With Christmas come and gone, now’s the time to start planning for a fun-filled February half-term.
Luckily, because there is so much to do here, inside or out, the New Forest is the perfect place to spend it!
Whether you’re coming for a day or a week, we have all the best ideas for how to enjoy yourself.
Make time to pop along to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where their Hands-On Half Term will allow your young ones to ‘train’ as a below stairs Victorian house servant or a country garage apprentice mechanic and explore the heritage of this New Forest treasure from February 15 - 23.
Children can try out as a footman or scullery maid and tackle some of the household chores that were part of daily life for the hard-working servants.
With dressing up, the enormous grounds and the museum itself to explore, it’ll keep the kids absorbed for hours.
Or why not take advantage of the offers at Paulton’s Park, the UK’s favourite family theme park? Not only is Peppa Pig World just waiting for your little ones, who can also make a splash at Muddy Puddles, the older kids will thrill to the rides in the Lost Kingdom with its world-class rollercoasters.
Paulton’s breaks include a second Park Day free, a friendly nearby hotel stay plus a delicious breakfast in the morning. And with 2020 breaks at 2019 prices – there's never been a better time to book your 2020 Official Paulton’s Break! Even half-terms and summer holidays are included. Packages are available from just £49 per person on selected 2020 dates.
If it is a bit wet outside then it would be a great time to enjoy days out at our interesting indoor attractions – from learning about the history and heritage of the Forest at the New Forest Heritage Centre, to seeing first-hand how the 900 year old Eling Tide Mill works and having a go at the fun activities in their fantastic interactive exhibition.
If you and your family are motor-heads then head to Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, where you can have a look around one of the finest collections of fully restored motorcycles. Or you can join in all the fun at Hanger Farm Arts Centre with their fun activities including learning circus skills!
If you want someone else to help take on entertaining the young ones, remember that many of our hotels offer cycle hire or can arrange activities such as horse riding and guided walks. Look out for hotels with indoor pools such as the Balmer Lawn Hotel, Careys Manor Hotel and Bartley Lodge Hotel, ideal for splashing about and relaxing in after a busy day’s exploring. Or how about staying in your own luxury treehouse at Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa or in your own secluded lodge at The Pig Hotel?
New Park Manor Hotel and Spa in Brockenhurst is a luxury family hotel. Facilities include a creche, a cinema room, cots, table football and teenagers’ spa sessions. The hotel also has child-friendly menus and meal times plus hire of video baby monitors so adults can dine in the restaurant without worrying.
Book a B&B, a fun-filled Holiday Park, a self-catering cottage or some of our campsites are open at this time of year too! You’ll find plenty of inspiration on our website – check out our family friendly accommodation page to help inspire you on where to stay.
Bring your bikes – half term is the ideal occasion to take your tinies out on their first official bike ride. The roads are quieter and we have over 100 miles of car-free, approved cycle trails to get around on. Walking is also a great way to get out and about and explore our forest and coast during February half term, we even have some ideal family friendly walks for those little legs. Some of our itineraries may also come in handy for you when planning your getaway.
And don’t forget to make your visit even more of a treat by checking out some of our brilliant child-friendly places to eat and drink. You will find several of our pubs in the New Forest are particularly family-friendly and will offer things such as children’s menus, play areas or just a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
The Drift Inn has a large garden that includes two children’s play areas so the little ones will be kept entertained whilst you're enjoying a beverage and some delicious food. The Waterloo Arms in Lyndhurst is also a fantastic child friendly pub, they have a fantastic kids’ menu and also a large garden, great for letting off steam!
Youngsters will also be entertained at the outdoor play area at The Rising Sun, near New Milton. The pub also features a children’s menu with classic dishes as well as smaller appetite dishes.
Local produce is top of the menu at Steff’s Kitchen, Beaulieu, with many of the vegetables grown in the café’s kitchen garden. Look out for the ‘Little Rascals Menu’ aimed at children aged 12 and under.
The Farmyard Cafe at Hockey's Farm is a beautifully situated cafe that welcomes children too. With great options on food and drink for the kids, and loads of other things to do and see whilst you're there, it’s the perfect location for a bite to eat.
*For more inspiration, places to stay and news of everything that’s going on, head over to our website.