If you once lived and breathed all-night raves, but now find that your all-nighters arise from sleepless kids rather than epic soundsystems in muddy fields relentlessly pumping out techno, all is not lost. Both you and those sleepless kids can get your fun fix at all kinds of child-friendly festivals across the UK and Europe, making for a perfect family getaway. At these festivals you’ll find dedicated children’s areas with entertainment, activities and food to satisfy even the fussiest of young mouths. Music-wise, adults will be able to relive their dancing days, and some of it will definitely have the kids bopping along, too. 

To get you started, here are ten festivals (five from the UK, five from Europe) which offer everything from baby yoga to wild swimming, plus loads of brilliant music, of course. With city-based events and boutique glamping options to choose from, you can ensure that you and the fam festival in comfort. Just make sure to pack ear defenders for the little ones!

Prefer a more trad holiday with the fam instead? Start perusing the best family destinations in Europe.

Looking for something a tad more cultural? Hotfoot it to the Med and pick from a festival for every month of the year in Sardinia.

Eden Festival

Eden Festival
Eden Festival – a really, really hot ticket / Image: Karl Spencer

When? June 13-16, 2024

Where? Raehills meadows, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

What? Only an hour’s drive from Glasgow (albeit down some rather windy roads), yet all taking place in a ridiculously gorgeous setting, Eden really does live up to its name. Drawing a down-to-earth, folk-loving crowd, Eden has a real community feel to it. The kids' field is right at the centre of the festival grounds and features crafts, messy play, solar-powered cinema and entertainers. Music across the four days ranges from trad folk to electronica, meaning there are grooves for both young and old to enjoy on the various dancefloors.  

edenfestival.co.uk

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Tollwood Summer Festival

Tollwood Summer Festival
Tollwood Summer Festival, AKA a playground for all ages / Image: Bernd Wackerbauer

When? June 21-July 21, 2024

Where? Munich, Germany

What? Taking over the city’s Olympic Park for a month, the summer edition of this twice-annual festival features live music, theatre performances, cultural workshops, international dining and a specially curated programme for younger minds. Kids can learn how to prepare and cook organic recipes in the children's kitchen, watch puppet shows for something more relaxing or give capoeira a spin if they’re feeling energetic. Ages 12-to-17 can even have a go at graffiti art, DJing or take part in political debates. Access to the festival ground is free, as are some events and activities, while others are costed, including the bigger musical acts – we’re looking at you, Take That, Toto, and Nile Rodgers and Chic.

tollwood.de

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Kaleidoscope

When? June 28-30, 2024

Where? County Wicklow, Ireland 

What? Kaleidoscope is a much-loved family-friendly festival in Ireland, which you can reach with a scenic drive south from Belfast. This year’s mainstage headliners include The Kooks and The Waterboys, meaning that parents of all generations can likely be transported back to some stage of their youth. Meanwhile, TikTok sensations the KK Sisters are likely to impress the younger crowd with their festival debut. In the family area you’ll find workshops covering anything from music to robotics to fitness, plus activities from the National Gallery of Ireland to teach kids about utilising salvaged materials. See, festivals can be educational and fun at the same time.

kaleidoscopefestival.ie

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Timber Festival

Timber Festival
Channel some naturey vibes at Timber Festival / Image: Leyla Guler

When? July 5-7, 2024

Where? Leicestershire, England

What? Putting a big emphasis on relationships with trees, Timber Festival takes place in the National Forest in Feanedock, a 70-acre woodland tucked away in the Midlands (only a 30-minute drive from Birmingham Airport and also reachable from London Luton and Manchester), making an ideal setting for budding eco-warriors and their fams. Alongside separate daytime and night-time music stages, festivalgoers can explore the Fire in your Belly activism area or stretch their bodies and minds in the Shivelight tent. Don’t miss the ultra-kooky fun on offer in the Craftivism zone, the highlight of which has to be a banana art workshop, or perhaps the ‘Think like a tree’ workshop if you’re feeling more existential. Still want more to entertain those brilliant young minds? A woodland playground, library, wonkiest veg competition and the Be More Mushroom immersive musical should do the trick – because, really, shouldn't we all be a little more mushroom most of the time?

timberfestival.org.uk

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Wonderfeel

When? July 19-21

Where? ’s-Graveland, North Holland, Netherlands

What? Set in a pretty village just over 30 minutes from Amsterdam by car (and also reachable via public transport), Wonderfeel is one for the more classically minded amongst you. Across four main stages, music-loving parents can enjoy jazz, classical, electronica, bossa nova and even solo organists if you want inspiration for that prog-rock album you’ve secretly been planning. Young people will love roaming around The Town, an area dedicated to youth exploration, learning and creativity, while a separate programme for younger children includes a workshop on creating a musical score, an interactive puppet show and cooking classes. Kids can also check out a sound-based fairytale performed (in Dutch) or an interactive percussion show and accompanying lesson.

wonderfeel.nl/en

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Starry Village

Starry Village
Yoga for the little'uns at Starry Village / Image: Louise Roberts

When? July 25-28 July, 2024

Where? Herefordshire, England

What? From the people behind the long-running Shambala festival, Starry Village (set on the grand Kentchurch Estate, reachable from airports in Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham) is a cosy, camping-focused retreat, where kids can freely roam around, enjoying a programme that focuses on nature and sustainability, also providing lots of opportunities for “intergenerational play”. Younger ones can enjoy baby yoga, a magnified garden, theatre shows and forest school, while parents can take time out with massages, yoga and breathwork, or by diving into craft beer tasting and “wine buff training”. Music on offer includes M.A.M. (Middle Aged Mumz) DJs spinning dancefloor-fillers and a fancy dress disco; this year’s theme is ‘The Future Me’. End the night with songs around a campfire.

starryvillage.com

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WOMAD

WOMAD
All together now... WOMAD festival in full swing / Image: Garry Jones

When? July 25-28, 2024

Where? Wiltshire, England

What? Started back in 1982 by a group including Brit music royalty Peter Gabriel, WOMAD – self-styled as “the world’s festival” – has become known as one of the most family-friendly festivals around. It’s set on the outskirts of Malmesbury, a market town easily accessible from Bristol. The festival’s World of Children zone hosts a mostly free programme of science experiments, storytelling, craft-based capers and musical workshops. Much of this creative outpouring culminates spectacularly in a Sunday evening parade, which snakes its way through the site, showcasing the brilliant costumes, banners and other wonders built by hand over the weekend. As daylight fades, you’ll find families dotted around the main stage, standing over what can only be described as ‘kid carts’ – comfortable vehicles for transporting younger visitors, packed with cushions and adorned with fairy lights. The 2024 musical line-up features big-hitters such as Young Fathers, Alison Goldfrapp and London Afrobeat Collective, plus an array of genuinely globe-spanning sounds, which are often more rewarding to investigate than the headliners.

womad.co.uk

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Family Piknik

Family Piknik
Standing (sitting) on the shoulders of giants (parents) at Family Piknik / Image: @YourWolfAgency

When? August 2-4, 2024

Where? Montpellier, France

What? With house and techno heavyweights like Erol Alkan, Sven Väth and Nicole Moudaber DJing until the early hours, Family Piknik is truly a festival for parents who were led by the beat back in their heyday. Kids aged six and over can also get a taste of the action, as it’s free for them to attend until 8pm. Being set just outside Montpelier means families can bag a nice hotel or apartment in the city, making babysitting duties a lot easier for whoever’s turn it is (note that children cannot camp onsite). During the day, the vibe is nicely chilled, thanks to arts workshops, theatre performances and a dedicated kid’s zone with activities and play areas.

familypiknikfestival.com 

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Gloworm Festival

Gloworm Festival
CBeebies’ presenter Andy Day meeting young fans at Gloworm / Image: Gloworm Festival

When? August 16-18, 2024

Where? Holme Pierrepont Country Park, Nottinghamshire, England

What? Gloworm (reachable from Birmingham and London Luton Airport) combines family-friendly music with wide-ranging activities, creative food and a big ol’ funfair for children aged 13 and under. The majority of activities stem from kids’ TV shows or brands, including a Playmobil rave (which sounds pretty fun for all ages, to be honest), a Paw Patrol meet-and-greet (which will surely whip up a frenzy of excitement amongst younger festivalgoers) and model-making with the ingenious Aardman Animations studio. Children can also meet (actual) animals and birds in The Great Outdoors area or perfect their sandcastle-making at The Beach. A retro-heavy music and entertainment line-up on the main stage includes plenty of ’90s icons that will delight parents of a certain age (and hopefully children, too), such as N-Trance, Pat Sharp, and even Bodger and Badger; if you’re too young to remember B&B, look them up online and prepare to be amazed and/or puzzled.

glowormfestival.co.uk

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Lollapalooza Berlin

Lollapalooza Berlin
Heading into Kidzapalooza to start the fun / Image: Axel Gross

When? September 7-8, 2024

Where? Berlin, Germany

What? Combining a city break with a festival can be the ideal family getaway. With a musical roster that includes Sam Smith, Burna Boy and two of One Direction performing separately as solo artists (sorry, no Harry), this one’s bound to be a hit with both parents and offspring. There’s also a dedicated ‘Kidzapalooza’ zone with child-friendly activities and games. To create a true festival feel for younger visitors, children also have their own stage, with acts including popular German kids’ band Deine Freunde. 

lollapaloozade.com/en

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