It’s a bank holiday, you are tired, you are worn, it feels like the Easter break was just yesterday, you wanted a barbecue in the sunshine… but instead you are faced with finding an indoor activity that isn’t a soft play centre. Not that I don’t love a good soft play centre… but EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD will be there (ok, slight exaggeration, but it sometimes feels that way).
Oh, and before some smart arse says it, I know we could put our waterproofs on and go splash in puddles, we love that shit. Just not today.
So, here is my absolutely not at all comprehensive list of “stuff you can do which isn’t in the rain” in Hampshire as sourced from my very own head:
- SOFT PLAY (there, I said it. Move on people, move on)
First… the free stuff…
- Fort Nelson… it’s free, there’s lots to look at, there are plenty of places to run, what is not to love! Plus BIG BANGS!
- Portsmouth City Museum… as above, but with less running, less excitement, and no LOUD BANGS.
- Swimming – yes, yes, free! With a library card… go get one.
- The library – it’ll be shut tomorrow. So yeah… not much use.
- Gunwharf Quays – forget you’ve got kids, and drag them round the shops then take them for a pint
- Cumberland House Natural History Museum – but ensure you only have 5 minutes, as it won’t take longer than that to see everything
- Take the kids for a walk and splash in some puddles! – smart arse
- Visit the Grandparents – raid their fridge, eat their food, smile lovingly at your kids together. Win win.
Next the stuff you can pay for…
- Stansted House – the actual house, not all that outdoor shizzle. Loads to see, and questions for the kids to answer on the way round. Plus if you get bored there is the cafe, the garden centre, the train (outdoors shhhh!), the maze, the play area…
- Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – Lots of room to runaround here, the odd attraction which is fun. Sorry for the lack of enthusiasm, this place always disappoints me!
- Spinnaker Tower – it is amazing how long kids can spend running back and forth over a glass floor
- A nice cafe (Watkins and Faux a personal favourite) – cafe with a playhouse, honestly, life doesn’t get better than this
- The submarine museum – get the gosport ferry across, and go visit the submarine museum, there’s a submarine… clue is in the name. This is particularly popular with boys aged around 40 years old.
- Gosport Ice Rink – hire the kids a penguin and Bob’s your Uncle!
- Winchester Science Centre – Lots and lots to see and do here, loads of experiments, science, and things to press… plus they can look at the stars!
- The cinema! – don’t be a fool, look up the kids AM films. You can’t beat a film for £3.
- Red Spider Climbing – excellent climbing centre, with a big pirate ship, and tunnels to climb
- Wyevale Garden Centre – okay, okay its basically a soft play centre, but it is set in a garden centre, so it doesn’t count.
- A pub – yeah, go to one with soft play.
- A train ride – lots of lovely trains to ride. Or if you are feeling posh hop on the watercress line.
- Bus ride – Take the bus to Gunwharf Quays (see above)
- Hovercraft – not sure what you can do once you are there, but the hovercraft is fun!
- Aquarium – fish. Lots of fish.
- National Trust Properties – I’m sure there are some good ones, look em up!
So there you have it. My, in no way comprehensive list of “stuff you can do when it rains” in Hampshire.