Parents of Younger Children
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2013-01-31 14:06
So, a Playa del Fuego Burn sounds like your thing, but you aren’t sure if it’s something to which you can bring your five year old. You’ve got questions. Well, we’ve got answers.
Please note that in this FAQ, “parent” refers to anyone legally and, more importantly, emotionally responsible for the health, well-being, and upbringing of a child, whether a genetic parent-child relationship exists or not. From the standpoint of the law, and of responsibility, a child is anyone under the age of 18. However, parents of children under age 13 are the primary target audience for this FAQ.
Can I bring along my little one?
Children are allowed at Playa del Fuego; however, this is NOT a child-oriented event. You are your child's parent, no one else. We don't know your standards for what you do or don't want your child to see, so we can't tell you that a Burn is or isn't the place for your little ball of energy. If you have been to previous Playa del Fuego Burns, or to Burning Man, you have some idea of the sort of things to which your child could be exposed. If not, it may be a good idea to come alone for your first burn, rather than pay for a non-refundable ticket and then leave halfway through when junior asks "Mommy, what's a flogger?" Additionally, you can ask parents who have brought their children to past Burns what the experience was like for them. Keith Engle, Steph Bean, and Dave Diller are available for this.
One VERY important thing to remember is that YOU will be held responsible if your child enters ANY of the VVMC's sacred areas. If your child is allowed to enter the off limits areas, which are clearly marked and rather difficult to get into by accident, it is guaranteed that you will be ejected from the event immediately. Reasonable supervision of your child should be sufficient to prevent this from being a problem.
Will there be kiddie-focused events there?
Only if you make it happen. As with everything else at a No Spectators event, that's up to you. There is no Kids' Camp, nor are there activities specifically designed for children, unless YOU want them and make them happen.
Will my kids be safe? You aren't all biker pedophiles, are you?
One of the central tenets of our philosophy is radical personal responsibility. Plenty of folks at the Burns love kids, (although some might say they love them best deep fried) and we've never had any safety problems in the past. But there are going to be lots of fires at various times during the weekend, and there are several acres of land and forest in which an unsupervised child could get lost. Keeping your child safe is your responsibility. Again, if you've never been to a Burn, it may be best to come alone to your first so that you can know what you're getting into.
Can I leave my kids in my tent at night while I whoop it up with y'all till sunrise?
This is another question that you must answer for yourself. How would your child react to waking up in a strange place alone? Would he go wandering off in search of the bathroom and risk getting lost? Would she know you were right over there with the people in the cool costumes? Do you feel comfortable leaving your child alone in your tent unsupervised? Because the only supervision your child will receive during the weekend is that which you provide.
Is there babysitting?
Only if you make it happen. There will probably be wonderful people at the event who would be happy to keep an eye on your little bundle of energy while you attend to something, but Day Care Camp does not exist. If you think it should, make it.
Is there a kids' menu?
Only if you make it happen.
What do you mean, all kids must be on leashes?
Just making sure you're still reading this.
I hear certain things happen at Burning Man that I don't want my child to see. Will they happen here?
Because each event is a unique product of the vision and energy of the community, it's impossible to say what will or won't happen at a Burn. If you're worried your child will see something you don't want her to see, you'd be safest assuming she will see it if she comes, and act accordingly.
Will there be changing stations?
Only if you make it happen.
My kid is scared of (insert random practice here). Can you guarantee that no one will do this?
Nope. Again, Radical Personal Responsibility is the order of the day here.
I'm not sure my kids will like it if there aren't Disney movies, Oreos, and gumdrops; will these be provided?
Say it with me: Only if you make it happen.
If we come, and then we have to leave Friday night because my kids don't like it, can we get a refund?
Ticket sales are non-refundable. If you aren't willing to risk having to leave early, it would probably be better if you came alone.
My 14-year old kid wants to learn to spin fire cuz it looks cool. He's pretty coordinated; can he take lessons?
Your child is your responsibility, so it's between you, him, and the person you find who is willing to teach him.
So what you're saying is that my child can come along, but that I'm still his parent so he's my responsibility. That's cool. So how much is it to bring kids along?
Children age 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. You do not need to purchase tickets ahead of time or buy tickets for them at the gate. Children (teenagers!) ages 13 and up are charged the normal rate.
I have a couple questions that aren't answered above. Who should I contact?
Make absolutely sure you've read and understand the whole Parent FAQ, and the entire main Playa Del Fuego Burn FAQ. If you still have questions, you can email the authors of this FAQ, Keith Engle or Dave Diller, or email Steph Bean.