The countdown has begun and in 4 days we'll be off to camp.....Summer Camp at 3 Sister's Park in Chillicothe, IL, that is. This annual music festival is heavy on the jam bands, but encompasses an eclectic range. With 60 bands on 5 stages spanning 3 days, there's sure to be something to appeal to every member of the family.Last year, Sagezilla and Du-Jay thoroughly enjoyed the kids' area, where they launched water balloons in giant sling shots at unsuspecting adults. Zilla got her first hair wrap, and both kids made hemp and bead bracelets.All the fest kids loved having pro looking face paint done for the "golf cart kids parade", where they threw candy and played music while riding through the grounds in style.
A talented balloon man made the kids outrageous hats and even mugs of beer for those of age.
And both kids learned juggling tricks from the pros. They especially bonded with a school teacher who moonlights as a knife and fire juggler. It was like joining the circus for a long weekend. Kids Camp runs daily 11-6pm and all activities are free with paid festival admission.
Of course, the main attraction is the music. With camping on site, it's family friendly, even for the young ones, who need to be tucked in to their sleeping bags before the last notes dye away.
We were still able to camp close enough to one of the main stages, to hear
everything from our site while the littles snoozed.
The kids got a front row look at The Flaming Lips, whom they had seen from afar at Lollapalooza the year before. What's not to love about giant robots and aliens, confetti cannons, humans in hamsterballs rolling over the audience, and enormous balloons released to bounce around the crowd. George Clinton and P Funk were also a huge hit, as were nightly sets by headliners, Moe. The kids were entranced by all the glow sticks and audience members who twirl fire. Dad was happy to hear Clutch and hang at the heavier punk and metal Jagermeister stage.
This year we're looking forward to seeing Les Claypool, Keller Williams, Willie Nelson, Darkstar Orchestra, Gomez, Cornmeal, and Bucket Head, among many others. They've even added a new, hot air balloon ride attraction. Of course, in years past, the kids were excited enough about the tractor pulled wagon ride that circles the grounds all weekend.
If you ever followed The Grateful Dead or Phish before becoming a parent, and you're not afraid of a bit of mud, pack the tent, bug spray, sunscreen and earplugs for the kidlets and introduce the family to "The Family". Tickets are still available and it's worth the 3 hour drive down from Chicago.