Don’t forget Cheltenham’s three day children’s festival opens this weekend

Published on 23rd May 2017

children dancing

Cheltenham’s second children’s festival kicks off this weekend, on Friday 26 May.

  • Friday 26, Saturday 27 May and Sunday 28 May

This exciting festival is free of charge for all and offers a wide range of engaging and inspiring events and activities for children and their families to get involved in together and have fun.

The festival theme this year is ‘how child friendly is Cheltenham?’ Each event offers children and their families the opportunity to explore zones themed around the topics of ‘this is our home’, ‘we want to learn’, ‘we need to play’, ‘we keep safe’, ‘we are healthy’ and ‘our views matter’. A full list of events can be found on the festival’s facebook page.

The first day will take place in local primary schools with each participating school organising and running the event in their own school grounds for their children.

Day two sees flashmob performances by Cheltenham children in the town centre outside M&S at 11.45am and at The Brewery at 12.30pm.

Numerous fun family events will be running from 10am to 3pm on the third day of the festival at three major venues in the town centre.

The Wilson, Cheltenham’s Art Gallery and Museum, will be offering activities including storytelling, arts, and music and movement.

Visit the Municipal Offices on the Promenade from 11am to hear Pittville School children running lively debates about issues that matter to them. The three chosen topics are: social media, the school curriculum and should 16 year olds be able to vote. Families and young people are invited to come along and listen and give their own views too.

At the town hall, families can take part in fun, creative activities with organisations including The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham Town Football Club, Cheltenham Science Group, The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Babel Babies and Cheltenham Festivals.

Tracy Brown, partnership team leader for Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “This is a great way to spend time together, trying multiple workshops and get a full weekend of fun. For the first time, we will have Pittville School students who on Sunday will be at the Municipal Offices exploring questions such as: Should 16 year olds be given the right to vote?  Does the curriculum meet the needs of 21st century learners? Also, should social media be more regulated? Families are invited to join in the discussion and explore events at the town centre, Municipal Offices, the Town Hall, the Wilson and the high street. We hope families will check our facebook page, find an event and get involved in the fun together.”

Charles Welsh, executive head of Gardners Lane and Oakwood Federation and chair of the Children’s Festival Steering Group, added: “The festival is a golden opportunity for children to share some time with the family learning and playing together. The festival will allow everyone to celebrate childhood and recognise children’s achievements. This year we will also be asking children and families their views on growing up in Cheltenham and to join in with debates about issues important to them.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin Surl, said, “This is a really imaginative way of bringing families into the town and seeing what it has to offer. It also gives parents the opportunity to encounter and explore important issues with their offspring that will affect them as they grow and mature.

“Playing and having fun is an important part of any child’s development. It’s one of the best ways of delivering lessons that will stand them in good stead in the future.”

The event is free and relies on the support of local organisations and volunteers.

The festival is run by a steering group of: Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham Borough Homes, County Community Projects, Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, Gardners Lane and Oakwood Federation, Cheltenham Science Group, Cheltenham Ladies College, Cheltenham Trust, Cheltenham Festivals and the Everyman Theatre.

For press enquiries contact: Jemima Lawson, communications officer, on 01242 775 050 or email

Photo opportunities: Please contact Jemima Lawson, contact details as above, if you’d like to come along on the day for photo opportunities.

Note to editor:

Day three of the Children’s festival activities will be multi-location based:

Town Hall activities will be from 10am to 3pm

Wilson activities will be from 11am to 3pm

Municipal offices activities will be from 11am to 2pm

Town centre activities will be from 10am to 2pm

The public can follow @ChildrensFestivalChelt on Facebook or #CheltChildFestival on Twitter to keep up to date with news and activities.