Review: 10 things we loved about Gloworm Festival 2022

Disclaimer: we paid for our normal day tickets for the festival, however we were kindly upgraded to VIP this review contains some elements from the VIP area. We’ve also tried to share images without other kids’ faces in – if you would like me to remove any, please let me know.

Friday 12th August 2022 was like Christmas morning for Lily – she was up super early and bouncing around like a pogo stick. I had 5 hours of work in the morning, but once she finally saw my Out of Office go on, her excitement levels were through the roof. Why? Because it was time to head to her “favourite festival in the whole wide world”, Gloworm Festival.

Welcome to Gloworm Festival
Welcome to Gloworm Festival

Friday night opens to those who are camping or glamping, with the main festival opening to everyone else over the Saturday and Sunday. Gloworm Festival really holds a special place in our hearts and I admit feeling a massive buzz as Lily ran through the gates, making sure she was one of the very first kids to step foot into Gloworm Festival 2022.

Was it everything she hoped for and dreamed of? Yes, without fail, the whole festival totally blew her mind once again. There really is SO much to do, all included in the price, and it’s difficult to share absolutely everything, so here are 10 of our highlights.

Lily was so excited to head back to her "favourite festival in the whole wide world!"
Lily was so excited to head back to her “favourite festival in the whole wide world!”

1. The funfair

One of the many great reasons we love Gloworm Festival is that so much is included in the price compared to other festivals, which includes the funfair rides that are free until 5pm each day.

It was like Christmas morning for her!
It was like Christmas morning for her!

From a helter-skelter and swinging chairs through to a carousel and even a little roller coaster, the funfair is fab. It’s always the first place Lily loves to run straight to each morning before the queues build up, but we found the queues dropped again in the afternoon and she was able to lap her favourite rides again.

The funfair is always a highlight for us, with rides included in your ticket price
The funfair is always a highlight for us, with rides included in your ticket price

I did lose count the number of times she went excitedly on that helter-skelter, but my favourite was the big wheel at sunset on the first night, overlooking the awesome festival site.

Lily officially went on the helter skelter 129389085 times :)
Lily officially went on the helter skelter 129389085 times 🙂

2. Andy and the Odd Socks

Andy and the Odd Socks is Lily’s absolute favourite band, and she was beyond excited to see the band play on the main stage on the Sunday of the festival.

Rocking out to Andy and the Odd Socks
Rocking out to Andy and the Odd Socks

Sadly, she had a minor injury on the barrier the minute the band were about to go on stage (not the festival’s fault!), but she quickly bounced back when she saw them come on stage and she was straight back into her rock mode to sing along, dance and cheer with Andy and the Odd Socks.

Meeting Andy after their show was the icing on an already awesome cake!
Meeting Andy after their show was the icing on an already awesome cake!

Their set was filled with all her favourites and she was buzzing to meet the whole band afterwards in the Meet & Greet area. The band all did well to get round seeing all the kids as there were so many wanting to see their heroes, so thank you for making it happen!

Thank you to all the band for being so awesome!
Thank you to all the band for being so awesome!

3. Playmobil Rave

The Playmobil Rave has been a firm favourite in the past from Lily, so she was counting down to the first Playmobil Rave on the Saturday of the festival.

That epic feeling when you win a giant Playmobil prize for your crazy dancing!
That epic feeling when you win a giant Playmobil prize for your crazy dancing!

Complete with fun music, dancing along with the awesome Playmobil characters and plenty of crowd interaction, there are prizes to be shared out too.

Incredibly, Lily won the first big prize that went out for her crazy dancing, so we came away from the front with her giant Playmobil set to let other kids in to her space, but it is always such a fun atmosphere and kids and parents alike all get involved.

The Playmobil Rave always has such fun vibes
The Playmobil Rave always has such fun vibes

Thanks Playmobil for her epic prize, that is already out the box and being loved with her other Playmobil figures too from the goody bag.

4. Paddling

This was the first year we made it down to the forest school area as the thought of the trees and cooling water drew us in from the heat.

Cooling down in the water
Cooling down in the water

Lily and her friends spent so long paddling in the water, building a dam with the wet moss, building different structures with the stones, and searching the water to see what they could find. It was so lovely watching the kids play happily in the water, free to explore nature and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Thoresby Park.

The girls really enjoyed the water!
The girls really enjoyed the water!

I also won’t deny enjoying standing in the cool water too, though Lily did take it to the extreme and ended up contently sitting in the water… thankfully she dried off quickly too!

5. Kinetic Sand & sandpit

The sandpit area has always been a firm favourite for us to enjoy at Gloworm Festival, especially having a coffee in the deckchairs while Lily played away in the sandpit, however this year had the addition of the Kinetic Sand tables in the covered over area which were brilliant.

Kinetic Sand fun!
Kinetic Sand fun!

Kids of all ages could enjoy playing with the kinetic sand in the shade with the mess-free sand. Lily was really excited to go here (and asked about 100,000 times to go back in!) and really enjoyed it, plus was just as excited to find her very own sand in the goody bag too. I know this will be something to add to her Christmas list!

She is definitely a fan of kinetic sand ( too many other kids in the tent photos so I won't share!)
She is definitely a fan of kinetic sand ( too many other kids in the tent photos so I won’t share!)

6. The VIP area

The VIP area was new for us this year and we are so glad we had the opportunity to try it as it was just so special. The VIP area is a small separate area near to the main stage with different activities, seating areas and its own bar and toilets.

Our first VIP experience at Gloworm was awesome
Our first VIP experience at Gloworm was awesome

We had an absolutely awesome time trying out the activities, especially the Morph making workshop with Aardman Productions (Lily and I were proud of our Morphs!) as well as making rocky roads with the Three Bears Cookery Club.

Making Morph in one of the workshops
Making Morph in one of the workshops

We went back a few times to the silent disco area for a boogie in the shade and definitely enjoyed the nice toilets too – though I have to say that Gloworm toilets always seem to be clean across the site too.

We made yummy rocky road bites
We made yummy rocky road bites

7. Cosmic Kids Yoga

Cosmic Kids Yoga was something that kept us strong through lockdown and so we were excited to see Jaimie again on the main stage this year.

Cosmic kids yoga was fantastic
Cosmic kids yoga was fantastic

Despite the strong sunshine (and many, many layers of suncream – thanks Child’s Farm!), Lily really enjoyed following the kid-friendly yoga on the main stage again.

8. Happy’s Circus

This was the first time we’ve made it to the circus at Gloworm (there really is always SO much to do!), but we made sure we went along to the first show on the Friday night.

The mindblowing circus show
The mindblowing circus show

Again, it is included in your ticket price, but what a brilliant show it was. It was well organised with kids in front and adults behind to make sure everyone had a good view, and the whole performance was just mind-blowing.

They had an A show and a B show – we caught the A-show, complete with some incredible trapeze artists, a lady balancing a bike on the top of a really tall stand and other crowd-interactive acts too.

9. Meet & Greet

The Meet & Greets throughout the park were brilliant again this year, with characters for all ages to enjoy.

Meeting the band from Andy and the Odd Socks was an amazing opportunity
Meeting the band from Andy and the Odd Socks was an amazing opportunity

Even though she is 7, Lily still loves her Paw Patrol characters, so was excited to spot Rubble and Chase for a high 5. She loved meeting Gilbert Gloworm as well as Sunny from My Little Pony too.

I love this photo with the very lovely Maddy Moate
I love this photo with the very lovely Maddy Moate

On top of some of the awesome kids’ characters, you could meet some of the artists from across the weekend – Maddy Moate and Andy and the Odd Socks bands were top of Lily’s list as well as CBeebies legend Nigel Clarke too.

Sunny from My Little Pony
Sunny from My Little Pony

10. The Hive area

I couldn’t share highlights without sharing the love of The Hive area again, with so many activities for kids to enjoy.

Drumming workshops with Kyle Commerie
Drumming workshops with Kyle Commerie

“DJ Lily from Leicester” enjoyed joining in with her very own DJ set again this year with the Four Four DJ Academy as well as a return to the drumming workshops with the awesome Kyle Commerie.

DJ Lily on the decks!
DJ Lily on the decks!

She was also excited to see the graffiti workshops back as well as the Reality Arcades again – though apparently Mummy as Pac Man was hilarious 😀

Adding her touch to the graffiti wall
Adding her touch to the graffiti wall

Conclusion

Every year we go to Gloworm Festival it just gets better and better, but the awesome vibes that make Gloworm so magical just never go away.

There were circus activities for everyone to enjoy
There were circus activities for everyone to enjoy

The Gloworm team really works hard to make it special for kids of all ages, no matter what they enjoy doing, from outdoor activities to indoor crafts, live music to smaller workshops, with just so much to do across the weekend.

We met all kinds of awesome heroes
We met all kinds of awesome heroes

We battled some intense temperatures across the weekend, but that didn’t stop the fun, and the Gloworm team did everything they could to support those visiting an outdoor festival, including an extra water station, allowing smaller tents, covered over seating areas, spraying the crowd with water and ensuring there were plenty of activities in shady areas too. Extra shout out to Child’s Farm for the pocket suncream too!

We just love the Gloworm Festival vibe - she was so proud of her rocket!
We just love the Gloworm Festival vibe – she was so proud of her rocket!

It didn’t feel packed out this year, with everything so spread out, and there was always something else to do if you felt an area was too busy.

We barely scratched the surface with things to do again this year, but that made it just as awesome as the other years as we had a whole other epic experience once again.

The silent disco in the VIP area
The silent disco in the VIP area

With so much included in the price too, it really helped with the cost compared to some other larger festivals, and the toilets were also very clean too… plus there was a Mobiloo for those who needed the accessible facilities.

When you're caught on the big screen!
When you’re caught on the big screen!

My only suggestion would be to give families a bit of guidance on setting up so close to the main stage – it is many families’ first festival, so there were several families who set up with pushchairs and blankets on the floor by the front barrier, which was not only not great for safety during some of the more popular acts, but also meant some kids couldn’t see the main stage as they were blocking the view.

Thank you Gloworm Festival for another awesome year
Thank you Gloworm Festival for another awesome year

This isn’t Gloworm’s fault at all, just maybe some guidance to families for their first festival could help next time – it was the reason Lily got injured at the start of Andy and the Odd Socks, when kids were trying to squeeze past the pushchairs at the front barrier to try and see past the people sitting on the floor at the barrier.

Happiness is... Gloworm Festival
Happiness is… Gloworm Festival

That aside, I’m sending the Gloworm team all the biggest love and thanks for once again giving us such an epic, mind-blowing, Lily-buzzing weekend. My little gloworm was so happy to be back in her favourite festival grounds again and you really didn’t disappoint.

The countdown is already on til next year…. bring it on!

Lots of love from Lily, one of Gloworm’s ultimate fans!

See you next year!
See you next year!

For more information about Gloworm Festival, click here

Related Links

Check out our family camping hacks here

For our review of Bundle Beds click here

For our 15 family festival camping essentials, click here

For more information on camping at festivals with the family, click my link here.

For a family camping checklist, check out our blog post here.

For our top family staycation ideas, check out our latest post!

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