Julio, Fred and Fernando draw in the crowds for scenic marina tours

DONKEY WORK From left, Rosie Robinson, six, her sister Maisy, five, from Leigh Park and Chloe Ramsay, six, from Havant, on the donkeys. Picture: Sarah Standing (122628-4993)
DONKEY WORK From left, Rosie Robinson, six, her sister Maisy, five, from Leigh Park and Chloe Ramsay, six, from Havant, on the donkeys. Picture: Sarah Standing (122628-4993)
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FREE donkey rides had children beaming with joy at Port Solent.

Chloe Ramsay, six, of Adhurst Road, Havant, said: ‘It was my first ride on a donkey and it was lots of fun.

‘I want to do it again because they are so lovely and soft.’

Mum Hannah, 30, added: ‘We came down here especially for the donkeys.

‘I saw it online and I knew Port Solent did something every Wednesday for kids.

‘Normally everything costs so much to keep the little ones entertained during the summer holidays so it’s nice that they are putting on these free events for the kids.’

Kerry McGuire, 36, of Purbrook Way, Leigh Park, watched on as her thrilled children Rosie, six, and Maisy, five, had a ride.

She said: ‘It’s a fun thing for the kids to do.

‘We came here last year too and had a lot of fun – and it’s all free.’

The donkeys’ owner Sarah Lawson, of Scatby Donkeys, was leading children on scenic trips around the marina.

She said: ‘We do fetes and carnivals all over the country and we love coming here because it’s always very popular.

‘We come here twice a year, at Easter and in the summer.

‘It’s as much fun for the adults as it is for the children because they get to relive those childhood memories of having donkey rides on the beach.

‘The children love it because all children seem to love all fluffy things.’

The next free activity at Port Solent is a science workshop this Saturday.

A team of wacky boffins promise to get kids making things and learning about science like never before.

The workshops will start from 11am at the playground near the Chiquitos restaurant or in the main entrance if it’s raining. As with all of Port Solent’s events, the workshops will finish at 4pm.

WHAT’S ON TOMORROW

· Sail on the vintage working boat that was built in 1890 to support the Emsworth oyster fleet. Each trip takes six passengers and all crew are experienced sailors. The trip departs from Emsworth jetty at 5pm. Allow three hours for your visit. Adult tickets are £12.50 and under-16s are £5. All tickets must be booked in advance. For more information, call 01243 513275.

· At the museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, there will be free drop in sessions for under-fives and accompanying adults from 11am to 1pm. There will be music, dressing-up, crafts and stories as well as a treasure hunt. Call (023) 9283 9766 for more information.

· Meet Second World War veterans at Portsmouth’s D-Day museum to hear about their experiences in the Battle of Normandy. Veterans will be present 11am to 3pm. Adult admission to the museum is £6.50 and under 17s go free.

· The reverberations exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall will include a mix of contemporary and traditional local art. The gallery will also include local artist Jane Dunford who was born in Portsmouth. Open 8.30am-6pm. Admission is free.

· ‘A tale of one city’ interactive exhibition is at Portsmouth City Museum to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth. The museum invites the public to find out what it was really like to live in Portsmouth in 1812. Open from 10am to 5pm. For more information call (023) 9282 72621.

· Waterlooville Market is at London Road, Waterlooville, from 9am to 5pm.

· Have a splash at the Pyramids Centre in Southsea. Enjoy the pools and funky flumes or go to The Pyramids Play Factory, a three level soft play adventure world filled with mazes, climbing nets, ball pits. Entrance to soft play is £2.90 per child accompanied by an adult. Call (023) 9279 9977 for more information.