The best festivals for families this summer

Summer is on its way, and with it comes a whole host of family fun, says Claire Spreadbury.

Take your gang to the best outdoor events this summer
Families on a carousel at Victorious Festival Take your gang to the best outdoor events this summer

Nothing says summer like spending weekends outside, listening to live music, while eating and drinking al fresco.

Festival season is almost upon us and as family days out go, you cannot beat it. From one-day events to mini escapes complete with camping, there’s something for all the family.

Here’s our guide to best family festivals of summer 2024…

Victorious Festival, Southsea, August 23-25

(Tom Langford)

The perfect festival for families to attend, as it caters for all life stages. This three-day event is easy to get around, with three main stages and lots of smaller areas.

Headliners this year include Fatboy Slim, Jamie T and Biffy Clyro, with some generation alpha favourites, like Becky Hill, Jess Glynn and Louis Tomlinson. Comedy headliners are strong too, with Frankie Boyle (though maybe don’t take the kids to that one!), Russell Howard and Al Murray all performing.

The Kids Arena is massive (and completely free) with a beach area, roaming performers, music, face painting, and arts and crafts.

Tickets are available for single days (£75, £8 for 5-12-year-olds, £1 for under 5s) or the full weekend (£210, £24 for 5-12-year-olds, £3 for under 5s), and you can pay to stay in the off-site campsite (£210, £34 for 5-12-year olds and £4 for under 5s, including your ticket), but be sure to leave before the headline set ends to get seats on the shuttle bus back to camp.

Camp Bestival, Dorset, July 25-28

One of the first – and arguably the best – family festivals on the scene, Camp Bestival is great fun for young families.

Favourites this year include Paloma Faith, Mcfly, James Arthur and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who will get the whole gang dancing. And the kids’ activities are truly epic. Mud kitchens, family yoga, upcycling bucket hats and skateboard lessons are just a handful of the offerings for 2024. There won’t be a single moment of boredom.

There’s a huge variety of tickets available, from £80 day tickets (kids from £16 and family bundles from £202), weekend camping tickets (£233, kids from £91), plus backstage, hospitality, pre-pitched tents and campervan options.

Pub In The Park, Marlow, May 16-19

(Bircan Tulga)

Pub In The Park launched in 2017 and seems to get bigger every year, with four locations for 2024. The original is in Higginson Park in Marlow, but it heads on to Chiswick in June, Reigate in July and St Albans in September, so there are plenty of options for getting your crew together.

Being the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, the UK’s largest food and music touring event takes food pretty seriously. Kerridge himself leads an array of top chefs – including Gennaro Contaldo, Atul Kochhar, Andi Oliver and Simon Rimmer – who will be cooking up a storm and hosting signing sessions.

Van Morrison, Busted and Paloma Faith will all be banging out the tunes in Marlow, with great line-ups set for all the different locations.

As well as  tucking into fantastic food and drink, don’t miss DJ BBQ’s family-focused sessions round the firepit, the funfair and silent disco – all certain to keep the smaller folk happy and entertained.

Tickets cost from £45 a day (£30 for 6-15-year-olds, 5s and under are free), with weekend tickets from £190 (£110 for 6-15-year olds, 5s and under are free).

Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham, May 31-June 2

(Joshua Atkins)

One of the smaller up-and-coming family festivals, Wychwood prides itself on being a family event.

With some great music lined up – Texas, Sister Sledge, Ocean Colour Scene and The Coral – it’s set to be a great weekend.

And there’s heaps of family fun, too. Lose yourselves in over 100 different family workshops and activities, including story time and a meet and greet with Bluey and Bingo (you’ll be parent of the year after that), trampolines, dodgems and bungee run; the little ones will be fast asleep come the evening entertainment.

Tickets cost from £54.50 for the day (£28.50 for 10-15-year-olds, free for under 10s) and different days cost different amounts. Weekend tickets cost £164.50 (£84.50 for 10-15-year-olds and free for under 10s), and if you want to camp as well, it’s £179.50 for adults, £89.50 for 10-15-year-olds and free for under 10s.

Latitude Festival, Suffolk July 25-28

Big, but family-friendly, Latitude has made a name for itself over the years. Attracting great bands and artists, 2024 is set to be a stellar year, with Duran Duran, Kasabian and Keane all playing the main arena.

There’s an incredible, female-strong comedy line-up as well, including the likes of Jo Brand, Sara Pascoe, Rosie Jones and Lucy Beaumont.

In the kids’ area, there’s an Inbetweeners Teen Stage, action and adventure at Camp Greenpeace – where you can climb trees, scramble through nets nestled amongst them and take part in bushcraft, plus crafting, wild science and a wildlife garden – there’s a lot to get stuck into.

Family camping tickets cost £308 per adult, with teens priced at £190 and child tickets £28. Day tickets cost £110 for adults and over 12s, and child tickets (aged 5-12) cost £18.

Kendal Calling, The Lake District, August 1-4

(George Harrison)

Set in the beautiful Lowther Deer Park, Kendal Calling is another festival that gets bigger and better every year. For 2024, musical highlights include Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Streets, Paolo Nutini and Paul Heaton – perfect singalong material.

Family fun is a big focus too, with a devoted Kids Calling area, hosting theatre shows, craft workshops and giant inflatables. The silent disco is set to be epic, as are the arts trails in Lost Eden, but the big highlight on the weekend is the themed parade on Sunday. This year’s theme is The High Seas and over 200 performers will be joining together for an incredible procession.

Tickets are selling out, so be quick if you want to snap up them up. Adult weekend camping tickets are priced at £199, teens (ages 11-15) are £95, children (ages 6-10) are £25 and under 5s are £10.

One-day musical events

(Jamea Ram)

Of course, if you just want to dabble in the odd day of outdoorsy musical fun, there are plenty of options. BST Hyde Park sees the likes of Kylie, Robbie Williams, Kings Of Leon and SZA headlining one-day concerts in central London this June and July.

Hampton Court Palace Festival plays host to some family favourites, too. Tom Jones kicks of proceedings on June 11, with Sam Ryder, Paloma Faith and Jessie J all performing as the month rolls on.

Cornwall’s Eden Project offers an epic backdrop for this year’s Eden Sessions, with JLS, Rick Astley and Tom Grennan all performing in July. And Yorkshire Wildlife Park presents Wild Live in August, where families can see Ella Henderson, Jessie J and JLS singing their hearts out, too.

Ticket prices for the one-day events vary hugely, but expect to pay anywhere from £50-£100 each, and get there early to make the most of the day.