Well, our summer plans suddenly changed, and July was freed up for some much needed holiday time. Between visitors, insulating the basement and renting out our upstairs and downstairs, we didn't actually have time for a holiday last summer, and the year before our vacation time was used moving to Montreal, so its been a long time since we've had time to just relax and do nothing.
We always go to a music festival in the summer - its a long running tradition. Usually we try to hit a folk music festival because they are kid and family friendly, and we like the variety of world music and singer songwriters and indy Canadian bands. The vibe is fun and cheerful, and at night the music all happens in once place, so we can just lay down a tarp, set up a small tent and let the kids draw or play or sleep while we listen to music. Since we have a new baby this year, and the closest really good festival we could find that was English was 7 hours drive away, we decided to skip the folk fest for this year. Instead, we realized that there was free music all week right in our own town.
How does one take four young children to the Montreal Jazz festival? Like this:
Set up your tent and tarp anyway, close to the edge of one of the stages that has grass. Make sure it is close to the edge of the festival grounds, so you can easily carry sleeping children back to the vehicle afterwords. Bring a lock to keep your lawn chairs, snacks, toys, and quilts in while you wander around the festival.
Only go to the children's play area when there are no children there - not mid-afternoon on Canada Day:
Stay and watch the surrealist mime / acrobat show, even if you don't understand it (you are in Quebec, after all):
Take turns letting the kids run around the park where your tent is set up (when there's no music playing) and roaming around catching other shows. Divide and conquer the children, so you only have one or two children to keep track of when you are away from the tent / colouring supplies / snacks by yourself.