For years I have dreamed about taking the kids to a festival. Sleeping under the stars, kids running freely, great music and beautiful food. Then panic always sets in and I think more along the lines of rain, mud everywhere and wet miserable children getting lost in massive crowds!!
When we won tickets to this years Elderflower Fields festival I was over the moon that we would get to experience the festival scene for a day, without the commitment of having to camp.
As usual I was more exited than the kids and went out to get flowery hair bands and hair chalk to get us into the spirit of it all . We packed a massive picnic and set off on or short drive to Ashdown Forest in East Sussex exited at what we were going to experience ahead of us.
The journey was traffic free and very well signposted. We were greated by super friendly volunteers that told us exactly where we need to go and what to do.
We had a bumpy walk across the fields to collect our wristbands and map then made out way down to the main fields where all the magic was taking place.
If the walk was to much for you there was plenty of complementary shuttles to take you to and from the carpark and campsites.
As usual my brood were starving as soon as we got there so we pitched up and had a bite to eat before going off to explore.
We had pre booked the older children onto the art and sports camp. the camps lasted an hour, were staffed with really friendly and I had no worries about leaving them to get creative and try out new things. Whilst they were busy we took the younger two to the under 5’s zone where they could help to paint a playhouse, create models from things you would find in the woodland and get dirty in the muddy water play.
This was number fours favourite area of the day and he could if happily stayed there for hours.
There was so much on offer there for the children that we simply couldn’t fit it all in!! They helped to build mud huts, swung in huge hammocks in the trees, swung through the woodland park, tried their hand at disc golf which we all loved, shot down the zip wire, listened to the fantastic story telling and magic show, the list just goes on and on.
What I loved most was how relaxed everything was. There were no huge crowds so I was quite happy for the kids to wonder and I could keep them in sight. The beautiful setting meant that as well as doing the set activities we could just take ourselves of to explore the stunning Ashdown Forset and all it has to offer.
Later into the afternoon number three and four got their faces painted by some very talented ladies and I took this opportunity to head over to the cocktail area where they had some great props hanging from the trees that were a great photo point, whilst having a sneeky boogie to the cool music from the DJ stand. Much to the embarrassment of my older children!!
We spent our final few hours taking in the fantastic music that was being performed by some extremely talented bands and grabbing a bite to eat which proved hard as there was so much choice on offer. Mine opted for a freshly prepared burger from Big Eats which was delicious; but there were so many other options to choose from. Curry, Thai, pizza, veggie options and lots of sweet treats to name a few. All were super helpful when it came to number four and his allergies.
I really couldn’t do this event justice in this post. It was everything I wanted from a festival and more. Number four even asked if we could camp on the grass when it was home time as he didn’t want to leave.
We will be making a return next year, and this time to have our first camping experience. The great outdoors, talented musicians, delicious food and drink, well run activities and the chance for children to really be children are all my favourites rolled into one.
Thank you Elderflower Fields for creating this fabulous experience to store in our memory banks for many years to come.