When we went to our first camping exploring the beauty of Cornwall, we have heard about amazing festivals for families that are organized in the UK. We were particularly interested in one of the family camping festivals to understand what they get to offer. Indeed, there are so many festivals in the UK, but did you know there is a range of family festivals too?
During our camping in the New Forest, we knew about the Just So Festival, and it turned out to be one incredibly fantastic experience.
Using this Free Travel Checklist you can now work digitally without the need to print it out. It includes:
- Travel abroad
- A day on the beach
- Ski resorts
- A family day out with a toddler
- Travel Essentials for 0-24 months old baby
- Food On-The-Go
- Your medical kit
Where does Just So Festival happen?
Just So Festival happens in Cheshire, ST7 3QT.
You can find all the details and instructions on how to get there, what public transport to take and which entrance to access here.
The organizers of this family event are truly amazing.
When does Just So Festival take place?
It usually happens at the end of August and lasts for three days.
Of course, some families prefer to visit the festival for one day, but for the ones who come from far, it is opened starting from Friday noon up to Sunday night. You will be required to check out by 11 am on Monday.
What is Just So Festival and what to expect?
Just So Festival is one of the best family-friendly festivals you can visit in the UK filled with hundreds of fun activities for babies, toddlers, teenagers, and adults. The event happens in the wild for the entire three days. It is also a family camping festival, so you will need to bring all your camping gear with you or book a spot for your camping van.
Families that travel by car can start entering at noon to set up early. You will need a good few hours to get all ready for the festival.
Tip: Try to get as fast as possible. The campsite is assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis. Spaces for your tent are running out really fast. Also, this campsite does not offer an electric pitch. But you will have amazing showers, toilets, and device charging stations throughout the journey.
Gazeebo is not allowed unless you have a very small tent. The bottom line is that you should be cautious of the provided space and let everyone fit in.
We must pay tribute to the organizers. Indeed, this is one of the best festivals for families we have ever seen. The whole event is so well-thought. We were really skeptical in the beginning considering the cost of the ticket, but it is so worth visiting. An experience is unforgettable for everyone.
A couple of days before the festival starts you will receive an email with all the details, which is so lovely. The organizers not only put the information on how to get there, but also add a checklist of things to take, and remind what needs to be brought for some collective events, such as lantern parade, or clothes swap and donation.
Among all festivals for children, Just So Festival puts great effort to make it sustainable and protect the environment. There is so much that has been done already in terms of reducing waste, fuel consumption, and there is still so much more to be done.
You will be asked to use a reusable cup on site that you will pay for an additional £. Good motivation to keep an eye on it throughout the whole day. There is free drinking water offered at a campsite. Plus, you will not see disposable plastic bottles, serveware, straws, or single-use sachets.
What activities can you do at Just So Festival?
Oh, this is when it gets interesting. I seriously doubt you would be able to try them all within the three days. There is a myriad of things to see, try, and do. Most of the visitors attend Just So Festival for over ten years now. It is their tradition, so they plan their visit carefully and know exactly what they want. It is a bit overwhelming (to put it mildly) for the first comers.
So, first of all, you should know that Just So Festival is not only the place where you attend various activities. You are also playing throughout the whole time trying to gain as many golden pebbles as possible and handle them all to your tribe leader by the end of the last festival day. That’s right, there are tribes!
Just So Festival kept a great tradition of the Animal Carnival. From the very beginning of the festival, you will see over 90% of dressed-up visitors. You can choose your tribe animal and stick to it for the purpose of the game. You can be the following:
Trust us (as it was our first time), if you are not dressed up, you will most likely stand out from the crowd. The costumes that people come up with made us speechless. Indeed, people’s fantasy is endless. In reality, most of the visitors will change their garments and appearance each day: different clothes, attributes, or make-up. It really deserves to be seen.
Besides, the organizers create or rent stunning costumes and masks for each tribe leader. There are other animals too walking around and having fun with your children.
Tip: To win as many golden pebbles as possible, come charged with jokes, riddles, and stories that you can present to volunteers. They are the ones who you should search for. Plus, you can go big by winning various competitions and participating in different contests.
On Sunday evening, the results of the winning tribe will be announced, and everyone is welcomed to participate in Animal Carnival!
As mentioned before, there are billions of things to see and do, over 250 different pieces of programming, to be exact. At the entrance, you will see the reception tent where you can charge your devices and buy a Festival Programme Map for £5. Honestly, it will be worth getting a map with all the details and an activity schedule.
The organizers have thought of everyone and arranged special activities for kids of all ages, including adults. There are even special baby massage and pregnancy yoga classes going on. Older kids will enjoy participating in the contests, play games, and watch movies outdoors, while toddlers will be thrilled to do some crafts, visit a forest fairy, eat marshmallows near the campfire listening to a story, enjoy puppet shows and construction work. There are parties and lots of dancing until midnight for parents too.
Below is just a list of some activities (we couldn’t include them all):
- Listening to the stories with a campfire at the Spellbound Forest.
- Singing and dancing – the site has various places with stages where you can hear different bands playing.
- Wandering in the woods – in the afternoon the path is lighted with hundreds of lights and it is such a pleasant mysterious walk.
- Visiting a forest fairy.
- Watching a puppet show – this time it was performed by RNC, a fantastic show mixed with sign language.
- Constructing a building with a hammer and saw.
Attention! Anyone who gets in the site hardly gets out. It seems kids forget that there are tons of other activities, they just spend hours building things.
- Making plates, cups, and vases from clay – my son loved it so much that we took him to some classes after the festival.
- Watching circus performers and acrobats.
- Taking circus classes and practicing some tricks.
- Building a bird’s nest.
- Learning sign language – great activity! We then started to watch youtube videos and learn some more signs.
- Doing baby massage.
- Playing board games – for some quiet time, there is a tent with hundreds of super interesting board games for all ages.
- Wandering around and talking to lots of animals of all kinds.
- Collecting golden pebbles.
- Swapping the clothes and donating yours with a written story on them.
- Bringing a homemade cake and winning family weekend tickets for next year’s festival.
- Staying up late for the Just So Midnight Feast that includes stories, music, and treats.
- Making crafts and lanterns for a Lantern night.
What to do if your child is lost?
Just So Festival can be quite crowdy, especially when the events are taking place. But the organizers took care of your children. Not to mention that there is an ambulance with paramedics at the entrance guarding all day long.
At the entrance, you will be given bracelets which you can write on your phone number and the name of your child. Every child is explained how the staff members look like and what they wear, so your child has no trouble asking for help. Plus, right in the middle of the site, there is a special tent for lost children. All is under control!
What shall I bring to the Just So Festival?
Apart from the camping gear, there are certain must-bring things that we have learned as new-comers:
- Wellies – as we all may know, England is quite rainy. If you don’t have wellies, it may be very challenging walking through the mud.
- Foldable push trolley – this comes so handily when your child is tired. We have never seen it before. People were decorating their kids’ wagons putting lights all over the place, and adding pillows and blankets to make your children comfy while staying out late. These wagons are the best for carrying all your camping gear from the parking lot to your campsite, as it is quite a walk!
Read More: Choose the Best Wagon for Kids.
- Home-made cake in a hope of winning the family weekend tickets for the next year’s festival.
- Two empty cartons of milk to make your lantern. You will be given scissors, sticks, tape, pens, and a candle.
- And we got lots of ideas for our costumes and attributes for the next year’s Animal Carnival!
What festivals for families can you recommend? Share with us by leaving your comment below!
IMPORTANT: We created the Family Store especially for you. By clicking on the image below you can find anything from Newborn’s First Kit, Baby & Family Essentials, Kids Travel to Travel Gear. We hope you will find something valuable for your own adventures!
Our shop contains products from other companies that we love and use! Everything is based on our values of quality over quantity.
To get more support from parents and family travellers, join our Parenting Support Group.
And follow us on Instagram to know our crazy expat life!
Also, check out:
Welcome to check out our best product selection for parents and babies, including travelling gear and resources here.
This post may contain affiliate links that we may or may not receive a small commission for, at no extra cost to you. This helps to fund our blog but we never advertise for anything we don’t personally love or recommend. There is never any pressure to buy anything, we just like sharing things that make our life easier and help you find them if it is something you are looking for. Please, see our full disclosure here.