Pillow Fight at Just So Fesival courtesy of Chris Payne

Just So Festival 2019

Gemma Gibb, Families Editor

Just So Festival is one of the world’s best festivals and it’s right on our doorsteps (although you could always travel to one of its sister festivals in New Zealand or Brazil and we wouldn’t be jealous – honest).  Now in its 10th year it offers astonishing outdoor arts and unique experiences solely for children and their families.

We’ll let you know more about the 2019 festival when details are released. For now, here’s what we thought about the 2018 edition.

Underpinned by a love of stories, childhood escapades and the totally bonkers Tribal Tournament (pillow fighting anyone?) at just 5000 capacity it’s an intimate and visually stunning affair. Expect the best literature, theatre, comedy, dance, live music and creative pursuits to enjoy together over an entire weekend in a breathtakingly beautiful landscape of rolling parkland, lakeside spots and incredible forest at the Rode Hall Estate.

Far from resting on its laurels it continues to push the boundaries of what a family festival can be like each year with many new areas ready for adventuring through in 2018.  We can’t wait to seek out The Playground of Illusions – a whole new experience “full of mystery and trickery” while Roll Up, Roll Up is a new lakeside area for all things circus and seaside – a nod to the 250th anniversary of the first circus in the world by local lad Philip Astley who was born just eight miles from the Just So Festival site.

Child dressed as a fairy

Don’t forget your dancing shoes for dance workshops and discos in new kitsch wonderland The Flamingo Lounge, relax with dreamy live music, performance, family yoga and tai chi in new area deep within the forest, Idlewood, before satisfying all competitive natures at the Ministry Of Games.

Just So has a fiercely loyal audience and it’s not hard to understand why – with the best arts and facilities for the tiniest festivalgoers (the Peekaboo Garden solely for 0-4s) alongside enchanting creative workshops, debates and talks for older children (in the beautiful The Week Junior Forgotten Courtyard dedicated to curious 8 – 14s).

Early bird and Tier 1 tickets for 2018 have already sold out, so be quick! Oh, and did we mention there’s a beach?

 

 

Things to do right now

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Families 5 May–28 October 2018, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Journeys of the Imagination at Quarry Bank

16 October 2018–19 March 2019, FREE

Explorer Tours at The John Rylands Library

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity 13 October 2018–13 May 2019, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Fell at Antwerp Mansion
Theatre 22–25 October 2018, from £9

Fell at Antwerp Mansion