Toying with the idea of visiting CarFest with kids? Want to know whether it’s worth the money – and the hype?

Then this post is for you!


We were invited to CarFest South for the first time this summer and like many people I’d heard a lot about the festival, but still didn’t really know what it was all about other than the fact it involves cars and Chris Evans.

It turns out CarFest is the UK’s biggest family fundraising festival, set up by the DJ and TV presenter Chris Evans to raise money for BBC Children in Need. It features music, motoring, food, track shows, and demonstrations and is specifically designed to appeal to all the family.

We took our four along to see what all the fuss is about and if you’re umming and ahhing about going to a festival with kids in tow here are 10 great reasons why you should!

10 great reasons to visit CarFest with kids!

1. It raises lots of money for Children in Need

This year was CarFest’s 10th anniversary and in the 10 years the event has been running more than £16 million pounds has been raised for children’s charities in the UK. There are two three-day events: CarFest North in Cheshire at the end of July, and CarFest South in Hampshire at the end of August. All proceeds go to BBC Children in Need, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the Rainbow Trust, Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Teenage Cancer Trust. So as well as having a great time, you’re helping other families and children too. Ticket prices vary depending on which day you go and how long you stay for (you can camp too), but to give you an idea in 2021 a family day pass (2 adults + 2 kids) for the Sunday was £167.


2. There’s something for everyone

With four children ranging in ages from 10 to one there’s not much that entertains all four of ours at the same time but CarFest really did – and there’s plenty for the grown-ups too! Highlights for our family included reiki, baking workshops, a climbing wall, the Ghost Busters car, a pick ‘n’ mix slush puppy bar, Formula One and supercars, and McFly on the main stage – to name but a few!


3. You can win things

Like a camper van. As well as a big raffle raising money for Children in Need with lots of fantastic prizes, individual stallholders run their own competitions too. We entered one to win a camper van – despite keeping all our fingers and toes crossed sadly we didn’t win though!

4. You can get up close and personal with some amazing cars

Whether you’re a supercar superfan or the Ghost Busters ambulance is more your thing, you can get up close and personal with all sorts of amazing cars. Vehicles are on display in different paddocks and there are also track races throughout the day so you can see them all in action too.


5. There’s a breastfeeding tent

And it’s got massive bean bags you can flop down and breastfeed on in comfort. As a breastfeeding mama this was a revelation for me because there’s nothing worse than being somewhere you can’t sit down and needing to feed, especially if you’ve got a chest-thumping one-year-old like me! Feeding a baby on the floor can be back-breaking, so a breastfeeding tent was a very welcome tent indeed!

6. Children under six are free

Which makes a big difference if you’re a big family like us, or have more than one pre-schooler. In fact, I can’t think of anywhere else we’ve visited where the kids-go-free threshold is so high!


7. There’s glitter artists for the whole family

If you thought festival glitter was just for girls, think again. Max had his face painted with glitter and even Misery Guts had his beard vajazzled (don’t worry though, I’ll spare you a picture of that!) It’s fair to say we left a lot more glittery than we were when we went in.


8. There’s all sorts of music

Headliners at CarFest South 2021 included McFly, Texas, Ronan Keating, The Charlatans, Lightening Seeds and All Saints, meaning the chances are there’s something for everyone. Judge Jules was a particular hit with Marigold (four) and Misery Guts (43) – and apologies, it seems the vajazzled beard made the cut after all!

Car Fest

9. It’s actually really relaxing

I know. I wouldn’t usually call a day out at a festival with four kids in tow relaxing either. But this isn’t a usual festival. It’s really chilled, there’s so much to entertain the kids that they don’t realise they’re tired or how far they’ve walked, and that means you get a break too. And you can’t put a price on that!


10. The kids will be absolutely shattered!

Our four were all asleep within minutes of leaving, and they stayed that way for the rest of the evening and the night too. And anything that tires them out and gives us a bit of a break gets the thumbs up from me!


My top tips:

Wear comfy shoes because you’ll walk – a lot! If Misery Guts’ phone is to be believed we clocked up more than 17,000 steps in just one day! Oh, and take your own food – or as much as you can carry. As you would expect at a festival the food and drink is really expensive for what it is.

Have you been to Carfest North or South before? I’d love to hear about your experience!

We were gifted tickets to CarFest South in exchange for this post. As always all opinions are my own and based on our own honest experience. To stay up to date with the latest announcements and news of next year’s events you can sign up to the CarFest newsletter here.

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