As the big kids are back to school, parents are back to work and the bustling months of summer leave us behind, the New Forest brings with it the spectacular colours of autumn and the opportunity to explore our attractions without the crowds. It is the perfect time for all of you wonderful Grandparents to bring the little ones for a day out, or even for a short break in the New Forest. Read on to discover how to keep the pre-schoolers entertained, and have fun yourself too…

Meet the baby animals at Longdown Activity Farm

Tiny tots will love the opportunities to get hands-on at Longdown Activity Farm with its full schedule of activities to enjoy throughout the day. Bottle feed a goat, hold baby animals in the Animal Encounter Barn and burn off some energy in the Straw Den indoor play area and trampoline park before creating your own sculptures in the sand pits. The tractor trailer ride is a great addition… complete with bumps, this is great fun for all the family.

Special offer: Save 10% on tickets (which includes all activities and the tractor/trailer ride) by booking in advance at www.longdownfarm.co.uk

Experience the new rides at Paultons Park

Ideal for pre-schoolers, Paultons Park is home to the ever-popular Peppa Pig World. There are two new rides: The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride (taking you on a royal tour of Peppa Pig World) and Grampy Rabbits Sailing Club (sail around and discover Pirate Island) which make up this jam-packed family day out.

See if you can find Peppa’s new friends; Gerald Giraffe and Mr Bull before journeying into the Lost Kingdom in search of ‘living’ dinosaurs and a host of dinosaur-related rides and play areas. Plus don’t forget to watch the daily penguin feeding and entertaining keeper talk. With so much to see and do here, one day is never enough!

Discover the fascinating displays at the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum

If you love everything motoring related then be sure to take a trip to the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, near New Milton. This autumn, children can enjoy the ‘Junior Bikers Trail’ which includes a teddy bear hunt whilst walking around the exhibits (with a certificate upon completion).

This predominantly indoor attraction is ideal for those rainy days and is a great opportunity to learn about exotic bikes from across the globe.

Special offer: Reduced price for grandparents bringing children under 10 to the museum on weekdays (when admission is before 12noon). Offer price is £7.50 per grandparent, when accompanied by a grandchild/children.

Step into the military might of Hurst Castle

For those with pre-schoolers or grandparents looking for an exciting day out, why not visit the military might of one of the New Forest's oldest castles, Hurst Castle?

Enjoy the scenic ferry ride to the castle from Keyhaven, spotting birds along the way before arriving at this powerful fort, built by King Henry VIII in 1544 with the addition of Victorian and WW2 artillery emplacements.

The castle has plenty of open spaces for children to explore, including dark and spooky basements (where the soldiers would have kept their ammunition), a highlight for many children visiting the castle. You can also enjoy spectacular views across the Solent from the Tudor keep.

Special offer: In October, quote "GNF AUTUMN" on arrival at Hurst Castle's ticket office to receive your complimentary hot drink voucher for two people.

Be inspired by the New Forest

The New Forest Heritage Centre is a free museum, art gallery and events space in the heart of the New Forest, at Lyndhurst. Be sure to check out the current exhibition - Barry Peckham: A Retrospective - featuring many works by this celebrated local artist, born and bred in the New Forest.

For families - look out for up-and-coming events including Museums at Night and the popular New Forest Discovery Days with lots of quizzes and crafty fun.

Step back in time with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

From October 20th celebrate the golden half century of one of the world’s favourite films as Beaulieu launches its Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 years exhibition. The exhibition features a truly scrumptious collection of never-before–seen memorabilia from the much-loved musical film.

Enjoy the fabulous colour of Furzey Gardens this Autumn

Reds, yellows and ambers make up the vibrant display of colours from the rare and beautiful plants at Furzey Gardens, including their range of acers. Take a leisurely stroll around their informal woodland garden taking in the beauty around you, then enjoy a spot of lunch, or a Furzey afternoon tea in The Gallery Gift and Coffee Shop - a great day for all ages.

Join in on their Head Gardener Guided walk on 8th November, 11am, for an insight in to the collection at Furzey Gardens. Cost: £5, plus normal garden entrance donation applies.

Open 10am— 4pm every day, until 29th October. From 29th October only Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Want to know more?

Explore our website for some top tips of things to do this autumn, including even more fantastic attractions, last minute deals on places to stay if you fancy making a break of it, plus loads more fantastic forest inspiration.

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

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