This weekend we ticked another thing off our Summer Family Bucket List – go to a family festival together. We visited Geronimo Festival at Knebworth House and had an amazing time. We were lucky enough to have been gifted tickets in return for an honest review, so all opinions are definitely our own.
This is the first year Geronimo Festival has been held at Knebworth House, so they now do one in the North at Arley House and one in the South. I’d heard really good things and seen loads of photos on Instagram from Arley so I couldn’t wait to give this one a go.
First Impressions Of Geronimo
The activities all opened at 10am but we didn’t get there until 11, because….kids. There wasn’t much of queue and we quickly exchanged our printed tickets for wrist bands and headed inside. The main stage was right next to the entrance and we could hear Swashbuckle’s Cook and Line doing their thing on stage which Ollie was VERY excited by. We watched them for a little while before heading off to explore.
We watched some tightrope walkers before my stepson spotted the ‘Actual Reality Arcade’ and wanted to go check it out. This was basically life size versions of classic video games that you could take part in. Human Whack-A-Mole was hilarious and my partner’s highlight of the whole day was the human Pac Man maze. Definitely reliving some childhood memories right there!
As we made our way around the festival I was surprised by how much there was to do and how small and often non-existent the queues were. I think because there was so much to do, people didn’t tend to stay at one activity for too long, so we never felt like we were waiting ages for our turn.
The activities are grouped together in categories, so there’s a music zone, an adrenaline zone, theatre zone and arena, craft and curiosity zone, animals and then the main stage. It’s pretty easy to find your way around using the free map, or you can buy a programme for £5 which has accurate timings for all the activities and shows.
The atmosphere all day was just so chilled out and relaxed. There were lots of families there but it wasn’t so busy that you couldn’t enjoy it.
The Best Bits Of Geronimo Festival
The sheer amount of different activities means there’s something for everyone to do, and there’s almost too many things to mention so here are our favourites:
Ollie said his favourite part was watching Swashbuckle, but he also seemed to really enjoy all the arts and crafts, drumming and making lots of noise,
The best new thing we discovered for him were Magformers which he’s never played with before but he absolutely loved – at least that’s his birthday present sorted!
My favourite area was the artsy section where Ollie and I painted wooden spoons and made a clay animal which we decorated with natural materials like twigs, shells and dried leaves. I also very much enjoyed my elderflower gin cocktail!
My stepson said there was too much to pick a favourite which says a lot given he normally isn’t interested if it doesn’t involve football or a computer screen. He picked out archery, go-karting, inflatable obstacle course. He also loved the Nerf gun experience as he got to try the new model which isn’t out yet and won a prize for getting a high score.
My partner Ian’s favourite was in the music section where they had instruments made from household objects like cutlery, teapots and bins. He also had a go at axe throwing and pulled the short straw of driving Ollie round in a go-kart in 30 degree heat!
Things We Would Improve
There were a couple of activities that my stepson missed out on – such as Air Drop (a big jump off a platform on a giant air bag. Although it was included in the ticket price, we didn’t realise we had to book on the day.
There was a large inflatable section which was £7.50 per child and Ollie started pestering to go on it as soon as he saw it. If I had paid full price for a ticket, I definitely wouldn’t want to be paying £15 for the two kids to go on a couple of bouncy castles. I thought it was quite expensive as an added extra when people had already paid quite a bit to get in in the first place.
Is It Really Family Friendly?
I would say 100% it is a family friendly festival. There’s literally something for people of all ages to enjoy. As we went in, I saw a sign stating that no-one was allowed on site without a child which made it feel a lot more secure.
It’s also really clean and tidy – in fact my stepson dropped his napkin and before he’d even had chance to get off the bench to grab it, a member of staff had already put it in the bin!
The portaloo toilets were kept pretty clean, and there are little tents set up around the site as baby change areas. They even have changing tables, spare nappies and wipes in there in case you forgot anything. I think details like this make such a difference on a family day out. Nothing ruins a day out like trying to deal with a poonami in a tiny cubicle hotter than the sun with no flat/clean surfaces, only to find you don’t have a spare nappy!
Food At Geronimo Festival
I thought the range of food at Geronimo Festival was really good. There was pretty much everything you’d expect from a big event like this – burgers, fish and chips, sandwiches etc. They were all pretty much the kind of price you’d expect to pay at a festival or big event. The kids both wanted to try out the Fish Finger Sandwich van. Ollie had 3 fish fingers, a waffle and beans for £4. It was a really hot day so we all had an ice-cream which was expensive but again, what I’d expect to pay at an event like this at £2-3 for an ice lolly or ice-cream.
You can also take your own food into the site which is a great way to save money and there are plenty of places to eat your picnic in the sun or shade.
There were water re-fill points all over the site which I thought was a nice touch. It saved us a fortune, especially as we’ve been to loads of big UK attractions where they bump the price of water up purely because you don’t have an alternative.
If you booked in advance, tickets were £25 for one day, or £45 for 2 days. Under 2s are free as are carers and senior citizens. Obviously it depends on the size and age of your family as to how much this would cost you for a day out.
I think in terms of value for money, you do get what you pay for. There are TONS of different things to do all included in the price. If we went to a big theme park it probably would have cost the same if not more. If we had had to pay individually for all the different activities we did, no doubt it would have been a whole lot more than £25.
Early bird tickets included access to the funfair rides, otherwise these were £2 each which could end up costing you quite a bit extra.
I do think there should be a discounted rate for under 3s. £25 seems a lot to pay considering there are a lot of activities Ollie was not allowed to do due to his age. Obviously we didn’t expect him to be allowed to do archery, but even a couple of the crafts did not allow Under 3s. While I totally get this is a health and safety thing (they were using small parts) it just seems a bit odd to charge them full price when they don’t get access to everything.
Would We Go Back Next Year?
Absolutely without a doubt we would go back again. I think next time we will take a picnic and plan our day out a little more. We had a great time and saw so many things, but there were a few things we missed out on as we weren’t at the tents at the right times. It was around 30 degrees all day and although there were plenty of areas with shade, we were just totally wiped out by the afternoon. So, we probably didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked and we still did too much to mention in one blog post! Can’t wait to go back next year!