Children having fun inside Milestones Museum, part of Basingstoke Leisure Park

Milestone Museum

Part of Basingstoke Leisure Park, Hampshire

Family Fun

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If you’re planning to spend your May half-term holidays in the South East, escaping for a weekend break with the family or searching for family day out ideas and things to do with kids, there’s no better place to look.

Full of great family days out and attractions to visit, an events calendar filling up nicely with food and music festivals, May Half-Term activities, 26 blue flag beaches to explore, and a host of country parks and nature reserves to let off steam in, it's easy to create a family holiday's to remember in South East England. Why not enjoy a special day out with your dad for Father's Day, discover a host of events happening over the June weekend and get out with all the family and spend time together. 

With hundreds of things to do while the sun is shining or on a rainy day, you dont have to worry whatever time of the year you wish to visit and with lots of free things to do, you can enjoy an unforgettable UK holiday without breaking the bank.

What's on for families this weekend?

See what's happening close to you this weekend by using the map view to find something nearby. With carnivals, festivals and large scale outdoor art installation trails to help you explore the cities and towns within the region, you'll find plenty of things to do for the whole family. 

Many of the attractions will add extra value-added activities during school holidays, so look out for a free outdoor trail, crafting fun, new exhibitions to enjoy as part of your holiday away with the kids.

Best family fun days out & things to do with kids in 2024

Family Fun in Hampshire

  • Spark your children’s curiosity in science with a visit to Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.
  • Get ready for a rip roaring adventure at  Marwell Zoo with Brickoasurs! Evolution alongside their animal stars which include – Rothchild’s giraffes, white rhinos, Amur tigers, Humboldt penguins, red pandas, snow leopards and all three species of zebra.
  • Check in with little ones and you’ll find a welcome bag of things to do on their bed and a few nibbles too at the award-winning Solent Hotel & Spa, only a stone’s throw from the M27, located midway between Southampton and Portsmouth.
  • Head to the New Forest and stop in for a visit at the New Forest Wildlife Park to discover over 260 different animals, fun play parks, and friendly keepers, happy to chat and tell you all about the animals.
  • Try some of the activities in Southampton that don't cost a penny. 
  • Looking for some all-weather fun, head to Basingstoke Leisure Park, where you can splash about at Basingstoke Aquadrome, settle in for a film at the Odeon cinema, wrap up warm for ice skating at Planet Ice, bowl a few frames at Hollywood Bowl Basingstoke and experience the thrill of skydiving at iFly, all in one place.

Family Fun in East Sussex

  • Get out and about in lots of space with a visit to Bedgebury National Pinetum, the perfect place to run, hop, skip and jump through the conifers and the beautiful landscape.
  • With over 40 attractions set in beautiful coastal and countryside locations, you won’t have to spend too long in the car to experience the best of 1066 Country. Visit a fairy tale castle, watch a  medieval battle, hire a sea or river kayak, run wild in the country park. For family attractions, special offers and free things to do see.
  • Head to Brighton and enjoy the cosmopilitan vibe.  Wander the famous Lanes, spend time on the beach, take to the skies with the Brighton i360 Pod, play a game of 'Globalls' and discover a city like no other on the South Coast.
  • Enjoy a trip on the Kent & East Sussex Railway as it weaves between Tenterden and Bodiam for 10 1/2 miles.
  • Discover the grounds and gardens of Herstmonceux castle with their hidden folly garden, rope maze and tree swing
  • Take a walk amongst the bluebells at Arlington Bluebell walk and farm trail.
  • Explore the fascination Weald & Downland Living Museum near Chichester with over 1,000 years of history to uncover.  An extensive events programme will keep the family busy whenever you visit from open air theatre to traditional crafts and seasonal activities.

Family Fun by the sea at Brighton on Englands South Coast - Image Credit Visit Brighton

Family Fun in West Sussex

  • Whether you are looking to camp, bring your caravan or stay in one of an array of caravans on site, you'll find our great location, family entertainment and great facilities make Seal Bay, Selsy a great family choice. 
  • Amberley Museum is dedicated to preserving the industrial heritage of the South East.  With 36 acres to explore and over 40 exhibits to visit, you can discover the South’s working past.
  • Head over to Littlehampton on England's South Coast, a traditional seaside town with an award-winning beach, vibrant harbour, lots of traditional family friendly ammusements.
  • Enjoy a family-friendly show at Chichester Festival Theatre, with tickets starting from as little as £10, it doesn't have to cost the earth to enjoy an award-winning show.

Family Fun in Kent

  • Make a stop just 4 miles south of Maidstone to Leeds Castle, one of the best preserved historic castles in South East England, explore the castle-themed playgrounds, watch the falconry displays, get lost in the maze, discover the underground grotto.
  • Open every day, Bedgebury National Pinetum is the perfect place for cyclng, walking, riding and playing in a spectacular world of trees.
  • Looking for a family escape to the countryside, Hawthorne Farm Caravan Park set in 28 acres of landscaped gardens offers a tranquil escape away from it all. 
  • Fancy an adrenalin fix? Action Watersports have an amazing Inflatable Aqua Park along with, Water-skiing, Wakeboarding, Jet Skiing, Flyboarding, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Fun Rides. Everyone is welcome with all equipment supplied
  • Delight in a fun-packed, laughter-filled family holidays in the Isle of Thanet - Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
  • Walk with the alpaca's, hike with the huskies, fly the owls at Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation, Dartford, or stay for the night in the Kent countryside with the animals for company.
  • Kent Life is a vibrant and fun destination with a host of attractions on its 28 acre site which offer a great day out.  

Family Fun exploring history at Dover Castle in White Cliffs Country

Family Fun in Surrey

  • Escape to the woodland playground and floral gardens at Watts Gallery Artists' Village
  • Experience the ultimate bouncing fun for kids and big kids with over 50 interconnected trampolines that span right across the floor and up the walls at AirHop Guildford.
  • Painshill invites you to walk around a work of art this summer and discover magical follies and beautiful views. It is a day out that’s full of heritage, adventure and outdoor fun for all the family. Bring along a picnic or visit the Tea Room.
  • Tucked away in the south west corner of Surrey, bordering the counties of Hampshire and West Sussex is a surprising oasis of quiet rural charm. Waverley is the place where nature and history have combined to create a landscape of great variety and where artists, authors and musicians have found inspiration.  
  • Step back in time and experience all the glamour and excitment of over 100 years of British transport history with a visit to Brooklands Museum, Weybridge. With an extensive calendar of events, the world’s first racing circuit and a tour around Concorde to enjoy, you'll plenty to keep the whole family entertained whatever the weather.   

Family Fun in Berkshire

  • The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) is England’s most extensive museum dedicated to farming, food, craft, rural life and countryside issues. 
  • Explore the natural beauty of Savill Gardens, a natural haven of 35 acres of beautifully designed gardens and woodland that can be enjoyed by everyone
  • Follow your outdoor imagination and begin your adventure at Wellington Country Park, perfect for children up to the age of 8 years old.
  • Let your little ones run about in the Cobbs Farm Shop Play Barn. This custom made wooden indoor play area is educational, engaging, and fun for toddlers to 8 years old, with a soft play area for younger explorers. If the sun is shining there is also an outdoor giant wooden sandpit free to customers.
  • Enjoy the 'Changing of the Guard', a highlights of a visit to Windsor.
  • Reading dates back to medieval times, shaped by the River Thames and Kennet that encircle the town centre. Modern-day Reading embraces its heritage and waterside location as part of a vibrant, cosmopolitan destination. 
  • Get outdoors this summer and let the family enjoy the variety of watersports along the Thames: Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Canoeing, self-drive motor, electric boats and water bikes!
  • Why not try one of the fun family-friendly workshops at Nordon Farm Centre for Arts in Maidenhead, from baby choir to creative mindfulness for children, or head along an enjoy a movie or live entertainment show.

Family Fun in Buckinghamshire

  • Whatever the Season and whatever the Weather, you’ll always find stacks of Animal fun, Indoor Play & Outdoor Adventure at Odds Farm Park.
  • Discover a wonderful little world at the world's oldest orginal model village, Bekonscot Model Village & Railway
  • Bletchley Park is a place of exceptional historical importance. It remains highly relevant to our lives today and for the future. 
  • Chiltern Open Air Museum is a 45 acre site within the beautiful Chilterns countryside, with a working historic farm with Old English goats, chickens, cows and Oxford Down sheep.
  • Hogshaw Farm & Wildlife Park is a 44 acre environmentally friendly rare breeds farm attraction in Aylesbury Vale, choose to visit the farm with a day pass or annual membership for fun all year round!
  • The great little award-winning Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is aimed at 6 to 12 year olds and their families, with three fun packed galleries full of hands-on displays and activities.

Family Fun at Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park, Buckinghamshire

Family Fun in Oxfordshire

  • The Cherwell Boathouse is an iconic  restaurant and punt station close to the centre Oxford. Established in 1904 and  it has been  a family run for over 50 years as a working Boathouse and restaurant with over 80 handmade punts in the water.
  • Enjoy a visit to Farmers Gow's.  Animals are central to this unique ‘hands on’ learning through activity farm.  Four large barns contain all weather activities and picnic areas.
  • Explore this World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace, amongst over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland, including the family friendly Pleasure Gardens, reached by miniature train, with a giant hedge maze, butterfly house and adventure playground.
  • Book a break away at the Courtyard by Marriott Oxford South, ideally placed to explore Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Bicester Village and the Cotswolds.
  • The City Walking Tours, offered by Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, present a unique opportunity to discover Oxford’s historic streets and most iconic buildings. 

Family Fun on the Isle of Wight

  • Head to the Britain's first purpose built dinosaur attraction, Dinosaur Isle in Sandown and travel back to the time of the dinosaur.
  • Explore the island's biggest all-weather, fun-filled family destinations at Tapnell Farm.
  • Let your imagination run wild as you start your very own adventure at Blackgang Chine
  • Enjoy the unique experience of travelling by hovercraft from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight with Hovertravel, as you travel on a cushion of air just 1.5 metres above the waves

Family Fun in Dorset

  • Explore Poole, home to Europe’s largest natural harbour, with must visit highlights including a historic quayside, a quaint old town, glorious parks and gardens and beautiful beaches including the world famous, Sandbanks beach.  
  • Stay in Bournemouth to breathe in the fresh sea air and soak up the vibes while you discover a bustling town where you’re sure to create epic family memories you’ll treasure forever.
  • Christchurch steeped in history and heritage and brimming with soul. Explore historic sites with story-telling aplenty through its cobbled streets. Every nook of this beautiful and quaint town will surprise you.

Family fun on Bournemouth beach, Dorset