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Things to do in Bedfordshire With Kids Right Now

Looking for some fun activities and 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 and other useful information. We also have some additional outdoor things you can do in Bedfordshire.

  • 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)

Woburn Safari Park is a wild animal park located in Woburn, Bedfordshire, England. It allows visitors to drive through animal reserves, offering the opportunity to see various species from around the world in a more natural setting compared to traditional zoos.

Opening Hours: daily (9:30 AM – 4:30 PM)

Where to eat: 

There are three main options for eating at Woburn Safari Park:

  • The Safari Restaurant: Located in the Leisure Area, this restaurant offers a variety of hot and cold meals, including special children’s portions, freshly made sandwiches, and baguettes for takeaway. It is open from 10am to 3.45pm for hot food and until 5pm for light refreshments.
  • 2×2 Restaurant: This restaurant is located next to the indoor soft play area, the Mammoth Play Ark. It offers a similar menu to the Safari Restaurant and is a good option if you have young children who need to burn off some energy.
  • You are welcome to bring your own picnic food to enjoy at Woburn Safari Park. There are several designated picnic areas throughout the park, or you can find a spot in the car park.

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:

  • 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. 

Whipsnade Zoo (Dunstable)

Whipsnade Zoo, formally known as ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, is a zoo and safari park located at Whipsnade, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It holds the title of the largest zoo in the United Kingdom, encompassing a vast area of over 600 acres.

Opening Hours: Whipsnade Zoo is normally open every day of the year except for Christmas Day, with seasonal closing times: They typically open at 10:00 AM daily.

Where to eat: 

There are several options for dining at Whipsnade Zoo, catering to different preferences and budgets:

Restaurants:

  • The Viewpoint Restaurant: Located at the highest point of the zoo, this restaurant offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It serves a variety of hot and cold meals, including pizzas, burgers, salads, and children’s options. Open from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm Monday to Friday, and 11:30 am to 3:00 pm on weekends.
  • The Landing Restaurant: Situated near the lake, this restaurant offers a more casual dining experience with a focus on self-service options like hot and cold food counters, salad bars, and drinks stations. Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • The Oasis Cafe: Located near the entrance of the zoo, this cafe offers a selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks, and pastries. Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • The Lookout Lodge Cafe: Situated near the Lookout Lodge accommodation, this cafe offers hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals. Open seasonally, please check the zoo’s website for current hours.
  • Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics to enjoy at the zoo. There are several designated picnic areas located throughout the park, offering tables and benches for seating.

Toilets:

  • There are toilets located throughout the zoo in various areas, including:
    • Near the visitor center
    • Next to the learning center
    • At the rear of the Butterfly House and Aquarium
    • Near the Station Store and Basecamp Restaurant
    • Near the Africa Outpost
    • Near the River Cottage Kitchen and Deli
  • The zoo also has accessible toilets available at specific locations, including:
    • Main entrance (requires RADAR key)
    • Lawn area before Butterfly House/Aquarium
    • Tigers/Base Camp
    • Reindeer/Viewpoint Kitchen and Deli
    • Hippos/Africa Outpost

If you require an accessible toilet and don’t have a RADAR key, you can ask for one at the shop or visitor center.

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. 

Wrest Park (Silsoe)

Wrest Park (Silsoe) is a historical estate located in Silsoe, Bedfordshire, England. It comprises two key features: the 18th century mansion and stunning formal gardens.

There is a play area located next to the cafe in the Kitchen Garden, this dedicated play area features various equipment for children to climb, slide, and swing, providing a fun outlet for their energy.

Throughout the year, Wrest Park hosts special events and activities specifically designed for families.

Where to eat: 

  • The Wrest Park Cafe: Located inside the walled garden near the play area, this cafe offers a selection of delicious hot and cold meals and snacks, including a homemade soup of the day, freshly made sandwiches, cakes, and scones. They also have a children’s menu, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free alternatives 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.
  • 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.

Herring Green Activity Farm (Wilstead)

Herring Green Activity Farm & Bird of Prey Centre is a family-friendly attraction located in Wilstead, Bedfordshire, England. It offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages, especially children.

Opening Hours: open daily (10 AM to 5 PM)

Where to eat: 

  • The on-site Tea Room: Located within the farm, the Tea Room offers a variety of food options suitable for all ages and dietary needs.
  • 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. 


Jordans Mill and Gardens (Broom)

ordans Mill and Gardens is a food heritage attraction situated on the banks of the River Ivel in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England. It offers a unique blend of history, nature, and delicious food, making it a popular destination for families and anyone interested in local heritage and sustainability.

Children can explore the Mill: While guided tours are currently unavailable to the public except for larger groups, children can still explore the mill independently. The interactive displays allow them to learn about the milling process through engaging exhibits like turning a giant wheel and seeing bread shapes being created.

  • Discover the Gardens: The Mill Gardens offer a fun and stimulating environment for children to explore. They can run around the wide-open spaces, hide and seek amongst the hedges, and observe the diverse wildlife, such as birds and butterflies.
  • Woodland and Meadow Exploration: The dedicated woodland and meadow area allows children to connect with nature. They can embark on a mini-adventure, climb small logs, and observe the natural surroundings.

Opening Times:(Thursday – Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM)

Where to eat: Riverside Cafe for hot and cold meals  

Accessibility: 

  • The venue is accredited as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction from Visit England and are suitable for wheelchair users.
  • four parking spaces for Blue Badge holders with dropped curb access, and the 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:

  • Dogs are allowed

Forest of Marston Vale (Marston Moretaine)

The Forest of Marston Vale is a national forest located in Marston Vale, England, which runs southwest from the towns of Bedford and Kempston in Bedfordshire towards the M1 motorway. It is an “evolving community forest,” meaning it’s a growing woodland area established through the planting of new trees alongside the management of existing woodlands, hedgerows, and other natural spaces.

Where to eat:

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 the entrance gate.

The Swiss Garden (Old Warden)

The Swiss Garden, located at the Old Warden estate in Bedfordshire, England, is a unique historical landscape designed in the “picturesque” style, resembling the foothills of the Swiss Alps. Boasting a rich history and stunning scenery, it offers visitors a delightful escape into a meticulously crafted landscape.

The Swiss Garden at Old Warden, while not specifically designed as a play area for kids, offers several features that can keep children entertained and engaged during a visit:

Exploration and Discovery:

  • Wandering the paths: The garden’s winding paths provide a sense of adventure for children, allowing them to explore different sections and discover hidden corners. They can use their imaginations to turn the experience into a treasure hunt or a game of following a secret path.
  • Observing nature: The diverse plant life and the occasional wildlife encounters (like birds, butterflies, and peacocks) can spark children’s curiosity and encourage them to observe the natural world around them.
  • Exploring the Swiss Cottage: This charming thatched cottage offers a fun opportunity for imaginative play. Children can pretend it’s a fairy tale dwelling, a secret hideout, or a cozy home for their favorite characters.

Engaging Activities:

  • Playful learning: You can turn your visit into an educational experience by asking children questions about the plants they see, the different landscaping features, or the history of the garden. Engage them in counting the bridges, spotting different bird species, or identifying various colored flowers.
  • Picnic in the gardens: Pack a picnic lunch and find a suitable spot on the lawns within the garden to enjoy a meal surrounded by nature. This can be a relaxing and enjoyable break for both children and adults.
  • Combine with other activities: If visiting the Swiss Garden as part of a larger trip to the Shuttleworth estate, children can also enjoy exploring the vintage aircraft collection, which might spark their interest in history and technology.

Opening Times: 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.

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

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