If you’ve lived in Essex for some time, then you’ll at one point or another considered attending the epic V Festival which takes place in Hylands Park. But what if time has moved on and you now have a family to consider? Yep, you could arrange a babysitter and head off on an adult only adventure. But your thinking that you’d like your own family to enjoy the feel of a festival in an environment that is aimed at those looking for a great day out with the kids. Wouldn’t it be great if there were kids festivals in Essex, that you know the whole family can enjoy?
The great news is that there is and there is a great range of choices in Essex! Here are five of the best kids festivals in Essex to get you started! It’s never too early for the kids to get the festival bug, is it?
So here they are – five of the best kids festivals in Essex. It’s never too early for the kids to get the festival bug, is it?
Best Kids Festivals in Essex (2017)
#1 The 3foot People Festival – Hylands Park, Chelmsford
Home to the V Festival, this is an award-winning event. You’ll also be disappointed if you wait too long to buy tickets. They sell out very quickly and they were just released on general sale at the end of April.
Why is it so popular? Well, firstly the event takes place during term time and thus targeted at under 5 years without needing to cater for older children. This ensures that all the rides, games, and entertainment are specifically targeted at those 3-foot attendees.
Taking the form of a village for little people, the festival has hundreds of individual activities taking place throughout each day, making it easily one of the best kids festivals in Essex. You can spend the day in tents, teepees and domes for those activities or head over to the one very huge sandpit.
Note chargeable parking is available at Hylands Park though shuttle buses will also be available from the city centre.
2017 Dates – 27th, 28th and 29th June (9.30 am to 4 pm)
Ticket Prices – between £2 and £11 for children and £11 for parents/guardians
#2 Young Children’s Festival – Castle Park, Colchester
Another hugely popular festival which takes place in the stunning surrounding of Colchester Park. This Essex based kids festival has been running since 1995 and
I love the festival bake off that takes part each year and you’ll find a great range of activities including theatre workshops, dance, fairy gardens and funny obstacle races among many other attractions.
The committe running the event have had confirmation that they have been awarded a Festival Support Grant from Colchester Borough Council. Looks like this year’s theme of “All Together Now” will be a great day out with the kids.
2017 date – June 17th (10.30 am to 4 pm)
Ticket Prices – FREE
#3 Village Green Festival of Arts and Music – Chalkwell Park, Southend on Sea
Whilst not targeted specifically at children, I know many Mum’s that have attended and have been pleased re the facilities and entertainment on offer. You’ll only have to view the homepage of the festival sites to understand that they are looking to cater for families and children of all ages (specific child tickets are available for under 10 years free).
A festival of both arts and music, there are several stages across the festival including a Beach Hut stage (not biased at all, am I!). With additional dance, theatre and literature areas, there is no shortage of family and kids based activities which should keep everyone happy.
2017 Dates – 8th July (11 am to 9 pm)
Ticket Prices – under 10s free, Age 11-17 £10, Adults £15 when bought in advance
More Info – https://www.villagegreenfestival.com/
#4 Rock for Havens Sake Music Festival in aid of Havens Hospices – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea
The Rock for Havens Sake’ fundraising group was set up in 2006. This yearly event raises money for the charity which cares for seriously ill children and adults when they have been told there is no cure for their illness.
2017 sees the event move to a new location in the Cliffs Pavillion and with a great line up of bands confirmed (along with a mean BBQ), it looks set to be a great day out with the kids.
2017 Dates – 8th July (12 pm to 10 pm)
Ticket Prices – under 5s free, other tickets £10
More Info – http://www.essexinfo.net/rockforhavenssake/news/
#5 Cosmic Puffin 10 – Mersea Youth Camp, Mersea Island
With over 100 bands, 6 stage and creative workshops this isn’t really a day out with the kids. More a kids day out with the parents!
Another festival which is run with aim of raising money for charity, it has grown in size over the last few years. The organiser itself has paid particular attention to the kids’ area which continues to get bigger and better every year. Gunpowder Gertie and Mosschops return to Cosmic Puffin along with the infamous Art Cannon and their rag-taggle band of merry men and women. You can take part in The Greatest show on Earth created by you, the festival folk!
Note that the Mersea Island Youth Centre site opens to campers from 4 pm on Friday
2017 Dates – 28th to 30th April
Ticket Prices – Early bird weekend tickets available from £65, with Saturday day tickets from £36
More Info – http://www.cosmicpuffin.org.uk/
Note you may surprised that Kids Fest (Marsh Farm) is not listed. At time of writing the blog, I understand that Kids Fest (Marsh Farm) will not be taking place this year, though we will update if a new venue/announcement is made.
Need more ideas for days out with the kids?
We love a good day out but if you aren’t quite ready to embrace a kids festival, or the days don’t quite work with your own commitments have you tried one of the Best Country Shows in Essex or one of our 15 Free Family Days out in Essex?
I’d love to know if we’ve missed any great kids festivals from our list above that you’d recommend – just comment below (and huge thanks for reading)!