Whilst I’m pleased not to be wading through the mud at Glastonbury this weekend, I can’t help wonder if my festival going days are over? Sat comfortably at home with Beck playing live on BBC, I’ve certainly got a great view and prime position for Coldplay later today. But there is no denying it, I’m a big live music fan and you just can’t replace that feeling of being in the middle of a crowd at a festival. But surely those days aren’t over and if you aren’t quite ready to brave a large festival with children there are a growing number of kids festivals tailored around your needs. Yes, you really don’t need to give up those festivals, get those summer dates in the diary now and enjoy the best kids festivals in Essex.
Best Kids Festivals in Essex
#1 The 3foot People Festival – Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Home to the V Festival, this is an award-winning event. You’ll also be disappointed if you haven’t already booked for this years dates as tickets are now sold out – you will have to be very lucky to track down one at this late stage!
Why is it so popular? Well firstly the event takes place during term time and thus targeted at under 5 years without needing to cater for older children. This ensures that all the rides, games, and entertainment are specifically targeted at those 3-foot attendees.
Taking the form of a village for little people, the festival has hundreds of individual activities taking place throughout each day, making it easily one of the best kids festivals in Essex. You can spend the day in tents, teepees and domes for those activities or head over to the one very huge sandpit.
Note chargeable parking is available at Hylands Park though shuttle buses will also be available from the city centre.
2016 Dates – 28th to 30th June (9.30 to 4pm)
Ticket Prices – between £2 and £11 for children and £11 for parents/guardians
#2 KidsFest – Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park
Noted as the Glastonbury for Kids, this popular family day out venue hosts a yearly kids festival.
You can meet a huge range of popular children’s characters including my favourite Leo and Raph from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Cowabunga!). Along with a packed day of entertainment to watch including Paw Patrol, Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew and Mad Science.
One of the best things about this kids festival is that it is truly an all inclusive ticket. You can enjoy all of the above plus inflatable rides, fun fair rides whilst still getting access to the normal farmyard fun.
2016 Dates – 14th August
Ticket Prices – £19.99 online and £25 on the door
More Info – http://www.marshfarm.co.uk/kids-fest/
#3 Young Children’s Festival – Castle Park, Colchester
Another hugely popular festival which takes place in the stunning surrounding of Colchester Park. This Essex based kids festival has just celebrated its 21st Birthday.
I love the festival bake off that takes part each year and you’ll find a great range of activities including theatre workshops, dance, fairy gardens and funny obstacle races among many other attractions.
Unfortunately, you have just missed this year’s festival but do join their facebook page for updates on 2017 dates. Fundraising has started for next year’s event – please do support.
2016 dates – June 11th (10.30 to 4pm) – June 11th (10.30 to 4pm)
Ticket Prices – FREE
#4 Kidz Fest – Orsett Show Ground
One of the only kids festivals in Essex that offers the opportunity to camp at the showground (pitch for £10).
The Kidz Fest also takes on the form of a village with themed areas hosting interactive activities and performances throughout the day. You’ll even find a Story Lane, where fairytales come to life or if you prefer a bit of adventure head to Jungle Drive to explore the wilderness.
You’ll find all of the normal entertainment on site including live music, face painting, and soft play, making it a great day out for kids of all ages.
2016 Dates – 6th and 7th August
Ticket Prices -£16 in advance, £18 on the door, under 2’s free
#5 Village Green Festival of Arts and Music – Chalkwell Park, Southend on Sea
Whilst not targeted specifically at children, I know many Mum’s that have attended and have been pleased re the facilities and entertainment on offer. You’ll only have to view the homepage of the festival sites to understand that they are looking to cater for families and children of all ages (specific child tickets are available for under 10 years free).
A festival of both arts and music, there are several stages across the festival including a Beach Hut stage (not biased at all, am I!). With additional dance, theatre and literature areas, there is no shortage of family and kids based activities which should keep everyone happy.
2016 Dates – 9th July (11am to 10pm)
Ticket Prices – under 10s free, Age 11-17 £5, Adults £12.50 when bought in advance
More Info – http://www.villagegreenfestival.com/
Enjoy your Festival Filled Summer:
So rain or shine, just pull out those wellies and introduce the whole family to the amazing world of a festival. It’s never too early to start their festival experience. In a few years time, you may be helping them pack their own bags for Glastonbury!
If you are still looking for that perfect family day out, then why not have a look at our previous blog on 15 Free Family Days Out in Essex.
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