Attending a festival with young children can be a joyous and rewarding experience, but it does come with its challenges! Our Family programmer Sharon has put together her top tips for bringing the little ones to Latitude:
1) Don’t try and fit everything into one weekend
Embrace that this will be a completely different festival experience to the one you may have had without children. It won’t be difficult to entertain them, but it’s important to make sure they have lots of breaks so they – and you! – don’t get cranky! Explore, don’t tie yourself to a timetable and go with the flow!
2) Invest in a trolley
If you can carry your little one in a sling for the whole day, great! We will be trialling a sling library from the Enchanted Garden. But a cart or trolley can let children take a quick power nap AND carry your essentials. Fold down, all terrain carts and trolleys are very popular – pop on some solar lights to make it visible at night.
3) Have a family plan
Write your number on your child’s arm, t-shirts or wristband (available from the Kids Area Info Caravan, Kids Area Welfare Point or Family Arena Entrance). Have fun making your family easy to spot with colourful wigs, feather boas and crazy outfits, and decorate your tent with solar lights, glow-in-the-dark paint or a high-flying flag. Latitude has lots of easy-to-remember meeting points such as the Kids Helter-skelter so remember to pick yours.
4) Ear Defenders
Good quality ear defenders are an absolute must; children’s ears are far more sensitive than adults and exposure to loud music at festivals can damage their hearing. Not only are they great for introducing your kids to the music you love, they can also be used for fireworks night, aeroplanes, and more. They are sold on site if you forget to bring some.
5) Only pack the essentials
Children can get homesick, so bringing their favourite pyjamas, soft toy or pillow can make them feel more relaxed and ready to enjoy everything the festival has to offer. But while you may have grand plans of ‘glamping’ it up with your family, when you’ve unloaded all the board-games, gadgets and chargers you’ll be wishing you’d used that space for wet wipes, blankets and a decent torch.
6) Waterproofs, Dust & Loo Friendly Clothes
A waterproof poncho should be at the top of your list, and with leggings underneath, can be whipped off and on to suit our unpredictable British summers. Keep kid’s clothes simple for drama-free visits to the loos…a onesie is a pain in a portaloo! Latitude rarely gets boggy with its light sandy soil, but in very dry weather it can get dusty so a bandana is a handy accessory.
7) Sign up to workshops
There are some incredible workshops available and at Latitude we don’t charge for any of them. Most activities are drop-in and require no booking, but where booking is required, we’ll let you know and suggest booking early if you’re keen…either way we always keep places for Day Visitors and walk-ups to give everyone a chance to attend.
8) Pack snacks!
You’d be forgiven for passing a moaning toddler a bag of Skittles on a long country walk, but if prepared you can keep your little festival goers happy and full without inducing a sugar crash, so bring plenty of snacks with you. We have an amazing non-profit vegetarian café run by local Greenpeace in the kid’s area, serving from breakfast onwards, so don’t panic if you eat all your treats on the first day!
We hope these tips help to ease your mind about bringing young ones to the festival – we can’t wait for you and your family to experience all there is to offer at Latitude 2023!