Free things to do with kids in or near St. Albans

The joys of Half-Term!  To stay sane we try to do at least one thing each day.  However, the cost really starts to add up so I’ve put together a wee list of things to do in or near St Albans that are virtually free. You can thank me later!  ;-)

Stockwood Discovery Centre – one of my favourite hidden gems.  It’s near the airport in Luton, only 15 minutes from St. Albans up the M1.  It has a permanent display of horse drawn carriages, plus changing displays, an outdoor playground, bee keeping display, beautiful gardens to run around and a café for a much needed latte.

See if you can find the Anderson Shelter.  It’s near the chickens. We’ve been at least a half a dozen times and discover something new each time.  It’s normally free but during half term they have special events that cost a couple of quid.  This time they have some Creepy Crawlies.

Cassiobury Park, in Watford, we often venture over there on the weekend.  It’s one of Madame’s favourite playgrounds.  It was rebuilt a few years ago and other parks should take note.  The playground is brilliant with very creative apparatus for kids to explore.  Plus, there’s a hot dog stand, ice cream truck, mini railway (£1) and nature reserve.  I love wandering down to the canal to watch the barges go through the locks.  I’ve also recently discovered that there is another ‘nice’ café and playground at the top of the park but I haven’t found it yet.  Do take your scooters!

Nottcutt’s Garden Centre on Hatfield Road.  This one is a bit cheeky, but perfect for a rainy day.  It has a great display of outdoor climbing frames, which technically you aren’t supposed to play on, loads of animals and fish, plus books and toys to browse.  There is also a café with reasonably priced kids meals, with a small fenced off play area.

Then next door there is PJ Camping, which has a giant display of tents that the little ones can run in and out of!  Great fun!

Aldenham Country Park and Rare Breeds Farm, another one of my favourites just past Costco on the A41, it’s well sign-posted.  Technically it isn’t free as it costs you £4 to get out of the carpark but worth it.  There’s an adventure playground, animals to visit, Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Aker Wood to explore and if you remember to bring some bread you can feed the ducks.  Plus, if you’re feeling energetic you can wander around the reservoir.  There’s also a café but if it’s nice out it’s a great place for a picnic.  Or you can do what we do and combine it with a trip to Costco; lunch for two is only £4.20!

The Wick, Marshalls Drive, St. Albans.  The majority of locals don’t even know this exists.  It’s a small wood which is just off one of the poshest streets in town, it has a very small playground in the back of it, but it’s a wonderful wood to explore.  We often go hunting for fairies and monsters.  It’s magical!  Plus, you can ogle the big houses!

Do you have any local hidden treasures you would like to share?

Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

9 thoughts on “Free things to do with kids in or near St. Albans”

  1. Lots of good ideas – the girls are off to Stockwood on Friday for the creepy crawlies

    We also like walking along the Nicky Line – its the old branch line from Hemel to Luton and has bits of old station platforms, bridges and signals scattered along it (and is relatively flat and easy to walk along)

  2. Ooh great list. That’s what I try to find here in Letchworth. You should try to Koi Carp Centre in Henlow, or Space to Play an indoor soft play centre which Youngling can stay there for hours and although its not free its not that expensive either. x

    1. Top tips thanks but I do try to avoid soft play centres during school holidays. I went once and it was a rugby scrum. Going to look up the Koi Carp Centre.

  3. We went to the St Albans museum yesterday It’s free and they have a lost rails exhibition on until Sunday which includes a wooden railway set for the kids to play with. There is also some Victorian clothes to dress up in and a colouring table. My two didn’t want to leave.

  4. Good to see my museum has the thumbs up :)
    We like Stanborough Lakes, Sherrardswood and Broxbourne Woods.
    Can I also recommend Hertford Museum which has a fab play shop for kids and the playground at Hartham in Hertford has an enormous sandpit which is great in the summer.
    Nottcuts garden centre has trolleys which are little cars which my kids love and also a fishery and reptile centre (as well as a cafe)
    Wardown Park Museum in Luton also has some wonderful displays

  5. Pingback: Butterfly Farm

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