On 18 May, Kew Gardens opens its new Children’s Garden to the public. This marks an exciting new chapter for younger visitors to the historic Kew Gardens. Mini Travellers were lucky to be given a sneak preview of the Children’s Garden, and have been counting down the days until it opened to the public so we can visit again.
In keeping with the rest of Kew Gardens, the educational opportunities are not forgotten, and the core theme of the Garden are all the four elements plants need to grow. There is an ‘Earth Garden’ where children can whizz down enormous cylindrical slides into sand, where they can dig and play until their hearts are content. In the ‘Air Garden’ they can marvel at the windmills, lie in a giant hammock, hop across giant colourful spheres and bounce on mini trampolines. The ‘Water Garden’ has the a fantastic water play area, with plenty of opportunities for children to divert streams, make big puddles and jump across stepping stones. Grown-ups may enjoy the ‘Sun Garden’ the most, with plenty of seating in perspex tunnels, which provide a wonderful warm and colourful outlook, through which to watch children play. The Garden is set around a giant walkway from which you can take in views of the Children’s Garden, and beyond into the wonderful world of Kew Gardens.
The Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens is an amazing ‘natural-play’ area, which rightly earns its title as a Garden, as it is so much more than just a playground. At its centre are magnificent eucalyptus trees, and everywhere you look there are beautiful planting schemes, which when we visited included flowering tulips and blossoming trees. The play areas are based around natural materials, with lots of carved wood and rope, especially in the enormous climbing frame. The changing surfaces and textures help keep every nook and cranny interesting and provide an inspiring backdrop for children’s creative play.
The Children’s Garden is located where the Children’s Playground used to be. The entrance is adjacent to the Climbers and Creepers indoor play area next to the White Peaks Cafe and Shop, which is convenient for coffee, lunch or ice cream. The closest Kew Garden entrances are Brentford Gate and Elizabeth Gate, or Victoria Gate is a little further.
The Children’s Garden is immense, stretching over an area equivalent to 40 tennis courts. It could be likened to Hampton Court’s Magic Garden, or the Diana Memorial Playground, but on a much larger scale. We are certain it will be incredibly popular, especially during school holidays and at weekends, but hopefully it is large enough to ensure children have freedom to explore, and space to run around without trampling too many of the wonderful plants. Entry will be at timed 90-minute slots from 10.15am onwards to prevent overcrowding. If it’s busy during your visit, you may need to wait for the next available slot. If you do need to wait there is plenty to entertain your children in the meantime. We highly recommend clambering around the Log Pile and Giant Badger Sett, a stroll around the famous Treetop Walk, or adventuring through the jungle in the Palm House.
We can’t wait to return.
You can find out more about the Children’s Garden at Kew Gardens here.