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Family-friendly things to do at Stowe Gardens

Mother and daughter playing in autumn leaves at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Playing in the autumn leaves at Stowe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Adventures await your family at Stowe Gardens this autumn 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 autumnal breeze, and set off hand-in-hand with your children into the magical colours of this vibrant garden.

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.

Visitors enjoying an autumnal walk in the landscaped garden at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Visitors taking an autumnal walk in the landscaped garden at Stowe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Family-friendly events

Heritage Open Day

Join us on Sunday 17 September 2023 for Heritage Open Day. With free entry to Stowe Gardens, Stowe Parish Church, the Gothic Temple and Stowe House on this day, it's a rare chance to see inside and explore the breadth of some of Stowe's most iconic temples.

You'll also get the chance to see some of our hidden collections from the gardens. Join Rebecca and Adrian in the New Inn Courtyard to learn more from our pop-up archaeology stall.

October Half Term

Something spooky is coming to Stowe Gardens this October Half Term. join us for family-friendly Halloween-themed activities 21-29 October 2023. More details to scare, I mean share, soon!

Autumn Book Fair

From 27-29 October we encourage you to browse our wide selection of donated books as we expand our displays at New Inn. Perfect for all your little bookworms!

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

"50 things to do before you're 11 3/4"

1. Get to know a tree

You'll find plenty of trees at Stowe Gardens. Enjoy the woodland wilderness of the tucked away Lamport Garden, or see if you can find some of our veteran trees across the gardens and parkland.

9. Eat a picnic in the wild

With plenty of open grassy spaces, don't forget to bring along a blanket for the perfect family picnic. We love settling down between the Lake Pavilions, enjoying a spot of shelter by the Chinese House, or feeling like you're got the gardens to yourself up in the Grecian Valley.

19. Play pooh sticks

The best place to play this family favourite is at Palladian Bridge.

29. Explore a cave

Make your way through the Elysian Fields and up to the Grotto. Hidden away at the top of the hill, you'll get views down towards Ancient Virtue and the Temple of British Worthies. Call into the roof and hear your voice echo back towards you, look out for wildlife hiding in the rocks, and see if you can brave the dark.

A little girl is sitting on her father's shoulders with the house at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, in soft focus in the background.

Discover more at Stowe

Find out when Stowe is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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