Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Kids go wild for Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens holds the largest collection of plants on earth. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and cherished by millions who visit. Kew contains 132 hectares of astounding beauty throughout the year alongside detailed insight into the rich history of plant life. 

You could easily spend the day at Kew Gardens wandering and absorbing the diversity of natural life around you without visiting any of the other attractions on offer. But, many of these attractions give another dimension to the Gardens and are well worth the time spent exploring. 

Highlights of Kew Gardens for children
There is a ton of things for children to do at Kew, all very tastefully done too. 

The Palm House - Entering the Palm House envelopes your senses. It's like stepping into a prehistoric rainforest. My young kids and I played make believe and went dinosaur tracking (and found a robin!). We then became intrepid explorers and tackled the spiral staircase to see how tall those palm trees really were. 

The Palm House is the smaller and rounder of the two iconic early Victorian glasshouses. The largest Temperate House is also worth a visit but is closed for restoration until late 2018. 

The Hive - More make believe. Become a bee in this modern 17m high art installation. Made of aluminium piping and lit by LED lights, this giant structure's sounds and lights are triggered by real bee activity in a hive nearby. 

Treetop walkway - Climb up 18m to walk around the tree canopy and gain a bird's eye view of the gardens. See who lives in the forest heights but don't forget to walk around the bottom too to discover who lives in the undergrowth too. 

The walkway is high but very safe and secure for young children to enjoy too. 

Climbers and Creepers - Kew manages to do soft play but very tastefully. This indoor play area is billed as an 'interactive botanical zone'. It contains slides inside flowers, touchy-feely flowers to scramble up, snails to climb through, rubber sand to dig into and a heap more. My children loved it here. The floor is covered in that squashy rubber so any falls or trips shouldn't cause any problems. 

There are toilets and change facilities and a cafe nearby. The toilets only have one changing cubicle with no toilet inside which is a bit of a bugbear. 

Coming soon 
The children's garden. This new attraction sounds very, very exciting. Natural playgrounds are a joy, and as Kew knows how to do kids and nature well, we can't wait for this to open. 

Kew Gardens takes a long time to walk round. If you have people with little legs (or who are likely to moan after a while) you can pay to go on the hop on-hop off train/bus which runs regularly around the rim of the gardens. 

Adults £12.75
Children £3.50. Children under 4 go free.
Open daily 10am-4:15pm
Parking is available but limited. Nearest tube is Kew.

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