Including fun things to do in Hampshire with kids
If you are looking for things to do in Hampshire that are inside or a day out that’s educational then one of these museums in Hampshire are going to be for you.
We’ve covered everything from free museums throughout the county to paid museums that cover everything from science, local history to the Royal Navy and army.
Many of these museums are interactive and all are family-friendly. They make great places to visit even if you just have a morning or afternoon to spare.
If you are looking for other day out ideas then make sure you have a look at:
Museums in North Hampshire
Army Medical Services Museum (Aldershot)
Open most of the year, the museum hosts the carriage used by Florence Nightingale during her time in the Crimea and details the story of the military and medicine. Think military ambulances, an Ambulance Train Ward Coach and a WWI Horse Drawn Ambulance. This museum is free but some of the others do charge an admission cost.
Allen Gallery (Alton)
This free museum is great for the whole family. You do have to book in advance but it’s well worth it to see all the amazing Wedgwood and hidden secrets of this amazing museum. This museum is best for older kids.
Curtis Museum (Alton)
Open all year, Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am to 5pm, the Curtis Museum houses a collection by Dr William Curtis and his associates in the local Mechanics Institute. The museum covers 100 million years of history and displays include prehistoric tools, Roman pottery reconstruction, Saxon burials, the Battle of Alton 1643 and the notorious tale of Sweet Fanny Adams.
Jane Austen’s House (Alton)
This huge house and gardens are great for older kids. You get a real inside into how Jane Austen lived and worked.
Chawton House (Alton)
This house, once belonging to Jane Austen’s brother is open to the public. You can visit the house, library and gardens which are ready and waiting to be explored. Tickets are annual based and you do need to book before you go but it’s so worth it.
Museum of the Iron Age (Andover)
This museum is great for all ages. You can visit the roundhouse and touch real Iron age objects. Learn more about life as a Roman and explore the hillfort.
Andover Museum (Andover)
Andover Museum is a great place for the kids to learn about the prehistoric times all the way through to present day. Interactive, Andover Museum offers temporary exhibitions and has a coffee shop on site.
Army Flying Museum (Andover)
This museum hosts a range of aircrafts, uniforms and medals that really tell the story of aviation. This is great for older kids that are interested in the art of flight.
The Willis Museum (Basingstoke)
Open all year round, this is a local working museum with galleries on local archaeology and natural science. Learn more about Basingstoke and the history around you through the ages.
Milestone Museum (Basingstoke)
This is a great family-friendly museum. You pay once to get in for the whole year. Walk through the cobbled streets and have a look at the old vehicles that used to grace our streets.
Farnborough Air Sciences (Farnborough)
Farnborough Air Sciences is free to visit and fun for the whole family. It’s open from 10am to 4pm Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. They display everything from aircrafts, cockpits and research and development. This is a great place for the whole family to visit.
Aldershot Military Museum (Farnborough)
This is a great museum for the whole family. You get to learn the basics of driving a tank and while seeing what it was really like to be in the military. They have a great cafe on-site and have loads of interactive exhibits.
Rural Life Centre (Farnham)
This museum is great for all weathers. It has loads of outbuildings including a cycle workshop, cricket pavilion, Schoolroom built around 1900, the capel and Tweedsmuir Camp.
Waverley Abbey (Farnham)
This old castle is great for a morning walk. The car park is free and there’s plenty of grass for the kids to play on too.
Museum of Farnham (Farnham)
This lovely museum is free to enter and is packed full of Farnhams local history. This is great for older kids who want to know all about their town.
Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum and Memorial Garden (Winchester)
An interactive museum, learn about the history of the Royal Hampshire Regimen and its regulars, volunteers, militia and territorials. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Friday and 11am to 3pm on weekends.
Winchester Science Museum (Winchester)
Winchester Science Museum has everything that the whole family could want in a day out. This is fully inside and an interactive museum. They put on regular events that really brings science to life. They have a planetarium that put on loads of different shows depending on the children’s age too. They also have a soft play for smaller kids and picnic benches for days when it’s raining outside.
Adjutant General’s Corps Museum (Winchester)
This museum is in the Guard House of Peninsula Barracks in Winchester and is great if your kids are learning about The Second World War. It holds personal accounts of the time plus the Queens own driving permit which is on loan to the museum. The Adjutant General’s Corps Museum is open all year, Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm in May to September.
Winchester City Museum (Winchester)
Explore the rich history of Winchester in the three galleries that take you through time. Family-friendly, there are loads of hands on activities to keep all ages amused from becoming a detective and solving the museum spotter trail to dressing up as a Roman and finding out what life was really like as a soldier back then. Open times are Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and 11am to 5pm on Sundays.
The Royal Green Jackets Museum (Winchester)
This small museum is great for rainy days. It’s close to the city center and has a great cafe on-site too.
The Gurkha Museum (Winchester)
This museum goes through the history of the Gurkha’s. There’s so much to see and do here and it’s perfect if you are looking for something to do with older kids.
Westgate Museum (Winchester)
Set in the middle of Winchester, this museum gives you a real insight into Tudor life. Walk around and explore the halls and really get to know what life would have been like.
Whitchurch Silk Mill (Andover)
This is a great place for older kids to really get the fill of what it was like to work in a silk mill. This is a 19th-century water mill that weaves silk using the same machinery.
Basing House (Basingstoke)
There is so much to do at Basing House. Discover and explore the ruins and visit the gardens and gatehouse. It’s great for a picnic spot or an explore on a Winter’s day.
National Trust City Mill (Winchester)
This museum really goes into detail on how flour is turned into bread and how the machines work. They go through the history of the mill while making it interactive and fun.
Winchester Castle and Great Hall (Winchester)
Right in the center of Winchester, this crown jewel is steeped in history. Look around the great hall and let your kids run outside to the full view of the city center.
Museums in South Hampshire
Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum (Hamble)
This museum is perfect for the whole family in all weathers. Explore the old working machinery and try out the old arcade games. They have a huge picnic area, steam engines, brick making and a playground.
Solent Sky Museum (Southampton)
Back in the 20th century, Southampton was a huge aviation manufacturer. Solent Sky Museum is a great place to come and explore the very best in aviation. With over 15 complete airframes which include the Spitfire and Supermarine, you can really get a fill for what these planes were like. This is an interactive museum with accounts of what it was like to build these planes and fly them.
Southampton Art Gallery (Southampton)
Family friendly, the gallery is home to over 3,500 works, ranging from Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary video art. Exhibitions change regularly so there’s always something to do and see. Opening times are Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.
SeaCity Museum (Southampton)
This museum is great for colder or rainy days when you need to do something inside. This opened on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s departure from the city. The museum is based on the Civic Centre which also holds the police station and court. You can watch re-enactments from survivors while really seeing what it was like to be on the Titanic. There are loads for the kids to do too. This is interactive and a great way to introduce the story to the younger generation.
West End Local History Museum and Heritage Centre (Southampton)
The Old Fire Station Museum contains an extensive and ever growing archive of local material which includes maps, directories, photographs and the history of the local area. Child friendly; let them ask questions and enjoy learning about the area they are growing up in. Open Saturdays only 10am to 4pm.
Eastleigh Museum (Southampton)
A local museum made for families, Eastleigh Museum takes you back into the past and lets you meet Mr and Mrs Brown, a local locomotive engine driver and his wife. The displays and exhibitions change regularly with workshops and events always going on. Open all year round, Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 430pm.
Bursledon Windmill (Hamble)
This is a little known place but is great for the whole family. You can tour the windmill with a guided tour and walk through the surrounding wood and trail. Try your hand at grinding flour and how it gets turned into bread.
The Eling Experience (Totton)
Open Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm, The Eling Experience includes the mill itself, riverside walks and events.
Tudor House and Garden (Southampton)
Built-in the 15th century, Tudor House is half-timbered and was renovated to show the world how the Tudors lived and worked. Every room in the house is dedicated to showing what the Tudor times were like for different families. Make sure you visit the gardens too as they show a stunning side to such a dark piece of our history.
Museums in East Hampshire
Emsworth Museum (Emsworth)
This museum has free entry and is a great rainy day activity. It goes through the history of Emsworth, transport and ways our life have changed.
Westbury Manor Museum (Fareham)
This museum is free to visit and great for the whole family. You can discover about the Manor House including the officers and prisoners. You can join in with the quizzes, workshops and all the other events. You dp have to book before you go so please check their website first.
Gosport Museum (Gosport)
A former part of Gosport Grammar School, this museum offer temporary exhibits to families that tie in with the national curriculum. The museum hosts a range of events and shows from local artists and hosts exhibitions from collections held by museums throughout Hampshire. Gosport Museum is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.
Havant Museum (Havant)
Part of The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant Museum celebrates the history of Havant. Let the kids find out how life was lived in Havant and how the coastline has changed. You can also research your family history, local area or your own specialist subject in their free to use Research Room. The museum is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm Saturdays.
Portsmouth City Museum (Portsmouth)
Reminiscent of a fairy tale castle, with turrets and pointed roofs, Portsmouth City museum may look like something out of a story but it’s actually a former barracks. It’s a great place to visit to get an idea of what it was like to live in the city and how things have changed over the years. It’s open daily from 10am to 530pm.
D-Day Museum and Overload Embroidery (Portsmouth)
This is a great museum for the whole family that walks you through what happened during the World War and gives you a real insight into what life was like. This is right on the seafront and is paired great with a walk on the beach.
Southsea Castle (Portsmouth)
Southsea Castle is based right on the seafront. While it does cost to go in, running around the outside of the fort is great fun for all the family. It’s on a big hill with loads of green space, perfect for a picnic and a fun afternoon by the seafront.
Portsmouth Natural History Museum (Portsmouth)
This free museum houses a huge butterfly collection and walks you through the history of the city. This is a great rainy day venue!
Charles Dickins Museum (Portsmouth)
This museum is great for all Dickins fans. They offer loads of family events including a self-guided trail around the house.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (Portsmouth)
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is right on the Portsmouth seafront, just along from Gunwharf Quays. It’s a full day of fun and adventure for the whole family. The dockyard features HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose museum, and everything you need to know about Lord Nelson. This is a fully interactive attraction that fully shows the best of the British Navy.
Portsmouth City Museum and Record Office (Portsmouth)
Reminiscent of a fairy tale castle, with turrets and pointed roofs, Portsmouth City museum may look like something out of a story but it’s actually a former barracks. It’s a great place to visit to get an idea of what it was like to live in the city and how things have changed over the years. It’s open daily from 10am to 530pm
Fort Nelson (Portsmouth)
Open all year round, let your kids run free in this amazing 19 acres of grass ramparts, underground tunnels and views. Home to the over 350 guns that tell our history through the ages. Live firing takes place every day and professional actors recreate history and are happy to answer any questions you may have! Free guided tours are also available.
Little Woodham Living History Village (Fareham)
Little Woodham is a 17th-century village that’s surrounded by woodland. You get to meet all the villagers who you would expect to see in a 17th-century village including a seamstress, cooks, blacksmith and farmers. There is a charge to enter the village but they do take card. Parking is free and the toilets are near the car park. Take a packed lunch as they have a little tuck shop but that’s it when it comes to food and drink.
Spinnaker Tower (Portsmouth)
The Spinnaker Tower gives you great views of Portsmouth harbor and the South Coast. The Spinnaker Tower is based in Gunwhalf Quays which is an outside shopping center.
The Diving Museum (Fareham)
This is a great interactive museum that is fun for the whole family. If you are interested in the sea then this is the place for you. Walk around the museum and see how diving has changed over the years. There is a charge to enter this museum but it’s so worth it. You can find The Diving Museum at No. 2 Battery, Stokes Bay Road, Gosport, PO12 2QU.
The Museum of Naval Firepower (Fareham)
Set in 18th-century buildings, The Museum of Naval Firepower is full of weaponry that is over 200 years old. you do need a ticket to enter but its a great interactive museum for the whole family to enjoy. They have everything from small firearms and cannons to missiles and torpedoes!
Royal Navy Submarine Museum (Fareham)
Home to the only Second World War-era submarine, Royal Navy Submarine Museum runs through the Royal Navy history while letting you really get the feel of what being a sailor on a submarine used to be like. You do need tickets to enter but this is a full day out with loads to do.
Museums in West Hampshire
Beaulieu National Motor Museum (Brockenhurst)
Whatever age your kids are, the Beaulieu National Motor Museum is a perfect place for a day out. It’s interactive and has a stunning garden to run around too.
St Barbe Museum and Gallery (Brockenhurst)
This local museum is great if the family are into arts. The exhibitions are interactive and change quickly so there’s always something new.
- The Ultimate Guide to Things to do in Southampton With Kids
- 9 Fun Walks in Hampshire That Are Child Friendly
- 33 Half Term Activities in Hampshire That Are Free
Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum (Brockenhurst)
This museum is packed full of racing bikes over the years. This is a really interactive museum where the kids can touch and feel as they go through.
Buckler’s Hard Museum (Brockenhurst)
This huge area has everything you need for a fun family day out. You park by the cafe and can visit the museum, woodland and workshop.
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more ideas on things to do in Hampshire then head over to the Things To Do section here on Things To Do In Hampshire With Kids where you’ll find over 50 day out ideas in Hampshire that the whole family will enjoy. You could also pop over and follow our Facebook page here or our Hampshire days out Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on what you can do as a family in Hampshire; Days Out For The Kids in Hampshire and Cheap and Free Days Out in Hampshire.
(By joining giving us your email address you are consenting to us emailing you about our other travel, home and days out ideas. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of every email.)