How To SURVIVE Camping With Kids At Festivals This Summer

Timber Festival - into the woods credit Andrew Allcock (1)

More and more family friendly festivals are popping up over the UK which means there will be more of you writing out your festival camping checklist this summer ahead of these events.   We are going to be visiting Timber Festival next month and the Just So Festival in the summer holidays so we wanted to share our best festival tips and tricks to make sure we all have a great time!

If you are looking for festival tips for first timers or your an old hat at camping with kids I’m hoping that you will find something here you haven’t thought of before.  These family camping tips are tried and tested so I know they won’t let you down.

What To Take To A Festival

Get The Right Tent

Vango festival tent

One of the best festival tents you can buy is the Vango Beta 450XL Tent available from Tiso.  It sleeps 4 people and has a separate room inside the tent where you can store your belongings or escape to if it rains.  The size of tent is important as well as you want something easy to put up and take down, and will fit into your car with everything else you need for the festival.

Invest in a Camping Trolley

One item always on our festival essentials list is the Crotec folding camping trolley.  It’s lightweight and compact which is great for packing in the car and for when you are transporting your camping equipment to your site.  It’s also really handy for transporting small children and any items you might need during the day around the festival.

Don’t Forget Camping Chairs

Camping chairs

A set of camping chairs in your camping equipment will make your life that little bit more comfortable during your time at the festival.  There may be times you want to sit outside your tent, or camping chairs can also come in handy if you are watching a band or a show.  Sitting on the floor might seem like a good idea, but if you try and do it for any period of time it can get quite cold and uncomfortable for both you and the kids.

Airbeds and a Pump

Another investment worth making is camping airbeds for pretty much the same reason as above.  Kids sleep much better at festivals or when camping if they can sleep on airbeds as the ground gets really cold late at night and is to hard to sleep on comfortably.

Sleeping Bags and Pillows

Snuggly sleeping bags are essential and everyone remembers to pack these when they go camping.  The one item I always seem to forget is pillows, and have ended up rolling up towels on several occasions but to be honest, they don’t quite do the job.  Make sure you add both of these to your list for a good nights sleep.

kids sleeping bags camp bestival

A Picnic Backpack

Kids eat all the time, especially when they are running around outdoors at festivals, so having a good picnic backpack you can keep all their snacks and drinks in will save everyone from those hangry moments little ones can be prone to sometimes.

This picnic backpack is great for camping gear as not only does it come with a picnic rug and bottle carrier, but inside you also have all the knives, forks, spoons and plates you need for a family of four which you can use at meal times.

picnic backpack

Other Festival Must Haves

Outdoor Boots

Make sure you pack your wellies, or outdoor boots.  We love the Muck Boot & Co outdoor boots for kids as the grips are amazing.  If your festival turns into a mud bath these boots will save your kids from falling over when it gets slippy.

Baby Wipes

best baby wipes for camping

I think everyone should take baby wipes to a festival and we are loving the JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Washcloths for keeping kids clean and the Aveeno Daily Care wipes for dealing with any accidents on the go.

Klean Kanteen Water Bottles

Please avoid taking plastic bottles of water to your festival if you can.  Most festivals provide running water safe enough to drink and the Klean Kanteen bottles are the perfect bottle to use when camping.  They are tough and insulated so will keep drinks cool when needed, and the fun designs will add a pop of colour to your festival gear.

klean kanteen water bottles

What To Take Camping For The Kids

There are a few things you should take to a festival especially for the kids to make things go more smoothly. As well as layers of clothes, good footwear and a waterproof coat here’s a few things that will make life easier too.

Books, toys and bubbles

If your children still have a bedtime story and a toy to snuggle up to, it’s worth packing these for them to help them settle at night whether you plan on keeping to their regular bedtime routine or letting them play until they drop.

Also pop to your local super market and pick up some bubble wands and a few outdoor toys.  Having a few things like this to hand will keep them entertained while you are busy putting up the tent and they will also help them to make friends.  Kids seem to gravitate towards bubbles don’t they!

Good Sun Protection

sunglasses for kids

When you are going to a festival with kids, you will probably spend most of the day in the sunshine so good sun protection is going to be essential.  Make sure you pack a really good suncream for kids, their favourite sun hat and a good pair of sunglasses like Suneez, which are durable and offer great protection from the sun.

Snack Packs

Making snack packs was a real game changer for me, and it’s the simplest idea for keeping hunger at bay and children happy.  Buy a selection of snacks and pack what they can have for the day into a ziplock bag.  Things like fruit, raisins, crisps etc work well for this.  When they are feeling a bit peckish they can reach for their snack pack and it will save them asking for food when they are hungry.

Fairy Lights or Torches

If your children are new to festivals, then some soft lighting might just help them feel more settled in their new surroundings.  Fairy lights are a lovely way to decorate the tent or take some small torches they can use at night if they are feeling a bit nervous about the dark.


Glitter and Hair Dye

My daughters love a bit of glitter and hair dye when they are going to a festival, and one of the most clever festival ideas is to buy some from Amazon before you go, especially if you are being budget conscious.

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe at Festivals

Festivals can be really busy and you would be surprised how quickly a child can get lost.  Just taking a few wrong turns near your tent and they might not realise where they are.  To make sure this doesn’t happen to you or you can find your child again quickly if it does, these tips will definitely help save the day.

  • Take a photo of your child whenever they change there clothes, morning and night.
  • Talk to them about who the festival staff are and what they are wearing so they know who to talk to if they get lost.
  • Write your phone number on them, a bracelet or on something in their bag and make sure they know where it is.

How to Survive Festival Toilets and Showers with Kids

Pack the Potty

Even if your children are way past using the potty, if they can still fit on it I would take it.  It could save you a few late night trips to the festival toilets.

Pack Extra Toilet Roll or Tissues

I always take a spare toilet roll to the campsite toilets when I’m camping with kids, and it’s also a good idea to have a few packs of tissues in your bag for while you are in the festival.  I’d always have the baby wipes and an anti bacterial gel to hand as well.

gloworm festival

Take Flip Flops

Flips flops are the best footwear to use for when you are visiting the shower.

Visit the Shower Block Before Bedtime

If you want to avoid the queues for the showers, the best time to visit is in the evening before the kids get ready for bed.  You should be in and out fairly quickly with this tactic.

After Camping

grangers clothing care kit

Clothes and footwear can take quite a hammering at a festival especially if the weather is against you.  For any outdoor clothing or footwear that may have suffered during your trip check out the Grangers range of cleaning and odour eliminating products to get that fresh feeling back again.

How To SURVIVE Camping With Kids At Festivals This Summer #festivals #campingwithkids #familyfestivalsFeeling lucky? Check out my giveaways here.

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Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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74 Discussion to this post

  1. MARIA ROGERS says:

    I love the look of the Klean Kanteen water bottles so snazzy, would be very handy for everyday use too!

  2. Margaret Gallagher says:

    Having the right stuff for camping is Essential – these are just perfect

  3. cheryl hadfield says:

    We love to go camping as a family, would be great to win

  4. Solange says:

    We love going camping as a family, this would be a great prize to win.

  5. Even As a seasoned camper there are some great tips on this posT.

  6. Fab tips – I definitely could not sleep without an airbed these days!

  7. Good kit can transform a family camping experience from fun into fabulous!
    Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) recently posted…What to expect when you travel with kids on a Brittany Ferries cross channel ferryMy Profile

  8. Gerri Tennant says:

    We are due to retire soon and a tent would add so may more opportunities to our travel plans and these essentials would add so much to the experience.

  9. Claire Murden says:

    Perfect as we’re heading to a music festival next month

  10. You’ve reminded me that I really do need to buy a trolley. (Not for the kids, they have endless energy! But for hubby to pull me around!)
    Lisa (Travel Loving Family) recently posted…Reviewed: Domaine de Kerlann a family-friendly Siblu village in Brittany, FranceMy Profile

  11. Kim Carberry says:

    I would love to win. We keep meaning to go camping and this would be a great boost to get us moving.
    Kim Carberry recently posted…A fantastic father’s day….My Profile

  12. Fab tips Zena! We bought a festival trolley on your recommendation last year!!
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Western Meadows Glamping – Dog-friendly glamping in CornwallMy Profile

  13. Liam Fitzpatrick says:

    I’m not much of a fan of camping, but my girlfriend is forcing me this year so I would love some camping equipment to make my experience easier!

  14. Joanne Brady says:

    No bubbles as bubble mixture can ruin tent fabric, but my god ALL the wet wipes! Great tip on taking your own water bottles too.
    Joanne Brady recently posted…Walking the Tissington Trail to Dovedale Stepping StonesMy Profile

  15. Kim Neville says:

    These are just what you need for camping. Something we plan on doing soon

  16. Fab tips! We’ve never been camping with our girls before, though I do want to take them to a festival one day. Will definitely remember to pack bubbles and glitter – two festival essentials for sure 🙂
    Chloe: Picture Taker Memory Maker recently posted…Family Road Trip Part One: SomersetMy Profile

  17. Katy Stern says:

    Fab tips here!! We have to take glitter (loads of glitter!!), wellies, a good picnic blanket and loads of snacks! I hope the sun shines for the summer festivals this year 🙂

  18. Karen Beddow says:

    This is an excellent list and includes loads of the things we will be packing too. We just need the trolley!

  19. Hollie-Anne Harvey says:

    I absolutely love camping and think your list of essentials was spot on. I can’t wait to hopefully go this summer.

  20. Jemma Webster says:

    This is a fantastic article. We are taking our boys on their first camping experience to Camp Bestival in a few weeks so as we have a lot to buy I found this super handy! A camping essentials kit would be a great start!

  21. Christine Hall says:

    Camping with the family and livng the outdoor life is so enjoyable

  22. Jenna Richards says:

    I’d love to win this prize as we are planning our first ever camping trip as a family this summer. I’m so excited about it!!

  23. zoe brown says:

    it would be so handy to have in a backpack or even in the back of the car

  24. Sheila Sloan says:

    It would enhance our family camping experience.

  25. Tracey Belcher says:

    We love getting out and about in the great outdoors whenever we can so would love these essentials

  26. Rena Plumridge says:

    I would love to win as we will be going on our first camping trip soon

  27. Sarah Mackay says:

    Would love to win as we love to go camping.

  28. silvia says:

    We are going camping in the Lake District in August, the kit will ensure that the kids have everything they need’

  29. Michelle Carlin says:

    We want to go camping this year, as it’s a cheap way of getting lots of family members together (we live far apart), so this would be great.

  30. Zoe C says:

    We go camping every year as a family, would love to win

  31. Lucy says:

    This would be great to take on our camping holiday we hve coming up 🙂

  32. Gail Reid says:

    I’d absolutely love to win this for my kids when they go camping it would make things a lot easier ?

  33. Steph Bent says:

    We go camping all the time and these would be great addition to our camping box!

  34. David Hamill says:

    I would absolutely love this stuff so me and my family can up sticks and dissappear into the country for some R&R.

  35. Pauline HILL says:

    we go camping regulary and out equipment is a bit ragerty now this fabulous giveaway would be PERFECT to keep us going

  36. Pauline HILL says:

    we go camping regulary and out equipment is a bit ragerty now this fabulous giveaway would be PERFECT to keep us going on our favorite hobby camping

  37. Vikki Sanderson says:

    Would love to win, these products look great for keeping equipment clean and in a good state so they last!

  38. Ritchie says:

    I love to go camping and some new camping gear would be great

  39. Karen Barrett says:

    I would love to win for my eldest son, he is taking his family camping this year for the first time

  40. k dunn says:

    I would love to win as I’m trying to convince my partner that camping is fun!

  41. Nat says:

    My daughter loves to go camping with me, but my wife doesn’t so anything that makes it easier and more ‘glam’ will help encourage her to come with us!

  42. Toni says:

    This prize would be fantastic for new adventures – wild camping!!

  43. amy bondoc says:

    id love to try out these products we go camping often !

  44. Ben Morley says:

    anything that makes camping easier is something I need In my life!

  45. Marycarol says:

    Love to win to get back camping like we used to x

  46. lisbeth says:

    Such practical advice – thanks for the tips, will come useful once the summer holidays start. Plus I’m a coffee addict too.

  47. Lisbeth says:

    sorry I also want to enter because this stuff always comes handy (love the tent!) and want to get kids out doors in the summer – make them little explorers.

  48. Sophie Hedley says:

    I’d love to win as I’m going camping with my nephew for the first time this year – and this would make it extra special!

  49. Jen Jackson says:

    I would love to win as we are due to go on our first family camping trip in August and have no gear!

  50. Carol Cann says:

    Would love to take my boys camping (8 and 14 months), This prize would make sure I was fully prepared

  51. Stephanie Tsang says:

    I would love to win as we have never been camping before and would love to give it a go.

  52. Catherine Deacon says:

    we go camping a lot so this prize would be great.

  53. Rich Tyler says:

    This would be wonderful for my little family, an excuse to take them away!

  54. Laura Chapman says:

    I’m off camping in August for my friend’s birthday, so would absolutely love to win as it would be perfect to take along on our camping weekend.

  55. Pamela Gossage says:

    My son , daugther-in-law and three children love Camping and this would be great for them

  56. Cindy Gillespie says:

    We love camping with our grandchildren and it can get messy. Your lovely prize would be fantastic to win to keep them clean eithout too much fuss.

  57. Louise A says:

    We go camping most years and the cleaning kit and the dry shampoo would come in very useful

  58. Tammy Tudor says:

    I would love to take a camping trip together as a family as this would be an amazing start

  59. katrina walsh says:

    Would love to win for our trip to Reading Festival in August

  60. justine meyer says:

    We love camping whenever the opportunity arises and these essentials would be great especially the batise for my daughter x

  61. Tim Bain says:

    I lent a friend my camping kit, I can’t see me seeing it again.

  62. Karen Hughes says:

    My kids love the outdoors, especially camping. The one place where they do not miss their mobile phones.
    This is a great kit and would get alot of use this summer

  63. Helen Robertson says:

    Going to a festival in August and need all the help I can get lol

  64. Nancy Bradford says:

    I love sharing the whole camping experience with my daughter although my partner always needs a bit of convincing.

  65. Hayley F says:

    I’d love to win this for my brother as he’s always going camping. Not sure he’d use the dry shampoo though as he has no hair but does have a beard ?

  66. Kay Broomfield says:

    My husband and son love their camping trips so I’d love to win this for them!

  67. alisa moore says:

    I’d love to win this prize as we’ll be taking our first camping trip soon

  68. sarah parker says:

    I’d love to take this on holiday when I go camping to wales 🙂

  69. sharon martin says:

    love camping with the family its a great adventure

  70. Dave Weston says:

    We have a family camping holiday in Europe coming up so this would help me survive that!

  71. Emma Davison says:

    It’s many years since I went camping but I fancy trying it again now we have some nice weather.

  72. Claire little says:

    we love to go camping so would help out!

  73. Jamie Millard says:

    some awesome essentials for the next camping trip would come in handy.

  74. Abigail says:

    I would love to win as camping is something I love and i’d love to be able to show my brothers how fun it is! This would be great to get the family out. Good tips!

Comments are closed.

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