Family guide to Latitude: how to do the UK's friendliest music festival
The highlights and our guide to this year's Latitude, the UK's friendliest music and culture festival
The range of Latitude's art, theatre, poetry, comedy, literature and dance (all of which you can read about here) is extraordinary, but the festival has to be the ultimate family experience too.
Latitude has won both Best Family Festival and 'Best Family Day Out' awards. There are many activities and entertainments for kids, teens and families that extend over the festival's three main event areas. But you need to know what you're doing. Here is our 'insiders' guide to making the most of the festival with your family.
The Kids' Area, the Inbetweeners Area and the Enchanted Garden: the highlights you need to know
The three designated child zones are divided into a Kids' Area, Inbetweeners Area and the Enchanted Garden. There's an impressive range of activities at almost every time of the day, from pond dipping to printing workshops.
There's so much going on at Latitude that, as a rule, we don't think it's necessary to fully plan what your children are going to be doing every day. Instead, we suggest picking out a few highlights, and, otherwise, wandering about and letting your kids pick from whatever is going on.
If you want to explore all the options, then here is everything you need to know. Otherwise, here are the family-friendly highlights we most recommend:
The Museum of London dig
Museum of London is setting up camp and offering an awesome opportunity for kids to uncover, hold and investigate real Roman artefacts from archaeological digs in London. We think that sounds like an amazing way for kids to literally get in touch with history. Help them discover incredible objects which reveal the secrets of daily life in Roman Londinium.
Become an illustrator
Kev Sutherland writes and draws for the Beano, Marvel, Dr Who and a host of other iconic comics. On Saturday afternoon he’ll be running a two-hour comic art masterclass to teach kids all about making comic strips and manga… a hands-on workshop with work to take away, and the perfect place to take budding illustrators and comic book fans.
Meet the authors
Chicken House Books is bringing three fantastic authors to Latitude, including both the winner and the finalist of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and MG Leonard. Along with James Nicol, all three authors will be running workshops based around their books. Using props, conjuring worlds and helping children unlock their creativity, the workshops bring the best of children’s literature to life, making it accessible and fun.
Get to grips with nature
The Wild Science Tent offers some seriously fun activities for curious minds, from exploring the wild world of Amazing Ants to getting gory with Splat Anatomy! The School of Noise brings together music and science, while our tricky kinetic drawing machines will test both physical and mental co-ordination.
The Inbetweeners Teen Area
The Inbetweeners Teen Area is a festival of its own; with digital and creative workshops using state-of-the-art kit, and working with industry pros, Culture Works East offer hands-on experience of media, music and fashion industries to keen teens over 12 years old. Meanwhile, Greenpeace is there to help kids get close to nature, with their forest-based tree-top adventures using nets, ropes and zip-wires. Not for the faint of heart!
Our insiders' guide: what you need to know but no one ever tells you
When your kids aren't getting their creative (and educational) fill in the three kid zones, this is what you need to know to make sure they, and you, have nothing but the best possible time:
How to travel (around the festival)
Bring a wheelbarrow. If you have little ones (and, thus, no free hands) a wheelbarrow is the best way to move your stuff out of the car and on to your campsite. Later, you can rent it out to other desperate campers. When it comes to moving your sleeping toddlers about, either invest in a serious, off-road pushchair or use a wheeled shopping bag. Last year, we saw someone using one of these to push their wrapped-up, sleeping toddler around the fields – it looked awesome.
Some festivals have a reputation for getting rained on, but actually Latitude is normally very hot, so make sure you bring comfortable trainers to run about in.
Bring your own snacks and water bottles
There is an amazing variety of food stalls dotted around the festival site, but it's always helpful to have some snacks at hand in case of a hunger emergency. Latitude also has plenty of places to fill up a water bottle, so bring your own from home.
Bring swimwear – if the kids are over eight
If the sun is shining, you'll want to take a dip in the lake – trust us. Those over the age of eight can go swimming (and even have lessons). Click here to read more.
Avoid the comedy tent with little ones
You're likely to encounter some pretty strong language in there... we love it, but your kids might not!
Don't lose your kids
We recommend buying trackers for really little ones, or buying cheap phones that can be recharged using a battery pack so you never have to worry about kids disappearing off over the hills.
It's IMPOSSIBLE not to...