14 family-friendly festivals to get you in the swing of things this summer

With crowds of 10,000 expected at the country house this year, The Great Estate should still feel spontaneous and silly thanks to its exuberant garden fête theme. For children, safari-themed workshops teach kaleidoscope and thaumatrope-making. The Playground area also offers bouncy castles, craft workshops and skate ramps. The Victorian games are reminiscent of school sports days, with added fancy dress. Elsewhere you can find a secret gin garden, a silent disco in the woods and performances from Manic Street Preachers and DJ Yoda. June 2-5, adult weekend camping £90, greatestatefestival.co.uk

Best for bookworms

Wild words, Colesdale Farm, Hertfordshire

This tiny newcomer has been built on the simple idea of giving families the chance to share books outdoors. Children who get excited by Book Week are sure to love this more easygoing alternative to more serious literary festivals. Those confirmed to appear so far include authors, illustrators, comic book makers, playwrights, games designers and live theatre companies. Tents will feature storytelling and imaginative workshops such as comic book-making with a former Beano artist. Families will love the inter-generational silent disco, with playlist options for different age groups. Author-led nature walks will explore the wilder side of the festival site. June 3-5, adult camping weekend from £120, wildwordsfest.com

Best all-rounder

Bigfoot, Claydon Estate, Bucks

Located on a new site this year, Bigfoot is a relaxed affair that offers entertainment for families (and craft beer fans) beside a lake. The Littlefoot zone will host a wealth of activities to get children moving, with appearances from YolanDa’s Band Jam – of CBeebies fame – Big Fish Little Fish and Junior Jungle raves. Little ones will also enjoy a huge mud kitchen playground, woodcraft and “big tree climbing”, which involves scaling impressive heights in harnesses. Parents will appreciate the varied range of craft drinks and, best of all, family camping is right next to its own car park. Khruangbin, Caribou and Happy Mondays headline. June 17-19, adult weekend camping from £162, bigfootfestival.co.uk

Best for nature-lovers

Timber, Feanedock, Leicestershire

Fostering a love for the natural environment is a key theme of this woodland-based festival. Older children and teenagers in particular will find lots going on to get them thinking about sustainability. Hands-on workshops in woodcraft and circus skills will be complemented by campfire stories, Bollywood dancing, wellbeing sessions and music, this year with folk sounds from Lunatraktors and Ivan Campo, the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band and a ceilidh, among other things. The Poet Laureate Simon Armitage returns to read – and DJ. July 1-3, adult weekend camping from £139, timberfestival.org.uk

Best for science

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

With surely one of the coolest settings of any UK music festival, this weekender sets up camp beneath the Lovell Telescope. The science and astronomy-themed activities on offer will blow the minds of both adults and inquisitive children, with shows, robots, interactive experiments and a luminarium. The music lineup is just as spectacular, with Bjork, Metronomy, Mogwai and Groove Armada playing. Speakers include Professor Jim Al-Khalili, while comedians Stewart Lee and Adam Buxton also appear. July 21-24, adult weekend camping from £189, discoverthebluedot.com

Best for tweens

Latitude, Henham Park, Suffolk

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