Planning on Taking Your Family to Phases of the Moon? This Can Help

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

If you are like me then having children did not take away your love for music and your desire to still be able to hit up the best live shows and music festivals. Thankfully festival promoters seem to be listening and are now offering a lot of special extras for those who are traveling as a family or with their child(ren). Phases of the Moon is offering several things for families and I wanted to share those things with you now.

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***Kids 12 and Under Are Free***
That’s right, you can take your children to this year’s Phases of the Moon Festival for free. While you might think that this is common, there were in fact many festivals this year that required parents to purchase lower priced tickets for their children who were in attendance to the event.
***Upgraded Family Camping***
I will admit that I do not want a ton of crazy partying around my kids when I am at a festival. To be honest there is probably a whole let of the crazy partying going on then one would imagine had they not been to a festival. The fact is that some people are going to use this as their time to let loose. So if you want to have the best chance of avoiding all of that then you can check out the Upgraded Family Camping options that are available. This upgrade includes the ability for you to tent camp close to Lake Mingo in shaded/wooded areas. There is a shuttle service that will drive you to and from the festival grounds and your car to this special family campground. It is located a ways off of the beaten path making it out of the way for those who are not camping there. Plus you get to choose your own spot upon arrival. This is available to you for just $46 per adult. The children who are 12 and under are still free here too.  You can purchase your upgrades here.
***Crescent Moon Kids Camp***
This is the obvious one. Of course if you have children at a festival you have to visit the festival’s kids camp. There are a lot of fun activities for you to do, arts, crafts, games, and so much more. It is a great time that you will not want to waste.
Now I thought that I would share with you my list of things/people/band/places to go/do/see while you are at Phases of the Moon.
1. The Further Bus (seriously, when else is your child going to get to have their picture taken at the amazing Further bus??)
2. Crescent Moon Kids Camp (this is an area full of free fun activities that are perfect for your children)
3. Guildworks (seriously cool kite like air sculptures, something you really have to see to be able to describe or understand)
4. String Cheese Incident (one of my kiddos’ favorites)
5. Leftover Salmon (you can’t help but have a good time with them)
6. Cornmeal (been watching them for a long time and love sharing the experience with my children)
7. Jeff Austen (as a new dad he is one that is going to really impress your little ones like he does mine)
Obviously there are a ton of additional fun things for you to find and do with your children while you are at Phases of the Moon but these are the 7 ones that I think all parents should take note of.

A Look at the Phases of the Moon Music + Art Festival

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I love going to festivals and have for many years, long before I ever had children music and concerts were my thing. In fact my husband and I joke because I did not meet him until three years after when I was supposed to because I was going to an amazing concert instead.

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This year one of the things that has been on my radar has been the Phases of the Moon Music + Art Festival that is happening in Danville IL September 11-14. I will admit that since this is in my backyard it was on my late summer wish list for events to attend. I will also admit that since I stay home and write for a living I am not always able to attend all of the things that I want to.
There were many things about the festival that intrigued me. First of there is the line up. I was impressed to see so many nationally headlining acts coming to the area for the festival. Of course when I look at the line up there are definite songs that I am hoping that each band plays (maybe in the future I will fill you in with a post about my wish list of songs for Phases of the Moon).
The Impressive Line Ups
While there are many more bands that I am not going to mention here I thought that I would share the ones that I would be most excited to see take the stage. As far as music is concerned I am hoping that I will catch The String Cheese Incident, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Lunar Landing Conspiracy, Leftover Salmon, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Galactic, Jeff Austin Band (really really excited about this one!!), Tea Leaf Green, Cornmeal, The Steepwater Band, and possibly Widespread Panic. There is some amazing performing arts to be seen as well and I think that it would be amazing to check out Quixotic, Tammy Firefly, Nomadic Circus, and the Subconscious Development Motion Project. I’d also be hoping to practice yoga each day and to be able to get a massage as that would be pretty nice after walking around and dancing all day. Plus how could I give up a chance to check out the Further Bus (you know how I feel if you’ve been following the blog and read what I wrote about them!).

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Becoming One with Nature
One of my favorite activities is hiking and I love that there are miles of trails to hike on at Kennekuk County Park where the festival is taking place. Live music filled nights with mornings that are filled with hiking is something that really makes me want to jump, scream and shout about how much fun it all could be.
The Food
As someone who loves good food and prefers food that is made with wholesome ingredients I am also impressed to be reading about how there are going to be a lot of “farm to table” food offerings in the food court. The farm to table food movement is something that I strongly believe in and something that I feel like I can really enjoy without feeling guilty. I also loved reading the words craft beer tent. Although I might be someone who is a bit pickier when it comes to her craft beers, I really prefer a hoppy beers and IPAs. I am hoping that this means that they will actually have beers that I drink available for purchase. I go to a lot of events where I am not impressed with their beer selection enough that I end up staying sober for the entire event.
A Perfect Oasis for Families Awaits
Now as a mom the next thing that I noticed was that they had a lot of great things for families. They have a special area where parents can take their children to enjoy some crafts and other fun activities. Plus they have special reserved family camping that is perfect for everyone who wants to be at the festival without exposing their children to a lot of noise late at night. I know if I travel with my children that I am going to pay to upgrade and stay in one of these special family campgrounds.
All About the Art
I am also someone who loves being able to check out new artists and I love art. I am a collector and I attempt to be an artist but will admit that my work is never quite what I hope it will be. I have learned though as I have gotten older to let go of my perfectionist attempts and to let art be art so it is getting easier to actually create something that I can hang on our walls. Phases of the Moon Music + Art Festival is going to have live artwork that is interactive as well as a number of other artist offerings. I am thinking that walking around and checking out this art and maybe taking the time to participate a bit might be a lot of fun while I am at the festival.

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Be Healed
There is also going to be an area called The Sanctuary that is going to be set up for natural healing offering services from people who are well versed in different practices.
Learning Something New
There are workshops for you to attend where you can learn a number of different things. You can learn about sustainability as well as many other things like music from a workshop. This is sure to be an exciting thing where you might have the opportunity to meet some amazing people who can teach you amazing things.
Giving Back
The festival is also going to be giving back. Not only are they working with a green initiative to have recycling posts and for campers to be encouraged to pick up, but they are also going to be doing a food drive for Conscious Alliance.
With so many things that you can do to get involved the Phases of the Moon Music + Art Festival is sure to be a great time where you are sure to have fun with your old friends while making new ones.

A Change of Pace with Summer Camp Music Festival….Bringing the Kids Along

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

One of the things that brought my husband and I together was our joint love for music, concerts, and music festivals. We both loved these events when we were single and before we were together. So it is only natural that we should love them since we have been together.
They say that having children changes everything. While this is true and our summer time adventures are quite different now that we have a family, it is not true that you have to give up the things that you love most when you have children.

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Taking a child to a festival can be a challenge. However for over ten years I have been taking children along with me when I go places so I have gotten it down and now I feel like a pro. Packing them up and taking them along to any type of event can be a lot of fun and can be 100% family friendly.

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On Sunday we went to Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe IL. We have been in attendance at this festival for a few years together and our kids have been before. Last year we did go to the festival as our honeymoon so we were kid-less.
However, we have learned that you can have just as much fun seeing a concert or going to a festival with children as you can without them. The key to having a good time is to remember to go at their pace and to be prepared for anything, even if this means packing an extra bag or two.

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I thought that I would share a few pointers from when we were at the festival this weekend so that you could possibly enjoy these types of events with your family too.

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Find Out Where the Other Kids Are

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One of the things that I love most about Summer Camp Music Festival is that they have an awesome Kids Camp. Not only is Kids Camp full of fun but it is also full of amazing staff that have been running the Kids Camp for many years now. The original Kids Camp was started out of the back of one volunteer’s van with a few totes of arts and crafts supplies.

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This year the Kids Camp featured water fun with squirt guns and water balloons. This was Huxley’s favorite part of the Kids Camp and he really enjoyed spraying me with the water guns. Thanks to the heat it actually felt good to get sprayed by the cool water. Kids Camp also had a bounce house with a staff person who watched the kids the entire time to make sure that they were safe. Plus there were all of the arts and crafts that we have come to love year in and year out.
Take Advantage of Family or Friends

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We are lucky when we go to Summer Camp because grandma and grandpa are there with their camper. They really love the kids coming and seeing them so they were nice enough to take them for a little bit so the hubby and I could catch a show together by ourselves. We caught Umphrey’s McGee and had a great time dancing and enjoying some fun. We also grabbed a bite to eat when we were alone and I would highly recommend checking out Peace, Love, and Tacos if you see them at a festival where you are at.
Look for Friends

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After we went to Umphrey’s we picked up the kids and went to see Yonder Mountain String Band. While we were enjoying the show, we met a lovely family that had two little girls that wanted to play. It was nice for the kids to meet some new friends and to really get to enjoy some time playing together.

 

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Since my kids really love Yonder Mountain it was a great time for them all the way around. They enjoyed dancing, singing along when they knew the songs, and just playing while we got to see a really nice show. Not to say that Jeff Austin wasn’t missed, but I was surprised to see how the band played without him. I have always been a fan of his and really did not think that they would be the same without him but it appears that the music will play on and they will fare well on their own.
Dance With Your Children
Our little ones love dancing. We danced with them at Yonder Mountain String Band.

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Adeline was getting tired during the Zac Brown Band set that we saw so I threw her on my back in my favorite carrier for festivals (my tie dyed MOM Tai) and got my groove on while she had a great time on my back.

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After the Zac Brown Band the kids loved dancing at the Trey Anastasio Band sets because they knew the music so well. I tend to listen to a lot of TAB while I am in the car so the kids are pretty familiar with the songs which meant that it was more fun for them. During TAB while the younger two slept Althea even decided that she wanted to be in the carrier and dance on mom’s back for a while.
Bring Glow Sticks or Glow Toys

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Glow sticks and glow toys can become so much more while you are playing with your kids during a show. My kids love being creative with their glow sticks and really have a good time with them. While we were enjoying an amazing TAB set I got to have some amazing memories with our children. I really loved singing along to “Cayman Review” with Adeline and the jams were so much fun for the kids to jump and dance to.

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At one point during the night Huxley even used his glow sticks to create “rocket ship shoes” and Althea got to practice her amazing talents at some yoga.

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All in all Summer Camp Music Festival 2014 with the kids was a hit for the day. We had thought about going all weekend and since it was so dusty and Huxley has such severe allergies I am kind of glad that we just went for the day. I was a little disappointed that I had to miss seeing Les Claypool with Primus though.

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GEARing Up for Festivals with Kids

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Gearing Up for Festivals with Kids
I love festivals. One of the things that I have always done is just take my children along with me. I do not party much and I do not drink at all when the kids are with me because I want to be 100% focused on them each and every second that we are there. That being said, festivals are still one of my favorite summertime activities and this summer we have plans to go to a few of them.

So I thought in celebration of the upcoming festival season that I would share some of my favorite gear for festival season with the kids.

Packing It All In

The worst part about going to a festival with children is when you have to lug all of your camping gear and stuff to a campsite. I am completely willing, if the kids are going with us, to pay more to be able to camp with our car. However at some festivals now you can not purchase RV passes to camp with your vehicle so we will still be stuck lugging it all in. There is definitely some gear that can help you if you are lugging everything in.

MAC Sport

One of these is a foldable wagon. We have a MAC Sport one like this picture shows. It works great because when folded up it can easily fit into the car and when unfolded it can help lug in all of the gear that we need to camp.

Have Gear to Help with the Kids

britax stroller

Our kiddos are spoiled and they do not always like to walk all day long. We generally have a stroller with us and the Britax B Agile (we got ours from Kohls) is a great one. It pushes with ease through different land and terrain types making it great for the festival environment.

Rockin Baby Logo

Another thing that I love is a good baby carrier. I really love the Rockin Baby Sling (especially since they give back to mamas in Haiti that are in need) and the Boba Air. Let’s face it babywearing is just more comfortable, cooler, and frankly a heck of a lot easier than having to carry the kiddos around.

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Have Proper Seating

initals inc all weather blanket

Having a place for the kids to sit down is also important. I love my Initals Inc picnic blanket that is waterproof and perfect for us to all sit on together. In fact I loved mine so much that I purchased a second one for us to be able to fit our entire family of 6 on the blankets.

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Another great option for seating is the Kelty Camp Chair. This amazing chair is small and can be worn like a backpack but will fold out into a comfortable chair.

Have a Way to Carry Their Stuff

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Sadly kids can get bored anywhere. Even if they are listening to the best music in the world, our kiddos are sometimes bored. So we give them each their own backpack (we like Kelty for this too since they have the Minnow and the Grommet which are perfect for little ones). They get to put a few toys, books, notebooks, coloring books, and crayons and such in their bag to keep them entertained when we are enjoying some music.

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Keep Water Handy

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Our favorite way to keep water handy is with our Camelbak backpacks. These are big enough to hold everything that we need during the day and to hold our water too. They are perfect for when the kids are constantly thirsty and you don’t want to have to carry around additional bulk like water bottles.

Have a Way to Get Wet

stokke

I have used many different things at festivals so that my children could get wet. We have used blow up pools, buckets, water guns, and misters. However our favorite by far is the Stokke Flexi Bath because it is small and folds flat.

Have Everyone Wear the Right Shoes

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In our house the right shoes means comfortable sandals. For me this most generally means Keens but lately I have become a huge fan of Ahnu and their amazing sandals as well.

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Keep Ways to Stay Clean

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I am paranoid of my children picking up some type of germ so I carry a number of special products with me to keep them clean. I take a foldable potty seat (that I sanitize after each and every use), Dr Bronners Organic Fair Trade Lavender Hand Sanitizer, and baby wipes.

Stay Protected

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I also focus on keeping my kids protected from the sun. We like Aveeno Suncare products for the kids and SuperGoop Suncare products for the adults. We also have to keep allergy medicines and inhalers on hand for Huxley as his allergies and breathing can be terrible from time to time when we are outside. Sunglasses (like those from Julbo for the kids) are great as are hats to keep their heads covered. We also use small shade tents like the Cabana from Kelty and umbrellas for additional shade.

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Have the Perfect Way to Keep Food and Drinks Cold

travel gear Kelty coolers

Obviously we are huge Kelty fans because our favorite way to keep foods cold is with Kelty foldable coolers.  These are perfect because you can fold them up when empty making them easier to haul back to the car.

You really can have a great time at a festival with your children as long as you remember to GEAR up in the right way so that they are as comfortable as possible.