Active Play Sessions at Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace, the birthplace of Queen Victoria, first became a royal residence for William and Mary in 1689. Most West London parents see this beautiful building from the outside during their weekend strolls through Kensington Gardens. What many might not know is that every Wednesday and Saturday the palace opens up to its youngest visitors with fabulous active play sessions for children 0 – 4 years.

Sessions last between 45 and 60 minutes, and for £6 you get access for 2 adults and 1 child. If you are a member of Historic Royal Palaces the fee is only £5. Have your moment of royalty at a bargain price!

What to expect

When KIDsorted visited with babies in tow, we were fashionably late for the 10:30am baby session (no surprise for an outing with 7 month old twins). The directions from the confirmation email where perfect, and we received a warm welcome from Kate and the Royal Palaces’ Explorer Team. The group entrance room is on ground floor level and benefits from ample space to park lots of buggies and even has lockers rooms to store bags. Finally a venue that seems to be perfectly suited for baby & toddler groups with tons of “luggage”. Hooray!

Together with the lovely and fabulous Olivia Armstrong, the “story teller in resident”, we embarked on our tour through the palace. Pug, Mary’s dog (the soft toy version of it), accompanied us throughout the visit and loved to snuggle up with the little ones.

The Tiny Explorer Session

Our Tiny Explorer group followed Olivia through the building to the first stop. The theme of the day was “Sensory Storytelling: immerse yourselves in the sights, sounds and smells of history”.  After passing the magical tree we soon arrived via the grand staircase at our first stop. Olivia quickly set up a blanket in one of the beautiful old rooms, and we immersed ourselves in the world of Mary  and William and the royal gardens. The little paper straw wind mills handed out to the kids were a big hit, and Olivia’s stories told in a very engaging and entertaining way soon cast a spell over even the adults in the group.

The little group continued their journey to a grand hall on the first floor, which Olivia told us used to be full of bird cages on the window stills, vases and flowers. Considering we were on the move, it was very impressive to see the amount of props that Olivia and her team magically let appear at every stop, including bean bags for the entire group, soft toys in the shape of vases, tulips to play with and much more. Our last stop included the garden and was a lovely end to a truly magical hour.  Team KIDsorted gives it a royal “thumps up” – we were very much delighted and shall return!

What’s on when?

You and your little ones will be transported into a magical world through storytelling, messy play, movement and music. Meet colourful characters from time gone by as history is brought to life in a sensory explosion of sight, taste, touch, smell and sound.

Times (Wednesdays and Saturdays):

Babies (0+): 10:30am – 11:30am
Toddlers – 4 years: 1pm – 2pm

Wednesday 30th Sep & Saturday 3rd Oct:

Rhythm & Sound: play with instruments, explore new sounds and listen to music from the past.

Wednesday 7th Oct & Saturday 10th Oct:

Sensory Storytelling: immerse yourselves in the sights, sounds and smells of history.

Wednesday 14th Oct & Saturday 17th Oct:

Messy Play: squish and splash your way into history, exploring, colour, taste and texture. NB. Messy play is messy – bring a change of clothes!

Wednesday 21st Oct:

Touch The Past: discover the stories and hold the trinkets and treasures of those who lived and worked in the palaces.

Wednesday 4th Nov & Saturday 7th Nov:

Movement & Drama: palace stories and colourful characters brought to life through songs, dance and role play.

Wednesday 11th Nov & Saturday 14th Nov:

Meet a Monarch: explore the palace through stories and song and get ready to meet the king or queen in their home.

Please note: tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

For more information and/or to book your place, please click here. 

All photos curtesy of Historic Royal Palaces/ Hadley Studios.