May Half Term in Hampshire 2024

*This article is in the process of being updated – many attractions haven’t announced their activities for this year yet so I’ve kept last year’s events on for some attractions until I can update them.

If you’re looking for things to do this May half term in Hampshire then you have come to the right place. You may be looking for a lovely family friendly day out or just somewhere to go for walks or you might prefer an organised event or school holiday activities, put on especially for May half term. Read on to find out everything going on in Hampshire this half term.

When is May Half Term in Hampshire?

May half term, in the middle of the summer term 2023, in the Hampshire school holidays runs from 27 to 31st May 2024 which is the same as many of the neighbouring county half terms this year. Make sure you check term dates on your school website.

Days Out in Hampshire

If you’re just looking for a day out to enjoy over the May half term holiday dates then we have a lot of inspiration for you and these posts should be helpful:

If you’re happy to go a little further afield then these posts may be helpful too:

Afternoon Tea in Hampshire

If you fancy going for afternoon tea as a half term treat there are plenty of places to choose from and these guides may help you find somewhere perfect!

National Trust Trails

National Trust sites often have fantastic trails to keep children entertained. Here are the ones on this half term in Hampshire:

The Vyne – Vyne Rd, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke RG24 9HL

May half term wildlife bingo – 25 May to 2 June 2024 – Free with admission

Use what you can see, hear, touch and smell to spot signs of wildlife at The Vyne. Pick whether you want to be Team Squirrel, Team Woodpecker or Team Dragonfly and race each other to complete your sheet. Don’t worry if you don’t spot everything, wildlife can be like that, but you can always see who can spot the most things on their bingo sheet.

You can read about our time at The Vyne here

Mottisfont – Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0LP

May half term at Mottisfont – 25 May to 2 June 2024 – £2 per child

Find creative inspiration as you discover different artworks in the house and gallery, explore the gardens to find out what’s growing at this time of year, or take a walk for a closer look at the natural world.

You can read about our trip to Mottisfont here

Days Out with Half Term Activities in Hampshire

Winchester Science Centre – Telegraph Way, Winchester, Hampshire SO21 1HZ

Mysteries & Mayhem – 11th May to 3rd June 2024 – Weekends and school holidays

Welcome to Mysteries and Mayhem – a world of weird science, curiosity and investigation! As well as all the usual Science Centre fun there will be Dormouse Orienteering, a magnet mayhem demo in Science Live and mysterious minibeasts in Bio:Space.

You can read about our time at Winchester Science Centre here

Beaulieu – Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7ZN

Fairies and Dragons Trail – 18 May – 30 June 2024

Embark on a journey of wonder as, for the first time, Beaulieu’s Mill Pond Walk becomes home to an all-new Fairies and Dragons willow sculpture trail! The Mill Pond Walk will be transformed as woven willow sculptures line the walkway to delight visitors of all ages with its magical blend of fantasy and artistry.

Read about our last visit to Beaulieu here

Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line – Station Road, New Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9JG

Day Out With Thomas – 25th May to 2nd June 2024

Peep, peep! Join Thomas & Friends for a day of family fun at The Watercress Line. Take a train ride with Thomas, meet some of your favourite characters and join Sodor Station Sweepers Rusty & Dusty for a trainload of excitement!

Read about our Day Out With Thomas here and about the Wizard Week event here

Itchen Valley Country Park – Allington Lane, West End, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 3HQ

May Half Term Trail – Teddy Bear Picnic – 27 May 2023 – 4 June 2023

Discover if the Teddy Bears are eating healthily on the picnic trail! Bring your own picnic or grab a lunchbox from the café to have with teddy in the woods!

Manor Farm and Country Park – Pylands Lane, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 1BH

Scarecrows in Spring! – 27 May 2023 – 4 June 2023

Join the story time trail sessions, plant a sunflower to take home and play some scarecrow games at Manor Farm this May half term.

You can read about our trip to Manor Farm here

Finkley Down Farm Park – North Way, Andover, Hampshire SP11 6NF

May Half Term Fun – 25th May – 2nd June 2024

Different entertainers each day along with all the usual Finkley Down fun!

You can read about our day at Finkley Down Farm here

Longdown Activity Farm – Deerleap Lane, Ashurst, Southampton, Hampshire SO40 7EH

Tractor Time – 15th to 16th June 2024 (Not during half term but I thought it was worth a mention!)

If you like tractors, you’ll love Longdown during this special tractor weekend when The New Forest Vintage Tractor and Engine Club will be at the farm. Tractor enthusiasts will be delighted to have the opportunity to see a variety of tractors from yesteryear featuring names such as Ferguson, Fordson, Nuffield, and many more.

You can read about our trip to Longdown Activity Farm here

Butser Ancient Farm – Chalton Lane, Chalton, Waterlooville, Hampshire PO8 0BG

Half Term Fun: Gods & Monsters – 27th May to 4th June 2023

Discover the gods and monsters of ancient mythology this May half term! An action-packed week filled with a themed trail, hands-on activities, ancient skills demonstrations, and more.

You can read about our time at Butser Farm here and a more recent review of Butser Ancient Farm here

Milestones Museum – Basingstoke Leisure Park, Churchill Way West, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 6PG

1940s Week – 25th May to 2nd June 2024

Visit Milestones to step back in time to the 1940s and take part in the fun activities for all ages.  Enjoy re-enactments and demonstrations, historic objects, talks and more on the streets of Milestones this May half term.

In addition to the demonstrations and activities, you can enjoy World War II themed food at the cafe such as corned beef hash and spam fritters as well as the usual menu items.

You can read about our trip to Milestones here

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3LJ

Conservation Station – 26th May to 4th June 2023

Become part of the Conservation Crew and discover more about how the team takes care of everything from buttons to battle ships! Will you have the right skills to identify insects, clean coins and pack away artefacts? Explore the Conservation Station for hands on activities and find out! 

You can read about our time at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard here

Osborne House – York Avenue, East Cowes, Isle of Wight PO32 6JT

Osborne and Kids Rule – 25th May – 27th May and 31st May – 2nd June 2024

Get ready for a right royal knees-up at the Kids Rule events this May half-term. Visit Osborne House to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation with hands-on activities and fresh-air family fun.

Victoria’s Family Day Out – 28th May – 30th May 2024

Join Queen Victoria and her beloved Albert and get involved in hands-on activities and marvel at splendid sideshows, enjoy old-fashioned thrills and spills on traditional fairground rides like swing boats and a helter-skelter. Don’t miss your chance to experience a royally good day out this extra-special Half Term.

Carisbrooke Castle – Castle Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1XY

Carisbrooke Castle and Kids Rule – 25th May – 2nd June 2024

Get ready for a right royal knees-up at the Kids Rule events this May half-term. Visit Osborne House to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation with hands-on activities and fresh-air family fun.

Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary – Lower Winstone Farm, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 3AA

Spring Half Term – 27th May – 4th June 2023

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to see the donkeys at the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary! Lots of donkeys to see and activities to take part in.

Blackgang Chine – Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 2HN

Wild West Week – 25th May to 1st June 2024

Fancy yourself the next Sheriff or Outlaw of Cowboy Town? Take in the adrenaline-inducing live action Cowboy show, and round-up those dastardly outlaws this Wild West Week!

Treasure Trails

If you want to get outside but you don’t really know where, we love Treasure Trails. It’s an adventure that the whole family can get involved in for less than £10. Solve a mystery, save the day or be a spy! It’s great fun and we always really enjoy it. Here are some of the Hampshire Treasure Trails – you can see the full list here.

You can read about one of our Treasure Trail adventures here.

Going on an Adventure with Treasure Trails

Half Term Activities in Hampshire

Wherever you are in Hampshire, there’s bound to be somewhere nearby with organised family activities or events to keep your children entertained over the holidays. Here are a few suggestions of things to do in May half term in Hampshire:

The Arc – Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8SB

SeaCity Museum – Havelock Road, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 7FY

Southampton Culture Club for Kids – 28th May to 30th May 2024 – 9am to 4pm

A day of investigation, imagination and discovery for children aged 7 to 12yrs who love being creative and learning through fun activities. Led by the experienced cultural services learning team, at Kids’ Club children will explore the past, experience the museum and gallery and make really cool things!

Army Flying Museum – Middle Wallop, Stockbridge, Hampshire SO20 8FB

Model Making – 26th May to 28th May 2024

Learn how to make and paint plastic models and start a model making hobby.  Explore your passion and interest in vehicles, history, fantasy and story-telling.  With guidance and resources from Models for Heroes you will take home a model to be proud of to remind you of your visit.

May Half Term Family Fun – 26th May to 31st May 2024

There will be a special trail throughout the week, as well as craft activities which are available every weekday between 10am and 12.30pm.

Basing House – Barton’s Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG24 8AE

Art in the Gardens – 27th May to 4th June

Visit Basing House and create your artistic masterpieces in the calming grounds of Basing House this May half term.

Make the most of the free art supplies, included in admission, and come and gather inspiration from Basing House’s natural beauty. 

Theatre Shows in Hampshire

Going to the theatre is a great activity that the whole family will enjoy and Hampshire has a lot of great theatres to really make the most of. Here are the family shows on during May half term:

Theatre Royal Winchester – Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8SB

Princes Hall – Princes Way, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 1NX

Mayflower Theatre – 22-26 Commercial Road, Southampton, Hampshire SO15 1GE

The Anvil Basingstoke – Churchill Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 7QR

  • Fireman Sam – 26th May 2024

Indoor Activities in Hampshire

If the weather isn’t great over half term then you may want to do something indoors that still gets you out of the house. Here are some ideas:

Libraries in Hampshire

There are many libraries across Hampshire and the vast majority of them have activities and events on for children on a regular basis but especially during school holidays. You can find your local library here and book available sessions online too.

Escape Rooms in Hampshire

Escape rooms are super popular and there are so many family friendly versions around. Here are some ideas for escape rooms in Hampshire:

Roller Skating in Hampshire

Roller skating is such a popular activity and there are so many places you can skate in Hampshire. Here are some suggestions:

Leisure Centres in Hampshire

Leisure centres can be a fantastic place to spend time as a family and they’ve come far over recent times, now having so much more than just swimming pools. Many have climbing facilities, soft play centres and even trampoline parks within them! Here are all the ones in Hampshire to choose from:

Trampoline Parks in Hampshire

Trampolining is a fantastic activity that children love and it’s perfect for a wet weather day. Here are the trampoline parks in Hampshire – and many of the leisure centres above offer trampolining classes too. It’s great fun for all ages.

Soft Play and Indoor Play Centres in Hampshire

Soft play and other indoor play centres are fantastic for children and are great for bad weather days too. We have so many great indoor activity hubs in Hampshire from typical soft play centres to role play dressing up experiences.

Shopping Centres in Hampshire

Shopping centres are a great place to spend time. You can wander round the shops, grab some lunch and there are often organised activities and events in to make the most of as well.

  • Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
  • Cascades Shopping Centre, Portsmouth
  • Westquay Shopping Centre, Southampton
  • Marlands Shopping Centre, Southampton
  • Brooks Shopping Centre, Winchester
  • Festival Place, Basingstoke
  • Whiteley Shopping Centre, Fareham
  • Port Solent, Portsmouth
  • Westgate Retail and Leisure Park, Aldershot
  • The Meads Shopping Centre, Farnborough
  • The Meridian Centre, Havant
  • Swan Centre, Eastleigh
  • Fareham Shopping Centre
  • Hart Shopping Centre, Fleet

Pottery Painting in Hampshire

Pottery painting is a fantastic activity for the whole family as well as being a calm and relaxed experience. Children of all ages will love it and it’s so nice to have something to take away with you afterwards – or pick up a few days later when it’s been fired! Here are our Hampshire pottery painting destinations.

Bowling in Hampshire

Bowling is another great activity for the whole family and perfect when the weather isn’t great. Here are the Hampshire bowling alleys to choose from.

You can read more about where to go bowling in Hampshire here

Laser Tag in Hampshire

Laser Tag was such a new thing when I was a child but they’ve grown massively in popularity over recent years and now laser centres are everywhere. Here are both indoor and outdoor laser tag sites across Hampshire.

You can read more about where to play laser tag in Hampshire here

Climbing Centres and Aerial Adventures in Hampshire

Climbing is another great family activity and we have so many centres across the county – plus those included in the leisure centres above. Here are some more indoor and outdoor centres to give you some climbing inspiration.

You can read more about climbing centres in Hampshire here

Cinemas in Hampshire

Most cinemas have reduced tickets at weekends and in school holidays, a great budget activity that the whole family can enjoy together

VueMighty Mornings

At Vue’s Mini Mornings you can see the best kids and family films from only £2.49 each. Mini Mornings run every Saturday and Sunday morning from 10am plus every day in the school holidays.

OdeonOdeon Kids

With special Odeon Kids screenings of the most spellbinding fairy tales and animated films, grown-ups pay kids’ ticket prices, making it a great value day out for the whole family.

There are many other cinemas in Hampshire – Everyman, Empire and Harlequin to name a few, but they all seem to have the same ticket prices and offerings during school holidays.

Afternoon Tea in Hampshire

If you fancy going for afternoon tea as a half term treat there are plenty of places to choose from and these guides may help you find somewhere perfect!

Easter Holidays in Surrey

Holiday Clubs in Hampshire

If you need to work over the holidays and need childcare then holiday clubs are a really popular idea – and there are so many across Hampshire that you’re bound to find one perfect for your children that’s close to where you live or work. This post should help you find one:

I hope that helps with half term inspiration. I’ll be doing a roundup for each of the following school holidays too and if there’s anything I’ve missed please do get in touch and let me know. I hope you have a lovely half term!

May Half Term in Hampshire


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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