So you’re looking for a little adventure this summer with a music festival but Coachella (and the requisite flower crowns) aren’t really your style, considering you now have an entourage of kids in tow with you wherever you go.
What’s a music-festival-loving parent to do? Attend one of these family friendly music festivals, of course. Because becoming a parent doesn’t mean your music festival days are over–you just have a few more sidekicks along the way as you enjoy your favorite tunes.
East Lulworth, UK
Known as the music festival of Europe, Camp Bestival is the little sister, family friendly version of Bestival in the UK. It’s much more than just a music festival and is a multi-day speculator event with everything from shows and performances to go-Kart rides and an entire fairy world. The musical line-up for the weekend comes courtesy of Rob da Bank , who’s responsible for helping launch the careers of greats like Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, and Mumford & Sons (no biggie, right?)
There seems to be no end in sight to the amount of family fun you can find at this must-see festival. First of all, the center of the entire festival is a real castle and the garden area features activities such as circus skill-learning, a bouncy castle, a toddler area, and a breastfeeding mother and baby “chill” room. Older kids will love the fairground, soft play tent and sandpit, and the festival’s crown jewel, the Dingly Dell, an enchanted woodland area where families can build a fairy home or learn how to carve a wand.
Kids under the age of 4 are totally free for this festival, although you still need a ticket for them. There are tons of camping, from more basic options to “luxury” camping sites available and families are allowed to bring in their own alcohol to their campsites.
Tickets are now on sale.
August 3-6, 2017
Grant Park, Chicago, IL
Lollapalooza is one of the largest music festivals in the country, with eight stages and over 170 bands. The musical line-up is as diverse as the crowd you’ll find at this festival with headliners like Blink-182, Lorde, The Killers, and Chance the Rapper.
And that crowd will include, of course, plenty of families, with family friendly features such as an art fest and a mini-kids’ festival. If you’re a food-loving family, you’ll also love Lollapalooza’s emphasis on fresh “non-festival fair” eats, with plenty of local favorites and new tastes to try. General admission tickets are now sold out, but VIP, Platinum, and hotel packages are still available for purchase. Children 10 and under are free with a ticketed adult, but there’s a two-kid-per-adult limit. There are a few restrictions as to what you can bring into the festival and no camping is allowed, so be sure to check the site before you go.
Tickets are now on sale.
MoonTower Music Festival
August 26, 2017
All ages (and furry friends!) are welcome to this family friendly festival that features music from Umphrey’s McGee, Benjamin Booker, and Cherub. No outside food or beverages, coolers, or um, silly string is allowed into the festival.
Tent camping is not available for this festival, but the organizers have blocked off local hotel rooms with festival rates. RV camping is also available nearby. Locally sourced food and craft brews are available on-site and if you need to bring in any special food items, you’ll have to have a doctor’s note to go with it. However, admission to this festival is definitely affordable — you can nab a bus pass for as little as 5 dollars.
Tickets are now on sale.
August 11-13, 2018
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Can you get more quintessential than a music festival in the Golden Gate Park? We’re honestly not sure. Kids two and under get in for free to this music festival to see headliners since as Metallica, The Who,
There is so much to see and do within the park for families as well in between sets or when you just need to give your ears a break. The park features family friendly attractions such as The Conservatory of Flowers, the largest conservatory in Golden Gate Park, the Japanese Tea Garden, a Botanical Garden, and the AIDS Memorial Grove. The festival also hosts Eco Lands, a partnership to help kids and families learn more about earth-friendly initiatives such as making their own compost pile or solar energy. Strollers and tents are not allowed into the festival, but there are several accessibility options, including golf carts, that are available for patrons needing transportation help within the park. There is no camping available within the park and patrons are encouraged to book with partner hotels through the festival’s website.
Tickets are now on sale.
August 4-13, 2018
Known as the country’s only non-gated free music festival, this American music extravaganza is a 10-day event that is centered around family fun. There are MusikFest traditions such as a family run, closing fireworks, a Polka Mass and everything from comedy acts to dance performances. The musical acts range from The Band Perry and Toby Keith to Chicago and Santana, so something for everyone.
The festival is very family friendly and you can even enroll your teen in a special Video & Marketing camp during the festival, which not only provides access to all the paid shows, but trains students in how to televise their own news broadcast. Younger kids will love the festival’s many arts and crafts tents or kids in grade 6-8 can take a photography class. All ages will enjoy playing on the festival rides or interactive Crayola Creativity Tent. Many different price points for lodging is available in the area.
The festival is free, but you will have to pay to see some of the bigger headliner acts, as well as tickets for the food. No outside food is permitted into the festival.
Tickets are on sale.
Seattle Center, Seattle
September 1-3, 2018
If you live in the Northwest, you can’t miss this musical festival, hosted by the Seattle Children’s Museum and held at the famous Seattle Center, build for the 1962 World’s Fair. With a name chosen as a nod to Seattle’s famous rainy weather, it also serves as the festival’s purpose: to be an “umbrella” for the arts, including music, for the entire country.
You’ll hear from a range of national and local artists, like Lillie Mae, Taylor Bennett, and The Dreamers. For families, there’s a separate kids area for children under the age of 10, open from 11 AM to 6 PM daily during the festival to help keep younger ones busy.
All children 10 and under get in free to the festival. Local hotel lodging is available and of course, you’ll find plenty of food vendors within the festival.
Tickets are on sale now.
Taste of Country Music Festival
June 8-10, 2018
And lastly, if you missed any of this year’s summer events, mark your calendars for next year’s must-see festival if you like country music and camping. Taglined as the Northeast’s only multi-day music festival event, the Taste of Country Music Festival in Hunter, NY has something for the whole family. This year’s line-up included country stars like Eric Church and the swoon-worthy Sam Hunt, along with three-day festival and camping facilities. Accessible camping options are also available on a first-come, first-serve basis if you have special needs for your family.
If camping isn’t your family’s jam, you can also stay at many nearby hotels, with shuttle bus options to get into the festival and music shows.
Ticket sales start soon.