For those with children, May half term is the very start of summer – the longer days and lighter evenings give all sorts of opportunities for a real New Forest adventure!

So take them to Go Ape at Moors Valley, where they can enjoy the thrill of zip-wiring through the treetops.

If they’re over the age of 12, try New Forest Activities’ Beaulieu Canoe Explorer experience – an extended paddle through the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve, from Bailey’s Hard to Buckler’s Hard and beyond.

If your young one would rather stay on dry land, book them into New Forest Activites’ Holiday Adventure Day on May 31. Children aged 8-14 can get to grips with bushcraft, archery and a ropes course. They’ll learn new skills, make new friends and even get the chance, perhaps, to discover a whole new interest!

Little ones will love riding the miniature railway – and playing hide-and-seek - in the woodlands at Exbury Gardens. They’ll also adore Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park and new attraction, Little Africa, with its collection of creatures including a porcupine and a giant millipede, while their older brothers and sister tackle The Lost Kingdom.

Over at Beaulieu they’re inviting young visitors to step back in time and enter the world of spies and soldiers in World War II. Follow a trail of hidden car parts and match them to a secret blueprint in Palace House before cracking a coded message.

One Saturday June 2 there’s a visit from forensic investigators from the Specialist Operations Regiment at the Royal Military Police who’ll show how to hunt for clues, dust for fingerprints and collect evidence! There’s also the chance to visit Buckler’s Hard for a tour on board HMS Medusa, which starred in the recent Dunkirk movie.

If the weather’s being kind, then plan for your first picnic of the year, pick a spot by a stream – or even one of our beautiful and peaceful beaches - and crack open the hamper. Make it even more fun by deciding to walk there along one of our waymarked trails – we have 140 miles to choose from, taking you past trees as old as Henry VIII, relics from World Wars I and II and over our ancient commons and bluebell woods.

Cycling is always fun – especially when there’s little danger of meeting any vehicles. Check out the 6.5 mile route from Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst which is all off-road, apart from a few minutes on a quiet lane at the Lyndhurst end.

And don’t worry if you don’t have a bike – May half term is the perfect time to hire from Cyclexperience in Brockenhurst, or Forest Leisure Cycling, to see if you’ll take to the sport.

If it’s raining, don’t despair – why not attempt the Mystery Water Trail at Lymington’s St Barbe Museum? From May 26 - June 3 children are invited to follow the clues to find the answers hidden round the museum before exploring the Springlines exhibition and creating their own picture to take home.

And if your young one is a budding Indiana Jones, then treat them to St Barbe’s Digging Deep on the afternoon of May 31, when they can discover what archaeologists do, as well as handle some Roman and pre-historic artefacts.

Don’t forget, too, to check out the New Forest Centre. It’s free to enter and its Family Fun Tree – an oak so big you can walk through it – is sure to fascinate even the youngest of visitors.

To book your May Half Term Break to the New Forest, head to our Accommodation page to find the perfect place for your family to rest their heads. From Hotels to Holiday Parks and Camping, Bed & Breakfast's to Holiday Cottages, there's such a great choice of places for everyone to stay!

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