Baby and Toddler: questions for first timers

Hi 

desperate to come to greenman as my partner and I love the line up but have never done a festival with kids. Have a 3 year old and 5 month old and although have heard this is THE most child friendly place to be... I still have some questions about logisital stuff if any fellow parent festival folk can lend some advice....

1. My worry is mainly if (dare I say it) we have a heatwave. having a small baby in tow can be great as they dont move out of sight but the question is, is there anywhere cool and sheltered just in case the days get too hot?

2. I am confused about the ticket I need to get. presumeably the adult tickets will also guarantee you a spot in the family camping zone? is this a first come first serve thing?  if anyone can shed any light so that we can plan our entry that would be great!

3. are there any restrictions on tent size? we have a 7 man and it will be full of ticket barers. what is the general thinking on this? 

4. we have friends who are thinking of coming in a campervan....are there capervan spaces in the family zone...as in, can we pitch our tent near to them?

5. and finally, how far is the walk from the carpark to the family camping?  i have been reading what others have said about difficulty pushing small wheeled prams in mud uphill and have taken that on board...just need to know how far or how long it takes to walk so we can decide if toddler can handle it or not.

AND finally...

6. is there electrical hookup? obviously not essential but handy to know if we can bring a fridge or be able to charge up phone!

I think thats it...any advice would be most welcomed as we want to get our tickets a.s.a.p

Hootytoot x

Hi and welcome Hootamammy. Taking your questions in turn -

1. Heatwaves are not normally a problem, but if it does happen there are covered areas (Far Out, Chai Wallas, Lit Tent, Cinema Tent) to get out of the direct sun. I've seen people use the little beach shelter thingys too - there is space to the sides of the stages so you won't get in anyone's way.

2. It is first come first served but there's enough space. If you get there reasonably early you'll have no problems. Just follow the road signs for family camping / live-in vehicles and you'll be in the right car park.

3. No restrictions on tent size.

4. campervans are in a seperate area but it's always been adjacent to family camping so you won't be too far away. Again, if your friends get there reasonably early they should be able to get positioned on the side of the campervan area nearest family camping.

5. I'd say between 5 and 10 minutes stroll depending on where exactly you are in the car park and the camping field. Longer if you're trying to push a trolly uphill through deep mud on Monday (just in case it's not a heatwave!). It's a good idea not to try and get everything out of the car at first - wait and see if you actually need it over the weekend, and drop stuff back to the car when you can - don't leave it all until Monday morning.

6. No electric hookup. CND have a lock-up store / mobile charging tent available, or use a USB charger in your car overnight. If you want a fridge it will need to be a gas-powered one.

Hope that helps :)

 

 

 

Not much to add to that apart from - make sure you buy a family camping parking ticket! Much longer trek from general camping parking. Made that mistake last year and it still wrankles.

Get there Thursday if possible - to get a good pitch and to gradualy ease into the joys of the weekend.

First time we went we were really woried about how we'd get the tent up with two small kids in tow (then 3 and 1). needn't have worried, within a minute of arriving they were playing with some other kids in another tent with someone keeping an eye on them. It's that kind of festival. If you're anywhere near to us I'll get my 9-year old to look after them for you, she doesn't charge much.

Like to stuff about a heatwave - raised a smile that did.

 

wow, Peridot, thank you so, so much for taking the time to reply to me in such detail. very kind, and very much appreciated. your answers have really helped to sway our decision into getting a ticket right now

thanks too to Krasnyi for the helpful tip on parking. as for the sunshine...I know its wishful thinking huh, glad it amused you.definitely hire your 9 yr old for the job, my 3 year old boy (who is more like a 5 year old in size)  loves nothing more than  to be bossed about by an older woman!

 

 see you all there hopefully xxx

Anyone done the trip to Green Man with a family and no car? 2 adults, a 1 year old and a 9 year old.

Any tips welcome. ;)

Also, how do you deal with wanting to see bands that are on late with kids in tow. Take em out with you sleeping and with ear defenders on (for the baby?). Or do you just approach it all entirely differently and do daytime stuff instead? Is the daytime music still too loud for babies? (My baby doesn't really like wearing ear defenders)

And, what about food? I've heard the food is rather pricy at Green Man but obviously coming by train we won't b able to bring much..

And - rain! Is it a headache dealing with kids and a rainy, muddy festival? Or still fun?

Lastly, toilets etc - how are they at Green Man? (I've never been before! Also, only been to festivals in the distant past, without kids!)

Any other tips for family festival fun would be appreciated! 

Thank you :)

we've been oming since 2007 when our two were 3 and 1 though always with a car

regarding staying up late - i think it depends on the child. our son who was 1 in 2007 needs his bed at a certain time. He's now 8 but couldn't even persuade him to stay up past 9.00 at the Lunar Festival a few weeks back even with the promise of bears ( British Sea Power). you do see tetchy kids being dragged around at GM (often with even tetchier parents) and i'd always be prepared to have to accept you won't get to see everything you want. One of us stàys back at the tent though I have to say I've done much better out of that arrangement ove the years!

without ear defenders stay reasobably far back though noise isn't an issue in the walled garden (my favourite stage)

food is typically pricey, we bring plenty of snacks for the kids but I can see that's problematic without a car. Ours love the tea and toast van which is usually near the entrance to the main stage. The Cwmdu community tent is in the same area and is gat for breakfasts and cakes.

rain- kids tend. cope wit it better than adults - bring wellies and waterproofs.

toilets  - pretty good by festival standards and regularly drained

other tips - bring loads of wet wipes 

Ah - yeah, I'd probably be the one back in the tent. That's one of the main things that puts me off ha ha. Our baby is breastfeeding and I am the one with breasts so I'd probably end up missing the acts I want to see.

Thanks for your tips! I wonder if anyone out there has done it by train, with a family!

Re kids mess and rain - I noticed a lot of folk last year weren't using buggies they either had those fancy (read: expensive) 3 wheelers or bike trailers using the wheel instead of a bike-hook up. Pretty good space wise and really enclosed for bad weather or night time sleeping. I've borrowed a bike trailer from a friend for this year as our 3 year old won't last all day but will happily sleep if comfy in a buggy it's just that she's now too long for our McLaren. I plan to pack it up with blankets and pillows so she can snuggle down at night all cosy with her ear defenders and conk out while we enjoy the late bands - it worked last year! Hopefully the larger wheels will handle muddy ground and we can also pile stuff into it.

 

Re food: apparently one of the places on site sells fresh milk so my plan is to take weetabix, crackers, grapes, apples and bananas, raisins, cheese etc that don't need kept in a coolbox so she can have access to snacks. Tea and toast was great last year as was Strumpets with Crumpets. Both very reasonably priced. 

Re shade: I'm also paranoid about overheating and last year was hot. The kids zone has lots of covered areas as you would expect and there was lovely shady trees to rest under near the Talking Shop. I also loved the Walled Garden (they had a roast chicken stall which was amazing!), and there was a nice few areas on the way into Einsteins Garden with parasols stuck in the ground so I sat there while she slept. Loads to look at too so you don't feel like you're missing out. So shady areas are never far away but like the previous poster I did spot beach tents round the fringes of the main stage which looked cool.

Re ear defenders and noise. We're lucky as our girl loves them and even wears them round the house if she doesn't approve of my musical choices lol! Maybe worth persevering as the baby might prefer them to the noise.  

We also reached a point last year where we had to decide who was going back to the tent. There were a few in a similar boat in tents around us and I had planned to go back to the main arena with another mum when our husbands rolled in (seperately) but in the event I conked out with our daughter the minute I got back to the tent. Lightweight!

It was our first ever music festival, not just with a kid, and it was amazing. Everything I was worried about was fine and I totally recommend it. xx

RE: Food. You do have the option of taking a walk - or a taxi for about a fiver each way - into Crickhowell (about 30 minutes along the river, clearly signposted and a quite pleasant walk on a nice day) where you'll find a couple of convenience stores stocking the essentials. More expensive than your average supermarket but cheaper than paying for every meal on site. I'd recommend one of you take the trip and the other stays with the kids as little legs could find the route a bit tiring.

I've always found it a good idea to take a pre-cooked/prepared meal for the Thursday teatime - it's convenient while you settle in and keeps costs down.

We camp in a tent so to keep food fresher longer I freeze bacon and milk etc and keep it in the cool box - lasts longer.

 

If there's a heatwave, then I'd recommend heading to Little Folk area for the hottest part of the day. Last year there were two big tents, one is an activity tent with arts and crafts, the other has a chill out area for babies and toddlers with story telling, books and children's toys. There's plenty of shade there, although it's not open on the Thursday.

If you want to watch live music in the shade, then the Greenman Rising stage is pretty good, the area in front of the stage is shaded by trees. Chai Wallah's has a cafe area which is undercover too.

The cinema tent usually has kids films on Saturday and Sunday morning. That's a good place to seek shelter if it's either too hot or too wet! Last year they screened The Jungle Book on one of the mornings and Fantastic Mr Fox on the other.

I think heavy rain is more of a concern than a heatwave though!

I'd recommend ear defenders for the kids.

There's a stall (usually by the far out) that sells water bottles for £3/4, with, I think, most of the money going to water aid or similar charity. The £3/4 gets you ice cold water all weekend and proves far better value than buying bottled water from other stalls. They have a tank-truck which patrols the site too so you can fill up without too much bother.Perfect for hydrating your little ones. I heartily recommend it to everyone, especially if we get hot days like last year. fingers crossed.

Last year the bottled water/refill service was called called 'Frank', I know this because it's my son's name and he was really chuffed to have a personalised water bottle.