YOUNGSTERS had a chance to get up close and personal with some furry members of the animal kingdom at Port Solent Marina.
Parents and grandparents treated children to a day of animal encounters as a Kidsrome Mobile Farm visited The Boardwalk yesterday.
A donkey, a pony, chickens, rabbits and a goat all proved popular with the youngsters, who were able to pat the animals.
Jasmin Culliford, seven, said she got to touch all of the animals that were there.
But there was no doubting which one the Cosham youngster liked best.
Jasmin said: ‘I like the horse. He was eating hay.’
The horse, a miniature Shetland pony called Annie, was a favourite of many young visitors, including 11-year-old Waterlooville girl Mia South.
‘He was really cute,’ she said.
Mia’s sister Alana, seven, said she was a fan of Kidsrome’s fluffy, floppy-eared friend.
She said: ‘I liked the rabbit. He was grey and fluffy.’
Port Solent centre manager Samantha Golden said the animal farm visit was part of a series of children’s activity days the centre had run each summer for the past six years.
She said the four-legged attractions of Kidsrome were always a big draw.
Ms Golden said: ‘Many families might have a hamster or a cat at home, but it’s not often that they get to touch a sheep or a donkey.
‘The animals can entertain children for hours.’
Ms Golden said other children’s activities at the centre so far this summer had included a Punch and Judy show and a birds of prey day .
She said: ‘We always try to keep it interesting and provide something they haven’t seen before.’
Ms Golden said the marina had lots to offer youngsters during summer.
‘There’s also the playground, so from the parents’ point of view it’s nice to know there’s somewhere to go that’s free and have a lovely day out,’ she added.
TOMORROW: The Boardwalk at Port Solent Marina will host a seaside-themed craft workshop led by Bob Jobbins. Children can let their imaginations run wild and create a souvenir of their day. This free session runs from 11am to 4pm.
On Tuesday, August 19, there will be a forensic science workshop day at the marina.
At this activity day young investigators have to get busy to work out what has happened at a pretend crime scene.
Sessions start at 11am, midday, 2pm and 3pm and last for 50 minutes.
A summer art school is starting today at Aspex gallery in Gunwharf Quays.
Children aged eight to 13 can create their very own materpieces with artist Lettie Clarke. The summer school will run until Friday.
Call (023) 9277 8080 for more details.