Half Term & School Holidays Events
Half term is a perfect time to visit the New Forest! Not only for families to get out and about while the kids are off school, but for everyone else as well, due to all of amazing events that take place during these weeks, a great way for all the family to let off steam.
May Half Term in the New Forest (27 May - 31 May 2024)
During May half term the forest is full of Spring wildlife that is not to miss – beautiful foals and calves being born, bluebells and bright green leaves and colourful flowers lighting up our woodland and heathland.
From kayaking and paddle boarding to theme parks and gardens, we have loads of fantastic outdoor activities and attractions in the New Forest to head to during May half term. Most of which put on specific events for the week off school!
May is a glorious time to visit both Exbury Gardens and Furzey Gardens – with their beautiful spring flora and fauna or if you feel more adventurous, New Forest Activities and The New Forest Paddle Sport Company have loads of great sessions to join in with and enjoy a fun day out on the water!
Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World, is a fantastic place to visit during half term, with over 70 rides and attractions for all ages to enjoy, it is a great day out for everyone. For even more spring wildlife, other than the free-roaming kind in the forest, Longdown Activity Farm have a daily schedule of hands-on activities, including kid goat and calf bottle-feeding, duck feeding and small animal handling with baby rabbits, chicks and maybe even a piglet, as well as half term specific events too!
Summer Holidays in the New Forest (24 July - 2 September 2024)
The summer holidays are full of family fun in the New Forest – with 6 weeks off school, the forest is full up with exciting events and activities at our attractions, activities, venues, pubs and more!
The famous New Forest & Hampshire County Show usually falls in the summer holidays this year. Ellingham Show also takes place this summer holidays.
This is another perfect time to head to our outdoor activities and attractions in the New Forest and have some fun in the sun. Go back in time at Buckler’s Hard and visit their Maritime Museum and enjoy the beautiful views of the Beaulieu River that this little village sits on – or head just up the road to the famous National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. Wander around their beautiful gardens and palace house, whilst having a look around their extensive collection of cars and other motor vehicles. Beaulieu host a whole bunch of fantastic events for motor lovers over the summer too, including Beaulieu Supercar Weekend and VW T Chill!
Our coastline is a great place to head to when the sun is shining, and while you’re there make sure you visit Hurst Castle and get involved in their activities and events over the summer.
If you’re an animal lover, you don’t want to miss out on a fun day out at New Forest Wildlife Park, where you will find all sorts of animals, including polecats, wallabies, otters and more – as well as their beautiful tropical butterfly house.
Just outside of the New Forest is the amazing Marwell Zoo, set in a 140-acre park which is home to amur tigers and leopards, cheetahs, Humboldt penguins, white rhinos, Rothschild giraffes and even snow leopards (just to name a few!).
If you fancy trying something new during the summer holidays, get involved with one of the action-packed events with Insight Activities or New Forest Water Park – including sessions of archery, axe-throwing, wakeboarding and the UK’s 1st Wibit outdoor, floating, inflatable sports aqua park! Or explore the New Forest on horse-back with Burley Villa School of Riding.
Whatever events and activities you decide to get involved in during the summer holidays, you will be sure to have an unforgettable time here in the New Forest!
October Half Term in the New Forest (28 October - 1 November 2024)
If you visit the New Forest in October Half Term expect to step into a magical place of breath-taking red, orange and yellow colours surrounding you. Take in the wonderful views and autumn wildlife on a stroll or a bike ride through the forest. Hire bikes from one of our local bike centres, or ride in style with Jaunt-e Bikes, with their amazing retro e-bikes!
The whole family can learn more about the New Forest on a guided walk. Wild New Forest host wonderful wildlife walks all across the New Forest, where you can enjoy the stunning autumnal sights while learning more about our free-roaming animals, flora and fauna, as well as the history of the New Forest.
Breamore House and Museum is also a great place to find some beautiful autumn colours overlooking the Avon Valley on the edge of the New Forest. Have a wander around this gorgeous Manor House and enjoy looking around their historic tapestries, paintings and other interesting items.
Located in the heart of Lymington Town is St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, which is a dynamic museum and highly regarded art gallery – telling the story of the local area. St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery often holds exciting events during half terms for everyone to enjoy as well!
Expect to see a phenomenal display of autumnal tones at our Gardens. Exbury Gardens and Furzey Gardens both have incredible flowers and fauna to explore, plus lots more to do for everyone, including trails, activities and events.
Halloween falls on the end of October half term too, so check out our Halloween page for lots of spooktacular events to enjoy too, from pumpkin picking, scary mazes and thrilling activities!
Christmas and Easter Holidays in the New Forest
As well as the fun-filled half terms listed above, Christmas and Easter breaks are also full of themed events for kids and grown-ups to love and get involved in. Find out more about the festive fun to be had in the New Forest on our Christmas Events page – and check out all of the eggs-cellent fun you can have during the Easter Holidays in the New Forest on our Easter Events page!
Have a browse through all of the events happening in our half terms in the list below, add the dates to your diaries and have a fantastic time here in the New Forest!
And if you would like to be kept up to date with the events taking place in the New Forest every week then make sure you sign up to our Weekly What’s On Enewsletter!
February Half Term in the New Forest (17 - 21 Feb 2025)
If you're already planning a February half term break to the New Forest for next year, then it is a great time to enjoy days out at our interesting Indoor Attractions – from learning about the history and heritage of the forest at the New Forest Heritage Centre, to seeing first hand how to 900 year old Eling Tide Mill works and having a go at the fun activities in their new interactive exhibition.
If you’re a real motor-head then head to Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum, where you can have a look around one of the finest collections of fully restored motorcycles in the world!
Many of our pubs around the forest have weekly live music, and February half term is a good time to get out in the evening with your friends and family to enjoy some of our local talents! Or if you fancy a more chilled out vibe at one of our beautiful country pubs in the New Forest, cosy up by the roaring fire while indulging into a delicious meal made from local produce and you could even try one of our local ales, wines or soft drinks too. Or if tea rooms and quaint cafes are more your style enjoy some coffee and cake in one of our lovely towns & villages.