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We might be mourning t-shirt weather and sunsets at 10pm, but crisp, sunny autumnal days are spectacular in London’s eight Royal Parks.

As well as experiencing the changing of the seasons, visitors can also enjoy art fairs, live music, guided walks and London’s greenest half marathon. We conclude the top ten with an assortment of nature-inspired, October half-term activities for the little ones.

For a full list of what’s going on in the parks, visit www.royalparks.org.uk/events


1. Listen to the trees in Regent's Park

Our new Music for Trees app combines nature with original music composed by students at the Royal Academy of Music.

Walk through the trees in a special area of Regent's Park and let the music merge as you move from under one canopy to another, creating an immersive soundscape. It's also packed with information about the different species of trees.

Download for free now.


2. Enjoy a family day out in Kensington Gardens Allotment

Bring along the whole family to celebrate a year of food growing at our demonstration allotment in Kensington Gardens.

Meet our magnificent Shire horses, listen to live music and take part in the ‘big dig’ of the potato crop. There will also be lots of nature-inspired children’s activities including bug hunts and seed sowing.

When: Sunday 15 September 2019, 11am-4pm

Where: Kensington Gardens Allotment

Free

For more information click here.


3. Turn your next visit to Hyde Park into a game

Explore one of the world’s most iconic parks with a free scavenger hunt game for your mobile phone.

Take it slow, or go head-to head with your mates, to discover corners of Hyde Park you never knew existed and participate in photo challenges and games for all to enjoy.

For more information and to download the game for free click here.


4. Watch swimmers compete in the Serpentine in Hyde Park

Children with Cancer UK Swim Serpentine is a one-day open water swimming festival staged in the heart of London.

Organised by London Marathon Events, the festival is held in and around the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

The ballot entry system for Swim Serpentine is now closed but spectators will be able to watch on the grandstands for free. A festival tent will host a series of talks and short films on open water swimming, and there will be free activities for families including swimming coaching sessions (sign-up on the day), a surf simulator and open water exhibition. The festival tent and family activities are free for both participants and spectators.

When: Saturday 21 September 2019

For more information click here.


5. Discover the hidden history of St James’s Park

What do pelicans, a disappearing lake and King Charles I’s final walk all have in common?

Go on a guided walk to discover the history of London’s oldest Royal Park. Your visit will include a stop off at The Mall and Horse Guard’s Parade, the setting for important Royal and military occasions.

The walk will culminate in a visit to see the park’s most famous residents – the pelicans, a feature of the park since 1664. In May, we welcomed three new pelicans, Sun, Moon and Star, find out how they are getting on and watch them being fed their daily diet of roach and whiting.

Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to quiz our Wildlife Officer on all things nature.

When: Friday 27 September, 1.15pm-2.45pm, and every last Friday of the month.

Where: St James’s Park

Cost: £10

For more info and to buy tickets click here.


6. Buy tickets to Frieze art fairs in The Regent’s Park

Visit Frieze London in The Regent’s Park to see some of the best works from leading and emerging contemporary artists. The event will also feature performance-based installations, debates, panel discussions and keynote lectures.

Coinciding with Frieze London is Frieze Masters, bringing together 130 galleries specialising in pre-21st century art.

Pop into the English Gardens before the 6 October for your last opportunity to see the free Frieze Sculpture Park, featuring works from the likes of Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor, has been in place since July but will close on 6 October.

When: Frieze London and Frieze Masters - 3-6 October 2019. The Frieze Sculpture Park will be in place until Sunday 6 October.

Where: The Regent’s Park

Buy tickets for Frieze London and Frieze Masters here


7. Watch the changing seasons in a Royal Park

With over 170,000 trees across 5,000 acres of historic parkland in the capital, there is no shortage of places in the Royal Parks to watch nature’s greatest spectacle – the leaves changing colour.

In a guided walk through Hyde Park, discover what makes trees transform into the colours they do and how they fit into the landscape.

When: Saturday 5 October 2019, 10.30am-Noon

Where: Hyde Park

Cost: Free

Buy tickets here.


8. Discover a time machine in Brompton Cemetery

This family walk, led by a professional storyteller, will delve into the long held theory that the largest and most elaborate construction in Brompton Cemetery, is in fact, a fully functioning time machine.

Suitable for families with children aged six or above.

When: Saturday 5 October, 2019. 11.30am-12.30pm

Where: Brompton Cemetery. Meet outside North Lodge Information Centre.

Cost: Free

For more information click here.


9. Cheer on runners at the Royal Parks Half Marathon

Bring on the family fun at the Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada on 13 October.

Cheer on 16,000 runners as they take on central London and four glorious Royal Parks. Then stick around for the Food and Fitness Festival from 10am-4pm. There will be delicious food and all-day entertainment including music, public fitness classes and cooking demos.

If you want to get in on the action, you can volunteer at The Royal Parks water station. This year, the Royal Parks Half is trialling Ooho! water capsules, which are made of biodegradable/compostable (and edible) seaweed. You’ll get a front row seat to cheer on the runners and will help the race work to protect the environment.  For more info on this opportunity click here.

When: Sunday 13 October 2019.


10. Half term fun in the Royal Parks

During October half term, we have lots of activities in the Royal Parks to keep little ones entertained.

Children can discover the fascinating world of London’s bugs with Mission Invertebrate in Brompton Cemetery, follow in the footsteps of David Attenborough by making a mini wildlife documentary in Hyde Park or drop into our free Halloween themed Discovery Days to concoct potions or build bat boxes.

The Field Studies Council will also be delivering several wildlife-inspired activities, including nature trails and arts and crafts in Greenwich Park, The Regent’s Park and Bushy Park.



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