The best family-friendly festivals this summer

Camp Bestival

by Anna Sky Magliola |

If you're looking for family-friendly festivals you've come to the right place. For many new parents the idea of going to a festival with a baby or toddler might be a bit daunting, but for those who want to get back to enjoying the festival vibes with their offspring, there are some fantastic summer activities for kids.

Whether you’re hoping to go for the music, food, art or culture there are plenty of festivals to choose from. There are festivals for all tastes including mainstream ones, and others you might never have heard of, but are definitely worth taking a look at.

It's never been easier to take your whole family to a festival. Whether you decide to take them camping, or just for the day, there’s a huge range across the country. Family-friendly festivals can be so much fun that you'll cherish the memories for a lifetime. We've found the best festivals across the UK this year, that are fun for all the family, so why not take a look?

Raver Tots, various locations

Where: Various locations across England
When: March through to July

Raver Tots isn’t just a one-off festival, they have three outdoor festival and many indoor dates too! ‘The UK’s Biggest Ever Family Friendly Rave’ will have festivals this year, in Maidstone, Maldon Promenade and Reading, and promises not just a great line-up for kids and adults alike, but also free fun fair rides, soft play, and meet and greets from some of the kids' TV favourites.

TOTfest, various locations

Where: Yorkshire, Midlands, Berkshire and Hertfordshire
When: 11 June, 25 June and 8 July

TOTfest is designed for babies and pre-schoolers, and is a one-day festival which takes place in four different locations across England. The festival was created by two new mums, who set up an events company while on maternity leave, because they wanted to create special memories with their children. The festival is a fully immersive event, and festival-goers can expect over 50 shows, sessions and activities, in the jam-packed day. There's everything from a baby rave to crazy golf and a tots race track to craft zones.

Latitude Festival, Suffolk

Where: Henham Park, Suffolk
When: 20-23 July 2023

Latitude is a leading music and arts festival with probably one of the most grown-up line-ups you’ll find at a festival that welcomes kids. This year’s festival will play host to the likes of Pulp, Paolo Nutini and George Ezra, but also has a dedicated camping area for families, which is situated next to the Enchanted Garden, an area which will be full of activities families can enjoy together. Even better for families of little ones, kids four and under are absolutely free.

bluedot Festival, Cheshire

Where: Jodrell Bank, Cheshire
When: 20-23 July 2023

This intergalactic festival will be perfect for children who love science. The line-up includes everything from live music to a ground-breaking programme of live science experiments, expert talks and immersive artworks! With free entry for under threes, there are workshops and activities happening each day, such as T-shirt making and a giant balloon mousetrap. Annie Mac, 2ManyDJs and Grace Kelly have been announced along with a whole host of science shows, kids cinema, hands-on activities, Jedi Lightsaber training, interactive, dance-fuelled workshops, plus a dedicated space for parents and their babies.

Standon Calling, Hertfordshire

Where: Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire
When: 20-23 July 2023

What began life as a BBQ birthday party for family and friends in the grounds of a manor house, has turned into a boutique festival routinely reviewed as one of the UK’s finest for families. There’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent to see, good grub, hot-tubs atop a hill, and even a heated swimming pool. And life is made easy for parents: a riverside meadow is cleared of cows and turned into a family camping area, baby-changing stations are stocked with spare nappies and some of the showers even have special facilities for the littlest festival-goers. Mums have been known to eulogise over the cleanliness of loos here. Within the kids’ field there’s a dedicated under fives area, chill out space, baby yoga and massage, toddler rave and messy play. In the evening, relax with some campfire storytelling before loading your sleepy one into the buggy and catching headliners you'll love.

Doune The Rabbit Hole, Stirlingshire

Where: Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire
When: 21-23 July

Set in the Scottish countryside, Doune The Rabbit Hole is full of music, arts and culture for all ages. The family-friendly festival is packed full of activities from 10am until 10pm, so whatever your kids’ ages or interests there will be something they will enjoy.  Alongside the dedicated kids’ play area, there’s a baby zone with sensory activities, storytime, treasure blankets, and an infant chill-out space. The baby-changing facilities are fab and there are kid-sized loos spread about the site, with signs pointing to them made by the mini festival-goers themselves in one of the first activities of the weekend. And the family camping area, where little ones can sleep under 300-year-old oak trees, is well away from the late-night revelling.

Starry Skies, Herefordshire

Where: Barton Hill Farm, Herefordshire
When: 27 – 30 July 2023

Now in its eighth year, Starry Skies is a glorious hybrid between a festival and a family camping holiday. The event is designed especially for free range kids and their grown ups, set in the stunning Kentchurch, Herefordshire, with star gazing, lantern lit paths through wooded glades, lush meadows, rippling wheat fields, all with a backdrop of the rolling hills of the black mountains.  The Bub Hub is a cosy yurt housing morning songs, baby massage sessions and evening lullabies, and you can drop in at any time for a feed, nap or a chill. However, it’s outdoors where the fun really starts, the TravellerSpace team host the Toddle Inn free play area with toys, activities, and other play opportunities. For slightly older kids there’s a play kitchen, dolls house, caravan and other toys.

Camp Bestival, Dorset

Where: Lulworth Castle, Dorset
When:  27 - 30 July 2023

Camp Bestival is one of the UK’s best-loved and most successful festivals. It was founded by Rob da Bank and his wife Josie specifically with young families in mind, and has a fantastic set up for those looking for a great festival atmosphere with the family. A large part of the festival is dedicated to kids with The Upper Kids’ Garden, with a separate toddlers’ area and a chilled feeding area. There’s also the Soft Play Tent, dedicated to under fives, filled with ball pools, ride-on cars, trained staff to supervise and all sorts of activities involving music, dance and sensory fun.

Kendal Calling, Cumbria

Where: Lowther Deer Park, Cumbria
When: 27 - 30 July 2023

Combining world-class acts, along with entertainment for all ages, including a dedicated children's area called Kids Calling, Kendal Calling is a perfect family-friendly festival. Kids Calling features live theatre shows to giant inflatables, and circus workshops to face painting, so there is plenty to keep the younger ones entertained! Under fives are free and for grown-ups the line-up of Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Kasabian, and Annie Mac is pretty tempting too.

© Deer Shed Festival / Andrew Benge

Deer Shed Festival, North Yorkshire

Where: Baldersby Park, North Yorkshire
When: 28th - 31st July 2023

Deer Shed has quickly developed a reputation as one of the best family-friendly festivals of the summer. That’s down in no small part to its low ticket prices, but also to its focus: it’s not just about the music here, it’s an arts, science, comedy and lots-of-other-stuff festival too. Kids are welcome everywhere, rather than being cordoned off into one area, and it’s the people without kids that get the pitying looks. Little ones are particularly well looked after. There’s a craft tent specifically for toddlers, the soft play area is reserved for under-fives, and there’s a dedicated programme of events for this age group including messy play, sensory workshops, parent and baby yoga and dramatised lullabies. What’s more, the NCT move in during the festival, bringing with them baby-bathing facilities, nappy-changing kit, space in their dedicated tent for breastfeeding and microwaves for bottle warming. With children two and under free of charge, what are you waiting for?

Deva Fest, Cheshire

Where: Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire 
When: 11 to 13 August 2023

Now in its third year, Deva Fest is moving to a new venue, but still promises to have all of the amazing features the previous festivals had, with free fairground rides, luxury loos for everyone and festival-goers are allowed to bring in their own food, drink, chairs and blankets! With reasonably priced adult tickets and children under five going free, Deva Fest might be a fairly new festival, but it’s definitely one to check out with a young family. NCT volunteers are there on site throughout the weekend with their baby changing tent with free nappies, wipes and a space for breastfeeding mums. This year the festival boasts a great line-up including Will Young, Fleur East, 5ive and Feeder.

Camp Bestival Shropshire

Where: Weston Park, Shropshire
When: 17-20 August 2023

There’s not one, but TWO Camp Bestivals now! Following the first Camp Bestival Shropshire in 2022, it is returning for a second year, and like the original festival it has loads of space dedicated to children and families. Toddlers will get the chance to meet familiar TV faces and The Big Top is full of early morning kids entertainment. In addition to this, they have the world’s largest bouncy castle and the Camp Bestival Express, a one mile journey which takes 12 minutes through the scenic Temple Wood. For those with kids still in nappies the local NCT branch will be on hand with their baby changing facilities.

Green Man, Wales

Where: Brecon Beacons, Wales
When: 17 - 20 August 2023 
Green Man is the largest music, science and arts festival in Wales. Next to its dedicated family camping area is a kids area called Little Folk which caters for the youngest festival-goers up to 12 years. The area features workshops and music aimed at the younger ones and on the Sunday afternoon they have the Children’s Parade, where the kids get the chance to show off what they’ve been working on over the weekend. For children two and under it’s free, and they have several differently priced tickets for older kids.

Just So Festival, Cheshire

Where: Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire
When: 18 - 20 August 2023

Run by female-founded arts organisation Wild Rumpus, Just So Festival is where you’ll find rural, hand-crafted, fairytale fun with woodland tea parties, circus tents and more storybook characters than you can shake a just-made sparkly wand at. This art, music and literature festival is curated specially for children, and the event's programming for little ones is second to none. Peekaboo is an area dedicated to under fours and their families, with sensory storytelling sessions aimed at non-walking and new-to-walking babies, pottery classes for youngsters, early morning yoga sessions, baby massage and bubble parties. Even bumps can enjoy some mum-induced relaxation with prenatal yoga classes and pregnancy treatments. And the day-to-day necessities are made simple with a baby-feeding boudoir and bath-time sessions. When you finally run out of steam, choral lullabies at the end of the day will soothe you all to sleep. Magic! And good news, under threes are free.

The Long Road Festival, Leicestershire

Where: Stanford Hall, Leicestershire
When 25 - 27 August 2023

The Long Road Festival is a country music and Americana festival with a dedicated family area called Lil’ Possum County. The camp has arts and crafts, ugly cake competitions, kids' tractor racing and lots more for the younger ones. Children aged five and under are free for this three-day camping festival, with premium camping and pitch and park options available.

Big Feastival, The Cotswolds

Where: Alex James’ Farm, The Cotswolds
When: 25 - 27 August 2023

Combining music, food and family entertainment, Big Feastival is always popular with families. The festival is now in its 12 year and always keeps kids in mind. This year the festival will include activities from some of the best loved animated TV characters such as Cocomelon’s JJ, Paw Patrol’s Chase and PJ Masks’ Catboy, along with a farmyard allowing kids to meet new furry friends. Day tickets are free for children five and under.

Into The Trees, Sussex

Where: Pippingford Park, East Sussex
When: 8 - 10 September

Into The Trees is less of a festival and more of a weekend getting grubby and exploring nature in the woodland of the enchanting protected woodland Pippingford Park, in the heart of the Ashdown Forest. Although it's not a festival, it is the perfect way to spend quality time as a family while exploring the great outdoors and learning about nature. There's a whole range of outdoor activities, ranging from pond dipping to tree climbing. Relax in the peaceful forest and watch your little ones run freely around the beautiful landscapes, all while enjoying delicious food.

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