Wild Kids 2017
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Wild Kids - woodland adventures

Enjoy a summer of outdoor discovery with activities, games and crafts led by Wakehurst’s expert learning and conservation teams. Daily until 3 September.

Event details

Monday 24 July to Sunday 3 September



Most activities are included with garden admission. Nominal charge for some crafts - CASH ONLY.

Fun with nature during summer

Head down to the woods throughout the summer holidays for a wide array of fun activities where children can immerse themselves in nature.

This summer we have:

  • weekly calendar of activities - meaning you can return each week and have a different experience every time. This year we have such delights as a 'woodland mammal safari' and 'wild bites and woodland potions'.
  • Tree-climbing - children will be able to learn to climb a Wakehurst tree in the woodlands alongside our friendly team of skilled instructors from the Big Tree Climbing Company. Find out more about tree-climbing (please note there is a fee for this activity)
  • The Children’s Heritage Garden will delight our younger visitors. They will love the Mud Kitchen where they will have lots of fun making cookies with our tree and leaf shaped cookie cutters. The Potting shed is a great area to make a plant pot and sow seeds and the Dig It area will enchant children as they dig for wooden vegetables.
  • Natural Play Spaces dotted throughout Wakehurst will enable all ages to let off steam. NEW this year is the Woodland Trail where young explorers can discover the secret life of an oak woodland with new interactive adventures—a giant badger sett, life-size dormouse nest and a woven tunnel to crawl through. Pick up a map on your arrival which will show you where all our play spaces are located. Find out more about natural play spaces at Wakehurst
  • Outdoor family theatre - the Australian Shakespeare Theatre company return with two enchanting productions set in beautiful locations at Wakehurst. Pack a picnic and join in the magic! Find out more and book tickets
  • The Stables restaurant has a daily menu of freshly prepared hot meals for children as well as take-away lunch boxes.

Activities in Pearcelands Wood

A beautiful rustic shelter nestling in the heart of Pearcelands Wood is the hub for this summer’s fun in the fresh air.

  • Activities run between 11am and 3.30pm, seven days a week, and are FREE with garden admission.
  • Some take-home crafts attract a nominal charge to cover the cost of materials. Please remember CASH ONLY.
  • A picnic area, refreshments and toilets will be available in the woods for visitors to our summer programme.

Woodland mammal safari

31 July to 6 August

Calling all eco-rangers and nature detectives. Track the woodland’s small inhabitants to find out who’s about as you discover the signs of their secret world. Even a look at their poo will give you a clue!

Build a cosy home for dormice using materials gathered from the woodland floor.

Wild bites and woodland potions

7 to 13 August

Gather round the brazier to cook your damper bread for a taste of the wild. Throughout the week the team will demonstrate bread making in the newly built wood-fired earth oven. Time it right and you’ll get a nibble of fresh bread.   

Make woodland perfumes and potions and see if you can invent your own recipe. Blend some herbs to experiment with your sense of smell. Collect, pound and stir them to create a woodland scented potion, then take your concoction home in a sachet.

An eye for nature—art and photography week

14 to 20 August

Take a close-up look at the natural world by getting down on the woodland floor to examine spiders’ webs, the intricate patterns of leaves or the secrets of the woodland. Then take a picture challenge with a list of objects to seek out and snap—or simply draw.  Make a rustic frame to fill with your creation. 

Expert photographers will be on hand to share ideas and give tips. Bring a camera from home, or have fun on a smart phone. We’d love you to share your photos with us (parents will need to give consent for this for children under 13).

Crafts in the woods at Wakehurst

Get fired up about nature

21 to 27 August

Let the sparks fly and try your hand at fire-lighting as you get stuck into some bushcraft skills.

Discover some of the magical and fiery properties of the trees in the woods, then get your hands dirty in gorgeous gooey clay and make a tile for firing in the woodland kiln. 

Making fire in the woods at Wakehurst

Colour the woods—pigments and paints

28 August to 3 September

This week we invite you to explore the colours of the woods and the magical effects that the light creates. Create a woodland palette and experiment with the alchemy of pigment and pick a quiet spot in the dappled glade to paint what you see.

Use pestles and mortars to pound leaves and berries to make your own colours, blend them and watch how they change. You can use them to create your own special woodland artwork. 

Light through the trees at Wakehurst