I have two kids of 5 and 18 months and when it comes to half term we have to get our thinking caps. Lots of family activities can be expensive and means you can only do one during that holiday, so I have a few ideas from our personal favourites that are free or low cost.


1. Ice cream on the beach

My kids love an ice cream on the beach. They will do anything for ice cream and this sort of activity can be anything you make it.

You don’t need to stop at buying an ice cream. You can walk along the esplanade looking out to the sea and watching all the boats and ferries go by, or throw stone into the water (a personal favourite) or hunt for pretty shells and stones.


2. Canoe Lake & Mini Golf

If you live in Portsmouth or the surrounding areas, an afternoon or day trip to Canoe Lake is most certainly a winner. With a large park including an adventure park, a big green, a splash park, giant swan pedalo’s, crabbing fun, a café and plenty of ice cream, there is enough to keep your little ones busy for a good few hours.

Just a short walk from Canoe Lake is the miniature golf course. When the weather is on your side and the sun is shining it can be great fun for the whole family.

Though from experience, it can become a little competitive with the grown-ups.  With a 9-hole course, stopping at The Tenth Hole is a must, whether it is just for a quick cup of tea, to sample their amazing cakes or try some of the delicious meals on their menu.

Read more about The Tenth Hole on a previous blog post here.


3. Picnic in the Park

We don’t have a garden so we like to get out and about as much as we can, and something as simple as taking a picnic blanket to the local park and a few homemade sarnies is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

There are lots of greens/parks in Southsea that you can just rock up to and spend the afternoon. Southsea Common is the most obvious, but there might also be some other local greens to you that you can enjoy. Failing that, the beach is perfect!


4. Southsea Castle

Southsea Castle with the kids is great because it is free for absolutely everybody. The castle was built in 1544 for Henry VIII and the lighthouse later added in the 1920’s.

After a wander around the castle exploring, you can stop off in The Courtyard and relax with a spot of lunch, nibbles or something more substantial.

For more information about Southsea Castle click here and to find out more about The Courtyard visit www.thecourtyardsouthseacastle.co.uk.


5. Explore

As you may have guessed I’m pretty passionate about Southsea, there is so much to explore and discover in this wonderful seaside town. I think it is a brilliant place to teach your kids about culture, history, wildlife, nature and much more.

Just going out for a walk can be a great adventure for your little ones.  Heading to the beach or to the local park  can be brilliant fun for everyone, and best of all, they are all free!


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