Bringing Kids to Music Festivals: A Family Friendly Guide - Festy GoNuts!

Bringing Kids to a Music Festival: A Festy Guide

If bringing a child to a music festival seems like an impossible endeavor, perhaps we can help you think a little differently.

Well, to be clear – since we don’t actually have any children of our own – perhaps these anecdotes from other parents can help clear up the challenges and benefits of having your little ones tag along on your next music festival journey.

We recently had a friend reach out to ask what festivals we thought were the most “family-friendly”. Having been to a couple of music festivals with this friend, we sympathized with her question.  Music festivals can be a big part of your summer travel and entertainment plans, but those plans can seem to change drastically when you have your first child (or second or third…)

Since we personally do not have any experience with taking children to a music festival, we decided to go directly to the Festy GoNuts community.  After all, this is exactly why we decided to create Festy GoNuts two years ago – so that we can be a resource for all things relative to music festivals!  Now here was the perfect time to lean on our community for advice!

Tips for Bringing Your Kids to a Music Festival

Direct from the parents we spoke with, here are some noteworthy tips for taking your children to a music festival.

1.  Choose a music festival that is appropriate for children to attend.

Not all music festivals are G-rated, and it’s not always a wise decision to take your children simply because it’s your favorite style of music.  Many parents shared that bluegrass and folk festivals tend to bring a family-friendly vibe, so be sure to ask around. Choose a music festival where you know your children will be safe in the crowd, and understand that they may be exposed to a variety of adult-elements. 

Wise advice from Jennifer M: “Anticipate the possibility of your child hearing foul language, seeing partial nudity, seeing or smelling pot or cigarette smoke. Have age-appropriate discussions with your child about this prior to the festival.”

2.  Choose a music festival that takes families and children into consideration.

Many music festivals strive to create children-specific activities and family-friendly amenities. Chances are that your child is going to want to be entertained throughout the day with things other than music.  

Jon R’s advice: “Plan on off-site activities, such as a nearby waterpark or kayak trip. Look for things to do at the music festival, like slip ’n slides or scavenger hunts.  I have done a festival photo scavenger hunt with Jaden each time – he has to take pictures of things and earns a prize.”

kids entertainment at Hoxeyville

3. Camp with another family with kids the same age.

The saying “it takes a village” certainly can ring true when you take your children to a music festival. 

Jon R. shares with us, “Going with a group of parents is great because you can trade times a bit to allow you more adult time, but it’s not cool to just dump your parental responsibilities on someone else either.”

Make sure you make a game plan and take turns with the other parents so that you can all get the most out of your music festival experience.

4. Have a “security plan” in place upon arrival.

As soon as you arrive at the music festival, create a game plan with your children so that they (and you) feel secure and safe throughout the weekend. 

Many music festivals provide white wristbands to children so that parents can write down their contact information in case their children get lost.  (If you don’t have a wristband, don’t be afraid to write on your child’s arm or hand using a permanent marker.  Better safe than sorry!)

Take a walk around the music festival grounds with your child.  Your kids should get familiar with the lay of the land, and they’ll need to know how to find their way back to their campsite.

Finally, make sure your children know how to find medical tents and security so they know where to go in case of an emergency.


“Take a picture of your kids upon arrival, wearing the clothes they plan to wear for the event. This will help if you ever need to find your kid if they are lost. This has not happened to us….yet.”  (Tim B)

5. Take the size and space of the music festival into consideration.

Everything is harder when you are toting children around a music festival, so make sure you know what you are getting into before you sign up. 

How close can you park your car to your campsite?  You may need to make multiple trips to get your festival gear to your campground, so be prepared and pack accordingly.

How far is the stage from your campsite?  When the stages and campgrounds are far apart, it can be a workout for you and your children.  Being able to easily return to your campsite to take a nap, get some shade and grab some grub can be a real game-changer. 

As Jennifer M says, “Take your time! Rest, it’s not a race. With young children, consider returning to your car (or camp) for a pre-packed picnic-style lunch. Kids can grab a nap, sit in the air conditioning (or shade), and decompress before going back into the festival.”

We went to Symbiosis, which is an amazing experience that I highly recommend. However, the farthest stage was over a mile away from camp, and we had to pack a wagon that probably weighed over 50 pounds. Felix got cold and upset halfway through a [String Cheese Incident] set and Jamie took him back to camp.

I was taxed with pulling that wagon back to camp with everything over hills and bumpy ground. By the time I got back to the trailer, I was so exhausted that going back out was not an option. Also, the weather was very extreme, lots of dust, extreme highs and lows in temp.

I would say that attending a music festival of that size such as Burning Man or Symbiosis would be better left to when the children can walk and don’t require as many supplies.

Cari M

6.  Be aware of the weather.

Music festivals can’t guarantee good weather, and some are located in areas that see drastic changes in temperature from day to night.  Extreme weather changes may mean a lot of extra packing and forethought. Keep an eye on the weather right up to the day you leave, and be prepared with appropriate gear for any occasion – rain, heat, and cold!

Tip: Read how to prepare for a rainy festival!

7. Plan on missing some music. 

Your child may decide that they are ready to head back to the camp while your favorite band is playing, and that’s okay. When you bring your children to a music festival, you are making the effort to spend quality time with them.

As Timothy B put it, “Be prepared to leave at any moment. Kids are unpredictable and sometimes you just have to pack up and roll out. Mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of missing the artist/band that you most wanted to see.”

Top Kid-Friendly Music Festivals

Here are the top recommended children friendly music festivals for 2018! 

After talking to lots of parents who have personally experienced taking their child (or children) to music festivals around the country, we were able to create a list of the most recommended kid-friendly music festivals in the United States.

In creating this list, we took into consideration what parents thought was the most important factors for choosing a kid-friendly music festival:  children’s activities, easy access to food and water, space and size of the music festival, and other family-friendly conveniences.

We discovered that many music festivals are putting forth a lot of effort to be family-friendly, so it may surprise you all of the amenities that music festivals offer for children and families to be comfortable and have a good time all together!

So, without further ado, here are our parent recommended top family-friendly music festivals that you will want to take your children to in 2018:


May 24 – 27, 2018   Cumberland, MD

Rich Stoler has taken his kids to every DelFest since 2012 – and this year will mark their 7th year in a row attending as a family.  Rich says, “The family vibe here is strong, they have a nice family camp area which folks respect for the most part, and a wonderful kids arts / crafts play area with volunteers that schedule free activities from 10AM to 2PM’ish every day under a nearby pavilion along with a craft bus kids can create within. They also have a tie-dye activity which is very popular with the youngin’s. 

What Makes DelFest Kid-Friendly:

  • Children Under 4 are Free: Kids Pass (age 5 to 12) is $50;  Teen Pass (age 13 – 16) is $125.
  • Family Camping:  Quiet at night, louder early in the morning; available on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Free Filtered Water throughout the festival grounds
  • Variety of food options, including local, ethnic and vegetarian options.
  • KidZone: A dedicated kid’s area with a wide variety of activities for kids of all ages. Hula hooping, face painting, arts & crafts, chalk drawing, community murals, t-shirt designs, scavenger hunts, water balloons, and field day games are just some of the fun activities
  • Parent’s Lounge: Within the Kid’s Zone is a shaded spot for parents to relax and watch their kids play. Coffee and tea provided. Nursing moms welcome!
  • BONUS: Ice available ($), Showers available ($), Real bathrooms (“brick and mortar”); 24-hour first aid

RockyGrass Music Festival - kid friendly


July 27 -29, 2018  Lyons, CO

Rockygrass seems to really embrace the entire family, providing exceptional children’s activities and an expanded kid’s zone. Perri and Dave Mandelbaum have taken their two children to many music festivals over the past few years, and they vote Rockygrass as the most kid-friendly in their book.  The highlight is “the creek that everyone hangs out by and tubes down”.  Plus, the “crowd is really chill and we feel totally comfortable giving our kids extra freedom and independence while we’re there. They have an instrument petting zoo where the kids can play banjos, dobros, guitars, etc. that they love. There are tons of fun vendors and lots of festival shopping”

What Makes Rockygrass Kid-Friendly?

  • Kids 12 and under are free
  • Free Filtered Water on festival grounds
  • Variety of food vendors
  • Family Camping: A portion of the River Bend Campground will be ‘family camping’ with quiet evening hours. Camping is first-come, first-served. Space in the ‘family camping area’ is limited. (Some changes to the camping areas were made for the 2018 festival. Visit their website for updates and details:
  • Kids Area:  expanded to include “a variety of fun, planet-minded activities throughout the day, including crafts, slacklining, a musical instrument petting zoo, kids music performances, knot tying, and much more.
    • Colorado Mountain Club:  daily activities and schedule: the slackline, hula hoops, and Colorado Wilderness survival. 
    • Swallow Hill Music Association: Hands-on set-up of instruments for kids and adults led by our knowledgeable staff of instrument petting zookeepers. 
  • Family Area will be in the woods next to the Wildflower Pavilion, including a full schedule of events as well as ongoing activities throughout the day – 10:30 am ‘til 5 pm.
  • BONUS: Showers available (but at the festival grounds, not at the campground.)


Northwest String Summit Music Festival

Northwest String Summit

July 19 – 22, 2018  

Hornings Hideout, North Plains, OR

Northwest String Summit strives to be a strong family-oriented festival.  Wolf Dugan has taken his children to Northwest String Summit over the past 14 years.  Wolf shares that “Strummit has always been very kid friendly. And it always will be. The production has always tried to make sure to encourage bringing kids and include them. Things like the Sunday bubbles on the lake and kids parade make that easy. The staff in the kid’s area is always great as well.” The creators share that “Our children will be the ones to carry on the love for bluegrass and celebration of our extended family of kinfolk, and we want to leave families with memories that won’t be forgotten.” 

What Makes Northwest String Summit Kid-Friendly? 

  • Children 10 and under are free:  with accompanying adult; Teens 11 – 15 are discounted
  • Family Camping Area: a separate area that is quiet after 10:00 pm; first-come, first-serve.
  • FREE Water stations
  • Variety of food available from vendors and general store.
  • Kid’s and Family Area: There are two locations – one in the amphitheater area and one by the lake.  The activities include crafts, kid’s parade preparation, games, new music workshops, and youth-oriented discussions; plus, teens are encouraged to join in the fun with board games, yard games, competitions for prizes and workshops of all kinds! 
  • BONUS: Ice available ($); Showers available ($); Telephones & WiFI available ($) (no phone service); Wristbands provided (so parents can attach their contact info to their kids); Medical Services available; Lost-Child Protocol in place.

High Sierra Music Festival

High Sierra Music Festival

July 5 – 8, 2018  Quincy, CA

High Sierra Music Festival boasts an incredibly family-friendly village with kids entertainment, shopping areas, iced-water hydration stations, and more!  Kids do not get in for free, but they make sure the kids get a lot for their money. High Sierra provides a lot of art and creativity throughout their festivals – for the children and adults entertainment.

What Makes High Sierra Music Festival Kid-Friendly?

  • Kids 4 and under are free.  General Admission Kids 4-Day Festival Pass: $65 plus fees for ages 5-12.  Teen Passes (ages 13-16) are $160.75 plus fees.  Each ticket includes camping.
  • Family Camping area: in Shady Grove Campground;  first-come, first-serve.
  • Free Filtered Water throughout festival grounds
  • Variety of food options, vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian fare – with an emphasis on organic options
  • Family Village: full of daily activities, including a Family Stage (indoors!), Art House (tie-dye activities) and a Family Field (with circus performances
  • Variety of Kid-Friendly Activities:  A talent show, a huge parade and lots of entertainers throughout the weekend.
  • Rockin’ Nannies: on-site daycare provided by a group of highly-qualified professionals. They will host a Rockin’ Slumber party from 8 pm – 4 am each night and will supply activities, snacks, and TLC in a safe, fun environment while moms and dads enjoy some “grown-up” time. Rates are $15 per hour for potty trained children and $10 per hour for each additional sibling.
  • Pioneer Pool: Just a block away and a short walk from the festival site, Pioneer Pool is the largest public swimming pool in Plumas County!
  • BONUS:  Ice available ($); Showers available; 24-hour medical services;

Hangtown music fesitval

Hangtown Music Festival

October 25 – 28, 2018  Placerville, CA

Cari and Jamie attended Hangtown Music Festival with their 10-month-old son. “(Hangtown) is held in the Fall, so the weather is typically quite nice, which is comfortable for carrying (my son) in his carrier. There are plenty of kid activities, and it’s just a great vibe for the little guys. Also it’s grassy, flat, and small, so easy to get around. This place is ideal for children, especially young ones. (We) brought a wagon to wheel him around in and the fairgrounds were very easy to navigate, as it’s mainly flat ground. Also, there is a Safeway right outside the gates that you can grab supplies from.”

What Makes Hangtown Music Festival Kid-Friendly?

  • Kids 4 and under are free.  General Admission Kids 4-Day Festival Passes are $40 for ages 5-12.   Teen Passes (ages 13-16) are also available ($125).
  • Family Camping:  available
  • Free Water available
  • Variety of festival cuisine, including local, ethnic, vegetarian and vegan options.
  • KidZone: Features workshops, a circus, dance party and lots of activities.  “A safe and magical place where kids and parents alike can participate in fun and creative activities that enhances their festival experience and connects them to other families at the festival. The KidZone is conveniently located in the main music meadow, so parents won’t miss a beat of the music. Children must be accompanied by an adult.” 
  • BONUS: Ice available ($); Showers available; Easy to traverse

Hoxeyville Music Festival

Hoxeyville Music festival

August 17 – 19, 2018  Wellston, MI

The creators of this festival go to great lengths to make Hoxeyville a family-friendly music festival.  Kristin Robinson says “My husband and I are parents of 3, and it is imperative to us that the event be safe and enjoyable for families and children. We go to great lengths with extensive car checks, staffing and security to ensure this. Every element, from vendor food options to artist performances considers something available for children and families to enjoy throughout the grounds. The curfew for the event is midnight, which also helps.” 

Jon Roseberger took his son to Hoxeyville Music Festival when he was 5 years old, and returned when he was 7.   They loved Hoxeyville because ithas a dedicated kids tent with activities all day long and performers focused on the kids. Dedicated Kid’s Tent coordinators are a godsend!”

What Makes Hoxeyville Music Festival Kid-Friendly?

  • Kids 4 and under are free: Kids 5 – 12 cost $40; Teens 13 – 17 cost $60. (camping is included with passes)
  • Family Camping:  first-come, first-serve; family-RV camping is located near family tent camping. 
  • Free water throughout campgrounds (cool, clean water! no bottled water for sale)
  • Variety of food available
  • Kids Tent and Playground
  • No smoking by music stages or vending
  • Convenient Location: Kestelwoods restaurant, party store, and the campground is a convenient five-minute walk from the festival grounds.
  • BONUS:  Ice available ($); Medical staff on-site; Easy to traverse

Pickathon music festival


August 3 – 5, 2018  Pendarvis Farm, Happy Valley, OR

Pickathon Music Festival is equal parts Summer Camp, Music Festival, and Family Reunion (without the green bean casserole).”  When nearly 1,000 attendees are children under 12 years old, Pickathon must be doing something right to attract families every year. (Teenagers account for a couple more hundred audience members!)

What Makes Pickathon Music Festival Kid-Friendly? 

  • Kids 12 and Under are Free: Teen Tickets are discounted 50%.
  • Family Camping Zone for families with kids under 12. (There’s another Quiet Camping Zone that is asked to be quiet from 11:00 pm – 9:00 am)
  • FREE Water stations
  • Variety of food vendors and a zero-waste policy (so bring your own dishes or purchase reusable options)
  • No Smoking in any of the venue areas
  • Blanket Areas near stage: Within the main stage area, blankets and low back chairs can be left all weekend in designated areas
  • Multiple Children’s Areas:
    • Windmill Hill – Classes, crafts, chill zones, kinder-camp and daycare (arranged while you setup or teardown camp)
    • Wild Horse Meadow –  Trackers Earth will be teaching wilderness awareness & survival, animal tracking, plant ID, and foam bow & arrow training.
    • The Big Top – Three full days of Interactive Family Circus Workshops, Clowns, Circus Cascadia Shows, and the massive Pickathon Kids Circus Show.
    • Wild Horse Stage – Musical performances and workshops, creating a massive talent show at the end of the weekend.
  • BONUS:  Showers provided ($); Solar charging stations; Medical Services

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

July 19 – 22, 2018   Oak Hill, NY

Rich Stoler said “there were lots of families at Grey Fox and the vibe was chill and respectful towards families”.  Personally, we think their FREE 4-day music academy  (for kids age 8 – 17) is a pretty outstanding feature!

What Makes Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival Kid-Friendly:

  • Kids 12 and under FREE with a ticketed adult.
  • Family Camping and Quiet Camping: choose to be close to Family Stage or Bluegrass Academy; or camp where it’s quiet time from 10:00 pm – 7:00 am.
  • Free Water from spigots throughout festival grounds
  • Variety of food options, ethnic and regional fresh foods.
  • Bluegrass Academy for Kids: a free four-day program held during Grey Fox. Kids from 8 to 17 learn to play, sing and perform bluegrass music.  Approximately 100 kids participate each year.
  • Family Stage: Kids of all ages enjoy tie-dying, instrument-making, and nature crafts, yoga for kids, and more. Don’t miss Gary the Silent Clown’s Grey Fox Clown College. Fun and kid-friendly.
  • Creekside Stage: a tented stage with about 300 chairs inside and “sunbrellas” may be set up along the perimeter of the High Meadow seating area.
  • Bonus: Showers available ($); WiFi available at info booth; Phone charging stations on-site. 24-hour first aid.

Peach Music Festival

July 19 – 22, 2018  Montage Mountain, Scranton, PA

Peach Festival doesn’t have a lot of specific kid-activities, but their waterpark is definitely a fun attraction for kids and adults! Veteran festivaler, Tim Brown, will be taking his 4 and 1.5-year-old children to Peach Festival this year for the first time. “This multi-day festival offers camping, but we’re opting for a hotel this year. There’s a water park at the festival site that I’m sure we will frequent throughout the weekend.” 

What Makes Peach Festival Kid-Friendly?

  • Children under 5 are free and do not require a ticket:  For children ages 10 and under, GA tickets are $60, inclusive of camping and available at the gate. All children regardless of age will still need a VIP, Super VIP or reserved pass to access those areas.
  • Free Water stations throughout festival and campground
  • Variety of food options, including local farmers markets to festival/carnival fair type foods.
  • The Montage Mountain Waterpark: located inside the festival grounds, the waterpark is complete with lazy river, slides, a zip line & more! Every 4-Day festival pass gives you full access to the waterpark.
  • There is a free wagon service to get you from the camping/off-site parking lots to the campgrounds and ability to have a vehicle drop your gear off as close as possible to your campsite.  But, their website warns “be prepared for hills, slopes and there’s a chance for mud if it rains.”
  • BONUS: 24-hour medical services; cell phone charging stations

12 Packing Tips For Bringing Your Kids to a Music Festival

Create a child-friendly packing list for your family music festival experience.  Start with the basics that you’ll need to be successful at any music festival, and then take into consideration the items that will be necessary for your children to be comfortable.  We asked a group of parents what was the most important items they would pack when taking their children to a music festival, and we created this list of packing tips to help you out!

1. Your child’s favorite snacks

All parents know that children can be picky eaters, so don’t assume that the music festival will have everything that your child wants to eat.  Pack their favorite snacks for the campsite – and to bring into the festival grounds!  When your child gets hungry while your favorite band is playing, you’ll be glad you brought their favorite treats to keep them happy for a little while longer.

2. Water and refillable bottles

Almost every music festival will provide water-refill stations throughout the grounds and near the campsites. Locate them upon arrival, and make sure you bring refillable bottles for you and your children.  Some festivals may require you to bring in your own water – find out ahead of time and bring more than enough!

3. Ear Protection

It is great when your child wants to come “ride the rail” with you to see their favorite bands, but their ears are sensitive to loud music.  

Pack noise-canceling headphones.  Baby BanZ and earBanZ came highly recommended by the parents we asked.

4. Sun and Skin Protection

Protect your child’s skin from the sun and bugs! Pack hats, canopies, and lots of sunscreenBeing able to set up a shade canopy with a blanket near the festival stage is a bonus you’ll find at kid-friendly music festivals. Also, don’t forget bug spray and a quality first-aid kit.

5. A Wagon or Cart

We heard over and over again that having a wagon with heavy duty wheels is a must when bringing your children to a music festival.  It makes it easier to cart the kids – and their food and toys – back and forth from the festival to the campsite.  When they tucker out at the show, they’ll have a comfy spot to take a nap as well.

Side Note: It can also be a great place to store your beer!

Tip:  For older kids, bring a bike or skateboard!  It makes them more mobile and less tired.

6. Lots of activities and toys

Your children may not be quite as entertained by all of the musical acts as you, and you don’t want them to end up bored and crying to leave the festival.  Bring their favorite books, non-electronic toys, art supplies, and games.  Hula hoops are always a hit, and can keep your child dancing with others their age for hours!

TIP: Bring a blanket to put down at camp to create a space for your children to go play and create away from the adults.

7. Toilet paper and wet wipes

Nothing is worse than going to the port-a-pot at a music festival and realizing it’s out of toilet paper – except when your child is involved!  Pack an extra roll or two of toilet paper, and you’ll be all set in case of an emergency.   “Butt Wipes” (or wet wipes) are not only great for bathroom times, but perfect to have around the campsite for general cleanup and make-shift “showers”.

8. Comfy PJ’s and Night-time Sandals

When it comes to bed-time at a music festival, you want to make sure your child feels comfortable and can sleep easily.  Bring items that will make your child feel right at home, including their favorite pajamas, stuffed animals, and blankets.

TIP: Easy slip-on shoes for night time potty runs are as important for kids as adults.

9. Rain Gear

Children love to play in the rain, and there’s always a chance of rain at a music festival.  Be prepared with raincoats and rain boots – and choose ones that you don’t mind getting muddy!

10. Extra Cash

Let’s be honest – you’re probably going to have to do a bit of bargaining with your child at the music festival.  There are vendor and food booths everywhere, and you’re going to have to give in at some point.  Bring extra cash so you don’t have to hit up those expensive ATM’s when your children hit you up for some money.

11. Light-Up Jewelry

Glow sticks are all the rage at music festivals, and they are great to mark your kids when the sun starts to set.  A great tip from one of our parents was to find LED light-up jewelry instead of single-use glowsticks – it’s better for the environment and helps eliminate extra trash for the music festival staff to clean up.

TIP: Light up shoes are also a great way to keep an eye on your kids and keep them looking awesome at the same time! 

12.  Flashlights

Be sure to pack flashlights for you and your children.  You can find ones that will attach to their belt loops so that they will always have one on them.  It can be tricky navigating through the music festival grounds and back to your campsite at night, so make sure you have something to light the way.

Looking for more info on how to camp with your kids – not just at Music Festivals, but anywhere?

Check out this informative guide from 

How to Camp With Kids: Creating Safety & Fun Outdoors With Kids

Some of our other favorite things to bring to music festivals that kids and grown-ups can all have fun with!

We’re not messing around with this powerful water gun! 

The days of using your own breath to blow bubbles are over!  Check out this portable bubble machine!

We’re partial to this Light-Up Frisbee by Nite-Ize

If you’re feeling really lazy, you can order this complete Pole-ish Horseshoes package!

Meet the Experts!

Don’t take it from us.  Our only offspring is a pink Unicorn named Neil.

These are the real experts on bringing kids to music festivals, the ones who have learned all of these helpful tricks and tips through trial, error, and most likely some tears.

These wonderful souls are ensuring that another generation of hula-spinning hippies are putting a little hope in the world for all of our futures!

The Mandelbaums

Perri and Dave have two children, Evan and Zoey.  They have been taking their children to music festivals for the past 6 years, since Evan was only 2 years old. They enjoy Strings & Sol and Rockygrass, and have even started to take their kids to day-festivals and various concerts, such as Phish Dicks and Dead & Co.

“At the first Strings & Sol, Zoey discovered that she could get unlimited virgin mudslides at the bar. She loved the poolside bar! She also got to play bingo with Leftover Salmon which she really loved. Overall, we really love taking our kids to festivals because it gets them out of their routine, away from screens and they love that we give them tons of freedom.”

Bringing kids to a music festival

The Stolers

Rich Stoler and his wife have been taking their two daughters to Delfest for the past seven years.  Their children, now 10 and 15 years old, have also enjoyed attending Grey Fox and Susquehanna Breakdown.

“One year, Delfest asked for attendees to create and submit a short video singing “Come on People Now, Smile on Your Brother (Come Together)”. Our daughter and I created one, and it was shared on the main stage with many others submissions as part of an overall theme throughout the fest. This was a special moment to share with her!”

The Messerschmitts

Cari and Jamie Messerschmitt have been taking their son, Felix, to music festivals since he was 4 months old!  They’ve learned a lot of lessons with taking such a young child to a music festival, and they’ve got some great stories to share!

“[We took Felix to] the total eclipse at Symbiosis 2017 in Oregon. We got up early and pulled him up to the viewing area. When the eclipse happened, I really didn’t think that as a 1.5-year-old he would really understand what was happening. Boy, was I wrong. During full totality, Felix looked at me, looked at Jamie, grabbed his wagon, and started shaking his head back and forth screaming in glee! It really affected him! It was absolutely amazing. I started crying, it was such a surreal experience in every way. Absolutely amazing!”

Bringing kids to a music festival

The Browns

Timothy Brown and his wife have been taking their two sons to music festivals since they were infants, and have continued to introduce them to the music festival scene four years later!  They tend to opt for the convenience of hotel rooms while their children are young, and are looking forward to taking the family to Peach Festival this year!

“[We took our children to] Dead & Company at Jiffy Lube Live (Bristow, Va). We were hanging on the lawn. I took the oldest for a little walk…err…maybe just so I could buy a beer. We were walking around the top of the lawn and my oldest son pulls my arm, “Daddy, they’re starting to play ‘Fire on the Mountain’.  Let’s go back to Mommy.  She loves this song!” He sat on my shoulders for the rest of that song and was singing along…almost on pitch! We had been listening to quite possibly the best version of that particular song by the Grateful Dead (Cornell ’77), and he had become particularly attached to it. He was so freakin’ happy. So was I. I can’t wait to enjoy more moments like this.”

The Browns at a kid-friendly music festival

The Rosenbergers

Jon Rosenberger has taken his son, Jaden, to music festivals since he was 5 years old. They’re a father-son team, and really enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere at Hoxeyville

“My favorite story was the first Hoxeyville (in 2011).  We went VIP, and we got a private (Greensky Bluegrass) show Thursday night as part of the early entry.  Jaden loved the Greensky Bluegrass sound and couldn’t wait to be up front. After a few minutes, he had me hold him and then promptly fell asleep in my arms as we stood 7 feet from Paul (Hoffman) in the early evening.  Paul, whom I know, laughed his butt off that they put him to sleep for his first Greensky show!”

Bringing kids to a music festival - The Rosenbergers

Jennifer Marie has been taking her son and daughter to day-festivals since they were 4 and 10 years old. She appreciates the art and entertainment that can be found at music festivals, and loves that her children have a true appreciation for music.

Fringe Fest was my favorite, although it was the least-kid friendly in many respects.  High-heel drag race down Main Street, Burlesque shows with nudity were behind dividers so they couldn’t see. But I enjoy exposing my kids to diversity. It was in the late afternoon to evening in the fall so the weather was perfect and it wasn’t terribly crowded.”

Corinne at family-friendly music festival

The Dugans

Wolf Dugan and his wife have been taking their two children to Northwest String Summit since 2004 – when their daughter was only a few months old!  They’ve made it a family tradition for the past 14 years, and hope their teenage children will continue to tag along.

Dugan Family at Kid Friendly Music Festival

Looking for more expert music festival advice?

We’ve got you covered!

Check out our Ultimate Music Festival Guide, and take a gander at all of the advice in our Adulting 101 archives!

1 Comment

  1. Andrew Ziegwied

    Hello, Great Article! I wanted to add 4 Peaks Music Festival to your list. We’ve been taking our kids to Festy’s since they were infants and 4 Peaks is one of the best. and Performers on the Kidlandia stage include local child singer/songwriters, children’s music performers, jugglers, Capoeira teachers, and more. Activities happening all weekend include lawn games, a coloring book table, a large weaving loom, corn pool, library, table board games and more. New this year, look for an expansive play structure

Festy GoNuts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

FestyGoNuts logo

Don't miss the latest Festival news!

WhooHoo! Check your email for our Festy Food Guide as thanks!