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Ellie Graham
26th February 2024

Summertime = those full day to week long festivals, and while you might think they're purely music or food, there's so many more in Kent, so there’s no need for kids big and small to miss out on all the festival fun this season. While nearly all the big music festivals have kids entertainment these days, there are plenty of lively weekend festivities and celebrations that are perfect for families who want to chill, dance, and be merry together!

So if you want to give your little ones a taste of the festival life (without the killer hangover), take a look at our quick selection of some of the best family-friendly festivals happening in Kent this year.

Rochester Sweeps Festival

Saturday 4th May to Monday 6th May 2024

One of Kent's largest festivals is back for the 2024 season - Rochester Sweeps Festival. Descending on the Medway town is a celebration of folk music and dance, with the historic streets turned into beacon of colour and sound - from the likes of folk musicians, Morris dancers and plenty of fun. It's not only the high street that'll get transformed, but the towns pubs, parks and bars will also have a calendar full of live events across the three days. 

Medway Gaming Festival

Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th June 2024

Switch on the games and immerse yourself at The Historic Dockyard Chatham to celebrate video games, gaming culture and creativity. This attention-grabbing weekender will draw in all those who have a passion for gaming, whether you play like a pro to novice, you and your little gamers will be able to watch, play and learn about games; meet special guests; join competitions; experience new and retro gaming; as well as enjoying fun, interactive exhibits, tournaments and stage shows. 

Trucks and Tracks

18th - 19th May 2024

Little petrol heads, this is the one for you! The RAF Manston History Museum will be holding their first ever Trucks and Tracks event, packed with lorries, trucks, tractors, trailers, mountain bikes, monster trucks and more. 

Dreamland Margate

For those who don’t want to lose that festival vibe once the music ends, then look to sun-soaked Margate where a ‘festival in a day’ experience awaits you, all summer long. Dreamland Margate gets a special mention in our family-friendly round up, as the seaside vintage park has a huge programme of live music and entertainment planned this year, including the likes of some famous faces, while serving up classic British seaside summer escapades such as rides and merry go rounds. 

Rock the Mote

Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June 2024

Mote Park welcomes back Rock the Mote this summer, for a festival everyone will be sure to love! Watch the next best thing to your favourite original artists, from a mixture of genres, including the likes of The Killers, Madness and Adele. For those of you who just can’t get enough of the fun, why not make it a truly memorable experience and purchase a camping ticket?! With fairground rides to keep your energetic little ones entertained, food and drink vendors, as well as the entertaining acts, there’s enough fun to last all weekend!

Hever's Home Front - Hever Castle

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2024

While many of these events feature a throwback element, this one heads back to one of the most prominent historic periods of Britain - wartime. Head around the castle grounds and take in the sights and smells of the period surrounded by displays of military vehicles, stalls heaped with vintage wares to purchase and wartime food and drink. If you feel you've not quite gotten into the spirit, finish off your outfit with a 1940s hairstyle at the onsite salon. 

Romans Return at Richborough Roman Fort

Saturday 29th - Sunday 30th June

It was here at Richborough that Romans arrived and departed their rule of Britain, so it's fair to say this is a pretty special location! This summer, the Romans will be making a triumphant return, with living history showing the lives of the Roman people and soldiers, right down to the clothes they wore and the food they ate. 

Martha's Music on the Farm

Sunday 30th June 2024

Music on the Farm is calling your name this summer! Located on the Solley's Ice Cream family farm in Ripple, spend the day being entertained by a variety of outstanding local musicians, as well as plenty of events to keep the little ones amused. With onsite vendors and bars, you and your family won’t go hungry, or why not put on your own spread and bring a picnic! Oh, and without forgetting to mention Solley’s ice cream! By attending and getting involved, your proceeds with transform the lives of people with profound disabilities through the Martha Trust.

Stay: For a real family break, we recommend staying at Skippers, a Keepers Cottage in Deal that's packed with charm and coastal cottage feel, and just a 15 minute drive from Ripple. 

Canterbury’s Medieval Pageant and Family Trail

Saturday 6th July, 11am-5pm, Canterbury City Centre

Fanfares at the ready as we welcome a colourful parade featuring historical characters, knights on horseback, medieval royalty, warriors, pilgrims, musicians, giants and you might even spot a medieval chough - all at the Canterbury Medieval Pageant! Then it’s time to join the pilgrimage and head off on a special journey around medieval Canterbury. The parade makes its way through the city centre, arriving at the Cathedral. 

Rhythm in Oaks

Dates TBC

Sevenoaks is getting ready to bring you a whole day of musical magic at Rhythm in Oaks this summer. As well as an awesome line up of musicians and live DJ sets, there will also be a host of other entertainments to enjoy – food stalls from local producers, drinks, lawn games, local sellers, right through to a graffiti wall where you can let your street art speak for itself. With dogs allowed too, this is one for you to enjoy with your two and four legged friends! Keep up to date with the line ups and more at their website here. 

Kent County Show

Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July 2024

The Kent County Show is back again with another weekend of farming, agriculture, and food production in Kent. Running since 1923, the show gives people a look into how agriculture and farming in Kent has worked for many years. Run by the Kent County Agricultural Society, the three days are packed with plenty of animals, rafts of vintage vehicles and retail stands to get some countryside wares! Bring the family along for the weekend and see how farming works, with a particular focus on Kent's heritage. 

Stay: Sleeping 4, The Bothy in Faversham is the perfect spot to stay the weekend, surrounded by countryside, lambing fields, and just a 30 minute drive from Maidstone. 

Maidstone River Festival

Dates TBC

There’s some major fun going down in Maidstone this July with a River Festival the whole family can get on board with, and we mean literally, get on board! Round up the family and enter your team in the raft race, oare (sorry), watch from the riverside and cheer your fellow crew members to victory. The fun doesn’t end there. As the evening approaches the boats begin to glow, lighting up the river, whilst the award-winning fireworks display lights up the sky.

Supercar Weekend at Hever Castle

3rd and 4th August 2024

There's no vehicle quite like the supercar, and where better to showcase the epitome of the automotive world than Hever Castle? On this summertime weekend the castle gardens will host a stunning array of Lamborghinis to Ferraris! 

Broadstairs Folk Week

Friday 9th - Friday 16th August 2024

Broadstairs Folk Week is back for another year and we couldn't be more excited as this truly is a cornerstone of Kentish celebration! This festival is a great choice for families looking for a musical adventure with their little folkers, with a festival bar and food stalls in the park and a packed music calendar every day (even the Monday!). It wouldn't be a proper festival experience without the camping element - luckily for you, Broadstairs Folk Week is bringing you just that, with their Festival Campsite located just a 15 to 20 minute walk from the centre of Broadstairs, and handily a regular mini bus service is available to and from the main Festival venues. 

Stay: Liberty Cottage in Broadstairs sleeps seven and makes for the perfect family home away from home within walking distance of the festival. Enjoy the large garden, cook up a storm in the kitchen and relax in your very own coastal cottage. 

Monster Slam 

Sunday 11th August 

Let's face it, the name alone has you gripped, and we can guarantee it will be a highlight in your little one's year too! See monster trucks, ride the fairground, watch in awe at the motorbike jumps and fire runs, and be sure to check out the creepy crawlies, cuddlies and more. 

bOing Festival 

Dates TBC

One of Kent's favourite celebrations of performances bOing makes its return with a stacked calendar over the two days of indoor and outdoor activities and shows from artists from across the UK. Keep an eye on their website to see what you can get up to this year, but previously there's been the likes of liquid nitrogen demonstrations to virtual reality showcases. As always, it's totally free to enter to soak in the sunshine and get those brains engaged! 

Stay: After the excitement of the city, we love retreating to the coast, and beautiful Whitstable is just the spot. Arthur's Cottage sleeps four and is just a short drive to Canterbury. 

Broadstairs Water Gala

23rd August

Fun-filled, free and perfect for the family, this festival at Viking Bay and Victoria Gardens is complete with paddle board lessons, scavenger hunts, sandcastle competitions, live music and even a grand fireworks finale! Enjoy a good old fashioned day out by the seaside this summer. 

Kent Tribute Festival

Sunday 25th August 2024

Kent Tribute Festival is back for another year at the grounds of Strode Park. It’s time for the whole family to prepare for a day full of entertainment with live tribute acts playing Oasis to Ed Sheeran and a host of activities. With tasty hot food stalls and bars serving beverages and refreshments, there’s no doubt in saying this Kent fest should be marked in your diary this summer.