Southampton is one of the U.K’s largest port cities attracting thousands of tourists each year. Packed full of culture and arts entertainment, there is plenty to do here beyond its extensive seafront. And, better yet, if you’re planning a trip to Southampton with your family, there’s plenty of things to do. Whether you’re planning to stay for just the day or want to plan a short break with the kids in tow, you’ll be pleased to learn there’s plenty to do.
We’ve rounded up our top 10 activities for those visiting the coastal city with little ones! Read on and get planning with the list below:
1. Solent Sky Museum
First up is the Solent Sky Museum which is a great attraction if your child or children love all things aviation. The museum is packed full of historic planes and other sky-bound vehicles that were used throughout significant wars. While you don’t have to give your children a running commentary on the history of each exhibit, they are guaranteed to enjoy viewing the mighty beasts that once roamed the air.
If you’re looking for something a bit different when it comes to entertaining your little ones, Escape Room Southampton is an excellent option. Taking on the role of detectives, your family will enjoy the thrill of working out how to escape the room. With 21 different escape rooms, each featuring a unique theme, and a fancy dress wardrobe to help you look the part, this is a unique activity that everyone is guaranteed to enjoy.
3. Hollywood Bowl Southampton
For days when the weather lets you down, having a backup indoor activity is always wise. If you need to take shelter while it’s raining, why not head to Hollywood Bowl Southampton? Get competitive in the bowling alley and help yourself to the tasty burgers on the menu in the diner. Hollywood Bowl is a great value choice for the entire family, and it’s sure to bring out everyone’s competitive side along with lots of laughter!
4. The Quays Swimming and Diving Centre
Need to cool off? There’s no better spot for it in Southampton than The Quays Swimming and Diving Centre. With multiple pools and diving boards for those that want to practice, it’s the perfect spot for a refreshing dip with the family. The centre runs family-swim specific days, however, it welcomes swimmers of all levels no matter the day of the week.
5. SeaCity Museum
If you’re looking to educate your little ones while visiting Southampton, the SeaCity Museum is the perfect location for it. Featuring an education zone with plenty of interactive exhibits as well as historic and modern displays, there is something for everyone at the museum. There’s also an on-site cafe to grab lunch with the kids and a gift shop full of goodies to explore. With really reasonable ticket prices, no trip to Southampton is complete without a visit to SeaCity!
6. Manor Farm
Manor Farm is sure to delight your children as they walk around the historic site filled with farm animals. Set on a 25-acre park and surrounded by beautiful woodlands, there is plenty to explore in the area. From an indoor play barn to the fort adventure playground, Manor Farm makes a great day trip if you are planning on spending more than one day in Southampton and don’t mind travelling a little outside of the city. Kids will enjoy the historical site and all it has to offer and if you fancy venturing a little further, there’s always the woodlands too.
7. Marwell Zoo
Marwell Zoo is home to hundreds of different species including big cats and prehistoric-looking lizards. The zoo is situated in a 140-acre park and boasts 5 adventure playgrounds, on-site cafes, and opportunities to feed some of the animals too. Rated as one of the best zoos in the U.K, there’s no doubt that this is one of the best family spots in Southampton to enjoy. Whether your little one is obsessed with giraffes or they are an animal lover in general, they’re bound to love visiting Marwell Zoo!
8. New Forest Wildlife Park
New Forest Wildlife Park offers visitors a chance to spot a range of species in their natural habitat. Located on the edge of New Forest, the park is home to a wide range of British species including, birds, and insects including wolves, otters, deers, and owls to name just a couple. In addition to the wildlife here, there are many different plants and flowers to enjoy, many of which can be found in the pretty glass greenhouse here.
9. Paultons Park
For thrill-seeking families, there’s no better spot than Paultons Park. Located in New Forest National Park, the huge theme park has something for everyone to enjoy, no matter their age. This theme park certainly doesn’t fall short of entertainment from younger children’s rides that feature favourite characters like Peppa Pig to riveting rollercoasters and even water rides. There’s also many places to eat out and a whole host of shops for gifts and souvenirs too.
10. The beach!
Finally but certainly not least, there are wonderful beaches in Southampton to enjoy. Lepe Beach is our number one choice and it’s easy to see why if you visit for yourself. Classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty it offers many fun activities to enjoy including fishing spots, swimming in the sea, and canoeing. There’s no better place to kick back and relax without having to spend a penny. There are also a range of enclosed play areas for children to enjoy and dedicated BBQ spots if you fancy grilling up some dinner while visiting too.
As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of family-oriented activities to enjoy in Southampton. From cultural spots such as the museums we have listed to wildlife focussed points of interest, there’s something for every type of budget. All you have to do is pack a bag for the day and decide where you’ll be visiting! Check out my indoor family fun tips too for adventures wherever you are in the UK!