Whether it’s suggestions for summer days or ideas for what to do with your toddler in the rain, we’ve put together some of our top things to do with toddlers in the New Forest.

With some big-name attractions through to activities to help burn off any excess energy your toddler may have, take a look at our toddler-friendly suggestions below.

Peppa Pig World

With the familiar theme tune and the iconic characters, your little one will love exploring the UK’s only Peppa Pig themed attraction at Peppa Pig World.

Spend time on Grandpa Pig’s boats, race on one of George’s roarsome dinosaurs or take to the skies in Miss Rabbit’s helicopter flight.

Paultons Park  - Peppa Pig World
Image - Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World

Sitting within the wider Paultons Park, you can also explore the splash pad area on a fine day and some of the other age-appropriate rides and experiences including the new dinosaur-themed mini flume ride, Splash Lagoon.

Top tip: pre-book your tickets for the best rates.

Animal attractions

Spot a whole host of native and exotic animals on a trip to New Forest Wildlife Park. From otters to deer, you’ll find creatures of all sizes. Added to this, there’s a dedicated play area for littler children complete with sandpits.

New Forest Wildlife Park - Sandpit
Image - New Forest Wildlife Park

Just down the road from the New Forest Wildlife Park is Longdown Activity Farm. This working farm is home to a variety of farmyard animals. See if you can find any freshly laid eggs, bottle feed lambs or calves and explore the farm’s indoor and outdoor play areas.

Meet the impressive shire horses at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park or the penguins, meerkats and other creatures at Marwell Zoo, just a short drive from the New Forest.

Marwell Zoo - Meerkats
Image - Marwell Zoo

Or, if you fancy a spot of cake with your toddler then stop off at Hockeys Farm, where you can also spot the farm’s resident animals including pigs, horses and donkeys.

Outdoor fun with a toddler in tow

What better way is there to create memories than to spend a day outside in the New Forest?

Take one of our toddler-friendly walks, which are accessible for buggies and for those that may not want to walk as far. This is a great way to see some of the sights and nature of our National Park and also is ideal for family picnics.

Walking in the New Forest with a toddler

Any little ones with a love of fairies should don their wings and head to Furzey Gardens. These stunning gardens are home to lots of hidden fairy doors and your toddler will love seeking them out. Added to this, there’s a small wooden play area and tearoom ideal for some post-fairy spotting snacks.

If you like to get out and about on your bike, then pick up some of the off-road gravel tracks that criss-cross the forest. Bike hire is available from several places across the forest and many of which offer toddler trailers as well – a great way to see the New Forest and involve your youngster too!

Toddlers blog - New Forest Cycling

Be sure to spend some time at some of the New Forest’s beaches. The sandy stretches at Lepe Country Park are ideal for sandcastles and perhaps even a paddle on a fine day. Or, head further west to shingle beaches at Milford on Sea or Barton on Sea, ideal spots for relaxing with an ice cream or two!

Just outside Ringwood, Moors Valley Country Park offers several outdoor play areas, a Tree Top Trail and miniature railway rides. There’s plenty to keep your toddler entertained and the terrain lends itself well to pushchairs too.

Wildlife spotting in the New Forest

Who needs to go on safari when a trip to the New Forest may offer some amazing opportunities to spot some of our wildlife? Head into our National Park and it won’t be long before you see some of our most famous residents, the New Forest Ponies.

New Forest Foal

Your little ones will also love looking out for cattle, donkeys and in the autumn months, pigs. Plus, make sure you pop along to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary to find the herd of resident deer (plus, it’s free entry!).

Just remember to always keep your distance from free roaming animals, do not touch or feed them!

A great way to spot the New Forest’s animals is on the top deck of the New Forest Tour bus – follow one of the three routes which navigates between our towns and villages.

Indoor activities for toddlers

Whether you are looking for a rainy-day idea for your toddler or are wanting to escape the sunshine for a bit, there are also several places you can visit that offer indoor activities.

Beaulieu is home to the National Motor Museum with its extensive collection of classic and modern cars. A ticket to Beaulieu also gains you entry to Palace House, where costumed guides will help show you some of the site’s history. Look out for special events that also take place for children in the school holidays. If the weather perks up, your little one will also love spending time in Little Beaulieu, the adventure play area.

Little Beaulieu - National Motor Museum
Image - Beaulieu

St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington is a friendly and welcoming place for young visitors. Keep your eyes peeled for the cheeky knitted farmyard animals dotted around the museum and explore the family-friendly exhibits. Watch out for family-focussed events, particularly in the holidays with many suitable for toddlers as well as older children.

Step back in time at Hurst Castle and enjoy some swash-buckling adventures as you journey back to the Tudor times.

Hurst Castle - Boy on shoulders
Image - Hurst Castle

Toddler-friendly places to stay

As you can see, there’s a lot to see and do here with your toddler so why not make a break of it? Find toddler friendly places to stay including the uber-family oriented New Park Manor Hotel or head to one of our holiday parks; Shorefield Country Park, Green Hill Farm Holiday Village or Sandy Balls Holiday Village.

New Park Manor Hotel - Family Friendly
Image - New Park Manor Hotel

We look forward to welcoming you and your toddler to the New Forest soon!