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Things to do in Bedfordshire With Kids Right Now

Now that England is opening up a little more, there are more options of things to do in Bedfordshire with kids. Whether you live within driving distance or are perhaps visiting the area whilst camping, here you will find lots of current details on the following places. Including where to eat on site, toilet facilities, guidelines, what facilities are closed and other useful information.

Woburn Safari Park is a great outdoor space in Bedfordshire for kids
Woburn Safari Park
  • Woburn Safari (Milton Keynes)
  • Whipsnade Zoo (Dunstable)
  • Wrest Park (Silsoe)
  • Herring Green Activity Farm (Wilstead)
  • Jordans Mill and Gardens (Broom)
  • Forest of Marston Vale (Marston Moretaine)
  • The Swiss Garden (Old Warden)

For more details, go straight to your preferred attraction by selecting it from the contents table or scroll down.

Things to do in Bedfordshire with kids.

Woburn Safari (Milton Keynes)

From the website: Woburn Safari Park is a wild animal park, set in over 360 acres of beautiful parkland. Home to over 1,000 wild and exotic animals, and the perfect day out for animal encounters and visiting wonderful wildlife.

As a multi-award-winning visitor attraction, Woburn makes a valuable contribution to conservation and is a place where families can enjoy being together, seeing animals in a beautiful natural environment.

Opening Date: now open daily (9:30 AM – 4:30 PM)

Where to eat: 

  • The Safari Restaurant is open for takeaway only, with social distancing queuing in place for all customers.
  • Some additional kiosks in the leisure area will be open selling hot dogs and ice cream. Please note. Some kiosks take cash payment only. 

Toilets: Toilet access is for customers only and are located in the main courtyard and in the Safari Restaurant in the leisure area

Accessibility: 

  • Tickets are available for one disabled individual plus one carer, for £20.99 online. These tickets are now available online only (on a one to one ratio – one disabled individual to one carer) for visit dates from 29th June.
  • The majority of the Leisure Area is accessible by wheelchair although movement around the attractions can sometimes involve a steep gradient.
  • Junglies Gift Shop: Most aisles are accessible by wheelchair. 
  • There are 19 parking bays for blue badge holders in the main Leisure Area car park.
  • Disabled Toilets are located at the main entrance to the park, in the Safari Restaurant, and in the courtyard block by Junglies gift shop.

Other useful information:

  • Day tickets are on sale for visit dates up to 5th July and are valid for both the Road Safari and Foot Safari
  • Day ticket prices increase from 6th July, as more areas of the Foot Safari and leisure are open up to visitors, including all outdoor play areas!
  • No pets or dogs are permitted into the Safari Park and kennel facilities are not provided.
  • Assistance dogs are only allowed to enter very limited areas of the Safari Park and may not enter the Road Safari or any animal enclosures in the Foot Safari. 

Guidelines:

  • Every car (containing paying customers, exclusions apply, subject to terms and availability) will be given a 100ml hand sanitiser to use during their visit
  • Entry to the park with be through our Ridgmont Gate entrance (Sat Nav MK43 0TU)
  • Visitors are only able to enter the park, travelling in your own vehicle
  • The lead driver or visitor in each car will be asked to read a notice and confirm they have no symptoms of Covid-19 before they enter the park. 
  • Tickets are only available to purchase online
  • Tickets are strictly limited
  • Foot Safari and Leisure Area walkways have been changed to a one-way system or marked for social distancing as appropriate
  • Temporarily closed: Great Woburn Railway, Rainbow Landing Aviary

Whipsnade Zoo (Dunstable)

From FB page: Experience a truly memorable day out at the UK’s biggest zoo. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is home to some 3,000 animals and set in 600 acres of lush countryside overlooking the beautiful Chiltern Downs.

Opening Date: now open (Slots:10 AM -2 PM and 2 PM – 6 PM, last admission at 5 PM)

Where to eat: 

  • Please note that our indoor catering outlets are closed at this time.
  • We have some delectable al fresco dining options available on your visit, or you might like to bring a picnic of your very own.

Toilets: Toilets are open, but we’ve introduced some new hygiene measures.

Accessibility: 

  • ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is considered reasonably wheelchair friendly.
  • Free entry for one essential carer and/or free essential car entry into the Zoo is available per paying visitor with additional needs.
  • A child’s ticket must be purchased for any under 3 with additional needs who requires a free essential carer.
  • We have a limited number of wheelchairs that are available for hire on a first-come, first-served basis
  • There are several accessible toilet facilities available around the Zoo: Visitor Centre, Discovery Centre, Africa Outpost, Base Camp Restaurant

Other useful information:

  • You may park in our free external car park and walk around the Zoo
  • (Paid Parking)You may drive into the Zoo and park in specified areas around the Zoo.
  • Assistance dogs are not currently permitted inside ZSL Whipsnade Zoo because we have free-roaming animals
  • ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is proud to be part of the #FreeToFeed campaign, supporting mothers while they visit ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. 

Guidelines:

  • Everyone must have a pre-booked ticket before visiting – this includes our Members, Fellows and Patrons.
  • We have strictly limited the number of tickets on sale each day and split them into morning and afternoon time slots to spread visitors throughout the day.
  • Keeper talks and animal experiences will not be running.
  • Indoor animal spaces and walk-throughs will be closed.
  • Hullabazoo and the Great Whipsnade Railway are closed.
  • We have clearly marked out any areas where queues might occur, like the Zoo entrance, to help everyone maintain a safe 2m distance from one another.
  • At regular stops around the Zoo, we have placed hand sanitizer and hand wash stations to make sure visitors can frequently wash their hands.
  • Barriers have been added in select places around the Zoo where it is more difficult to maintain social distancing, for example at tills.
  • We are only accepting contactless payments including debit cards, credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Wrest Park (Silsoe)

From FB page: This is one of the most magnificent yet least well-known gardens in England. Unlike ‘Capability’ Brown’s natural landscape styling, favoured during the late 18th century, Wrest Park’s formal gardens provide a fascinating history of gardening styles, laid out over 150 years and inspired by the great gardens of Versailles in France. The gardens are overlooked by a stylish French-style 18th century mansion and contain wonderful garden buildings.

Opening Date: now open daily from 10.00 – 17.00 (gardens only)

Where to eat: 

  • Our kiosk will be open for takeaway service of tea, coffee, cake and ice-creams.
  • Picnic areas available

Toilets:  

  • Toilets are open as usual. Additional hand sanitising stations will be available across the site.
  • Male and female toilets, including baby changing facilities, are located at the visitor centre. 
  • Toilets in the grounds are not accessible to wheelchair users, but there is a disabled toilet in the mansion.

Accessibility: 

  • You can bring a companion or helper for free
  • Disabled parking for 14 cars available. Exception is on event days when there is a separate disabled parking area.
  • A free, regular golf cart shuttle service is available to help visitors explore the whole landscape.

Other useful information:

  • The shop is open offering a range of gifts and souvenirs. There will be a new one-way system in place and we encourage contactless payments.
  • Dogs on leads are welcome to enjoy our grounds.
  • Free parking
  • You don’t need to pay for under-fives, but you do need to book a free ‘infant’ ticket for them. For those aged 5 to 17, please buy ‘child’ tickets.

Guidelines:

  • We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation.
  • The house will remain closed.
  • The Archer Pavillion and Sculpture Gallery will remain closed.
  • The playground will remain closed.

Herring Green Activity Farm (Wilstead)

From the website: During your you can view some of our farm animals including; Highland cows, ponies, goats, rabbits, guineas pigs, alpacas, chickens, turkeys, parrots, wallaby and you can even meet some of our baby goats. We will also give you your own bag of animal food so you can feed some of the animals during your visit as well as an activity book for each child. Once you have spent an hour on the farm you can then go on to spend an hour with our fantastic birds of prey, with just under 200 birds there is plenty to see.

Opening Date: now open daily (10 AM to 5 PM)

Where to eat: 

  • The tea room is closed but you can purchase drinks, snacks and ice creams from the farm shop. 
  • You are welcome to bring your own picnic.

Toilets: The toilets are now gender mutual, one family ONLY at one time. 

Guidelines:

  • We are opening up the zoo to small family groups at timed intervals during the day. At the current time, we are allowing 12 families to book in every hour for a two-hour visit.
  • A one-way system has been put into place, with reminders that a 2-metre distance must be maintained while visiting the centre.
  • Hand sanitisers on the entrance and exit of the site
  • There are ample hand wash stations around the centre and hand sanitiser stations
  • Children’s play areas remain closed until further notice.
  • There are currently no keeper talks/animal meet and greets and flying displays
  • Indoor animal enclosures remain closed until further notice.

Jordans Mill and Gardens (Broom)

From the website: Come and take a guided tour of the historic Victorian Mill and admire the ingenious milling machinery while our tour guides take you on a fascinating journey through time.

Explore our beautiful Mill gardens with their crops of cereals, fruits and vegetables growing alongside ornamental flowers and plants (which can all be grown at home), and enjoy the wildlife and tranquillity of our meadow and woodland. Then relax in the Riverside Café where you can enjoy freshly prepared food and drink overlooking the stunning views of the River Ivel.

Opening Date: 2 July (Thursday – Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM)

Where to eat: Online Orders for Collection/Takeaway Food – The Collection Point is at the Entrance of the Main Building. 

Toilets: closed

Accessibility: 

  • We’re proud to be accredited as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction from Visit England and are suitable for wheelchair users.
  • We have four parking spaces for Blue Badge holders with dropped curb access, and our building is entered by automatic double doors with no steps.
  • The Mill is laid out over three floors and has a lift with space for one wheelchair at a time.

Other useful information:

  • The Main Car park to the front of the building will be open. Please note the car park to the rear remains closed.
  • Dogs are allowed

Guidelines:

  • Access to the Mill Shop, Gardens and Meadow will be from the gate to the right of the main building doors. 
  • We will operate a one-way system within The Mill Shop
  • There will be a set limit of customers whom can enter The Mill Shop at one time.
  • Access to the Meadow is via a small bridge leading from the Mill Gardens
  • Areas which remain closed: Our Woodland, Cafe & Restaurant, Toilets, Rear Car Park  

Forest of Marston Vale (Marston Moretaine)

From FB page: This is ‘forest’ in a traditional sense; a patchwork of woodland and green space, mixed with farmland, villages and industry. It’s about using trees and woodlands to create a living, vibrant and dynamic area in which people want to live, work and enjoy their leisure time.

Opening Date: now open daily (9.30 AM – 4 PM)

Where to eat: The cafe will be providing a takeaway service only (for hot and cold drinks, ice creams and snacks), and only accepting cards and contactless payments.

Toilets: open from 9.30 AM – 4 PM daily

Accessibility: 

  • There is step free access throughout the building, with automatic doors into Reception and a baby changing facility/ disabled toilet.
  • There is also a lift if you are using the upstairs spaces.
  • We have a range of adapted bikes available for hire, from a wheelchair carrier to a quad. 

Other useful information:

  • Kids Activity Sheets and Explorer packs are downloadable from the website
  • The car park is open until 8pm.
  • Do not park in front of our gate as we need emergency access 24/7

Guidelines:

  • There are social distancing measures in place and only 10 customers are allowed in the building at a time.
  • There is an anti-bacterial hand gel station on entry. 
  • The gift shop, Reception, seating area, bike hire and playground remain closed.
  • In the best interests of our staff, volunteers and visitors we are cancelling all public events scheduled between now and the end of July, including children’s activities, tribute nights and bird walks 

The Swiss Garden (Old Warden)

From the website: Adjacent to the aerodrome that houses the Collection, the Swiss Garden is an outstanding example of the Regency fashion for creating landscapes in a picturesque alpine style. It is a peaceful, tranquil space, and one which has new vistas revealed at every turn. Within the garden are 13 listed structures, an adjacent woodland sculpture trail, and three resident peacocks. It’s a delight to explore and recent restoration work in 2014 has ensured it has accessibility for all visitors.

Opening Date: now open daily from 10.00-17.00

Where to eat: 

  • Picnic benches suitably distanced on the paddocks overlooking our grass airfield, with takeaway, hot food, snacks, and drinks available. 
  • On weekdays find our catering pod on paddock 4, selling hot & cold drinks, snacks and ice creams.
  • Weekends find our catering pod on paddock 4, selling hot & cold drinks, snacks and ice creams, plus Shuttleworth bar open for hot drinks, soft drinks, crisps, chocolate, ice cream and sandwiches.

Toilets: We have brought in more toilet facilities to replace those that cannot be socially distanced.

Accessibility: 

  • Designated parking for blue badge holders is provided close to the Visitor Centre entrance. 
  • The pathways in the Swiss Garden are firm and even, with minimal gradients, and most are suitable for access by wheelchair users.

Other useful information:

  • CHILDREN (Under 16) FREE
  • Dogs on leads are allowed on site, including North Park, but not inside the Swiss Garden
  • We have created 4metre car parking spaces

Guidelines:

  • The visitor entrance has changed, visitors can access the site via the gatehouse in Old Warden Village, and pay at our box office (contactless only) through our new daily ticketing system.
  • There is no access inside Shuttleworth Collection, Play Area, restaurant, or gift shop in keeping with the latest Government guidance
  • We have checked all our paths and spaces and closed any place where we cannot keep you safely socially distanced.
  • Stay 2 metres away from any of our stewards while you talk to them
  • Bring your own sanitiser and PPE where you can

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