With Hampshire’s half term officially taking place from 23-27 October, it’s time to start planning your activities and days out with the kids. There is so much to do here in the New Forest this October half term – we’ve autumnal themed events galore, plenty of opportunities to get out and about in the great outdoors and things to do if the weather isn’t playing ball too!

Take a look at some of the top things to do this October half term in the New Forest…

Spend time in the great outdoors

October is one of the most beautiful times of year in the New Forest. Don your wellies and crunch your way through the fallen leaves, see if you can spot any of the pannage pigs as you travel through the New Forest and take part in some amazing outdoor activities.

Pannage pigsThroughout the October half term week, the New Forest Cycling and Walking Festival will be running. Look out for family-friendly walks and cycle rides throughout the week (the full programme is to be announced).

Hire bikes from one of the New Forest’s bike hire centres to experience autumn's magic with an unforgettable adventure in the ancient New Forest. Cyclexperience visitors need to be brave enough to collect their bikes from the haunted hire centre in Brockenhurst as the centre will be spookily-clad ready for Halloween! Embrace the spirit of the season with a delightfully spooky day cycling amidst a forest, almost a millennium old.

Two people cycling in the New Forest during the autumn - CyclingIf you aren’t sure where to start with cycling in the forest, book onto a guided cycle tour with New Forest Cycling Tours taking you to some amazing parts of the forest.

For more guided adventures, Wild New Forest are running a number of events throughout October half term, from fungi walks exploring the amazing diversity of fungi in the forest, to a Beaulieu River Boat Trip looking for seals and birdlife along this spectacular stretch of river and coastline.

Running Monday-Friday over the half term, will be Foxlease Activity Centre’s half term holiday club. Suitable for ages 8-16, activities across the week may include zipwire, archery, climbing and bushcraft and many more. Plus, don’t miss out on a spooktacular time at New Forest Activities, with their Canoe Treasure Hunt and other Halloween-themed fun! 

For something a little different, this half term, try your children on a half term fishing club for kids’ session at Orchard Lakes Bashley New Milton. Book through Experience Hampshire for £30 per child for a three-hour session.

Kids fishingImage - Experience Hampshire

Indoor adventures

There’s a lot to do indoors in the New Forest too. Some of these things can be great options on those colder days.

St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery is giving younger visitors the opportunity to explore their Parallel Lives exhibition over the October half term. Take a closer look at the artwork on display and then create your own original piece. There’s also a spooky trail around the museum to win a trick or a treat.

Put on your spacesuit, check co-ordinates and fire up your engines… it's time to go on a Journey to the Stars at Hanger Farm Arts Centre on 24 October. This performance offers a marvellous blend of puppetry, storytelling, live music and comedy, sprinkled with astounding science and astronomy facts, and all contained within an accessible, funny and unique family show. Suitable for ages 4+.

This October half-term at Beaulieu, listen to spooky ghost stories and see Lord Montagu’s cook bake seasonal recipes in Palace House. Then, watch falconry by Lord Montagu’s falconer in the atmospheric ruins of Beaulieu Abbey, hunt for ghostly ghouls around the National Motor Museum and make potions in the Victorian Vegetable Garden.

And for an extra special half term adventure, book onto Beaulieu’s Night at the Museum. An amazing opportunity to sleep the night amidst the vehicle collection at the National Motor Museum!

Beaulieu AutumnImage - National Motor Museum Beaulieu

Join in with lots of Halloween fun

Of course, October half term is well known for being around the time of Halloween too. You’ll find plenty of spooky goings on including Halloween crafts, pumpkin trails and pumpkin picking. Take a look at our Halloween page for more ideas and keep an eye out for our Halloween blog, coming soon, which will go into more detail about what’s happening over Halloween here in the New Forest.

Sunnyfields Pumpkins
Image - Sunnyfields Farm 

Plan a visit to some of our big family days out

Whether you love the thrill of the rides at Paultons Park, or want to meet some of the farmyard animals at Longdown Activity Farm, there are lots of places that make family-friendly days out.

At Marwell Zoo, PAW Patrol’s Chase and Skye will be keeping everything in order over October half term! Fans of the PAWsome duo will be able to join the pups in narrator-led storytime sessions, and snap pictures of their favourite characters during special appearances throughout event days.

Discover the rich history of Hurst Castle, seek out hidden fairy doors at Furzey Gardens or enjoy some time on the beach at Lepe Country Park making sandcastles and most importantly, happy family memories. Find out more about family things to do in the New Forest.

Halloween PeppaImage - Paultons Park 

Book your family break

This is just a taster of what there is to see and do here in the New Forest over half term. To make the most of it, we’d recommend booking a short break. Take a look at our accommodation pages today for lots of ideas for places to stay. Whether you love family holiday parks, hotels or home-from-home cottages, you’ll be bound to find something to suit your needs.