Ever looked up into the canopy of one of Bodnant Garden’s giant trees and thought about climbing it? Ever wanted to whip a fishing net under those water lilies to see what’s living underneath, or fancied getting your hands dirty with the gardeners? Go on, admit it…chances are you’ve thought about it, because for most of us our love of gardens started with a love of outdoor play.
Which is why we’re inviting youngsters to come along and do just that this summer. We’ve got seven weeks of holiday fun for families lined up with Grow Wild, Bodnant Garden’s first ever, tailor-made events programme jam-packed with activities to entertain, educate and inspire our younger visitors, and hopefully get them closer to nature.
The National Trust is spearheading a drive to get children loving the great outdoors with a campaign called 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾. It’s all about the simple childhood pleasures like jumping in a puddle, rolling down a hill or making a mud pie. At Bodnant we’re doing our bit by sharing the joy of our beautiful garden with today’s techno-savvy younger generation.
As part of the Grow Wild summer we’ll have regular garden activities every weekday afternoon from July 22 to September 6, plus some special weekend events.
Mondays are Garden Apprentice days when families can join in with the gardeners on a whole range of daily tasks. Tuesday is Pond Dipping day when you can do a bug hunt in the Lily Terrace pond.
Wednesday is a biggie – in the afternoon you can muck in at our vegetable plot and Plant Your Own Dinner and in the evening come along to late night opening for a wildlife walk, followed by hot dogs and marshmallows in front of a fire in The Dell.
Discover Secret Bodnant on Thursdays, when private areas of the garden will be open to explore, and then on Friday have a go at Garden Games such as quoits and croquet on the lawns.
In addition to all this we’ve also got a Craft Week from July 22-26 and a Wild Art Week from August 19-23 with themed activities by visiting artists taking place around the garden.
The highlight of the summer will be two extra special weekends; August 3-4 is Tree Climbing, an opportunity to scale a Bodnant Garden tree with the professionals and watch demonstrations of tree felling and wood carving by our arborists; then on August 17-18 it’s Mega Machinery when all our vehicles and equipment will be on show in the Old Park for visitors to see and try.
All of these events are free apart from Tree Climbing run for us by The Big Tree Climb Co which is pre-bookable at a cost of £12.50. Otherwise normal garden admission charges apply, just drop in on any of the activities that take your fancy.
For details of all these events see our website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant–garden or check our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/BodnantGardenNT but most importantly come along and join in!