Start your '50 things' adventure at Osterley Park and House
Discover the top 10 things to do at Osterley as part of '50 things to do before you’re 11¾'. Get outdoors, tick off some exciting activities and don’t forget to share your photos with us!
No. 1 Get to know a tree
Which Osterley tree is your favourite?
We’ve got trees of all kinds at Osterley, from young Whitebeams to historic Cedars. Use your senses to explore these trees and see how many differences you can find. Head up to the Play Trail to find the Climb and Chime tree, or explore inside the hollow tree.
No. 4 Build a den
Do you want to make the world’s best ever den?
Build an epic den and tick off No.4 on your list of '50 things'. Head up to the den building area on the play trail and use the branches provided to build your own den. Make a simple tipi by leaning all your branches in to one central point, or try a den to house you and your family or friends, or even a wild animal.
No.9 Eat a picnic in the wild
Who will you bring to your picnic?
Find a peaceful spot to share a meal with friends, family, or even some teddy bears! There are plenty of grassy places in the gardens to spread out a picnic blanket. While you eat ask each other what you can see and hear around you, and why not tick off no. 33 and go cloud watching. Or set up on the front lawn and enjoy some table tennis or football. If you’ve forgotten anything we’ve got plenty of picnic blankets and cutlery in the shop, and pop into the café for a sweet frozen treat.
No. 11 Explore on wheels
Ready for some off-road fun?
Coast along paths, pedal grassy tracks or whizz through wooded trails: Osterley’s multi-purpose paths make for a very fun bike ride. There’s loads to explore on two wheels while enjoying No.11 of the '50 things'. Don’t miss the cycle skills area near the car park, where you can test yourself on our bumpy track. Our Cycle Hire kiosk is open 10am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday with bikes of all sizes available, so the whole family can explore.
No. 12 Have fun with sticks
Want to lay an awesome trail for your friends to follow?
Invent your own trail code and lay a stick trail for your friends and family to follow. It could be two crossed sticks, arrows or simple stakes in the ground but make sure you place them in clear areas so they are easy to spot. Most importantly make sure your trail finishes somewhere fun such as the Brewhouse Café for an ice cream! Then you can tick off No.12 of '50 things'.
No. 18 Create some wild art
Want to make the next masterpiece?
Who needs pens and paper? Let your imagination run free and create some wild art by using natural materials to complete No.18 on your list of '50 things'. Choose from moss, sticks, twigs and tree bark, foliage and ferns. Bring some paper and crayons to make bark rubbings of the trees you discover. Look after nature by not picking things off trees and plants, instead use the things you find on the ground during your adventure. Make sure to take a photo and share it with us on twitter, @OsterleyNT.
No.24 Go barefoot
How does the grass feel under your feet?
Kick off your shoes, pull off your socks and take a little walk. There are plenty of grassy spots in the gardens, so see how different areas feel under your toes. Be sure to check for spiky things, and don’t forget where you put your shoes!
No. 30 Go on a scavenger hunt
What can you find as you explore?
There’s lots of things to find as you explore the park and gardens. From feathers near the lake, to fallen leaves and twigs, and acorns and conkers later in the year. Set yourself and your friends challenges to see what you discover. For example, why not see who can find the most different types of leaves. Try different areas of the park and gardens to see what different things you find in each place.
No. 44 Watch a bird
How many different birds can you see?
Walk by the lake or explore the woods and use your senses to discover the birds around you. Pick up a pair of binoculars from the Garden Kiosk to help you spot them, or just close your eyes to see how many you can hear, from noisy parakeets to small songbirds.
No. 50 Take a friend on a nature adventure
Who will come with you when you explore?
The only thing better than a nature adventure is bringing a friend with you! Challenge a friend, share something you love with a brother or sister, discover something fun with Mum and Dad, or learn something with Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone can have fun outdoors and there’s always something fun to do, whatever the weather.
Eat, Drink & Shop
The Stables Café is open daily with a selection of hot and cold drinks, lunches, light bites, sandwiches and cakes, including a children’s menu. Ice creams are available from the Brewhouse Café and the Stables Shop. The Shop is open daily 11am-5pm, with a selection of children’s toys, books, garden decoration, food & drink and gifts. The Second Hand Bookshop is open every day from 11am-4.45pm, and has a children’s section, as well as a selection of plants grown at Osterley available for you to buy.