Established in 1673, Chelsea Physic Garden in London is the second oldest botanical garden in England (after Oxford) and a beautiful hidden gem tucked away in between Royal Hospital Road and the Thames Embankment. The garden is a celebration of the beauty and importance of plants, housing a unique living collection of around 5,000 types, with a focus on edible, medicinal and useful plants, as well as rare and endangered species.
Chelsea Physic Garden is a fascinating place to visit and is like a secret garden in the city. There are usually family activities and workshops during half-term and school holidays to help children understand more about the importance of plants. In this post, I’ll share more about what to see and the upcoming workshops at Chelsea Physic Garden London with kids.
Table of Contents
Garden of Medicinal Plants
One of the first areas to explore at Chelsea Physic Garden is the Garden of Medicinal Plants, which consists of plant displays from every region of the world and their key medicinal uses. It is important to note, especially when visiting with young children, that there are some poisonous plants around the garden, so you should not eat, touch or remove any living or dead plants, flowers, berries, leaves.
Tropical Corridor & Glasshouses
The glasshouses at Chelsea Physic Garden including a Tropical Corridor along the back, collections of sub-tropical, Mediterranean species and back-up plants of those grown outdoors that may not survive a cold or wet winter.
Garden of Edible and Useful Plants
The Garden of Edible and Useful Plants showcases the diverse range of plant species on which people depend in our everyday lives.
There are examples of productive and functional plants, such as the gourd below for making music or ropes made from hemp.
Chelsea Physic Garden London with Kids
Family Activity Days
Chelsea Physic Garden runs several Family Activity Days during half-term and school holidays, which are a great way for families to make the most of visiting the garden and discovering more about the plants. You can see the latest list of events, tours and workshops here on the Chelsea Physic Garden What’s On webpage. Select “Family” in the “Choose an event type” field for upcoming events and workshops for kids.
During the October half-term break in London, Chelsea Physic Garden will be running several family workshops. Workshop tickets include entry to the Garden that day. Read on for more details.
Halloween Broomstick Workshop
23 October 2023
Over the October half term, Chelsea Physic Garden will be running some great Halloween themed family workshops. Craft your own broomstick using plant materials foraged at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Learn about the craft of broomstick-making from around the world.
Join the Chelsea Physic Garden team for a broomstick ride around the garden at the end of the workshop to learn about some of the plants in the garden. Each participant will leave with a unique broomstick which will complement your costumes, home, or garden for the upcoming holiday season.
Tickets are £15 Adult and £10 Child and includes your entry to the Garden that day. Note that every person attending the workshop must have a ticket and children must be accompanied by an event ticket-holding adult. Recommended for ages 4+
Book tickets for the Halloween Broomstick Workshop at the Chelsea Physic Garden
Halloween Pumpkin Carving
24 and 26 October 2023
Prepare for the Halloween season with a visit to Chelsea Physic Garden for a pumpkin carving session. Participants will learn about pumpkin plants and explore the Garden through autumn.
All materials and tools will be provided (note that pumpkin carving involves using sharp tools), and each participant will get one pumpkin to take home. Each child must be accompanied by an adult who will work together with the child to create their jack-o-lantern masterpiece.
Tickets are £20 Adult and £15 Child and includes your entry to the Garden that day. Every person attending the workshop must have a ticket and children must be accompanied by an event ticket-holding adult. Sessions are from 1pm to 3pm. Recommended for ages 6+
Book tickets for the Pumpkin Carving Workshop at the Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden London Address
Address: 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, SW3 4HS. Entrance is on Swan Walk, SW3.
Opening Hours: 11am to 4pm (last entry 3.30pm); closed on Saturdays. Friends of Chelsea Physic Garden are welcome to enter the Garden from 10 am, an hour before the General public.
Food and Drink: The Tangerine Dream Café is the garden’s award-winning café serving fresh homemade food including light lunches and an afternoon tea with handmade cakes and lavender scones.
Tickets: Admission prices from January 2023 are £9.50 for adults (or £10.50 with voluntary donation); £5 children and students age 5 to 18 years old (or £6.50 with voluntary donation); children under 5 years old enter free.
Closest Tube Stations: Sloane Square [Circle & District lines]; which is about a 15 minute walk away
This post was updated on 11 September 2023 with information on family workshops over the October half-term break.