21 September 2022

Family things to do at Wakehurst this autumn

Take your pick from our autumn highlights.

By Katie Avis-Riordan , Kate Dickinson and Grace Brewer

Family of three walking through a wooded area

Whether you’re looking for a fun 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.

Embark on a wicked adventure

Join us at Room on the Broom for an adventure through our wild botanic garden.

Follow Witch’s trail, to see if you can find the items she’s lost along her way, and keep your eyes peeled for Dragon on your journey!

Why not pick up our sticker hunt activity to accompany you on our trail, and recreate Witch's truly magnificent broom to take home with you.

An illustration of a witch, a cat and a dog riding a broom, accompanied by a green bird
Room on the Broom © 2001 & TM Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

Experience the magic of Glow Wild

As darkness falls, enjoy our enchanting lantern trail. See the gardens brought to life with beautifully hand-crafted lanterns and captivating light installations created by leading artists.

This year, Glow Wild celebrates the spectrum of colours in nature, inviting you to explore how we see colour and the role it plays in our daily lives.

Kids big and small can marvel at playful animal lantern sculptures, be wowed by giant parading puppets, and discover a spectacle of bioluminescence.

Glow Wild sells out quickly, so be sure to book tickets!

Moon and star lanterns, deer installation, tallest-living Christmas tree and lanterns at Glow Wild 2022
Glow Wild 2022 © RBG Kew

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.

Children running in a wooded area
Coates Wood at Wakehurst in Autumn, Jim Holden © RBG Kew
Children running through a woodland playground
Tree Trunk Trek at Wakehurst in Autumn, 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 climbing in a woodland playground at Wakehurst
Tree Trunk Trek at Wakehurst in Autumn, Jim Holden © RBG Kew

Be wildlife explorers

Calling all wildlife lovers! Head to our Loder Valley Nature Reserve, a 150-acre wildlife paradise and a highlight of our Photo ops and wildlife spots walking route.

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).

Lake surrounded by autumnal colours reflected in the water
Westwood Lake at Wakehurst in Autumn, 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 spooky picnics to takeaway. Plus, with plenty of plant-based options (our Seeds Café is 90% plant-based) and seasonal specialities on offer, there’s something for every taste.

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

Newly renovated, bright Stables Kitchen restaurant with food and beverages on sale
Stables Kitchen at Wakehurst, Jim Holden © RBG Kew

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 Centre.

Prefer to buy online? Then have a browse of the 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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