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Family-friendly things to do at Stowe Gardens

A boy and a girl play on a fallen tree at Stowe in Buckinghamshire
Children playing on a fallen tree at Stowe | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Adventures await your family at Stowe Gardens this season with lots for children of all ages to discover and acres of space for them to run in and stretch their legs. Leave your worries behind, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and set off hand-in-hand with your children into the majestic gardens.

Planning your family visit

Here's the information you need at a glance to help plan your day out at Stowe Gardens:

  • Baby-changing facilities and accessible toilets are available
  • There are buggy friendly routes around the garden
  • Sturdy buggies for the garden are recommended rather than strollers
  • Breastfeeding is welcome
  • The café is located around the corner from the New Inn and a children's menu and high-chairs are available
  • Pocket money gifts and children's books are available to buy in the shop

Cycling at Stowe

We'd love for you to cycle to Stowe Gardens and you can lock bikes up in the spaces provided in the car park. Small scooters and balance bikes can be taken into the garden but please don't bring bikes with pedals.

A family walk with their dog beside the water at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Wander beside the water at Stowe | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Family-friendly events

Ickle Owl Augmented Reality Trail – 26 May – 1 September

Head to Stowe for the augmented reality trail, Ickle Owl, developed in collaboration with Stowe School students.

Ickle is a little owl chick that has fallen and strayed from the owl family nest and needs your to get home. On the trail, you'll meet animal friends who offer the gifts of bravery, intelligence, agility, growth and positivity. You'll discover more about each wild animal and their habitat.

The app is accessible on iOS, with manual downloads on Android devices available. There is also a non AR version (paper booklet) of the trail for those without access to a smart phone.

The Big Stowe BioBlitz - 29 June

A ‘BioBlitz’ is an attempt to record as much biodiversity as possible within one day, and we need your help! Join us as we look at all nature, from insects to trees to mammals to fungi to wildflowers to reptiles – and everything in between. To complete our challenge, we need as many eyes on the ground as possible – and everyone of all ages and abilities is welcome!

We are running the BioBlitz through iNaturalist which helps ID species from a photo so all you need is a bit of an enthusiasm and either a phone to download the iNaturalist app on, or a camera to take photos to then upload on the iNaturalist website at home. The data you collect will contribute to national citizen science records through iNaturalist and be used by us at Stowe to inform our management to increase biodiversity.

Little People BIG DREAMS – 15 July – 1 September

Join Stowe for Little People, BIG DREAMS! Inspiring all kids to believe BIG, think BIG and dream BIG! Little People, BIG DREAMS® is a bestselling biography series created by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, with more than 7.5 million copies sold worldwide. Perfectly plotted for children aged 4-7+, the series introduces trailblazers and dreamers who have made a big impact in the world around them. Follow the trail at Stowe and see how various individuals dreams as little children grew to become their reality.

The exhibition and trail at Stowe will include special stops featuring individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jane Austen and Malala Yousafzai, as well as bitesize stops that include information about amazing athletes, pioneers and scientists! There will also be several interactive activities throughout the trail to take part in too.

Family-friendly things to do in the garden

Re-wild the children at Stowe Gardens by getting outdoors, away from the tech, and tuning into nature. The garden and parkland provide the ultimate backdrop for igniting imaginations. Explore a world of lakes, hidden woods, enormous temples, colourful reflections and twisted trees as you play and have fun on your family adventure.

Here are a few of the things to look out for in the garden:

  • Explore the hidden depths and woodlands of Lamport Garden - perfect for that game of hide and seek
  • Stop by the Sleeping Wood with its meandering paths
  • Find the birds and farm animals dotted around the lakes and fields

What do you need to know when visiting the garden?

  • Stowe Gardens is large, so plan a route to decide how far you'll go and choose rest stops along the way
  • There's plenty of benches dotted around for when those little legs need a break
  • To dodge rain showers, use the temples as shelters
  • There's plenty of spots that make for a perfect picnic, so bring along a blanket or use one of our accessible picnic benches for your family feast (please no BBQs)
  • We're happy for you to play in the gardens - bring a ball or a kite - just be mindful of other visitors and your surroundings as there are a number of lakes, animals, trees and slopes around the gardens
A little girl is sitting on her father's shoulders with the house at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, in soft focus in the background.

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