With Camp Bestival less than 30 days away, I am here to tempt you to take your brood down to the most brilliant family festival in the UK. If you already have plans to go, this guide will help you prepare and get excited. We’ve been four times now, so have lots of experience of taking 3-8 year olds along, which I will share thoughts and tips on. I have also asked fellow bloggers who have kids of different ages to share some of their experiences too. Sometimes it helps to just read how another family got on, and I am sure all these people will be very happy to answer questions too.
If you are debating whether to go, let me start with Tattooed Mummy’s post on why camping is good for you.
So what is there to get excited about in 2016? The Space theme for starters! Looking back, 76 Sunflowers has photos from last year guaranteed to get you in the mood. Sarah from the Parenting Trials shares her favourite things here, and like me, Louise from My Gorgeous Boys is also super excited about the foodie treats and Polly from This Enchanted Pixie has got her head around which acts to see.
Experiences of taking different age kids:
If you are taking a baby, or toddler, check out these tips on everything from pitching to playing from Polly at The Enchanted Pixie.
You Baby, Me Mummy’s 2 year old loved these 22 things!
Our first year I took my son as a 3 year old, and daughter aged 5, we managed to still party while they slept and I have great tips on hiring a trolley at the festival – which worked perfectly for this age pairing. So do read this post about how we absolutely fell in love with Camp Bestival and decided we must make it an annual thing.
Next came the year of the 4 year old and 6 year old who no longer wanted to relax or sleep in the trolley, but wanted to do absolutely everything still, this post is full of tips for managing this age, which I found the trickiest year, but still, we totally found our groove and they were still light enough to piggy back home.
Here’s the year they were 5 and 7, much more stamina and understanding of the need to pace ourselves! We barely saw a band and we were totally happy with that, because they went all out on learning how to do new stuff – telescopes, chromatography, crafting things from wood, wool, metal, paper, feathers, print – you name it, they tried it and in a much more chilled out fashion than previous years.
For comparison, here is how My Gorgeous Boy’s 5 and 7 year old found it, they managed a lot more active stuff, including tree climbing with the National Trust.
There are lots more blogger experiences, including with babies, in this post!
Packing and camping
We’ve pitched our own tent, glamped in a BlueBell Tent and taken a caravan – all three were good experiences. It is worth checking out the map carefully when you arrive, and planning how to carry kit to your site – you can hire a trolley or check out 76 sunflowers method if you have a pushchair.
The toilets have always been pretty impressive for a festival in my experience, but always pack hand wash and tissues. We didn’t have to queue much at all, and there are kids’ toilets to prevent kids having to queue. The one time we did queue for a few seconds I recorded this little video.
The weather has never let me down and as the festival is located on a raised site on well drained soil, rain has never turned the site into a mud bath.
Eating and Drinking
Foodies listen up! More than the bands, I go to festivals to hoover up the incredible food and atmosphere, so I am super excited that Camp Bestival has a foodie line up, yep the food is an act in itself here. Go click on that last link, check out my favourites for this year and I bet it has you salivating. It’s also really great value, in that you would pay a lot more for food of this standard in a sit down restaurant, yet you can feed your kids what they fancy (peanut butter sandwiches from the tent in the case of my youngest) while you eat amazing food cooked by the UK’s cutting edge chefs each day.
I was lucky to get a ticket for Knackered Mother’s Wine Club two year’s ago, it was a brilliantly fun journey through wine!
Polly has some fab tips on food to take from home.
Anything else you want to know, or anything you are really excited about? Let me know in the comments!