Make the most of any European fest with kids

Parents with children sitting with pumpkins
Parents with children sitting with pumpkins

Make the most of any European fest with kids

by Courtney Woodruff
Stripes Europe

It is festival season here in Germany and across Europe. They can be tons of fun but also tons of work when trying to bring the whole family. Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way to help you make the most of any European fest with kids in tow.

1. Tag team with your spouse or a friend.

Take turns spending time with the kids. This will give each adult a chance to explore the festival on his or her own to do a little shopping, soak up the sights, sounds and aromas, wait in line to order food or use the water closet, and take a break. There is definitely plenty of truth in the saying “it takes a village” to care for children.  

2. Have phone numbers written down, just in case.

Before you go, ensure you have emergency phone numbers, as well as contact information for local law enforcement agencies, your military unit, and each of the adults you are traveling with so you will know who to reach out to if you need help.

3. Make sure your kids have contact information, as well.

To take #2 a step further, it may be a good idea — especially for toddlers who have a habit of making a run for it any chance they get — to write contact information on the label inside your little ones’ coats, on the underside of an inconspicuous bracelet, or on their arms in washable marker and cover it with Band-Aids.

4. Establish a safe meeting point, in case you should get separated.

Find a colorful, well-lit landmark in a public area where your children will be able to find you in the event that someone gets lost. Role-play a scenario, and ask your kiddos to tell you what they would do if they couldn’t find you in the crowd.

5. Hit up busy areas first.

To keep the little ones from getting too overwhelmed, make your way to the most popular attractions as soon as you arrive. You might have to research which sections of the festival tend to get the most crowded, but the time spent will be well worth it.

6. Give the kids some time to explore the children’s activities.

Many fests have sections filled with attractions just for kids. Rides, games, toy vendors and arts and crafts tables can be found at most of fests throughout Europe. Make room in your day’s agenda for the little ones to enjoy the experience, as well.

7. Teach your children the language basics.

“Please,” “thank you” and “excuse me” can go a long way toward ensuring your family has an enjoyable European fest experience. Your effort to learn the local language is a sign of respect to your host nation, and it is a unique educational opportunity for children that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

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