(April 5, 2019)--Now that April is upon us, New Jersey has begun preparing for an influx of festival goers. The next few months will see festivals being held across the Northern hemisphere. All the biggest European and North American music festivals
occur during this period, along with a number of major international festivals around the world.
With so many festivals out there, there is something to cater to any taste imaginable. Whether in the South Jersey area, or anywhere else in the United States, many parents will be fretting over whether to bring their children along to a festival with them. Lots of parents, quite naturally, worry about the logistics of bringing their children along, as well as their safety at the event.
As long as you are adequately prepared, and the festival allows, bringing your children along should be a wonderful experience for you both. Here’s what you need to know beforehand as a parent. Hopefully this guide will set your mind at ease and convince you to allow your child to share in the joy of the festival experience.
Kid Friendly Festivals
Most music festivals offer free entry to young children, and the cut off age tends to range from 5 to 10 years old. Big name festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach usually offer facilities for parents. For example, both the aforementioned festivals allow parents to bring strollers into the festival.
Stagecoach is one of a growing number of festivals that now provides dedicated stations for moms who want to use a breast pump in private. Other festivals have areas where moms can breastfeed in private, if they prefer to do so. Basically, most festivals today want moms with young children to be able to enjoy the experience and will have measures in place to make the experience as pain-free as possible.
Some music festivals have areas inside just for kids, which can be a lifesaver during the day before the headline acts start. In many cases, these kids’ areas will contain a range of activities and entertainment specifically for kids. Older children can safely be left in these areas. If you have a mix of teenagers, older kids and younger kids, you should be okay leaving your kids in these areas while you and the other adults go exploring, provided you trust the older kids of course.
Be Prepared Mentally
If you bring kids to a festival, it’s almost inevitably going to be more complicated than going without them. If nothing else, you will likely have a couple of natural parental anxieties when it comes to letting your kids roam free at a music festival. Additionally, trying to keep track of younger children in the midst of a crowd isn’t easy.
You need to prepare mentally beforehand and come to terms with the challenges involved. When you get to the festival, make sure that you arrange a place to meet at if you become separated. Tell your kids that if they are lost, they need to go straight to the nearest staff member and tell them where their designated meeting spot is.
Big festivals today are well staffed and have procedures in place for keeping lost children safe while they wait to reunite them with their parents. Coming up with a plan for what to do if the kids become lost will make the situation much less stressful for you both if it does occur.
Make it a Special Occasion
Like the summer, festivals only come around once every year. It is therefore worth making them a special occasion. Festivals can be a hectic environment, but they should also be great fun for kids if you are adequately prepared. No doubt some festivals are better for kids than others, so make sure you look online beforehand for reviews and experience reports of past years at the festival to get an idea of their suitability.
Being in the outdoors for a couple of days, or even one day, can quickly become uncomfortable for children if the weather is too hot, too wet or too windy. It’s worth splashing out on some luxury branded clothes for your kids. Luxury clothing retailers, such as Nickis, deal in high quality merchandise. You’d be surprised just how much more comfortable these clothes can be compared to generic alternatives.
Prepare for Rain
Hiking, camping, music festivals - all of these appear to be ancient rituals used to summon rain. While it defies all logic or reason, as soon as you try and engage in one of these activities, rain clouds seem to appear from nowhere. Well, not always, of course. But no matter what the weather is forecast to do, you should always be prepared.
Coastal areas like New Jersey are more prone to unexpected weather changes than inland areas. You can find portable raincoats that are designed to be scrunched up into a tiny size when not in use. These take up very little space in your luggage and can even be carried in your pocket during the day.
Chuck some suitable waterproof boots into your trunk and a pair of waterproof trousers for each family member. If the rain does start coming down, you will at least be able to stay relatively dry and comfortable. Your children won’t be the only ones who will appreciate this if you do end up in the rain.
Check Out the Food Ahead of Time
This is especially important if your children are fussy eaters. Festivals are generally very well catered these days, the quality of food available from a van or stand is impressive. Most festivals will publicize their food vendors on their website. Make sure to check what’s available and if you can’t find it on the festival website, have a look elsewhere online. It might be better for some parents to pack their own food for their children.
With all that in mind, bringing your children to an outdoor festival should be a great experience. Festivals are constantly improving the facilities that they make available for children and their parents. Moms in particular will appreciate the growing consideration being shown for their experience. Don’t be put off bringing your kids to a festival this year, just make sure that you are prepared.