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Inspiration and what’s on for your May half term in Basingstoke and Deane

Looking for things to do with your children over May half term? 

It doesn’t feel long since we were wondering how we’d keep the kids entertained at Easter and now the May half term holiday is upon us. It can be hard finding things locally that everyone wants to do, so in true Love Basingstoke style, we’ve scoured the internet to give you the go to list for what is on this May holiday.  We’d love to hear what you get up to, so please make sure to tag us or use #LoveBasingstoke in your pics!

Get outside

Summer is on its way and it’s great to get outside in the fresh air this time of year, especially as we are lucky to have so many beautiful places locally. You can get wonderful views over Highclere Castle from Beacon Hill, soak up the Basingstoke skyline from Crabtree Plantation or with its newly refurbished children’s play park the Lime Pits is perfect for a budget friendly day out.  

May is National Walking Month so pull on your boots and check out a new trail from our Walks in and around Basingstoke blog. Some of our favourites for kids include a walk in Whitchurch past the Silk Mill and The War Memorial Park to Crabtree Plantation walk which passes through a park at Black Dam Ponds.  

For a day of fun and adventure head down to 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park where you can discover the Dinosaur Invasion event, running throughout the half term. Experience baby dinosaur encounters, a thrilling ride through Dino kingdom, dinosaur shows, attractions and so much more!

Miller's Ark is open on selected days in the half term holidays, starting on Sunday 27 May. There is the opportunity to cuddle the gorgeous lambs and in the animal handling area visitors can hold the guinea pigs and ducklings! The picnic area will be open with toy ride on tractors available for little ones to enjoy whilst you sit and enjoy your homemade lunch or grab a bite to eat from the Tea Barn on site.

If the weather allows, why not make memories to cherish with your friends and family? Grab a yummy picnic, go out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings that Basingstoke has to offer. If you are looking for inspiration for your perfect picnic spot, check out our new guide, Picturesque Picnics and discover some of the best outdoor areas in Basingstoke and Deane.

For a truly lovely day out, National Trust owned The Vyne is a fantastic location to explore all around the scenic grounds, a visit to the historic house, a walk along the river or a long woodland stroll. During the half term there is a sensory wildlife bingo activity running, with three separate versions it will keep children engaged in nature and the whole family can get involved.  

Hours of fun to be discovered in the town centre

Basingstoke town centre has lots to entertain the whole family. As well as shopping in Festival Place you can visit the Basingstoke Discovery Centre, where there are regular groups and activities being held throughout the week. Children and adults can burn off some energy at Flip Out jumping on the trampolines, playing ninja tag or exciting laser quest and there is even a toddler soft play for the littlest ones. 

At the Top of the Town you’ll find the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery which is hosting a spring flower hunt around the museum throughout the half term with a prize at the end! Additionally, The Art Forms in Nature exhibition is a free day dedicated to nature, where visitors can enjoy activities including skull identification and owl pellet dissection!

A short walk from town are both The War Memorial Park and Eastrop Park so why not grab something to eat whilst enjoying it in green surrounds.

Flip Out Basingstoke

The Haymarket have a performance of ‘Fireman Sam – The Great Camping Adventure’, on Sunday 26 May, it is suitable for all the family and only an hour long, so a great introductory to theatre for younger audiences as well. Anvil Arts regularly run many shows for children and families to enjoy over the holidays. More information regarding dates and times of their brilliant shows can be found on their website.

Fireman Sam at The Haymarket Theatre

If you pop along to The Malls during the half term on Sunday 28 May you may bump into the tremendous stilt walkers, giant tree characters that will be on the loose! On Friday 31 May, there is a fun Funky Spoon Puppet Workshop, where there is the opportunity to create, clothe and decorate your own wooden spoon puppet.

If it rains!

If the weather takes a turn, head to the cinema and catch one of the latest films. You’ll find a Vue cinema in Basingstoke town centre and don’t forget that with Vue Mini Mornings kids films are on offer for only £2.49 for both adult and child tickets, running every morning of the school holidays! 

There is also the fantastically immersive Milestones Museum and as May is Local and Community History Month what better time to head to Milestones for a fun and educational experience for the whole family. Pay once and you get entry for a year. They’ll enjoy the arcade games on the pier and the traditional sweet shop! During the May half term, they have 1940s week running where there is the opportunity to experience captivating demonstrations such as Make Do and Mend, Ministry of Food to Air Raid Precautions, and even live war re-enactments. There is also an evacuee trail with a prize, for children to enjoy and experience history first-hand. Additionally, don’t miss the D-Day commemorative display featuring rare photographs and insights into Hampshire contribution during the war.

 You can find more History-related ideas on our History and Heritage page. 

Getting up and active

If you fancy the idea of enjoying a nice drink or a tasty snack while the kids burn off all their energy pop down to Atmosphere trampoline park, ideal for children and even adults to get involved.

Head to the leisure park for iFLY Indoor Skydiving, bowling and swimming at the Basingstoke Aquadrome where you can ride the three fun flume slides, whizz around the rapids and swim in the Lagoon pool. You can also make a splash in the pool at Basingstoke Sports Centre or Tadley swimming pool, great fun for babies, toddlers, big kids and the adults! Planet Ice are running three or five day Learn to Skate Camp sessions and double discounts for Ice card members over the whole half term!

Basingstoke Aquadrome

If you are feeling competitive The Knights Realm Adventure Crazy Golf in Basingstoke is a great crazy golf adventure for the whole family to enjoy, with an 18-hole course and don’t forget to watch out for the dragon!

For an action-packed day, PFT Academy are hosting a Parkour half term full day on Wednesday 29 May, at the Sycamore Halls, in Winklebury.  Activities will include a basics workshop, skills workshop and games.  

Basingstoke Gymnastics Club have fun-packed half term holiday camps running from 8.30am to 3.30pm, for ages five to 11 years. A chance to make new friends, enjoy arts and crafts, team games and learn new skills.

Arts and performing arts!  

If you feel like getting creative the crafty guides from Hobby Craft have so many ideas of activities to undertake during the holidays, for all your supplies you can find Hobbycraft by Brighton Hill roundabout.  

To get creative and make your own keepsake then head to Pots2Paint at Viables Craft Centre, for ceramic and clay creations that you can paint and treasure or The Works in the town centre is great to stock up on your artistic bits for all those holiday creations.

Whitchurch Silk Mill are holding a make a mini May Pole session on Wednesday 29 May. Children over three years old can have fun and get creative by making their own small version of the traditional May Pole. Check out their website for more information on prices.  

For the chance to get arty and win a £50 Festival Place voucher make sure you don’t miss out on Love Basingstoke’s History Through Your Eyes competition and create pieces of art based on your historical discoveries. Whether that is inspiration from old local landmarks, resources from The Discovery Centre, or your own old photos of Basingstoke, we can’t wait to see everyone’s exciting creations. 

For a fun filled theatre session Proteus Theatre are hosting playtime: A Woodland Wonder on Thursday 30 May. Catering mainly for ages two to six years old, their grown-ups and siblings, there are three separate sessions through out the day, so be sure to book so you don’t miss out on a memorable experience.

Please note the inclusion of any business within this listing should not be seen as an endorsement of their services. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.  

May 2024 

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