I love festivals. I spent my teenage summers in a haze of mud, ear-splitting music and soggy tents (and alcohol, but we’ll skip over that!). In my twenties I went to only a couple, one in Croatia, which was pretty awesome. I see those photos of families at festivals in magazines, and wish I could be that. But our family isn’t really a festival-going family. Not yet anyway.
I found out about the 3 Foot People Festival a few months ago and booked tickets before even talking to my other half about it. It’s a festival for preschoolers. Yes, you read that right, for preschoolers. It’s held in a really, really big field in Hylands Park, Chelmsford. There’s a tent called Glastonbabies (interactive musical jam sessions for the whole family), a Tumble Tots tent, baby massage lessons, theatre for kids, live animals, and possibly best of all, the biggest selection of rocking horses and horsey toys ever. Trial football lessons for 2years+, baby ballet, a bubble tent, and a whole enclosure full of different food vendors, and inflatable world. Yes, inflatable world.
We didn’t avoid the usual, rather loud, family ‘debates’ along the way, and even though Teddy Bear was spectacularly sick in the car on the way there, we still had a brilliant time! If I could book tickets for next year now I would.
Things we were a bit disappointed by were the ‘Boxed In’ tent of cardboard boxes (you had to assemble them yourselves…not quite what we expected), the queue for Inflatable World (we didn’t even try – 3 year olds and queues don’t mix well), and that the events, or try-outs, all seemed to happen at the same time, meaning you had to choose just a few to go to, rather than being able to go to more things. We chose Tumble Tots over the interactive theatre experience, for instance, but I think Archie Bear would have loved to be able to do both. Also, the queues for food were very long, but hey, that’s part of the festival experience, right??
Things we loved – sitting on hay bales to eat our lunch, the rocking horse bonanza (see photos), the bubble tent, even though they were selling bubble wands etc. rather than putting on a bubble show – still lots of bubbles – and all the 3 foot people running around having a lovely time!
Things we’d do differently – do a full lap of all the tents on arrival to scout out the timings and which bits we definitely wanted to see and do, start queueing for lunch earlier, and follow Archie’s lead more. Nothing screams frustrated toddler more than, well, a frustrated toddler being forced to go this way or that, to try this music group, don’t go over there, not to touch that etc. Next year if he wants to spend an hour trying out all the rocking horses or chasing bubbles, that’s fine with us.
And, you never know, perhaps our little Baker clan will be a festival-going family after all!