Things to do in May & half-term in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight

April 3, 2023

Things to do May half-term in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight

(opens in a new tab)Do you want to make this May one to remember? Discover all the things to do this May half-term in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight with the family! From fascinating historic attractions to outdoor adventures, island adventures, adrenaline-fuelled fun and so much more. You’ll find it all here…

History to discover this May 

Step back in time this May half term at 1940s Week at Milestones Museum. View historic objects, get a ration of sweets at the 1940s sweet shop, browse stores, enjoy demonstrations & more on Milestones’ streets. Visit during Coronation Weekend (6 – 8 May) for a royally good time!

Red open top historic bus at Beaulieu, National Motor Museum
Beaulieu, National Motor Museum

Take a trip through time at Beaulieu and meet Living History characters, discover the brand-new Motopia? Past Future Visions exhibition, and experience our incredible falconry displays in the stunning grounds of Palace House.

Dive into the untold story of the finding, excavation and recovery of Henry VIII’s favourite ship in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s new immersive 4D cinema experience, Dive the Mary Rose 4D. No additional cost to paying Mary Rose visitors. 

 The Brickworks Museum is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday during May half term with two play areas, an interactive trail and lots to see and do for the low family price of £21. 

At 878 AD Winchester, discover the fascinating stories of Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon people through live performance, historic artefacts and more, before heading out to the city centre for an augmented reality experience. Take part in AR archery, create your own artisanal pottery and more!

Visit the Army Flying Museum during half term for a round-the-world rhyming adventure with story-themed trails available all week. Craft activities between 10.30 – 13.30 from Monday 29th May to Friday 2nd June & story time at 2pm. Perfect for young explorers!

Head outdoors in Hampshire this May

Family smiling in a canoe on river at New Forest Activities in Hampshire
New Forest Activities

Nature Day, the annual celebration of the natural world, at Gilbert White’s House & Gardens May 14th, 10.30am-5pm. Throughout the day there will be a range of activities led by their environmental experts, from pond dipping, to bug hunting to bird spotting walks!  

Have a go at Pond Dipping at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens! Can you find diving beetles and nimble pond skaters? The education team are also running a fun action-packed Garden Explorer’s Holiday Club.

Discover a wild world in Mottisfont’s gardens by becoming a Nature Detective for May half term. There are challenges to complete, and a butterfly-themed craft activity to take home.

Thomas the Tank Engine at Watercress Line in Hampshire
The Watercress Line Image by Paul Michael Hughes Photography

Join Thomas & Friends for a day of family fun at The Watercress Line this half term. Take a train ride with Thomas, meet some of your favourite characters and join Sodor Station Sweepers Rusty & Dusty for a trainload of excitement!

Paultons Park is celebrating their 40th Anniversary! Percy the Owl will be there on select dates to celebrate with you and the Percy sculpture trail is in full swing! Join the celebrations and you will have the BEST. DAY. EVER exploring over 70 rides & attractions! 

Create long-lasting memories this May Half Term in Hampshire with Cyclexperience! Explore the New Forest by bike and discover hidden gems and famous pubs along the way. Chances are the infamous New Forest ponies will be out enjoying the spring air too!

New Forest Activities has a variety of adventures for everyone to be a part of, throughout the whole of May. Paddle along the scenic Beaulieu River in either kayak or canoe. Or head into their BattleZone for outdoor laser tag. Don’t miss out!

You’ve played Capture the Flag, but not like this! Come and experience Laser Squad’s state-of-the-art digital flag system as you battle it out in teams to capture as many flags as you can during this immersive, adrenaline-fuelled set of games this May Half term at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

A major new art trail, Artists Fairy Doors, is coming to Furzey Gardens from 27th May to thrill visitors of all ages. More than 20 four-foot fairy doors have been decorated by talented local artists and groups for you to discover around the garden.

Enjoy the spring sunshine with Manor Farm’s Scarecrows in Spring story time trail sessions from 27 May  to 4 June. This fun free activity includes a chance to plant a sunflower to take home and grow, as well as  some special scarecrow games.  

Flock to Staunton Farm and get up close some cuddly creatures. You can even feed them via  their special feeding tubes. Once you’ve had a chance to make friends with the adorable animals, let off  some steam at George’s play barn or at the outdoor play area.  

The 27th May is the first exclusive date of the Hawk Conservancy Trust’s brand new spectacular evening event, Sunset at the Trust! Explore the Trust grounds after-hours before taking your seat and setting your sights to the sky to enjoy two flying displays as the sun sets. An evening out like no other!

Discover amazing activities, scenic spots, historical landmarks and more at River Hamble Country Park.  From crabbing to walking trails, wildlife spotting and BBQs, there are plenty of ways to have fun in the  countryside this May. 

Live May entertainment

Around the World in 80 Days is at Theatre Royal Winchester 9th – 13th May. A brand new, fun, and colourful family production that tells the story like you’ve never seen before and High School The Musical Edited 14th May!

Join New Theatre Royal Portsmouth for a pantomime-style show to kick off May half term! Goldilocks and the Three Bears, 27th May. The show will include top circus & specialty acts, and an opportunity for the audience to meet the characters after the show! 

There’s, even more, to excite all ages with Mysteries & Mayhem at Winchester Science Centre. Join the Chemistry Crime Squad live show and help use science to solve a mystery or head outside on an orienteering adventure!

May Half Term fun on the Isle of Wight

Wightlink ferry leaving the port on the Isle of Wight

Say YES to a May Half-Term adventure on the Isle of Wight. Packed full of stunning beaches, scenic countryside, and fascinating attractions, there is something for everyone on the beautiful Island. Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore historic sites, or enjoy the many events that are taking place, the Isle of Wight has it all. 

Enjoy extra May half term family activities and entertainment at The Needles Landmark Attraction, Dinosaur Isle, Fairytale week at Tapnell Farm, Kids Rule and Victoria’s Family Day out at Osborne and Kids Rule at Carisbrook Castle.

The Island is full of family-friendly things to do and getting there is part of the fun. With Wightlink, Kids Go Free over every school holiday so hop on board and make special memories on the Isle of Wight. 

Brand new for 2023, Cowes Fringe will see the vibrant Isle of Wight seafront town transformed by an explosive celebration of arts from 26-28 May. Don’t miss out on the action – set sail to West Cowes from just £12.30pp return with Red Funnel.

Now you know all the amazing, things to do May half-term in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, discover cheap days out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook & TikTok to keep up with our amazing attractions in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. 




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