Thursday, 10 May 2012

Art of Living - Summer Festivals

Yes, its that time of year when we start to think about the summer festivals. We grew up with countless as did many of our generation. Festivals from the annual trip to Glastonbury to some very early Stonehenge festivals and all that was in between. With so many childhood memories of the elaborate and creative events that took place rain or shine, we look foward to this time of year every summer. The Festival season is about to begin!
These days there are festivals I could only have dreamt of as a child and with so much to offer children there are many you can enjoy as a family together.
So if you've not got any tickets booked yet take a look at our pick of the best family friendly festivals where children can join in the wild rumpous, the enormous creativity and enjoy all the amazing fun that's on offer.

The Spellbound Forest
19th & 20th May 2012 Delamere Forest Cheshire 

Strictly speaking this is not a festival but we couldn't write this list without this intriguing theatrical event. The Spellbound Forest promises to be an enchanting experience and one to begin this years summer events.

"Wild Rumpus & the Forestry Commission invite you and your family to step into The Spellbound Forest. Twisting paths through the forest tell the twisting tales of English Fairy Tales through theatrical performance, music, visual art and dance. From the youngest to the oldest member of your family, lose yourself in the enchanted world of fairy tales, where men

can become birds, tears become rivers, and children whirl at the elven ball. The Spellbound Forest won’t just tell tales though, we will create our own new English Fairytale, dance our own new dance, and sculpt a marvellous creation to live in the forest long after the magic has faded.

You know the stories of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, but let us introduce you to the English Fairy Tales that are waiting in the Spellbound Forest for you to wake them up." 

This is certainly going to be a magical event where we will begin to believe in fairy tales again.

Be sure to take a look at the News Section where you'll find some travel activity packs (great for the train ride) and a wonderful 'how to' for an origami bird which you can bring with you to hang in the trees of the spellbound forest adding to 'the glorious flock of birds on the Earl Mar's daughters pathway.

17th, 18th & 19th August 2012 Regents Park London

Lollibop is a great family festival based in Regents Park. Perfect for the camping shy there's a host of free activities, performances and bands to entertain the under 10's. Now going into its 3rd year in which last year saw Rastamouse!  Its a big party for little people with a programme that will ensure everyone has a great time.
This year alongside many of the characters from cbeebies and channel 5's milkshake show doing a whole lot of dancing and bubble blowing, you'll find The Gruffalo, science museum workshops and Shrek the musical. 

Camp Bestival
26th 27th 28th 29th July 2012 Lulworth Castle Dorset

Camp Bestival is perhaps the most talked about, the best loved and most fondly remembered of all the festivals each year. Every year it receives rave reviews from the press (Catherine Nelson at the Guardian wrote a great review last year,) In a beautiful setting with Lulworth Castle providing the backdrop, an unmissable line up of amazing talent and more mind-blowing activities than a child could dream of the only people enjoying the banished bedtimes and the giant dressing up boxes are the parents!
This is the best it gets and each year it gets better!

We'll see you there!

Wychwood music festival
8th - 10th June Cheltenham 

Nominated best children's festival 6 years in a row Wychwood Festival has to be doing a whole lot of something right. With more than 100 activities for children from an All Age Circus Workshop presented by Solo Circus , music workshops and a family theatre this is a boutique festival with an impressive line up. Waterstones is sponsoring the Children's Literature festival, an integral part of the festival, and you can visit the Roald Dahl Museum tent and perhaps get a chance to experience some of the variety of author events programmed.
With big music names like The Saw Doctors, Duke Special, the Cuban brothers, James and Nina and the Neurons there's a lot to get excited about. So why not try out a yurt or a tepee for a few days of summer fun with the family at the Wychwood Music Festival.

Wilderness Festival

10th - 12th August Cornbury Park Oxfordshire

A festival with its own lakeside spa? Oh how all the years gone by I'd wished for this! 
The Wilderness Festival is a relatively new festival that seems to have taken the magic of all those gone by and put it together in a breathtaking location adding their unique sprinkle of  wonder and charm . Defined by its passions it brings together a true celebration of the arts from spectacular theatre and Opera, more children's activities than any child or parent could wish for, and debates and talk. There's a strong emphasis on art and crafts too. But the Wilderness festival is also a celebration of the outdoors, with its picturesque location of wild meadows, lakes, and trees you'll discover horse riding, foraging, boating and fly-fishing, wild swimming and even hot tubs!

If to celebrate artistic excellence also extends to dining then the Wilderness Festival has captured this completely. You'll discover 300 seat long banqueting tables and fine dining tents from favourite restaurateurs.
You can sit with family and foreigner and enjoy evenings of gastronomic delights under the stars.

There is so much on offer, so many ways in which this festival will capture your heart and have you believing in the magical wisdom of the generations before us that promoted love, peace and harmony only this is the counterpart to the hedonistic past, a romantic, indulgent discovery that keeps its feet firmly on the meadow ground. The genius behind this all Tim Harvey, Jim Whewell and Jo Vidler have given us the dream festival and boy I can't wait!

If these pictures can't do it justice take a look at the video below. It'll have you instantly clicking through to book tickets! The only problem is that with such a packed programme of activities and experiences you'll be wishing it could last forever.

I'll see you by the lake sipping champagne!

Just So Festival
17th - 19th August Rode Hall Parkland Cheshire

Just so festival says 'take your family on a journey of the imagination' and this is precisely what the festival does. A festival created for families and children it is the boutique sister of a bygone Glastonbury. With magic discover in the beautiful wondrous woodlands and landscape there's music, workshops and performances.
You'll discover ballet and modern jive, belly dancing and a retro disco in the Jitterbug area, Games, stories, juggling and trapeze in the Lazy Days, you can step inside NowHereNow, a place of illusion where nothing is quite as it seems, A zone for the Wild Things is where you can join the rumpous,  and a peekaboo area for the very young, and, if it isn;t in Nowherenow, and it isn'y away with fairies. If, in Facat, it is no where else, then it must be Elsehwere!

When legs get weary at the end of the day you can grab a little wooden cart to travel little sleepy heads under the and through the evening's magic. There are yurts to keep you cozy under the starlit sky and delicous dining too!
With this weekend long festival you can expect a mix of magic that will see you wanting to return year after year and long after the children have grown up.

There we have it. Something for everyone, every age.
There'll be magic and games, theatre and literature, music and mayhem, family and friends, new things discovered and wonderful memories made.
The Festival Summer of 2012

This is part of 'The Art of Living' collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and our weekly 'Wedesday Woo'.
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