Hay Festival Families

There’s so much to entertain the whole family at Hay Festival, from babies to grown-ups! Feed your creativity and curiosity in inclusive events with authors, illustrators and performers. Learn new skills in interactive workshops. And spend time together in the new Family Garden – exploring, reading, playing.

Hay Festival Families is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and receives financial assistance from The Elmley Foundation.

Kids at Hay Festival

Enjoy exciting events

Connect with your favourite authors, poets and illustrators, and discover new writers, in a programme full of entertaining and creative events.

Our 2024 programme for young people includes BBC Ranger Hamza Yassin, Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney, Spice Girl Geri Halliwell-Horner, astronomer extraordinaire Maggie Aderin-Pocock, poets Michael Rosen, Joseph Coelho, Hanan Issa, Casi Wyn, scientists Robert Winston, Dr Amir Khan, activists Shelina Janmohamed, Jeffrey Boakye, Nikita Gill, illustrators Rob Biddulph, Lauren Child, Ed Vere, and many more, from Lenny Henry, Michael Morpurgo, Greg Jenner, MC Grammar, AF Steadman, Cressida Cowell, Jacqueline Wilson, Robin Stevens, Katherine Rundell, Preet Chandi, Abi Elphinstone, Katya Balen, Laura Dockrill, Nia Morais, David Baddiel, Julian Clary & David Roberts to Dermot O’Leary.

Young adults at Hay Festival

Create your own content

Want to write, dance, animate or produce for radio? Or just want to listen to your favourite authors talking about their favourite things? Young adults, come and hang out on site – we have a great programme for you addressing important issues for young people today, as well as workshops where you can get involved and produce your own content, from animation to ghost story writing. And there are plenty of events on the main programme for you to discover.

Browse and book our 2024 YA events
Illustration workshop

Learn a new skill

‘Making and doing’ is a vital part of enjoying culture, so we have a varied programme of workshops for children and teenagers. With so much going on, you have free rein to be adventurous and express your creativity by trying something new at Hay Festival. Workshops range from circus skills to animation, music, illustration and creative writing.

Pizza-making workshops

Kitchen Garden Pizza are running daily one-hour masterclasses for children in which imaginations and creativity will be fed alongside bellies. You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, making and topping your own dough and observing the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven while decorating your own pizza box. Book online at hayfestival.org/workshops.

Browse and book our 2024 Workshops

Make & Take crafting at Hay Festival

Get hands on

The Make & Take Hub on site offers an opportunity to get crafting! There are three Make & Take crafting sessions each day, for children aged 3–11 years. Activities and themes differ every day, including everything from print-making to sculpture creation using recycled materials. Get messy and creative with our team of artists: your imagination is the limit.

Book in advance at £5 per child, and you can drop in at any point during the 1.5 hour session.

Sessions run 10am–11.30pm, 12pm–1.30pm and 2.30pm–4pm, from Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June (closing at 1.30pm on Sunday 2 June).

An accompanying adult must attend at all times but does not need a ticket.

The Make & Take 2024 sessions are supported by The Rivers Trust

Book for a 2024 Make & Take Crafting Session
Families at Hay Festival

Families at the Festival

We want to make everyone’s visit to the Festival easy and enjoyable – find out more about accessibility. Hay Festival Bookshop has a large Children’s and YA section for easy browsing, and all caterers on site offer child-friendly portions.

Explore our Family Garden

We have a dedicated children’s area, new in 2024, with its own garden offering a playful space to enjoy and explore. You’ll find dedicated food outlets, a buggy park, family-friendly toilets and a space for baby changing and feeding. The Family Garden hosts the children’s event venues as well as the much-loved Make & Take Hub.

Watch pop-up Shakespeare

Enjoy a pop-up performance on Tuesday 28 May (12.30pm in the Bookshop Garden). A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Four Weddings and a Fairy is a mini version of Shakespeare’s classic, performed by students from Hereford College of Arts. They’ve designed it as the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for children, complete with puppets, aerial dance, song and knock-about comedy.children, complete with puppets, aerial dance, song and knock-about comedy.

Get active on Sports Day

To mark the 2024 Olympic year, we’re having our first ever Sports Day! On Wednesday 29 May you can try a variety of sporting activities, such as fencing, badminton and football, in free drop-in sessions across the site. Find out more about Sports Day.

Follow our Sculpture Trail

Follow our new family activity trail around the site. There are six wooden sculptures to find, designed by talented local artist Danny Thomas of Thomas Chainsaw Carving. You can collect a map of the trail from the information desk in the main Festival entrance.

Bring your notebook and sketchbook

In some events you’ll be encouraged to draw along or scribble notes: please bring a sketchbook and/or notebook and pencils or pens along with you, or buy some from the Hay Festival Shop. We’d love to see your artwork – post it on socials @hayfestival.

Children crafting at Hay Festival
Children attending a Hay Festival event
Boys sharing book in Hay Festival bookshop

Safety on site

Please note that visitors to Hay Festival may be filmed and/or photographed for future promotions of the Festival.

Age guidance

Adults, please accompany children aged 11 and under at all times including during events, unless otherwise stated. For workshops you’ll find age guidance as below listed on individual events.

0–8 years parents/carers must be in attendance but don’t usually need to buy a ticket.

9–11 years parents/carers may attend or sign children in/out.

12+ years neither parent/carer attendance nor sign in/out is required.


There are no age restrictions, although events after 9pm may not be suitable for under 12s. Comedy performances may not be suitable for under 16s.

Missing children

Let your children know that if they get lost they can go to the Make & Take Hub. It’s open 10am–4pm from Saturday 25 May to the end of the Festival (closing at 1.30pm on Sunday 2 June). Outside these hours you should head to the Festival Admin Office, near the main entrance, where a member of our team will reunite you.