Did you know there’s a new children’s play area at Kew Gardens? It’s called The Children’s Garden and it just recently opened in May, so it is brand sparkling new! We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview in the Easter holidays before it opened to the public, but was asked not to share any photos before it officially opened. With the summer holidays coming up, I thought now would be a good time to let you know about it.
The Children’s Garden is part of Kew Gardens and entry is included in your Kew Gardens entrance ticket. It’s on the Elizabeth entrance side and is separated from the rest of the gardens. It is a HUGE beautifully landscaped area, so tranquil and full of nature. They say its the size of 40 tennis courts. I took my friends along too, and we were absolutely taken back. Obviously it was quieter because it was a private preview, but it should still be just as nice if you visit yourself, as Kew Gardens have a booking system so that it doesn’t become overcrowded. There are limited slots available on the gate, so it is better to pre-book online – you can book a free slot here.
There are four main sections to the Children’s Garden – Earth Garden, Air Garden, Sun Garden and Water Garden. The photos above show the Sun Garden, with the colourful tunnel that that kids loved running through. It was blossom season when we visited, but I think there’s supposed to be sunflowers and ‘candy floss’ grass there in the summer.
Our kids went straight to the Water Garden after running through the sun tunnel. There were water pumps and little rivers running through stones to climb over. They were here for AGES! And this was on a not so warm day in April – imagine on a hot day, it would be even more fun to play here.
To the right of the Water Garden was the Earth Garden, which had bamboo tunnels and bridges to walk through and lots of climbing fun to be had.
To the front, still in the Earth Garden, was the biggest sandpit ever – it was more like a beach, with palm trees and wooden huts. This was Lily’s favourite part – so many slides and loads of sand. YES!!!
The website calls this the ‘fishing village’ and it is so so cute. And big! There were lots and lots of huts.
In the distance we could see these colourful windmills, so Lily and I had a wander and discovered the Air Garden. There were mini trampolines to bounce on, actually in the grass.
Hammocks to swing on, and colourful ‘giant pollen’ spheres for sitting on. It was just so bright and everything was kind of soft and spongy. I love all the different textures used in this garden, it’s a real sensory experience.
There were signs carved into wood, like this one that says “What do plants need to grow” It seemed like this garden was aiming to educate as well as entertain.
Back at the sand area, the kids had loads of fun playing. Buckets and wooden spades are attached by chains to the play equipment, so you don’t need to bring your own. But you can if you want to.
We ended our morning by attempting to get a group photo. Lily was not having it though! We then had lunch in the cafe just outside the Children’s Garden before having a walk through a bit of the rest of Kew Gardens.
We were really impressed with the Children’s Garden – the size of it, how natural it all is, the peacefulness (is that a word?) and the amount of play activities there are for children. It is brilliant, and so different from your bog standard playground. The location is convenient too – next to the soft play greenhouse which has loos and babychange, and the cafe is next to that. All very important when you have little ones!
If you are planning to visit Kew Gardens, do book a slot for the Children’s Garden – they do 90 minute slots. I hope you get to see it. We had a lovely time. Thank you for inviting us Kew Gardens!
Disclaimer: I was given free entry to Kew Gardens for a preview of the Children’s Garden, and they didn’t ask for a review! But I did one because it is really worth sharing 🙂