School may not be out for summer quite yet….but it’s coming! Six whole weeks to kick back, relax and enjoy yourself with the kids in the magical New Forest.

Lucky, then, that loads of our amazing attractions & activities, top-notch hotels and holiday parks have got some brilliant events and deals for families to share.

Here are just some of them but you can find loads more on our website!

For the best country show we know, mark the dates of July 30 to August 1 in your diary.

That’s when the mighty New Forest and Hampshire County Show comes to Brockenhurst.

Probably the biggest event in the New Forest of the year– and just one of our many festivals and country shows - this three-day blockbuster showcases traditional country pursuits, show jumping, cookery demos and lots of family fun.

Come along and investigate some of our local traditions, sample food from the produce market and shop for antiques, crafts, jewellery and clothing.

Lovers of beautiful old engineering won’t want to miss the Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show, from July 26-28.

This annual three-day event has boomed in its 48 years and is now one of the biggest shows on the south coast.

In addition to stands and displays showing how people lived more than 100 years ago there are spectacular steam engines, other vintage vehicles, a huge family fun-fair, a fire-eater and some fabulous ferret racing, plus heaps of other traditional showground attractions to suit all the family.

Or pop up to Damerham on the same weekend, Saturday July 27, to join the Damerham Fair, which runs from 11.30am-4.30pm and is one of the most popular village fairs in the region, attracting over 2,000 visitors.

Featuring a traditional tented horticultural show, main arena events, stalls, children's activities, live music and a fun dog show, it is the perfect day out with something for all the family to enjoy.

There is something for everyone all afternoon - horticultural and culinary competitions in the tent, whilst in the main arena there’ll be maypole dancing, and space hopper, wheelbarrow and pedal-car racing for kids.

On August 10 and 11 at Bath Road Park, you’ll find the Lymington Seafood Festival.

This growing festival celebrates everything that’s great about New Forest food, with around 90 food and drink stalls, all offering the chance to ‘graze’ your way around sampling lots of little fishy delights.

Led by The Jetty’s Alex Aitken, and joined by 2016 Masterchef winner, Jane Devonshire, and Chewton Glen’s Luke Matthews, our regional chefs will be showing off their culinary skills and sharing their best tips. The live music stage keeps the party going, with great bands bringing you soul, jazz, blues, ska and a load of classic sunshine tracks.

There’s more foodie fun for all the family at the Burley Food, Arts & Drink Festival on August 24 and 25, at Manor Park, Burley.

Celebrate all that’s good about New Forest food at this brilliant little festival with stalls from the people who produce our excellent local cheeses, meats and artisan breads, as well as ales, ciders, gins and even local fizz!

There will be all sorts of entertainment, activities, culture and art in the park, too, with fantastic live music from the Pete Harris Blues Band and The Vinyl Beats, as well as many other talented musicians.

For those who love beautiful cars the Beaulieu Supercar Weekend – August 3-4 at National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, is the only place to be.

It’s the must-see spectacular that petrol-heads everywhere never want to miss, featuring, as it does, around 450 of the world’s most exclusive and desirable motors.

You’ll be able to eyeball supercars including MacLarens and Ferraris, hear their roar (there’s even a competition to see which one is the loudest), marvel at their horsepower on the demonstration run, and chat to their lucky owners.

And, because your entry price includes tickets for the main museum, you’ll also be able to gaze upon some of the world’s greatest and most historic vehicles into the bargain.

Along with the New Forest’s other world class attractions, Beaulieu has a packed programme of summer events and specials to keep the family entertained.

From July 20 to September 1 there’s the chance for children to see characters and cars from the past spring into action.

From medieval monks to Victorian butlers, delve into over 800 years of history as you chat to costumed characters, get hands-on with traditional games and see historic motors in action.

Plus, don't miss Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 50 Years, their fantasmagorical new exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the family-favourite film. You’ll also find falconry displays, motors in action, playlets and creative workshops included in the entrance price which provides access to The National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Palace House and Gardens, Beaulieu Abbey, The Secret Army Exhibition and unlimited rides on the Monorail and Veteran Bus.

Meanwhile, at Paulton’s Park, voted Tripadvisor’s Number 1 UK family park, you’ll find more than 70 exciting rides and attractions to enjoy as a family over the summer.

Paulton’s is home to the UK exclusive Peppa Pig World, with 9 fun, Peppa-themed rides, a large indoor Playzone and even Muddy Puddles to jump and play in! Lost Kingdom is their unique Jurassic land that is home to the mighty Flight of the Pterosaur suspended rollercoaster, the thrilling Velociraptor coaster, lifelike moving Dinosaurs and much more!

For different rides and plenty of chance for the kids to let off steam, in good weather or bad, head over to Adventure Wonderland, just into Dorset. You’ll find special Character Visits taking place all summer, including Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig, as well as a special summer membership offer so you can take advantage off their Wild Thing play area and the thrill rides for weeks and weeks.

For the chance to just play and enjoy a miniature train ride through breathtaking grounds, take the kids to Exbury Gardens and watch them roam free. Experience fragrant summer flowers, relaxing riverside walks and beautifully shaded woodland for less this summer. Families can enjoy a £6 discount on gardens admission with Exbury’s summer saver special offer! Was £29 for two adults and three children, now just £23. Explore 200 acres, including the brand-new Centenary Garden, plus ride on the steam railway, feed the fish, join in with wildlife trails and blow off steam in the adventure play area.

If you’d like a little history with your day out, then head over to Dorset Heavy Horse centre at Verwood to the west of the New Forest, where they have a new Timber Land play barn and a Vintage Cider Press display, as well as Scammell Scarab (the mechanical horse) and their magnificent rare breed equines.

Don’t forget to check out their World War Trenches exhibit which brings home the realities of life during the First World War.

For yet more history and a beautiful home and gardens to explore, try Breamore House and Countryside Museum at Fordingbridge.

Those who love animals should visit the New Forest Reptile Centre near Lyndhurst, where they can see some of Britain’s rarest and shyest creatures n a safe environment.

For animals you can handle, try Longdown Activity Farm near Ashurst, which has a packed programme of activities for young visitors and their families this summer with plenty of chances to hold baby chicks, feed lambs and enjoy a ride on a real tractor cart.

Meanwhile, if you yearn to see the kind of creatures normally seen on BBC nature programmes, travel to Marwell Zoo near Winchester.

Escape into paradise at Tropical House, spot the red pandas in their new enclosure and go on the hunt for Brickosaurs! This world exclusive exhibition – entirely made from Lego bricks - is on until September 1 at Marwell and your kids can also get creative in the brick pits too – when they’ve stopped being scared of the eight metre Lego T-Rex!

Want to use the summer to be more active?

The New Forest Paddle Sport Company is offering one-hour Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking taster sessions.

They start at £20pp for a one-hour session with an instructor and wetsuits are available to hire for £5. Minimum age is 8 years old and all U18’s must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-booking is essential.

Or try the free cycling adventure trail devised by British Cycling coach Juliet Elliott. If you’re at one of the 10 Camping in the Forest sites in the New Forest there are cycle paths direct from each site. The family-friendly bike ride features a video of Juliet enjoying the off-road route, so you get a sneak peek of what to expect!

Remember, too that The Woods Cyclery in Lyndhurst and it’s sister centre, Forest Leisure Cycling, offer some of the best cycle hire that the New Forest has to offer. They have route guides for all ages and abilities and provide cycle helmets free of charge with the hire, as well as a rucksack. Or head to Cyclexperience, where there is a huge choice of hire bikes and accessories and so many cycle paths surrounding the centre in Brockenhurst.

Or head off to the seaside at Milford, where Hurst Castle is launching its very own treasure trail this summer, with national treasure trail experts, Treasure Trails.

How does it work? Visitors will be given a mission to find the deactivation code for a ticking bomb heard within the castle grounds. The self-guided trail is an imaginative way for visitors to explore Hurst Castle from a totally different perspective.

Did you know that we have more than 140 miles of tracks and footpaths in the New Forest? You can enjoy easy-to-follow walking routes, short strolls or long-distance trails, for whether you are a keen walker or a family looking for a light stroll.

If you’re looking for entertainment right your doorstep, check out our amazing and immaculate New Forest Holiday Parks; Sandy Balls near Fordingbridge, the four Shorefield Holidays parks, and the Hoburne parks, Bashley and Naish. Whether you choose to be nearer to the coast or one of the parks enveloped in the Forest, the children won’t be able to get enough of the pools, fun clubs, play areas and evening entertainment on offer, right on site. Check out their websites for individual offers waiting to be snapped up for summer.

Prefer a hotel? Luckily for you, we have plenty of family friendly hotels to choose from in the New Forest! Some even have specially decorated kids rooms, swimming pools and play areas.

There are also loads of family friendly Bed & Breakfast’s and Self Catering Properties to stat at here too – check out all of our family friendly accommodation on our website! Also, to make sure you include the WHOLE family on your holiday, there are loads of dog-friendly places to stay in the New Forest too.

Finally, if you kids are into crafting – or you’d like them to be! – check out the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington. Its holiday Wednesday sessions, from 11am-12.30pm and 1pm-2.30pm are free for young ones.

And there is similar educational fun at the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst where, for a small donation, the kids can enjoy some crafty activities based on the animals and the traditions of the amazing New Forest.

*There are so many fun-filled things to do here that we can’t list every activity that’s going on – but check out all of our attractions, activities and events on our website, so you can find the best ways for you and your family to spend the best summer ever in the New Forest!




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