Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Family Friendly Music Festivals

We've been talking a lot about festivals lately and I have received a lot of requests to post our favorite family friendly festivals.  Let's face it, some festivals just aren't that kid friendly, so we leave the kiddos at Grandma's...but there are so many festivals these days that accommodate kids and it is great to know which ones are suitable for the whole family (and still fun for mom and dad with some awesome music).  Below is a list of music festivals that either we have gone to as a family or have been recommended by friends who have taken their kids.  Please email me or leave a comment here if you have one to add to this list so we can make this a great resource for families! 

**by family friendly I mean that there are activities for kids such as bouncy houses, crafts, face painting, etc.  It can also mean that the crowds tend to be a bit smaller and/or mellower and there are usually a lot of kids that attend.  But please remember that any time you get a large group of people together there can always be dangers, so make sure to follow up with this list, do your own research, ask around to see if a certain festival will be suitable for your family.  And be sure to check out our 10 tips for taking kids to festivals! **


1.  Hang Out Gulf Shores


1.  Live Oak Music Festival Santa Barbara
2.  Joshua Tree Music Festival Joshua Tree
3.  Power to the Peaceful San Francisco
4.  Strawberry Music Festival  Groveland
5.  High Sierra Quincy
6.  Sierra Nevada World Music Festival Boonville


1.  Folks Festival Lyons
2.  Rocky Grass Lyons
3.  Ned Fest, Nederland 
4.  Four Corners Folk Festival Pagosa Springs
5.  Pagosa Folk and Bluegrass Pagosa Springs
6.  Bluegrass in Paradise Crested Butte
7.  Telluride Jazz Celebration Telluride
8.  High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival Westcliffe
9.  Telluride Bluegrass Telluride
10. MeadowGrass Black Forest


1.  Suwannee Springfest Live Oak


1.  Sawtooth Music Festival Stanley


1.  Walnut Valley Festival Winfield


1.  Jazz Fest New Orleans


1.  Harry Brown's Farm Starks


1.  Delfest Cumberland


1.  Green River Music Festival Greenfield
2.  Strange Creek Campout Greenfield
3.  Wormtown Music Festival Greenfield
4.  Life is Good Canton


1.  Blissfest Harbor Springs
2.  Wheatland Remus


1.  Project Earth Geneva 
2.  Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-time Music Festival   Richmond


1.  Love Your Mother Earth Festival Missoula

New Hampshire

1.  Boogie and Blues Festival Campton

New Mexico

1.  Silver City Blues Festival Silver City

New York

1.  GrassRoots Trumansburg
2.  Clearwater Hudson Park
3. Falconridge Hillsdale

North Carolina

1. Smilefest Pinnacle
2.  Fiddlers Grove Union Grove
3.  MerleFest Wilkesboro
4.  LEAF Black Mountain
5.  Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival Pitsboro


1.  Hookah in the Hills Stewart


1.  String Summit North Plains
2.  Pickathon Happy Valley
3.  4 Peaks Bend
4.  Northwest World Reggae Festival Eugene

1.  All About The Music or XPonenial Music Festival Philadelphia


1.  Uncle Dave Macoon Days Murfreesboro


1.  Austin City Limits Austin
2.  Kerrville Folks Festival Kerrville


1.  FloydFest Floyd
2.  Elysian Fields Music Festival Boyce
3.  Watermelon Park Fest Berryville


1.  Bumbershoot Seattle

1. Bear Trap Summer Festival Casper
2. The Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival Jackson Hole


  1. Awesome list! I can personally attest to Project Earth in Minnesota. Great family friendly festival, my daughter went in my belly, at 7 months, and will be going again soon at 19 months. :) :)

  2. Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival
    We have been going with our little one since he was 3 months old (he is 2 now). There are plenty of kids activities for all ages and not to mention great music!

  3. Thanks Krista! Project Earth sounds amazing!

    Becky...thanks, it is already on the list! :) Glad to know there are great activities for kids!

  4. Wow... great job at making this list... how nice!

  5. The Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-time Music Festival in Richmond, Minnesota every August is very family-friendly and lots of fun. Besides the main stage bluegrass acts, there is a dance stage and a family area complete with stage where kids and families play music all day and do games, crafts, etc. all led by caring adults. We have been taking our kids to this for several years, and love it because of the family area where we safely let them play all day long. Lots of families, incl. homeschoolers, there. About 5000 people attend this festival, but the grounds stay clean and the whole atmosphere at the campground is just wonderful. I can't recommend it enough!

    Great list here!

    Lisa Z

  6. WXPN in Philadelphia hosts the All About The Music or XPonenial Music Festival! in July! VERY family friendly!!

  7. Northwest World Reggae Festival outside eugene oregon... lots of familes attend yearly, there is a kids play area, lots of space, and the whole festival has a green/eco conscious undercurrent. (organic food vendors, composting and recycling, etc. while these are not kid-specific it seems they are good indicators that the coordinators are thinking more holistically...)

  8. Falconridge in New York

    It is a bit of a drive for us from VA, but we enjoy camping and had fun bringing our 2 year old a few years ago. They have a play area, children's stage (magic & music), and there is usually lots of rain and therefore lots of mud to play in.

  9. Falcon Ridge Folk Fest in NY is fab for families!

  10. Awesome list! We live in Germany, and we've just been to a great little 3 day music festival with just about 2000 people with our 19-month-old. we even camped there. it was very family friendly, although i have to say it also depends a lot on how kids take noise/crowds etc.

  11. What? Nothing in GA or SC? Trying to think of some myself and not coming up with much. Someone help me out!

  12. I can definitaly attest to delfest. We've taken our 2 kids (now 11and 4) for the past 3 yrs. I just recommend bringing rain boots!

  13. I heard this was a good kid-friendly bluegrass festival in Wyoming..with a kids tent

    and so is The Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival

  14. Haven't been, but thinking about it... this one looks really kid friendly... anyone been? I think last year was the first one?

  15. Thank you for the list. My dream is to go to the Delfest. It will be on 23rd to 26th of March. I’m hoping to go with my family.

  16. gathering of the vibes in bridgeport connecticut. sunday is family day. they do this every year


  17. And yes, thank you for the list. I have a now 2 year old beautiful soul. last year was her first festy season. she loved it!!! good tips on bringing tons of snacks. the vibes was her favorite of the four she attended. they really do a nice job creating a kid friendly environment. it is a very large festival which may be a turn off for some. Happy almost festival season all!! peacenluv

  18. Riverfest in Arkansas is very Family Friendly! :)

  19. You should check out The Frendly Gathering In Vermont!!!!

  20. OFOAM, Ogden friends of acoustic music festival in Ogden, UT. Kids under 16 free, and includes musical instrument petting zoo. Usually around Memorial Day weekend and is three day event. I will try to find link and share.

  21. Dark Star Jubilee is Memorial Day weekend in Ohio and it's a smaller show with kids activities, family camping under the trees, seems to be a decent amount of children as well.

  22. In Durham, North Carolina: The Festival for the Eno River!

  23. Mountain Jam in Hunter, NY does a decent job. We went this year and last year. Fenced kid area at the main stage so parents can see and listen to the music!