Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Latitude: Why Latitude can be a real alternative to a family holiday

15:20 24 July 2014

Seth and Eliza Gaw

Seth and Eliza Gaw

By rights they should have been in bed hours ago, but here they are, shaking their tiny hips to Lily Allen. They’ve already danced through pretty much everything the Obelisk stage could throw at them – from Billy Bragg to Kelis and have been utterly entranced by some of the UK’s most exciting performance poets and writers.

It’s the first time we’ve taken the kids to a festival. But with the mounting costs of family holidays we decided to swap a traditional bucket and spade break with something a bit different – something we would all enjoy.

After all, what other holidays can compete with such a broad cultural offer for both children and adults. A case of red coats vs Ryksopp.

That’s not to say it was an easy decision. The last time I went to a festival all the toilets got pushed over and set on fire. Admittedly, it seemed funny then, but now with a three-year-old and a five-year-old, the idea of flying cans of beer, burgers like owl pellets and late night thrash metal has lost some of its unsophisticated charm.

Indeed, despite early bravado and following numerous raised eyebrows, we even upgraded our tent to a hired campervan and splashed out on tickets to posh toilets (something I would recommend to anyone, even though the toilets in the family camping area were some of the cleanest festival loos I’ve seen).

But Latitude is a mile away from the apocalyptic festivals of yesterdays and is, as it approaches its tenth anniversary, one of the pioneers of the true family festival.

The children’s area in the Henham Park site is extensive and includes its own programming and a massive range of activities. Those wanting a break from the music can enjoy pond dipping or bug hunting with Suffolk Wildlife Trust, whittling, craft sessions, a helter skelter that seemed to attract a number of ‘bigger children’ and nightly bedtime stories.

And, it’s not just the cultural offer that is strong. The food is spectacular and reasonably priced, featuring oyster bars, vegetarian and vegan fare alongside a fully-fledged lakeside restaurant – complete with candelabras.

The real appeal of Latitude though is its inclusive atmosphere. Children are not restricted to a single area. Whether it is an entrancing lakeside dance performance by Sadler’s Wells or a woodland film screening, there is an acceptance that this is an event for everyone. In fact, one of the nice surprises about Latitude was not just the number of youngsters and families, but the number of grandparents and older couples.

Yes, as a parent this festival was very different from the carefree experiences of my youth, but rarely has growing up been this much fun.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Drink-drivers in court

A disqualified driver who committed his third drink-driving offence only 18 days before the end of a three-year ban has been spared jail.

Beryl Harding celebrated her 105th birthday on Monday

“I’m here to take some lovely photos of you,” beams our photographer.

Tia-Jade Webb after her weight loss, pictured with Iwan Thomas.

A 21-year-old from Suffolk is celebrating after being named as one of the best slimmers in the country.

Petrol prices

Here are the latest petrol prices in and around Ipswich according to petrolprices.com.

Missing dog Sadie

An Ipswich family appealing for the safe return of their precious pet dog Sadie has said they have been the target of a hoax call demanding cash to get her back.

Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games will be broadcasting Springwatch  live from RSPB Minsmere again this year

Suffolk’s thriving tourism sector is gearing up for a summer of spectacular success as hordes of holidaymakers are expected to be lured to the county’s coast by the “phenomenal” Springwatch effect.

Dismantlement project on the Buttermarket Shopping Centre has begun. Left to right, Tom Bloor, Mark Bloor and Mark William.

Tonight marks the start of a three-week project to remove the distinctive facade over the entrance to the Buttermarket Shopping Centre.

Adam Ant on stage in the Word Arena at the Latitude Festival in 2011. Photograph: Simon Parker

I’m not an avid Adam Ant fan, so when I headed to his Kings of the Wild Frontier concert at the Ipswich Regent tonight I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Lois Cordelia painting Pig-Geswyk for the Pigs Gone Wild art trail.

Hundreds people visited an artist as she decorated a pig sculpture with Ipswich’s best known landmarks.

Tracey Haynes is a finalist in a competition to become the face of a plus-size fashion brand.

A pageant star from Kesgrave who has become a global ambassador for body image is encouraging people to put health before waist size.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24