18 things to do with the kids in Hampshire for half-term
Trying to keep the kids entertained can be difficult, and for parents it can also be costly.
Fortunately there are dozens of fun things to do in Hampshire which are within an hour’s drive of Portsmouth.
Luckily for parents with children on half-term holiday, many businesses have now reopened with social distancing measures in place.
We have put together a list of activities, museums and heritage sites in our area you can enjoy with the family.
Some of these places may still be closed even though government restrictions are lifted – please check with the individual place’s website to see if they are open.
Butser Ancient Farm
It displays ongoing constructions of Iron Age buildings based on real sites, crops from prehistory and rare breeds of animals.
There is loads of space for the kids to run around and the farms special events are worth checking out.
For more information go to butserancientfarm.co.uk.
Little Woodham, near Gosport
Step back in time to the 17th century. Immerse yourself in the everyday life of people who lived in a small village in the 1600s.
Walk through real homes, watch weavers spinning wool or find the potter at his wheel.
For more information visit littlewoodham.org.uk.
Marwell Zoo, Winchester
There are hundreds of animals to admire at Marwell, including giraffes, tigers, meerkats, and penguins.
There are also three adventure playgrounds and a train, in case the animals aren’t enough to keep the little ones occupied.
For more information go to marwell.org.uk
A place to learn about the history of the industry. The building was saved because of its unique history when it closed in 1974 the men working there still worked in the same way as their Victorian and Edwardian forefathers.
For more information go to bursledonbrickworks.org.uk
Head over to Hinton Ampner, a country manor with a tranquil garden and breathtaking views across the South Downs. You can explore the garden, wander the estate, and discover the house, which was rebuilt following a fire in 1960.
The house is currently closed but the gardens and parkland are open.
For more information visit nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner.
Winchester Science Centre
Use a fully-functioning pinball machine to learn how we harness the potential of stem cells to repair our bodies, visit the Ancient Wisdom zone, or go on a journey of discovery through an enormous colon.
Yes, you read that right.
For more information visit winchestersciencecentre.org.
Hensting Alpacas, Eastleigh
If everyone needs a little fresh air, here’s a fun way to trick the wee ones into walking. Hensting Alpacas like to take their animals out for a roam when the weather is good so the general public can come and meet them.
Uppark House and Gardens, Petersfield
Home to peaceful gardens, woodland for exploring and one of the best examples of a 17th century dolls house, Uppark illustrates the difference between comfortable life upstairs and the difficult life of servants downstairs.
Portchester Castle was originally built late in the 3rd century and is the best-preserved of the Roman 'Saxon Shore' forts. You can visit the exhibition on the history of the castle and Portchester, and you can enjoy a family picnic surrounded by history.
Hayling Billy Trail
This trail uses the Hayling Billy coastal path which runs along the west coast of Hayling Island. The five-mile round path is regularly used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The route starts at the car park at North Halt on Havant Road and is clearly signposted.
For more information and a map visit the website.
Alpine Snowsports, Southampton
The centre is a great place for new and experienced snowsports fans to have a go on the slopes. There are qualified instructors to take you through the basics of skiing and snowboarding, and they offer lessons for adults and juniors as well as children’s parties.
Fort Nelson, Portsmouth
Fort Nelson is one of five defensive forts built on Portsdown Hill in the 1860s overlooking Portsmouth. Visit the museum to find out more about the collection of artillery and how it changed the nature of battles over hundreds of years. Admission is free.
Gosport Diving Museum
This small, volunteer-led attraction is the UK’s only museum dedicated to diving. There is a wide range of diving equipment including diving bells, chambers and atmospheric diving suits, as well as the prototype helmet used in the world’s first commercial dive.
Solent Sky Museum, Southampton
There are more than 20 aircraft to explore at the Solent Sky Museum, from the golden age of aviation. Among others you can learn the fascinating history of the Supermarine Spitfire F24, which has Southampton as its birthplace.
Manor Farm, Burlsedon
Spend the day with goats, pigs, rabbits and more at Manor Farm. On a rainy day you can also enjoy walking round the traditional barns and workshops, farmhouse and cottage.
Titchfield Abbey was first built in the 13th century and was originally the home of a community of Premonstratensian canons. Later the buildings were transformed into a great Tudor house, featuring a grand turreted gatehouse.