50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 at Morden Hall Park
Get closer to nature in urban south London with these 50 fun family activities. Whether you come to fly your kite in the meadows or get up for the sunrise over the wetland, there's lots to try all in one park.
Love Morden Hall Park’s trees
No. 1 of the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ is Get to know a tree. This challenge can really open your eyes to the beauty of the changing seasons and the special qualities of individual trees. Pick your favourite tree and visit it each time you come to the park. You could even take a photograph of it in each season to record the way it looks from spring all the way through to winter.
In autumn our horse chestnut trees along the avenues are laden with conkers. No. 10 Play conkers is a national tradition. Make a date with Morden Hall Park in late September or early October to visit our horse chestnuts and why not do No. 13 Make a mud creation while you’re here.
Sticks are the best playthings, there is nothing they cannot be with a little imagination: A magic wand, a conductor’s baton, a knight’s sword. No. 12 Have fun with sticks is a guaranteed hit and with so many trees in the park (over 3,000) we have a wealth of likely sticks lying on the ground. Come along and get playing.
One of the most peaceful places to watch the sun rise and set in south London has got to be Morden Hall Park’s wetland boardwalk. The park’s open all year round, for free, so there’s nothing to stop you enjoying No. 23 Get up for the sunrise and No. 49 Watch the sunset.
The wetland at sunrise is also a magical place for bird life. Try No. 44 Watch a bird and if you’re quiet enough you’ll be surprised what shy wetland species you can catch a glimpse of.
Lazy days in the wildflower meadows
Move away from the beautiful tree-lined avenues into the wide open space of the meadows and see if you can get that kite in the air. No. 7 Fly a kite is ideal for the big skies of Morden Hall Park’s meadows, or No. 33 Go cloud watching if you need to get your breath back afterwards.
If you stay still long enough in the meadows you are bound to meet some of the local wildlife, which makes No. 31 Make friends with a bug an easy task. Stay a little longer and you can perfect your grass trumpeting skills with the meadow grass to do No. 25 Join nature’s band, get creative and weave yourself a crown to do No. 16 Wear a wild crown or let your imagination run riot with No. 18 Create some wild art. We just ask that you please leave the wildflowers for bees and butterflies.
The best corner to have a go at No. 8 Spot a fish is in the stretch of river by the main green gates. The shade of the trees makes them easier to see. We’ve got six types of fish swimming in the River Wandle as it winds through the park, including eels.
You can’t visit Morden Hall Park without doing No. 19 Play pooh sticks. The iconic White Bridge was voted the one of the top place in the country to play the game. Simply choose a good stick each, let them go on one side of the bridge and see whose stick comes out first on the other side.