This summer is packed with green-fingered family friendly activities, from garden adventures to outdoor sculpture exhibitions. Not surprisingly most coincide with the school holidays – so have your diary at the ready.
June 25-August 6
The Little Gardener, various locations
The show, a theatrical adaptation of Emily Hughes’s book about a little boy and his beloved garden, invites the audience to help bring his plants to life. The play is performed inside a large glass box and the producers hope it will encourage more children to get into gardening. Free entry, various locations, contact individual venues for tickets (How It Ended).
Meadow Month at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
This event kicks off on National Meadow Day. During the summer holidays families can venture on a fun trail through the meadow and learn about the conservation work that goes on there. Meadow entry included in normal garden ticket, non gift-aid prices are adult £12.05, child £5.85; 11am-5.30pm (01580 710700; National Trust).
Art Explorers Rain Forest Orchestra, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Children are offered the chance to use a range of materials and plants to create rain sticks and shakers to make music. Tickets £3, 1pm-4pm (0131 552 7171; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh).
Fairy Tales and Mini Beast Trails, Arley Hall, Cheshire
Families will be encouraged to search for bugs – both delightful and ugly – in the adventure playground and there will be birds of prey, face painting, sword and armoury as well as farmyard animals. Tickets £15 for two adults and three children, £10 if booked in advance, 11am-5pm (01565 777353; Arley Hall and Gardens).
Magical Origami Animals workshop, Yorkshire
Origami Nick invites children from 8-80 to learn how to fold paper into garden animals at Stillingfleet Lodge Nurseries. Guests will learn how to make frogs, birds and butterflies. Tickets adult £12, child £5; 10am-noon (01904 728506; Stillingfleet Lodge Nurseries).
July 30-August 5
Hands on History Crew, Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens, Northumberland
A day packed with activities for the kids, from storytelling to bug hunts. Adults £8.80, children £5.20 (English Heritage).
August 2-September 29
Spend an evening with rangers at Polesden Lacey to listen out for bats swooping across the sky. Families can get up close and personal with the creatures if one of the bats fly into a moth “trap”. Adults £8, children £4, 8pm-10pm, Surrey (01372 452048; National Trust).
Family Wildtime, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Explore the outdoors and learn to build a den and bug “hotel”. Refreshments. Adults £15, children £14; 9.30am-12.30pm (01246 565300; Chatsworth).
Garden Safari, Chelsea Physic Garden, London
Discover the world of animals in the garden including the cockroach, corn snake, tree frog and more. There’s also the chance to explore the garden including the jungle room, medicinal, poisonous and vampire plants. Tickets £15; 10.30am-2.30pm (020 7352 5646; Chelsea Physic Garden).
Bug hunt, Logan Botanic Garden, Wigtownshire, Scotland
Spend an afternoon getting mucky with the kids and build a “Buggingham Palace” for the bugs in the garden. Free entry with garden admission, adults £6.50, children free; starts 2pm (01776 860231; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh).
Wild About Herbs, Dorset
This workshop at specialist nursery Knoll Gardens with Rachel Heathcote is a great way to get children outside. It includes a trail, herbal art and a safe lotions and potions session. Booking essential, tickets £10; 10.30am-noon (07968 169064; Knoll Gardens).
Wild Night, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Join rangers at Finlaystone Country Estate for an overnight camping adventure. Activities include den-building, bat walks and more. Adults £7.50, children £5, booking essential; 5pm-8am (01475 540505; Finlaystone Country Estate).
Saffron Walden Maze Festival, Essex
Get lost in the world’s largest turf maze and other labyrinths. There are puzzles, workshops and races to keep the whole family entertained. Free entry, 10am-10pm on Saturday, 10am-9pm on Sunday, (01223 791500; Visit Cambridge).
Teddy Bears Picnic, Birmingham
There’s plenty on offer for the family from games on the lawn to activity trials at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Entry incl with admission: adults £7, under 5s free; 11am-3pm (0121 4541860; Birmingham Botanical Gardens).
For the grown-ups:
Music to Create a Landscape to, Berrington Hall, Herefordshire
A weekend dedicated to the performance of 18th-century music to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown. Free entry, 10am-5pm (capability brown.org).
Fringe in the Fen Festival, Fenstanton, Cambs
A mix of musical concerts finishing with the premier of The Fallen Elm, a specially commissioned classical work to celebrate the life of Capability Brown. Tickets £6-£20, times vary (01480 352826; Fringe In The Fen).
July 23-Aug 14
Sculpture in the Gardens, Godinton, Kent
Displays of contemporary work by artists of the South East. Garden tickets from £4, 1pm-6pm (01233 643854; Godinton House).
July 30-Sept 11
Biennial Sculpture Exhibition, Doddington Hall, Lincs
Around 450 pieces of artwork created by 74 leading national and international sculptors will be on display (inset). Entry adults from £6.50, children from £3.50 (01522 694308; Doddington Hall and Gardens).