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.
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 summer 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 London summer holidays, Chelsea Physic Garden will be running several inspiring and creative family workshops. Workshop tickets include entry to the Garden that day. Children must be accompanied by at least one ticket-holding adult. Read on for more details about the upcoming events and workshops coming up this summer.
Summer Events and Workshops
Chocolate Workshops (27 July, 2, 29 August): Learn facts about the cacao tree and how cacao beans are made into chocolate. Make your own chocolate treats to take home with you, with a provided selection of herbs, flavourings and spices. Tickets cost £22 per adult and £18 per child. This workshop is designed for children ages 5 and up. Workshop times: 10:3oam to 12:30pm or 2pm to 4pm.
Botanical Soap Making (1, 4 August): Learn about the powers of fragrant plants and aromatherapy in Chelsea Physic Garden’s child-friendly learning space. Materials will be provided for participants to design two bars of personalised botanical soap. Tickets cost £22 per adult and £18 per child. This workshop is designed for children ages 8 and up. Workshops times are at 10:30am to 12:30pm or 2pm to 4pm.
Design Your Own Plant Pot (4, 18 August): Take inspiration from a peaceful walk around the Garden before designing a terracotta plant pot at the learning space. Plant a seed of your choice in the pot to take home with you. All materials will be provided. Tickets cost £20 per adult and £15 per child. Workshop times: 10:30am to 11:30am.
Family Seed Excavation Adventure (8, 24 August): In this workshop, join in on a dinosaur-themed morning hunting for seedheads and excavating them from the plants. Participants will then grow their own mini dinosaur environment. This workshop is designed for children ages 5 and up. Tickets cost £10 per adult and £5 per child.Workshop times: 10:30am to 11:30am
Make Your Own Paint with Plants! (10, 15, 25 August): Learn about the plants that are used to make dyes, paints and pigments. Participants will learn to make their own paint using plants in this child-friendly workshop. Test your concoctions on different types of paper. Tickets cost £20 per adult and £15 per child and all materials will be provided. Workshop times: 10am to 11:30am
Make Your Own Plant Puppets (11, 16 August): In this family summer workshop, you will learn to make your own personalised puppet using foraged plant materials and plant-based materials. Participants will have an opportunity to practice puppeteering skills amongst the plants. Tickets are £22 per adult and £18 per child. Workshop times: 10:30am to 11:30am
Book a summer family activity workshop at Chelsea Physic Garden
Related: Summer Holidays in London with Kids
Dr Dolittle at Chelsea Physic Garden
8 – 18 August 2022 (selected dates)
Join Wild Immersive Theatre and embark on a journey into the animal kingdom at Chelsea Physic Garden. Along the way you’ll get up to all kinds of mischief, learn how to speak the language of animals, discover the world of bird mail and carry a special message to Dr Dolittle himself.
Tickets cost £25 for adults and £18 for children and includes entry to Chelsea Physic Garden. Suitable for all ages. Shows are on Mondays to Thursdays, between 8 – 18 August, with time slots available for 2pm, 2:20pm, 2:40pm, 3pm, 3:20pm & 3:40pm. Performance are one hour long.
Book tickets for Family Theatre: Dr Dolittle at 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 October 2021 are £8.50 for adults; £6.50 children 5 to 15 years old; children under 5 years old enter free.
Closest Tube Stations: Sloane Square [Circle & District lines]; which is about a 15 minute walk away