24 things to do during the summer holidays with young children in Basingstoke

This is an incredibly long overdue post, but as it’s the last week of the school holidays you might be desperate for some inspiration, so I thought I would post it up anyway!

Many of these suggestions are free!

1. Swim in an outdoor pool.

You could investigate rivers, reservoirs, lakes or canals with towpaths as this will be a new landscape for your child to take in, e.g.:

Fleet Pond

Frensham Ponds

Basingstoke Canal

Lido’s in Hampshire

Splash pools

Or you could just play in the water at Festival Place (the big green phalic things!! lol) or check out the baby swimming pool and the stepping stones in Eastrop Park.

There is also a new splash park which was opened in May 2016, near the Spotlight centre. We are hoping to visit it soon!

2. Walk through the Woods

A trip to the woods can also be exciting – see the woodland trusts nature trails for inspiration – or bike rides. Don’t forget to check out my Basing WoodFarleigh MountBasing Lime PitsMicheldever Wood and Alice Holt reviews.

3. Visit an Ice Cream shop

We have some friends who live in Birmingham which has a fantastic ice cream parlour in the city centre. We always make a trip here, as the children really enjoy it. It’s become a bit of a tradition.

Sundaes Gelato is in Basingstoke and is perfect for an ice cream or sorbet!

4. Fly a kite

Crabtree has to be the best place for this in Basingstoke.

5. Pretend to be a pirate

My little one is obsessed with pirates at the moment. When she’s bigger, we hope to take her to the Historic shipyard in Portsmouth.

She was christened on HMS Victory, so I want to see if they have finally sorted out her plaque!

6. Play ball games

I never realised how much fun you can have with a football till my little one started kicking one!

7. Go on a bear hunt (or a Gruffalo hunt if your little one has read the book)

We are very lucky because we live very close to some little wooded areas which are perfect for bear hunting.

If you don’t live close to some wooded areas, have a look at this post HERE.

8. Go to a Country show

You may be just in time for the New Forest Show this year (it was in July), but maybe something to think about for next year.

It’s a great opportunity to see shiny tractors, lovely animals and yummy things to buy and eat. Or check out some other country shows that are coming up HERE.

9. Go to the Zoo.

Marwell is probably the closest zoo to us, but I went to London Zoo in April 2014 when she was three years old with my little one and can thoroughly recommend this too. Just don’t walk it from Waterloo like we did!

10. Sleep under the stars

We are going camping next weekend and I’m looking forward to doing this!

11. Build a sandcastle or have a sand Castle Competitions

Fleet Pond

Frensham Ponds

Or go to the Beach! The Nearest “Beaches” to Basingstoke are Fleet Pond on the way to Fleet and Frensham Pond, just past Farnham. Otherwise, head to West Wittering, which is great for toddlers.

12. Run through the sprinkler

Not particularly environmentally friendly, but great fun!!!

13. Create your own perfume

I was obsessed with doing this when I was about 8 years old. All I needed was a jar with a lid, some water and a rose bush. My poor parents had to clean out the remnants! lol

14. Roast some marshmallows

“Burning Nights” are a big thing in our house. We have a chiminea and Miss NHM loves it because we can roast marshmallows over it. We recently learnt something new about counting to “50” after you’ve roasted your marshamallow to ensure you don’t get burnt.

15. Go on a train adventure

For a proper train adventure, check out the Watercress Line or Exbury Gardens and Steam Train. Otherwise, just a trip from Basingstoke to Winchester or Farnborough will probably be exciting for little ones.

16. Rainy day card making

Click HERE for some ideas

17. Explore art and music

There are lots of music classes in the area or maybe just a trip to the Anvil or the Haymarket will be inspiring.

18. Learn a new language

Borrow some books in a different language from the library. There are even children’s books in different languages at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre.

Or maybe investigate Linguatastic, the local language school.

19. Fruit Picking – Local Pick Your Own’s

Check out my previous post on local Pick Your Own farms HERE.

20. Climbing Trees

Basing Wood is perfect for climbing trees.

21. Painting Rocks

I want to do this next year with my little one, as I think it will make less mess then! lol.

22. Have a BBQ

You can’t beat a BBQ in summer! Check HERE for a previous post about outdoor BBQ facilities in the area.

23. Daisy Chains

All you need is an area with daisies in. Hours of fun!

24. Go to a farm

Try Finkley Down Farm, Miller’s Ark, Manydown and Bucklebury Farm.

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Pick Your Own Farm’s in North Hampshire and Berkshire

Mr NHM's 2015 Pumpkin!!
Mr NHM’s 2015 Pumpkin!!

Carly sent me a very sweet email, prompting me to get my butt in gear and post up this Pick Your Own Farm post! This was a really hard post to research, so if you know of any other local pick your own farms, please let me know at northhantsmum@gmail.com. Thanks for the reminder Carly and I hope you find it useful!

Hampshire

Bourne Valley Pick Your Own, Near Whitchurch/Andover: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, black, red and white currants and broad beans

West Green Fruits, Hartley Wintney, Hook: West Green Fruits was established in 1997, and is a family run business of 15 acres set in farmland near Hartley Wintney. We offer an extensive range of fruit including; Strawberries, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Gooseberries, Tayberries, Tummelberries, Black & Redcurrants, Blackberries and Summer vegetables.

Durleighmarsh Farm, nr Petersfield: Set in beautiful countryside on the Hampshire/Sussex border, a stone’s throw from Petersfield, Durleighmarsh Farm with its family-run Farm Shop and Pick-Your-Own offers a huge range of top quality fruit and vegetables throughout the season.

Portland Farm, North Waltham (no website that I could see for this farm)

Berkshire

Grays Farm, Wokingham: The Farm is now closed for the winter. We will open as usual in mid April for Rhubarb & hope to open fully on May 18th 2013 with Strawberries, New Potatoes etc.

Copas Farms, Cookham: Copas Farms is a modern, diverse, family-run business with a landholding of just under 3,000 acres in and around the Chilterns and Thames Valley.  From this approximately 2,400 acres is under arable rotation and 81 acres is allocated to two Pick Your Own Farms providing seasonal fruit and vegetables – one at Cookham in Berkshire and the other at Iver in Buckinghamshire.  The centre of operations is based at Hedsor Park Farm, Hedsor in Buckinghamshire.

I also stumbled across this Local Organic Box Delivery in Basingstoke: Northdown Orchard. I currently use Able and Cole but am considering switching to this local supplier. I will let you know if I do manage to get this sorted!

Related NHM Pages

Food on NHM

Reviews of local attractions

NHM Reader Endorsements

Mum Top Tips

22 things to do with an under 7 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!