The Isle of Wight is a natural playground for families; there are so many places to have fun every day.

But how do you plan your visit without missing out on the best events the Island has to offer? Here’s our guide to the best family-friendly events in 2018.

And don’t forget…during the summer break (23 July – 2 September 2018) you can take up to two children aged 5-15 for free with every adult foot passenger day return ticket.  You can book the offer online or quote “Kids Go Free” at our ticket offices.

Isle of Wight Festival, Newport

21-24 June 2018

This iconic festival, in its 50th year, is a must for any music lover’s calendar… But it’s not just fun for parents. The Isle of Wight Festival also features “Kidzone”, which is jam-packed with free fun and entertainment for all ages.

The stage will feature discos, magicians, theatre and other fun and games. Kids can also join in theatre workshops, make shadow puppets, get creative in the craft tent or dress up in the best festival style.

Kidzone also has a dedicated Toddler Tent where you’ll find fabulous art and craft sessions. In the Festival’s Chill Out tent there’s also a little library, toys, story-telling, rugs and cushions to relax on and a baby changing area.

Isle of Wight Festival child buggy

Shipwreck Isle, Ryde

8 July 2018

Ahoy me hearties! Ryde’s Appley Beach will be invaded by a swarm of pirates, sailors and ne’er-do-wells. Spend the day seeking lost treasure, skirmishing, eating delicious vittles, swigging grog, and dancing to the best shanties the Isle of Wight has to offer.

Shipwreck Isle is a fantastic, family-friendly event which is completely free to attend. Pirate costumes are actively encouraged!

Official Bear Hunt Weekends, St Helens

14 – 15 July; 8 – 9 September 2018

Families looking for adventure can run through the wavy grass and splosh through the waves when they go on a Bear Hunt at St Helens.

These special weekends, hosted by the National Trust, will feature fun nature-themed activities for little ones, inspired by the children’s book ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’.

Explorers can find out about the wildlife around them as they hunt for hidden bears across the grassy dunes and sandy beach.

And don’t forget, you can win lots of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt prizes and a holiday to the Isle of Wight in our competition.

UK Pride, Ryde

21 July 2018

The Isle of Wight plays host to UK Pride in 2018 & is the only Pride event on a beach… It’s set to be enormously popular with plenty to enjoy on the day. A parade will travel through Ryde onto Union Street and through to the Pride site on the seafront. There you will find a fantastic Pride Village, with food, drinks and market stalls, as well as an acoustic stage and family friendly areas.

The Wightlink Ryde Slide

22 July 2018

That’s right. We’ve got our very own waterslide! Launch yourself down a 200m inflatable slide along Ryde’s main shopping street this summer. Race down the hill at speed, with local firemen on hand to boost you along with a water blast.

Places are limited, so make sure you book your tickets well in advance.

Blackgang Chine’s Birthday Bash

23 July – 29 August 2018

You’re invited to the ultimate party to celebrate Blackgang Chine’s 175th birthday throughout the school summer holidays!

Immerse yourself in the live-action Cowboy Show or be enchanted as the Fairy Queen and her friends bring a touch of magic to the celebrations. Hear the stories of our loveable dragon Cedric and his friend’s haphazard adventures in the new Dragon Tales. Or take part in a circus workshop, and amaze your friends with all the tricks you can do.

To keep the Birthday Bash booming, DJ Omar will be bringing the celebrations to Pirate Cove and providing the soundtrack to the biggest party this summer, before the fireworks bring the evening to a spectacular close!

Jack up the 80s, Ryde

10 – 12 August 2018

Don’t miss this family-friendly throwback festival featuring popular chart acts. Take the kids back to a time when disco balls were spinning, we were voguing and cassette tapes were tangling. And the little ones (12 years and under) enter the festival for FREE*!

The kids’ marquee offers a bright, friendly and welcoming environment where families can enjoy a range of creative fun such as pebble painting, pottery painting, salt dough models, games and more! It will also feature a chill out area with cushions and books to read plus colouring and games for younger children. There will be a free outdoor play area with garden games, mats, sand pit, giant Jenga and Connect 4.

Various stalls will also be offering face painting motifs, glitter tattoos and the Chill Out field will be home to kids rides and inflatables and Vintage Island Amusements.

*All under 12’s must be accompanied by an adult ticket holder in order to qualify.

Jack up the 80s family fun

Garlic Festival, Sandown

18 – 19 August

This unique show offers food and entertainment at its very best. There are huge garlic and food marquees, cooking demonstrations from top Island chefs, children’s entertainers, archery and a giant funfair.

There are local craft and market stalls, talented animals and arena entertainment. Plus, live music on the big stage, a big beer tent and straw bales so you can relax together and enjoy the atmosphere.

Eklectica, Robin Hill

7-9 September 2018

A boutique music festival with a twist, Eklectica is now in its second year.

Set in the stunning woodlands of Robin Hill Country Park, Eklectica will be playing host to The Fratellis, Scouting for Girls, Tinchy Stryder, The Hoosiers, Pixie Lott and Toploader.

Enjoy a fully immersive festival experience and make the ancient woodlands your home for the weekend with a camping package. The Family Camping area offers a relaxed atmosphere with like-minded families looking for a chilled out festival experience.


Wightlink Blogger

...written by Wightlink

Let the Wightlink bloggers take you on a journey of discovery around the Isle of Wight. From attractions and places to visit, to events, festivals and accommodation, let us inspire your next trip by giving you the inside track to the Island.

Read more of Wightlink's posts here...

Low vehicles (LV)

Up to 5.00m long
Up to 2.24m high
Cars, small vans and any other vehicle up to 5m long
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High vehicles (HV)

Up to 5.00m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Cars, small vans and any other vehicle up to 5m long
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Low passenger vehicles (LP)

5.01m to 15m long
Up to 2.24m high
Longer cars, pick-ups built on a car chassis, passenger vehicles with up to 7 seats and specially adapted disabled vehicles, 5.01m to 15m long.
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High passenger vehicles (HP)

5.01m to 15m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Longer cars, pick-ups built on a car chassis, passenger vehicles with up to 7 seats and specially adapted disabled vehicles, 5.01m to 15m long.
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Low motorhome (LM)

Recreational vehicle 5.01m to 15m long
Up to 2.24m high.
Recreational vehicles built or adapted for sleeping which include fitted seating and kitchen facilities.
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High motorhome (HM)

Recreational vehicle 5.01m to 15m long
Up to 4.2m high.
Recreational vehicles built or adapted for sleeping which include fitted seating and kitchen facilities.
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Low commercial vehicles (LF)

Commercial vehicle 5.01m to 7m long
Up to 2.24m high
Vans, pick-ups, trucks and other goods vehicles designed to carry heavy loads 5.1m and longer and have not been specifically constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers.
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High commercial vehicles (HF)

Commercial vehicle 5.01m to 7m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Vans, pick-ups, trucks and other goods vehicles designed to carry heavy loads 5.1m and longer and have not been specifically constructed or adapted for the carriage of passengers.
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Freight rigid (FR)

Freight vehicle 7.01m to 12m long
Up to 4.2m high.
Single chassis freight vehicles designed to carry heavy loads.
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Freight artic (FA)

Freight vehicle over 12m to 19m long
Up to 4.2m high.
Tractor-trailer freight vehicle up to 44 tonne GVWR with a split chassis or separate unit designed to carry heavy loads.
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Minibus (MINI)

Passenger vehicles 5.01m to 8m long
Over 2.24m to 4.2m high
Passenger vehicles with 8-17 seats.
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Coaches

Because we need to know additional information for coach bookings such as loaded and empty passenger numbers, please visit our Coach page to make your booking
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Motorcycle/trike/quad (MC)

Vehicles up to 3.5m long.
Motorcycles, Motorcycles with sidecars, three or four wheeled personal powered tricycle, TWIZY or quad bike up to 3.5m long.
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Bicycles and mobility scooters

Mobility Scooters must be battery powered.
Electric bikes must retain the ability to be pedalled by the rider.
Pushbikes, e-bikes and battery powered Mobility scooters travel free of charge when a customer purchases a foot passenger ticket.
No need to book separately.
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