The great outdoors
With lockdown restrictions easing and the sun (mostly!) shining, it’s time to get our families back out into the world. How can you make sure your family days out are fun and eco-friendly too?
A summer holiday stretches ahead, and what better moment to plan some days out with your family? There is so much to see and do, all over the country, but we know that sustainability matters to the readers of this blog. Some days out can simply mean more plastic for landfill and a bigger carbon footprint.
So, here is our pick of the best sustainable days out for kids. We love each and every location on this list. Whether through their reverence for the great outdoors, their educational credentials, or simply their fantastic charity and conservation work, all of these places do their best to help the planet. Read on for an eco-friendly day out for all the family to enjoy.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
A visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens promises to be an eco-friendly day out which is fun for all of the family. The folks at Kew organise educational sessions for kids of every age, so that they can learn more about the natural world around them, as they explore the Children’s Garden, learn about the Secret World of Plants, and much more besides.
Stay Covid-safe and make sure you book your time slot online before visiting. The Royal Botanic Gardens offer a special and sustainable day out for all of the family.
BeWilderwood, Cheshire and Norfolk
Many of us have fond memories of playing outside as children. BeWilderwood offers kids the chance to do just that, in a safe and fun environment. Kids will love the Curious Treehouse Adventure – and what better way to learn to respect nature than to spend time playing in it?
Make sure you book your tickets in advance and also be ready to share your contact details for Track and Trace. It will be the ultimate family day out.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, Hampshire
Sir Harold Hillier gardens at Ampfield Nr. Romsey is a charity that aims to conserve, develop and exhibit our world-renowned Gardens and plant collection in 180 acres.
Get rid of cabin fever by letting the children watch the fish in the pond or run through the Bamboo Tunnels over the Wobbly Bridge and BoardWalk. The gardens have kid favourites, including a treehouse, Flying Carpet and Super Snake swings. Perfect for an eco-friendly day out for the family to enjoy!
Learn while you play
Climate change is real and a lot of the responsibility for fixing it may well fall on the shoulders of our children. That thought can be overwhelming, but luckily the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales is on hand to offer an educational and fun day out, where kids can play – and learn at the same time.
Most events and courses are back up and running again at the Centre for Alternative Technology, so do make sure you book a slot before you go if you’re interested in this as an option for an eco-friendly day out!
The Eden Project, Cornwall
Sure, it’s a long way to Cornwall (depending on your starting point), but we think it’s worth the journey for an eco-friendly day to the The Eden Project. The Eden Project Biomes contain a fascinating world of plants and there is so much to learn, from courses to workshops. This is a social enterprise and an educational charity with a big mission.
You will need to book your time slot in advance to avoid disappointment. This is an eco-friendly day out not to be missed.
The National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire
This summer, you can become part of family competitions that solve puzzles in the new outdoor escape challenges at the National Memorial Arboretum in the West Midlands. You could also plan sustainable days out for kids in the green environment at the arboretum. They make this environment sustainable by creating habitats for wildlife and bee hives.
Tickets are available every Thursday, and you can book 2 weeks in advance. All visitors must also observe social distancing from the latest government guidance on travel.
The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
The National Marine Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Plymouth. Do not forget to run by the Ocean Conservation trust. Through an interactive experience, the aquarium educates visitors on the importance of protecting the ocean.
For animal lovers – and to support a great cause
Wildwood Trust, Kent
Sure, for kids who love animals, you could take them to the zoo. But how much better is it for children to see animals in their natural habitat? At Wildwood Trust in Kent, wander through the woodland and you might see reindeer, lynx, bison and wolves, among others. We love how much Wildwood Trust does for conservation too – their rewilding initiative is right up our street.
Make sure you book ahead and bring your masks for indoor areas.
The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon
Who doesn’t love a donkey? If your little ones are animal-mad, a visit to The Donkey Sanctuary is a must. Not only will you get a chance to befriend many a donkey, but you can also support the wildlife and conservation work which is done by the organisation. This is definitely one of our favourites!
The Donkey Sanctuary has sanctuaries all over the UK but at the moment, due to Covid-19, only the Sidmouth sanctuary is open. We hope the rest will be open again soon!
Marwell Zoo, Winchester, Hampshire
Situated in the countryside of Winchester, Hampshire, Marwell Zoo is an extraordinary location to have family days out. You are in for a wild time with a wide variety of exotic and endangered animals such as the Amur tigers, snow leopards and penguins, among others.
Marwell Zoo aims to conserve global diversity and seek a sustainable future. The 140-acre park is a sustainable home where wildlife and plants thrive. By paying the entry fee or directly donating or gift-aid, you and your family will be contributing to Marwell’s incredible projects to conserve species and habitats, both in Hampshire and around the world.
The Green Dragon Eco Farm, Buckingham
Another fun place to visit during summer for eco-friendly day out is the Green Dragon Eco Farm in Hogshaw. Your children can learn how to handle animals’ healthcare through the daily encounters program at the farm. The farm relies on renewable energy, waste management and sustainable systems supported by their forty-acre site resources.
Where will you take your family?
There are so many sustainable days out on offer, across the UK. Not only can a day out together be a time for your family to bond, it can also be a time for children to learn.
We love the fact that all of these eco-friendly days out have great green credentials and are committed to keeping the planet safe. Perhaps you’re considering more than just a day out and are yearning for a staycation? If that’s the case then be sure to check out our pick of the best eco-friendly holidays as well as our guide to travelling with little ones in tow!
We hope that you have lots of fun and educational days out as a family – remember to pack sun cream, you can find our guide to the best eco friendly versions here. Don’t forget that you can rent items from car seats and bike trailers, to shoulder carriers and travel highchairs to make days out easier on your wallet and the planet. Do you really need to buy everything for the short period of time your child needs it or the handful of adventure days out? Visit Y’earn and explore all the things you can rent for your baby, toddler or child.
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If this is your first visit, hello, let us introduce ourselves. We’re Y’earn and we exist to create more love, less landfill. Pretty lofty, right? Well, not really, it’s actually pretty simple. Our aim is to make renting as common as owning so we live more sustainably while helping the community around us.
Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people in your community or make some cash if you have items you don’t need right now. We’re a sustainable business that plants 🌲, adopts 🐝 and donates to children’s charities. We’re helping each other and the planet, one rental at a time.
You can read more about how Y’earn works here.
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