Family fun activities

Family fun activities

Cartoon illustration of Queen Anne hunting on horse-drawn cart, by Tim Archbold

We have a wide range of activities and tours available at Hampton Court Palace to entertain families.

Family activities

Half term activities 15th-23rd February

Discover the stories of royal drinking chocolate, gossip with Princess Caroline, discover traditional recipes and design your own cup to sip your hot chocolate in at home.

Inside the palace:

Become a Royal Chocolatier - Saturday 15th & 22nd, Sunday 16th & 23rd February, 12.30 &14.30 (duration 1 hour)

Create your own Georgian style royal drinking chocolate to take home.

Free, bookable family workshop - tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis on the day from the Information Centre and spaces are limited. The activity is aimed at 7-11 years and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Gossip with Princess Caroline - Saturday 15th & 22nd, Sunday 16th & 23rd February, 11.30, 13.30 & 15.30 (duration 30 minutes)

Come and hear Princess Caroline's tales of court life whilst she sips on her favourite drink, hot chocolate!

Design your own Chocolate Cup - Saturday 15th - Sunday 23rd February, 11.00-15.00

Discover how to correctly serve a cup of drinking chocolate and decorate your own ceramic cup to sip your chocolate in at home.


Weekdays in the Clore Learning Centre:

Monday 17th - Friday 21st February


Come and play and find out more about royal drinking chocolate. Dress up as a Georgian courtier then take part in a range of drop-in activities. For children of all ages.


Top 10 for families

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. Further information

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 information

Costumed tours and presentations

Meet characters from the Court of King Henry VIII. Check 'Your day at court' for presentation times.  More information on costumed guided tours.

Family room

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. 

The Maze  

The 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.



Tudor kitchens

Built to feed the Court of Henry VIII, the kitchens were expected to provide meals for 600 people twice a day. See the kitchens and experience the sights and smells of a real Tudor kitchen! Learn more on the Tudor kitchens.

View our Henry VIII's Kitchens video >

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. Take care when visiting the gardens that contain water features, such as ponds and canals. More information and to download a map of the gardens.

View our Hampton Court gardens slideshow >

The King's Guard Chamber

King William III decorated his guard chamber with 2,846 pieces of arms and armour. A special children’s audio guide and/or family trail takes you on a fun-filled tour through the rest of the King’s magnificent rooms. Look out for his very comfy toilet! 

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.


Family trails

Packed with fun quizzes, activities, facts and illustrations, 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! Click below to download a sample family trail.

Henry's dinners: The Tudor Kitchens >
(PDF 603KB)  How do you feed 600 hungry people twice a day? Find out in this Tudor food factory.

More entertaining activities

Visiting a Historic Royal Palace shouldn’t be boring. Try these entertaining activities with your family:

Give us a clue! You’ll hear about all sorts of interesting people during your visit. Take it in turns to pretend to be one of them, or act out part of their story and see if the others can guess who you are.

Hide and seek in the 20th Century Garden. The rule is no-one can leave the garden.

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 9. 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! Find out more about Henry VIII's children.

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.


Downloadable Resources

Some files are provided in PDF format - you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.

  1. Click here to download Acrobat Reader
  2. Alternatively, Adobe offers a service for converting PDFs into HTML or plain text. Access this service here

    Plan your day at court - 15-23 February 2014
    (Adobe PDF, 350KB)

    Plan your day at Court: From 2 January 2014
    (Adobe PDF, 315KB)

    HCP orientation map - Feb 2014
    (Adobe PDF, 1.82MB)

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