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At Mini Travellers we’re regularly asked for our recommendations of things to do at various places and one place that often gets mentioned is Hampshire. So, we’ve finally put together a list of the 10 things to do in Hampshire with kids.
This list has been compiled with assistance from a number of other bloggers who all have favourite things to do in Hampshire with kids too. Some of the blog posts may have been compiled when families were there to review but others weren’t. They’ve all been submitted as they’re simply great things to do in Hampshire.
The Historic Hythe Ferry links Hythe to Southampton and provides the opportunity to see the comings and goings of Europe’s leading cruise port. During the 20 minute ferry ride you can usually spot various ferries and cruise boats, as well as having a chance to spot some of the areas familiar landmarks, including the Spinnaker Tower (which you can also visit and climb to the top) and the Itchen Bridge.
Once you arrive in Southampton, there are plenty of places within walking distance, including West Quay, which is great for shopping and Tudor House and Garden – Southampton’s most historic building. If you have longer to explore there is always the option jump on a bus.
Museums in Hampshire with kids
If you enjoy museums, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Hampshire.
There’s the Milestone Musuem, which is a great way to pass a few hours. Louise at At Strong Coffee to Go describes it as a “step back in time.” There are old fashioned shops set up, along with loads of old fashioned childhood toys.
There’s also the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where you can explore historic boats, as well as various naval museums and exhibitions. If you have a child who is interested in history and/or boats then they will absolutely love it here. Emma from Bubba Blue and Me had a great day with her son.
Alternatively, Steph from Renovation Bay-Bee, suggests a visit to the Royal Victoria Chapel, which has recently been renovated. The building used to be used as a military hospital and there’s lots of information and exhibits that showcase its history.
Peppa Pig World
Peppa Pig World, at Paultons Park is probably one of the most well-known family attractions in Hampshire and is particularly good for those with little ones.
MummytoBoyz shares her tips on how to get the most from your visit and, perhaps most importantly, how to survive Peppa Pig World!
National Trust places to visit in Hampshire with kids
We love National Trust days out at Mini Travellers and there are a few National Trust places in Hampshire. These include:
Hinton Ampner, which is perfect for a historical family day out. It also offers lots of trails and walks suitable for varying abilities.
Mottisfort, which has some great play areas, including Bobby Climbing and Pump and Pool and Paddle. Jenny from The Gingerbread House had a great day there with her two children.
The Vyne, which is a smaller property, but still has plenty to enjoy. There are ride along tractors, toy mowers and bouncy animals to play on.
Our blog post on National Trust places to visit in Hampshire with kids provides more information on each of these places.
New Forest with kids
We couldn’t really do a roundup of Hampshire without including specific mention of the New Forest. The New Forest National Park covers 219 sq meters and provides a huge range of child-friendly activities, including walking, cycling and wildlife spotting.
Gretta from Mums Do Travel, shares her tips for outdoor activities in the New Forest, which features a range of activities, including bushcraft!
One place in the New Forest that is popular with families is the Beaulieu Estate, which looks like a great day out. There’s a monorail, the National Motor Museum and lots of play areas that are perfect for children. Laura from Dear Bear and Benny had a great day exploring the beautiful gardens at Beaulieu and Bucklers Yard.
Blue Reef Aquarium Southsea
Aquariums are great to visit when the weather is particularly cold or on a rainy day.
The Blue Reef Aquarium is set in Southsea and is a smaller aquarium and probably best for a morning or afternoon visit rather than a whole day. Emma from Bubba Blue and Me spent half a day there with her son.
There are a range of fishes and sharks to look at as well as otters, which you can also feed at various point throughout the day.
If the weather is ok, there is an outdoor play area, with a splash zone, rocks to climb on and a sandpit, so don’t forget to bring some swimwear.
Once you’re finished at the aquarium, you might want to consider exploring Southsea, which has a castle and a D-Day Museum, which are worth a visit.
Go Ape at Itchen Valley Country Park
The Go Ape at Itchen Valley Country Park has both the high ropes and the Tree Top Junior course, which is suitable for children who are over 1m high. The course features a range of loops and crossings as well as a zip wire and is great fun for little ones who like a bit of adventure.
Adults and those with older children (10 and above), might want to have a go on the Tree Top Adventure, which is situated higher in the trees and provides a bit more of a challenge.
Claire from Tin Box Traveller has some great tips for visiting Go Ape with children.
If you and your children like animals, then you’ll enjoy a day at Hawk Conservancy, which as the name suggests focuses on the conservation of birds.
Set within 22 acres of wonderful countryside The Hawk Conservancy is an award winning attraction that provides a variety of activities, shows and attractions that are suitable for the whole family. There are also tractor rides and play parks for when you fancy a break from the wildlife.
Laura from Have Kids, Will Travel had a great day there with her family.
Marwell Zoo is 8 miles from Winchester and in our experience most children (and adults) love a zoo and this one won’t disappoint.
Set in a 140 acre park, Marwell Zoo is home to 100s of animals including giraffes, zebras, penguins and tigers. There are daily talks and animal feeds that you can get involved in. As the Zoo is owned by a conservation charity, there is also an educational aspect too, which is always a bonus on a family day out.
The zoo also has 5 adventure playgrounds, a train, cafes and gift shops, so there’s plenty to keep everyone busy for the day!
Mary at Over 40 and a Mum to One shares her day at Marwell Zoo.
Winchester Cathedral with kids
Winchester is a beautiful city, with an historic cathedral that was built by William the Conqueror. The cathedral features medieval tiles, tombstones and memorials (Jane Austen’s is located here) that date back centuries. They run various free tours and there is also a children’s trail that you could explore. Cathy from a Mummy Travels visited in the winter, with her 17-month-old toddler, and had a great time. She also recommends a browse round the city’s Christmas Market.
A day trip to the Isle of White with kids
If you’re feeling ambitious you could always take a day trip from Southampton to the Isle of White. Emma Reed did just that and explored The Needles, Freshwater Bay and Shanklin all in one day.
What’s your favourite thing to do with kids in Hampshire? If we’ve left anything out just let us know in the comments.
Why not PIN this post about 10 Things to do in Hampshire with Kids –
there may actually be a couple more than 10 too!