October half-term: Six animal attractions in the Portsmouth area for children who love wildlife- from aquariums to donkey sanctuary's
THERE are plenty of animal attractions in the Portsmouth area for your little ones this half term.
The Portsmouth area is home to many top animal attractions to occupy your children during the school holidays.
Some attractions are right on your doorstep, whilst others are a short drive away from the city but worth the trip for animal lovers.
Below are some of the most popular animal attractions in the Portsmouth area that are sure to entertain and educate your children this half-term.
New Forest Wildlife Park, New Forest
The New Forest Wildlife Park is located on the edge of The New Forest and is close to Ashurst and Lyndhurst.
The wildlife park features numerous native and past-native wildlife of Britain, such as owls, otters, badgers and much more.
Whilst you travel through the New Forest, you will also see plenty of wild horses in their natural habitat.
Prices from the wildlife park are £13.50 for an adult, £10.25 for children between three and fifteen.
Family tickets (two adults and two children or one adults and three children) can be purchased for £40.50.
You can find the wildlife park on Deerleap Lane, Southampton, SO40 4UH.
For more information about the New Forest Wildlife Park, please visit their website.
Marwell Zoo, Winchester
Marwell Zoo is a short drive away from the centre of Portsmouth and allows visitors to get one step closer to its inhabitants.
The zoo is home to hundreds of animals from giraffes, leopards, meerkats, penguins and much more within its 140-acre park.
The daily talks and activities are currently suspended at the park but visitors can download the free Marwell Zoo app on their smartphones to take part in a fun quiz and learn some fascinating facts about the animals.
There is also five adventure playgrounds for children in case they need to burn off some energy before the car journey home.
Ticket prices start from £20.68 for adults, £17.09 for children between three and sixteen, and infants under two are free.
You can find Marwell Zoo on Thompson's Lane, Colden Common, Winchester, SO21 1JH.
For more information on Marwell Zoo, please visit their website.
Blue Reef Aquarium, Southsea
If your children prefer animals that live under the sea, Blue Reef Aquarium is a perfect day out for families.
Blue Reef has many sea creatures such as red-bellied piranhas, clownfish, otters, turtles and much more.
There are also daily talks at the aquarium from the daily otter feed to the tropical tunnel feed.
The ray talk is available every day apart from Monday's.
Blue Reef Aquarium is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.
Late admission for the aquarium is 4pm.
Ticket prices at Blue Reef Aquarium are £12.50 for a standard admission, £9.50 for juniors (aged three to twelve but must be accompanied by an adult) and £11.50 for seniors and students.
You can also purchase a family ticket (two standard admissions and two juniors) for £42.
Those under three go free and there is no need to pre-book a date or timeslot.
The aquarium can be found on Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, PO5 3PB- so not too far to travel for those who live in Portsmouth.
For more information about Blue Reef Aquarium, please visit their website.
Victoria Park, Portsmouth
Victoria Park is a great place to take your little ones to visit some furry friends this half-term.
The park has been in the heart of Portsmouth for over 140 years and contains 15 acres of grassed land.
In the centre of the park, you can find an aviary with peacocks, parrots and many other exotic birds.
Over the year's, there have been plenty of other animals in the park such as rabbits, pigs, chipmunks and tortoises.
Within the park, there is a wooden playground for children to play once they are finished observing Portsmouth's very own mini-zoo.
If you fancy a bite to eat after visiting the animals, the Café in the Park has a variety of sweet treats and beverages for hungry visitors.
No admission is needed for the park, so you can visit as many times as you would like throughout the holidays.
You can find Victoria Park on Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3HQ and it is open everyday during sunlight hours.
For more information about Victoria Park, please see their website.
Staunton Country Park, Havant
Staunton Country Park has a farm which is full of furry and friendly animals.
The park is home to the South Coast's largest ornamental glasshouses and contains many beautiful gardens for you to explore this half-term.
Children can feed the farm animals or let off some steam in George's play barn which includes soft-play areas, climbing walls, a new bridge, slides and much more.
Animals at the farm include Shetland ponies, chickens, pigs and sheep as well as llamas, a Poitou donkey and alpacas.
Ticket prices for adults (aged 16 and over) are £9.50, concessions are £8.50 and children tickets for those between three and fifteen are £6.50.
You can find Staunton Farm in Staunton Country Park, Middle Park Way, Havant PO9 5HB.
For more information, see the Hampshire County Council website.
Hayling Island Donkey Sanctuary, Hayling Island
Hayling Island Donkey Sanctuary is a place for loving care and peace for ex-working donkeys or those who are in need of help.
The sanctuary began after the owners brought two donkeys called Ollie and Rusty who were giving donkey rides to children on Hayling Island's seafront.
Over the years, they have added many more donkeys to the sanctuary.
If you fancy a bit of a different day out this half term, why not book a slot to visit the lovely donkeys at the sanctuary?
The sanctuary welcomes visitors on weekends and Wednesday's only throughout the week and visiting times include 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
There is no entry fee for the sanctuary but donations are accepted.
You can find the sanctuary on Mill Rythe Lane, Hayling Island, PO11 0QG.
To enquire about a visiting slot, call the Hayling Donkey Sanctuary on 07720204685.