This boutique weekend festival is a foray into the magical literary, theatrical, musical and artistic worlds created by the Wild Rumpus team and set in the woods of Cheshire. 

A festival that is perhaps best suited for the littlest of festival goers, the Just So Festival is also subtitled a Family Arts festival and features quirky events, including pirate training, dancing games, a series of Field Candy library tents (which offer a place to skip out of the crowds for a few minutes and enjoy a good read instead), and a brilliant Peekaboo Cafe for babes in arms.

Expect pillow fights, midnight feasts, lantern parades, den building and the most roaring stomping marvellous Wild Rumpus. What’s not to love?

At the end of last year’s festival, The Fairy Queen went missing, so the search will be on throughout the festival to locate her with plenty of casting spells, granting wishes, and generally charming of folk throughout the weekend.

Musical Maestros They might not be the biggest names, but there will be plenty of foot-stomping, toe-tapping tunes from Gabby Young and Other Animals, Keston Cobblers, Cut A Shine, Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra.

Featured Fun A star performance from poet, comic, singer and ukulele player extraordinaire, John Hegley (also known as being ‘to potatoes what Wordsworth was to daffodils’). There will be nightly retro disco fun with tunes from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s – dress accordingly. Festival guests are also invited to take part in the Tribal Tournament, aligning themselves with a tribe of their choice: owls, foxes, stags, fish, frogs or lions. Over the weekend, tokens are given out to worthy recipients (best dancer, grubbiest baby, most impressive fox), which can be posted into their tribe’s measurometer. On Sunday evening, all the tribes march together in the Wild Rumpus to the crowning of the winning tribe.

The Zones  Spellbound Forest – a woodland theatre with dancing, bonfires and stories and songs; Head Over Heels – where juggling, jumping, and circus workshops take place; Peekaboo Cafe – for baby feeding, changing, bathing and play; Lazy Days – the heart of the festival with the likes of tea clubs, parades and bubbles hours; New Curiosity Shop – for workshops on ventriloquism, Sherlock deduction, palmistry and botanical illustration; The Imaginarium – for dressing up and heading off to the unknown; The High Seas – for a mix of Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe-esque goings on; Footlights – the main stage; Jitterbug – the place to learn all sorts of dance!

Kid Stuff

  • In the Spellbound Forest, there’s a host of goings-on including meeting The Gruffalo, having pillow fights, midnight feasts and making lanterns
  • At The High Seas, a training camp for petite pirates is about to set sail
  • The bubble hour in the Lazy Days square, as well as samba drumming workshops
  • The Palace Picturehouse screens singalong musicals and family classics
  • A host of dance performances and dancing games, theatre shows and intimate musical showcases (such as Megan Peel’s Fabulous Phartlehorn)
  • New for this year is the New Curiosity Shop, for ages 8-plus, featuring a host of quirky workshops, where you can learn ventriloquism, stargazing, or – for those sticklers for good grammar – brush up on your punctuation.
  • The Peekaboo nappy-changing tent is a truly exceptional space for festival going babes in arms with mats, nappies and wipes, a tranquil baby–feeding boudoir, complete with bottle warmers, and communal baby bathtime from 5–7pm daily, with baby baths and bubbles – bring your own towel. Then snuggle up for Choral Lullabies.

Chill Out Time There’s no spa here, but there is the Bubble Hour and the Peekaboo Cafe – so plenty of chill out for babies and toddlers.

Dining Tables An excellent selection of gourmet and healthy options for every meal of the day – Mama Muesli; Magnificent Milkshakes; Hoban & Sons Travelling Bars; Becky’s Bhajis; The Cake Doctor;  Woodburns Raclettes and Toasties; Bleasdales Ice Cream; Mini Mocha; Groovy Smoothies; Gingers Comfort Emporium; Tea N Toast; Coffee Bug; Goodness Gracious Healthy Foods; The Farmers Wife; Pasta la Vista; Las Paellaras; Let’s Go Mexicana; Flavours Found; Proper Pizza Company; Pieminister

Happy Campers As well as pitch-your-own, there are boutique options, in the shape of beautiful bell tents, yurts and tipis.

Full Weekend 
Adult, £112 | 4–16 year-olds, £48 | Under-3s, Free

Photography Credit: Just So Festival

See more family friendly Festivals for 2014