Sticky or Sweet, Kew Gardens Offers a Treat for Kids this Easter
Friday 29 March 2013 to Sunday 14 April 2013
(Activities run 10.30am – 4.00pm daily)
For Little Explorers..
This year Easter at Kew is all about eating; where hungry little children can nibble on chocolate, and big hungry plants can nibble on you! Only joking, the plants prefer eating bugs, but still, they are pretty scary!
Join Kew on an exciting quest to discover the history of chocolate this Easter. Become an intrepid explorer, travelling back in time on a mission to unearth the precious cacao tree, but beware, lurking in the tropical undergrowth lie creepy carnivorous plants, ready to ensnare you in their sticky trap
Children will love our arts and crafts activities including chocolate making, origami and face painting, as well as our wonderful Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday. Adults meanwhile can enjoy fascinating educational talks, guided tours and a spot of retail therapy.
Pick up your Time Traveller’s Map from one of the gates and take a journey through 4,000 years of history to find out how our passion for chocolate developed, from bean to bar, and learn how Kew’s scientists are working to protect this valuable treasure for the future.
Starting in the South American rainforest of Kew’s Palm House, learn all about the ritual importance of cacao in Ancient Maya and Aztec culture. From here, voyage across the seven seas with the Spanish conquistadors, who introduced the luxury of cacao to the King of Spain and the rest of Europe. In Kew’s Waterlily House, make your own origami boat and join the galleon of ships ready to set sail across the pond.
Dock on the banks of the Thames and enter 17th century Georgian London, where hot chocolate is now enjoyed by the rich and famous in fashionable Chocolate Houses. Visit Kew’s ornate Orangery and indulge your own sweet tooth, whilst enjoying a classic parlour game of giant chess on the Orangery terrace. If you are lucky you might even bump into Sir Hans Sloane, the respected royal physician, who has just arrived back from Jamaica with a recipe for a new milk chocolate drink, which apparently can be used as a medicine to treat all sorts of ailments!
Next on the route is the chocolate factory in the Munch Box at Climbers and Creepers. In the late 19th century, chocolatiers like the Cadbury family started to mass produce bars of chocolate in factories, making delicious chocolate available to everyone, not just high society. Hear from a professional chocolatier about the ingredients that go into making chocolate and join our chocolate-making workshops where you can decorate and take home your very own delicious treat. Before you head off, why not get your face painted with an Easter-inspired design; do you want to be a monkey from the Mayan rainforest, or perhaps a Spanish conquistador with a funny moustache?
The last stop on your quest is the Princess of Wales Conservatory where you will finally unearth the precious cacao tree. Venture through Kew’s new Tropical Carnivorous zone, battling an army of famished Nepenthes and experiencing these unique plants in all their gory glory, to finally reach Explorer’s base camp.
Kew’s volunteer guides will be waiting at Base Camp to tell you all about the cacao tree, or Theobroma cacao, and how Kew’s scientists are working with local people in the Amazon to help protect the rainforest and preserve chocolate for the future. (For more information about the cocoa tree in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, see http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Theobroma-cacao.htm).
As you travel through the ages don’t forget to collect rubbings from the time capsule pods along the route. Just press your map against the engraved pods and use a crayon to reveal a secret token; collect them all on your map and you can exchange your tokens for a precious cacao bean and then make your very own rainforest headdress outside Explorer’s base camp as a souvenir of your travels. (Once you have completed the trail, your parents will also receive a 20% discount in Kew shops, where a wide range of Easter and Mother’s Day gifts are on offer. If you visit on a weekend, Victoria Plaza will also be offering delicious chocolate tasting sessions between 12-4pm).
Good luck Time Travellers!
Lara Mistry, Festival Manager at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew says,
“Easter at Kew is all about family fun, learning, and of course chocolate! Our trail and hands-on activities encourage children to really explore the world of chocolate and tropical plants– from cocoa pods to delicious Easter eggs. And our traditional Easter Egg hunt is a fantastic way to start your Easter Sunday.”
For the latest updates on Easter activities please check www.kew.org/events
Visit Kew on 31 March 2013 and take part in our traditional Easter Egg Hunt. Starting at Kew’s Palm House and ending up at Kew Palace, collect tokens from our friendly rainforest friends around the Gardens and pick up your prize - a delicious chocolate treat from the Easter Bunny! (Free, 9.30am – 1.00pm ̶ or until the chocolate runs out!)
Times and Prices
Chocolate workshops: Available daily 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm (each session lasts approximately half an hour, places are free, they are first come first served and children must be accompanied by an adult).
Face painting: Available daily 10.30am - 5.00pm (£4 per face or 2 faces for £7).
*All other craft activities are first come first served and children must be accompanied by an adult.
For Big Kids..
Talk: Chocolate, Rainforests and Conservation
Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is just one of many rainforest plant species that Kew’s work is helping to protect in South America. Attend this talk by Dr Bente Klitgård to find out more about Kew’s conservation work.
Kew Explorer: Chocolate tours
Ride the Kew Explorer land train to experience our special tour of the Gardens exploring the history of chocolate (Starts from Victoria Plaza, 29 March till 1 April, 11.00am - 12noon).
The Pavilion restaurant
The Pavilion restaurant will re-open on 28 March 2013, offering visitors delicious barbecue fare out on the vine- sheltered terrace.
Notes to Editors
For press information on Easter or the new Carnivorous Zone at Kew, please contact 020 8332 5607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Press images are available to download from www.kew.org/press/images. Please contact the press office for the username and password.
New Tropical Carnivorous Zone in the Princess of Wales Conservatory
The display will feature carnivorous pitcher plants Nepenthes truncata, Nepenthes rafflesiana, Nepenthes bicalcarata, Nepenthes vietchii and the recently described Nepenthes robcantleyi which was discovered by Robert Cantley in 1997 and was displayed for the first time at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2011. The zone will also feature the stink lily (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius), voodoo lily (Amorphophallus variabilis) and a new hybrid at Kew A. decus-silvae X gigas; plus a range of epiphytic ferns and smelly orchids such as Bulbophyllums.
• Mon 25 Feb to Sat 23 March 2013 – 9.30am to 5.30pm.
• Sun 24 March to Tues 27 Aug 2013 – 9.30am to 6.30pm
(On weekends and bank holidays we close an hour later. Last entry to the Gardens, the glasshouses, galleries and the Xstrata Treetop Walkway is 30 minutes before closing.)
Admission: Adults £16.00, Concessions £14.00 (prices include £1.50 voluntary Gift Aid donation), free for children under 17 (with an adult).
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
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 Kew's country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly two 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. Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10% of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species) and aim to conserve 25% by 2020.
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership has already achieved so much, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas. Members of the public can support the work of Kew’s 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 £1,000 anyone can save an entire species.www.kew.org/adoptaseed.
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