Review – Leeds Dad at Starry Skies

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“Where the kids roam free…”

Starry Skies describes itself as a “A gloriously mucky hybrid between a family camping holiday and a festival. Especially for free range kids and their grown ups”. Based on that description, we were sold!

Our kids are explorers. They love nothing more than getting lost in the wild which isn’t something that kids get a lot of these days. Starry Skies allows the kids (and grown ups!) to get back to nature.

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The main site has lots of different tents. There’s arts & crafts, drama, a circus tent and a separate tent for babies. There’s also stuff just for grown ups including beer, wine & cider tasting, parenting talks and yoga. You can design a flag, learn to trapeze, join a drum workshop or drop in for story time.

Step into the woods however, and that’s where the magic happens. There’s foraging, forest school for different ages, mud kitchens, archery, den building, a zip wire and Woodland Tribe.

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Woodland Tribe is a dream. You want a play area? Build one! The structure takes shape led by the children as they tap away with their hammers and cut wood down to size. Parents are there of course, but the whole concept is that children can do their own risk assessments and funnily enough, it’s usually the adults hammering their own thumbs by mistake!

Night time is where things really come alive. The festival seems to have so much going on but is still small in size. Small enough that you can get from one end of the site to the other in around 15-20 minutes so easy for those with little legs.

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As day turns to dusk, there are songs around the campfire. You don’t have to join in – you can just toast marshmallows. Or the kids can pop into the nearby cinema, or the sandpit. Meanwhile, there are some amazingly talented music acts – two or three each night on the main stage which has a full bar and café open from 6am – midnight. If you wanted to cook yourself though on a camping stove, then the onsite shop has all the things you need (including a phone charging facility!). Even those who like a bit of luxury will find that hot running showers and flushing toilets are standard!

We had an incredible time at Starry Skies. Ticket prices were really reasonable and we met some amazing people who we are already planning on going with again next year. We did so much and yet felt relaxed like we’d been on holiday but best of all, the kids got horrendously dirty (and didn’t wash for four days). Just as it should be!

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