Archives for August 2019

Nozstock – The Hidden Valley – Festival

nozstock family festival

For the last few years we’ve kicked off the Summer Holidays with a Festival and we love it! We always go with friends and we always look forward to this annual get together, but having been to the same festival the past few years and seeing it change, we decided to try something different.

nozstock the hidden valley

So this year, after doing some research, we decided on Nozstock – The Hidden Valley, which seemed perfect! It’s intentionally not as commercialised as other festivals which was a massive draw for us. The organisers are made up of the Nozworthy family who own the farm and land it takes place on, and along with their friends and employees have grown the festival year on year until the 5000 person capacity it is today! It’s smaller than other festivals, a bit more traditional with a great family provision and just sounded altogether very appealing.

We were offered tickets in exchange for an honest review and looked forward to our weekend getaway for weeks and weeks! We couldn’t wait to get there and experience all that Nozstock had to offer! Situated in rural Herefordshire, it was a good couple of hours drive for us but our usual camp mates…. Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby, Katy from Modern Mummy and Emma from That’s the way the Cookie Crumbles were already there and waiting for us!

kids at nozstock
Yay finally here, very excited and loaded up with stuff! Hugo carrying his pillow… can’t go camping without our pillows!

On arrival, the first thing I noticed was how near the car parks were to the festival! This might sound like a minor thing but if you’re a regular at festivals, especially with kids… this is MAJOR! The amount of luggage you need when you go camping with kids usually means a couple of trips to the car, which is a killer if it’s miles away, so not having too far to go was an absolute game changer as far as I was concerned!

The second thing that blew me away was the HELPFULNESS of the car park staff/volunteers. They were super happy and friendly! This lovely chap offered to pull my trolley all the way to the entrance from my car! What a star!

nozstock festival
What a nice young man!

We opted for Pre-Pitched camping this year. This was provided by a company called Camplight who rescue tents from festivals, clean them up and re-use them! This fits in perfectly with Nozstock’s ‘green ambition’ ethos of keeping things as sustainable as possible…. helping to fight the disposable culture which is damaging our planet. Nozstock provided many activities and fun workshops to promote this- it was a big feature. They were encouraging people to re-use their cups to cut down on plastics as well as hosting competitions to incentivise campers to keep the festival tidy!

We were in the Family Camping area which was a lovely space, separate to the other camping fields. Definitely the nicest one we’ve stayed in so far. It just felt cosy, for want of a better word. There was a little playground area for kids.. mostly made from wood and sustainable materials of course, the portaloos were clean at all times and there were also some eco-friendly tiny toilets for young children with little toilet seats that looked like potties! There was even a baby changing facilities gazebo stocked up with free nappies, wipes, lotions and suncreams for anyone to use! I thought this was a lovely touch.

zoo bells bell tents
My lovely Zoo Bells tent

The weather, unfortunately hadn’t been kind the first day of the festival which meant the tents took a bit of a battering and one or two became waterlogged! Because the others arrived before me they all swapped around to get the driest ones. The organisers were super helpful anyway offering to take down and bring new ones if need be. Luckily for me though, the nearby glamping field was full of gorgeous tents provided by Zoo Bells and one of their generous employees on site happened to walk by and offered one of their spare ones to me! I mean…. whoop whoop yes please! My Bell tent was fabulous, we haven’t stayed in one before but would definitely consider one next time for sure!

Once settled we headed into the festival and straight into the Little Wonderland kids area which is a dedicated zone for families and children to enjoy age related fun activities all day long. There’s a sand pit, circus skills, workshops in break dancing, graffiti, beat boxing, felt-making, crazy cartoons, up-cycling clothes and lots more. Our’s decided on some sculpting with clay!

little wonderland nozstock
nozstock little wonderland
Fabulous creation!
It was great to get all the kids together again!

The childrens area is a wonderful space that incorporates shows and music too, with so much more to get involved with… it’s really worth checking the timetable so you don’t miss anything you’d like to catch. The family aspect of the festival is something one of the creators, Ella Nozworthy is passionate about, especially now that she has children of her own. Speaking of the new elements for this year she said .. “after listening to feedback and realising there are some simple things we can do to enhance the experience for families – that’s what this is all about.”

Lots of fun little toys and bits and bobs to make or dress up in!
nozstock festival
I couldn’t resist!

The music lineup at Nozstock this year was brilliant, although I think when you go as a family, depending on ages of children, you might not get to see the headliner DJ’s and bands that play into the early hours but there’s definitely something for every taste with ten stages to choose from! My twenty year old son who didn’t come with us was absolutely gutted when he saw the lineup… the Hospitality takeover on Friday night was a massive coup for the younger festival goers! Then there’s so many different, more chilled artists playing all kinds of music during the day before kicking off again later on!

nozstock

The theme of this years Nozstock was the Wizard of Noz which was evident throughout the festival. Some of the stages were designed on the theme!

This stage was supposed to be Dorothy’s wrecked house from the hurricane and even included the witched legs and feet if you look to the top left!
elephants graveyard nozstock
There was a raggae stage that was found via a pathway which led to this bizarre open space called The Elephants Graveyeard! It was rather groovy!

We loved watching Elvana (an Elvis fronted Nirvana tribute act) on Saturday afternoon on the main Orchard Stage! This was completely nuts but very entertaining!

elvana nozstock

My favourite stage was The Coppice. I could’ve stayed in here for hours listening to the dreamy trance music and getting lost in all the decorations set up in the trees. This was run by Tribe of Frogs, a psychedelic DJ dance event organiser who are amazing! My kids loved all the lights, special effects and the way everything glowed!

tribe of frog nozstock
tribe of frog nozstock the coppice

There were hidden stages too, like The Cabinet of Lost Secrets which you found through a secret doorway… as modelled here by my friend Emma!

We had a great time at this stage dancing the night away… even my 9 year old twin boys had a dance! That’s the first time in all their festival going years that they’ve actually danced! There’ll be no stopping them now! We boogied on down to fab swing band Year of the Dog and funk quintet The Happy Daggers!

year of the dog nozstock
nozstock family festival

The headliners on Saturday night were DJ superstars Rudimental. As their 10pm start time approached, you could feel all the different areas emptying out a little as everyone seemed to be making their way to the main stage! I was praying that my children stayed awake at least for a little while so we could catch some of the set! And I got lucky!

Katy and Ruth headed back to the tents but myself and Emma stayed out to partayy! And boy did it kick off big time when Rudimental came on! They were amazing! We hovered around the back of the crowd at first as the bass line was too much for the kids, although, incidentally, you can go and grab ear plugs for free if you need them from a little on site kiosk which offers all kind of helpful stuff! I grabbed some for mine earlier in the day!

Back to Rudimental. Emma was not satisfied with standing at the back so she instructed her husband, Andy, to watch all of our kids for a second and grabbed my hand to storm down to the front. Barging through the crowd like a mad woman on a mission, probably ruffling some feathers in the process but we didn’t care! It was funny and worth it because from there we got to experience the music and atmosphere so much more, right in the thick of it!

rudimental nozstock
rudimental nozstock
Grainy photo but this was an action shot of us ‘having it’!

One of the reasons we love a festival is that we get to don the glitter! Oh how we love the glitter! The family camp site at Nozstock was so chilled and relaxed, we enjoyed just hanging around there in the mornings, leisurely getting ready, chatting and eating breakfast that was made by Rocknrollerbaby for all of us! Feeling the fresh morning air while the kids played – even with other children that were camping nearby! In a world where kids are often indoors on some kind of screen, camping brings such a welcome change.

nozstock festival glitter
My hair and makeup being done by Poppie and Florence!
nozstock family camping
festival hair and makeup
nozstock bell tents
festival hair
My daughter does everyone’s hair!
rosies tea rooms nozstock
We loved this little cafe, Rosie’s Tea Rooms, at the entrance to family camping where they sold teas, coffees and delicious crepes! It was so nice, cosy and friendly!

Around Nozstock there’s loads of weird and wonderful acts everywhere you look, a real feast for the eyes. As well as music there’s comedy, acting, dance and film too!

We loved the human jukebox…
nozstock
..and this unbelievable fire maze!
nozstock wedding
There was even and wedding taking place at Nozstock!

My favourite thing about our Nozstock weekend was simply just wandering around, discovering new areas and enjoying the whole place. The site isn’t huge so nowhere feels too far to get to, yet there’s always something new to see or do. It was compact yet felt incredibly spacious where the children could run freely and enjoy the different zones!

nozstock
nozstock festival family
nozstock
nozstock
henna tattoo nozstock
nozstock
Nozstock ambassadors festival

Even though it wasn’t just a festival for families, there were children playing everywhere and everyone just mingled seamlessly together. At no time did I feel worried about the children, or thought I shouldn’t have them in a particular area, which I know is a concern for a lot of parents. Safety was paramount for the kids….. they are given wristbands on arrival with a space to write your telephone number on, so you can be reached should you get separated. There’s also a dedicated lost child tent that they can find easily should they need help.

Nozstock gives you that special kind of fuzzy, warm feeling and has an atmosphere that has been missing at other festivals. It’s fun and immersive, you really feel like you’re taking part in a wonderful imaginary story! Yet it manages to stay intimate and considerate. There isn’t anything I would change, we had the best time in the best place with the best people!

I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Super early bird tickets are now on sale for 2020 Nozstock – The Hidden Valley which takes place Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th July 2020

https://nozstock.com/tickets/buy-tickets-online/
www.nozstock.com @nozstock

Top 3 Kids’ Playhouses

Playhouses are toys which children seem to never tire of. They take prime place in most people’s gardens and as long as tit’s not raining outside, you’ll usually find your little one enjoying themselves whilst playing with their favourite toy.

If you’re looking for a playhouse to buy your child in the near future then you will evidently have a lot of things to consider. Before you make your purchase, you may want to contact a company like New Lawn for artificial grass installation to improve safety. After all, there are so many different types of play houses available on the internet and in stores all over the UK and these differ on a whole host of different factors, such as price, size, appearance, features included and more.

Here’s some information on a few of the top kids’ playhouses available for purchase at the moment, which will hopefully provide you with some ideas and inspiration for when it comes to buying one for your child.

Smoby Duplex House

smoby playhouse

This kids’ playhouse will literally blow your mind. It is a two storey house which features a staircase inside that leads to the top floor which is deemed to be a relaxation and rest area. This area is protected by a security fence so you need not worry about the levels of safety. In addition to the exciting upstairs, the Duplex House also has a kitchen area, a barbecue area that comes with accessories, a living room with a table and two stools, a gateway with a bell and more. It’s not hard to see that the level of fun which can be had is immense. The product is actually easy to assemble., even with all these features.

Step 2 Sweetheart Playhouse

sweetheart girls playhouse

This playhouse is the ideal option for any little girly girl. It boasts a pale pink framework which goes beautifully with the purple thatched style roof and the bright pink door and window shutters. Moreover, above the door there are three bright pink hearts which completely makes this toy cuteness personified. The playhouse also comes with electronic features in the form of a phone and a doorbell. In addition to this there is a range top which doubles up as a barbecue grill, a clock and a window flower pot.

Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse

picnic on the patio little tikes playhouse

It says it all in the name – This playhouse is the perfect option for children who want to sit outside and eat strawberries and sandwiches in the sunshine! It sort of takes the role of a toy kitchen as well, which is an option extremely popular amongst children. It boasts an oven, burners, cupboards and a 19 piece accessory set which includes play food and tableware! There’s also a pretend phone with this product and an electronic doorbell which makes a massive six fun and exciting sounds.

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