Should I bring my baby or toddler to a festival?

Should I bring my baby or toddler to a festival?

The idea of bringing your baby or toddler to a festival can seem a daunting one. Because we’ve been there and done that back when our kids were little, we now know exactly what the tiniest tots and their parents need in terms of entertainment, activities and facilities to have maximum fun in Baldersby Park. For one weekend in July, this whole baby thing will become an absolute breeze.

Parents are voting with their feet. Over 700 new-borns, babies and toddlers joined us in 2019 – more young families than ever before! To say thank you for showing such faith in us, our under 5s programme in 2020 is set to take the sprog-spoiling to the next level. There is truly no other music festival in the world that will look after you and your young folk like Deer Shed does. So how exactly do we do this?

Facilities: making your life easier

Forgive us for beginning with the more mundane aspects of your festival experience (we promise to move onto the mini raves and magical performances soon) but the things you might take for granted at home become a godsend when during your stay at a festival. While they may seem basic to you and me, few festival organisers ever think to provide them.

  • Regular group bath times with NCT (National Childbirth Trust).
  • Bottle sterilisation.
  • Changing areas and baby-friendly toilets around site.
  • Toilets specifically for under 5s and their parents.
  • Biodegradable nappies.
  • Highchairs.
  • Mobile Sling Hire.
  • Ear Defenders.
  • Accessible facilities for children with deafness, a disability or SEN.
  • Slumber Trucks by GoGo Trolley.

Activities: Arty, Crafty, Singy, Dancey, Sensory, Messy

Deer Shed guarantees that every member of the family can fill their weekend with amazing activities, regardless of what they’re into. This of course includes under 5s, and because they’re not quite at the kayaking or scaling-a-huge-tree stage yet, all their tailored activities are completely free.

Start their path to stardom early in our Little Stars tent, where they can sing, sign, dance, shake, rattle, rave and generally just show off to their hearts content! The Teeny Beans tent is the place to be for busy, giddy, messy kids, with nature kitchens, arts and crafts, block printing, playdough, shaker-making, and so much more. Meanwhile, for tots who might need a little retreat from the bustling arena, the Meadow Sensory tent offers peaceful sensory play delights, bubbles, toys with textures, lights and sounds, plus the chance to unwind with baby massages – toddlers have it tough too, you know.

We can’t deny it’s often the classic activities that prove most popular, though. Every year, we fill a pen with stacks and stacks of hay, and simply let them run wild! And you know you can’t go wrong with our spacious soft play area or massive sandpit.

Performances

You won’t find any CBeebies characters at Deer Shed. While they do a great job all year round and everyone loves a bit of Peppa Pig, the kids see enough of her at home! Instead, we curate an original line-up of child-friendly performers to enchant your infant throughout the weekend.

From captivating storytellers who help to unleash your baba’s imagination or just relax them ready for bed, to family friendly singer-songwriters, bubble and hula-hoop shows, balloon modellers, theatre and puppet shows, and loads more.

All of this isn’t to say we haven’t seen many a baby headbanging along to the glorious sounds of our Main Stage through the years!

Keeping You Safe

The word ‘festival’, for some people, can be loaded with negative connotations around safety, security and cleanliness. If that’s the case for you, hopefully by now we’re beginning to change that perception.

Over the years, Deer Shed has experienced extremely low levels of crime and, thanks to our kind and caring staff in the Information and Welfare tent, our lost child procedure has never failed to quickly reunite kids separated from their parents. Every member of our core team has at some point in their life needed to child-proof a house, so we never overlook potential hazards in the campsites and arenas that others might miss.

Our toilets, changing areas, and other facilities are cleaned regularly to a high standard throughout the weekend, too. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Here’s what Festivals For All say in a recent review:

“I think it's important to mention the toilets at Deer Shed. I've read on festival chat groups time and time again threads where people are concerned about the toilets and sometimes this alone is a reason not to go to a festival. Well rest assured this is one worry you won't have at Deer Shed. They were quite possibly the best toilets I've ever seen at a festival or even any outdoor event. Always fantastically clean and stocked with toilet roll, they even had water and soap as well as hand sanitizer.

Essential Items

While we have you and your baby’s backs covered in many ways (sometimes literally, with our eco-friendly nappies), we’ve compiled a list of essential items to bring along with you from home that’ll keep your family smiling all weekend.

  • Reusable water bottles
  • Sun cream and sun hats
  • Anoraks and wellies
  • Torch (vital if you have to change a nappy in the night)
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Anti-bite cream and insect repellent
  • Cooler box for baby’s food and formula
  • Bibs and enough changes of clothes to match how messy your tot is!

Privacy Statement