The best UK family festivals for 2018
This year's festivals have plenty to offer families – whether your kids are donning wellies for the first time or you're seasoned festival-goers. Choose from top music acts and great children's entertainment; events for food and drink lovers; beautiful settings and a range of camping options – and even festival sites with clean toilets!
Curious Arts Festival
When and where: 20-22 July, Hampshire
What is it: Described as “one of the UK's top boutique festivals” by the Guardian, Curious Arts Festival is a celebration of artistic talent set in the breathtaking grounds of Pylewell park. Expect fabulous novelists, exceptional historians, poet laureates, and gin and tonics with a view of the Solent.
Don't miss: Music from John Newman and stand-up from the brilliant Al Murray – plus midnight bat-walks, snail-racing, and children's film workshops. Plus, we've secured an exclusive 10% discount for Mumsnet users.
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- A family weekend ticket (for 2 adults and up to 3 children) is £251.10 (with discount)
- Adult weekend tickets are £115.20 and adult days tickets are £49.50 (with discount)
- Children's weekend tickets are £20.70 (with discount) and children aged 4 and under go free
When and where: 12 – 15 July, Southwold, Suffolk
What is it: A chilled celebration of ambient, pop, electro and indie, with environmentally- and politically-conscious overtones. Kids' workshops, live theatre, spoken word and comedy add to the mix.
Don't miss: Solange (Beyonce's edgy sister), The Killers and Alt-J are heading this year's line-up, and there's also plenty on offer on the comedy front, with performances from Harry Hill and Alan Davies, as well as a live performance from Q.I.
“For us the highlight is the kids' area, which is lovely. The children are never bored and can take part in craft activities, processions, face painting, theatre etc. It's just perfect for little ones.”
- Adult (age 16+) weekend tickets are £197.50, this includes camping. The weekend ticket also gives you access to the Family Campsite if you are attending with a child under the age of 16.
- Accompanied teen (age 13 – 15) tickets are £132.50. Teens must be accompanied by an adult aged 18+.
- Child (age 5 – 12) tickets are £10. Children under the age of 5 do not need a ticket.
When and where: 26 – 29 July, Lulworth Castle, Dorset
What is it: A veritable explosion of music, arts and creativity, Camp Bestival prides itself on blending kids' and adults' experiences through spoken word, live theatre and a diverse musical line-up.
Don't miss: There's something for everyone in the line-up this year: parents can groove to huge 80s stars like Rick Astley and Simple Minds, while headliners Clean Bandit and a DJ set by Fearne Cotton keep teens happy. Little ones will love performances from Mr Tumble and ZSL London Zoo.
“We're going for the fourth year in a row. We love it! It's such a great atmosphere and there's so much to see and do.”
Camp Bestival offer lots of ticket options ranging from £15 for children aged 4 and under, to £197.50 for an adult weekend ticket (including camping). More information here.Get your tickets here
When and where: 16 – 19 August, Brecon Beacons, Wales
What is it: As well as a weekend of revelry, Green Man offers you the opportunity to camp for a whole week and explore the mountains, forests and waterfalls of the beautiful Brecon Beacons with their Settler's Pass. There's a wobble-inducing 99 varieties of local beers and ciders on offer for the parents, and plenty of interactive workshops and performances for the kids.
Don't miss: There are some big names booked this year, including Fleet Foxes, Public Service Broadcasting and Insecure Men, plus a whole load of bands you don't know you love yet. There's also a diverse offering of comedy, literature, and film as well as the interactive Einstein's Garden for budding scientists.
“It's a lovely festival – there's lots going on, but it's small enough to be able to make it between stages in 10 minutes so you don't miss anything.”
- Adult and Teen (age 13 – 17) tickets are £180 and this includes camping Thursday 16 until Monday 20 August
- “Little Folk” (age 5 – 12) tickets are £20 and infants (age 4 and under) go free.
- The Settler's Pass is slightly pricier at £225 for an adult, but this includes a week of camping and discounts to many local attractions – more info here.
When and where: 5 – 8 July, Winchester
What is it: From humble beginnings – basically, a party in a field – Blissfields has grown into an eclectic weekender in Hampshire, staging new artists from the worlds of indie, electronica and hip-hop alongside big names across four small, but perfectly formed, stages.
Don't miss: Mr Jukes (aka Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman) is headlining this year, alongside Baxter Dury, and a DJ set from Gold Panda. there's plenty to do around the site, too, from theatre and beer tasting to relaxing on a man-made beach. Meanwhile, in the Angel Fields family area, there's crafts, puppet shows, and an exciting Unicorn, Fox and Hare Lantern Parade on Saturday.
“I took my daughter to Blissfields last year and it was fab. She loved wandering around the stalls, too.”
- An adult weekend ticket, which includes camping from Friday until Sunday, is £115
- Kids aged 10 – 17 can get a youth weekend ticket for £95, and tickets for kids under 10 are just £15
- If you don't really do camping, Blissfields also offers a variety of glamping options – more info here.
The Big Feastival
When and where: 24 – 26 August, The Cotswolds
What is it: Blur bassist Alex James hosts this food and music extravaganza on his own farm in the Cotswolds, to raise money for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, a charity which teaches essential food skills to help people make choices for a healthier lifestyle.
Don't miss: Forget festival food trucks – there's gourmet offerings from the likes of Raymond Blanc, Gizzi Erskine and Marco Pierre White. Music is provided by the likes of Craig David, Paloma Faith, and – 00s nostalgia klaxon – Mel C.
“It was brilliant. We're making plans to return this year. Also, the toilets were spotless.”
- An adult camping ticket will set you back £179.50
- A teen (age 13 – 17) camping ticket is £104.50, and kids aged 12 and under can stay all weekend for £37.25
When and where: 17 – 19 August, Escot Park, Devon
What is it: A small but increasingly popular festival, Beautiful Days is a good option for first-timers. Crucially, it also has a history of award-winning toilets.
Don't miss: 2018's line-up includes Manic Street Preachers and Feeder, plus a fancy dress competition (theme: a riot of colour), and captivating performances in the theatre tent. The children's area hosts interactive workshops, rides and storytelling.
“Beautiful Days is my favourite festival – small, lovely location, very family-friendly and the music is perfect. It's very down-to-earth and easy to get out to the shops in Honiton.”
- Adult weekend camping tickets are £142.50
- A weekend camping ticket for children aged 10 – 16 is £70
- Children aged between 5 and 10 can attend for £40 and tickets for kids under 5 are only a fiver
Best of the rest
Combining nature, culture and music with great food in the lovely setting of Cornbury Park, Wilderness is a cultural haven for all ages. Bastille and Nile Rodgers & Chic are headlining the main stage this year and the festival offers dedicated family camping. More info
One of the most welcoming family festivals, Deer Shed boasts a huge variety of child-friendly workshops, as well as milk-warming stations and nursing areas for those with very little ones. Music this year comes from the likes of Drenge, Goldfrapp and Public Service Broadcasting – all in a handy location just off the A1. More info
Nozstock takes place on a beautiful working farm in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside. This year's line-up includes the likes of Chase & Status and Goldfrapp, with Reginald D Hunter (among others) bringing the laughs. And the best part? Under 13s go free. More info
Just So is a festival really aimed at family fun, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. Described by Mumsnetters as “a kids' festival that parents are allowed to tag along to”, there is plenty for all ages with an emphasis on combining art, music and literature. More info
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