Things to do in Southampton this weekend
Finding things to do near you isn’t always easy especially when you need to entertain the kids. If you are looking for things to do near Southampton then this ultimate guide is for you.
We have ideas for everyone in the family that includes lovely country walks to farms and beaches.
Walks and Country Parks
If your family like to hike or even cycle around then here are some local treks that are great for all ages. Make sure you have a look at our full list of walks in Hampshire that are great for kids here.
Itchen Valley Country Park
A start drive from the center of town, Itchen Valley Country Park has everything you need for a great day out. Bring a picnic and park in one of the five car parks (parking charges apply.)
Walk-in one direction and enjoy the huge field that also hosts a playground and woods that are waiting to be explored.
The other way hosts a smaller park with a cafe and toilets.
New Forest National Park
A short drive from the center of Southampton, The New Forest is full of great places to let the kids run.
A lot of the landscape is flat and is great for long cycle rides and walks with the whole family. Many of the walks are signposted too.
Pick a spot and see how many ponies you can spot or donkey’s that roam free.
Our favorite places to stop are The Cricket Ground which is a huge area that can get busy in the summer but is great for kids to ride their bikes as the grass is kept low.
Boulderwood is another great place with parking and toilets. If you are really lucky then you may spot some deer wandering in the woods.
The best places in the New Forest though are those that you find off the beaten road. Take a drive and find your own little bit of treasure.
Southampton Common covers a huge area of Southampton is great for scooters and buggies. There’s plenty of parking around the outside and you never have to take the same path twice.
There’s a kids playground, loads of fields and a cafe and toilets.
Manor Farm Country Park
Based on the other side of Southampton, Manor Farm isn’t just a country park but a working farm as well. This is a great rural family day out that shows the inner workings a Victorian farm.
There is a charge to visit the farm but you get to learn how the farm is run including how the Victorians lived by visiting the on-site school, cottage and forge.
The country park surrounding the farm is just as fun too. Park up and walk one of the many paths and see how much wildlife we really do have in Southampton.
Old Town Southampton
Walking through Southampton it’s hard not to notice all the old style walls and the Bargate. Southampton goes back to the Medieval times.
If you walk to the north end of the city, you can walk along the walks, through town quay and really see our city for it’s old roots.
There’s loads of walks you can take with panels on the walls explaining the area and what you can see.
You may be surprised to know that we have loads of beaches throughout Southampton. If you’d like to explore all the Hampshire beaches then have a look at our Best Beaches Guide for Kids here.
A stony beach with patches of sand, Lepe has lots to offer!
It was a tarmac path along the seafront and plenty of rock pools when the tide goes out.
There’s a huge car park right by the beach and a playground a short walk up the hill.
Plenty of parking either end, this is a shingle beach with a playground on the beach and a tarmac path that is perfect for scooters and bikes.
Toilets and the cafe are open seasonally.
You can park along the road or in one of the two free car parks.
Take the kids scooters or bikes as the ground is flat. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon walk.
Victoria Country Park
Open all year around, this is a great place to let the kids run wild. There is plenty of parking (charges to apply) throughout the country park with three giant fields, a cafe and toilets.
You can easily walk down to the seafront and enjoy the stone beach. This is a great place to watch all the cruise ships come in and out as well.
We have loads of farms in Southampton that are great for the whole family to visit from pick your own fruit to working farms with animals.
Oasis Down to Earth Farm
This small community led farm is a great place for all ages. The opening times can differ so please do check before you travel. They have a small car park on-site but have a great selection of animals and can show the kids how to really look after their local wildlife.
Aldermoor Community Farm
This is a small farm that grows food in a sustainable way. Please check the opening times before you visit. This farm is a great way to show the kids how to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Longdown Activity Farm
This farm is great for all ages. It has all the farm animals you’d expect from a working farm that you can feed and help look after.
They have great indoor activities as well for raining days.
If your kids love playgrounds then why not try out some of the very best that Southampton have to offer. For playgrounds throughout Hampshire have a look at our Best Playgrounds in Hampshire Guide here.
Based in the middle of Southampton right on the seafront. This park has plenty of green space, parking and has a park at the top end.
It’s not huge but is great for a sunny day and a cycle or scoot around. It’s completely flat and a great place to do circuits.
This park is right opposite the Mayfield Leisure Center. It does have a small car park on-site which does get busy in the summer.
It’s got a great big field and a huge play park which is great for all ages. You can also tale a walk through the trees which leads you to a little river which is great for spotting wildlife.
St James’ Park
Just before you hit center Shirley, St James’ Park is great for all occasions. It was a nice park and a green flat field for playing. There is plenty of parking on the road and some shade in the afternoons.
St John’s Recreation Ground
This park is in Hedge End just off of Whites Road. It has a huge field to play on but it is hilly. Take a walk to the small lake and feed the fishes or scoot along the path that leads to the housing estate.
The park is great for all ages. It has two sections depending on the age of your kids. Parking is on the road.
Otterborne Park and Grounds
The quiet little park is off the beaten track. It has a very small car park that does get busy in the summer months.
It has a great big field that’s flat and has a small park that is great for toddlers. Bring a ball and a picnic as it’s a great secluded spot to play.
Things To Do In Hampshire Ideas
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Local paddling pools are great for the kids to let off some pent up energy and have fun. We have loads throughout Southampton. Make sure you check out our huge guide to paddling pools across Hampshire here.
Hedge End Paddling Pool
Hedge End Paddling Pool is a five minute walk away from the centre of Hedge End on St Johns Recreational ground. There’s a shop so you can buy refreshments and ice creams as well as toilets on site.
To park, it’s best to use the Town Council car park on St Johns Road as along the road can be
Hedge End Paddling Pool normally opens daily between May to September, 10:30am – 5pm. The paddling pool is managed by Hedge End Town Council and more details can be found on their website here.
Fleming Park Paddling Pool
Fleming Park paddling pool is next to the play park on Passfield Avenue in Eastleigh.
It opens on the last May Bank holiday until the first weekend in September regardless of the weather. Daily opening hours are normally 10am to 7pm.
They have toilets on-site and a gated park with a small sandpit for the kids. There’s plenty of benches and grass inside the paddling pool area. There’s not much shade, so remember to bring hats or an umbrella.
Southampton Common Play Park
Completely gated, this is a cross between a small splash park and huge adventure playground. One side is sandy with water sprays and the other is the park.
There’s a toilet on site and a small café that sells ice creams and lunch items. This park is perfect for kids 3 and up that are happy to get wet and sandy. Have a look at the Southampton Council Facebook page for more details.
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We all need indoor activity ideas especially when it’s raining and you all need to get out the house. Here are some great ideas that are all located in Southampton.
All these museums are great for kids and are interactive. Some are also free. If you’d like to find more local museums then make sure you check out our huge post on Hampshire museums here.
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.
Solent Sky Museum
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
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.
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.
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.
West End Local History Museum and Heritage Centre
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.
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.
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