Just So Festival is a curious place for a two year old and the perfect place to experience our first ever eco family festival.
We arrived at Rode Hall in Cheshire on Friday morning; after a short queue of traffic we pitched our tent and hung up our bunting. If the memories of Glastonbury have put you off festival camping, then let me assure you there is space a plenty and the toilets and showers were the cleanest we have ever seen.
After popping Isabella in her Fairy costume (fancy dress must be embraced at Just So!), we headed to the Festival, a mere two minute walk from our pitch. Get prepared for a sensory feast; the creativity and imagination that has gone into this Festival is first class, from the archway of suitcases welcoming you, to the Spellbound Forest full of Fairy Houses and magical evening campfires. The attention to detail is immense and the festival programme is jam packed with activities for all ages. Here are our ‘must see/dos’ of Just So…
Ahoy at the High Seas
Follow the nautical bunting and you will find a ship wreaked sandpit with miniature deck chairs and hours of entertainment for little ones. Older children will compete in a game of Battle Ships whilst Mam escapes to the Lush Spa for a foot massage. You’ll find the most delightful ice cream van as well as regular workshops including Laughter Yoga and Lantern Making for the famous Saturday night parade.
An oasis for the under 4s, hosting everything from a breastfeeding tepee to a tent equipped with free eco nappies and a place to bath your babies from 5 – 7pm. We enjoyed getting messy with Clay Babies and joining in with musical workshops.
Dance the day and night away at Footlights
THE place to party for children and adults alike. Isabella busted the best two year old moves we’ve ever seen! Growing in confidence the little tinker gave us a glimpse into her future as she stood with her new friends in the front row; if they were tall enough they’d have been crowd surfing.
Grab some tasty grub
Across the path from Footlights you’ll find food galore at The Social. We’re talking flat breads, stone baked pizzas and vegan burgers. We would have liked to have seen more options for toddlers; smaller portions and more fruit and veg on offer, but for us, there was a lot of choice!
Curiouser and Curiouser in The Spellbound Forest and Away with the Fairies
Our must see recommendation for Just So Festival! Within this magical forest you will find a Fairy Ball on Friday night, tiny fairy houses and an amphitheater set in twinkly lights. The Museum of Curiosities is a marvelous creation which will see the whole family in awe. As night falls, a campfire is lit, songs are sung and stories are read. On Sunday evening we were treated to the delights of the Baghdaddies preforming around the campfire; a perfect end to a fabulous weekend.
Join a Tribe
The build up to the Tribal Parade starts way before the weekend. Parents update Facebook and Twitter with their handmade creations months before the event, creating a supportive if not healthy competition between Tribes. Costume wearing takes place all weekend, not just Sunday’s parade. Embrace it. Enjoy it!
One of our most memorable moments of Just So is walking back through the Festival site as the sun set on the last day. We stumbled across a handful of children throwing hay in the air and giggling their little hearts out. Isabella joined them, we watched from the sidelines before we joined her too. Priceless.
Just So has earned a cult following of parents and tots who return year on year. It’s not surprising; there’s so much to see and do that you can’t possibly fit it into three days, so you owe it to your family to return.
Let go, open your minds and enjoy the most creative and inspirational little world called Just So Festival.
The Just So Festival 2016 will run from 19 – 21 August 2016. Tickets will be on sale from Friday 28th August at 12 noon with early bird prices of £110 per adult and £45 per child for weekend tickets (£125 per adult and £50 per child after early birds have sold out). Under 3s are free. www.justsofestival.org.
Click on the images below to see some highlights from the Festival!
Laura heads up our editorial team here at Hello Eco Living. She's the youngest member of her WI, loves the great outdoors and new adventures!