Festival season is in full swing at the moment, but if you’re a parent of small (and smallish) children who has been looking on forlornly at your mates toddling off to Body & Soul and Forbidden Fruit, fear not.
Family-friendly music and arts festival Kaleidoscope takes place at Russborough House, Blessington, Co. Wicklow this weekend (June 24th - 26th) and will put any FOMO to bed (where it will sleep soundly for a full 12 hours without waking even once. IYKYK.)
Here are five reasons why you should check it out…
1. It really is family-oriented
There are many (brave) parents who will happily drag their kids along to big festivals like Electric Picnic - which certainly has stuff for kids to do - but genuine family-friendly festivals are thin on the ground in Ireland. At Kaleidoscope, there are stages and areas which are actively tailored to kids of all ages - including Wonderland, which will host everything from workshops with the famous Cartoon Saloon animation studio, to yoga for kids and Tik Tok dance workshops. Then there’s the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle, various sporting events (from soccer to golf to archery) and lots more. Heck, the Rumpledumpus Tent (for under-4s) will even host a Baby Rave. Yes, that’s right, a Baby Rave. You’re not likely to hear the words ‘I’m booooooooored!’ anytime soon.
2. ...but even if you’re not with kids, there loads to do
The festival might be family-friendly, but there’s plenty of activities for child-free attendees, too. Check out The Woodland Spa for a massage, a hot tub or Forest Sound Bathing; there’s Wim Hof workshops, a fitness programme on the Front Lawn that includes 5km runs and ‘80s-inspired aerobics; a rope course and a zipline adventure; kayaking and double kayaking; the Scrumdiddlyumptious Festival of Food has plenty of tasty treats on offer, and there’s even Sheepdog Demonstration Trials (no, really - you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy it.) Some of these extra activities need to be pre-booked, so check out the website for more details.
3. The music line-up is really good
One of Ireland’s best bands, The Divine Comedy, are headlining on Sunday night - while throughout the weekend, you'll find singalong crowd favourites including James Morrison and Feeder, as well as a tonne of Irish acts like Lyra, Ryan McMullan, Jerry Fish, The Frank and Walters and Brian Deady.
4. Awake at the crack of dawn? No problem!
If you’ve ever taken your kid to any other festival, you’ll recognise this conundrum: child wakes up at 6 or 7am, nothing starts until 2pm, so you’re left with hours to fill. Not at Kaleidoscope: the Ickle Big Tent programme kicks off at 7am every morning with cartoons, while other events throughout the day include a Pirate Parade, interactive art workshops and movie screenings as the sun sets.
5. If all else fails, there's always the carnival
Look, if all else fails and your kids are resistant to every fun thing thrown at them, there’s one thing that will never let any desperate parent down: a funfair. The Carnival of Colour will have everything from a Ferris Wheel to a Fun House, waltzers, a Helter Skelter, teacups, chairoplanes and all the rest.
Tickets for Kaleidoscope are on sale here.