The New Forest is blessed with acres of beautiful countryside to explore, but what will you do with the kids when it rains? Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly activities for a wet day, from historic country houses to indoor play barns and interesting museums.
Allow us to help you to find the Best Child-Friendly Indoor activities to do in The New Forest.
1. The Regal Cinema
At first, the Regal Cinema in Fordingbridge is a beautiful Art Deco building that has been transformed to its former 1930’s glory, for a really unique experience. The 30 seater auditorium is intimate and elegant, and there’s a swish bar for refreshments too.
Furthermore, the not-for-profit community cinema shows a variety of classic and modern films, including a wide range of family friendly screenings.
2. National Motor Museum
The village of Beaulieu is most famous for its National Motor Museum, which has one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world. From legendary F1 cars and land speed record breakers, to iconic examples of engineering and design, there’s much to see and admire.
During the school holidays there are lots of family focused activities and events including dressing up, craft workshops and seeing the vehicles in action.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm / 6pm (winter / summer)
3. Longdown Activity Farm
A farm may not be your first thought for a rainy day activity, but this one in Ashurst has loads of indoor fun, so makes for the perfect day out. There’s a soft play area, a straw den and trampoline barn and a sand pit. In addition, you can find an infant’s playroom, as well as an animal encounter barn where kids can handle ducklings, rabbits, guinea pigs and more.
The kids will also love the daily bottle feeding of calves and goats, which is undercover too.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 4:30pm / 5 pm (winter / summer)
4. Beaulieu Palace House
Once the gatehouse of the medieval Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House has been the Montagu family home since 1538. Remodelled and extended in the 1800’s, it is now a stunning example of Victorian architecture, in a stunning setting overlooking Beaulieu River. Visitors can explore the characterful property’s ornate rooms, family treasures and memorabilia, as well as the beautiful grounds.
The Victorian Kitchen has been newly restored. Kids will love finding out what the Victorian’s ate and how they cooked. There are numerous seasonal events for families at Palace House, such as an Easter Egg Hunt and Christmas Fair. If the weather brightens up, you can also explore the atmospheric Abbey ruins and gardens.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am -6pm
5. New Forest Heritage Centre
Finally, the New Forest Heritage Centre is a free museum and gallery dedicated to sharing the history and traditions of this beautiful National Park. For families there are plenty of hands on exhibitions – lift the flaps of the family fun tree to see what creepy crawlies lurk beneath. Or have fun and walk through the giant trunk and match the animals with their tracks.
Family-friendly Discovery Days include exciting craft activities, quizzes and museum trails to help you learn all about the New Forest’s wildlife, landscape and history.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
So if you are looking to be inspired to visit The New Forest for your next family weekend, just visit our different New Forest pages to find what this destination has to offer. And why not booking a 2 nights weekend break in Brockenhurst easily accessible by train or car. Your kids will love seeing horses, poneys and cows totally free to wander about.
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