Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer Essentials: Wonderfest!

I am so delighted to spread the word that there is finally a festival that we can camp at with the kids. Yes, I know there are already some family-friendly ones going on, but the thoughts of "normal" festival carry-on going on beside a family camping area had put me off in the past. We've never camped yet with the kids, and I didn't want our first experience to be fraught, negotiating "safe" areas to spend time, and dodging well-meaning but over-friendly adults with a few drinks on them. Over-protective mama I suppose I am. Don't care!

Anyway, when we heard last week about Wonderfest, we checked it out and it seems this is right up our street ( It's a non-alcoholic event firstly, which puts paid to all my fears (except for one very civilised-sounding "adult tea-party" area).  It's being held in Malahide castle on the weekend of 15-17th August, only 3 weeks away. And what I love is that it is totally geared towards kids. The line-up of activities sounds fantastic for our 6 and 3 year olds. There is circus training, science workshops, a desert island where the kids dig for buried treasure, telescopes to see the stars at night, puppet shows, a dance tent, arts and crafts, magic,  cinema, music performances, animals, archery... literally you dream it, they've organised it! You can see the full events programme here.

We hope to camp at it, and to go for the full weekend, to participate as much as possible, all while wearing outrageous costumes. I'm going to realise all my princess fantasies at once and go pink from head to toe. I contacted the organisers and they would be delighted to offer my readers a 15% discount off their tickets using the code: wondermama at the online checkout. If you don't have a tent they will supply you with one, and there are gorgeous yurts for hire too. Let me know if you'll be there and we can organise a Mama's Hip meet-up! Of course you can attend just for the day too, you don't have to do the whole weekend.

As the time gets closer I'll be blogging about our packing list, as we've never camped en famille before it'll be a learning curve, so please let me know if you have any tips. Already I know my top three items will be lipstick, a tiara and suncream... in that order.

Here's a link to Wonderfest's website
And their Facebook event page

Their blurb:
"WonderFest, a new large scale music and entertainment festival, which has been specifically created for parents and children. The concept is very similar to Electric Picnic, but exclusively for families. This is a first in Ireland!

The emphasis for families at WonderFest is on culture and bonding, through laughter and fun. The focus is all about family time together in a festival environment that has been developed specifically for parents. We want to create amazing lifelong memories for children and allow families to come together for a fabulous weekend, August 16th & 17th in Malahide Castle grounds.

There is a full program of excellent music, children's theatre, magic, science displays, circus workshops, dance classes, falconry displays and much more, such as free family sailing. Amazingly, we also have deluxe camping and glamping, which has proven extremely popular. Families can come for just one day or for the entire weekend. The festival is non-alcoholic. (alcohol is limited to the "Parent's Tea Party" area) We only started selling tickets on Friday after receiving approval, and glamping has already sold out once. There really appears to be a great demand for a family getaway festival like this, which previously did not exist here.

There are lots and lots of fun elements in the program, for example we have partnered with Astronomy Ireland who will have four high powered telescopes for children to look at the galaxies before bedtime, all adding to the magic. More importantly, we have partnered with Make-A-Wish and I am thrilled to let you know that they are using the festival as a platform to grant some special wishes children.

We expect approx 2,500 families to visit WonderFest over the weekend, and we are encouraging as many people as possible to use the Dart and trains in Malahide as it is very close to the castle. We currently have about 100 families camping at WonderFest."

Will I see you there?
Nee x

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