‘What are the best festivals for toddlers?’ is a question we hear more and more these days.
The UK has always had an impressive array of festivals to enjoy but in recent years we’ve seen an explosion of more family-friendly festivals and even totally kid-focused ones.
After all, if you’re taking your children to a festival, you want to be sure that there’s enough going on for them to enjoy so that you can have your fun too.
We’ve picked out the best toddler-friendly festivals in the UK — some of them are the huge names you probably know already that are simply well set up for kids, while some of them are a little smaller and independent. All of them have fantastic family-friendly programmes of acts, workshops and activities and some of them have plenty of family support too — including babysitters!
Best Festivals for Toddlers in the UK
Kingham, The Cotswolds: August
The Big Feastival is a massive family-friendly festival held on Alex James’ farm in the Cotswolds usually during August.
This isn’t just a festival where kids happen to be welcome, here they’re actively catered for and entertained. There’s always an epic programme of kid and family friendly entertainment, like the much-loved circus school, alongside the music, as well as a huge amount of suitable food options in the Family Dining Room.
There’s plenty of support on hand too: the campsite facilities come complete with baby change units and you should definitely take advantage of The Parent’s Pitstop — a free to use area complete with nappy changing facilities, quiet feeding areas and microwaves. There’s also The Little Top tent which is ideal to use when you and your little one need some quiet time and calm.
Standon, Hertfordshire: July
Standon Calling is a much-loved independent, boutique festival held in the grounds of Standon Lordship, a private residence, usually during the month of July.
As a slightly smaller festival than some of the ones on this list, Standon Calling is a great option to take the kids as it’s not as overwhelming or spread out as some of them. Their programme always includes lots of daytime activities and performances suitable for babies all the way up to teenagers — previous acts includes Horrible Histories, How to Train your Dinosaur and Dick & Dom’s DJ Battle. There’s also a entire kids’ area that hosts various age-appropriate activities the whole weekend.
There’s a babysitting service available too if you want some adult time, thanks to the Mortimer Tent of fully checked nannies and DBS checked assistants — they host ‘stay up late’ sessions with movie nights, board games and story time. You can also book private in-tent nannies too.
Just So Festival
Scholar Green, Stoke-on-Trent: August
The Just So Festival is an amazing family arts festival held on the Rhode Hall Estate in Cheshire, usually during August.
Very much a family-focused festival, Just So has been described as ‘an imaginative outdoor family adventure like no other’ — expect music, theatre, dance, comedy, story-telling, food and much more. Acts and activities in previous line-ups include family yoga, Carnival of the Animals, colour fight, Sports Day, falconry displays, circus school, campfire songs, Bhangra tots, and much more.
As well as all the street food vans, there is also a baby-feeding area complete with bottle warmers, as well as a nappy changing tent and even twice-daily baby bathtime sessions.
Southwold, Suffolk: July
Latitude is probably one of the biggest and most well known festivals on this list, but it’s still got plenty to entertain the whole family. It’s usually held in July in Henham Park, which is near Southwold.
Thanks to the sheer size of Latitude, there’s always plenty going on for kids — whether they’re toddlers or tweens. The Kids Area hosts a variety of activities all weekend, including dancing and singing workshops, arts and crafts, storytelling, bush craft sessions, interactive science experiments, puppet shows, clown school and more.
Head to the Loft Baby and Toddler Tent if your little ones are really young — here there’s a soft play, baby changing and feeding facilities, as well as regular bathtime sessions!
Lulworth Castle, Dorset: July
Camp Bestival is the ‘little sister’ of festival leviathan Bestival and is held in the grounds of Lulworth Castle during the month of July.
It’s much more family-orientated than Bestival, but there’s still plenty to entertain all ages across the categories of music, theatre, food and drink, comedy, literature and more. Some of the previous line-ups have included Brainiac Live (a live science show!), Brit School, S Club Party, Man vs Baby, BigTopMania Kids Theatre and Circus, bushcraft, Cosmic Kids, a dressing up tent, face painting tent, Full Moon Cinema, kids’ discos, and a soft play tent.
They place a lot of emphasis on the ‘camping’ portion of the festival experience, with plenty of options and facilities available that you can book according to your needs. There are a limited number of day tickets available too.
Usk, Wales: August
Starry Skies is a kid-focused festival brought to you by the same people behind the much-loved Shambala Festival. They describe is as ‘designed especially for free range kids and their grown ups’! It’s held on a family farm in Usk, Monmouthshire during August.
The festival is capped to just 250 families so it has an intimate feel without any of the huge crowds and overwhelm of a much bigger festival. Just some of their activities include interactive science experiments, storytelling, craft workshops, the Starry Skies Olympics, the Toddle Inn area that’s specially kitted out for toddlers, water slides, den building workshops, giant sandpits, and the Bub Hub — a yurt for the little ones that hosts baby yoga, massage, sing-a-longs and more.
As Starry Skies is specifically for families, this is a great option if you’re looking for a family camping experience where your needs are directly catered for. Toddlers and kids aren’t simply an afterthought here.
Deer Shed Festival
Topcliffe, North Yorkshire: July
Deer Shed is a 100% independent, family owned and run festival that’s held in the beautiful Baldersby Park in North Yorkshire during July.
Entertainment at Deer Sheed spans the categories of music, arts and science, and always has a lot of family and kid-friendly acts and activities to enjoy. Past line-ups have included Captain Cauliflower, Games with James, Pop-Up Puppet Cinema, sing and dance along workshops, Woodland Trust workshops, kite making, nature walks, bushcraft, fair school and den building.
The under 5s are well catered for with the Teeny Beans Tent (non-stop activities and play), the Sensory Meadow Tent for quiet time, soft play, sand pit, messy play, playdough, baby yoga, sensory, baby massage, musical workshops, a baby rave and more.
Nutley, East Sussex: May
Elderflower Fields is another family festival, this time specifically designed for families with younger children. It usually takes place in Pippingford Park in Nutley, during the month of May.
Almost everything on the programme is aimed at children so you don’t need to worry about age restrictions or anything like that. Some of the previous acts and activities have included Big Fish Little Fish, Jitterbug Circus, family dance-offs, West End Kids, art trail, dream catcher workshops, puppet and mask making, campfire cooking, star gazing, bug sculptures, raft building, Rugbytots, Mr Pineapple Head, and more. There are some adult events too to take advantage of, including beer tasting, gin making and the woodland spa.
Mortimer Nannies are on hand in their own tent hosting their ‘stay up late’ sessions every evening if you fancy some kid-free time at the cocktail bar!
Cornbury Music Festival
Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire: July
Cornbury Music Festival is tailored towards the whole family and is held in the Great Tew Park near Chipping Norton, usually during July.
They describe themselves as ‘a country fair with a rock ‘n’ roll twist’ with plenty to entertain young kids alongside their always impressive music and comedy line-up. The Cornbury Kids Zone is the place to head with little ones, and it hosts a number of workshops, activities and shows all throughout the weekend to keep them entertained — for free. Each year the kids’ zone has a different theme.
Normal camping is available, alongside glamping, campervans and a quieter camping spot. There’s plenty of food spots dotted around the entire festival too.
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: June
Every year in June, the famous Cheltenham Racecourse plays host to Wychwood, a three-day family-friendly festival.
Not only do they attract some big name music headliners — from past and present — they host plenty of acts and activities for kids as well. Previous ones include Basil Brush, face painting, circus show, samba drumming workshops, Mr Dilly’s World of Wonder, Bhangra Pirates and more. Children under 4 can enter the festival for free although they do still need to have a ticket booked.
There are plenty of food and drink stalls to be found all over the festival, as well as bars, artists and maker stalls, and much more.
Lake District, Cumbria: July
Kendal Calling is a popular music and arts festival held in Lowther Deer Park in the Lake District during July.
They always have an impressive lineup headlining their stages, but there’s also a lot of stuff for toddlers and kids to get involved in too — just head for the Kids Calling area. This spot includes non-stop activities like craft workshops, circus skills, story telling, face painting and even a special under 3s area with a ball pool and quiet area.
There are 10 separate campsites that span standard camping all the way through to glamping, yurts and more. Plenty of food can be found around the festival, as well as an award-winning real ale festival.
Green Man Festival
Brecon Beacons, Wales: August
The Green Man Festival is an independent festival for music, science and the arts held annually every August in the beautiful Brecon Beacons.
Kids are well catered for here as well — make sure you head to the Little Folk Area which hosts creative workshops, activities and other adventures all weekend. The Little Folk Parade is held on the Sunday afternoon for them to show off their creations! Slightly older kids and curious toddlers will likely love Einstein’s Garden too, which hosts live science workshops, experiments and demonstrations. There are also a number of age-appropriate wellness sessions held for kids of all ages too.
There’s a huge amount of street food stalls, alongside 10 bars and the renowned Welsh Beer and Cider Festival. For those camping, head to the Family Camping Fields which is kitted out with nappy bins and a more chilled vibe.
What is the best festival for toddlers in the UK? Let us know your favourites!
Looking for alternatives? Make sure to check out our activities section for more ideas.