Summer Holidays

Top 10 Hampshire Kids Attractions

Looking for things to do with the kids in Hampshire? Here’s a list of the top 10 Hampshire days out…………….

1 . Beaulieu/New Forest

Beaulieu is a lovely spot in the New Forest, the Motor Museum will please all car loving boys along with the abbey for exploring and hide and seek. Younger kids will love the park with the tractor and the track for the little tikes cars. One for the girls (and mums!) has got to be the tasty cakes in the café. The monorail ride is great for seeing the whole site and very exciting for the kids. You could always tie in your visit with a walk in the New Forest to see the free roaming ponies, if you’re lucky you’ll also see pigs, cows and donkeys roaming around. https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/

2 . Forest of Bere, Wickham

We’ve always known this as 100 acre woods and first visited at one of their fantastic Easter Egg Hunts, the park equipment here is great for all ages, with tree houses for the younger ones and bigger wooden climbing frames for the older children. The sand pit is a lovely spot in the summer too. If you’re feeling energetic the woodland tracks are great for exploring but very hilly! They would be great for kids that are confident on a mountain bike. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/bere

3 . National Trust – Mottisfont, Romsey and Hinton Ampner, nr Winchester

The National Trust properties are perfect to visit with children as there is lots of safe open space for them to run around and also beautiful gardens that are perfect for hide and seek. We love Mottisfont with its river running through the grounds, its great for feeding the ducks, not so great with a 1 year old who likes a swim! This summer there is a Beatrix Potter trail and exhibition here, what child isn’t enchanted by Peter Rabbit and his friends? Hinton Ampner near Winchester has a summer trail and maze during the school holidays, you may even get 5 minutes peace if they get lost in the maze. The National Trust have put together a list of fun things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4, you’ll certainly be able to tick lots off the list after these days out. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out

4 . Marwell Zoo

Unlike many zoos that you can walk round in a couple of hours Marwell can be sauntered round all day. There are good parks for all ages, the tractor ride round the park is handy if little legs get tired and there is even a train for the railway lovers out there. We are excited to see the new baby tigers on our next visit and a big hit is always the new rhino area, they can often be seen up close along with the zebras. The kids love the ‘crashed’ jeep and the new park. The picnic area at the rhino enclosure is also good with indoor seating if the weather is a bit iffy. https://www.marwell.org.uk/zoo/

5 . Itchen Valley Country Park and Go Ape

Itchen Valley is a lovely place to visit for a walk or to visit the playparks, there is a small park near the visitor centre and a much larger park by the big car park furthest from the main road. The wide open field is great for a picnic and a game of rounders. If you’re feeling brave there is also Go Ape, the tree top adventure with a 250meter zip wire. This is suitable for ages 10 and up with a minimum height of 1.4M and max weight of 20.5 stone. There is a junior course which is suitable for any age as long as you are 1M tall, this includes a zip wire, stepping stones and grandpops crossing. https://goape.co.uk/days-out/southampton

6 . Paultons Park

Even though its busy during the school holidays the 2 sides of the park are spread out and you have the gardens for picnicking and taking some time out from queueing. There are also the animals so if you have a younger child who can’t go on lots of the rides with their siblings they can have time out of the buggy to look at the parrots, owls and colourful birds. Peppa Pig world is perfect for pre-schoolers, this is also surrounded by lots of rides that kids 5 and up would love. Our favourite has to be the wave runner (see pic below), next to Peppa Pig world, its a fast water ride but you don’t get wet, bonus! My youngest also loves the meerkats, tortoises and penguins. For the older kids the bigger rides are over the other side of the park, the new dinosaur themed roller coasters are sure to keep pre teens happy. Round this side you also have the diggers, seals, a bouncy castle and trampoline to keep the younger ones busy. https://paultonspark.co.uk/

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7 . Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Dockyard has many different museums and attractions within one site. There is something to suit every interest, museums including the Mary Rose, The National Museum of the Royal Navy and access with your ticket to the offsite Royal Marines Museum, Explosion Museum and the Submarine Museum. The more interactive exhibits include the ships, the Warrior and the Victory, the Warrior is self guided and the Victory by guided tour. For something a bit different there is the Harbour tour which tells you the history of the harbour but also shows you the modern Royal Navy ships that are in port. Action stations is a great attraction with its climbing wall, simulator ride, helicopter simulator and a rope agility course for 2-7 year olds. A full day out but maybe some time for mum have a shop in Gunwharf and a family dinner before heading home. http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/site-attractions/attractions/action-stations

8 . Aldershot Lido

This is definitely an attraction I’d suggest visiting fairly soon as our current weather would make for a perfect day out. We’ve never been here but it looks to be the closest thing to wet ‘n’ wild we’ll ever get in Hampshire!  The outdoor pool has 3 flumes, a toddler pool and a large sandpit. You can spread out your picnic in the 9 acres of grass area, definitely somewhere you could stay for the day. http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk/lido

9 . Milestones – Living History Museum

Milestones recreates old cobbled streets and shops with restored vintage vehicles. Children from 7 years old can join in with the Mystery of the Vanishing Queen, costumed characters will be dressed as Kings and Queens and you will have to follow clues to help find the missing Queen Victoria, some say she may have been kidnapped…. Under 5’s can play in the pretend post office, whilst dad enjoys an ale in the Baverstock Arms, the small traditional pub. http://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/milestones-museum

10 . Winchester Science Centre

A definite must for kids who like fiddling with things, as that’s the idea here with 100 interactive science displays and experiments to try. The water play area outside was a hit with my younger kids too. The planetarium has shows scheduled all day including Polaris, the space submarine, a funny story about a polar bear and a penguin explaining why their homes have such long nights during winter. Twinkle Twinkle, a presenter led show recreates the night sky with planets and twinkling stars. Older kids can learn about space in the Space Explorers show. http://www.winchestersciencecentre.org/visitor-information/opening-hours-admission-prices/#.V7Bu0o-cHIU

Image credits http://www.hamblevalley.com/go-ape-itchen-valley-tree-top-adventure/, https://paultonspark.co.uk/blog/2014/07/323/water-rides-and-attractions-at-paultons-park-and-peppa-pig-world-summer-guides-part-1

 

 

 

    

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