Perhaps most famous for its maritime heritage and football club, Southampton is a lively port city on England’s south coast with lots of family-friendly activities to enjoy. Here are just some of the family-friendly attractions on offer.
Located right in the heart of Southampton, SeaCity Museum tells the story of Southampton’s rich maritime history. With three permanent exhibition areas, the museum recounts the port’s history through the lives of those who have arrived at or departed from Southampton over the centuries. It also explores the relationship between the people of Southampton and their connection to the sea.
And, of course, it tells the story of the world-famous ship, the Titanic, which famously set sail on its maiden – and final – voyage from Southampton in April 1912. Family tickets are available, and entry is free for under 5’s. SeaCity also has a museum café – The Galley, with a selection of hot and cold food and drinks.
New Forest Wildlife Park
Families can enjoy a visit to New Forest Wildlife Park, which is nestled in the magnificent woodlands of the New Forest National Park and is home to over 260 animals from 40 species. You can expect to see bison, deer, otters, badgers, polecats, and wolves as well as many others.
The park also has adventure playgrounds suitable for all ages and during the spring and summer months, you can join keepers for feeding times and animal talks. New Forest Wildlife Park is easily accessible by road or by public transport such as rail, bus and taxi.
Eling Water Park
Eling Water Park in Totton is free to visit and has a large splash pool with sprinklers that’s perfect for keeping the kids entertained during the warm, summer months. There’s also a large park area suitable for picnics and games so you can make a full day of your visit.
Solent Sky Museum
Solent was at the centre of aviation between 1910 and 1960 and the Solent Sky Museum is home to over 20 aircraft from the golden age of aviation, including a Supermarine Spitfire. Ideal for families with kids who are airplane-obsessed or interested in history, the museum is also home to the Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Collection, packed with historical items and photographs that explore the rich history of the Police and Fire Service in Hampshire.
Go Ape, Itchen Valley
Go Ape Southampton can be found in Itchen Valley Country Park, a 440-acre site that has been awarded a Green Flag. Here, adventure courses and challenges stretch through the treetops and there are also zip wires, wobbly bridges, and even axe-throwing!
Catering for children of all ages, there’s also a Play Trail and Nature Detective Trail as well as two permanent orienteering courses for those who want a challenge. There are picnic areas for families who want to bring their own food and an onsite café.