Kids enjoy live music at the Main Street Food Truck Festival in downtown Little Rock. This year's event is on Sept. 22.

With a great lineup of fall festivals just around the corner, we’ve rounded up a few tips to make festivals with little ones a bit less daunting. Anna Morshedi, event chair for the World Cheese Dip Championship, is a bit of an expert on the subject. Based on her experience helping to plan a kid’s area for the Cheese Dip Championship and attending fests with her own two tots, Morshedi shares her advice to help you make the most of your outings.

Buy Your Tickets in Advance

Most festivals, including the World Cheese Dip Championship, have early-bird ticket pricing. Buying tickets online makes the entrance lines move faster. The less time you spend in line, the more time you have for fun.

Don’t Overpack

There’s nothing worse than lugging around a 50-pound diaper bag. Be smart about what you need and keep what isn’t absolutely necessary in your car. You can always run to the car if need be. Morshedi also recommends a lightweight stroller for long fest days.

Other items to remember:

• Earplugs (if there will be live music or fireworks)
• Sunscreen
• Wet wipes
• Camping chairs or a picnic blanket

Cash or Card?

We recommend both!

“You don't want to wait in a food line just to face a payment glitch that leaves your child in a puddle of tears,” Morshedi says. “The parent festival motto should be, ‘always have multiple payment options!’”

Don’t Forget About Food

If you have any picky eaters or food allergies in your family, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and bring some backup car snacks. Morshedi recommends having a nearby restaurant picked out for post-fest hunger.

Research the Bathroom Situation

If the fest you’re attending doesn’t have bathrooms with changing tables, don’t fret.

“A reclining seat stroller and a portable changing pad can be lifesavers at a big outdoor event,” Morshedi says. “This year, the World Cheese Dip Championship will have a baby changing and feeding station situated near the kid zone. Dealing with a blow out diaper in a port-a-potty is not on anyone's festival bucket list. And remember the hand sanitizer!”

Anticipate Melt-downs

If you’re sensing one of your kid’s more dramatic moments coming on, seek out live music or a stimulating area of the fest to take your tot’s mind off of their pint-sized woes.

“I keep an emergency Boogie Board eWriter in my purse, Morshedi says. “I love the slim design and the wide age range it can entertain.”

Set Realistic Expectations

As a parent, it can be disappointing to leave a festival before you are ready. Make sure you think through nap schedules, mealtimes and weather. Morshedi recommends attending festivals with friends.

“My children always have more fun when enjoying something new with a friend,” she says.

Don’t Miss the World Cheese Dip Championship on Oct. 5!

Anna Morshedi's kids Miles and Mollie enjoy last year's World Cheese Dip Championship from the comfort of their stroller.

This year, the World Cheese Dip Championship has kids (and parents!) at the top of mind. The festival is adding an interactive kid zone that will be strategically located near the restrooms, food trucks, beverage tent and baby changing and feeding station.

Kids can get their wiggles out on an inflatable obstacle course and enjoy some hands-on fun provided by the Museum of Discovery. This new family-friendly element of the event will allow you to spend less time dealing with meltdowns and more time on the important stuff: eating gallons of cheese dip.

For more info on the World Cheese Dip Championship or to purchase tickets, visit