Whether you’re dancing in the desert at Coachella or joining in the famous Mardi Gras parade in Downtown New Orleans, you’re sure to have a great time and a one-of-a-kind experience at a festival.
Festivals are a great way to get an authentic experience wherever you travel. You’ll get to know the people, try local food, and discover new experiences.
There are so many kinds of festivals you can drop in on. There are festivals for music, food, seasons, holidays, and local celebrations. The options are endless, and you can find new and exciting activities every year!
Before heading out the door to your next festival, check out this festival essentials list to ensure you have everything you need to have a good time.
In this post, I’ll look at some of the best activities to try at your next festival.
Best Activities to Try at Outdoor Festivals
Doing a quick online search for festival activities brings up many different types of festivals ranging from kid-friendly to adults-only. Great festival activities for kids include carnival games and rides. But, thankfully, these can be enjoyed by adults too!
Festival activities for adults include watching an outdoor music performance or trying out food and wine samplings. Make great memories with your besties at these popular festivals packed with fun festival activities!
If you’re a foodie this is THE festival activity for you. Grab a couple of your closest friends for a delicious night out. Food festivals are a great way to try the different flavors of a city in one night!
Check out our list of unique festival foods and where you can find them to get an idea of the best food festivals to travel to this year.
Many major cities host city-wide food festivals during the summer. At these food festivals, you can find food trucks, local restaurants, and city-based businesses that hand out samples or sell small bites of their most popular dishes to taste.
There are also often wine, beer, and spirit tastings to enjoy. Sit back and enjoy the warm summer weather as you sip a delicious glass of your new favorite drink.
When you arrive at the food festival, a physical map or a list of food vendors will make things much easier! You can plan your way through the stalls and make sure to catch your favorites before the end of the night.
Carnival games are great for kids and for the young at heart. There are many carnival games to try at most outdoor festivals, usually lined up in stalls. With fun prizes to be won, it’s time to embrace the joy of carnival games!
The experience might seem a little cheesy, but you’ll make unforgettable memories with your friends as you all try your best to win a little stuffed bear.
Popular carnival games include basketball throwing, balloon darts, and ring throwing. There are also usually skeeball games and bean bag throwing. Try your hand at these festival activities and see how your skills stack up against your friends.
Often, carnival games vendors at festivals only take cash, so remember to bring a few extra dollar bills!
Contests and Competitions
Do you have a hidden talent you’d like to share? Many festivals have contests or competitions as part of their lineup of festival activities. These can range from food-eating competitions to singing or dancing contests.
Don’t just be an onlooker! Sign up for a competition and become a part of the festival. Create a fun memory of trying to finish an entire pie by yourself in the shortest amount of time. Even if you don’t win, you’ll have priceless photos you can laugh about later!
Check the festival website you’ll be attending for the most up-to-date information about contests or competitions they’ll be hosting that year. You may have to register online ahead of time.
Music Festival Activities to Check Out With Your Friends
Music festivals are trendy and the perfect summertime outdoor activity. Listen to your favorite music, dance, and let loose at one of these exciting events.
Many cities have their own music festivals. Some are more intimate and sophisticated, while others are like gigantic parties. These festivals usually have fun, memorable activities in addition to musical performances.
For example, Coachella offers a variety of activities to try during your downtime. There’s an activity tent available with classic games, video games, and dance competitions. Stop by and win a prize! Or, take a whirl on the Ferris wheel and exercise at the Energy Playground.
If you’re tired from a long, busy day, take a breather at the camp lounge. Relax in the shade and enjoy the free wi-fi as you prepare for the night ahead.
There are also a lot of fun activities in the surrounding Coachella Valley that you can check out if you want a break from the crowds.
Lollapalooza is another staple outdoor music festival in the US that offers countless festival activities for adults and children. There is a family-friendly activity time during the weekend. You can also enjoy mini yoga lessons and interactive shows.
The festival is hosted on a beautiful lakefront, so soaking up the views is a great shout. Many people like to take some time away from the crowds and enjoy the sand and sun at one of the nearby beaches.
Activities You Can Take to an Outdoor Festival
Still looking for activities to pass the time while at a festival? You can plan some activities to bring with you to play with your group while you’re taking a break or relaxing in the shade. Here are a few great options:
- Playing cards are easy to carry and can be used anywhere. They’re also a great festival activity for meeting new people.
- Mobile yard games are miniature versions of those carnival games that are so much fun. They’re a great way to create some friendly competition among your group!
- A football or frisbee is perfect for getting to know other people quickly. Just start playing, and others will want to join in!
Festival Fun With Pilot
If you want to include some of these great festival activities on your next trip and need help planning your itinerary, give Pilot a try. Pilot makes planning festival activities easy and keeps everyone in the group informed!