Arriving at Common People this year was worlds away from my previous experiences, two kids in tow, a baby bump on my front and emergency snacks in my backpack – this was the first time I had arrived at a festival before midday. Luckily, what with this being such a family friendly festival, the atmosphere had preceded us. The queues were few and far between, there were plenty of kids running around and everyone was relatively sober still.
We decided to get our bearings first so we could all see what we wanted to do that day, and also grab our ‘Help Me, I’m Lost’ wrist bands for the children. We did feel the need to explain to them that having the wristband with our contact details on them didn’t mean they could just deliberately wonder away from us at any time. A rule we had to enforce on more than one occasion, they were like magpies, and every brightly coloured flag, inflatable and food truck was a sparkling diamond!
In the end there was so much to see and do, and one day with the children wasn’t enough to tick everything off the list. We also needed to space out the day with sun-bathing, lounging around and trying all the different food so that we (well my partner) could actually enjoy a few beers and listen to music. So below are my top 6 things to do with the kids at Common People crammed into one exhausting, exhilarating and memorable day…
Top 6 kids activities –
- World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle – this is a must see, looming above you right as you walk into the main festival entrance the children were never going to miss it. At £4 for 10 minute goes, it’s a little pricey but well worth every bounce. They both agreed (at 4 and 7 years old) that this was by far their favourite part of the festival. During the day the queues were reasonable and we couldn’t have been waiting longer than 10-15 minutes.
- Circus Tent – This was a great area for the kids and adults, everything from tight-ropes, hula-hoops, large inflatables and trapeze swings were available free of charge. As well as regular performances it offered an array of activities, you just had to pick up something and give it a go. They didn’t tire of this all day and it didn’t cost a thing, so it was a win for us!
- Funfair Slide – At £2 a go it’s well worth at least one ride down this tall tower. Great sights from the top and then within seconds you’ve shot down the spiral slide and out the bottom with full views of the main stage. Beware that younger children will need an adult to go down with and this will be charged as two people.
- CAPITAL FM – The stand run by one of the South’s biggest radio stations of course had the tunes on full blast, competition times, large bean bags in the sun and some perfect festival transfer tattoos to keep us entertained. We were pleasantly surprised at how the kids, despite their age, knew exactly who and what the radio station was. All those hours in the car aren’t completely wasted! When you stumble across something that doesn’t cost anything it just feels that little bit better! And with a family of four it’s easy to break the bank after food, and drink alone.
- Paint A Van – This was another great activity that we had to ply to kids away from and another that was absolutely free! A large camper van had been placed amongst the kid’s area, surrounded by chalk and paint and they were advised to ‘go crazy’. Our two couldn’t believe their luck when they realised they were actually allowed to mark the van anywhere they wanted. Jack was intent on covering the hub-caps in a putrid pink colour whilst Ellanna painted flowers on the passenger door.
- The Nook – It might seem strange to include the VIP area as a ‘top kid’s attraction’ but realistically it was great having the passes and we spent a lot of our down time in there. The ornate lounging beds and cushions were perfect for them to have a rest (or sleep!) in the evenings. It was ideal for easy access to the bar for us but also the ‘posh toilets’ as the kids would say were a lot easier when they were suddenly desperate!
Not everyone would think of a festival as the ideal family day out but there really is too much to do! When it came to mealtimes there was something for everyone, it was so easy to just say – have what you like! The children wanted pizza and ended up sharing one of Pazzos Pizza’s fresh stone-baked margarita, my partner fancied a big burger whilst I opted for a steak & chorizo pie from Barnaby Sykes Pie Maker. We were all catered for throughout the day and certainly didn’t go hungry. When it came to drinks my partner was lucky enough that I was designated driver (being pregnant) so he could make the most of the sunshine and refreshing cold beers. We also made sure we took plenty of bottled water, as long as its sealed water you can take it through security with you. There are water taps dotted around the site so you can refill them as and when.
Overall we managed to last from 11:30am almost till the end of the night with our two young ones. I’m not sure who was more tired, them….or us! They loved all the music, the funny people (aka those who were maybe a bit too merry), the kid’s area, dancing to Becky Hill and singing along with Tom Odell. I would highly recommend Common People as a fun family festival, one that’s perfect to introduce children into, with the ever-growing festival craze in the UK.
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