8 June 2022

Best things to do at Kew this summer

From our season of events to an extraordinary art exhibition, there is plenty to do at Kew Gardens this summer.

By Katie Avis-Riordan and Grace Brewer

Late summer in the Great Board Walk Borders at Kew

Summer at Kew is a special time. Every corner of the Gardens is alive with colour and life.

Explore the future of food, join our wellbeing sessions, see vibrant summer colour and enjoy the many more seasonal highlights on offer.

Come to Food Forever

Delve into the future of food at Kew's event of the summer, Food Forever.

Discover immersive installations across our Gardens unveiling the secrets to transforming our planet for good.

Here, you can explore the importance of plant-based diets, biodiversity conservation and minimising food waste all through the lens of art — from giant trolls to a mirrored labyrinth.

You’ll also get to sample guest menus by inspiring chefs and join our weekend drop-in workshops and activities

Don’t miss Food Forever Evening Talks, our entertaining and thought-provoking panel discussions exploring the future of food within our iconic Temperate House.

Illustration of people investigate large pieces of fruit and veg
Food Forever © RBG Kew

View amazing art

Visit our Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art this summer to enjoy not one but two stunning art exhibitions.

Witness a vibrant food utopia in the When Flowers Dream exhibition by internationally-renowned artist Pip & Pop.

Her eclectic mix of vibrant artworks crafted from sugar and candy create an imaginary landscape filled with foods of the future.

In the second gallery, The Art of Food is a botanical art exhibition celebrating the importance of plant-based foods.

From ginger to sugar cane and pomegranates to red currants, you are invited to go on a journey of food discovery through a collection of intricately-detailed works curated by Dr Shirley Sherwood OBE.

Vibrant kaleidoscope-looking image
When Flowers Dream © Pip & Pop

Join our wellbeing sessions

Come to Kew for a series of specially curated wellbeing sessions to help you disconnect from your everyday life and boost your mood.

Allow our beautiful landscape to relax and energise you — take your pick from forest bathing, an evening summer cycle, yoga in the majestic Temperate House, and tai chi in our enchanting Mediterranean Garden.

Yoga in the Temperate House
Yoga, Temperate House © RBG Kew

Watch movies and theatre at Kew

Grab your popcorn and join us in front of the big screen at Kew's outdoor cinema.

From new releases such as Oscar-winning West Side Story, science-fiction-adventure Dune, and Bond's latest outing No Time to Die, to family-favourites MoanaSing 2 and Encanto Sing-AlongKew the Movies has something for everyone.

If theatre is more your thing, you're also in luck! This summer, Theatre on Kew brings Twelfth Night and The Jungle Book to our enchanting Gardens.

A crowd of people watch a movie outdoors at Kew
Kew the Movies © RBG Kew

Immerse yourself in summer colour

No summer visit to Kew would be complete without witnessing the rainbow of colour on display in our Gardens.

Stop at the Rose Garden to admire the range of petal hues and delicious scents of more than 170 different rose species and cultivars.

The Agius Evolution Garden shows a breath-taking array of colour as you learn about the science behind the magnificent plant collection.

Be dazzled by our Great Broad Walk Borders, 320 metres of floral delight with each plant chosen for its beauty, colour or form.

Amble down this aromatic walkway to see swathes of lavender, alliums, salvias and many more showstopping species.

Don’t miss the Rock Garden, Queen’s Garden or Woodland Garden for bright summer colour and beautiful blooms.

Late summer in the Great Board Walk Borders at Kew
Great Broad Walk Borders, Richard Wilford © RBG Kew

Admire our glasshouses

Explore our glasshouses this summer while they are brimming with life.

Soak up the tropics in our Palm House as you wander amongst the lush green rainforest plants and splashes of blooming colour.

Stroll through the Temperate House, the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse, to see 1,500 species of plants from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory has variety for all tastes. With 10 climatic zones, you can venture from the desert to the wet tropics, spotting carnivorous plants along the way.

Admire the hardy alpine plants in the Davies Alpine House and the spectacular aquatic plants in the Waterlily House.

Inside the Palm House
Inside the Palm House, Ellen McHale © RBG Kew

Enjoy tasty food and drink

Choose between our variety of cafés and restaurants in the Gardens.

Whether it’s indoor dining, alfresco lunch, or takeaway grub, we’ve got it.

Dine surrounded by trees and vines in our Pavilion Bar and Grill, pick up a sweet treat and coffee at White Peaks or Victoria Gate Café, order a delicious dish in the Orangery or enjoy a stone-baked pizza and fresh ice cream at our Family Kitchen & Shop.

Look out for seasonal specialities and food foraged from our Gardens on our menus.

You’re also welcome to bring your own picnic and find the perfect spot in our Gardens to lay out your blanket.

A family of four eats a meal in a colourful restaurant underneath a brown mushroom made from sticks
New Family Kitchen and Shop © RBG Kew

Get early entry as a Kew member

Between 1 May and 30 September, Kew members can enjoy the tranquility of the Gardens from 8am every day.

You’ll get exclusive entry before we open and have the chance to experience the unique beauty of Kew in the early morning light – the perfect way to start a summer’s day.

Why not make a pit stop at the Victoria Plaza Café where you can buy hot drinks and a range of breakfast snacks?

Become a member

Great Broad Walk Borders, RBG Kew
Great Broad Walk Borders, RBG Kew / Jeff Eden

Unwind with slow TV

If you’re not able to reach the Gardens or you just want to continue your experience, take a look at our summer slow TV episode.

As part of our YouTube series Slow down with Kew, this two-hour film captures the beauty of the Gardens in HD glory.

Sit back, relax and experience summer at Kew, journeying from the beautiful Rose Garden to the serene Natural Area.

An illustration of small people investigate plant based foods

Food Forever

Step into the future of food at Kew's event of the summer and discover how we can transform our planet for good.

Read & watch