There are some great things to do for the under 5s across Hampshire and The Isle of Wight, but the hardest part can be choosing from all that is on offer! To help you decide, we have put together a top 10 list of what you and your family can get up to.
- With 180 acres of winding pathways to run along and explore – Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is the perfect place to explore and burn off some energy. Head off and find the hidden Tree House, with climbing wall and slide. Play on the super snake rope swing, try out the bamboo maze and have a go on the balancing logs.
- There are plenty of activities for children to enjoy at Manor Farm and Country Park. Milk the cows, meet the animals, experience a lesson in the Victorian classroom and have fun climbing and swinging in one of the play areas. Why not take some paper and crayons with you to do bark and leaf rubbings in the woodand!
- Dive beneath the water at Penguin Cove, drive the safari truck at Wild Explorers & pick up a trail from Marwell Zoo‘s information cabin. Head for the rail train to get close up views of the animals. With 100s of animals – including giraffes, tigers & penguins all housed in a beautiful 140 acre park with 5 adventure playgrounds – you will find it hard to know where to start your exploring!
- Let off steam on Beaulieu’s Mini Motor Play Area! Follow the fun quiz trail and take a ride on Wheels – the family-friendly ride which takes you on a journey through motoring history. Let off steam in the motor themed play area – with swings, climbing frame and more.
- Fly through the air and experience the ultimate playground at Southampton’s favourite trampoline park – Oxygen Freejumping. Teach your little one to bounce before they can walk in a little O session which are for children five years old and younger. Oxygen Freejumping is transformed into a toddler’s paradise during these sessions and can enjoy the connected Freejump zones, frolic in the foam pit, or even take a gentle jump into the airbag.
- With 7 fun theme park rides including Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride, Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter Flight and George’s Dinosaur Adventure Ride – Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park is the perfect place to have family fun! Head over to George’s Spaceship Indoor Playzone, which has galaxies of indoor fun (whatever the weather!) with slides, climbing, ball play, musical instruments and more!
- There are lots of brilliant farmyard buildings to explore and loads of fabulous indoor and outdoor play areas including the trampoline barn, a soft play area and The Farmer’s Straw Den at Longdown Activity Farm. There are lots of animals for you and your family to meet including cows, ponies, donkeys, alpacas, pigs, goats, rabbits, ducks and geese…and lots of new babies such as fluffy chicks.
- Visit Fort Nelson and investigate the eerie tunnels and underground chambers. There is 19 acres of Victorian Fort to explore including the ramparts, parade and galleries. You can also pick up a treasure box which contain a selection of toys, stories and suggested activities designed to provide hands-on-fun for inquisitive pre-schoolers.
- Created especially for the royal children, the Swiss Cottage is still the perfect place for family fun today at Osborne. Hidden in the woods, you can see where the princes and princesses planted their gardens, explore the museum full of strange and fascinating objects, and jump around in the play area. You can also find out more about the nine royal children in the interactive exhibition and follow the garden adventure trail.
- Head to Exbury Gardens and hop on the Exbury Steam Railway. The 20 minute journey around the nrth-east corner of the Gardens starts at Exbury Central Station when the guard invites you to wave the green flag to the driver! Make sure you look out for the railway’s woodland creatures made out of moss, including rabbits, a squirrel, frog, owl and a deer.
If you would like some more inspiration for certain age groups, please take a look at our list of itineraries here.