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Jubilee half-term fun

Bring out the bunting! Here's what's on for kids and families around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight this Platinum Jubilee half term

OUTDOORS & ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

Find adrenaline-fuelled tree top adventures at Go Ape at Alice Holt in the South Downs and Go Ape at the Itchen Valley Country Park near Southampton this half term. Both sites are brilliant places to take the kids for Tarzan-style fun in the great outdoors. And there’s activities for all ages from toddler to teen and beyond. See then take on wobbly bridges, zip lines and even axe flinging (stand back!).

Brickosaurs Evolution Marwell Zoo Hampshire what's on

Small or large – there’s plenty of cute critters to keep ’em entertained at Marwell Zoo. Baby wallabys, snoozy sloths – plus five adventure playgrounds to swing like a monkey in. Look out for prehistoric dino sculptures as the brilliant Brickosaurs Evolution continues. Prebooking is a must.

On the Sussex border in East Hants, the Sky Park Farm near Petersfield is open every day during the half term. Think beautiful deer to feed, a foodie cafe, butcher and farmshop and a great adventure playground. Come for Jubilee celebrations on Friday 3 June and snaffle pizza on the Terrace – or treat yourselves to a tasty Jubilee Lunch Box.

Always a great day out, The National Trust’s Mottisfont, near Romsey, has a special Jubilee Jamboree this half term (Sat 28 May – Sun 5 June). Best suited to kids aged 3 – 10 they can pick up a trail map and go forth and explore the gorgeous grounds, learning about Mottisfont’s royal connections along the way. After, get stuck in with Jubilee Crafts, add to the bunting display and make a special flag to take home.

Over on the Isle of Wight, Tapnell Farm Park has just welcomed some baby meerkat pups (aww). And there’s a mischievous new character just about to arrive with a brand new show in time for the Jubilee half term. From Thurs 2 to Sat 4 June, tuck into Jubilee treats in the Coffee House. Then make tiaras, crowns and flags in the Craft Cabin, ready for a special Paddock Parade.

Just opened at Sir Harold Hillier Arboretum and Gardens near Romsey, kids can vibe noisily to their heart’s content in the brand new sound garden. This half term (Sat 28 May – Fri 3 June), head out on the Celebrating Summer trail. Or come and join in the special events family-friendly events for the Platinum Jubilee weekend (Sat 4 – Sun 5 June).

ART, THEATRE, SCIENCE AND WORKSHOPS

Part of The Big Jubilee Read, a national reading-for-pleasure campaign, The Spring in Havant is set to host some brilliant book–themed events. Let their imaginations off the hook with The Big Story Adventure on Fri 3 June. Free, fun drop-in workshops will feature absurd props and dressing up boxes. Outside, the Jubilee Shed of Stories will host hourly story-times and an enchanted pop-up library.

Got an arty child? Send them on a one day crash-course for 6 – 11 year-olds at Fareham’s Ashcroft Arts Centre. In the Arts Award Discover one-day workshop on Mon 30 May, they’ll discover different artists and their work and get stuck in with fun arts activities.

Winchester Science Centre Hampshire jubilee half term what's on

Hardcore STEM-fan or curious tot, Winchester Science Centre always entertains in the half term. On now until Sun 3 July, curious kids (and grown-ups!) can explore how light, not CGI, could have been used in some of 2002’s top films, in Lights, Camera, Science! After, venture into the Solar System in the Planetarium. Then get hands-on with the two floors of interactive exhibits and head outside into nature in Bio:Space.

Fairytale carriages await! See a new twist on the beloved classic Cinderella at the Theatre Royal Winchester (Fri 3 – Sat 4 June). Told from the perspective of a modern day Cinderella, the story tells of a young woman’s growing bravery. The cast features a cast of 100 young students aged 4 – 18 from city-based performing arts company, Integr8 Dance.

Fun, engaging and super useful, the always super-friendly Clare & Philippa at QWERTYkids have an Introduction to Touch-Typing morning course on Mon 30 – Fri 3 June (9am – 11am). Held remotely, it’ll upskill the kids after breakfast and help with learning and communication.

Hoola hoola! As part of its Right Royal Kids Club Celebration this Jubilee half term, Portsmouth’s Port Solent is has brilliant Hoola workshops on Tues 31 May. Then come back again on Thurs 2 June for a Jubilee disco and street party, with entertainment, crown, flag and bunting-making and fancy dress competitions (expect plenty of mini Elsas and Spidermen…).

FESTIVALS AND DAYS OUT

At the brilliant Furzey Gardens at Minstead, New Forest, kids can make like a fairy and run, step or leap theatrically through a new giant door into the brilliant bamboo maze. Entry supports the organisation’s work with people with learning disabilities who help to maintain the gorgeous gardens here.

Back and bigger than ever, Robin Hill Country Park will host the magnificent Isle of Wight Hot Air Balloon Festival on Sat 28 – Mon 30 May. Learn more about the fun sport from the enthusiastic pilots, listen to live music, get entertained by street performers and tuck into tasty street food. Then it’s over to the stars of the show. Special-shaped hot air balloons will light up the evening sky with bursts of colour and epic soundscapes in the event’s spectacular Night Glow finale. Wowsers.

Got a pooch-baby? You’d be barking mad to miss this year’s Dogstival Festival. Thousands of four-legged friends and their humans will head to Sat 4 – Sun 5 June at the Broadlands Estate near Romsey. Think canine-friendly festival food, giant doggy Barkingham Palace street parties, huge photo-op thrones, comedy, doggie agility and loads more.

Street food awards Gunwharf Portsmouth Hampshire whats on Jubilee half term

The Southern heats of The British Street Food Awards are on at Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays. Held over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend (Thurs 2 – Sunday 5 June) 13+ finalists will battle it out over a hot street-food stove, with each putting on a special Jubilee dish. Taste your way around then vote for your faves at the ballot box.

Always a highlight for East Hants locals, Petersfield Festivals are back for 2022. Events begin with The Petersfield Spring Festival (Wed 1 – Fri 3 June) this Jubilee half term. Shop crafts, foodie treats and other wares along the High Street, see the classic cars around Lavant Street then grab a drink and listen to music in the market square. Kids’ll love the face-painting, craft workshops, merry-go-round and other classic rides and can print and colour their own flag to bring along.

PLATINUM JUBILEE HALF TERM FUN

Kick off your Jubilee Week celebrations regally at Queen Victoria’s palatial seaside home in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. At Victoria’s Family Day Out at Osbourne House (Mon 30 May) Victoria and her beloved Albert will stroll around Osbourne House joining in the fun. Especially for the day, there’ll be Punch and Judy shows, traditional fairground rides like swing boats and a helter-skelter to enjoy. One is amused!

On now until Sun 12 June, Southampton’s Platinum Jubilee Trail is an interactive street hunt. Using QR codes/augmented reality, it tells the story of St. Barnaby Beacon via your smartphone. (No clue? No, neither do we. Perhaps the kids can explain it). No prizes at the end except a sense of achievement, but you will collect digital stamps along the way and kids can snap selfies with the Jubilee-themed AR characters.

Also on at The Spring in Havant this half term, find a glorious free Jubilee Garden Party Celebration. Join the eccentric Lady Sprung (above) and other family performers on Sat 4 June and get stuck in with face-painting, workshops and cake galore.

In Basingstoke, retailers will be going all out with A Feast Fit for a Queen at Festival Place. Try your luck at getting a selfie with celeb chefs Lesley Waters (Thurs 2 June) and Phil Vickery (Fri 3 June). Both TV favourites will be entertaining shoppers by preparing special Jubilee-themed eats. While you’re there, watch the kids out bling each other at the Crown Crafting Station. And try and buy local produce at the Hampshire fare pop-up.

Bunting

Plenty of other brilliant, family-friendly Platinum half term Jubilee celebrations coming to a town near you. On Friday 3 June, Andover locals will get together for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Street Festival. Sun 5 June, The Big Platinum Festival is on at The Mayflower Park in Southampton with live performances, street food, kid’s zone, circus acts and more. Also on Sun 5 June, the nave of Winchester Cathedral will be lit up with purple and gold lights for its Open Cathedral event, with Jubilee activities including ‘Royal Blood’ and ‘Curious Crowns’ family trails. 

North Hampshire’s Whitchurch Silk Mill has a Jubilee Fifties Fete on Friday 3 June with live music, games, entertainment and WI baking contest. And on the Isle of Wight, head to Northwood House at Cowes on Sun 5 June for a right regal Jubilee Picnic in the Park, with live music and plenty of family fun.

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