Things to do in the summer holidays in Hampshire

July 16, 2019

You’ll find plenty of things to do in the summer holidays in Hampshire, from family days out to evening activities. You and the family can learn something new on a workshop, meet iconic characters like Thomas the Tank Engine, have adventures, explore new trails, and fill up your days with endless fun!

Make it a summer of fun with Hampshire’s Top Attractions and create wonderful memories in Hampshire, take a look at what’s going on during the summer holidays…

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has come to Beaulieu!
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has come to Beaulieu!

Meet Thomas the Tank Engine at the Watercress Line over nine days (3rd – 11th August). Ride on a steam engine, meet the Fat Controller and enjoy Rusty & Dusty’s entertainment show. All are included in your ticket price. 

Step back in time this summer! From medieval monks to Victorian butlers… delve into over 800 years of history as you chat to costumed characters, play traditional games and see historic motors in action. Plus there’s magic in the air… Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has come to Beaulieu!

This summer, spot the Alphabet Fairies hiding around Sir Harold Hillier Gardens. Can you find the fairy kingdom where the king and queen reign? Running July to September, this interactive trail costs £5 and comes with a special gift. A must for fairy fans of all ages.

This summer much-loved Beano characters are setting up home at Mottisfont for a vibrant new exhibition exploring 80 years of mischief and mayhem. Outside, kids can whizz back through Mottisfont’s past with their favourite Beanotown residents in a bespoke trail.

Soak up the sun at the Isle of Wight’s biggest nights out! Bringing summer vibes to Blackgang Chine until 1st September, expect visits from all their resident characters including Cowboys, Pirates, Dodos and of course, their Fairies! There’ll be workshops, entertainers, shows and plenty of super fun summery shenanigans! As the sun sets, Pirate Cove will transform into one giant dance floor with a live DJ, epic party atmosphere, bubble machines and plenty of excitement to keep the kids dancing through the evening! Then if you thought Blackgang’s fireworks last year were impressive…wait until you see what they’ve got in store this year! 

Unleash your inner wild explorer with a trip to Marwell Zoo. Until September 1st discover the world exclusive LEGO® brick expedition of BRICKOSAURS! Get creative in the brick pits and marvel at the whopping 8-metre T. rex. New for summer, see even more stunning LEGO® brick sculptures around the park!  

Jungle Adventure at Paultons Park
Jungle Adventure at Paultons Park

Visit Paultons Park this summer and enjoy over 70 rides and attractions all included in the admission price! New for 2019 is Jungle Adventure! Join Charlie, Harry, Bruce and Shelly in a wild adventure to the Isle of Awimowe and encounter exciting animals including spiders, lizards, meerkats and snakes!

The Isle of Wight offers endless family fun and adventures this summer.  Families travelling to and from the Isle of Wight during the school holidays can enjoy Kids Go Free with Wightlink. Take up to two children aged 5-15 for FREE with every adult foot passenger day return ticket. 

The British Touring Car Championship makes a second visit to Thruxton Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 August for more high-speed racing action. The drivers have scores to settle after their first visit! Also in attendance are the F4 British Championship, Ginetta GT4 SuperCap & Junior Championship, Renault UK Clio Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup. Children 12 and under go free.

Explore Henry VIII’s flagship The Mary Rose with their Summer Holiday Shipwreck Explorers events! Henry himself will be on hand to welcome families to discover boatbuilding with the Savvy Shipwrights, experience cooking with the Tasty Tudors or defend the realm with the Gruesome Gunners! 

To celebrate the summer holidays, from Thursday 1st to Saturday 31st August, Chawton House will be running a special offer in which all children aged 6 to 16 will be admitted for just £1. Get out in the fresh air and use the beautiful grounds of Chawton House as your inspiration on this Children’s Photography Workshop on the 15th August. From iPhone, to basic point and shoot camera, whatever you have it doesn’t matter. AM session, 10am-12pm, suitable for ages 5-8; £10 per child, includes a cupcake in the tearoom and one free place for an accompanying adult. PM session, 1:30-4pm, suitable for ages 12-17; £20 per child, includes one free place for an accompanying adult. 

Exbury Gardens
Exbury Gardens

Families can enjoy a £6 discount on gardens admission with Exbury’s summer saver special offer! Was £29 for two adults and three children, now just £23. Explore 200 acres, including the brand-new Centenary Garden, plus ride on the steam railway, feed the fish, join in with wildlife trails and blow off steam in the adventure play area.

Explore Winchester Cathedral’s spectacular new exhibition Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation. This stunning exhibition space will take you on a journey through 1,000 years of history, unlocking Winchester Cathedral’s captivating stories and revealing some of the nation’s greatest treasures.

From Monday 29 July – Saturday 3 August, budding young performers, aged 8 – 16 years – who think they’re as mad as a Hatter or mysterious as The Cheshire Cat – can take part in the Summer Youth Theatre Musical at Theatre Royal Winchester. Rehearsing across the week, they will learn new skills to prepare them for their very own production of Alice in Wonderland, which they will perform to friends and family on Theatre Royal Winchester’s stage on the Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, 12 – 18 year olds, interested in what goes on behind-the-scenes – including theatre lighting, sound or stage management – can spend a week with the theatre’s technical team, as young technicians, to learn how to rig, use a lighting desk and create a set for the show.

Drop the kids off for a full day of fun in the great outdoors. On a Holiday Adventure Day with New Forest Activities, your children will make new friends and learn new skills including Bushcraft and Archery. After a lunch stop they’ll then spend the afternoon swinging from the trees for high rope adventures! See the New Forest Activities website for available dates throughout the Summer Holidays.

Beginning from the 23rd of July – 3rd September, Birdworld are holding a range of extra activities for a Summer of Fun! Each weekday there will be either hilarious entertainment shows from Chubby the Clown or Crazee Hazee as well as extra activities and Arts & Crafts for the children to take part in.

Peter Rabbit is back! This summer, take part in Manor Farm’s interactive Peter Rabbit and Friends Trail; find the characters and spot the letters to solve the puzzle and complete your booklet. Running July to September, this trail costs £4.50 and comes with a pair of bunny ears.

This summer sees a rare occasion when the Cunard 3 Queens (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and flagship Queen Mary 2) are in Southampton together on Sun 11 August. See the 3 Queens in berth from the great viewing platform of Steamship Shieldhall on a cruise between 10am – 12noon.  

Fort Nelson
Fort Nelson

It’s going to be an action-packed summer at Fort Nelson. History comes to life with Vikings and Saxons (27 & 28 July), History Live! weekends throughout August and Romans (21 & 22 Sept). Plus the junior assault course is back (24 July – 3 Sept). Fire their imaginations this summer.

With a host of special events and outdoor fun, from live music, fringe comedy and lively carnivals to coming face to face with pirates, fairies and cowboys – and the traditional beach fun of Punch & Judy and sandcastle competitions – the Isle of Wight is perfect for summer holiday fun in the sun.

On Wednesday 14th August 11am-3pm, visit the D-Day Story for Camouflage. Discover how nature inspired the armed forces to use camouflage and explore Portsmouth’s natural history collection in our family friendly hands on activities. Drop in, no need to book, included in the entrance fee.

Loads of activities at Itchen Valley Country Park over the Summer Holidays including Wild Wednesday minibeast hunts, drop in Crafts every Thursday, a Sunny Summer Trail with a prize, local crafters Bellacrafts running pottery painting and visiting Falconry, Mobile Farm and Horse and Carriage Rides. 

Wonderfully Wicked Wednesday Workshops are running throughout the summer holidays at Bursledon Brickworks. Each Wednesday will be different. Why not join them and take part, all you need is imagination!

Potter through the past at Tudor House this summer. Join Wizard School, trick your friends with some new magic from the Magic Circle activity, or even design your own dragon. You’ll find lots of magical activities for all ages at Tudor House in August. 

Lepe Country Park
Lepe Country Park

Environmental Champions return for another Summer at Lepe, beginning on the 20th July and running throughout the six weeks. Grab a passport from reception and visit Lepe each week to collect your six weeks of stamps by completing the environmental challenges! Medals and certificates are awarded to all wonderful victors! £3 for a passport.

Hayling Summer Festival – 20th July. A community event presented by The Guildhall Trust and Guildhall Event Services at The Hayling College, Hayling Island. Schools out for Summer! Don’t miss this terrific end of term treat of a fantastic Summer Festival filled with live music, talented local performers, family fun, food, stalls, entertainment and much more.

Summer filled with fun at Nuffield Southampton Theatres, with great sing-a-longs from 70’s classic Grease, ABBA filled music with Mamma Mia to The Greatest Showman. Also don’t miss 3 weeks of free activities with Southampton’s Seaside in the Square!

Join in the Picnic at the Park family activities at Royal Victoria Country Park every Wednesday during the holidays from 31st July. Every week a different theme, with storytelling, craft and activities for all ages and abilities.