Why Fests are Best! Round up of Local Festivals
7 Reasons to Try a Family Festival
DESPITE there now being well over a hundred different family friendly festivals to choose from in the UK, the reaction from the majority of people is: “Why on earth would you want to take your children to a festival?”
1. You can still have your evenings
In a hotel, you often have to all got to bed when the children do, but there’s no need to at a festival. You can sit outside the tent and chat or (if you’re lucky) pop them to sleep in a buggy and enjoy some of the evening festival!
2. It’s easy not to cook
Family friendly festivals have lots of lovely food options so that you can eat a different thing at every meal time if you don’t want to cook.
3. Your children will learn from it.
Most festivals hold a variety of different workshops for children– from art and crafts, to dancing and drumming, to science and nature.
4. You will have the freedom to enjoy your second childhood
If you want to wear butterfly wings, do arts and crafts, participate in an egg and spoon race, or a dance-off, or just run around blowing bubbles – you can! And so can the kids!
5. There is always something to do
From when you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night, there is a guarantee the kids will be entertained. Kite making, drumming workshops, face painting, balloon modelling can often be found. Plus they will no doubt make lots of new friends to play with too.
6. You don’t have to drive anywhere
Once you’re there and set up, that’s it! You can just wander around and there’s none of the ‘getting in and out of the car’ palaver, no need to find places to go and no screaming in the back seat – it’s bliss!
7. Your children will love it
Children love camping. Children love music. Children love dancing. Children love making things, they love picnics, they love being close to nature, they love dressing up in fancy dress and generally being silly (and let’s face it - so do us grown ups!)
Festivals Local to You in 2017:
Mello at Throckmorton:
26th - 28th May. www.mellofestival.co.uk
Hay Literary Festival at Hay on Wye:
25th May-4th June. www.hayfestival.com
Birmingham Foodies Festival at Cannon Hill Park
23rd-25th June. www.foodfestivals.com
AsparaFest: near Evesham
2nd-4th June, www.asparafest.co.uk
HopFest, at Hopleys Campsite, Bewdley.
16th –17th June. www.hopfest.co.uk
Summerfest at Himley Hall In aid of Mary Stevens Hospice
Saturday 1st July www.marystevenshospice.co.uk/event/summerfest/
Upton Sunshine Festival: Upton on Severn
25th-27th August. www.sunshinefestival.co.uk
Mello Festival Review:
The organisers of Upton's Sunshine Festival brought us Mello Festival for the second year - and it was even bigger and better than last year! Held over the Spring Bank Holiday 26th- 28th May 2017 Mello's aim was to 'bring back the essence of a big chilled family festival', with the organisers spotting a gap in the Worcestershire market for a large scale festival that champions 'real' music.
We all had such a great time at Mello last year, it was going to prove a hard act to follow! Last year the kids made their own tie-dye t-shirts for the event. This year the decorated their t-shirts with fabric pens, in their tent, then skipped into the arena with MELLO proudly blazened across their chests!
The windly weather on the Saturday meant the children soon covered up with a hoody, but all of us were more than happy to stay out all day, chilling and listening to the various live acts on offer. We recognised Lucy Spraggan from X-Factor. Goldie Lookin' Chain went down well in the Spitfire tent (had to cover the kids ears over a few times!) and my favourite band was Rewind 80s (there's nothing like a bit of Erasure to lift your spirits and make you feel like your 15 again!)
Families sat in fold up chairs and children lounged around on picnic blankets. It felt a safe environment so we were happy to give children their freedom - popping off to spend their pocket money at sweetie stands or for a game of footie with other children. There was free entertainment provided for children with scooters and skate ramps, kite-making, bouncy castles and drumming workshops laid on for little ones.
I'd never seen so many babies in one airfield! From dancing toddlers to breastfeeding babies, young families were everywhere. The sky was a-wash with homemade kites and nearly everyone's face was painted in shades of dayglo green and yellow.
Catering wasn't a problem. For lunch we ate our own BBQ by the tent, outside of the arena, before heading in to see the bands just after midday. For our evening meal, much of the excitement came from wandering up and down the field, eyeing up all the options, trying to make up our minds as to which cuisine we fancied: Caribbean chicken, freshly made pizzas, goat curry or gourmet burgers. Pie and mash was a hit with our children!
The sun shone for us on the Sunday. It was very relaxing listening to Swing Punk in the sunshine. In between band sets, the kids could visit the huge inflatable land, created by Simply The Best events. For only £10 for a two hour session, we felt it was good value. There was Nerf warfare, massive slides, bouncy castles and inflatable wrecking balls. Perfect for wearing the kids out!
My friend's lifelong ambition was fulfilled when she got to meet Clare Grogan from Altered Images!
The setting sun provided the perfect backdrop for Electric Swing Circus, on Sunday evening. Just before darkness fell we headed back to our tents, for a (sort of) good night sleep (good job I remembered the ear plugs!)
Looking forward to Sunshine Festival in August now :-)
Sally Walters, Editor of Raring2go! Kidderminster & Stourbridge.
Dahlicious Dress Up Day
This year's Dahlicious Dress Up Day is part of the biggest Roald Dahl Day party of all time!
Interview with Mr Bloom
CBeebies Mr Bloom actor Ben Faulks talks to Raring2go! about his new role in Wolverhampton’s Grand’s panto Aladdin, how to get your children to eat their greens and tells us whether eating veggies is like eating his friends!
SIX GOOD REASONS TO BUY AN ANNUAL PASS!
Any membership or annual pass that gives you admission to a wide number of attractions or locations can be really worthwhile, especially ones that allow you entry to a large number of properties across the UK. These are great as they are not just for your local events and activities, but can be perfect for holidaying elsewhere in the UK. You can also get passes to lots of local days out venues which are great if you go more than a few times a year. Work out the cost – and how many times you would need to visit to recoup the cost. I've got some ideas to get you started!
Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity
the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity (DVLCC) has been supporting families since 2001.
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Over the weekends and holidays there are always times when your children need some chill out time, or to fill an hour or so, or they say the dreaded 5 letter word - BORED! Well, our KidsZone is here to rescue you and them from these moments. Full of puzzles, colouring in sheets and activities from films and programmes there is lots to keep busy!