Windsor is the perfect British town – full to the brim with patriotic charm, history and gorgeous outdoor spaces. Windsor is one our favourite places to bring the kids. There’s plenty to do and always a great buzz about this beautiful Thames town. This post contains a summary of our favourite things to do so your family can enjoy some great days out with kids in Windsor.
Whether looking for something to do for a few hours or a jam packed full weekend of family fun, there’s plenty of ideas to keep everyone entertained.
1. Visit Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is absolutely the number 1 must do when planning days out with kids in Windsor. Built by William The Conquer in the 11th century, it’s the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the entire world. Home to Kings and Queens for over nine hundreds years, it’s a fantastic experience in the home of British royalty.
There’s lots to see and do inside the castle including visiting St George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently got married. Children are well catered for with a year round activity trail and additional activities during school holidays. Likewise, Family Saturdays are great days to visit. Family Saturdays are set up with kids in mind and include additional activities, for example, costumes and arts and crafts.
Despite current works to improve the entry system, pre-booking tickets is still recommend as entry queues can get long during peak times.
Top tip: Check which flag is flying from the Royal tower – if it’s the royal standard, you’re visiting at the time The Queen is in residence!
2. Watch Changing The Guard
Changing the Guard is a great experience, loved by all. The guards and the band march through the High Street into the Castle (where the changing of the guards actually takes place) and then make the return journey back to Victoria Barracks. The changing of the guards ceremony typically takes place on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays at 11am. However, the schedule is subject to change so best to check beforehand. It is free to watch the ceremony however, in order to watch the full hand over, you’ll need an admission ticket to the castle.
If you’re not visiting inside the castle on one of these days, you can still watch the procession from outside the castle gates on Castle Hill or along the High Street. We love watching from Castle Hill (on the opposite side of the street to the castle) which provides a great view of the guards and band leaving the castle.
Top Tip: If watching from inside the castle, stand below the railings outside St Georges chapel for the best view – get there by 10:30 to secure your spot.
3. Explore Windsor Great Park
You’ll not be short of things to do and see in Windsor Great Park with 4,800 acres of ancient forest, historical monuments, horticultural displays and rare wildlife and plants. Virginia Waters and The Savill Garden are beautiful parks within the crown estate (you’ll need a car to get there). Both are great for families – with lovely cafes, cycle paths and play parks which will entertain the kids for hours.
The Long Walk is a famous Windsor landmark. Following the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the procession finished on the long walk. It’s a huge gravelled walkway 2.5 miles long which leads from castle gates all the way into the Great Park. You may recognise it from TV footage. It’s great to walk, scoot or cycle the route. The best views of Windsor Castle are enjoyed from the Copper Horse looking back down to the castle. Should the 2.5 miles be unmanageable, you can enjoy a pub lunch at the Fox & Pheasant and then take a shorter stroll (0.8miles) to the Copper Horse to enjoy the views.
4. Spend the day at Legoland Windsor
When sharing the best days out in Windsor with kids, Legoland cannot be missed! Perfect for children (and adults) of all ages, you’ll need a full day there to get around all the best bits. With more than 55 rides and a wide range of shows and attractions, its a an amazing place to create lifelong memories with kids.
5. Have some family fun in Alexandra Park & Gardens
The riverside gardens and grassed areas are the perfect picnic spot. To the rear of the park, there’s a small fairground and activity centre for younger children. Our boys love the crazy golf, tea cup rides and climbing wall.
Just across the road from the gardens, on the bank of the Thames, is The Windsor Hurricane. It’s a full size replica of the Hawker Hurricane in honour of Sir Sidney Camm. The replica is a tribute to Windsor born Sir Sidney and his aeronautical engineering achievements, which provided the key to victory in the Battle of Britain.
There’s often seasonal events hosted in Alexandra gardens. If you’re planning on visiting in November or December, Windsor on Ice is a great festive family event for the kids. There’s an ice rink, festival stalls, Santas grotto and mulled wine for mum and dad. Winning all round.
6. Explore the River Thames
Feed the swans, enjoy an ice cream, join a boat trip or even hire out a boat of your own! From Windsor promenade you can hire a motor boat or rowing boat 7 days a week from April – October. Several Riverboat trips run from promenade and French brothers run a public ferry service connecting you to nearby Windsor Races, Runnymede and Maidenhead.
The Windsor Duck Tour is a great experience for kids and adults alike. This 1 hour amphibious tour first takes you by road around Windsor’s famous sights and then splashes into the River Thames for a mini cruise! There’s two types of tour – the ‘Mallard’ which spends 50% of the tour in the water, and the ‘Swan’ 70% in water. Both are identically priced – its just personal preference as to whether you’d like to spend more of the tour on land or in water.
7. Jazz Hands! at Theatre Royal Windsor
The Theatre Royal is one of Britain’s leading theatres. This beautiful intimate Edwardian theatre operates a wide range of year round productions – ranging from ballet, classic theatre and the first productions of work. Countless award winning actors have graced the Windsor Royal stage. The Theatre Royal pantomimes are absolutely not to be missed. Kids of all ages will adore the show. They are one of our family favourites so definitely try and get tickets if you’re in town this time of year!
8. Burn off some steam at Bachelors Acre Park Windsor
Bachelors Acre is a lovely play park and green space adjacent to the high street. It has a great kids playground (best suited up to age 8) and interactive water fountains which children absolutely love! There’s also a cafe and ice cream stand. You can access the park via Victoria Street or from Peascod street, there is a shortcut through Acre Passage (near the West Cornwall Pasty Company).
9. Play at The Jelly Lounge Windsor
This relatively new addition gives the town soft play is a great place for little ones to burn off steam. You’ll get a 90 minute play slot in which the play buddies help children around. Inside there’s interactive exhibits, slides and a crochet climbing tree. Sure to keep the kids entertained for the duration – parents can relax and enjoy a decent coffee. If you are hungry, the kitchen boasts some delicious food.
10. Windsor Independent Food Market
On the 3rd and 5th Saturday of the month, you’ll find the Independent Food Market along Peascod Street. There’s 20 stalls selling a range of handmade local foods and an eclectic mix of delicious street food. To check when the next market is on, check out the The Windsor Independent Market on Facebook.
11. Shop for Sweet Treats!
Finally to round off the day, visit one or two of the lovely confectioners Windsor is blessed with. If your kids are anything like mine, you’ll need to implement some rules of purchase before you let the kids inside…but both places are definitely worth the sugar rush!
The Fudge Kitchen on Thames Street has THE most incredible collection of delicious hand crafted fudge – including dairy free and vegan options. I’ve been coming here since I was a child and it’s a wonderful little place. When visiting, head to the back of the shop and see if they are making fudge in the working kitchen.
Another amazing shop is Hardys Original Sweet Shop in Windsor Royal Station. It’s the place we call the ‘Willy Wonka of Windsor’. On offer are a huge selection of all time classic sweets. Think sweet shops of years gone by – shelves of big jars containing rhubarb and custard, bonbons, and pear drops. Big slice of sugary nostalgia. Yum.
Hopefully this post has provided lots of ideas for how to spend days out with kids in Windsor! Is there anything else you’d like to know about days out with kids in Windsor? Let us know by dropping a comment in the box below.
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