Our Electric Picnic 2014 (Take 2)

Here’s my second attempt at posting all about our family friendly Electric Picnic. The first one I didn’t mean to publish as it wasn’t finished but then I clicked “publish” by accident, so I deleted it. If you’re one of the couple of people who noticed and were devastated that it didn’t work, here you go. Everyone else proceed as if nothing happened and ignore my technical ineptitude.

So, where were we? Electric Picnic with kids, dozens of people stopped us while we were there or come over to us, looking at the kids like miniature objects of curiosity and asked us what it was like being there with the kids. (I know, they mustn’t have read all I wrote about it before like here and in The Journal.ie).

My standard answer is that it’s great, but it’s a very different Electric Picnic than the one you’d have without the kids.

That’s OK though It’s like life with kids, the pace is different and what you do is limited and centred around their sleeping, eating and toilet needs. You’re not in the mosh pit, you hang back out of crowds, you avoid Casa Bacardi  and the bars don’t make any money out of you. We can also blame the kids as to why we didn’t camp, when in truth I’m not a fan of camping. (Although, I’m shocked to say that a recent blogpost on The Busy Mama’s Blog has made me seriously consider it). Admitting that we’re not camping tends to lose us some kudos in the picnickers’ eyes but I can live with that.

At my age I think I’m more able for Electric Picnic at the kiddie pace than that that of someone who’s closer in age to my kids than to me.

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So – what’s there to do with the kids at Electric Picnic? 

People who haven’t been to Electric Picnic with kids don’t realise that the Walled Garden at Stradbally House contains a dedicated kids’ area, “Soul Kids”, that only those with family passes can access. It’s a magical wonderland, inhabited by fairies, with bunting everywhere and a big wooden castle to climb. The kids would have spent all day every day in there. We could hear bands in the distance that we really wanted to hear properly but the boys were in the middle of an activity that couldn’t possibly be left in the middle so we sacrificed.

Kids also get a kick out of the unusual. When else would you see grownups wearing onesies? Or dressed as birds? Or trees full of umbrellas? Or golden pianos in the middle of a field?  They soaked it up. Around every corner was something new, something to explore. They were playing with Jenga when some adults started trying to build a higher tower than them, great craic ensued. They shook hands with puppets, danced their socks off, spotted hidden sculpures, and ate lots if icecream. It was like a themepark, hopefully they’ll remember some of it!

Here are our highlights, with accompanying slideshow (fancy huh?)

Our Highlights this year

Soul Kids

Science Wizards: We made slime to take home, and balanced cans, all the while learning about the science behind it.

Abdul the Camel: Despite reminding us that it wasn’t a real camel but two people dressed up they still were happy to follow after Abdul the Camel in a musical procession.

Pick and mix from Connie’s Candy cart. Circus Skills, the Puppet Show, Storytelling, the Sandpit.

There was a huge wooden castle play area in the middle that the boys spent a lot of time in.

Mask making – the ladies who were running this activity really were fantastic, not alone did they have loads of materials and helped the kids but they answered all my questions about where they got the gorgeous craft supplies.

The Festival itself

Running around the “toadstools and big spider”

Meeting Jess, a lady who decided to help the boys do spinning tricks

The Trailer Park area, we happened on a fashion show where the clothes were made from recycled household objects, the boys were mesmerised.

A family of five ride on the Ferris Wheel

Hoola Hooping in the Craft Village

Banging the Big Drum

Hanging out (literally) in the JustEat.ie hammocks


We saw less that we’d have liked and stayed pretty mainstream. My favourites were Hozier, BlondieLily Allen and the bit of Beck that we saw. We’d hoped to see Pet Shop Boys but the kids got too tired.

The Chicken Massaman from Saba was fantastic and the Green Curry from Kanum went down great too.  Kinara was my favourite though.  not what you’d expect from an Indian, very light and so tasty.

What the kids ate
Small hotdogs, pasta pesto (one portion, 3 plates), chips, crab linguini from Rathmullan House (that I bought for myself), pasta bolognese.

Things we learned this year

  • If you want to stay out in the dark bring glowsticks or cheap torches (I got mini ones for €1.49 that were a big hit)
  • Don’t leave most of the snacks in the car
  • A rubber backed picnic mat is essential
  • The Irish weather makes packing way harder- sunhats, suncream, three layers and raingear. check!
  • There will be tears when it’s time to go home (not just from the parents)

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