50 Things spring time adventures

It’s that time of the year again. Green shoots are poised beneath the soil, animals are waking, peeping out of their burrows and shells. Things are starting to come to life and for children across the UK that means one thing: playtime just got a lot more exciting.

A little girl climbs a tree on Bath Skyline

Go climbing 

See the great outdoors from a height by taking to the branches in some of our best climbing trees, or trying out rock climbing and abseiling. If you'd rather keep your feet on the ground you can still enjoy the sights after climbing a huge hill (not forgetting to have a roll down it afterwards of course).

Family on a walk in the woods

Stretch your legs 

Sometimes the most fun can be had by simply putting one foot in front of the other and seeing where the trail takes you. There are always adventures to be had along the way, like finding the best blade of grass to make a grass trumpet or a champion twig for playing pooh sticks. Add a map and compass for added adventure or why not try out geocaching.

Family cycle in a woodland

Go on a bike ride

You’ll find miles of cycling paths at places we look after and some places also offer cycle hire. It’s easy to arrive by bike too with over 150 places within a mile of a Sustrans National Cycle Network route. You can enjoy horseback adventures on our network of permitted bridleways or arrange rides at Studland Beach through Studland Stables and riding in the Brecon Beacons through the Cantref Horse Riding Centre.

Boy kicking and splashing while laying in the sea

Go swimming in the sea 

Is there anything more inviting than the big blue sea on a hot summer day? We look after lots of brilliant beaches all around the UK coastline, so you're sure to find somewhere perfect for a dip

Children having a snail race on the pavement at a National Trust site.
Days out

Set up a snail race 

The snails are back. From March onwards they will be appearing in a green space near you and they’re raring to go. This is a classic way to entertain the kids on soggy spring days as snails often come out in the rain. Search for them among rocks and plants. You can even make your own race track out of pebbles or sticks and lettuce can help to encourage competitors across the finish line. Afterwards don’t forget to tick off number 17 on your list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾.

Sheep and lambs at a National Trust site.

Spot the lambs  

Nothing says spring like a new-born lamb. No mint sauce jokes please. Go for a family walk in any of these lamb hotspots and see how many you can count. If you know a good spot for seeing these cute creatures share it with us on Facebook.

A close up of frog spawn in a pond

Find some frog spawn 

This thick jelly normally appears in ponds and slow-moving streams in March. It usually takes a further month for little tadpoles to appear. Take a look at our video for more top tips on finding frogspawn and make sure you tick off number 32 from our list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ once you’ve spotted some.

Visitors walking in the woodland at a National Trust site

Bring up a butterfly (or moth) 

Butterflies and moths don’t lay eggs over winter so spring is your earliest opportunity to find a caterpillar. In the wild caterpillars have a very low survival rate so you’ll be giving it a much better chance of living to cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly or moth. Find out how to look after your caterpillar on our 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ website.

Girl walking through spring flowers in the garden at a National Trust property

Enjoy the flowers 

Our spring gardens aren’t just for adults. Arm your children with paints or crayons and challenge them to capture the scene on paper. We’d love to see their creations on our Facebook page. Or if you’ve got a few daffodils going spare in your own garden why not show your kids how to press them?

Path through the woodland garden at Newark Park, Gloucestershire

Smell wild garlic 

This is a great way to get kids to engage all of their senses when out on a walk. The garlicky smell is hard to miss and the pretty white flowers complete any woodland wandering. Please note that you have to be very careful if you’re planning on eating this plant because it looks similar to lily of the valley, which is poisonous. The key difference between the two plants is that wild garlic always smells – yes, you guessed it – of garlic.

Star photography at Brimham Rocks

Go stargazing 

The night sky is constantly changing, depending on the time of year and the time of night. Spring brings warmer weather and you don’t need to stay out too late to see the stars, so it can be a great time for beginners and families to start stargazing – one of our 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ activities.