There's so many reasons I adore Ollie, my smallest boy, but reason 47956398 has got to be the day he asked for a festival birthday party.
In his whole life he's only ever had one experience of a proper festival at Livestock in Longdon last year. Not quite the tiniest dancing around the hay bales but definitely one of the most enthusiastic! I'd always had in my mind that festivals would be difficult with children, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The scale of some of the huge events totally overwhelms me but our day up in Gloucestershire was the perfect introduction.
Decked out in our brightest colourful clothes we headed north for a day of music, good food and entertainment for the boys. I'd read up online beforehand about the children's tents and was so impressed at how they had been so well thought of. A science demonstration, animals to pet and learn about and the highlight for Ollie - a circus skills area. His little determination trying to balance the diabolo under his chin made my heart melt.
We timed our day trip perfectly, heading up for the last day of the festival on the Sunday. The staff seemed relaxed, a mix of pride that the event had gone so well and relief that it was drawing to a close, there was banter at the bars and you could see they had worked their socks off for days. We found it far less busy than we expected which was a good thing as I know our boys would have been overwhelmed in a huge crowd. We whipped around every section of the kid's tents, barely keeping up with our excitable boys who were desperate to try it all!
Face painting, pottery, crafts, a science demonstration - you name it we did it! They LOVED the circus skills area as did Rich and I wandered off for 15 minutes to snap some photos and people watch. There was a complete mix of families, couples lying on picnic blankets with their heads resting on a hay bale, groups of younger music fans, retired seasoned festival goers and everything in between. It really made us smile seeing this eclectic group come together, dancing, cheering and clinking plastic cups full of cider.
I think we managed to eat everything on offer that day, mooching from the pulled pork stand to the Mexican burritos and stopping to pick up a pizza for the boys which they balanced on their knees, pausing every 3 minutes to run and jump around to the band. There was plenty of choice and everything was really reasonable, and by the end of the day you could feel that sense of real achievement around the field.
We sauntered back to the car park, passed the circus entertainers leap frogging each other and the bouncy castles who were getting ready to head home. It was a wonderful whirlwind of a day and we couldn't have asked for sunnier skies.
A perfect start to a new love.
The only slight downside with festival weekends is it's like the weather just knows you want it to be dry and sends you all the rain it has stored up in the clouds for winter. I'm hoping that we get a gorgeous day like our visit to Livestock last year!
We've managed to sort a disco dome bouncy castle, I've found a DJ who isn't afraid of setting up under the pergola and I've briefed all the mums and dads on the colour run finale! Now you see why we need sunshine! I love the rainbow colour theme and now need to think just how much bunting I need to make and buy to bring a multi colour extravaganza to the garden!
I'm thinking hot dogs and burgers, a make shift cheeky bar for the grown ups and party bags stuffed with temporary tattoos and wristbands. I think I love the planning as much as the party itself! Come and follow my Pinterest board to see what crazy ideas I have in mind...
If you are local to Gloucestershire and are looking for a great day out as a family or a group of friends wanting to camp at a festival over the weekend then check out the ticket details for this year's Livestock. This year it's like a blast from my pre teen past. Jason Donovan and Chesney Hawkes are playing! I guarantee the whole of Tewkesbury will be able to hear the crowd singing "I am the one and only!"
We were given tickets to Livestock 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.