Welcome to music festival season! The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer, and everyone is itching for some live performances. Even the kids. As long as you're prepared, taking your kids to a music festival can be a super fun experience for you and your little music lovers!
I asked the mothers in our Facebook group their top tips on making your festival-going experience with kids the most memorable and safe. A lot of the mothers in our group are DJs, musicians, music marketers, music lovers, and festival veterans so I'm trusting their suggestions fully :) They offered up so many great tips, read below!
" Carriers are magic for little babies, baby banz are the best. A blanket. You can find a quiet place to nap, or, if you have a kid like mine - just pass out during the Stones! lol." " They generally allow kids drinks & snacks. Ask nicely. " - Daisy O'Dell (@daisyodell)
"Baby banz headphones are a must, lots of hand sanitize lol, sunblock , extra Layers , hats. We brought our bugaboo stroller .. had eye rolls but didn’t care. Extra snacks for kids." "Lots of water for the kids too (like those thermos water bottles) they will allow for kids" - Mai Ann Nguyen (@zooeyinthecity)
"We took a double jogging stroller to Austin City Limits and were fine! Even when not schlepping kids and stuff around, it was a nice place for littles to sit and/or nap." " All of the above, plus a roll of two of TP, since it often runs out. And we bring loads of glow sticks and LED raver stuff. The kids love all the light up stuff, and it makes it easier to keep track of them after dark. Hats, sunscreen, hula hoops, a totem (if allowed), beach ball, etc" - Jessica Pirkle Callan
"The two things that helped us most were carriers (like a Tula) and backpack leash things." "Not all festivals will allow you to bring in outside water and snacks but plan ahead as much as possible for those things. Our last one only allowed sealed medications and empty water bottles you could fill inside. I got expired sample formula containers and filled them with snacks, then “resealed” them. I breastfeed but they couldn’t argue with formula." " Straps to secure water cups/bottles to the carrier or stroller if you use one. We did a stroller one night and hated it. Pack a thin sheet or two in lieu of heavier blankets to sit on." "Temp tattoo or write emergency contact info on your kid just in case. (We’ve done this quite a few times with ages 1-13, and my recommendations would vary some based on the festival itself and the age(s) of the kid." - Lindsay Williams
" We took Ira to lost lake fest last October. they didn’t allow strollers the first day, so we went without it. second day we realized we need it! so we insisted on having it. We brought his usual snacks in a small ice chest & brought a sheet & pillow for him to nap during the afternoon. We made it but it was definitely a long day haha" - Grace Miles
" All you really need is the headphones that block sounds! I started bringing mine to outdoor festivals when he was 2 months old! Stroller or baby carrier... hat, sunscreen and I stayed far from the crowds 🙂 You can dm me if anything " - Julie Bouchard
-If you can get up to the barricade at a stage, the crew will often do favors for kids. At a festival, these may be more likely if there is a nearby VIP entrance/gated area. My kids have been given free snacks, water bottles, etc. People will move and make room for your kids to get close. Let college age girls dance with your daughters and put it on Snapchat! Instant friends/eagle eyes on your kids in the crowd are such a freaking bonus, and my husband and I were on a divide and conquer mission at the last festival with four kids!
Also re: being close to barricade...one of my daughters has seen several shows from INSIDE the barricades. Staff/crew asked me each time if it was “okay” for them to help her over the barricade to stand on a road case inside. OBVIOUS YES!" - Lindsay Williams
" I was pregnant the last time I went to a festival. I’m not so keen on all day festivities, personally, but maybe with the tiny humans it’d be ok? Especially ones with access to other kids or open grassy spaces so they can zonk themselves out.
The closest we’ve done is Renn Faire and that’s like second nature to me so we packed well, plus the the location was WAY convenient—literally in Downtown San Jose, CA, y’all, the Little Italy neighborhood.
It’s the kind of thing that, just like you would do for yourself or a large group, I’d say make your exit strategy, know more or less how you want to spend the day, expect the unexpected. How much are you willing to carry during the day and on the way out? 😉 Wagons are BOMB AF. Especially if they have a canopy." -Carla Bailey
What about you? Do you have any great tips for taking your kids with you to enjoy a good gig or festival? Please let us know in the comments below and we hope you have a fun and safe festival season!