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Family-friendly things to do at Kingston Lacy

A girl cycling through woodland at Kingston Lacy, Dorset
The work we do helps to make Kingston Lacy special for everyone | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

From natural play areas to family crafts, Kingston Lacy is a great day out for those with children. Whether you take your bike for a spin along the Woodland Trail or bring a frisbee for a game on South Lawn, plan your day spending time together.

Christmas at Kingston Lacy

Once Upon a Time...

From 25 November the house will be transformed as folk tales from across the world are brought to life by magical decorations. Each room will highlight a different magical story, bringing the world to our doorstep as we celebrate tales that have been told for centuries.

Storytelling with Santa

This year there'll also be a very special visitor, helping to create memories that will last a lifetime. Book your child on a fantastical journey with Santa's musical helpers to find his storybook nook, before settling in for a festive tale, an early Christmas gift and a chance to take a picture together.

Bring everyone together

Meet up with friends and family in the Laundry courtyard, where there'll be a vintage carousel and a host of twinkling lights. Find your festive spirit this year at Kingston Lacy.

From 25 November to 1 January (excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

Children sitting on cushions listening to Father Christmas
Book in for Storytelling with Santa | © National Trust Images/Rob Stotherd

Planning your family-friendly visit to Kingston Lacy

  • Free entry for under 5s.
  • Baby-changing facilities in access-friendly toilets.
  • Buggy-friendly route around the Woodland Trail.
  • Play areas on the Woodland Trail and in the Kitchen Garden.
  • Children’s menu available from the Stables Café.
  • Pocket money gifts and children's books available in the shop.
  • Buggy store near the second-hand bookshop (buggies are not allowed in the the house).

Play areas at Kingston Lacy

Set your little explorers free at our two play areas. Scramble, clamber and slide in the Woodland Trail play area, where the equipment might be a castle, a ship or a fort – let your imagination decide! You can build your own den or trace the finger maze or stroke the wooden animals; the equipment encourages children to connect with nature. Then hop over to the Kitchen Garden, where the play area takes inspiration from its surroundings for younger children; you can take a ride on a wooden cow, plant wooden veg in the mini greenhouse and relax on the buddy swing, suitable for even the smallest babies.

A child on wooden play equipment
The natural play area at Kingston Lacy, Dorset | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

Things to do in the garden

Kingston Lacy's South Lawn is the perfect place to spread out a rug in the summer. Bring a picnic or pick up your favourite treats from the Stables cafe. Don't forget the frisbee or tennis ball – but take care, there could be other people snoozing in the deck chairs! We're sorry, but dogs are not allowed on South Lawn.

If you've brought your four-legged friend, head out on the Woodland Walk or into the parkland instead. There are picnic benches available at the play area in the Woodland Walk.

The woods are filled with wild flowers and birds, so you can check off a few of the '50 things to do before you're 11¾' (see below if you need some more inspiration).

Don't forget to go exploring on the Woodland trail round the parkland (see below) – it's perfect for a cycle ride as well as a longer walk.

Things to do in the house

Kingston Lacy is a very special family home, full of extraordinary stories and amazing things. Ask for the children's trail booklet at the entrance hall, which will help you spot some of the most interesting objects. How many different animals and birds will you be able to see in all the paintings?

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Two visitors explore the Kingston Lacy estate on bikes on a sunny summer's day

The woodland trail at Kingston Lacy 

Discover the woodland, resident wildlife and historic carriage drive of the Kingston Lacy estate with this circular trail for walkers and cyclists.

Walking, Cycling
DistanceMiles: 2.9 (km: 4.64)
Children playing in the woodlands at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ 

Fancy running free in the fresh air, learning new skills and trying new things? Grab your gear and start your adventure.

Children swordfighting at Corfe Castle, Dorset

Family-friendly places in Dorset 

There's all sorts to do in Dorset with the family, including discovering places to explore in gardens, parks, the countryside and on the beach.