This weekend we had the pleasure of attending Wychwood Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Below we share our five reasons why you should take your kids to Wychwood Festival in 2018!
We rather nervously attended Wychwood Festival for the first time last year, I say nervously because it was the first festival we took our boys to who were only 5 & 2 years old at the time. We had visions of mud splattered drunks from the festivals we used to attend in our 20’s but of course we enjoyed a very different experience!
We chose Wychwood as our first festival because, rather impressively, it is nominated as the “Best Family Festival” EVERY single year in the UK Festival Awards. This year was the 13th Wychwood Festival and the organisers had clearly gone out of their way to make sure it was the best year yet for kids and families.
If you are a little apprehensive about attending a music festival with your kids here is why we think you should consider Wychwood Festival in 2018…
Loads of Activities, Workshops & Live Performances for Kids of ALL ages
My boys literally ran around from one activity to the next this weekend. They particularly enjoyed the circus skills area and family circus show, clay modelling, dipping in and out of the arts and crafts sessions, science demonstrations and watching Mr WOW & Time Travelling Toby performing their tricks.
The highlight of their weekend was hands down, Katy Ashworth, the host of I Can Cook on CBeebies. Harry’s face when he realised that his TV idol was on the stage just in front of him was a moment I will treasure for a long time! Katy energetically opened the show on the Saturday and quickly had us, and everyone in the audience, pretending to be various fruits. She also managed to convince a few parents to completely embarrass themselves by taking part in a dance off. I was most impressed when she introduced her young son Charlie to the audience. She just laughed it off when he decided to do his own thing and kept referring to him as her ‘nutter’. Much to my boys delight!
In addition to the activities my boys dragged their Daddy and I along to, there was also kids music making sessions, a stinky sock puppet workshop, mosaic and pom-pom making, screen printing, pimping festival hat and welly sessions, comic strip workshops, a Little Signers Club, lots of opportunities to meet with famous authors, illustrators and LOTS more! There was basically events taking place for kids from when the festival opened on Friday afternoon right through to Sunday tea time.
Kids Day Tickets From Only £14! (Under 5’s Free)
Yup you read that right. Kids 5 and under were free, up to 9 years old were just £14 for a day pass and up to 14 years old just £26. I think these prices were very reasonable especially considering the amount of activities on offer. (Camping for all children was also free).
There were of course extras to pay for whilst at the festival i.e. the Helter Skelter, bouncy castles and a few of the activities had a small charge, (i.e. kite making workshop £4) but there were so many free events to choose from that we found our boys did not hassle us for money, too much!
Laid Back & Friendly Atmosphere
Everywhere you looked this weekend there were kids running around, chasing bubbles, practising circus skills and dancing to the live music. I lost sight of the boys on a couple of occasions over the weekend, they kept running off to check new things out, but it wasn’t the sort of place where you needed to panic. Most people were just sat on the grass enjoying the live music and chilling with friends.
Richard and I returned to the festival late on Sunday night without our boys to watch The Levellers. We were surprised at how many kids were still around, even at 11pm. (It made Richard feel guilty as he kept saying the boys would have loved it…. I was too busy enjoying the performance to feel guilty!)
Family Friendly Facilities and Site
Cheltenham Racecourse is an absolutely stunning site, it is also really flat with lots of hard paths, so perfect for push chairs and pulling kids along in those cool wagons. (I am definitely getting one of those next year after we have ditched our pushchair! There is no way all of our festival kit will fit in a backpack!)
Festivals have a pretty bad reputation for toilet facilities but at Wychwood they have the posh portaloo cabin type ones with running water which are regularly cleaned. (Shock, horror… I even sat down on one of the toliet’s which I NEVER do so it must have been REALLY clean!)
The youngest festival goers are catered for too with a Breast Feeding Tent Cafe exclusively for nappy changes and nursing mum’s.
We loved the range of food stalls at Wychwood. We tucked into fish and chips, although you could also buy burritos, quesadillas, gourmet burgers, noodles, wood fired pizza and even gluten-free dishes. So lots of choices for even the fussiest of little eaters. Unlike other festivals the organisers are also quite happy for picnics to be brought onto the site too which helps keeps the cost down of the weekend.
One of the many things I love about Wychwood Festival is that you can get back to your car parked in the (free) car park within a few minutes. This is really useful for leaving extra layers etc and avoids being weighed down with too much kit!
Lots of Glamping Options for Little Adventurers
Festival camping has moved on a lot since I attended my first V Festival, many moons ago! I spotted tipis, yurts and bell tents in the camping area. They also offer a pre-erected tent service which sounds like my idea of stress free family camping. Especially as they allow campers to load and unload at the campsite to avoid any walking laden down with camping kit.
So that’s it. Our five reasons why we think you should take your kids to Wychwood Festival in 2018! Have you attended Wychwood Festival? Are you tempted to go now? Would love to know your thoughts!
Click here for tips on attending Wychwood Festival with kids.
Disclaimer – We were provided with weekend press tickets for Wychwood Festival in return for this honest write up. All opinions are, as always, our own. Photos copyright Travel Loving Family.