Visit Winchester > Blog > Family Days out this Summer

Family Days out this Summer

Cheese and Chilli Festival
Cheese and Chilli Festival

July – August 2023

Fancy a staycation this summer? Look no further than the historic city of Winchester and its surrounding district to discover days out bound to entertain both parents and kids. From Anglo-Saxon immersion to Cathedral crafts, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

⚔️ 878 AD

Take a trip back in time to 878 AD with the new immersive experience transporting you to Alfred the Great’s victory over the Vikings. 878 AD is a pioneering collaboration between the heritage sector, the gaming industry and technology innovators, creating a history-defying audio-visual projection and live interactive performance. Afterwards, take the 878 AD: Winchester Revealed tour on your smartphone to walk in the footsteps of Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon residents. History will be brought to life before your very eyes. Book tickets.

🚀 Winchester Science Centre

Get summer started with a bang – literally – at Winchester Science Centre’s Fiesta. As well as all the usual indoor excitement, like a brand new explosive live science show and the unforgettable Planetarium, families will be able to enjoy festival tents, mini stages and live science outside in stunning landscape of the South Downs National Park. And it’s all included free with admission!

Wind down the evening with the Starlight Cinema. In July and August, enjoy screenings of your favourite family films under the Planetarium’s stars. There will be performances of The Lion King, Toy Story, Aladdin, Shrek and Monster’s Inc. for only £1. You can end the holidays in style for a special outdoor screening of Encanto, followed by Honey I Shrunk the Kids on August 27. Don’t miss out – book tickets.

No car no problem! The Stagecoach No 64 bus stops right outside and from 21st July to the end of the summer holidays, Winchester Science Centre are offering any visitors who travel to them by bus 10% off hot drinks!

You can also take the South Downs Rambler (Sundays only until 24 September)

⛪ Winchester Cathedral

Come rain or shine, there’s a range of activities to ensure a memorable experience at Winchester Cathedral. Start the summer by being transported to ‘The Secret Garden’ in an outdoor theatre production on the Cathedral grounds. Grab a picnic from one of our independent eateries and lose yourself in this tale of secrecy and curiosity. Book tickets.

Throughout August, enjoy and story time in the Cathedral’s historic Undercroft. Each week offers a different theme, from Tudors to Victorians, and at the end of the session you’ll have created your own souvenir! Find out times and prices.

Emma and Aisha from the Winchester Cathedral Learning Team will also be leading tailored tours of Winchester Cathedral especially for families this August. It’s the perfect chance to experience the Cathedral’s atmosphere, architecture and objects, hear stories about historic events and visit the famous Antony Gormley statue in the Crypt. Find out times and prices

🐵 Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo are welcoming three CBeebies favourites over the summer for Thursday Fun Days throughout the school holidays. Bluey and her little sister Bingo, from the much-loved children’s TV show Bluey, will be visiting the zoo on 27 July, 10 August and 24 August, While Hey Duggee, a favourite with children and adults alike, will be taking a break from running Squirrel Club to visit to Marwell on 3 August and 17 August. You can join the characters for story time sessions at intervals throughout the day!

Children in the park

Also throughout the summer holidays is pebble painting and colouring activities under the marquee at the front of Marwell Hall every Tuesday and Wednesday, a new accessible play area for young children, and reduced-price entry for seniors and students. There is something for everyone to enjoy this summer. Book tickets.

Did you know that Bluestar (bus – Z00) runs hourly from Eastleigh bus and train stations on weekends, bank holidays and school holidays from April 1 to 3 September.

🏰 Fort Nelson

Take a visit to the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson, where their daily junior assault course is back. It will be a day packed with obstacles, challenges and plenty of adventures. At the weekends, the Fort Nelson instructors will be giving young recruits the opportunity to learn the skills a soldier would be expected to have to be considered ‘Fit for the Fort’. Each weekend will focus on a different period in history including and will be a chance to learn about military drills, Morse code, survival skills and more! Book your free tickets.

💮 Gilbert White’s House and Gardens

Between 7 and 10 August, enjoy Nature Explorer Days at Gilbert White’s House and Gardens. Specially tailored for 7 to 12-year-olds, you will have the chance to explore nature in the grounds of the museum through a variety of activities including bug hunting, bird watching, art, craft, games and challenges. Each day will have different activities so participants can come for any number of days! Book tickets.

On 8 August, Quantum Theatre are back at Gilbert White’s House and Gardens with an enchanting new adaptation of two of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved Tales, The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny. Michael Whitmore’s charming adaptation will have you spellbound so why not grab the kids, a blanket and a picnic and join Peter and Benjamin on their hair-raising adventures – a magical afternoon of fun for all the family. Book tickets.

📖 Jane Austen’s House

Jane Austen’s House in the picturesque Hampshire village of Chawton provides the perfect day out for families. Younger visitors can enjoy their dedicated Family Fun area, where they can get creative with Regency letter writing, miniature self-portraits and dressing up. In the garden, families can try their hand at traditional garden games, borrow a picnic blanket and a book from the children’s book basket and settle down for a story. Family tickets are available and Under 6s go free! Book your year-long tickets.

On September 1, be sure to end the summer holidays with a walk around Jane Austen’s Chawton. Guides Rebecca and Ellora will be sharing stories and readings, initiate games and lead activities to help bring Jane’s world to life. Book tickets.

🚂 The Watercress Line

Thomas the Tank Engine

If you’re only in Winchester for a whistle-stop tour, you don’t want to miss the Day Out with Thomas at The Watercress Line, running from 12 to 20 August. Take a train ride with Thomas, meet some of your favourite characters and join Sodor Station Sweepers, Rusty & Dusty, for a trainload of excitement and activities. Your ticket gives you access to the railway for the whole day, so come early and enjoy unlimited travel on the big trains, fun-size rides on the miniature railway, vintage fairground rides, and more! All aboard? Book tickets.

Travel car free – take the Stagecoach No 64 bus from Winchester to Alton.