'50 things to do before you're 11¾' at Stowe
Ready for a rip-roaring adventure? Re-wild the children and get outdoors away from the tech and tune into nature. The gardens and park at Stowe provide the ultimate backdrop for igniting imaginations, in a world of lakes, magical woods, ginormous temples and twisted trees. Open daily, 10am-5pm, closing at 4pm in the winter* with free family explorer guides that change seasonally and organised '50 things' activities, we've got a huge array of ideas to get your journey kick-started.
Wild winter activities
Enter a mystical winter wonderland at Stowe. Become dragons breathing icy mist and spot icicles hanging from the Grotto and Cascades.
Suit up for a splish-splashing extravaganza down by Pegg's Terrace and Gurnet's Walk near the Rotunda. If you're brave head to the bottom of the Grecian Valley for some serious knee-high puddle jumping.
Bring a small bucket and scoop that gloop! In the winter there's plenty of squelchy mud in the Lamport Garden or head out into the park. Form it into a dome, decorate with some winter berries, ivy and holly for a fun take on Christmas pudding!
Head out the morning after the rain has fallen and you'll be bound to find yourself on the trail of animal tracks. Look by the soft verges of paths keeping an eye out for otter and rabbit tracks to name a few.
Double your fun by sharing your next nature adventure with a friend. Explore your secret wildlife hideouts together and make the great outdoors your new playground.
Keep a record of your amazing adventures in nature, capturing your memories of the animals and plants you’ve seen.
Winter is a great time to complete this challenge: there are lots of sticks around and it’s easier to spot them on the ground. The best bit about having fun with sticks is that you can complete some other '50 things' while you're at it. You could use them to make a mud creation. Or perhaps they can be arranged to create wild art? Can you use them as drum sticks and join nature's band? Or maybe they'll make the perfect pooh sticks?
Seek out nature's gifts as spring blooms back to life with this sensory guide to help you discover which birds to spot, flowers to find and creepy crawlies to uncover from their winter hiding.
A year to make memories
Become a member when you visit Stowe and your money will help care for the gardens whilst you get to enjoy a whole year of family fun.
Top secret opportunity
Whilst your family will be able to have a go at many of the '50 things' activities during the day at Stowe, there is one rare event a year, where your children can complete some of the more elusive challenges. Book a mini-staycation with us for Big Camp and you'll help make memories that you can all cherish. Here are some of those extra special opportunities to take part in:
- No. 3 camp outdoors
- No. 23 get up for the sunrise
- No. 27 go stargazing
- No. 40 go on a nature walk at night
- No. 49 watch the sunset
Alongside guided activities, our nature team will run sessions of adventuring, crafts, bug hunting, and wild fun to have a go at even more of the '50 things' over the event. Keep an eye out here and on our What's on events listing for when our 2020 dates become available.
The parkland - only for all-conquering explorers
There's so much to do in the garden, but did you know there are 1000 acres of parkland you can conquer on a day out? What's more, it's free entry. Park at the New Inn visitor centre and walk the circular route to get up close and personal with nature. Forage for wild food in the autumn, get to know a tree with our veteran trees (even better if you head down Stowe Avenue in the autumn), play conkers, find funky fungi, find your way with a map, the possibilities are endless!
*Please note the gardens are closed with parkland and New Inn visitor centre open on 24 May 2020. Closed 24 and 25 December.