Hay festival for families

Have you thought of taking the family to the Hay Festival? This year’s line up features a rich strand for children and families, HAYDAYS and #HAYYA and a free programme for schools.

A village of just 1,600 people on the banks of the River Wye, Hay welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to Hay Festival every year, with festivalgoers travelling from over 40 countries to attend in 2018. Nestled beneath the stunning Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park, it’s a special place to visit at any time – if you haven’t yet been, you must!

Julia Eccleshare, Hay Festival Children’s Director, said: “HAYDAYS connects children with authors, illustrators, poets, storytellers, and performers, giving them the opportunity to engage with their creativity and to enjoy all kinds of stories and the myriad ideas that are woven into them. How stories are created, where they come from, and why the telling of them changes readers lives, is explored in events that include critical present day issues, brilliantly imagined fantasies, rollicking adventure and madcap fun. HAYDAYS changes children’s lives by giving them essential food for imagination and a map of how to find it.”

Hay Festival’s free Programme for Schools opens the festival on Thursday 23 May and Friday 24 May, while a series of projects encourage accessibility, including the Beacons Project, free tickets for students in higher education, a student exchange with Bradford Literary Festival, a day for adoptive families run with The Family Place, and Hay Compass, a special space on site to learn and discover for 16-25-year-olds, with free access to inspiring speakers.

Free to enter, the festival village is comprised of 10 tented venues, the Festival Bookshop, HAYDAYS courtyard, Wild Garden, Make and Take Tent, the Scribblers Hut, the Cube, the Mess Tent, and market stalls, cafés, exhibitions and restaurants.


HAYDAYS and #HAYYA programmes for families and young people feature favourites from Judith Kerr (The Tiger who Came to Tea), Malorie Blackman (Noughts and Crosses, Dr Who), Matt Haig (Evie and the Animals), Candy Gourlay (Bone Talk), and Michelle Paver (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness), to Cressida Cowell (Wizards of Once), Jacqueline Wilson (Dancing the Charleston), Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Runaway Robot), and Greg James, Chris Smith and Dave Cribb (Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine), Juno Dawson (Clean), and Muhammad Khan, and a series of workshops.

Explore the programme for yourself here.

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