How to Make the Best of Fests with Your Family
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.
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)
• 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!”
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.