2017 Castlefest The Netherlands

On 4 August 2017, my daughters and I attended Castlefest for the first time.  In a world where we are so constantly busy and work and school routines rule our lives, it was so nice to just take a day out of reality.  For my two unicorn and fairy loving children, they were totally at home and it was good to just see adults also just having fun.  The entire atmosphere was relaxed and friendly (despite the many mock battles)!

It was the first time we’ve been and was a last minute decision – and we loved it!  I went with my two girls (aged 8 & 10) and it was a fabulous day full of fantasy.  Held from 4-6 August 2017 in the grounds of Castle Keukenhof, Lisse (The Netherlands), Castlefest is annual festival with both summer and winter editions.  Full details here: http://www.castlefest.nl/en/

The official 2017 aftermovie will give you a good idea – essentially it’s a mix of music, markets and activities with the official tagline “where fantasy meets reality”.

We had watched the 2016 aftermovie before we went, so knew to dress up.  I had a medieval style dress I had ordered via AliExpress on special some time ago and never had the chance to wear.  My girls raided the dress up box and my 10 year old wore my grade 12 graduation dress as a “goth princess” and my 8 year old decided on a “deer fairy” theme – and made her own ears!  One of the things we loved most was the completely random outfits we saw people in – you literally could dress however you liked and fit right in!  We spotted many “Pirates of the Caribbean” styles, and lots of medieval inspired gowns.  There was also a type of style I didn’t really recognise but a friend later told me is “Steampunk“.   Whatever name you gave the outfits, it’s a complete feast for the senses.  We sat on a picnic rug for a good half hour and just watched people walk by!

We were lucky to have a sunny day, and went fairly early in the day.  Buying tickets online saved us a lot of time in the queue, and it cost us about 50 euros for the three of us for entry and parking.  We took some snacks and water and spent about 20 euros on food for the day, there are plenty of delicious options.

My girls didn’t much like the music, they had never been to a concert stage before and according to my 8 year old “the music is hurting my body”!  There were plenty of kids activities though, and they also just enjoyed wandering around and looking at people.  We bought a few small things at the market and all in all were there about 6 hours and went home tired but happy.  For all three of us, I think the favourite part of the day was the “larp” area where a group of good-natured young “knights” allowed kids to pummel them with rubber swords!

In a world where we are so constantly busy and work and school routines rule our lives, it was so nice to just take a day out of reality.  For my two unicorn and fairy loving children, they were totally at home and it was good to just see adults also just having fun.  The entire atmosphere was relaxed and friendly (despite the many mock battles)!

You can view my (many many!) photos in my 2017 Castlefest Google Album, but here are a few of my favourites.

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