February Half Term at Ham House and Garden

Jumping puddles in the garden at half term

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained whatever the weather this February Half Term. Grab your wellies and head out for some winter family fun. All around the historic garden nature is waking up. Indoors the 17th century house is full of timeless treasures with fresh children’s activities.

‘Poetree’ sensory nature activity for children

This February Half Term, there's a chance to celebrate nature and poetry and create your own masterpieces. 

Pick up a poetry pack in the shop or reception and, as your family explores the 17th century garden, we invite you to use your senses to discover what inspires you as you walk.

Notice the sounds of the birds, the colour of the leaves and the sights of the first bees as they head out in search of pollen. When you've finished your walk, head to the Still House where you can sit beneath the ‘Poetree’ to create your own poems to add to the branches for everyone to see, or to take home as a keepsake. Packs are available between 12-4 for £2 and aimed at children aged 6+.

Dog walking in winter
Dog walking in winter
Dog walking in winter

Find more adventures outdoors

As garden colour begins to break through the frosty landscape, it's the perfect time for kids to let off steam outdoors. With wooded glades, wild and sculpted spaces, Ham House and Garden is the perfect place for these early spring adventures.

Head to the Wilderness to spot the first snowdrops and daffodils. With over a mile of hornbeam hedge creating a maze-like feel, and summer-houses to shelter from rainy showers, it is the perfect place for a game of hide and seek.

A family in the garden at Ham House and Garden, London.
A family in the garden at Ham House and Garden, London.
A family in the garden at Ham House and Garden, London.

Behind hedgeson the south side of the house is a hidden formal garden called the Cherry Garden. Tall and small topiary hedges criss-cross over paths and living arches touch overhead – it’s the perfect place to warm up with a running race. 

In the wilder areas of the garden you'll find trees to climb and thickets to explore. If you're very quiet you may spot some wildlife too - the garden is home to plenty of birds and animals, including woodpeckers and foxes.

Family in the North Drawing Room
Family in the North Drawing Room
Family in the North Drawing Room

Head indoors for more games and activities 

Ham House is open 12-4pm, with last entry at 3:30pm. Drop in at any time during your visit to explore at your own pace; our knowledgeable room guides are there to answer your questions if something special takes your interest.

Why not pick up one of our free family activity packs at the front door too? It’s full of useful things for young adventurers including binoculars and magnifying glasses and to help children find out about the history of the house.

Below stairs in the house is where the servants worked in the 17th century. Dress up in fun costumes or play a seventeenth-century game. You might see one of our volunteers busy in the kitchen or the still house where cures and remedies were once made. Ask them what they are making today. 

Take a break in the Orangery Café

When you’re ready for a break, head over to the Orangery café where we have children’s meals available alongside the usual favourites. 

Enjoy delicious meals prepared from Ham House’s home grown produce, a family friendly atmosphere and free wifi. Food is prepared fresh daily, with a wide selection of hot and cold dishes including our scrumptious cakes and bakes. Hot food is available 11:30am-2:30pm.

If you’re here for a picnic, the Plats lawn area is the perfect place to relax and has great views of the house. Make use of one of the benches or deckchairs or spread out on our beautiful lawn, it’s up to you! 

A visitor sitting outside the cafe at Ham House and Garden, Richmond.
A visitor sitting outside the cafe at Ham House and Garden, Richmond.
A visitor sitting outside the cafe at Ham House and Garden, Richmond.

Family friendly checklist – plan your visit

Enjoy a stress-free day at Ham House and Garden with all the information you might need here to plan a great day out.  

•    Prams can be used in our grounds, shop and café, but cannot be taken inside the house for conservation reasons. They can be stowed under the covered arch at the front of the house. Hip carriers are available at the front door for you to use inside. 
•    Ask at visitor reception for a level access guide to the gardens so you can find your way step free. A ramp is also available in the café.
•    The paths in the garden are mostly gravel and historic cobbles which can be difficult to scoot on. Our friendly team at visitor reception are happy to keep an eye on your scooters and balance bikes while you have fun. Bike racks to lock your bikes to are also available. 
•    Toys and activities suitable for toddlers and young children can be found in the Outer Courtyard. Explore our Thames-themed stepping stones and engage in some imaginative play with our adorable new outdoor play kitchen which can be found in the Family Tasting Garden.
•    Baby changing facilities are available in the women’s and disabled (gender neutral) loos opposite the shop.