Burning Man with Kids
By this time your tickets are purchased, you've started reading ALL the blogs, and making your master list of things you need to survive in the dust for a week. If you've considered taking your kids it's not a terrible idea either... Here are some of my thoughts on taking kids to Burning Man!
Some of the best advice we ever received from experienced burners was to go without kids if you've never been before. It's just one of those things that is better experienced without the normal responsibility of everything that comes along with young kids!
One of the first things I tell other wide-eyed parents about kids at Burning Man is that it's just one huge, sandy playground! There is treasure, music, and amazing art around every corner.
Tent camping with kids at Burning Man is totally doable. Our kids were 7, 5, and 2 when we went. We only took one bucket of toys but took more than enough baby wipes, water, snacks and clean underwear and socks. We camped for 11 days and on the last day our oldest asked when we could go back and lamented how much she would miss it.
Naps! Daytime naps during the heat of the day saved us. Kids still wake up early ready to take on the day so having time to rest and recharge before heading out in the evening is important, especially for young kids.
Invest in battery-operated fans, sound machines, and other creature comforts. We heavily relied on fans for those hot afternoons and the sound machine helped (somewhat...) drown out the sound of thumping bass and flame throwers at night.
Good old-fashioned ear plugs for older kids helped with loud sounds, too.
Prepare all age kids for the fact that Burning Man is a place where ALL types of people go to have fun and feel comfortable in their own skin. (Just so your imagination doesn't run wild, yes, we saw naked people.) You set the tone on what your family partakes in but letting kids know that it looks different for everyone is a good idea. It is a safe place to express yourself and that can look different for every burner.
One last piece of advice to debunk some myths - fellow burners are genuinely excited to see kids at Burning Man. We had so many burners tell us they loved seeing kids enjoy the playa and it gave them hope for humanity that kids would be raised to love and respect all people. Wow! If you're looking for a kids' book to help build the excitement check out Burning Man - The World's Largest Playground by Peter Armenia.
These are just some ramblings on our experience, if you want to know more I'll be happy to expound on it. I hope you get to enjoy the dust and I hope we can be back on the playa one day!