I wonder how difficult it is to really enjoy the live music with little ones in tow? I would love to go tllanother festival, I haven’t been to one in many years (about 17 years, if I’m counting!). There aren’t so many festivals in Mexico, and probably not child-friendly ones! Good luck with camping! #KCACOLS

  23. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum)
    July 8, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    I am more a glamping than camping kind of girl! The bouncy castles looked fun! Love that you took a cake, what a great mum! How cool are your kids going to festivals!!!

  24. Kat
    July 9, 2016 / 7:36 am

    Looks like you all had a lot of fun! We’ve never been to a family festival. I love glamping myself, we did Warwick Castle glamping last year and loved it. #bloggerclubuk

  25. July 10, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    Hi Clare, my sister loves festivals and her and her husband go to them when she can and she was gutted when she couldn’t attend the Radio One’s Big Weekend down at Powderham as she lives a fifteen minute drive away.

    I would be like your husband and need real convincing that festival going can be fun, but I have a feeling it would be like teaching an old dog, new tricks! hope your little ones grow up to be like you and enjoy the festival atmosphere.

    xx

  26. Hopes, Dreams and Chocolate
    July 12, 2016 / 10:59 pm

    Ah looks like you all had a great time despite some minor challenges! The only festival I have been too is local to us, The Chilli Fiesta at West Dean. We just go during the day so I totally get what you mean about having loads of kids stuff to move around with you! Sounds like a good plan to work on hubby re the camping! Good Luck!! Xx Kathy #Blogger club UK

  27. July 13, 2016 / 5:25 am

    Awww stinks that you didn’t get to get your 90s vibe on and hubby was a little on the crabby side. My hubby has been complaining because we have trips to somewhere booked on all his days off this summer. We have a camper and the agreement was if we got it we were going to use it (we already had one but he wanted a brand new one). So I agreed and I’m holding him to his end of the deal. I think he just hates the fact we have to take 2 vehicles because we don’t all fit with us and our pooch in the truck. Hope the one in August is much better for you! Thank you for hostessing #bloggerclubuk. I know I’m waaaay behind in commenting … Story of my life lol.

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