15 September 2020

Family things to do at Wakehurst this autumn

Take your pick from our autumn highlights.

By Katie Avis-Riordan

Children playing at Wakehurst in autumn

Whether you’re looking for a fun half-term event or natural play spaces in stunning surroundings, our wild botanic garden in Sussex has it all.

Come to Wakehurst this autumn to enjoy our range of brilliant family activities and attractions.

Join our Gruffalo Adventure

This October half-term why not get involved with our Gruffalo family fun?

Set out on the exciting Gruffalo trail, solving clues along the way to seek out the Gruffalo.

We invite you to come dressed up as the little brown mouse from the story and lead the way.

There will also be a Gruffalo crumble-themed hunt. If you and your family find all the ingredients required to make a Gruffalo crumble, from apples to sugar, you’ll be rewarded with a special Gruffalo prize. 

Join our creative workshop to make mud owls, snake bread, Mandala Mayhem nature art, Barking Gruffalo (charcoal bark rubbings of Gruffalo characters) and go footprint finding with a mixture of animal prints including Mouse, Snake, Owl, Fox, and Gruffalo.

Gruffalo © 1999 & TM Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

Explore our gardens

Stretching across 500 acres, our beautiful gardens offer lots to discover and enjoy throughout autumn.

And don’t forget, children (16 and under) have free entry to the gardens.

Enjoy the fiery autumnal colours of our vast collection of deciduous trees, their leaves turning eye-catching shades of yellow, orange, gold and red.

Children will love crunching the fallen leaves underfoot as you roam through our woodlands of the world.

Look out for all the different berries, leaves, bark, nuts, fungi and flowers you can spot.

To sweeten up your day, don’t miss our katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) growing near the Mansion Pond.

Native to China and Japan, this special tree is also known as the candyfloss tree thanks to the sweet sugary smell of its autumn leaves.

If you and your family want to capture the autumn beauty at Wakehurst, follow our handy photography tips to get the best seasonal pictures.

Young child playing in autumn leaves
Child playing in autumn leaves © Katie Avis-Riordan
Wakehurst in autumn
Wakehurst in autumn, Jim Holden © RBG Kew
Autumn colours of trees at Wakehurst
Autumn colours at Wakehurst, Jim Holden © RBG Kew

Go wild in our play spaces

Discover our natural play spaces scattered across Wakehurst for kids to enjoy.  

Look out for woven willow tunnels to run through and a labyrinth to explore.

Visit Tree Trunk Trek to crawl, climb and get to know our trees on this adventurous log trail in Coates Wood.

Children playing on a log trail in autumn
Children playing on log trail © RBG Kew

Be wildlife explorers

Calling all wildlife lovers! Head to our Loder Valley Nature Reserve, a 150-acre wildlife paradise.

It’s home to dormice, badgers, kingfishers, owls, and many more species. How many creatures can you spot?

Seek out the top water spots across our gardens to feed the wild ducks, including Mansion Pond and Westwood Lake (you can buy nutritional duck food from our Visitor Centre shop).

Autumnal colours reflect in the Lake at Wakehurst
Autumn at Wakehurst Jim Holden © RBG Kew

Discover the Millennium Seed Bank

Take your kids to our Millennium Seed Bank Atrium to enjoy our Surviving or Thriving exhibition.

You’ll find out why some of the world’s plants are thriving while others are just surviving, through games, film, sound, models, and a futuristic garden.

While you’re here, you can also uncover the seed bank’s underground secrets and see our scientists at work.

Children in the Millennium Seed Bank
Children in the Millennium Seed Bank © RBG Kew/Jeff Eden

Have a bite to eat

Warm up in our Stables Kitchen this autumn and choose from our family-friendly menu, which includes fresh hot meals and children’s portions.

During half-term, we'll also be offering fun Gruffalo-themed food and drink.

Grab a table inside the restaurant or, if you prefer, make use of our takeaway service.

A cup of coffee with foam on a table next to a pumpkin and biscuits
Autumn coffee © Graysons

Get shopping

Toys, games, puzzles and books are just some of the great gifts we sell for children in our Gift Shop.

Wakehurst and Kew members can enjoy 10% off in our shop and plant sales area. 

Prefer to buy online? Then have a browse of our Kew Online Shop, stocked full of fantastic family-friendly gifts and items.

Two female visitors walking among autumn trees at Wakehurst

Visit Wakehurst

Find out how you can make the most of your day exploring our wild botanic garden.

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