Having kids doesn't necessarily mean your social life is over. Instead of leaving them at home with their nannies, this year you just take those little dragons with you to some of the nicest festivals in The Netherlands.
Ok, so when you want to party from dusk 'till dawn it's probably best to arrange some kind of nanny. But when you want a taste of that festival vibe without the need to recover for days, these festivals are great. They're family friendly and proof that combining festivals and kids can actually be fun. Consider it part of a good upbringing. Especially if you hit your kids up with a pair of hip Muffs!
1. Mañana Mañana - 14 t/m 17 June
Mañana Mañana sells itself as 'the most relaxed festival of the Netherlands'. The festivities take place at Kasteel Vorden and that's just as idyllic as it sounds. You can dance, make a fire, catch your own fish, entertain yourselves in the Silent Skippy Disco or go on a special adventure tour the festival organizes in collaboration with Natuurmomenten.
2. Tuckerville - 1 September
All Tukkers unite (or just pretend to be one): Tuckerville in Enschede is heavens playground for kids. There will be line dancing, a playback show and a very cool expedition. Also, Hendrick-Jan de Stuntman, GRRRROENTEN and Jongens van het Feest will keep the little ones entertained. Yi-haa!
3. Kids 'n Billies - 23 June
You can't teach your kids to rock 'n roll soon enough. Leave the sex and drugs behind and take those aspiring rockabillies to Kids 'n Billies in Nijmegen. Send them into a sugar rush by eating cotton candy, give them a cute pompadour hairstyle and don't leave the place without a tattoo. A fake one will do for now.
4. De Parade - 29 June - 2 September
The carousel and the Dutch mini-pancakes (poffertjes) you can bake yourself are two of the most iconic elements of De Parade - but don't forget all the fun theatre for kids and grown-ups. Seen enough culture? Then crash on of the picnic tables with a jug of sangria for some serious people watching.
De Parade will take place the whole summer at different locations throughout The Netherlands. Check out here when the festival will be in a city near you.
5. De Zwarte Cross - 12 - 15 July
What, going to the legendary Zwarte Cross with kids? Are we completely out of our minds? Well, maybe, but trust us: you can really bring your kids to this festival without any weird looks. At the terrain will be a special field where access is denied for grown-ups. Everyone shorter than 140 centimeters will enter the field for free. Aunt Rikie is the godmother of Zwarte Cross and happens to love kids (and parents for keeping an eye on the little ones so the parents can misbehave themselves just a little in the meanwhile).
6. Zomerfolk - 9 - 10 June
The Stadspark in Groningen will be turned into a Celtic world for two days during Zomerfolk. There are (inter)national acts, workshops and also important: lots of food. In Kinderdorp the kids can do medieval activities like cross swords, archery, shot put and throw with tree trunks. Don't worry: there will be no witch burning involved - we checked.
Bonus: Where the Sheep Sleep - July 26/27/28/29/30
Meet 'Where the Sheep Sleep', the Dutch version of the well-known Burning Man festival. This means that WtSS also incorporates the characteristic 'gifting economy' of Burning Man: nothing can be bought or sold during the event, only given or received. This doesn't mean trading, but that people choose to share their food, drinks, and other stuff with each other. Quite a notion for your kid to get out of a festival, right? Kids are more than welcome and there even is a dedicated kids area. With no loud music permitted after 23.00 o'clock, so the festival is very kid-friendly. Cool fact: Where the Sheep Sleep is the first official European affiliation with Burning Man USA.
By the way, we can understand if you don't want to take your kids to a festival. If that is the case, maybe you can check out our favorite 5 festivals that are held in June. Just trying to keep the party going!