'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.

Super spring activities

Bug hunting

Spring seekers

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 family walking along the Temple of Concord and Victory in winter.

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.


Speaking nature's language

We asked kids what they associate with certain nature words. Watch this video to hear their thoughts and see them rediscover the true meanings of these words.

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 1,000 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. 

Four snails sit on carved arrows on a stone platform

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ activity list 

Find out about all of our '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities with this handy list. From stargazing to crawling through mud looking for animal clues, we have something for every young explorer.

Child playing with winter leaves in the gardens

50 things top activities to do in winter 

Winter is the perfect time for playing in the snow, stargazing, bird watching, cooking on a campfire and lots more.

Children playing beside Derwentwater, Cumbria

Children need nature in their lives 

Our Natural Childhood report found that more children can identify a Dalek than a magpie. It's never too late to fall in love with nature and learn about wildlife - it's time to reconnect children with the great outdoors.