Family festivals: smiley happy children

Top tips to keep your sprogs smiling

10 July 2008

You may've only needed a warm jumper and a crate of beer to last you the weekend in 1997 but, unlike you were on the imminent birth of your first-born, you’ve got to be prepared.

Children are the loud and mucky at the best times and, as you're about to find out, three days of camping with thousands of others doesn't make them any cleaner or quieter.

Events like Guilfest, The Big Chill and Glastonbury have been accommodating children for years and now, new family event, Camp Bestival is set to make parents' lives a lot easier as it launches the first-ever family tailored event.

And if that wasn't enough, we've gathered some top tips to make sure that you and your children remain bitten by the festival bug for years to come…

Wet Wipes
A festival essential at the best on times, but when little Tommy has managed to roll around on the meadows after devouring his first gourmet festival falafel – you're going to need something a little more than spit on your thumb to get it all off.

Top Marks
Use a marker pen to write your mobile number on your child's arm, so if you do manage to get separated from them you are contactable. NB: Don't wash it back off with the wet wipes.

Toys And Blankets
When the band you've waited to reform for the last 17 years takes to the stage and little Tommy starts to whine and grab your trouser leg - you're not going to be the happiest camper. Bring along one of his favourite toys to keep him amused, but think soft toy and not anything complicated or heavy like Meccano. Also pack a blanket for him to snooze on, because the chances are he won't be able to stay up as late as you and is likely to hit the sack at the most inconsiderate point - selfish.

You may love having your ears vibrate for ten weeks after you've watched My Bloody Valentine, but little 'uns ears are much more sensitive than your own. Get a pair of funky headphones to protect their eardrums and look cool at the same time – they'll thank you in years to come - then you can watch all your favourite acts with your favourite child. Unless you have more than one kid – then you'll love them all equally.

Food For Thought
Most festivals are now providing fantastic selections of yummy grub from all over the globe with farmers markets and gourmet food stalls offering a replacement to the old school burger 'n' chips festival diet. However, kids will be kids and can be very picky about their food choices so make sure you pack some of their favourite (imperishable) snacks

The main thing to remember is that festivals which are family-friendly are there to help. Take advantage of quiet camping areas, show your kids the brightly-coloured stewards who will help them if they’re lost and most importantly spend some time with your sprogs in the children's area – it's their festival too!

Camp Bestival takes place at Lulworth Castle, Dorset from 18-20 July. Last remaining tickets are on sale now - to book head to, or call 0844 888 4410 (24 hr). And remember all under 13s go free!


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