Chatsworth new season's highlights include family festival and new-look adventure playground

Childhood will be firmly in focus during the latest season at Chatsworth with a new family festival, a reimagined adventure playground and an art exhibition.
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The family festival, running from May 25 to 27, will include mastering gravity-defying circus skills, learning bushcraft, running for gold in sports day races, walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs and scavenger hunts.

Chatsworth’s much-loved woodland adventure playground is undergoing a large-scale redevelopment, enhancing opportunities for imaginative free play and immersion within the beautiful surrounding nature of the estate. Set to reopen from April, families can enjoy an exciting day out packed full of adventure and play within the safe setting of the farmyard and playground.

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There will be tours and workshops for adults and chidren to explore new pastimes or develop an existing skill, many of which will be centred on the theme of ‘Celebrating Childhood’ at any age. These include historic waterways tours led by the landscape team through Stand Wood; cutting garden floristry workshops where participants will learn how to create seasonal arrangements using flowers from the garden; macramé plant hanger workshops led by a local artist and lamb feeding experiences.

A family festival in May will be a highlight of the new season at Chatsworth.A family festival in May will be a highlight of the new season at Chatsworth.
A family festival in May will be a highlight of the new season at Chatsworth.

The season will open on March 16 with a multi-sensory exhibition entitled Picturing Childhood. Rarely seen artistic masterpieces from the collection will be on display in Chatsworth House for the first time, alongside new commissions and loans. There will be a unique scent experience, curated by food historian and scent artist Tasha Marks.

Three Anthronaut sculptures by Abigail Reynolds in the house and garden will encourage visitors to look at Chatsworth through the eyes of a songbird, hawk or multi-lens trilobite (extinct sea creature).

Lord Burlington, chairman of Chatsworth House Trust, said: “We are thrilled that 2024 will be a year of storytelling, discovery and play as we celebrate children and childhood at Chatsworth throughout the year. This year's exhibition presents exciting new work by exceptional artists alongside the very best works from the historic collection, some on show for the first time. The exhibition has been designed to provoke wonder and to encourage new and different ways to get involved with art and ideas in the house and landscape, and we hope it will bring joy to people of all ages.”

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