The new Children’s Garden at Kew is a unique place which combines gardening design, science and nature to create something truly incredible. Children will love exploring, learning and playing whilst adults can enjoy a sunny day outdoors. The Children’s Garden places Kew firmly on the map for families with young children.
The garden takes visitors on a journey of discovery and is made up of four different themed play spaces (wind, earth, sun and water). Suzie Jewell the designer behind the Children’s Garden worked with the existing trees on the site and as you enter the garden you are greeted by a 200-year-old English Oak under which you can park your buggy and be free to roam without child mobility aids holding you back.
First it is up, up and away on the wooden staircase in the treehouse-style aerial walkway that stands 4m above the ground and surrounds the Oak. A few laps and a great aerial view later and we are ready to explore the Earth Garden. Three slides feed children into a giant white sand pit (the best this side of the Maldives) surrounded by huts…incoooming (another little intrepid explorer slides down! Don’t worry if you didn’t bring a spade and bucket – little people can play with the few that are provided. There’s worm tunnel slides for muddy adventures as well as a totem pole with unique carvings showing the germination process of an acorn – and did we mention the sand – there’s lots and lots of sand!
With sandy crocs toddling and excitement fueling us we moved on to the Air Garden with its giant colourful windmill flowers, winding paths, colourful pollen spheres, hammocks, and trampolines to bounce on – this young Londoner loved this part of the garden the most. He enjoyed bouncing on the mini trampolines and also climbing on the colourful balls dotted around the place with a backdrop of incredibly well-groomed flowers (perfectly instagrammable space and generally very pleasing to the eye as well as fun fun fun). A mini amphitheatre is nestled under the shade of some of Kew’s largest Eucalyptus trees can be used as a chill out space, for storytelling, or for parents to sit and keep an eye on their little explorers.
After we are bounced out we are ready to explore some more and the Sun Garden is next. The Sun Garden is a large open space perfect for kids to let their imagination run wild. Intricate pergolas provide colourful shade and vibrant ascending plants decorate as they climb alongside your children (albeit somewhat slower). You can run, you can sit, you can climb, you can toddle, crawl and walk through the space.
Lastly, the journey through this enchanted garden ends with the Water Garden and what child doesn’t love to splash around in water? This part of the playground is filled with water pumps for kids to control the flow of the water into a splash pool – there’s even wooden dams and plugs for them to experiment with. Waterlily shaped stepping stones encourage children to hop along the different streams and is a great conversation starter for teaching them about the importance of the water cycle to plants.
For slightly older and more adventurous kids, a giant log scramble sits among the pine trees, waiting to be climbed. Clamber through the ropy passages, balance on the wooden bridges and get across the leaning tower without touching the ground (if you can!).
No writing or pictures can do this garden justice. There’s a unique feeling that you can only experience by being there amongst those old giant trees and the seasonal flowers buzzing with bees whilst the children hum around exploring. If you ever needed an excuse to get to this part of London – it is here with bells and whistles on. Get on a train, a bike or walk and make sure you pay this place a visit.
The Children’s Garden at Kew is included in the price of entry to Kew Gardens £16.50 if booked online or £71 per year (this way you can see this wonderful garden change with the seasons). Sessions in the garden are for 90 minutes and you will have to queue to obtain a slot during your stay. We advise you get there early so you can choose your slot and don’t worry there is so much to do whilst you wait – you and your brood will not be bored.More information and bookings here.