Should I bring my kid to Enchanted Forest?
Enchanted Forest is a unique event where families of all sorts and sizes come together as a community. Often you will see babes in arms, frolicking toddlers running around the grounds, chattering children having the most unique conversations among themselves, and families dancing together as one silly, cohesive unit. This is something that not only sets Enchanted Forest apart from other festivals, but it is also something that the festival takes great pride in. If you plan on bringing your little one with you this year, there are daycare services that you can purchase on a 6 or 8 hour basis for each day of the event, just remember to purchase them ahead of time. The community and family vibes at Enchanted Forest are so strong and magical that it is something we wanted to dive deeper into and learn a little bit more about. We spoke with Tulku, cofounder of Enchanted Forest Gathering, about his reasons for creating a fun-filled space especially for children at Enchanted Forest, “Kidslandia,” and a little bit on the important role children have in the future of the festival scene.
There are daycare services that guests can pay for at Enchanted Forest which is something not often seen at festivals. What prompted you to provide this for parents attending and what are the benefits?
“Well, I am a father myself so it is important to me that Enchanted Forest is an event that I am proud to bring my son to. I don’t just want EF to be a gathering that you “can” bring your kid to but instead, that you look forward to bringing your kid to.” The major benefit I think is giving parents an opportunity to drop in with each other and explore a myriad of different offerings we are providing during the day. We have 8 different workshops at any one time ranging in themes from Spirit, Yoga, and Sexuality. So EF can be a great opportunity to bring your whole family and still find time for meaningful connection with your partner.
What are some of the activities provided at Kidslandia at Enchanted Forest?
There is a wide variety of offering for the kiddos Miss Brooke, who is a Montessori trained teacher has a full schedule of fun activities planned from 8am to 5pm. They range from puppet shows, kids yoga, craft time and much more you can find the full schedule on our website www.enchantedforestmendo.com under Kidslandia.
Some people believe that children should not be at festivals, so being a parent yourself, what are your thoughts on that opinion? Do you think having young ones in the festival environment is a good thing, bad thing, or mixture of both?
Oh, definitely a mixture of both. I think it really depends on the festival as well as the parent. Quite honestly, I rarely take my boy to festivals because when I go to a festival, a lot of time I am going for myself. Taking an opportunity to relax, let go and connect with my friends. You just don’t ever get to do that at most festivals when you have your child. However, at the same time, I believe that the community vibe created at festivals is magical and a great energy to expose your child to. I wish I knew when I was a kid that adults could be so happy and have so much fun. People are always in such a great mood at these events and I think it is great to expose children to such a shining example of people getting along and playing so nicely together.
Do you find it difficult to balance spending time with your child when you’re working events that you have a lot of involvement in? How do you make sure you set aside quality time with your child at these times?
It can definitely be a struggle, but one that is shared by all parents no matter what your job is, I imagine. Festival production has become a full time job for me and it can be difficult because a lot of people in festival production don’t keep regular business hours. So I need to make sure I set boundaries for my self. Like not answering my phone on Sunday for instance, or deciding I am taking my boy for the day and just leaving my phone off. As I get closer to an event I am usually working 16 hour days, so I try and balance that with a few weeks after each event that I am not working at all.
Do you have any precautions or tips for families looking to bring their children into a festival environment?
First and foremost bring ear plugs for you and your child. Those are just always nice to have around. Also if you are going to take your child out at think about getting either el-wire or something like glow sticks so that you can put it on their clothing to make them easy to see.
Why do you think that Enchanted Forest is an exceptional place to bring kids? What does the community around this event provide that you don’t see at other festivals and that makes you feel safer about bringing your child?
I believe we are one of the few gatherings if not the only to offer a Montessori inspired Day Care option. The fact that we are also an alcohol free event contributes to a very sweet and thoughtful community. All in all, Enchanted Forest seems to attract a very sweet natured group of individuals that come together and form an incredible community that I don’t just feel okay about bringing my child into, but one that I actually feel proud to bring him into. It is an incredible example of what community is capable of.
Enchanted Forest is soon approaching and families are encouraged to join in on the fun. Whether or not you decide to purchase daycare options for your babes during the event, Enchanted Forest is a safe, fun, and friendly community that welcomes everyone no matter shape, size, or age. Pack up your baby wipes, ear plugs, extra blankies, and shade structures, this is one event that you and your whole family do not want to miss. Consider this the family vacation you’ve been waiting for.
Featured Image by: Jazzwall Arts