Family fun this Christmas at Kew Gardens:
Father Christmas, vintage car rides, and winter walks!
1 November 2011
Come and celebrate the festive season at Kew, complete with Santa’s Grotto, late night shopping, delicious Christmas meals and snacks and carousel rides for the kids.
Lara Mistry, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s Festival Manager, says, “Christmas at Kew is all about celebrating with your family and friends. With an array of festive activities from Santa’s Grotto, to late night Christmas shopping and delicious seasonal snacks and meals, Kew is a great stop for a festive day out.”
For images of the Christmas festival please click here
Join a free, guided Winter Walk with Kew’s expert guides, and discover the Christmas plants that shine throughout winter in Kew’s 300 acre site. The walks are daily and start from the volunteer’s desk (Victoria Plaza) at noon and run from 1 December 2011 to 29 February 2012.
If you prefer to go at your own pace, why not pick up a leaflet at the gates and try a self-guided Winter Walk, from 3 December 2011 to 2 January 2012?
Would anyone in the family like to meet Father Christmas in his festive grotto? If so, the grotto is open from 10 – 23 December, in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. The queue opens at noon and closes at 3pm.
Once the little ones have visited Father Christmas, take them for a carousel ride on the Kew Palace lawn (10 December 2011 to 2 January 2012). The rides begin at 10.30am and finish at 4.00pm. Adults £2, children £2, adults accompanying a child under five, £1. Seasonal face painting at Climbers and Creepers, Kew’s indoor play area, from 10 December 2011 to 2 January 2012 . £4 a child, or two for £7.
If your little ones prefer Christmas in the fast lane, they can take a spin in our mini-sized vintage car ride. The rides run from 10.30am to 4.00pm daily. Adults £3, children £2.
Wander on to the Orangery glasshouse, where Kew Guides will tell you the stories behind the fruits and spices in Christmas cakes and puddings. Our ‘hands on’ sessions run from 3 December to 2 January, Wednesdays and Sundays, 12 noon to 2pm.
If you’re feeling hungry after all of this Christmas fun, either enjoy a snack of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine outside the south end of the Princess of Wales conservatory (10 - 11 and 17 – 18 December 2011, 10.30am to 4pm) provided by the Rotary Club, or visit one of our four onsite restaurants to try our special festive menu.
Kew has given the Times Eureka Chelsea Garden a seasonal makeover, featuring plants such as Cornus sanguinea (midwinter fire) and Salix alba (white willow). The garden was transferred to Kew from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in June (http://www.kew.org/about-kew/press-media/press-releases-kew/chelsea-garden-comes-to-kew/index.htm).
Joseph Hooker - Naturalist, Traveller and More
Sat 12 November 2011 - Mon 09 April 2012
This exhibition in The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art will display paintings, letters, photographs and sketchbooks by Sir Joseph Hooker from the collections at Kew. Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) was one of Kew’s most distinguished directors and this exhibition will explore his significance, not only to Kew but also to the world of botany.
Joseph Hooker Botanical Trailblazer is a compelling account of Joseph Hooker as a plant collector extraordinaire. Extensively and beautifully illustrated from Kew’s archives, this new book takes the reader on an extraordinary voyage with one of the world’s greatest botanists, highlighting his relationships with family, travelling companions, friends and colleagues who all influenced his life and botanical ideas. Written by Kew’s Pat Griggs, with an introduction by Jim Endersby, senior lecturer at the University of Sussex’s History Department and leading authority on Hooker.
Escape the bustle of the high street, and explore Kew’s shops. A variety of festive and botanically inspired stocking fillers and gifts are available. Take advantage of our late night shopping evenings on 7, 10, 14 and 17 December 2011, 4.30 – 8.30pm.
Once the Christmas festivities are over, feel free to bring your Christmas tree, minus decorations to Kew, and have it recycled by our very kind Arboretum team! From Sun 26 Dec until mid-January 2012.
For more information please contact the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Press Office on 020 8332 5607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Images are available to download from www.kew.org/press/images/winter.html
Please contact the press office for the username and password.
For further information about popular Christmas plants see:
Scented myrrh http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Commiphora-guidottii.htm
Opening hours: 9.30am – 4.15pm (weekdays), 9.30 – 4.15pm (weekends). Last entry to the Gardens, the glasshouses, galleries and the Xstrata Treetop Walkway is 30 minutes before closing
Please note: the glasshouses and Xstrata Treetop Walkway close at 3.45pm, with the Gardens closing at 4.15pm.
Admission: Adults £13.90, Concessions £11.90, free for children under 17 (with an adult)
Visitor information: 020 8332 5655 or email@example.com
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and RBG Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly 2 million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. RBG Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10% of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species). The aim is to conserve 25% by 2020, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders.
Kew receives funding from the UK Government through Defra for approximately half of its income and is also reliant on support from other sources. Without the voluntary monies raised through membership, donations and grants, Kew would have to significantly scale back activities at a time when, as environmental challenges become ever more acute, its resources and expertise are needed in the world more than ever. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas. Members of the public can support the work of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership by getting involved with the ‘Adopt a Seed, Save a Species' campaign. For £25 an individual can adopt a seed or for £1000 anyone can save an entire species. You can also adopt a seed as an alternative Christmas gift www.kew.org/adoptaseed
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