10 January 2020

Gruffalo Adventures: Explore Kew’s deep, dark wood

Easter family programme sets a quest through Kew Gardens’ Arboretum to search for the legendary beast…

Gruffalo adventures at Kew Gardens
  • From 4 – 19 April, Kew Gardens will become home to author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s much-loved characters
  • Families are invited to play the role of the ‘little brown mouse’ and follow a specially curated trail to track down The Gruffalo
  • On their way, visitors can enjoy springtime horticultural highlights such as daffodils and bluebells
  • Wakehurst, Kew Gardens’ sister site in Sussex, will also host its own Gruffalo Easter programme.

Gruffalo Adventures plots a journey through Kew Gardens’ Arboretum where visitors will encounter Fox, Owl and Snake. With map in hand and face-painted whiskers, children will discover the animals’ hiding spots, and interactive activities at each stop will enable them to see the world from the perspective of each character. As they follow the tracks of the animals, children will learn about different habitats and the marks we leave behind as humans in a woodland ecosystem.

While searching for the elusive Gruffalo, young visitors will get the chance to play and explore in Kew Gardens’ striking Arboretum - home to 14,000 trees - and will become immersed in the world of author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.

Brave explorers might even get the chance to meet the Gruffalo himself…

For those who have worked up an appetite on their quest, a pop-up serving Gruffalo-themed food will be available throughout the festival run.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy Kew Gardens’ beautiful springtime landscape, boasting swathes of picture-perfect bluebells and daffodils as horticultural highlights. 

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said:

“We are thrilled to bring such an iconic tale to Kew Gardens, in what is set to be a great adventure for families over the Easter break. The Gruffalo is a perfect fit for Kew Gardens, and we hope visitors venturing through Kew’s landscape will be transported to Donaldson and Scheffler’s much-loved universe.”

Daryl Shute, Brand Director at Magic Light Pictures, added:

“Working with Kew Gardens is such an honour. To bring The Gruffalo to the very best deep dark wood of West London is wonderful and we’re thrilled to be announcing this partnership. By combining the beauty of Julia and Axel’s characters with the theme of ‘the marks we leave behind’, Kew has created a really original activation, which guests will love for sure."

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, will also host its very own Gruffalo Adventures. Among other activities, instead of a costumed character, visitors will be able to follow a Gruffalo Easter egg hunt through Wakehurst’s beautiful woodlands.


For images and more information please contact the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Press Office on 020 8332 5607 or email pr@kew.org

Admission to the festival is included in the general entrance ticket to the Gardens.

Please note, the Gruffalo costumed character will only be making timed appearances at the Kew Gardens site, and not at Wakehurst.

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 Magic Light

Magic Light Pictures is an award winning brand-building company with a strong background in production, creating rich and imaginative experiences for families worldwide. The company, founded in 2003, directly manages production, licensing, global distribution and marketing. The company balances its brand-building work with film making of the highest quality – including Oscar-nominated animated feature Chico & Rita, comedy thriller Wild Target and natural history documentary One Life. Magic Light’s key brand is The Gruffalo, from the best-selling picture books by author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Magic Light produced the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated half-hour animated films, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, and has sold them to over 180 broadcasters worldwide. Magic Light also runs a cross-category international merchandising programme for The Gruffalo brand, with over 40 licensees and 350 products that capture the charm of the original books. Magic Light also produced Room on the Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat and Zog films – which have proved to be award winning half-hour classics that are as loved as The Gruffalo. In 2016 Magic Light produced two half-hours based on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. They were watched by 9.3million viewers and have won numerous awards including a BAFTA for Best Animation. Magic Light's film for BBC One, on Christmas 2019 was The Snail and the Whale. www.magiclightpictures.com Follow on Twitter and Instagram @MagicLightPics