Here’s part two of my blog series on family days out during the summer holidays. I’ve picked places that are on my list for the summer in the Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey areas.
My two children are under three so I’ve approached this with very young children in mind. But that doesn’t mean that older children won’t also enjoy these places.
Again I’ve divided my list into indoor and outdoor activities:
Winchester science centre
With more than 100 interactive exhibits and a planetarium this is bound to get kids hooked on science.
Cost: £12 adult, £8.40 children over 3
Blue Reef Aquarium, Portsmouth
Discover more about life underwater by seeing sharks, rays and other sealife up close. Little ones will love seeing otters being fed and discovering the dozens of living displays of aquatic life.
Cost: from £6.75
The Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth
With a wave machine, inflatables and lots more this leisure pool is fab for all ages who love to swim.
Cost: £4.15 adult, £3.10 child
Portsmouth Natural History Museum
See a working beehive in action and touch fossils as you explore the wealth of exhibits here.
Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Portsmouth
Visit HMS Alliance, a World War Two era submarine, and hear stories about life onboard.
Cost: £15 adult, £10 children under 5
Jump Factory, Basingstoke
A huge indoor trampoline park that looks so much fun I may go without the kids!
Cost: From £3 for under 5s
Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
Offering fabulous views across the sea and Portsmouth in this 100-metre tall tower. For daredevils there is a glass viewing floor.
Cost: £8.93 adult, £7.23 for over 4s
Paultons Park, near Romsey
The home of Peppa Pig World and a whole host of other attractions such as animals and rides, this is a must-visit for fans of the show. Inside Peppa Pig World is seven theme park rides, including Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride, plus the chance to meet Peppa and George. Elsewhere in the park are rollercoasters and the Lost Kingdom full of dinosaur attractions to entertain older children. Your child will love seeing penguin feeding time.
Cost: £27.25 in advance, free for children under one metre. Best prices book in advance.
Alice Holt Forest, nr Farnham
Oh help, oh no! It’s a Gruffalo! Little explorers can follow the clues on an interactive woodland trail to find where the Gruffalo is hiding. There are also interactive features where you can use your smartphone to bring characters from the story to life. Kids can pose for a photo with Gruffalo and Stickman sculptures.
Cost: Parking starts at £1.80 for one hour.
4 Kingdoms Farm Adventure Park, Headley
Family fun down at the farm! There’s lots to see on this 28-acre site including play equipment and animals.
Cost: £9.45 adult, £8.75 child
Manydown Family Fun, Basingstoke
Tractor rides, inflatables, adventure play and trampolines are just some of the fun things to do at this family friendly farm.
Cost: £9.45 adult, £8.45 child
Stansted Park, Havant
Children will love getting lost in the maze and riding the miniature railway at this stunning house and gardens. There are also woodland walks around the grounds.
Cost: £10 adults, £5 children over 5
Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary, Newtown
See if you can spot deer from the special viewing platform. Feeding time is between midday and 3pm.
The Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover
See bird displays, meet an owl, enjoy tractor rides and explore the adventure playground at this 22-acre centre.
Cost: £14.65 adult, free for under 4s
Staunton Country Park, Havant
With a farm, play barn, Victorian glasshouse and walking trails this country park will please the whole family.
Cost: £8.50 adult, £4.50 child
Hayling Island Beach
What better way to enjoy the summer than a day at the beach. Ride the light railway, build sand castles and, of course, no trip to the seaside is complete without fish and chips.
Marwell Zoo, Winchester
Children can see giraffes, tigers and penguins and hundreds more animals at this brilliant zoo. There are animal feeding sessions, adventure playgrounds and a train to keep kids busy.
Cost: £19 adult, £15 over 3s
The Vyne, Basingstoke
The house at this National Trust property is undergoing a revamp. Visitors can use an elevator to reach a viewing platform so they can see what staff are doing to protect the building. There are pretty walks and gardens to explore, as well as deckchairs down by the waterside making a lovely picnic spot.
Cost: £13 adult, £6.50 child
The New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst
The centre is full of displays and activities all about the New Forest National Park. There is a museum and forest gallery with changing displays.
The New Forest Wildlife Park, Southampton
Animal lovers will enjoy meeting all sorts of mammals and birds. There are feeding times throughout the day as well as keeper talks so children can learn more while having fun.
Cost: £11.50 adult, £8.50 child
Itchen Valley Country Park, Southampton
There is a play area and walks including an exiciting Totem Trail at this lovely country park.
Cost: Parking from £1.10 for one hour
Beulieu, New Forest
Top Gear fans will enjoy looking at a display paying tribute to the BBC show. There are lots of classic cars on display, as well as the Palace House where visitors can get a taste of what life was like in Victorian times. The attraction also has play areas for young children.
Cost: £24.75 adults, £12.50 over 5s
See the incredible Tudor Mary Rose ship and tour the HMS Victory as you find out more about Britain’s maritime and Naval history.
Cost: Family tickets from £28 when booked online
Trilakes Country Park and Jake’s Play Centre, near Yateley
The indoor play barn is bound to wear your energetic youngsters out while outdoors the animals will give them something to talk about for weeks.
Cost: From £5 adult, from £1 child
A romantic National Trust property set in gorgeous riverside gardens.
Cost: £15 adult, £7.50 child
All information and prices were correct at the time of compiling this list but please check the websites before you visit.