Kids on playa?! Yep, absolutely. In fact, Burning Man has been a family affair from the very beginning. When Jerry James and Larry Harvey burned the first Man in 1986, their five-year old sons Robin and Trey built a Burning Dog alongside their dads.
Burning Man enthusiastically welcomes children of all ages to Black Rock City. Kids 12 and under are free (but require a Kid’s Ticket, which helps us better understand the composition and diversity of BRC’s citizens). BRC’s infrastructure supports the presence of families and has a stellar history of taking care of its wild, wonderful children. ‘Profiles in Dust’ produced this delightful mini-documentary to show you what the kids of Burning Man (and their parents and adult friends) are like.
If you’re considering bringing your little ones to Black Rock City this year, take some time to review the resources linked below. Only you, as a parent, can make the decision as to whether your kids (and you!) are ready to experience Burning Man as a family. Understanding what’s available to support you and your kids while on playa will go a long way toward your comfort and security in bringing them along, as well as helping your child to enjoy all the playa has to offer, and for your family to thrive in Black Rock City.
There are some great resources and programs for Burner families we want you to know about, including the Family Survival Guide, Kidsville Camping Village, Black Rock Explorers and the FUN Child ID Program.
If you’d like to wade into the experiential waters of kids on playa, check out these great posts in the Burning Man Journal. Here’s an insightful interview with a 15-year-old, 12-time Burner to give you an idea of the kind of rewarding experiences kids can have on playa. And if you aren’t impressed enough yet, watch nine-year-old Julia Wolfe’s TEDx talk about Burning Man.
Lastly, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out Dusty Playground and Burning Man: The World’s Biggest Playground, two fabulous books about kids on playa and the depth of the culture evidenced by their presence.