What's on for families
The Great Garden Game at Hampton Court Palace
Play the Great Garden Game at Hampton Court Palace. Each season there will be a new garden adventure with a fresh set of stories to investigate. Meet characters from the past, learn new skills, collect crucial information and make important discoveries.
Summer Garden Adventure
6 to 21 August, then every weekend in September
11.00 – 16.00
More dates to follow throughout the year.
William III and Mary II spent lots and lots and LOTS of money rebuilding and restyling Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, but not everything went according to plan. Join us for this summer’s garden adventure as we go off in search of ambitious ideas, big spending and exotic wonders.
Pick up your trail map from the Information Centre.
Great for families with children aged 5 – 14 years.
Included in palace admission.
Digital Missions - Become a Time Explorer!
Download the 'Time Explorers' app and go on an interactive adventure at Hampton Court Palace. Meet characters from history, explore all around you, do challenges and win badges! Download the free app to your iOS or Android device before your visit.
The Magic Garden
Explore our exciting new interactive play garden for families. Populated by mysterious mythical beasts, with battlements to storm, towers to besiege, and even a secret grotto to discover, the Magic Garden is a new and unique way for your family to explore the palace’s past. Set within King Henry VIII’s former Tiltyard, where the elaborate spectacle of the Tudor tournament played out, the new garden takes inspiration from the fairy-tale-like quality of the Tudor Palace. Find out more about the Magic Garden.
Packed with fun quizzes, activities, facts and pictures, our free family trails are the perfect way to explore Hampton Court Palace as a family. Hard copies are available at the palace's Information Centre after you have purchased your tickets. When you've completed one, bring it back for a prize!
Family audio guides
Family audio tours are available to help you explore the history and stories at Hampton Court Palace. Aimed at children aged 6 or over, they present the palace in a light-hearted way. Collect your free audio guides from the Information Centre.
Costumed tours and presentations
Meet characters from the Court of King Henry VIII in our costumed presentations. Check 'Your day at court' for presentation times.
Built to feed the Court of Henry VIII, the kitchens were expected to provide meals for 600 people twice a day. See and experience the sights and smells of a real Tudor kitchen!
Discover our recently uncovered 18th-century Chocolate Kitchens. Take a look behind the scenes into the very rooms where the personal chocolatier to King George I prepared the special chocolate drink the King's most intimate dinners and entertainments.
Our family room, in which under 5's can let off a bit of steam, is located next to the left luggage lockers and buggy park off Clock Court. It contains some large lego, books, clothes to dress up in and large soft blocks to keep younger members of the family happy and give parents and older siblings a bit of a break.
Another star attraction in our gardens. Test your skills as a family and get enjoyably lost in 'the most famous Maze in the history of the world'. The two metre high hedges twist and turn, with false routes and dead ends. See who gets to the middle first. Admission is included in your palace ticket. More information on the Maze.
The great outdoors
The palace is surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens featuring sparkling fountains, glorious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and 750 acres of tranquil royal parkland. Remember to take care when visiting the gardens as they contain water features, such as ponds and canals.
Ghosts at the palace
Is the palace haunted? People say it is haunted by the ghost of Queen Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII’s wives. But she isn't the only one! Did you feel anything? Are ghosts real? A ghostly children’s trail is available to help you track down our other ghosts or find out more.
Enter a living Tudor world..
Join King Henry VIII's courtiers to hear about this much married King, learn about the business of the Court and to dress up in a Tudor gown. If you are lucky you may even see the man himself...
More entertaining activities
Visiting a Historic Royal Palace shouldn’t be boring. Try these activities when visiting Hampton Court Palace with your family:
Decipher the ciphers - The royals have left their initials, called royal ciphers, everywhere in the Palace. Instead of their surnames, they all end in ‘R’, for the Latin Rex or Regina, meaning king or queen. You’ve seen the ciphers of recent kings and queens on post boxes. See how many different ones you can find here.
Watch out, beasts about - There are carvings of animals everywhere: proud lions, scary dragons, fast greyhounds, beautiful unicorns. See how many different ones you can find, including real animals from ducks to deer in the park and gardens.
Kids rule! - Tudor King Edward VI was born at Hampton Court Palace. He became King when he was only nine. How about letting your children take the lead? You might be surprised where they want to go. Remember to call them ‘Your Majesty’ and to bow and curtsey!
School holidays - During school holidays, we have costumed guided events and craft activities that are aimed at primary school aged children. Visit ‘What’s on’ for more information on current and upcoming events.