Are you going to a festival this summer? With your kids? Are you terrified?
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Well don't be.
Up All Hours is here to help. We know how to survive festivals with small children in tow. So here we share our tips about what to pack and how to get the most out of the day.
But this year, we're going one step further. We're going to BE there for you! Like, actually BE there! At the festival! In our very own tent! Which will provide an oasis of calm, whatevever the weather and however hectic it is outside.
In the Up All Hours tents, you can do all of the following, completely free:
- Change your baby. We've got six nappy-changing stations, kitted out with free wipes, nappies, cream (and the world's biggest nappy bin).
- Feed your baby. Here you'll find somewhere comfortable you can sit down (that isn't a patch of wet grass, next to a brass band or in full view of a coachload of teenagers celebrating their A-level results) and breastfeed, or warm a bottle, and take your time. You can heat up your own baby food in our Aga too.
- Have a massage. We have some incredible Cassada massage chairs for you to try out.
- Chill your child out. There's an area for children with toys and colouring packs to distract them.
- Park your buggy. Pretty self-explanatory this one.
- Find your child. Using our Lost Child Point. Always useful, this. (You'll have to have actually lost a child already though. One of your own. We're not just going to match you up with a random child.)
We'll also have a range of Little Dish meals for you to purchase for hungry offspring, which we'll heat up for you in the Aga. (You're welcome to heat up your own food in it too.)
But mostly we'll be trying to give you all manner of stuff to try out or take home. Here are some more of the amazing products and brands you might discover in our tents:
Green People sun cream; Happy Monkey smoothies; wipes for hands, and noses, from Jackson Reece; Milton antibacterial hand gel and sterilising kits; mobiles, muslins and bibs from Mothercare; Munchy Seeds snacks; eco nappies and wipes from Naty; Spatone, an iron supplement, from Nelsons; furniture, including changing tables, from Nubie; Organix porridge; Peppersmith mints; Sudocrem; Supertreats alternative chocolate bars for kids.
It's almost worth coming to a festival just to hang out in our tent, frankly. But during the brief moments you're not in our tent, here are our survival tips:
- Nappy sacks. We're not going to be patronising and remind you to pack baby wipes. They're obvious. Top of everyone's list.* But don't forget something to put them in after use: the nappy sacks. We've all been there - code brown nappy, emergency change on the grass, but then nothing to put the offending items in. Also good for taking home dirty clothing.
- Slippers, or slipper socks. Sounds totally inappropriate, but if it's muddy it's nice to be able to change them out of wellies when entering kid-friendly tents, especially towards the evening.
- A stocked-up iPad. Everyone knows the benefits of letting a tired or bored child play on a tablet for a while, or watch something. It can buy you a good half hour while you get to eat something uninterrupted. But don't forget to download everything before you set off. You can't rely on any wifi or 4G at the festival.
- Double headphone jack. An essential purchase if you have two kids, and if they both need headphones to watch something at a noisy festival, and you've remembered both pairs, you'll be doubly annoyed if you forget this.
- Lost child wristband. Although some festivals provide their own, they don't always allow for narrow wrists, meaning that once the wristband is wrapped round, some of the crucial information might not be visible. As well as your phone number, also include an 'If found, return to' location.
- Sun cream. Even if the forecast is rain.
- A jumper. Even if the forecast is hot. It'll be cooler in the evening, and a folded-up jumper can double up as a pillow for emergency naps.
- Antibacterial hand gel. Then you won't need to waste one of the precious wipes you've definitely packed.*
- Ear protectors. A must, if you're going anywhere near live music on a big stage.
- Pre-booked activities. The more family-friendly festivals have lots of activities, and occasionally you have to pre-book a slot. Avoid tantrums by looking carefully at the website before you go, map out a rough plan so you don't miss the things your child likes best, and if necessary pre-book a slot so they're not disappointed when you get there.
- Disposable formula bottles. Or at least take pre-made formula in a carton, rather than queuing for boiling water and faffing about with powder. Yes, it's more expensive, but it's worth it. Remember - you originally suggested going to this festival to have FUN.
- Tap water. At least one bottle per head. Makes your bag heavier, but it's not just about resenting paying for the stuff - sometimes the queue is too long when you need it the most. Okay, this is an obvious one, but at least we didn't insult you by reminding you about wipes.*
- Glow-in-the-dark stuff. If you're planning to stay til the sun goes down, or even overnight. Stickers, face paint, glow sticks - anything as long as they don't require batteries. These appeal to kids of all ages, and can inject some much-needed enthusiasm just when little ones are beginning to flag. Also, the more visible they are, the safer they are, and less likely to get lost.
*Don't forget the wipes.
Up All Hours will be at the following festivals this summer:
Jimmy’s Farm Sausage and Beer Festival 25th – 26th July
Chris Evans’s Carfest North 30th July – 2nd August
Jamie Oliver and Alex James’s Big Feastival 28th – 30th August
Chris Evans’s Carfest South 28th – 30th August
Here's some of the lovely feedback we had about our festival tents this summer.
@UpAllHours made my baby's first festival that much easier. Mummy got a massage (chair) after some breastfeeding and a drink. Perfect!— Carli (@Peach_isKeen) August 3, 2015
@UpAllHours . Such an Amazing concept and space to relax. Made our @Carfestevent a breeze. Loved the restbite. Thank you x— Olivia Starkey (@StarkersOlive) August 3, 2015
@UpAllHours thank you for helping out with lunchtime 'issues' and for chilling out the 'big boys' @Carfestevent pic.twitter.com/D3YFa8m5bY— Fiona Blackwell (@Fiona_Blackwell) August 3, 2015
Everything babies and parents could need. AND MASSAGE CHAIRS @UpAllHours @Carfestevent pic.twitter.com/gsKXAkC9Tw— Becky (@BeckyWilson80) August 2, 2015
Just been saved by the wonderful people at @UpAllHours at @Carfestevent North. What a wonderful service. Thank you!!!— Becky (@BeckyWilson80) August 2, 2015
Big thanks @UpAllHours for the amazing baby change and feeding facilities @Carfestevent #CarFestNorth #amazing pic.twitter.com/8uH8rtDtea— Nick Riley (@nickriley_arch) August 2, 2015
@UpAllHours brilliant tent @JimmysFarmHQ especially with these 3 terrors! hope to see you again 😀 pic.twitter.com/alAWEzHhWU— Virido Concept House (@BeZero_Family) July 27, 2015
Banner looks great as does the stand ... Go visit @upallhours for all your mummy need @jimmysfarm… https://t.co/QvBHUUWxsS— Martin Goodyear (@I_am_not_famous) July 25, 2015
Good to see you again @UpAllHours at @jimmysfarm A very soggy day indeed, but made better, @DJ_BBQ style! #sausageandbeerfestival— Gareth Waymark (@gruffymax1982) July 26, 2015