Music festivals are as much a part of summer as Sabretts and sunburns. But a weekend spent wandering from stage-to-stage, sipping beers, and figuring out which pot strain makes your jam band of choice sound best is not really ideal for kids. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the experience. Many organizers have made festivals a lot more suitable for children, including kid-friendly acts at adult shows and festivals that cater entirely to the kindie crowd. Here are five of the biggest and best music fests for you and your kid to check out in 2017.
When: May 18-21 and October 5-8
Where: Joshua Tree Lake Campground; Joshua Tree, CA
Notable Acts: Kraak and Smaak, Orgone
The Joshua Tree Music Fest offers a decent mix of famiy-friendly entertainment to go along with the funky roster of bands. This year, you can hear usic is an option to the slew of activities. Kids can jump on a “Love Boat” sail, which is just a breezy ride consisting of a golf cart pulling a massive boat. There’s also yoga, a slackline activity area, mural painting, and a clay art class. There’s also a heavily shaded area to keep families cool between those brutal kids mosh pits that don’t exist.
Notable Acts: U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd
Kids love music too and Bonnaroo gets it. The music fest is once again providing a safe haven for kids. According to their website, Kidz Jam will have a slew of kid activities, including recycling art projects, games, sports, and kids can even play some instruments if they’re musically gifted. Free sunblock, earplugs, and water will be provided to all kids. You still, however, have to be a parent and stay with your kid while they’re at Kidz Jam.
Grant Park; Chicago
Notable Acts: Muse, Chance the Rapper, The xx
If you’re heading to Lollapalooza with kids, the legendary music fest has you covered. Kidzapalooza is a parallel, secured section of Grant Park made specifically for kids. According to the music fest, the kids area is designed to stay open from 11 AM to 7 PM every day of the festival where kids can either jam out or create arts and crafts. Although the Kidzapalooza line-up has yet been announced, the Lollapalooza line-up does have some kid-friendly artists, like Tegan and Sara and Maggie Rogers.
Pendarvis Farm; Happy Valley, Oregon
Notable Acts: Dinosaur Jr., Huun Huur Tu, Mandolin Orange
This annual indie music fest is focusing on an inclusion theme this year, which means your kids can just jam out to more variety. The fest is looking to include more female artists and hip hop acts but still sticking to its traditional singer-songwriter roots. The fest is still into being the most eco-friendly summer fest: all water is free at the event and there’s no plastic distribution. Also, the festival is still free to children under 12-years-old, with an adjusted rate for 13-16-year old teens.
October 6-8, & 13-15
Ziker Park; Austin
Notable Acts: Yet to be announced.
Similar to Kidzapalloza, Austin Kiddie Limits will provide a secure, separate area for children within the event. Kids under 10 receive free admission and parents must stay with their children at all times. However, Austin City Limits hasn’t announced their line-up for either the main event or their kids-centric show. Last year saw the likes of LCD Soundsystem, and Mumford Sons perform, so it’s a safe bet you’ll see the same kind Austin weirdness this year as well.