Festivals, jubilees and fiestas, oh my! For my family springtime means it is festival season. Before the weather gets too hot, it’s nice to be outside exploring new events. My husband volunteers at many Palm Beach County festivals on behalf of the ag community, so the kiddos and I often tag along. If someone does not typically attend these types of events, they might think they would be an expensive day out with the family. You would be pleasantly surprised at some of the free and low cost festivals around Palm Beach County. This is not meant to be a list of them, but merely some highlights of what you can expect when attending one of these unique events.
These items will make you festival (with kids) ready!
- Stroller with big tires or wagon
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Snacks and water bottles if allowed
- Charged cell phone and camera
- Lots of wipes and hand sanitizer
Local festivals are an inexpensive way to spend the day with your family, believe it or not.
A lot of events around the county are FREE! Yes, some do have small entry fees, but others cost nothing to go through the gates. Even the ones that do cost money often have many activities once you enter that are free. Animals/petting zoos, arts and crafts, and live music, to name a few.
The Sweet Corn Fiesta last weekend at Yesteryear Village at the Fairgrounds had free, unlimited pony rides, as one of the many activities that did not have a charge associated. I could hardly keep my kids away from the ponies…yes, we made several visits over that way.
Unlimited fairway rides for purchasing a $5 wrist band were at a recent festival, as well. You can hardly even ride the carousel at Downtown at the Gardens for that. I’m having distant memories from back in January at the fair and that $50ish dollar wristband for the rides. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE the fair. We will go there every year, but these inexpensive festivals sure are nice for the kids to experience new things and are easy on the wallet.
Another festival I attended in April, the Black Gold Jubilee, had NO entry fee and FREE rides! At the end of that event, there was a free concert that was packed, featuring a major country music recording artist. Please note, I also paid $35 for a 10 minute helicopter ride at this festival, but it was an unbelievable experience and worth every penny.
Something else I love about festivals? The food.
Since we are in Palm Beach County, there is a TON of fresh produce. A lot of people don’t realize that. Head to the western part of the county and you will not believe all of the food that is grown out that way. At these local festivals there are often food vendors selling local food, straight from their farms from Palm Beach County. In addition to local vendors, there are pretty much always food trucks from around the state with their usual specialties such as kettle corn, Krispy Kreme donut burgers, gator nuggets, and pretty much always barbecue. Any time I have the opportunity to try lots of different foods at one event, I am pretty excited! And that also means there is something for every picky little kid. Can you say hot dog?
Pride in the community.
This isn’t a day at Disney World. Attending a local festival is exactly the opposite, intimate and local. Many vendors and small businesses set up to sell their products and get their names out and meet new customers. Organizations and churches often set up displays for publicity and to show off all the projects they have been doing. Maybe you fit one of these categories and didn’t realize that festivals were an opportunity for you to advertise? Interacting with these hard working individuals and helping them help you, shopping local, and maybe finding a new cause, all make you feel a sense of pride in your community.
In addition to all of the food, rides, animals, parades and excitement, often if you stay late enough at these festivals, you will get an extra special treat. Fireworks aren’t just for the 4th of July after all! Go on Google and search your area to see what family friendly, and maybe free, local festivals are in your area this weekend.