We love attending music festivals with the kids and have been taking them to Glastonbury since they were 3 years old. It’s heaps of fun, they discover and experience things they never would in a classroom and the memories you make will last a lifetime. But it can be hugely stressful to prepare for, especially when you start planning what to take. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this family festival packing list which should ensure you leave nothing at home. It covers everything we pack for Glastonbury but would work for any UK summer music festival. Read my guide to Glastonbury with kids to discover why I think everyone should try it at least once!
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List of Contents
- 1 Family Festival Essentials
- 2 Equipment to take to the festival
- 3 Clothes to pack for your next festival
- 4 Health and Hygiene
- 5 Food
- 6 Safety essentials to take
- 7 Entertainment
Family Festival Essentials
Firstly do not forget your tickets. All adults will need this to get into the festival along with some form of photo ID. Double check this is at the top of your family festival packing list.
Although kids do not need a ticket to get into Glastonbury until they are 13, those 10 and over may want to take their passport as proof of age.
You’ll definitely want to keep your phone on you to take a million photos and ensure you are contactable at all times. You’ll also need a way to charge it. Make sure you bring a few portable power packs preferably with capacity over 20,000 mAh to stay charged on the go. Take a couple. This year I got separated from Nigel and Piper, she had my charger to charge her phone and mine was down to 3%, not fun! The one I’ve linked to will charge an iphone up to 5 times which should get you through the festival.
At Glastonbury you can head to the EE tent to either charge your phone or swap your empty power pack for one that is fully charged.
Make sure you have bank cards and cash. Most vendors will accept card but if the internet goes down or they run out of charge it will be cash only. Some bars will only accept cash. There are cash points on site so don’t bring too much but you are likely to have to queue and pay a fee. As a rough guide, meals last year were between £5 and £10, snacks £3, a pint of beer or cider £6 and soft drinks £3. There is a Co-op shop on site where everything is cheaper.
It’s very easy for kids to forget to drink or tell you they’re thirsty when there’s loads going on so make sure you bring a refillable water bottle and keep topping it up from the many taps around site. You are not allowed to take glass into Glastonbury and single use plastic is not encouraged.
Put tags on all your luggage and even your handbags. Glastonbury is such a friendly festival and I’ve heard so many stories of people losing items, presuming they were gone forever only to find they had been handed in to lost property. Having your number or address will make it so much easier to get your stuff back.
A head torch will make getting back to your tent and avoiding guy ropes so much easier. It will also be comforting for little ones if they are nervous in the night – make sure you take extra batteries. They’re also good for after dark toilet visits.
Equipment to take to the festival
A trailer is an excellent way to transport the kids around the festival and gives them a safe space to lie down and sleep if they get tired. You can also transport your drinks and snacks under the kids along with chunky blankets, backpacks and toys. And it will help you pull all your stuff onsite when you first arrive. Just be warned, these can get stuck in a really muddy year. And you will struggle to pull it through super busy areas on site especially when the sun goes down.
If they’re old enough you’re going to want back packs that the kids can carry. It will help you drag all your clobber on to site and then they can carry snacks, spare jumpers and their water bottle as you explore the festival.
Trust me, you’re not going to want to stay on your feet all day so picnic blankets and folding chairs will give you the opportunity to take a seat. Obviously if you’re near the front of the stages you’ll get trampled on if you’re on the floor and be very unpopular if you bring out your camping chairs but you should be fine if you set up near the back.
Festival toilets are always pretty rank and will be a total culture shock to little ones. A Portable potty can help if the kids are young enough. Just be sure to empty it into one of the long drops. Do not throw on the land or in a hedge.
I always take several plastic bags for wet clothes and rubbish. I keep a clean dry outfit in one for carrying about just incase my rucksack gets wet. This can happen from the rain or even from a leaky water bottle when the kids haven’t screwed the top back on. Then I can pop wet dirty clothes in without the risk of ruining whatever else I’m carrying.
If you’re staying onsite obviously you’ll need a good quality tent with spare pegs and ropes. Practice putting this up and packing away before you arrive to avoid an onsite crisis. You’ll need bed rolls, sleeping bags and a camping kettle for your morning cuppa. If you can spare the room I also recommend some cosy blankets to snuggle the kids up in. We’ve even taken one of these inflatable sofas which was fun for the girls to jump on.
Glastonbury has a great list of what not to take to the festival so make sure you don’t try to bring in something that will be confiscated.
Clothes to pack for your next festival
Packing for the weather
I promise it doesn’t always rain at Glastonbury so a Sunhat and sunglasses are must packs. They can also add a little quirky style to your outfit and I do love a double duty item!
A good quality, thin rain coat is far better than a disposable poncho both for the planet and your own comfort levels. You can tie it round your waist when the sun comes out and it will be another warming layer when it gets cold.
Footwear for your family festival packing list
Wellies – yes I know they’re bulky and can be uncomfortable but you will need them to wade through the mud if it’s a wet year. You will walk for miles at Glastonbury so we also take sturdy walking boots which are also good if there’s a little bit of mud. You can always leave the wellies in the car if you’re lucky enough not to need them.
Whilst walking round the festival in Flip flops is an awful idea (even when its dry, you will get splinters from the wood chips), whatever the weather. It can be nice to free your feet once you’ve sat down for a few hours or just when you’re hanging out in your tent.
The kids always seem most comfortable in trainers. Don’t pack your favourite branded ones. Well worn in, relatively cheap ones will be best as there’s a good chance they will get ruined.
I’m always tempted to go over the top with clothes. After a few incredibly muddy festivals when the kids were little they needed several changes each day. Less so if the weathers fine and as they get older and less likely to fall over. I would say at least two outfits per day. Low cost leggings, shorts, T-shirts, lightweight dresses are all good. These can roll up tightly and be popped in your backpack. Jogging bottoms are also comfy for kids first thing in the morning or to pull on over shorts when it’s cold.
No matter what the weather does, it will get very cold at night, especially if the kids aren’t up dancing while you watch a set. Everyone needs warm jumpers, hoodies and snuggly hats. I often take tights or leggings and pop them on under skirts or shorts when it starts to get chilly. Yes it will be a pain to have to carry them around all day only to use them for the last hour but it could be the difference between keeping the kids out till the pyramid stage closes or having to leave early and miss the fireworks.
Pack your socks with care, they need to be soft, warm, breathable and most of all comfy. Make sure you have some long ones to cover the top of your wellies. Plus cosy ones to wear in the tent. Then pack some more!
For little kids a comfy onesie is good to wear at your tent. And a waterproof one for if it rains. An eye mask is also a great idea for when the sun rises so early. It may buy you an extra few hours of sleep.
Make sure you keep a smaller bag in you car with clean comfortable clothes for everyone to go home in. On muddy years it’s impossible to keep clothes clean and dry in your tent. Plus you can use them in an emergency should you need to.
Remember that for kids comfort is key. they’ll love Glastonbury but are bound to find it tiring and overwhelming. Keep them dry, cool or cosy and hopefully you’ll avoid some of the inevitable meltdowns.
A family festival packing list wouldn’t be complete without a bit of sparkle. This is where I like to go all out. You’ll see so many amazing outfits at Glastonbury you’ll definitely want to get involved in the quirky fashion parade it is. Unusual or sparkly jackets are good as they provide an extra layer of warmth. And brightly coloured or unusual jewellery is easy to pack and won’t weigh you down. Anything with fringing or sequins is fabulous. Let the kids get stuck in if they’re old enough and choose how to bling up their outfits.
You can opt to get the kids faces painted (or your own) for free in the kids areas on site or for a small fee at one of the many stalls or bring some of your own. Glitter is also fun, just make sure it’s biodegradable – remember to love the farm.
If you can’t find anything before you leave there are loads of awesome stores around the festival. You can buy cool and quirky outfits, hats, jewellery and more.
Health and Hygiene
Remember your Medicine, whatever you normally take you’ll need plus anything to cover you in an emergency. I always take sachets of calpol for the kids, child friendly Piritize syrup for hayfever, eye drops for dry eyes and painkillers and indigestion tablets for the adults.
A small First aid kit that you can carry in your day pack is always a good idea when you’re at a festival with kids. Blister plasters are an absolute must. Feet will definitely get rubbed and normal plasters for any small injuries – they always make kids happy. Plus Calpol sachets for any random falls or bumps. For anything else on site find a steward to help, there are loads of trained professionals around to look after you.
Fingers crossed you’ll see some sunshine during your weekend so Suncream is a must. Have a large bottle in your tent to apply first thing and carry a small bottle with you during the day. And don’t forget to top up! Sun stroke or burn could easily ruin your whole festival.
For the toilets
A long drop bum bag is one of my essential items for myself and the kids when they can start using the toilets on their own. It contains a facemask with olbas oil or tiger balm to cover the smell. Also hand sanitiser, pack of tissues and toilet seat covers (although it is always better to hover!). It means I’m not rooting around in my back pack every time someone needs the loo.
Plenty of toilet roll and small packets of tissues are essentials on your family festival packing list. No explanation needed!
There are loads of taps and sanitiser stations around site. But do bring a couple of small bottles of your own. This way you can clean up on the go and try to keep the germs at bay. Kids will get sticky and dirty, a quick squirt of sanitiser can help many things.
Whilst baby wipes are not encouraged you may well need them if you’re packing for Glastonbury for kids. But also bring a flannel and bar of soap should you need a quick wash.
Obviously you’ll need toothbrushes and tooth paste. Make up remover is a good idea for taking off facepaint at the end of the night (or in the morning depending on how tired the kids are)!
You’ll find a few showers in the Greenpeace fields although most people don’t bother using them. If you plan to remember to pack a bar of soap. And don’t forget your travel towel. Dry shampoo should be enough to cope with your hair for the few days of the festival.
You could easily enjoy Glastonbury without packing any food. The quality really is that good. But it will be useful to have at least a bit to keep the kids happy. Small boxes of cereal, fruit bars, bags of haribo, packs of biscuits and cereal bars are all easy to carry and will save you having to traipse to the shops from the main stages. I also take a small bottle of concentrated squash to encourage plenty of drinking and chewy vitamin sweets.
A tin mug is another good idea, you can quickly make meals of soup or noodles, have a cuppa and even clean your teeth in them.
Safety essentials to take
Make sure you pack a permanent marker so you can write your number on your childs arm just incase they get lost. This is unlikely but if the worst happens it will make reuniting a lot easier. Plus there’s no harm in being extra safe. Or you can head to the kids field and pick up a kids wrist band which does the same job.
Ear defenders are a great idea, the music at the main stages can be extremely loud and overwhelming for kids. Some good ear defenders will provide much needed protection for little ears. It may even give you half an hour when they sleep as you watch your favourite band.
It might sound bonkers being at exciting musical festivals with heaps to do, especially at one like Glastonbury but I’ve found that kids can get bored anywhere. Take some small activity books, bubbles, light up toys and small cars/dolls etc. We also always bring a pack of UNO. It’s a great way to keep them happy during bands they don’t like or first thing in the morning.
Little ones will also enjoy bringing their favourite stuffed toy or blanket to give them comfort. Just make sure you can tie it to yourself or your child. It would be awful to lose a favourite toy in the mud.
You may also want to add an iPad or handheld game to this family festival packing list. Just remember these will be safer to keep in one of the lock ups and will require charging. We don’t bother for these reasons.
And finally please only pack what you can carry home. It’s heartbreaking to see how much waste there is at the end of the festival. Remember to “Love the Farm and Leave no Trace.”
What would you add to this family festival packing list? Let me know in the comments.