2016 family festival round-up

Festival-going may have changed since having children but there's really no need to miss out. Check out our round-up of the best family-friendly events coming up this summer...

Just So Festival
Image credit: teneightstudios
Summer is packed full of fun foodie events the whole family will love. We’ve picked out the ones most geared up for kids but we haven’t sidelined adult indulgences either, from locally-brewed beer to a lakeside spa, there's plenty to keep everyone happy... 

Cornbury Music festivalCornbury Music Festival 2016

8th - 10th July
Oxfordshire
Adult weekend ticket £170, Children's 0 - 2 years free, 3 - 12 years £35, 13 - 16 years £115

Cornbury Music Festival is an eclectic mix of farmers, musicians, chefs, Morris dancers and plenty of families. The festival offers a quiet camping zone for children, an inspiring teen tent, as well as an impressive range of free arts and craft activities for all ages - youngsters can learn to do everything from playing the ukulele to mastering a unicycle. Plus there’s a magical funfair to be explored too…

Cornbury Music Festival

Womad 2016Womad 2016

28th - 31st July
Wiltshire

Adult weekend ticket £175, Children 0 - 13 years free, 14 - 17 years £85

Not just famous for its music, this year the Taste the World stage offers the opportunity to gain insight into the world of some of the performing artists. Running with a Brazilian Carnival theme for 2016, you can expect a colourful Children’s Parade, one of the festival highlights. The World of Children kids zone will offer music and dance workshops, face painting, t-shirt printing, a circus area, and animation and film making classes with the BFI. Plus there are vintage rides at Carters Steam Fair and a dedicated spa area for the adults.

Womad

Camp bestivalCamp Bestival 2016

28th - 31st July
Dorset

Adult weekend ticket £197.50, Children 0 - 4 years £15, 5 - 9 years £45, 10 -12 years £93, 13 - 17 years £118

There's an out-of-space theme to this year's Camp Bestival, with a pop-up planetarium, chemistry shows, freezing fog and much more. Adults can kick back to the sounds of Fatboy Slim, Tears For Fears and Katy B, and children can get up close to big names like Dick and Dom and Mr Tumble. There'll be Adventures with Vegetable Sessions for children each morning where kids will get busy learning how to make salad, smoothies and soups, and young historians can even try their hand at Tudor cooking. 

Camp Bestival

WildernessWilderness 2016

4th - 7th August
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Adult weekend ticket £164.50, Children
0 - 10 years £5 11 - 17 years £80 

This award-winning festival is famous for its family-friendly vibe. If you're after the full gastronomic experience, treat yourself to additional tickets to the long-table banquets hosted by Virgilio Martinez, Raymond Blanc and Skye Gyngell. 

Kids can get stuck into everything from pony riding and theatre production to a magnificent insect circus. There's storytelling, puppetry, art workshops, and an enchanted tree where you'll find musicians, clowns and puppeteers. But if you want to experience the lakeside spa, take part in a meditation workshop, or hop into a wood-fired hot tub for the afternoon, there's a very handy babysitting service too.

Wilderness

Just So Festival 2016 Just So Festival

19th  - 21st August
Cheshire
Adult weekend ticket £125, Children 0 - 3 years free, 4 - 17 years £50

The Just So Festival is an annual weekend-long camping festival for children and their families. The festival provides a magical experience where art, music and literature are celebrated in a beautiful landscape. From a raucous pillow fight in the woods, to midnight feasts and a spellbound forest, there's plenty to keep young imaginations happy. Keen bakers can bring their creations to the competitive Just So Bake Off, or you can just pop along to admire the display. The peekaboo tent is a designated area where zero to fours can get busy playing with paint, clay, popping bubbles and listening to stories and songs. There are also classes in everything from baby massage to pregnancy yoga.

Just So Festival

The Big Feastival 2016The Big Feastival

26th - 28th August
The Cotswolds
Adult weekend ticket £170, Children 0 - 12 years £30, 13 - 17 years £90

It's not surprising that Jamie Oliver's festival is a bit of a foodie frenzy, with big names like Deliciously Ella to Hemsley & Hemsley taking part, and of course the main man himself. This year in the Little Dudes Den there'll be a wheat project where children will have the chance to take part in the journey of making bread, from harvesting and milling to baking. Plus the usual face painting, storytelling, dance lessons and jam sessions will be in full force. You might even have the honor of bumping into the Gruffalo if you head along to the Big Top Tent on Friday.

The Big Feastival

Ludlow food festivalLudlow Food Festival 2016

9th -11th September
Shropshire
Day ticket from £8, Children 0-13 years free


Located in Ludlow Castle and around the town, this festival makes a scenic day or weekend trip. With more than a 160 independent food and drink stalls, hands-on workshops, pudding tasting and ale trails, there's an abundance of fun, food and activity to keep a family entertained. 

There are also healthy kids' cookery classes in the castle gardens, where kids can get stuck in and parents can pick up useful tips for lunch boxes, interesting dinners and ways of making vegetables fun. Let's Talk Farming will be inspiring kids to think about nature just outside the gates and there's also a circus tent for kids to try out new skills. 

Ludlow Food Festival

AldeburghAldeburgh Food & Drink Festival 2016

​24th September – 25th September
Aldeburgh
Adult day ticket £8, Adult weekend ticket £14, Children 0 - 15 years free

Aldeburgh Food Festival offers over 90 Suffolk food producers and an abundance of local food and drink to sample. There's also musical inspiration and a cooking club for kids where they can make all manner of foodie creations. Familiar faces will include Angela Hartnett, Anna Jones, Dan Doherty, Jose Pizarro and Anna Hansen.

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Hampton Court PalaceBBC Good Food Festival 2016

27-29th August 
Hampton Court Palace
Adult day ticket £18, children 5 - 15 years £9, children 0 - 4 free

We couldn't forget our very own BBC Good Food Festival, set in the scenic Hampton Court Palace. You'll find a selection of family entertainment including a circus school with live performances throughout the day, face painting, the great garden game activity trail and hands-on Tudor cookery. There's also live music to enjoy whilst you picnic in the gardens. Perfect if you don't fancy pitching a tent and fighting your way through a mosh pit...

BBC Good Food Festival

You may also be interested in the following guides:

Have you got a favourite food festival in mind? We'd love to hear your ideas and recommendations...

This review was last updated in April 2016. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com. 

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Comments (3)

teacup9592's picture

Interesting article. As I am working for an events promotion company, we have found and increase in food related events being posted on our site. But when you have to attend events with young children, the choice is far less. That's why articles like yours are really helpful so that we can still make our children discover other countries' culture. Thank you.

Sarah @ http://www.jorlio.com

cheltenhamgal's picture

The Cheltenham Food and Drink festival is on 13th until 15th June

CDA's picture

There is a new food festival aimed at all the family in Upton, Worcs. this year alongside the Upton Jazz festival. Great day out. See : http://www.uptonfoodandbeerfestival.co.uk/ for full information. I bought a ticket with 20% reduction as with many other festivals offering 'early-bird' tickets. If taking the whole family, this can amount to quite a saving.

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