Family activities at Stowe

Get the kids outdoors with acres of space to run and stretch their legs. Adventures await your family with so much to discover whatever their age. We want you to leave your worries at the garden gate, forget you’re a grown up and set off hand in hand with your children into a dream world of monumentally sized gardens.

Family adventures

Re-wild the children at Stowe when you get outdoors, away from the tech and tune into nature. The gardens and park provide the ultimate backdrop for igniting imaginations, explore a world of lakes, magical woods, ginormous temples and twisted trees as you play and have fun on your family adventure. 

Leap into an outdoor adventure at Stowe
A girl leaps on a  tree placed as a balance beam, her two sits balancing behind her with their father holding the youngest's hand to help.
Leap into an outdoor adventure at Stowe

Get set, go at Stowe!

Thurs 22 July - Weds 1 Sept, normal admission applies

Enjoy the great outdoors this summer as you get set, go at Stowe! Follow the play trail to have fun and get active as you take part in challenges and exercises inspired by the nature around you. Can you race like a hare and balance like a bird? Challenge your family and friends to see who can go furthest, fastest or longest as you explore and get outdoors together.

Visit the New Inn courtyard on arrival to pick up your free Get set, go! cards ready to create your own adventure. Head down Bell Gate drive to look for the first a-board and turn left down Pegg's Terrace as your enter the garden. The route takes you along mown paths through the Labyrinth and Home Park and finishes up outside Stowe House. 

Part of the trail follows uneven, mown grass paths so might be difficult for some wheelchairs and pushchairs to access.

Don't forget to mark off the challenges you complete on your Get set, go! activity cards and take them home to continue the fun. It's going to be a barefoot kind of summer... 

Look out for the a-board at the top of Bell Gate Drive to find the route to follow on the 'Get set, go at Stowe' trail this summer
An a-board detailing information regarding a family trail alongside a path at Stowe
Look out for the a-board at the top of Bell Gate Drive to find the route to follow on the 'Get set, go at Stowe' trail this summer

Family-friendly checklist

  • Free entry for under 5s and free entry for National Trust members.
  • Seasonal spotter guides available to download from our website and app.
  • Baby-changing facilities in access-friendly toilets.
  • Buggy friendly routes around the garden. We recommend sturdy buggies for the garden rather than strollers.
  • Breastfeeding welcome.
  • Children’s scooters and balance bikes without pedals are welcome in the garden.
  • Children’s menu available from the café. High-chairs available to use, ask a member of the team when you arrive.
  • Picnics are very welcome around the garden and picnic benches at New Inn.
  • Pocket money gifts and children's books available in the shop. 

Bikes

We'd love for you to cycle to Stowe, please lock bikes up in the spaces provided in the car park. You need to be on foot patrol in the gardens so you don't miss anything. Small scooters and balance bikes can be taken into the gardens. We kindly ask that bikes with pedals don't go in the gardens.

 

Video

Nature Words

The study commissioned by the National Trust accompanies a striking, unscripted video that shows seven to ten-year olds who are losing nature meanings in their language and then the joy of reconnecting with the nature meanings of words.

'50 things' - summer favourites

There are 37 of the '50 things' at Stowe to kick start your family's adventure. You can pick up the pace, running in acres of space or take your chances swinging from the branches of our trees.

  1. No.2 Roll down a really big hill – there are some great grassy hills for rolling down at Stowe, try the Elysian Fields by the Temple of Ancient Virtue
  2. No.35 Discover what's in a pond. With ponds dotted down Bell Gate Drive and in the Lamport Garden, you'll find some speckled friends in the water
  3. No.31 Make friends with a bug – a whole universe is waiting for discovery hidden amongst the garden growth, lift a log or stone and find lots of creepy crawlies
  4. No.33 Go cloud watching - perfect for a lazy summer day, take a seat and look up the sky to see what shapes you can spy in the clouds

Weather experts

Here are our top tips for embracing the outdoors whatever the weather at Stowe.

  • When the sun is shining, you'll find the wooded areas and temples a good place to rest and find some shade

  • We recommend good footwear, especially wellies in the winter, as the gardens can get muddy in places

  • The gardens are large. For fun days out with smiling kids at the end, bring sunhats, sun cream and bottles of water to stay hydrated. Plan a route to decide how far you'll go and choose rest stops along the way

  • To dodge rain showers, use the temples as shelters

  • Temples with shelter, some benches or to use for picnic spots are: The Lake Pavilions, Concord and Victory, Ancient Virtue, The Cascade (there are small nooks to sit in), Hermitage, The Fane of Pastoral Poetry