Of all the firsts we will do this year one will be our first family camping trip. I mean we’ve spent a weekend in a mobile home, and we did have a caravan which we sadly decided to sell (regular single mum trips in the van had lost their appeal!), but have we ever spent a night under canvas together? No!
This camping trip will take us to a magical place though – the Just So Festival, held over a weekend in August at Rode Hall, Cheshire. Billed as an imaginative outdoor family adventure, it’s earned its reputation as one of the best children’s festivals around and everyone I know who has been raves about it.
Just So is the only arts camping festival in the UK dedicated solely to children and their families. Looking at the bill, there is no way we will be stuck for something to do for a second because there is just so much to explore.
From a theatre area called the Spellbound Forest to the Footlights stage where there are more than 20 artists and bands, to the Observatory where you can learn about space and the stars, there just seems to be so much entertainment that I wonder how we will fit it all in!
I’ve just read the guide for festival first-timers, which handily has a packing list for things we might need and some tips on fancy dress. Dressing up is encouraged at Just So and as I know how much my two love getting into character, I’m hoping we can get some cool outfits together before the August weekend.
Organisers do say though to have a look through and pick a few things you don’t want to miss, but to try not to be a slave to the programme and allow yourself to be distracted. Sounds ideal for our family! Having a look through I really like the sound of the pillow fight, the midnight feast and the tribal tournament.
This is where, in Just So’s words, you “choose to join the fish, frog, fox, owl, lion or stag tribe, dress up if you like (lots and lots of people do), take part in tribal shenanigans over the weekend to win points, then march with your tribe on Sunday evening to find out which tribe is victorious.” We’re in!
I haven’t been to a festival since the last time I did Glastonbury and twisted my ankle (I think I was dancing to Morrissey in wellies that got stuck in the mud), so definitely need to get some camping practice in before then.
I’m hoping to meet up with friends while there and I just know it will be an amazing experience for Sam and Flo.
Are you going? Let me know if you are, or if you’ve been before and have any tips!