This year, the May half term falls later than usual with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations falling towards the end of the week-long break.

If you are looking for a short break or perhaps even a week-long stay somewhere then the New Forest has plenty to offer you.

Read on as we show you some of the highlights you and your family can enjoy during half term.

Family-friendly places to stay

First things first, we’d recommend booking your accommodation early as it’s sure to be a popular time. Take a look at our accommodation listings – many of which are geared up for families.

Whether it’s a self-catering cottage with all the touches of home or an outdoor break camping beneath the stars, there are plenty of accommodation options to be found.

Image - Shorefield Holidays

Kid-tastic events

There are some special events taking place throughout half term.

Love your Lego? Then head to Marwell Zoo’s Brickosaurs! event and see if you can spot all of the brick dinosaurs located around the park.

If you are looking for ways to get hands-on in the great outdoors then check out some of the fantastic activities being run at the Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre throughout the week. Children aged 8-12 can be booked onto their Be Outdoor Days where they can try their hands at the high ropes, climbing, bushcraft and much more. The centre also offers bike hire and other outdoor opportunities.

Image - Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre

On Saturday 28 May, at the start of half term, Fairweather’s Garden Centre, Beaulieu, will have its Potting Shed Club for Children aged 4-11. For this session, children will learn about bees and make lolly-stick bees. Expert beekeepers from the New Forest Beekeepers Association will be on hand to teach the children about the role of bees in pollination and they'll bring along some honey for a tasting session. Please note – pre-booking is required.

Image - Dogstival

Now, this event isn’t just for children, but all the family – including your pet dog! Dogstival is set to return for its festival of everything dog-related. This year, the festival is going to be held at Broadlands Park, Romsey and it’ll run from 4-5 June.

Amazing days out

Make some memories to treasure on your family holiday to the New Forest. Whether you fancy hiring bikes and cycling some of our off-road routes, paddling in the sea from one of our beaches or visiting one of our family attractions.

Of course, a trip to the New Forest probably isn’t complete without heading to Paultons Park – perfect for getting that adrenalin going! Younger children will also love Peppa Pig World there.

Image - Paultons Park

Other popular family days out include the National Motor Museum at BeaulieuNew Forest Wildlife Park and Longdown Activity Farm to name just a few.

Check out Hurst Castle’s May half term activities! There will be lots on offer for all the family to join in with, including arts and crafts and a family challenge as well as centuries of history to explore and spectacular views across to the Isle of Wight from the top of the Tudor keep.  You can take the leisurely ferry across from Keyhaven or walk the 2-mile shingle spit to the castle – it’s a great day out!

Image - Hurst Castle

You can discover more family-friendly days out by exploring our website.

Ways to save money on your New Forest break

If you’d like to save some money on your family break this half term, we’d recommend purchasing a Go New Forest Card. For just £10, this card gives you discounts on multiple businesses across the New Forest including on days out, eating out, places to stay, shopping and much more.

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration for things you can do here this half term. As ever, do keep checking our website for additional events listings and last-minute availability on places to stay. Have a wonderful time exploring the New Forest! 


Marwell Zoo
penguins at marwell zoo

Marwell Wildlife, set in 140 acres of beautiful Hampshire parkland, has an incredible range of exotic and endangered species.

Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre
girl doing archery aiming bow at target

With over 40 exciting activities to experience at Avon Tyrrell, we are sure there is something that you want to try. Zip wire across the lake, climb a route on our climbing tower, kayak or canoe across open waters, learn archery and test your skills on our Archery range, learn Bushcraft survival skills and much much more.

Fairweather's Garden Centre
plants at fairweather's garden centre in the new forest

Using passion and expertise Fairweather’s have created a unique Plant and Garden Centre in the heart of Beaulieu.

Animal Event
Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World
Theme Park
Storm Chaser rollercoaster in Tornado Springs ar Paultons Park

Paultons Park, home to the UK's only Peppa Pig World, has more than 70 wonderful rides and attractions included in the admission price.

National Motor Museum Beaulieu
Museum - Motor
Looking at exhibits at National Motor Museum in Beaulieu in the New Forest

Beaulieu featuring the world-famous National Motor Museum, Palace House home of the Montagu family and Abbey Ruins containing an exhibition of monastic life.

New Forest Wildlife Park
Wildlife Park
Otter at New Forest Wildlife Park in the New Forest

From the massive Eurasian Bison to the tiny Harvest Mouse there is something at New Forest Wildlife Park to inspire the whole family.  Enjoy the Nature Trail winds it way through the wooded grounds to discover otters, wolves, lynx, wallabies, owls, Scottish wildcats and pine martens and many more native and exotic animals.    Playgrounds for all ages - friendly keepers - one way coffee shop for light snacks etc

Longdown Activity Farm
The bumpy tractor ride at Longdown Activity Farm

Fun for all ages with a schedule of activities every day including bottle-feeding calves and kid goats, and duck feeding. Lots of outdoor playtime fun. Tearoom, kiosk, and farm produce shop.

Hurst Castle & Hurst Castle Ferry
Museum - Military
Hurst Castle & Hurst Castle Ferry

Come and discover this artillery fortress, built by Henry VIII in 1544, at the seaward end of a coastal spit, which was once a prison of Charles 1st. Castle takeaway is open daily. Frequent ferry service from Keyhaven Quay.



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