Events and activities coming to MK’s parks this summer!
The Parks Trust, the self-financing charity that cares for more than 6,000 acres of parkland in Milton Keynes, is organising a fantastic summer of outdoor activities for local families, including many events that will be provided free of charge.
So, what’s in store?
Howe Park Wood Open Mornings run 25 July to 31 August, 9.30-12.30 every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with a different theme each week to explore Water, Flowers and Pollinators, Trees, Minibeasts, Wildlife, and Birds. In the tranquil oasis of a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, Open Mornings offer free access to experts and artefacts in the Education Centre, nature-themed challenges, and self-guided trails. Some sessions also offer bookable activities like Nature Craft and Bug Hunting, for a small fee.
Big Park Hangout takes over Campbell Park on 12 August, midday to 5pm. A brand new free-to-attend event for 11–17-year-olds living and studying in Milton Keynes, packed with outdoor activities and entertainment. Teenagers will have the chance to discover and experience what MK can offer them, from arts, culture and sports facilities to health, wellbeing, and safety services.
Parkland Play Week features free fun, games, sports, and art activities in a different park each day, from midday to 3pm, and will be in:
- Ashland Lakes on 31 July
- Waterhall Park on 1 August
- Whitehouse Park on 2 August
- Oakgrove on 3 August
- Millfield, Stony Stratford on 4 August
Discover Nature Sessions at Howe Park Wood are action-packed days (10am-3pm) that feature a variety of activities such as foraging, hunting mini-beasts, creating mini-habitats and bird identification. A great chance for children to meet like-minded new friends. £22.50 per child, 24 July for ages 11 to 13 years and 7 August for ages 13 to 15 years. For the littlun’s Tree Tots continues at Howe Park Wood every Thursday throughout summer, providing plenty of outdoor fun and entertainment for the under-fives for just £1 per visit.
Immerse in the wonderful world of Stories In The Park with professional storyteller, Red Phoenix, for summer tales at Broughton Brook Magna Park. Family tickets are £5 and selling fast for limited sessions on 29 July, 2pm and 3pm.
Led by local experts, Great Linford Manor Park Guided Walks occur twice each month, the second Friday at 10.30am and last Sunday at 2pm. All ages are invited to enjoy a stroll around the stunning grounds, with new and restored features from fun, playable sculptures and ornate seating to the much-loved veteran lime tree and delightful ponds. And on 4 August, head Around the World in 12 Trees to hear all about the collection of exotic trees, known as an arboretum – starts at 10am and is just £3 per person.
The accessible and dementia friendly Discovery Stroll at Furzton Lake on 15 August, will take a gentle pace to enjoy lakeside views and spot pieces of public art along the route. Starts at 2pm and is free to join.
Step back in time for Roman Day at North Loughton Valley Park on 27 August, 11am-2pm. The whole family is invited to Bancroft Roman Villa to learn about the history and Roman life and customs. Guests will also have a chance to make their very own mosaic whilst at the most extensive excavation of Roman settlements in the city.
Love your parks? Help to keep them clean and tidy by joining a Community Litter Pick near you:
- Linford Wood, 31 July 10am
- Stanton Low, 14 August 10am
- Lodge Lake, 29 August 10am
Green-fingered adults (18+ only) can also lend a hand for the Volunteer Ragwort Removal at Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve on 29 July.
Events and Community Manager, Julie Dawes, explains more: “Playing outdoors is proven to support physical and mental wellbeing, foster communications skills and strengthen our connection with nature. Our summer events cater to all ages looking for free or low-cost ways to get outside, entertain children and feed curiosity.
“A key part of our charitable purpose is to help local people enjoy the city’s beautiful parkland for leisure and this year’s summer events programme really achieves that. As well as offering lots of events for families, our programme for summer also includes community volunteering events, health walks, workshops, and guided walks – something for everyone!”
Head online, to theparkstrust.com to view the full programme of events and outdoor learning activities.