With so many entertaining options on the horizon, families and individuals with hectic schedules need to start scoping out their summer festival options early. Here's how to navigate the bevy of offerings and get ready for several months of fun. Festival and fair season heats up when the temperatures rise. Come summertime, communities across the country play host to cultural, film, music, craft, hobby, or food festivals.
With so many entertaining options on the horizon, families and individuals with hectic schedules need to start scoping out their summer festival options early. Here's how to navigate the bevy of offerings and get ready for several months of fun.
• Explore your options. Consult local news sources for upcoming weekend activities. Fairs and festivals are often advertised in neighborhoods on signs and billboards, but they also may be mentioned in calendar-of-events pages. Visit the website of your local Chamber of Commerce or tourism board to see if they have listings of upcoming local events.
• Choose your preferences. Make fair and festival planning a family affair. Look for events that appeal to all members of the household, or allow each member of the family a weekend afternoon to find events that cater to their interests. Take out the calendar and mark must-see festivals out as early as possible.
• Sign up for updates. Many fairs and festivals are annual events. Visit their websites and sign up for an email list so you can receive updates. Joining mailing lists may even make you eligible for coupons or entrance fee discounts on certain days.
• Secure accommodations. Increase the enjoyment factor of the fair or festival by not being pressed for time. Book a room in a nearby hotel or motel and turn a weekend festival excursion into a mini-vacation.
• Dress the part. Festivals and fairs typically take place outdoors. Dress according to the morning forecast. Layer clothing so that everyone can take off or add items to feel comfortable. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses may provide relief from overhead sun. Plus, don't forget to wear comfortable shoes, as festivalgoers tend to walk a lot. Apply and reapply sunblock throughout the day as necessary.
• Plan your transportation. Typically fairs and festivals can get crowded quickly, with ingress and egress roads being blocked by traffic. Also, parking lots may fill up fast. Plan to leave early for the fair, and consider public transportation, shuttle buses or a rideshare service to make the day more carefree.
• Identify a meeting spot. In the event that a child or adult separates from the group, set a predetermined meeting spot where the family can gather. Children can also carry a note listing an adult's cellphone number for emergencies.
Fairs and festivals are an annual ritual for many people. Now is the time to plan for these fun-filled excursions.