Embrace the space and spend all day playing at the Gardens. With beautiful blooms, space to explore, and hidden secrets to discover, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on your next family adventure.

Play in the garden

Explore every corner of our over 180 acres. Climb and run in our play areas and discover hidden gems surrounded by lush greenery and wonderful wildlife.

Wooden treehouse


Experience the magic of our treehouse, where children of all ages can play surrounded by breath-taking views of the Gardens.

Young girl's muddy shoes

Hilltop adventures

Climb, leap, and scramble across our eight outdoor timber play features and put your strength and balance to the test or reach new heights on our nearby Super Snake swing.

Young girl looking through some bamboo

Bog garden

The bog garden is an essential part of any day out to the Gardens. With plenty of plants to discover as you weave through the bamboo tunnels and bounce across the wobbly bridge, every visit is an adventure.

Outdoor mini xylophone

The education garden

The education garden is rich with sensory experiences for your children to enjoy. See and smell exotic plants and herbs, create your own music, and investigate our growing food and recycling area. Or simply relax with a book in our peaceful library corner.

Woman and girl looking over a fence into a pond

Spot our wildlife

The Gardens are alive with wildlife. Visit the summer meadow to watch butterflies, bees and lady birds hard at work pollinating local flowers. Or say hello to our pigs in the Woods of the World who visit us to help clear the scrubland.

Children on a wooden bridge

Wobbly bridge

Keep your balance as you bounce across the wobbly bridge to find the bamboo on the other side. You might even spot some of our wonderful wildlife as you sway above the stream.

Families at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens


The Gardens offer a calming environment with beautiful soundings giving your little ones a safe space to play, learn, and grow. An essential part of planning your visit is knowing what to expect. This includes:

  • a network with safe paths for buggies and mobility scooters
  • accessible toilets with changing facilities
  • plans of our recommended routes are available and staff will be happy to advise on any areas which may not be accessible
  • highchairs available in catering facilities
  • free parking

Food and drink

Sipping a refreshing drink and enjoying a well-deserved bite to eat is one of the best ways to refuel so you can carry on playing. Whether you want to enjoy an ice-cream in the shade, or you want to grab something savoury in our Garden Restaurant & Tea Rooms or Courtyard Café, we’ve got mouth-watering food and drinks that even the fussiest of eaters will love. A valid admission ticket is required for the Garden Restaurant & Tea Rooms.

Family sharing cake
Adults and children sat at a café table with plates of food in front of them

Courtyard Café

Stop by the Courtyard Café and tuck into a light lunch, with special ‘bug boxes’ for little ones as well as tasty hot food options.

Each bug box includes a delicious homemade sandwich (ham or cheese), a drink and a choice of three other favourites, including dried raisins, crisps, chocolate bar and biscuits.

Our hot food selection includes chicken goujons, Quorn nuggets (vegan), fish fingers (gluten-free) and sausages, served with peas or beans, and chips.

Family walking towards a restaurant building

Garden Restaurant & Tea Rooms

The Garden Restaurant & Tea Rooms children’s menu has a selection of healthy, seasonal dishes created using fresh local produce, as well as a classic favourite.

We also serve spectacular desserts including a selection of New Forest ice-creams.


Picnickers are welcome. So, pack your favourite snacks and find the perfect spot for a pick-me-up. We ask that you look after the Gardens and take your rubbish home.


Our calendar is full of exciting activities and events for you and your little ones. Browse our events to find your next day out.

What's on

Seedlings and Saplings