Visit Winchester > Blog > May Half Term – Family Days Out

May Half Term – Family Days Out


Saturday 27 May – Sunday 4 June 2023

Fancy a staycation this half term? Look no further than the historic city of Winchester for a week of family fun. Discover all the best days out in the area bound to entertain both parents and kids!

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 27 May until 4 June. 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 your tickets here.

Rhino in front of Marwell House

From trains to tigers, be sure to check out Marwell Zoo this summer! Home to hundreds of animals on a beautiful 140-acre park, Marwell is your chance to get close to the natural wonders of the world in the heart of Hampshire’s countryside. Have a read of the Zoo News before your visit, where you can find all the latest updates, including any new furry friends arriving in time for your visit.

To celebrate the school holidays, Marwell Zoo are also inviting guests to explore their ‘treemendous’ tree trail! Free on the Marwell Zoo app, budding botanists can find out how old some of the most impressive trees in the park are, as well as picking up some interesting facts. Once you’ve found all of the trees along the trail, work out the anagram and head to the gift shop to collect your special tree trail sticker at the end of your day!

Don’t let summer showers stop you from saying hello – the Energy for Life: Tropical House is an exotic paradise, sure to help you dry off if you get caught out in the rain. The park also provides plenty of outdoor cover, so look for the umbrellas on the park map to stay dry. Book your visit today.

For more outdoor fun, head over to Winchester Science Centre, located just 10 minutes from the city centre, for their Dormouse Orienteering. Visit the Nature Laboratory and pick up your magnifying glass to hunt for evidence of the dormouse. What have they been doing? Where have they been? What have they been eating? Your scientific skills will help gather data on the South Downs’ resident dormouse population!

But that’s not all going on at the Science Centre this summer. Meet your favourite creepy-crawlies at Science Explained: Myth-busting Creatures. On the evening of 1 June, the ZooLab team will introduce you to snakes, tarantulas, lizards and cockroaches while separating the fact from the fiction surrounding these misunderstood creatures! Also this summer, explore mysterious insects and animals through intricate x-rays in Bio:Space, marvel at the wonder of the magnetic ferrofluid in Science Live, and experience the exciting live science demos of a brand new science show! Pop on your goggles and book your tickets now.

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. Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon history will be brought to life before your very eyes.

For a greener way to travel, have a look at the Stagecoach Bus timetable. For visits to The Watercress Line, see the 64 from Winchester to Alton, stopping at Alton Station, then pick up Watercress Line from Platform 3 (where you can also purchase your tickets). For visits to Winchester Science Centre, see the 64 from Winchester to Alton, stopping at the Science Centre. For visits to Marwell Zoo, see the 69 from Winchester to Bishops Waltham, stopping at Marwell Zoo (Sundays only).

Enjoy your trip to Winchester for less with the Holiday Inn Winchester, where kids eat and stay for free! Located on the edge of the South Downs National Park, enjoy spectacular views, delicious dining experiences and a trip you won’t want to end. The Holiday Inn is easily accessed from the A34, M3 motorway, train or bus, so is ideally located to explore the historic city of Winchester and surrounding attractions. Book your stay now!

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