In case you hadn’t noticed (and who would blame you) the British summer is here and the festival season is underway.
It’s time to don the wellies, dust off that silver wig and head into the wild. Wherever you live from the Cotswolds to County Durham, Cornwall to Crouch End, a weekend’s shindiggery is never far away.
Now when I was a young tear-away, festivals were aimed at teens and twenties – only one of my friends was taken to Glasto as a kid, we revered her parents as beyond cool.
Festivals for All
Nowadays though, promoters have their eyes on the prize that is the parenting-pound.
Large-scale events like Latitude and Camp Bestival are equally as likely to programe adult and parent-friendly acts, think English National Ballet and The Gruffalo, as they are to book Dizzee Rascal or Lana Del Rey.
Smaller, friendlier events are also springing up across the country, such as my local Farm Fest on Parsonage Farm in Hampshire – where the focus is on local folk bands and homegrown food.
In fact festival-going is fast becoming an integral part of British summer time. Taking young Fifi to her first is a key rite of passage for many a self-respecting mamma and pappa – bonus points if they get an autograph from His Gruffalo-ness!
Many festivals offer babysitting services and pre-assembled tents (for an extra charge, of course) making the prospect of two days in a muddy field with the kids and no emergency CBeebies slightly less daunting.
Of course us parents shouldn’t worry – the secret to taking little ones to a festival is constant planning ahead, and we’ve already had plenty of practice at that.
Here’s NBS’ fail-safe festie-with-kids To Do list:
- Pop up your tent beforehand to check that a) little Jamie hasn’t wondered off with one of the tent poles and that the tent hasn’t gone mouldy after your last camping trip when you dismantled it in gale force wind and rain.
- When the sun shines at festivals it can get seriously hot and often there’s little shade except for stuffy canvas, so remember to pack sunglasses and a sunhat. Banz have a great range of both, the hippo sunglasses case will be a hit with the toddlers as well as preventing damage and scratches. You can view our full range here>>
100% UVA and UVB Banz sunglasses, with elastic to ensure they stay on little heads.
Reversible wide-brimmed UPF 50+ Banz sunhat
Banz hippo sunglass case – beloved by toddlers, plus it protects sunglasses from festival bumps and scrapes.
- Those sky-high festival speakers pump out loud noise, to protect little ears pack some ear defenders. Not only do they look great but they also protect your child’s ears from potentially harmful noise. Weighing only 190 grams, they fit in the palm of your hand which makes them easy to carry or simply store away. The soft cushion cups also ensure that your child will be comfortable whilst wearing the earmuffs.
- Obviously, suncream is also important but mainstream lines are often chocka with toxic chemicals (check out this CNN article). At NBS we stock Naturally Cool Kids Suncream. It’s free from toxic chemicals and was voted sun care product of the year by The Green Parent Magazine. We also stock a range of Naturally Cool Kid’s After Sun, Lip and Cheeks protector and body and hair wash. Click here to see the range>>
Naturally Cool Kids sun cream- If you can bring your pram or pushchair, not only will it save your back and mean that your little one can sleep anywhere, but you’ll also feel satisfyingly smug when loading the pram up with your stuff at the beginning and end of the weekend.
Smile cheerfully as you pass the child-free crowds lugging loads. True, they were allowed out past 7pm and yes, they were not woken at 6.30am sharp, but ha, ha carrying 30kgs of assorted camping gear, a 12- pack of beer, and a drum does not look fun in the midday heat (or pouring rain).
A couple of pushchair accessories that we’d recommend are the SnoozeShade perfect to help your little one sleep during the day and protect him from the sun, not to mention those long, bright summer evenings made worse at a festival when there is so much going on.
The SnoozeShade, perfect to help your little one drift off to sleep.
Even in the height of summer the evenings can get cold, it’s definitely important to pack warm layers for your little ones. Gabe and Grace do a wonderfully snuggly and warm Lambskin Footmuff (I wish they did an adult size).
And Wallaboo’s super-soft microfibre suede Stroller Footmuff is another practical option – they’re machine washable, perfect for the inevitable festival mud.
- Take a sling as well, especially if rain is forecast, navigating a pushchair along muddy farm paths is no fun. We have a great selection of carriers including the rainbow coloured Amazonas Ring Sling and the Manduca Organic Baby Carrier. The Wikinet Showerproof Cape Raincover also comes highly recommended – far better than using your coat to cover baby in the sling, and getting a soaking back in the process!
- And finally, when it comes to dressing the little monkeys, you need something light, comfortable and easy to slip on and off and layer in the crazy weather that is our British summer. DYNO’s range of 100% organic cotton tunics, bodysuites, hoodies, bibs and tracky bottoms has all this, plus quirky-edgy styling featuring Hendrix. Click here to view the range>>
You can find out more about DYNO’s designer Eva, a mum of three and part time rock guitarist, in our Life in A Day Series>>
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