Festival season is here so get your wellies, your costumes and the glitter ready because theyounglondoner has compiled the best family friendly festivals for those that want to party together with their little people. Whatever your age – whether you’re 2 or 92, our list should have something to get you in the party mood.
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
This cultural gem is London’s leading festival for theatre and performing arts and taken place in locations across Royal Greenwich, East London and the City of London. Expect lots of free shows and events offering surprising and creative perspectives, dive into immersive productions and share local and global stories. More info and full programme here.
When: 21 June til 6 July 2019
Where: Greenwich and Docklands
How much: free
The Great Exhibition Road Festival
Inspired by Queen Victoria’s Great Exhibition this new family friendly weekend festival celebrates science, art and culture. The festival brings together London institutions such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Parks, Serpentine Galleries, Natural History Museum and Imperial College to bring over 150 live events and activities for all ages. We have picked our favourite events here.
When: 28 til 30 June 2019
Where: Exhibition Road, South Kensington
How much: free
Combining great music such The Roots, Rag & Bone Man and Morcheeba with a host of child friendly activities to keep little ones entertained this London based festival sounds like great fun. Highlights for kids include music from Andy and the Odd Socks, Mister Maker Live, Maynard’s Mini Zoo with reptiles and insects, Boppin’ Bunnies music and dance workshops, crafts sessions and circus arts from The Flying Seagull Project and hands-on science demos – including slime-making – courtesy of The Science Museum.
When: 13 – 14 July 2019
Where: Black Heath
How much: from £59.50 book here
Walthamstow Garden Party
This free two day global festival made locally, celebrates creativity in Waltham Forest, London’s first Borough of Culture. The Barbican, Create London, Waltham Forest London Borough have put on a host of activities for families to enjoy that includes circus, yoga and meditation, storytelling, music and dance, crafts (like pottery making), poetry and drumming circles, walthamstow toy library and play centre and loads more without having to venture outside of London (always a bonus!)
When: 13 & 14 July 2019
Where: Lloyd park
How much: free
Lana del Rey, Snow Patrol and George Ezra are headlining this beautiful Suffolk festival arranged around the Latitude lake (home to the Kids area). Winner of the 2018 Best Festival Awards, the family friendly part of the festival entertains young ones with fire shows, pond dipping, star gazing and pizza making. Latitude is the closest grown-ups can get to a real festival experience with the tiddlywinks in tow.
When: 18 til 21 July 2019
How much: Adult day tickets from £77 , 0-4 year olds are free book here.
Nozstock: The Hidden Valley
Like the very best of festivals, Nozstock was founded by a fun-loving family, their extended relatives, friends, acquaintances and pretty much everyone who had a guitar to play or a joke to tell. Shenanigans for the mini-festivaler include arts & crafts, yoga sessions, and a multitude of diversions, there’s entertainment and participation on offer, whatever your energy levels! The line-up includes Rudimental DJ Set, Soul II Soul and DJ Randal.
When: 18 til 21 July 2019
How much: Weekend adult tickets start at £120 under 12s are free book here.
With a huge line up including Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, Feeder, Leftfield and Example, this year is sure to be the biggest festival yet for the village of Penn. Young Londoners visiting can have some fun in the Kids Zone run by Bigtopmania from Camp Bestival and Glastonbury. There will be a circus tent with circus skills workshops, crazy bikes, inflatables, trapeze workshops, family circus shows, big balloon disco, big bubbles (with the kids inside them), stilt walkers and clowns. Hula Hoops, diabolos, plate spinning, devil sticks, tightrope walking, toddlers play, balloon twisting, coconut shy and side show games. Perfect family fun.
When: 19 & 20 July 2019
Where: Penn Buckinghamshire
How much: Adult weekend tickets from £102 more info & booking here.
Kew Science Festival
For all budding scientists young and old Kew is the place to visit – their new Children’s Garden is the best playspace in London and their two day science extravaganza gives you plenty of opportunities to get involved and take part in pop-up science sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, hands-on activities, talks, art installations and theatre shows and performances. We visited the Science Festival at Wakehurst (their sister site) and were thoroughly impressed.
When: 20 & 21 July 2019
Where: Kew Gardens
How much: £13.95 for an adult with children under 16 getting in for free
A more intimate affair set in the heart of an organic farm deep in the Somerset countryside. 2019 is about the Wild & Wonderful, with a packed programme for all the wildlife warriors, eco explorers and magical mischief-makers to really get stuck in to. There will be make-and-take sessions, musical puppet sing-alongs, classic story based interactive workshops, magic shows, discos and loads more.The Kids’ Kingdom is next door to the campsite so little ones don’t have to venture too far to get involved in some interactive theatre, hat making competition or a dance off.
When: 25 to 27 July 2019
How much: Adult weekend tickets £89 and children under 12 go free book here. More info on their site farmfestival.co.uk
Little brother to Bestival, this award winning family friendly festival is organised by Rod da Bank and his wife Josie and really places children (of all ages!) at the centre of everything. From wild adventurous pursuits in the Wild Tribe area (with mud-slides and drumming circles) through to the world’s biggest bouncy castle to get your bounce on. There is also go-karting, fairy tales and (bedtime) storytelling from Cbeebies, raves from Big Fish Little Fish and vintage fairground rides. The science tent will captivate and educate whilst the youngest of ravers can enjoy soft play (yes!) and sandpits or catch a spectacle from Cirque Bijou and brush up on your circus skills, learn to walk the rope or admire some late night cabaret.
The theme for this year is Heroes v Superheroes so get the glitter out, adorn your best costume and bring your best dad moves. Acts on the main stage include A-list names such as Annie Mac, Jess Glynne and the Human League, full line-up here.
When: 25 til 28 July 2019
Where: Lulworth CastleHow much: from £187.50 for adult weekender book here.
Chilled in a field
A safe and affordable, magic little festival surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields. Get back to nature and chill in a field whilst little ones enjoy the mini steam train, soft play and sand pit or get involved in the many family friendly activities and workshops throughout the weekend. Chilled in a Field is a not-for-profit, environmentally conscious social gathering, put together by a talented team of volunteers, where adults and children can make new friends, discover new experiences, and enjoy nature, as well as having a whole lot of silly fun!
When: 26 til 28 July 2019
Where: East Sussex
How much: £109 for an adult ticket. Book here.
Dubbed as the world’s festival, Womad is a great place to introduce kids to the wonderful world of travel and adventure. This year’s theme is Space so expect space unicorns, cosmic clowns, space oddities, moon watch, Ziggy Stardust, solar puppets and loads more. With over 200 workshops for kids including storytelling, music, physics and cookery, there is bound to be something to excite you and your little people. For Nomad’s youngest under 5 visitors, (or Weenies) there is a dedicated space to play and explore. The line-up includes big names like Ziggy Marley, Macy Gray and Calypso Rose.
When: 25 – 29 July 2019
How much: Adult day tickets from £95, children under 12 go free – book here.
Wonderful and weird this year’s festival has a killer line-up with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Robyn, Erol Alkan, Groove Armada, Eats Everything, Honey Dijon and loads more acts. There will be theatre and arts, live music, food and drink, well-being, children’s games, storytelling, body painting and more. Book early for Mortimer Nannies boutique babysitting!
When: 1 -4 August 2019
Where: Cornbury park, Oxfordshire
How much: £189.70 for adult ticket and £5 for an under 5. More info and bookings here.
Boomtown is an epic festival – a whole city dedicated to partying in Hampshire with an epic line-up (Black Sun Empire, Boys Noize, Lauryn Hill, The Streets, Groove Armada and loads more) plus there’s heaps of entertainment and fun zones for the whole family. Rave with your offspring to Big Fish Little Fish, Junior Jungle and Fun DMC to whatever your music fix may be from ragga-jungle to hip-hop and club classics.
The Kid’s field is a must for families as during the day interactive stories transport you to Boomtown’s version of Narnia. There’s treasure hunts and baby yurts (where you can chill out with the youngest festival goers), science tent to get your education dose or if you prefer to catch a show there’s theatre and performances for toddlers and adults alike, circus acts and loads of crafts and arts.
When: 7 August til 12 August 2019
How much: Standard weekend adult tickets £245 and under 12s go free more info here.
Shambala is a family-friendly festival, with a wild side. Playtopia, is one of the best child friendly areas on the festival circuit – and the build-your-own-adventure-playground wonderland that is The Woodland Tribe is something to behold. There’s also Bee’s Creche for parents wanting a few hours of festivalling without the little ‘uns, and Bush Camp – an off-site, overnight camping adventure for older kids. Other highlights include dance-offs, explosive experiments, a cryptid petting zoo, make a monster workshop and a monster disco as well as lots of arty and crafty activities. Consider their line up an annual celebration of where the global music scene is at this moment in time, as well as paying homage to where it all began.
When: 22 til 25 August 2019
How much: £159 for an adult and child (5 to 14) £45 with under 5s free more info and booking here.
The Big Feastival
Get your belly ready for a feast. This is one for the future foodies out there (and their accompanying adults). Feastival combines crucial ingredients of great food with and A-list music line-up with headliners such as Jess Glynne, Rudimental (DJ Set), Elbow and many morefor a great festival recipe. The Flying Seagull Project will entertain kids in the Playground with a Wild Cactus Hoedown, Comedy Corner, Magical Mayhem, Bonkers Balloons, general fun and games and lots more.
When: 23rd – 25th August 2019
How much: Day tickets from £67 with kids under 12 free. More info & book here.