On Bank Holiday Monday, my family and I visited Kew Gardens. It was a hard choice between the Cass Foundation, in West Sussex. Kew won in the end due to the scheduled children’s performance entitled ‘Grass’. The last time I visited Kew was back in 2008 for Open House London. I wasn’t a parent at the time. Maybe that’s the reason I failed to notice all the kiddie delights that Kew offer or perhaps it’s all new. Whatever the case, I was pleased to see that they had many attractions that would engage little one. I planned how day to make the most of what was on offer with alternatives if necessary. Experiencing the Kew Gardens through the eyes of my children gave me utter joy.
Our top 5 activities
I planned five activities for us to explore while at Kew Gardens. On my top five list was:
- The Pollination Trail
- The Hive
- Grass Children’s Performance
- Tree Walk
- Creeper and Climbers Play Area.
I planned it knowing with children things don’t always go to plan. The trip was very much for their enjoyment as well. I was flexible to go with their interest as they spotted them along the way.
The Broadwalk & Pollination Trail
We started at The Hive. Standing in there looking through the cells and listening to the buzzing sound that came from speakers that were part of the installation made me feel like I was in The Mothership. The children however, ran around buzzing pretending to be busy bee. From there we walked along The Broadwalk which was part of the Pollination Trail. We didn’t see any Pollination Trail map that were meant to be part of the welcome to The Hive. In the end, we just went along spotting bees on the blooms and trying to identify plants as we went. Angelo and I stopped off at the Glass House to look at some tropical plans and the marine life that was of the lower floor. He has his first 3D experience looking at plankton float towards him. He was super excited.
Before lunch we walked over to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for the Grass performance. I was captivated by the way in which the performers interpreted the actions of mini beast. I don’t think I can every listen Rocky’s ‘Eye of The Tiger’ without envisioning an aerobic-dancing earthworm again. Angelo and Valentina enjoyed the dancing and opportunity to get a closer look at play mini beasts at the end of the show. After the show, we had lunch and walked to the Tree Walk. En route the children and I stopped to visit the Waterlily House. I didn’t realise that they grew in so many colours.
The Tree Walk
Angelo was amazed by the span of their leaves. As we continued our walk to the Tree Walk, Valentina was insistent on pretending she had pet dog, with whom she was playing fetch. It pleases me to observe how she uses her imagination outdoors. She would rather wander around using her imagination to explore new spaces. Sometimes I feel frustrated that certain activities seem ‘wasted’.
Then, I remind myself to see it through her eyes. What she wants the freedom to play and learn her way. In the end, Hubby left with Valentina, they didn’t like the wobbly feeling on the Tree Walk. Angelo and I stayed and completed the walk around, while enjoying the view from up high.
Creepers and Climbers
Hubby and the children ended their day at the Creepers and Climbers play area. I left them to walk about to explore the Kew Place, the Royal Kitchen. I also took a peek into the Urban Bee’s tepee. Its a social enterprise based in Kensington which; aims to positively influence the urban environment through supporting local people and promoting positive, ecologically sound practice around urban greening, building, farming and particularly bee-keeping.
All in all it was a very successful day out. I’d definitely recommend Kew Gardens as place to take little nature lovers.
I’m linking this post up to the Country Kids from Coombe Mill blog hop. Stop by see what we’ve all been up to this week.