What's On

Families, Gardens, Music, film & theatre

Summer of Play

Wed 24 July – Mon 26 Aug


Free with grounds admission
Book now

Bring the whole family to enjoy the summer holidays with our range of fun activities for our Summer of Play, included with admission. Until 26 August, children get free admission to the house and grounds at Waddesdon!

Summer of Play


Garden Games

24 Jul - 26 Aug

Complimentary garden games are available to borrow from the Visitor Information building on the North Front throughout Summer. Choose from cricket, tennis, rounders and more.

Arbor (2)

Arbor - Smoking Apples Theatre

26 July

Part Man. Part Tree. 18 feet tall. Meet Arbor.

Follow Arbor as he strides around the streets, vanishing between trees and emerging with his cart full of tree seeds. Arbor tells the story of a tree pushed from his home and his fight to preserve his future. Encouraging the audience to plant and nurture their own trees, Arbor will give each person some seeds to take home, leaving a legacy that will last for generations. Arbor is a visually stunning show with lots of lovable puppets.

Suitable for the entire family.

Show 1: 11:30 – 12:00

Show 2: 14:00 – 14:30


Buzz - Smoking Apples Theatre

27 July

Join Billy Bumble as he shrinks down to bee-size and learns about the troubles that they face. Featuring spell-binding puppetry and a giant honeycomb set, join us for a whirlwind ride, avoiding grumpy Mr Fred and the gaping jaws of Shredder the dog! Buzz finishes with the audience being given wildflower seeds, to plant and help our black and yellow friends to flourish.

Suitable for the entire family.

Show 1: 11:30 – 12:05

Show 2: 14:00 – 14:35


Urban Canvas Street Art

Urban Canvas Street Art

Fri 2 – Sun 4 Aug

Remember a time when children’s song, dance and art intermingle seamlessly into the purest forms of creative expression known as “the art of playing-out.” Have a go at a mixture of traditional and newly invented games for the whole family to enjoy

The Actual Reality Arcade

The Actual Reality Arcade

Fri 9 - Sun 11 Aug

The Actual Reality Arcade is a life-sized interactive game zone for all ages to enjoy, inspired by twelve classic arcade games. Fire rockets, dodge barrels, avoid lasers, build Tetris walls, shoot aliens and become Pac-Man. Experience the arcade where you play for real and bring the games to life.

Rock Climbing

On Targett Events

Fri 16 - Sun 18 Aug

Over the summer have a go at the medieval art of archery. Suitable for ages 8+. Try your hand at the rapidly growing sport of axe throwing. Suitable for ages 12+. As well as archery and axe throwing, channel your inner hero and tackle the climbing wall. Minimum height and weight and maximum weight limits apply.

Birds of Prey

Berkshire Birds of Prey

Fri 23 - Mon 26 Aug

Get up close and personal with birds of prey! Learn about their habits, habitats, and history as well as how you can help them in the wild.

Feeling brave? Put on a handlers glove and have the chance to hold the birds yourself.

All that glitters - Face painting

All That Glitters Face painting

Selected dates

Treat the kids and see them transform into magical creatures by our creative on-site face painter. Additional charge applies.

Woodland Playground

Our playground winds through the trees, making the most of the natural environment. Little ones can play safely at the bottom of the hill, on seesaws, swings and soft bark. At the top is our bird’s nest swing, for those who want a more gentle play. Older children can whizz down our giant contour slide or clamber over the climbing frames. Access included in your grounds ticket.

Discover our Woodland Playground > 

Outdoor adventures: 50 things

Join the National Trust’s outdoor challenge and complete 50 different activities across lots of properties. Pick up a free 50 things leaflet from our Welcome Pavilion and start ticking off your adventures. At Waddesdon you can do No.4 build a den, No.31 hunt for bugs, No.6 run around in the rain, No.12 make a trail with sticks, No.33 catch a falling leaf, No.34 track wild animals, and more.

Download 50 things PDF (2mb)


For something extra special, book tickets for one of our family theatre shows or spend the day at Chilli Fest, where there is fun to be had for all the family!

Special events


Outdoor theatre

Every Thursday evening in August we are welcoming theatre companies bringing their family-friendly shows. From Hamlet to Jemima Puddle Duck, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Learn more >


Chilli Fest

Round off the summer holidays with our annual Chilli Fest! Running 30 Aug – 1 Sep, bring your family and friends and soak up the last of the summer sun. With delicious food, live music, fun activities and more, there’s lots for everyone to enjoy!

Book now >

Food and Drink

Cakes and cookie close up (c) Waddesdon, A Rothschild House & Gardens 2100x1313 2

Stables Café & Takeaway

Located near the Woodland Playground, the Stables is the perfect pit-stop on your visit. Enjoy delicious light lunches or cream teas in the café or pick up tempting treats from our takeaway including local ice cream.