9 Cotswolds events to get in your diary for this summer!
As the sun peaks out from behind the clouds and the trees burst into life Summer is definitely on the way! With the kids back at school its time to look forward and start planning out that extreeeeeemely long Summer holiday and try to pack it full of fun-filled events that will leave lasting memories for your little ones.
Here's our round up of some of the region's best activities that you might not already have on your list:
The Big Feastival
When Alex James and Jamie Oliver launched the Big Feastival in 2011 the idea of combining a music festival with restaurant quality food was still new. Nowadays most festivals have taken the food originally from the greasy burger van upmarket so this festival was definitely a pioneer!
Hosted on Alex James' farm just outside Kingham the Big Feastival has grown to become a regular fixture on the Cotswold summer scene, drawing families from across the country.
This year's event takes place between 24th and 26th August including music from Basement Jaxx, Craig David, Paloma Faith and Clean Bandit with many more still to be announced.
This is very much a family friendly festival - with appearances from Peppa Pig, Mr Tumble, Paddington, The Gruffalo and more. If you can handle the collision of your pre-kid festival life and your post-kid responsibilities then this is definitely the opportunity to try it out.
You'll be wanting a full weekend camping ticket - all the campsites are family friendly. If you can't bare the thought of putting up your own tent then you've got access to some lovely pre-pitched tents, or even boutique glamping tents via Yurtel. These will include a reception area, 24 hour concierge, your own bar area and even a kid's cinema for some quiet time!
The traditional circus is top of every child's list after the success of The Greatest Showman. Cotswold regulars will be familiar with the wonderfully arranged Giffords Circus, setting up in some of the most amazing locations around the region, from the grandeur of Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Palace to the village greens of Barrington and Minchinhampton.
Giffords was set up in 2000 and brings together some of Europe's most talented circus performers. Last year we were treated to amazing acrobatics, dare devil jumps and a highly trained chicken - all compered by the genius that is Tweedy the clown.
The show is around 90 minutes, performed in the beautiful round circus tent, with all the audience closely huddled around the action.
We love ordering a hand made pizza before you head into the show, it is prepared and ready for you to gobble down at half time.
Revival Festival at Cotswold Airport
On 29th and 30th September head over to Cotswold Airport near Kemble for the Revival Festival. Now in its second year the event expects over 10,000 attendees for two days of re-enactments, fly pasts and rides.
The theme of the event is revival, so you can bank on classic cars, classic planes and plenty of vintage activity to remind the kids of times gone by. There will be traditional carousels and fair ground rides to keep them entertained as well.
A regular favourite is to head over to the model aircraft display where the kids get to see the detail of these realistic scale models.
If you haven't quite let go of your hedonistic party days, then you might want to visit Cotswold Airport a few weeks earlier for the Another World Music Festival put on by Fantazia. This one is definitely not for kids - so you might want an overnight Kowalah back at home to keep the little ones looked after!
Cornbury Music Festival
If you're in the festival mood then the Cornbury Music Festival returns to The Great Tew Park near Chipping Norton over 13th, 14th and 15th of July. Featuring classic bands including UB40, Alanis Morrisette and Squeeze it will give the parents the chance to have a break from today's pop hits!
Meanwhile the children are well catered for in the Kids Zone with a circus tent and plenty of workshops and shows. They'll be able to do den building, balloon modelling and even ruin those new clothes with some clay modelling.
Kids will also find a craft zone - here they can get stuck into painting, batik, screen printing and spend their day making pom poms and headdresses. This is definitely a kid friendly place.
As with The Big Feastival this is definitely a camping event! But for those that are fair weather campers you've got access to an amazing array of glamping options which lovely names including Pod Pads, Cloud Houses and Bow Tops. You could even check into The Pop Up Hotel - its like a holiday!
Not just camping
The gypsy bowtop provides a little bit of luxury
At the centre of Cotswold rural life is the Cotswold Show - taking place this year over the 7th and 8th July on the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester.
For the children the main activities happen throughout the day in the main Bathurst Arena with excitement from the Bremont Great War Display Team - look out for daring dog fights over your heads!
There will be BMX stunts galore from the Savage Skills team - the UK's leading freestyle mountain bike stunt team. If anything like previous year's events children will be asked to participate and become part of the action!
Away from the main ring traditional rural skills are always a big draw - kids love watching the traditional sawing of logs using the big steam locomotives, as well as more modern carpentry using a chain saw to carve animals!
Daylesford Summer Festival
The Daylesford Summer Festival returns to the organic farm in Kingham on 9th June. Showcasing all that is great from an English summer fete the event will include amazing food, introducing for the first year a Producer's Market with local farmers and growers providing demonstrations and tasters!
Kids are well provided for with JCB mini ride-on tractors, face painting, a coconut shy, scarecrow making and more. Check out the video below for a view of last year's event!
If you have a dog - bring it along and compete in the dog show - does your furry friend have the waggiest tail?
If you can't make it to the Summer Festival but like the idea of learning more about cooking with your children, why not book in for one of Daylesford's Family Cooking Together half day courses. Taking place across the summer they are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your children in an educational but fun environment.
Young or old - everyone is fascinated by the sight and sound of a modern fighter jet shooting vertically up into the sky! The annual Royal International Air Tattoo provides a weekend of bone shaking displays by airforces from across the globe.
The Tattoo returns to Fairford between 13th and 15th July to commemorate 100 years of the RAF and under 18's go free - making this a great day out if you have a large number of children!
We recommend getting in as early as you can on your chosen day as the closer to the front you get the better the view for your kids. Even though the planes and helicopters fly above you, the children love the sight of them taking off and landing in front of them.
Be sure to pack camping chairs or something comfy to sit on, as well as some ear defenders for the young ones. They are on sale at the site as well. You'll do well taking a trolley with you to transport everything you need from the carpark and back again.
Awful Auntie at the Everyman
And finally, why not reward your kids for reading by taking them off to the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham to watch David Walliams' Awful Auntie. For those that took their children to see Gangsta Granny over Easter, you'll be pleased to know this production is from the same award-winning producers.
A fun show for parents and kids alike!
So what are you waiting for?!
We hope you've enjoyed our round up of some of the region's best upcoming events. We've tried to choose some popular favourites along with a couple you've not tried before. Get booking now to ensure your summer is one your kids grow up to remember!
Have you got any other suggestions that we should be sharing with the Kowalah community? Let us know and we'll review them later in the Summer.
Kowalah is a mobile app delivering On Demand Childcare across the Cotswolds by connecting parents with local babysitters and providers of childcare. Parents are connected with up to 5 available Kowalahs in 15 minutes giving them speed and flexibility. All Kowalahs have been interviewed and referenced providing parents with peace of mind.