Standon Calling Festival: boutique, family fun in Hertfordshire

IMG_0796Standon Calling Festival is held in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. It’s small, but not too small that you feel you are milling around in a field.  There is enough to keep all ages entertained from babies through to grandparents, offering family fun by day and a young party vibe by night. The music acts are varied from pop and rock to hard hitting electronic and everything in between. My husband had never been to a festival before and so he joined us under duress, at the end of the three days we had to drag him away!

If you are a virgin festival goer but like camping the main difference you will find is that the camping fields (we stayed in the family field) are quite tight, you get to know your neighbours! If you have a group going like we did just pitch up at the same time and this will give you a little area for a gathering, although you will find that you spend most of your time in the festival ground.

IMG_0945Freddie is 7. When I asked him what he enjoyed the most he simply said ‘everything,’ then when I asked him ‘do you enjoy camping or festival camping the best?’ He replied festival camping of course ooh arghhh!’

Standon is a great introduction to festival life, the themed costumes are amazing, this year being Legends of the Sea- I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’stheme will be.

There are the usual children’s activities and a baby and toddler area but the added bonus is the swimming pool, if the weather is favourable it’s a great area for a family splash around. There is also an annual dog show that seems to be very popular, our dog Millie won first prize in the waggiest tail class!IMG_0908

The main stage has a great space in front of it, room enough to laze through the afternoon listening to lesser known bands and didn’t feel too cramped when the main acts were on either. In fact the children’s area was situated to the left of the stage which lent itself to the left hand side of the stage becoming a family area.

People here were nice, we felt safe and there really was a happy go lucky festival vibe, it was great to mill around stopping at a stage or act that caught our fancy when we felt like it. The kids loved being able to get close to the main acts too and the cashless wrist bands were a god send, they loved having control of their own money and we had no fear of them losing it.

All in all Standon Calling Festival rocked! Here are is our journey in pictures…

We were given tickets for Standon Calling Festival this year and this is our honest review. When we get given tickets to anything for review I always ask myself ‘would we go if we had to pay?’ We will be going back in 2017 even if we are not invited to review, so there is your answer, and we can’t wait!

Competition time: Win tickets to Standon Calling Festival in Hertfordshire

Standon Calling festival is being held at the end of July in the stunning Lordship grounds of Hertfordshire and this year’s theme is Legends Of The Lost Seas!

There is an extensive family programme this year: from baby multi-sensory raves and street dance classes to crafts, kids-only trapeze and yoga.

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If the weather holds, the outdoor swimming pool is heated and the family swim sessions are sure to be a big hit!

Standon Calling opens its doors early this year on Thursday 28th July with ‘The Welcome Feast’ with family games, camp fire sing-songs and specially curated menus from a variety of chefs.

For the kids:

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Children’s singer – Nick Cope

Readings from children’s authors, music performances, pop up circus, puppet and theatre performances, evening campfire storytelling, street dance, juggling workshops, arts, crafts, dressing up and much more. There is also a dedicated family campsite located away from the main areas for when it is night night time.

And don’t worry the adults have plenty to keep them entertained too with lots going on including performances from: Jess Glynne, Suede, Kelis, The Hives, Everything Everything, Ghostpoet and much much more…

Dogs are welcome at Standon Calling Festival too, so if you want to bring your pooch why not enter him or her into the annual dog show! Always a popular event.

For your chance to win a family set of five tickets (worth over £350!) just visit the Holiday Tots competition page.

For more details about Standon Calling festival, camping options and to book tickets visit the Standon Calling festival website.

Standon Calling Festival – 29th – 31st July, 2016

Competition closes at midnight on 13th July, winner will be notified by email after the closing date. Good Luck!

 

Family Festival Series part 3 – Henley Festival Family Sunday plus your chance to win tickets…

In the third of our family festival series we look at this year’s Family Sunday at Henley Festival. ‘Not just for grownups’, Family Sunday promises fun for all ages. We also have a family set of five tickets in our competition on the Holiday Tots website.

There are children’s entertainers, musicians, comedians, magicians and street entertainers. Mad scientists will be electrocuting members of the audience and there will be superheroes too!

So if dipping your toe into a festival for a day, rather than camping overnight, appeals to you then Henley Family Sunday just might tick the box, oh and dressing up for day is obligatory!

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Confirmed acts for all the family include:

Superhero battle where three of planet Earth’s greatest go head to head for the title of ‘Most Supreme Superhero… Ever!’

The Henley Music School

Jay Foreman and his disgusting songs

Science Mania

Solomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids

lighthouseThe Lighthouse Workshop where the lighthouse keeper will be sharing stories of the sea and showing animations of his adventures

Awe inspiring acrobatic feats from Upswing and more

Henley Festival Family Sunday takes place on Sunday 10th July 2016 from 11.30am to 3pm

Visit their website for more details: http://www.henley-festival.co.uk/2016-programme/family-day

Sadly we are camping at Blackberry Wood otherwise we definitely would be visiting this one!

Competition – Your chance to win a family ticket for up to five people

The organisers have kindly offered a family ticket for five for the Family Sunday as a competition prize. Visit the Holiday Tots competition page where you will find all the details. Good Luck! The competition will close on Friday 26th May.

https://www.holidaytots.co.uk/competition/24/

Family Friendly Festival Series – Camp Bestival in Dorset

 

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28th – 31st July 2016

Lulworth Castle, Dorset

 

 

Our second post in our family-friendly festival series looks at Camp Bestival in Dorset. If you are looking for a kids festival this year? this one just might tick the box. There are so many children’s activities to choose from you won’t know what to do! This year’s Outer Space theme is sure to inspire a few fab costumes.

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A large section of the festival site is totally devoted to small people with the Upper Kids Garden for younger kids offering bouncy castles, bikes,  go karts, circus training and more. Here there is a separate toddlers area and Bestival’s own Breastival Mother and Baby Chill Out.

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The Lower Kids Garden is full of entertainment for older children with fairground rides, face painting, Kids Catwalk and also here, for the under 5’s, is a soft play tent and sand pit.

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Children’s entertainment is not restricted to the Kids Gardens, there are plenty of fun and games throughout the site and performances by well-known household names from Dick and Dom to Lazy Town and Mr Tumble. Art Town is the place to be if your children love to get a little creative, offering a huge range of drop in activities all weekend from sculpting to sticking, colouring, recycled fashion and more.

For a thrill the Wall of Death return to Camp Bestival, watch the Fox family defy gravity!

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s on offer for family festival fun at Camp Bestival. For more details checkout their kids page.

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So the kids are entertained but what about the adults? Don’t worry there is plenty to keep you happy too! The live line-up includes, Fatboy Slim, Jess Glynne and a treat for us, err slightly older folk, on Sunday night Tears For Fears take to the stage.

 

Sasha_6_barchan_sasha_fabric-room-1_21458666817Other acts include, Katy B, Reggie N Bollie, DJ Yoda, Dawn Penn and more. Bestival also offers lots of fun from theatre shows, DJ sets, poets, authors, talks, various attractions and activities such as the Travelling Barn and vintage fun, music and 78’s spinning DJs in Caravanserai.

 

Camp Bestival is on the same weekend as Standon Calling which we are already going to, I think if it wasn’t we could be tempted here!

All campsites open on Thursday to give you an extra day to settle in: for more details on prices and accommodation options visit the Camp Bestival camping page in their website.

Website

http://www.campbestival.net/

Lollibop review 2014 – Entertainment for the next generation of Festival goers!

 

Lollibop, Hatfield House 2014

We arrived back late last night from our holiday: our return flight was very delayed and Freddie didn’t get to bed until nearly midnight. As I sieved through the two and a half weeks’ worth of post I was delighted when I opened our guest passes for Lollibop…….but would Freddie last the day… You can bet he did! He loved every minute of it, I had to drag him away when it finished!

What is Lollibop?

Dubbed by its creators as ‘Glastonbury for kids’ Lollibop is a festival for children under 10 and their families, and it’s jam packed with kids activities and shows.

This year the Lollibop festival headed to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire (it is usually held in London), one of our favourite places to visit especially ‘Bloody Hollow’ but that’s another story! There are Lollibop Zones: Lollibop Live, hosted by Cbeebies Alex Winters, Lollipalladium, Lollibooks, Active Zone, The Meadows, Join in with Southbank, The Discovery Zone and Meet and Greet.

Alex Winters of Cbeebies doing the Hokey Cokey!

Alex Winters of Cbeebies doing the Hokey Cokey!

Looking at the programme for 2014 the children’s entertainment seemed endless, and it was! With lots of shows featuring Cbeebies favourites, Mister Maker, Justin, Mr Bloom, Lazy Town, Andy Day and more plus favourites from CBBC including Horrible Histories.

When we arrived there was something happening on the main stage (we quickly found out that there was nearly always something going on here!), ‘It’s the real Mister Maker, mummy!’ squealed one child and then the fun began.

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We actually could have spent two days here as we missed a few things that we would have loved to see or taken part in, the day was fun packed until the end. Here are some of our highlights…

Andy Day was his usual energetic self, visiting his past by re-creating his bedroom and showing the audience some of the things he loved when he was a kid. There are lots of chances for audience participation and the kids loved it. My funniest part was when a couple of dads were invited on to the stage and had to stomp and roar as dinosaurs, Andy makes these moves look cool, sorry dads yours just looked extremely funny!

Andy Day's Show

Andy Day’s Show

There are lots of opportunities to meet a variety of characters and have pictures taken with them from Dennis the Menace to Fireman Sam, Chris and Pui to Poppy Cat! Freddie was very excited to meet a Horrible Histories character as we had just returned from a holiday with friends whose son is absolutely addicted to Horrible Histories and he couldn’t wait to get a picture taken with him to send back.

Freddie with cast member of Horrible Histories - For you Alex, Ruby and James!

Freddie with cast member of Horrible Histories – For you Alex, Ruby and James!

The festival layout is great with loads of space for picnics, if it doesn’t rain!

Lollibop 2014 Map

There are lots of opportunities to dance and sing, get creative or just listen to some great stories. Everything is free (apart from food and drink) including face painting – even for us adults and T-shirt making.

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For the older kids there is the football area managed by the Tottenham Hotspur FC Global Coaching team (another of Freddie’s favourites)

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And the Skylander Arena where you will get a sneak preview into the new, not yet released, Skylander game.

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One of my favourites was the Southbank Centres children’s program with lots of activities to keep any child (and adult) entertained from Big Sing Workshops and Hip Hop Dance with Zoo Nation to a
Pirate School and more!

It’s so hard to cover everything in a short blog, so why not visit yourself? There really is something for everyone…

Lollibop runs from 15th – 17th August 2014 at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire from 10-6 – it’s a fabulous family day out.

Website: www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Thank you for a fab day Lollibop! xxx