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Top tips for taking children to festivals

Ahh, festivals. Once you have kids gone are the days of waking up in the tent of a gorgeous bloke from St Austell, wearing only the national flag of Lithuania and a pair of fairy wings. Granted they are not the drunken free-for-all we used to enjoy, but with a little preparation and some changed expectations they can still be a wonderful experience for everyone.

The most important thing to bear in mind is the vaguaries of the weather; plan for extreme mud and rain as well as searing heat and then you can relax knowing you have every eventuality covered.

  • Garden trollies are so much better than pushchairs, which will get bogged down at the slightest hint of mud. Use them to get all your clobber to the campsite, then fill with extra blankets and cushions so you can make a nice nest for the kids in the evening when they get tired.
  • Essential items to take are a small first aid kit, toys for them to play with in the tent in case of torrential rain, and more baby-wipes than you could believe possible.
  • Bin bags are a must. Cut a head hole and two arm holes in the sealed end as emergency ponchos, bivvy bags or slit them open and use as groundsheets or to keep the kids covered in the garden trolley.
  • Lollipops are a great idea and will keep children occupied (and silent!) whilst you are queuing for loos, drinks etc.
  • Invest in a set of solar powered fairy lights to adorn the outside your tent; it’s all very well putting up a 30 foot flag but they all look the same in the dark, so duct tape a string of lights in a shape you can remember to help you find your way home.
  • Buy a couple of really cheap, brightly coloured t-shirts so you can spot your child in the throng and write your mobile phone number on them in permanent marker pen. Make sure they know what festival officials are wearing and, most importantly, that they know their own name and address!
  • Suncream, hats and long-sleeved shirts may seem obvious but often overlooked; I always take a cotton sarong as well then not only can I knock myself up a shrug if my shoulders are burning, I can also cover up my son in his trolley  and stop his little legs burning.
  • Don’t forget the hand-sanitizer and tissues as the loos can run out quickly (as everyone steals some loo roll in case they run out...) 
  • Don’t camp too near the loos as the smell can be less than pleasant after two days in the hot sun.

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