Earlier this week I had a real realisation moment… next week it’s the start of the Easter holidays for Louis, my 4 year old son who started school last September. As a stay at home mum, for me that means for me a fortnight of finding fun to keep him entertained as well as seeing to the demands of my 10 month old baby, not easy! Louis is getting so much better at playing by himself, but I just find it so much easier being out with friends… ‘parenting on mass’ they call it don’t they? Don’t get me wrong, I’m really looking forward to having him home, but wow is it going to be exhausting (not to mention the daily packed lunches for 3 I’ll be making).
Over on my Instagram @sarahparkerpics you’ll often find me reviewing and capturing our family days out. This winter we were so active in getting out and about and exploring some of the local attractions and gardens that Surrey has to offer – well with Spring now in full season I’m really looking forward to revisiting some of our favourite places with the boys and see those attractions in bloom and enjoy the Easter activities they’re running. Below are just some of our favourite places to visit and a look at what’s on around Surrey, some ticketed, some free. I really hope these offer you some inspiration, whether you’re local or looking to visit Surrey this Spring.
And finally, whether you’re juggling childcare or bracing yourself for the snack demands, best of luck, hopefully you’ll get a break over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
I’d love to hear what you get up to, come say ‘Hi’ and follow our Easter fun over @sarahparkerpics
Hampton Court Palace – The Magic Garden
We love this mystical, royal themed garden that offers an open space for children to roam, slides of all heights, a beach area and turrets and castles for imaginations to run wild. Over Easter Hampton Court Palace are offering a Lindt Easter Bunny hunt around the Gardens. The Magic Garden is included in HRP membership, a palace entry ticket or can be purchased just for the Magic Garden from £6 for a child, £8 for an adult, all include entrance to the historic Maze. Timed entry from 10am is often limited to 90mins at a time in peak season. Arrive early as queues can build up. More info here.
Take a boat trip along the Thames
Running from Hampton Court to Richmond, stopping at Kingston, Turks Boats offer up to 45 scheduled trips a day. We get on at Hampton Court, stop off in Kingston for some lunch and then sail back. Tickets start at £7 for an adult, £2 discount for Kids.
A round trip from Kingston to Hampton Court is free for kids on a Thursday. For timetable click here or for more information including sail length see website.
Thumbs Up – Free activities on Thursdays in Kingston this Easter
Crafts, colouring, free kids lunches, Easter egg hunts, face painting and plant potting – each Thursday during the Easter Holidays there are a whole host of free activities for kids doing on in and around the Town Centre. So why not hop on a boat ride to Kingston (above) and enjoy some of the activities and lunch for free. For more information click here
Julia Donaldson at Chessington World Of Adventures
We love the story books are leading the way at Chessington World of Adventures – earlier this year the new Julia Donaldson Room On The Broom experience opened, joining the Gruffalo ride, which used to be the old Bubbleworks for those who remember the theme park from their childhood. There are multiple outdoor play areas, rides for those under 1m high, Sealife centre and wildlife park. Tickets aren’t cheap, they start at £29.50 with a current 40% off early bird saving, and do check your supermarket points for deals. For more information visit here
This Easter holidays Wisley are offering a plethora of activities for young green fingered explorers, based around the tale of Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Rhyming Rabbit‘. From face painting, story telling, plant seeding and a Spring Trail for children to explore secret parts of the fascinating garden, it’s on our list of activities! Tickets start at £8 inc gift aid for children, members go free. More information and timetable of activities here
Brickosaurs at Marwell Zoo
If you missed the Brick Safari at Wisley earlier this year, don’t be disheartened, Marwell Zoo are offering an interactive expedition with a two million brick exhibition for dino and lego fans alike. All the fun features of the zoo just a short drive from Surrey. Tickets start from £13.50 in advance for a child. More information here
National Trust Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt and Discovery Trails
One of my all time favourite days out are at National Trust properties and gardens around Surrey. This April there are Cadbury Easter trails throughout the school holidays at family favourite locations including Polesden Lacey, Claremont Landscape Garden, Winkworth Arboretum, Hatchlands Park and Box Hill (and all include a chocolate treat at the end!). Or if you fancy a drive out of Surrey, Cliveden in Taplow, Maidenhead is up there with one of my all time favourite NT days out. Louis adores the playground, I love the manicured lawns, there’s a maze, Japanese Garden to explore, and plenty of places to picnic or pick up a hot drink (pictured above). Their trail this Easter is based around Natural Cycles of animals. It’s one we’ll defiantly be heading to. For more info on Cliveden at Easter click here
Safari Golf at Hersham Golf Club
We love it here! The family friendly village golf club offers a Safari Adventure Golf for kids and adults to enjoy. The 18-hole has amazing discoveries at every flag through the deepest forests of south America, Africa and Asia. Louis loves the pull bridge and snake that sucks up the ball and spits it out into the hole. The cafe offers a varied menu with cooked kids meals for just £4.95 that also includes a drink. The club will also be offering a bouncy castle for cafe customers to enjoy on weekends too… I should also mention there’s a licensed bar – I know Surrey Mums enjoy a #FizzFriday!! A family of 4 ticket is £24. For more information click here
Easter Eggstravaganza at Bocketts Farm
Bocketts Farm is one of my all time favourite places to go with the boys. Not only does it bring back happy childhood memories from going myself as a child, but there is something here for the whole family to enjoy. This holiday with lambing season in full swing, they’ll be running a special Easter Stamp Trail and offering ‘Meet The Shepherd’ sessions. From pig racing to tractor rides, crafts, soft play, animal handling and the opening of their new Discovery Barn, a day out here is fun for all. Tickets start at £10.95 for children and added extra charges apply for some activities including tractor rides. For more information click here
Runnymede Pleasure Ground & Alfresco Dining
Opposite the monumental Runnymede Magna Carta site, a great (free) riverside open space to explore and discover the history, is the Runnymede Pleasure Ground. This fantastic park offers a large grass area on the riverbank to picnic and watch boats go past, as well as play in the modern, enclosed play area. There is also a cafe in the park and ample parking (charges apply). Just down the road is a lovely authentic Italian with amazing wood fired pizzas called Italian Concept, that we’ve dined at a few times and perfect for alfresco lunches. In the summer months they have a large and enclosed paddling pool/splash pad for children which is always popular.
Virginia Water Lake
We discovered this place when Louis was first born almost 5 years ago and have been visiting this historic part of Windsor Great Park ever since. The paths are bike/scooter friendly (in most parts), dogs are welcome, there are places to pick up hot drinks and snacks along the lake paths and interesting landmarks to spot, such as the 100ft totem pole that was gifted to the Queen in the 50s. We recently discovered the play area, it’s very small but includes swings and a slide, near The Savill Garden and Visitor Centre. We tend to park here, grab a coffee and head on in from here. Parking is expensive but entrance to the park area around the lake is free. Alternatively many of the pubs have car parks have customers, so we’ll often park at one of those, let the pub know we’re in the car park and pop back for tea or a drink. To visit the website for more info click here
Horsell Common & Heather Farm Cafe
Horsell Common in Woking is vast, but the nature reserve area located by The Heather Farm Cafe is one of our favourite spots to visit when we fancy some brunch, tea & cake and a bit of a buggy walk. The paths are reasonably flat in parts and it’s a great place to spot birds, see sheep, natural woodlands and play pooh sticks. Car park is free outside the cafe and is also dog friendly. More info here
Frensham Ponds – Surrey’s Beach
Did you know Surrey had a beach?! Hidden away in the depths of Surrey, miles away from the coast, is a beach resembling in every respect a seaside resort. If we’re lucky to be gifted some gorgeous weather this holidays, then while you sunbathe on the sand, children can splash around on shallow edges, play with beach balls, build sandcastles and eat ice creams. It has two swimming areas in the lake, marked by white buoys, with a maximum depth of 1.4 metres in one and 1.2 meters in the other. Its water quality was rated as “excellent” last year by the Environment Agency. Parking is free for National Trust members or pay at machine. More info here
SO there you have it, my pick of Surrey hot spots we’re hoping to visit this Easter. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you fancy following along with our adventures please give me a follow over @sarahparkerpics on instagram, I’d love to hear what you get up to too.