If you’re searching for fun activities to do with the family, but don’t want to break the bank doing so, then the South of England has a variety of options.
These are eight of the best free things to do in the south with children aged 11 to 16.
Caldecotte Lake – Milton Keynes
Caldecotte Lake is famous due to the discovery of a fossilised dinosaur skeleton thought to be around 150 million years old, which was discovered during an excavation.
Caldecotte Lake provides a tranquil setting and even hosts different events, including guided walks, regattas and family fun days.
Visit: Bletcham Way, Caldecotte, Milton Keynes, MK7 8HP – theparkstrust.com/parks/caldecotte-lake
MK Gallery – Milton Keynes
MK Gallery is a public gallery which features constantly changing contemporary, visual exhibitions.
The gallery also hosts touring exhibitions, workshops and a range of kids’ craft events, providing fun for all the family.
Visit: 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA – mkgallery.org
Fort Nelson – Fareham
Fort Nelson is a fully restored Victorian fort, which is now an artillery museum. Here, you can explore 19 acres of ramparts, outer fortifications, secret underground tunnels and ammunition bunkers.
Visit: Portsdown Hill Rd, Portchester, Fareham PO17 6AN – royalarmouries.org/venue/fort-nelson
WWF Living Planet Centre – Woking
The WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking is free admission and there’s lots for kids to do, from family activities and workshops, to behind-the-scenes tours.
Visit: Rufford House, Brewery Rd, Woking GU21 4LL – wwf.org.uk/get-involved/living-planet-centre
Natural History Museum – Tring
The Natural History museum features a weird and wonderful collection of 4,000 animal and insect specimens collected by Sir Walter Rothschild during his life.
If you’re looking for something different to do indoors, then this quirky collection of animals could be a great place to go.
Visit: Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 6AP – nhm.ac.uk/visit/tring
Cumberland House Natural History Museum – Portsmouth
Displays at this museum include dinosaurs, an A to Z of Natural History and a working beehive.
There is also the Butterfly House, which is home to a wide array of neo-tropical butterflies, including swallowtails, morphos and owl butterflies.
Visit: Eastern Parade, Portsmouth PO4 9RF – portsmouthnaturalhistory.co.uk
Stockwood Discovery Centre – Luton
Stockwood Discovery Centre has plenty of things for kids to do. With beautiful gardens, a splendid children’s playground and garden cafe, this is a great place for a day out with the family.
Visit: London Road, Luton LU1 4LX – lutonculture.com/stockwood-discovery-centre
Portsdown Hill – Portsmouth
Portsdown Hill provides splendid views over Portsmouth, with the slopes being home to a fantastic variety of wildlife.
The chalk ridge not only provides a beautiful viewpoint over the city, the harbours and over to the Isle of Wight, but the hill’s variety of paths provide walkers with plenty of places to walk and explore the wildlife-rich habitats.
Visit: Portsdown Hill, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 1AA – visitportsmouth.co.uk/things-to-do/portsdown-hill
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Portsmouth News