Wakehurst - Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden in Sussex

Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst

21st and 22nd July Science comes alive at Wakehurst with a wild weekend of workshops, hands-on experiments, shows and more

Events for everyone

Wriggle into a crisp, white lab coat and pop on some protective specs as you become part of the Kew Science Festival at Wakehurst.

Join us for a weekend of workshops, shows, tours and hands-on experiments that will inspire children and adults alike.

Meet Kew’s scientists and find out what they’re doing to protect rare and threatened plants and fungi.

Hold the world’s largest seed, taste the smallest and take in a waft of the world’s smelliest fruit.

The festival is set around the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild seed conservation project in the world, with a programme designed to appeal to all ages.

Festival highlights

Prepare to be amazed at what’s happening inside the billowing vats of liquid nitrogen! Discover how Kew scientists are pioneering new techniques to conserve plants and seeds that can’t be banked in the normal way.

Discover DNA

What does DNA look like? Come and find out for yourself and try your hand at extracting DNA from a strawberry.

Future foods

So much of our food and drink comes from grasses, from bread to whisky and sugar. Test your knowledge and your taste buds! Find out which familiar foods may be at risk and what we’re doing about it.

Behind the scenes tours of the Millennium Seed Bank

A rare chance to go behind the scenes and uncover the subterranean secrets of the most biodiverse place in the world.

Book your tour at the Meeting Point information tent

Wild science

Explore the wilder side of Wakehurst and discover how we carry out science in the gardens and the field – from the crops grown on site for research, to the conservation of rare plants and trees.

Science Café, shows, workshops and more

A programme of inspirational workshops and fun shows will keep you enthralled. Drop into the Science Café and chat with TV presenter Simon Watt.

Meet the scientists

Unearth fun and lively plant science as Kew scientists run hands-on experiments for budding botanists. Enter the lab and try your hand at being a researcher

  • Carry out brilliant botanical experiments with scientific tools
  • Watch how Kew’s scientists conserve plants using cryopreservation
  • Learn how our teams collect, identify and preserve seeds and plants in their conservation work around the world
  • Come and extract DNA from a strawberry under the watchful eyes of our scientists

Science shows

We will keep you entertained all day long with a range of fun science shows.

Discover how the yummy stuff is made in The Science of Chocolate Show (guide 7+). Just why is it so delicious? Prepare to be harvested, dried, raked and toasted in the name of science.

For our younger guests (guide 4+) we have two multi-award winning outdoor theatre pieces Grass (Saturday) and Me and My Bee (Sunday) co-presented by Kew’s Grow Wild Outreach Programme.

Activities and workshops

A huge array of activities and workshops including Botanical Science Goes Sci-Fi. Kew’s work goes all over the world – join us on a virtual field trip to the Rainforest of Borneo with the help of 360-degree Google Goggles. Taste some Fantasy Foods of the future and enjoy our Botanical Studio where you can explore the many ways we preserve our beautiful plants.

Behind the scenes

Discover the subterranean secrets of the Millennium Seed Bank and delve into the amazing cutting-edge research on site with an exclusive behind the scenes tour.

Science café 

Talk science with TV presenter Simon Watt in a series of specially developed family games and quizzes. In true café style we’ve also a selection of unusual foods to whet your appetite and feed the discussion, plus a spot of scientific wit set to music.

Wild science 

Explore Wakehurst’s extraordinary wild landscape and uncover our scientific collections in both the gardens and the field, from the crops grown on-site for research, to the conservation of rare plants and trees.


Food and drink will be available all weekend.

Freshly prepared, stone baked pizzas & BBQ, including a vegan plant burger, chicken burgers and locally sourced hot dogs.

Real diary ice cream and sorbets, craft beers and ales, refreshing soft drinks and Kew botanical gin.

A science filled weekend of activities, games, experiments and talks. Join the experts as they bring
the science behind Wakehurst alive in the gardens. Free with garden entry.