The Best Family-Friendly Festivals in New Zealand
Do you want to dance and celebrate as a family? Thankfully, New Zealand is brimming with incredible family-friendly festivals.
Raising conscious, curious, and creative kids is a team effort. This is why festivals are such a perfect place for our children to learn and grow. To come together as a community – evolving, healing, and celebrating – is a wonderful family activity.
It’s long been a common misconception that you can’t take kids to festivals. While not all festivals are family-friendly, the ones that are can be truly magical for the whole whānau. Let’s take a look at the best family-friendly festivals in New Zealand.
As any loving parent knows, the happiness of our children is one of our biggest priorities. As valid as it is to go to a festival on your own and let loose without the kids, it can also be a unifying experience to take your children with you.
Earth Beat Festival, we love welcoming children of all ages into our community. We also cherish how much it benefits kids to go to a festival with their whānau. Firstly, What Are the Benefits of Taking Children to Festivals? 1. Enhances their mental development
A good boogie not only gives our littlies a chance to have fun, but it also helps with their physical coordination, dexterity, teamwork, and self-confidence. In fact, a 2003 study by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that dance actually improves brain health.
2. Develops their social skills
An all-ages festival allows kids to meet a broad spectrum of people. Of the many festivals in New Zealand, some of the best welcome children, helping them interact with people from all walks of life. If you live rurally or homeschool your kids, a festival can be a wonderful chance for kids to socialise and learn connection skills.
3. Introduces them to adaptability
Most kids have a lot of structure in their lives. Whether it’s through hobbies or school hours or bedtime routines, there’s a lot of sameness and familiarity. This can be comforting and provide safety for children, but allowing them to experience different ways of living is also powerful. At a festival, children have a unique opportunity to explore their creative selves.
4. Strengthens family bonding
Life can get in the way of bonding with our kids. Aroha (love) is abundant at festivals and doing an activity together, as a family, can really strengthen your relationship with your children.
So What Are the 6 Best Family-Friendly Festivals in New Zealand?
(In no particular order)
Auckland Arts Festival Where is it? Auckland Best for: Urban festival-goers
For 18 days, Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa’s biggest city, becomes a melting pot of art and culture. Auckland Arts Festival is actively inclusive and is curated to showcase talent from across New Zealand.
Earth Beat Where is it? Kaipara, Auckland Best for: Everyone
Our festival is a community-minded celebration of music, art, culture and Papatūānuku (Mother Earth). To date, it’s Aotearoa’s largest family-focused camping festival and we’re immensely proud of our
kids’ nature and activity zones, run by Conscious Kids and a variety of amazing contributors. They provide our tamariki with opportunities for free play in nature while learning about self-respect and care for others and our environment. Read more here. Revive Festival Where is it? Woodlands Estate, Gisborne Best for: Conscious transformations
A fusion of music, healing, yoga, meditation, food and workshops, situated in the beautiful Tairāwhiti region. With a focus on wellness and self-empowerment, this festival inspires incredible transformations.
NZ Spirit Festival Where is it? Auckland & Christchurch Best for: Free thinkers
From workshops, yoga, music, movement, hut building and plenty of activities, tamariki are well and truly immersed in nature at NZ Spirit Festival. It’s a powerful space to ask questions and form ideas.
WOMAD Where is it? New Plymouth, Taranaki Best for: Experiencing global cultures
WOMAD is a beautiful collection of music, arts, and dance from all over the globe. For three days, it stays true to its name of being the “The World’s Festival”.
SPLORE Where is it? Auckland Best for: Eclectic & artsy types
Splore is a three-day music and arts festival staged annually on the shores of Tapapakanga Regional Park
AUM New Year’s Eve Where is it? South Head, Auckland Best for: Starting the new year with aroha
A four-day event with kindness at its heart. Be immersed in a themed festival that will take you on a journey through music, workshops, food, performers, art installations, light shows, sustainability and more. The kānuka forest on site is so special, too.
8 Essentials if You’re Bringing Kids to a Festival
Regardless of whether you’re going to a festival for just the day or for a few nights of camping, you’ll want to pack these essentials.
1. Ear protection
Kids have really sensitive ears, so it’s best to protect them with earmuffs or some natural earplugs if they’re listening close-up to loud music.
2. First aid kit
For cuts, scrapes, wasp bites and itchy rashes! Most festivals will have a professional medic team on hand. At Earth Beat, we’ll also have a natural first aid space.
The New Zealand sun can be harsh at times. Although we advocate for natural skin protection by building resilience with small amounts of exposure over time. It’s good to have some sunscreen as a backup.
4. Gumboots & Raingear
Because who knows what the Aotearoa weather is going to do?
There’s nothing worse than a hangry toddler! Although there will be plenty of food options available, it’s best to be prepared in case you’re away from the action.
6. Picnic blanket
For lounging about and afternoon naps. Temperatures can drop at night, so bring your cozies to incase you want to stargaze.
7. Reusable water bottles
Let’s reduce plastic waste and fill up our bottles. The environment will thank us! It’s important to stay hydrated during the fun.
8. Dress-up clothes
Kids love to play dress-up. Pack their favourite colourful clothes and allow them to let their imagination run wild.
Have Fun, as a Whānau
Festivals are a beautiful opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together to celebrate our shared humanity. It’s a perfect opportunity to bond as a family and meet new, wonderful souls.
When we come together as individuals and form a community, allowing space for our differences and creating acceptance of our individuality, we make space for love. When our intention is to form peaceful, united harmony, we can see the best in humanity. This is why we want to leave you with this poignant poem from Rupi Kaur.
is an easy lazy thing but to love takes strength everyone has but not all are willing to practice — Rupi Kaur
Would you love to bring your wonderful whānau to Earth Beat Festival? We’d love to host you at Ātiu Creek Regional Park. Kids under 14 are FREE.
Grab your tickets here.