Autumn Antics

Comedy and stories this half term. Saturday 19 October - Sunday 3 November 2019.

Release date: 9 August 2019

Young girl enjoying the log trail at Kew Gardens
  • Visit Kew’s mini fringe festival this autumn half term with activities and performances
  • Discover the amazing tales hidden within plants’ names through a programme of storytelling
  • Perform on stage with the School of Comedy and learn how to entertain the crowds
  • Get on first name terms with fungi in interactive workshops
  • Explore the Natural Area and Treetop Walkway to make the most of Kew’s breathtaking autumnal colours

This autumn, Kew will host an exciting line up of activities focused around plant names, words, and their importance in the world of botany. Families will be invited to roll up, roll up to festival tents to explore Kew’s wild stories and the discoveries that have shaped the Gardens.

Storytelling with Rachel Rose Reid

Storytelling sessions will explore how plants are named, the tales and legends hidden within these names, and anecdotes of interesting people that plants are named after. Find out which plants are named after the characters of Medusa and Narcissus from Greek mythology, and about the romantic and tragic tale of the forget-me-not…

Get on stage with the School of Comedy

Young visitors will have the opportunity to unleash their inner entertainer through dynamic workshops on improvisation techniques and how to pen jokes. Led by the team behind the hit TV show, the School of Comedy will guide performers through slam comedy and storytelling on stage.

Have fun in fungi workshops

Get on first name terms with fungi in workshops where Kew staff will be on hand to explain why certain fungi are named, with real life specimens to examine. Explore specially created trails to find fungi in the Gardens, and go on spotters walks to identify what you discover.

Experience family-friendly autumnal highlights in Kew’s Natural Area and Arboretum

Explore the secret underground world of badgers in our human-sized Badger Sett. Great for kids and big kids alike, go through the giant entrances into a warren of tunnels that connect the food stores, sleeping chambers and nests.

Families can also spot wildlife on the raised Woodland Walk. At the beginning of the trail there are bug hotels where ladybirds, centipedes, beetles and other creatures can often be found looking for a place to stay.

Children can test their balancing skills as they hop and skip across a natural Log Trail winding its way through autumnal trees. The trail is made from storm-felled trees that have been put to use as a fun outdoor play area.

Don’t miss a trip up to the Treetop Walkway to spot the red, orange and yellow hues of Kew’s kaleidoscopic canopy.

Last chance to see Chihuly: Reflections on nature

Before the exhibition comes to a close on Sunday 27 October, visitors can experience the luminous, utterly unique glass artworks of iconic artist Dale Chihuly, as they adorn one of London’s most spectacular landscapes in a perfect marriage of art and nature. A specially created family trail leads little ones through the artworks as Kew is transformed into a contemporary outdoor gallery space like no other.

Jack Smurthwaite, Visitor Programmes Producer at Kew Gardens, said:

“We are thrilled to be bringing such a vibrant and dynamic programme to Kew. There is such a wealth of culture and history hidden in the names of plants, which we hope to unlock for young visitors to get them asking questions and engaging with the natural world. From gods and goddesses to famous explorers and historical figures, there are centuries of stories to be discovered. With performances and workshops, storytelling and interactive interpretation, there is plenty for families to enjoy in the Gardens this autumn.”


Timed workshops and performances throughout the day, between 10.30 and 15.30.

45-minute sessions, no booking required.

Price included in entry to the Gardens.

For more information or images, please contact the Kew Press Office at / 0208 332 5607

Notes to Editors

About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections 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 and a top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden, attract over 2.3 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrates its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew receives approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.

About School of Comedy

School of Comedy’s, brilliant, funny and unique workshops are entirely tailored to inspire confidence in your child. Through a range of brilliant and quick-witted improvisation games, children can think in the spot. Nothing is wrong, every idea is embraced. Your child will be able to perform in front of an audience, in front of their peers, on a stage, without the shackles of inhibition, believing in their own ideas and talent. Improvisation is key to thinking on the spot, thinking outside the proverbial box, and as a tool for communication, language, words and humour. Once this skill has been honed, your child will be utterly comfortable in any situation. It is a wonderful devise to work alongside storytelling and communication. Though we focus on freethinking, we also work with a number of comedy tools - sketch, stand up, clowning and character comedy - to cement a truly brilliant workshop and an injection of much needed confidence.