Where to start! With a not-expensive joint membership (offers on all the time) you can join and get up to 3 kids in free. There is something all year round at Wisley. Spring - bulbs everywhere. Later on, rhododendron and azalea forest (knocks the spots off The Isabella Plantation) Summer - rose garden and wildflower meadow Autumn - acres, massive orchard where you can pick your own apples and pears Winter - Christmas activities for kids, snowdrops, dogwood displays
There is a lovely and naturalistic adventure playground, with sticks in a corner to encourage kids to make a wigwam. The huge Victorian Greenhouse is full of dry and wet climate tropical species (look out for the orchid displays, real butterfly displays - coming up soon - and Christmas displays). Beautiful wildflower meadow and grasses. Fab central aisle leading to viewpoint hill, with some of the best herbaceous perennial displays and annuals I have ever seen. A huge orchard - kids love running through it, picking up fallen apples. Pinetum - pine forest, with breathtaking heather displays. Rose garde. Vegetable garden. Rock pool and rock gardens.
Things to do: Take a picnic, find your favourite tree in the orchard and stick a blanket under it! If you're close enough to the playground, kids can run to it without you having to leave your picnic spot! Have an amazingly scrummy lunch in one of the 2 main restaurants (the main one has just been refurbished and there's also the Glasshouse a bit further away) - food often lets places like these down, but at Wisley the food is fab. Jacket potatoes, sandwiches and soups, evolved main courses incl chicken chasseur, salmon en croute...kids can have half jacket potato portions or choose their own packed lunch stuff to put in a kids box. Nice touches like mini tubs of sliced cucumber/carrot/cherry tomato, also sliced banana in custard. Divine cakes and biscuits plus licenced and has great teas and coffees. Apparently they can even make you up a picnic to take out to the grounds with you (though we never have). Loads of stuff going on for kids during the holidays and half terms. Good shop. Amazing garden centre (though not cheap). Ice cream stands. Plant and flower fairs.
If you're a gardening mad mum or dad, this place is for you and there's enough going on for kids that you can drag them there with you. My DD (aged 5) loves this place.
We;re going in a couple of weeks to see the butterflies in the Greenhouse and do the Snowdrop trail.