Flint Hills Family Festival – Cancelled in 2020

The Flint Hills Family Festival would have celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020. However, they have made the decision to cancel this years festival. 2021’s event will be the 20th Anniversary Festival.

Flint Hills Family Festival is a celebration for kids (and their families) about different cultures/countries. On one hand, you have the traditional face painting and balloon artists. Then, you turn around and your eyes see a Tibetan dancer or a Ugandan flute. Flint Hills tells us we can expect “outdoor dance parties; giant, inflatable light-up sculptures; and interactive art-making for the whole family!”

Flint Hills International Children's Festival

Taking a Moment to Create Some Street Art

Flint Hills Family Festival Family Weekend is full of FREE Outdoor Fun And Low Cost Indoor Performances. 

It’s the perfect outing for a large family. This year, Family Weekend is May 30-31, 2020.

Each year at the Flint Hills Family Festival, families are offered the free outdoor festival and indoor performances for a small fee. The Ordway indoor shows will be $8-$15 each. These tickets are first come, first served and expected to sell out. Advance tickets can be purchased online through the Ordway website, by phone at 651-224-4222, or at the Ordway ticket office. This year’s indoor artists will be: 

The 2020 Flint Hills Family Festival Performances

  • MAY 29 – 30 NOOMA, an opera for babies
  • MAY 29 – 30 Cirque Mechanics presents 42ft: A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels
  • MAY 30 Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical
  • MAY 30 Sons of Mystro

11 Tips to Make Flint Hills Family Festival a Smashing Success for your Family  

We’ve been fans of Flint Hills since our kids were small and have gathered tips over the years. If this is your first visit, read on. Note: We have a few Amazon links where we thought an example may be helpful. Should you purchase from one of our links, we receive a small commission:

Bring a backpack filled with water and healthy snacks

  1. Bring a backpack with water and healthy, hearty snacks. More than likely there will be food to purchase via food trucks, but you will have to wait in line. There is so much to do, you won’t want to take the time to stand in line. We packed a lunch of fruits and veggies. It was a great way to make sure we all had some vitamins and nutrients for the amount of walking we would do. 
  2. Bring some cash. While most everything is free, you won’t find free parking anywhere convenient. 
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. We wandered around a lot, even thought the festival is relatively compact. Rice Park is not a large park, and after they set the stage in the middle, only half the park remains for booths and activities. The festival is in a small space, but the ground plan utilizes the space well.
  4. Considering bringing help. Some years, I’ve taken the children by myself and enjoyed myself. One year, I invited my mom and aunt to come with us. It was nice to have help so that the kids could choose to do something next door and not wait for the rest of us.  But it was very doable to do without help, too.
  5. Go early. Not because you will beat the crowd. Nope, that’s not it at all. Go early to beat the rain that is sure to come in the afternoon and shut down the cool outdoor performances. (Let’s just say this has happened more than once to me)
  6. Bring an umbrella.  See Tip #1 
  7. Have a rain plan. In the afternoon, hit the indoor shows or hang out in the activity tents!
  8. Say “Yes”. When your child wants to do something, say yes right away especially if it’s a balloon animal/creation. Later there will be a line.
  9. Don’t Wait. Eat when the kids want to eat. When you are out of food and they are hungry, leave.
  10. Take your time. There is a lot to see and it’s super fun, but don’t feel like you need to do it all.
  11. Get a Map and Goodie Bag. Our first stop is the Flint Hills Tent to pick up a bag to collect all our goodies and to get a map. I highly recommend doing this–it is so helpful! 

Flint Hills Performer

What to Expect at the Flint Hills Family Festival:

  • kids stroller ride at the Flint Hills Children's Festival
  • Female stiltwalker from Chicks on Sticks at the Flint Hills Children's FestivalChicks on Sticks
  • Girl with face paint playing Ugandan fluteUgandan Flute
  • Ugandan wares at the Flint Hills Children's FestivalThis is made only in Gulu, Uganda. We have close family in Gulu, Uganda!
  • Girl playing dress up at the Flint Hills Children's Festival
  • tiny house exhibit at the Flint Hills Children's Festival
  • Girl drawing with chalk Flint Hills Children's Festival
  • Drum Demonstration at Flint Hills Children's Festival
  • Face Painting at Flint Hills Children's Festival
  • Children's Festival
  • Entertainment at Flint Hills Children's Festival
  • Flint Hill's Children's Festival - Body Art
  • Flint Hills Family Festival
  • tree sculpture clock above a face flowers growing from branches

Gianna’s Final Thoughts 

Every staff member and every volunteer and every tent knew kids and made this a perfect kid experience.  While the shows and exhibits were awesome for the adults, the kids were the target audience.  This is the perfect kid experience.

  1. Everything was at kid level.
  2. There was stroller parking that was guarded so you could leave your stuff and feel like it was safe (safer than in your car).  I would suggest utilizing the stroller parking and just walking with your kids.  There are a lot of people and the stroller was hard to manuever.
  3. Free!!!! (minus the food tents and the performance inside the Ordway and Landmark Center).
  4. There was a lot of shade to get out of the sun.
  5. Constant activity with quieter spots to regroup.
  6. Staff everywhere was helpful.  They were all eager to make sure you were involved and having fun.
  7. I would suggest this to anyone. Go early in the morning to avoid the massive crowds, but expect to be there for a while!

The weekend is a blast. I highly recommend going. Just put on your busy hat, know it’s going to be a little crazy, pack a lunch, and plan for an entire day of fun!



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