Festivals are a celebration of summer, a collection of all the nicest things about being outside in the sun, brought together to enjoy with friends and family. But what if you’re not a ‘festival person’? You don’t like the crowds, the queues, the mess, the overlooked inevitabilities that come with parties? Let us tempt you with a festival done your way where you’ll have a comfy bed, electricity, hot water and plenty of loo roll.
If you ‘don’t do festivals’ but especially if you do, have you ever created your own? Our Yurts and glamping tents are the perfect setting for you to create a family tradition while on staycation; recreate theatre, music, food and atmospheric vibe in woodland clearings, meadows or the back garden. We’ve put together a list of how to create a festival while on a glamping holiday:
- Name your festival
- Choose your totally exclusive guest list
- Make a playlist
- Festival food for families
- Festival fashion
- Things to do at your festival
This is the first step in getting the little ones involved. Letting them have the honour of naming this epic event that will go down in family history is a nice touch, and you might be surprised with what they come up with.
We suggest putting their ideas in a bowl and picking the winner out fairly and squarely to lower the risk of tantrums.
This can be the best or the worst thing about a get together. Luckily a family holiday has a set guest list but you can make more of this by creating bespoke ‘invites’ to party members – it’d be a lovely way to surprise the children with the holiday idea, especially if grumpy teens are less than excited about going away with their parents.
Well, festivals are all about the music aren’t they? This is another way to get all members of the family involved, with individual playlists, or else bestow the naming-loser the honour. Just don’t rely on a radio – lots of our lovely locations don’t pick up the best signal.
The best bit, some may say. This often falls to one person, which may suit your way of doing things, but there are plenty of ways for others to join in. We suggest keeping it simple.
If there’s a BBQ at your chosen place to stay then the menu is practically chosen for you:
Festival BBQ food
- Mini burgers made with flattened meatballs
- Baked potatoes (cook the day before and roast up on the flames)
- Savoury skewers (anything tastes good on an open flame, so stick all your favourites on a stick. The best way to eat al fresco)
- Sweet skewers (here’s where the fun begins – you wouldn’t believe how good pineapple and watermelon taste when grilled)
- Baked dessert (banana split in tin foil with a chocolate bar is a favourite, but cored apples filled with brown sugar and raisins are good too)
The Day before food
- Pasta – cook up an enormous batch and fill various bowls with different flavourings; pestos, salads, nuts, cheeses, seeds, cold meats, vinaigrettes.
- Foraging – spend family time out and about picking local fruits from the hedgerows or cheat and go to a local deli if the pickings are slim (or get eaten)
Don’t forget a good batch of cocktail sticks (a great way to keep all the family occupied while you get on with the important stuff) for canape-making.
- Salmon roll ups for the older ones; flattened, de-crusted bread smeared in cream cheese, layered with smoked salmon and rolled before being gracefully stabbed through with a pointy wooden stick.
- Mini kebabs for younger ones; anything that holds it shape when skewered, like cheese and pineapple, strawberries and basil, sausage dipped in chutney, celery and grape with cheese
Always have a melon as a quick treat back up – chop in half, run a knife through to create easy-to-grab, -mouth-sized portions, plonk on a plate.
Forget Coachella, choose your own dress code and go to town knowing it doesn’t actually matter what you wear as it’s just you lot, together, having fun.
But you may have teens who take it super seriously; this is the perfect insta-opportunity for #exclusivefestival #festivalfashion #lookatme
You could even set up a photo corner complete with selfie stick and epic sunset view in the background.
Enjoy yourself! This isn’t about a highly organised event that has to play out in a certain way, it’s about letting loose, connecting with loved ones, letting your hair down and having fun.
But of course we’ve some suggestions of parent-pleasing activities for both quiet times and busy bees with lots of energy:
- During the day, get in the spirit by collecting daisies to make your own floral headdresses. Thread daisies to make chains or use them to adorn headbands, even poke them through your ears for the ultimate in eco-earrings (perhaps not!)
- Make your own wristbands – if it’s not on, you’re not coming in! Except you’re already part of the coolest festival in the world. And you can keep the wristbands as a momento rather than a receipt.
- Get your paper craft skills out to adorn every surface with pretty, recyclable decorations.
- Poke holes in tin cans to light tea lights as the sun fades.
- Face paints – maybe get your teenager on this one. If you don’t have anything official to use, go tribal with mud and really get back to nature.
- Scavenger Hunt – want them out of your hair for five minutes? The only downside is the prep this one takes, but it’s worth it (and you can always buy premade clues online).
- Competitions – depending on the type of family you are, this can create lasting memories. Befitting the festival spirit would be Hula Hooping, or bubble blowing, stone skimming or tallest pebble stack.
- Den building – appeals to the heart of every age. A woodland setting is best for supplies of sticks, but if you’ve a single nearby tree, or even a fence/hedge/chairs, drape a blanket or two to create a book-reading hideaway furnished with cushions (but please don’t drag all the soft furnishings out of the holiday let!)
As the sun falls beyond the horizon, the fun isn’t over. Take the draperies off the trees and wrap them around shoulders to huddle up around a fire-pit. Marshmallows on sticks and story-telling is like something out of a children’s book – have some at the ready in case improvisation isn’t your strong point but try a story-telling game where each person has to add a sentence to the story. Or just get the best performer to read to everyone. It’ll be dark before you know it and you’ll be gently carrying completely zonked children to their comfy beds.