Our Family Guide to Food Festival Weekend

Bringing your family to a food festival can be a brilliant experience, but we appreciate that at times it it can also be a hard to navigate the crowds with children in tow. To make sure you don’t miss out on our family events, and help you make the most of your visit, here’s our guide for how to festival well as a family.

Look out for the F!

Wristbands are free for the Under 16’s, and we have plenty of fun to be had FREE with your festival wristband, meaning even big families can enjoy festival without having to spend a fortune. Check out our programme of free kids’ cookery classes, the activities tent in the Festival Farmyard, our rare breed petting zoo, plus the breast-feeding and baby-change tent up at The Castle. Also look for the for the big blue F in our printed programme next to all our free events or browse our Free with Festival wristband events.

Maps matter

Pick up your printed festival programme when you get onsite where you’ll find a fold out map of the town, highlighting all the festival sites. There’s also a detailed map of each area showing what is going on where, plus full event listings so you can find out where to be when.

Head to the farmyard

Our festival farmyard is a hub of family fun including hands-on events in the morning where kids can learn to churn butter, or what it’s really like to live with pigs. We’ll also have tractors to climb on, animals to pet in our pens, and interesting debates all day long. Have a glimpse at what’s on the Farmyard stage and keep an eye on the blackboards over the weekend.

Don’t forget your wellies, or your sun-tan lotion

We’ll be making weather updates via our social media over the weekend, and we’ve got plenty of places to grab some shade, but don’t forget to have a look at the forecast before you leave home and bring your factor 50 or your mac accordingly.

Who to bring, and who to leave behind

Due to all the enticing smells and delicious delights, we can’t allow 4-legged family members into the festival, and they are not allowed to be left in cars at any festival car park. Make sure your dog is well looked after at home and keep your eyes out for a treat to take home for them.

To make sure no one gets lost, don’t forget to write your phone number on your child’s wristband, and make sure they know what the stewards look like in case they need help.

Stay hydrated

We know you won’t go hungry at the festival, but make sure you don’t go thirsty either. We’ll have plenty of water points marked on our maps where you can fill up your reusable bottles, and for the grown-ups, our Drinks Theatre at Timothy Oulton is the place for something a little stronger.

Plan your public transport

Parking can be booked online for Saturday and Sunday when you get buy your wristbands, but don’t forget, it is a small town and space for parking is very limited. Why not check out the public transport options instead and let the kids ask the train driver if they’re ‘nearly there yet’.

Make the most of Monmouthshire

If you want to make an adventure of it, why not spend a bit more time in Monmouthshire, the food capital of Wales, and visit some of the other local attractions. For castle lovers there’s Chepstow or Caldicott (where you can learn archery) amongst others. Or why not visit a vineyard, or have a day at the races?

Book your cookery classes

Adults cookery classes at the Castle can be cooked online and this year include the family friendly Store cupboard cookery and our pasta masterclass. Our kids cookery classes, in association with Cook School and Rougemont Independent School are ALL completely free of charge – so you can sit back while they learn how to make your dinner.

Bring a blanket for the lawn

Once you’re fed, watered, appropriately dressed for the weather, you’ve petted a rare-breed sheep and you’ve learnt how to cook, it’s time for a well-deserved sit down. Bring a blanket and settle down on our family lawn at the castle where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere.

AND while you’re at the festival, why not check out these family friendly stallholders:

  • Head to Lower Brewery Yard and find Hedgerow Cordials whose handmade natural cordials using local and foraged ingredients are perfect for all the family
  • For mouth-watering sweet treats head to Doughnutterie who will be baking at Castle Street Market
  • Science Cream combine science, and ice cream for a joyous spectacle at The Castle as they make the creamiest frozen deserts in front of your eyes with liquid nitrogen
  • For more science (but perhaps less ice cream) head to the Royal Society of Biology tent for exploration aplenty

And there’s more, have a look at our What’s On section, including our markets listings to find out what’s right for your family this September.