What’s on in Lymington and the New Forest over the summer holidays...
Comprehensive guide of things for children and families to do, whether local or visiting Lymington and the New Forest.
updated 23 July 2018
The school summer holidays have arrived! Whether you are local to the New Forest area, or visiting on holiday, you'll find lots to keep you busy this summer.
Here is our guide of things for families and children to do in the Lymington, New Milton and New Forest area over the school summer holidays. Take a look also at our fun days out feature if you're looking to venture slightly further afield. And for those having to juggle work with school holidays, we have information about holiday childcare, which also includes details of activities days for children.
See what's on day by day in our Events Calendar. Remember, if you're organising a local event then you can add your event to the Lymington.com calendar for free. And if there's something local happening that you cannot see in our Events Calendar, mention Lymington.com to the organiser!
And to keep up to speed with local events and news, subscribe for free for our Weekly What's On newsletter which is emailed every Friday. Don't miss out!!
Get out on the water...
Lymington Sea Water Baths are open throughout the school holidays from 10am to 6pm each day, whatever the weather. Inflatables, hot tubs and SUPs are waiting... great fun, whatever the weather - and let's face it, once you're wetsuited up and in the water the rain doesn't matter! Wetsuits available for hire. Lifeguards on duty. Snacks and drinks available at the kiosk.
Kayak or paddle board with the New Forest Paddle Sport Company at Keyhaven near Milford on Sea - it's a great family activity! Kayak taster sessions and paddle board taster sessions available at just £15 for 1 hour, as well as tours to Hurst Castle along the beautiful Keyhaven coastline. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
New Forest Activities in Beaulieu offer kayaking and family canoeing along the beautiful Beaulieu River - and throughout the summer, combine kayaking with cycling in the New Forest on a Family Adventure Day. There are also Paddle to the Pub sessions and Ladies Only Paddles on dates throughout the summer. For families with children aged 12+ try the Beaulieu Canoe Explorer, which covers a good distance on this extended trip through the Beaulieu River Nature Reserve in 2.5 hours.
Learn to sail! Lymington really is the place to learn to sail! Find out more about learning to sail in Lymington and for local children aged 8+ consider Wednesday Junior Sailing at RLymYC (every Wednesday except 15 August during Junior Regatta Week).
Ballard School Summer Camps offer a sailing tuition day on 31 July for children in years 7-8. Spend a day on a 10 metre yacht cruising the Solent with an experienced crew.
Durlston Court Prep School are holding intensive swimming lessons between 23-27 July, max group size 6 children. ASA stages 1-7, dive workshop, tumble turn workshop and life-saving skills workshops.
Sporty things to do...
Lymington Tennis Club are running holiday tennis days and half days during six weeks of the summer holidays, Monday to Friday. Mornings 8.30am - midday. Afternoons midday - 4pm. Full days 8.30am - 4pm. Book online (Lymington Tennis Club members get 10% discount)
New Forest Hockey Club have summer holiday camps on 13, 14 and 15 August at the Astroturf pitch next to Lymington Health & Leisure for children aged 7-15.
Ballard School in New Milton have a variety of summer camp courses for children during 4 weeks of the holidays, including Multisports, Fencing, Bikeability, Netball, Hockey, Volleyball, Gymnastics... and much more! A variety of courses for children during 4 weeks of the holidays: 23 July - 3 August and 20 - 31 August.
Durlston Court Prep School in New Milton will be running Summer Holiday Activity Days from 16th July to 17th August for children in year R to year 8 - all children welcome, not just Durlston families!
New Forest Activities hold Adventure Days for children aged 8-14 years in Hartford Woods near Beaulieu. The day includes learning bushcraft skills such as foraging and shelter building, plus archery and the ropes course. Click here for Adventure Days during the summer holidays, including Tuesday 24th July, Thursday 2nd, Tuesday 7th, Thursday 16th, Tuesday 21st and Thursday 30th August. Can’t make these dates? For 1-3 children get in touch to register your interest in another date. If you already have 4 or more, call now to organise!
Park Run takes place at Woodside Park every Saturday morning at 9am and also at Brockenhurst College every Saturday morning at 9am. Register online and remember to take your bar code with you each time! Please note no dogs allowed at Brockenhurst College.
Teenagers, take time to relax with a dedicated Yoga for Teenagers at The Natural Health Hub on Sunday 5 August.
For more sports holiday camps and clubs, see our Holiday Childcare article...
Discover the Arts...
The Curious Arts Festival kick starts the summer holidays! 20-22 July at Pylewell Park near Lymington, the festival is a glorious mix of music, literature, art, comedy and so much more - a wonderful family outing - whether for the full weekend or for just a day!
Art, Crafts & Literature
At Ballard School's Summer Camps try your hand at Art, Robotics, Animation, Sewing, Knex, Jewellery Making, Junk Modelling, Design & Make... and much more. A variety of courses for children during 4 weeks of the holidays: 23 July - 3 August and 20 - 31 August.
Forest Arts in New Milton have Summer Creative Camps on Tuesdays (7, 14, 21, 28 August) and Thursdays (9, 16, 23, 30 August)
Learn Pyrography - draw and write with fire with wood turner Graham Turner at Keyhaven Scout Hut - Tuesdays 7, 14, 21 August and Thursdays 9, 16, 23 August.
Join the Summer Reading Challenge "Mischief Makers" at Lymington Library or New Milton Library! It's free to join your local library and the summer challenge is a great way to inspire and encourage young readers! Lymington Library is running free art and craft events on 2 August, 6 August, 14 August, 22 August and 31 August.
Construction Club takes place at Lymington Library every Saturday afternoon 2.30-4pm. Parents/carers must supervise their children!
Also at Lymington Library, Rhyme Time continues throughout the holidays every Tuesday 2-2.30pm and every Wednesday 11-11.30am, plus Toddler Time continues every Thursday 11-11.30am - all for children aged 0-4 with their parents/carers.
Dance, Drama, Film & Music
New Forest Academy of Dance are holding a summer school for children aged 5-12 from Monday 30 July to Thursday 2 August. Dance, singing and drama!
Lymington's Malt Cinema will be showing:
- Sherlock Gnomes (U) on 3-4 August at 11am and 6-7 August at 2.30pm.
- Incredibles 2 (PG) on 10-11 August at 11am and 13-14 August at 2.30pm.
- Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (PG) on various dates and times, 17-29 August.
At Ballard School's Summer Camps try your hand at Dance Summer Blaze, Drama Workshop Week (20-24 August), Music Masters... and much more. A variety of courses for children during 4 weeks of the holidays: 23 July - 3 August and 20 - 31 August.
Forest Arts have There Was An Old Lady Who Swalled A Fly by The People’s Theatre Company on 1 September.
Learn more about Nature and the New Forest...
The New Forest & Hampshire County Show will be taking place on 24, 25 and 26 July at New Park in Brockenhurst. Discounted tickets can purchased online in advance. Frequent direct shuttle buses will be running between Brockenhurst Station direct to the heart of the Show (free for advanced ticket holders, otherwise £3 for adult return/£2 for child return).
Visit the Countryside Education Trust's home farm in Beaulieu on Saturday 4 August for their 'Countryside on Show' day. Run in conjunction with the New Forest Vintage Tractor & Engine club to raise funds, there will plenty to see and do for all ages including: tractor and engine displays, woodcraft, sheep handling, dog agility, crafts, refreshments and games. Free entry.
Join New Forest Activities for a Family Woodland Adventure Day! Light a fire and build a woodland shelter before testing your aim with a bow. Explore woodland Low Ropes Challenges before taking to the trees for your High Ropes Adventure. Various dates throughout the summer holidays.
It's Wild Wednesday at the New Forest Reptile Centre every Wednesday during the summer holidays, with fun activities for the whole family. Quiz trail and ‘making’ activities for children. Come and see the ‘live’ bird on the nest and the reptiles and amphibians. Wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear. Booking is not required.
Wild about ponies? There are ranger-led sessions about ponies at various locations in the New Forest on Thursdays 2, 9, 16 and 23 August. See our Events Calendar for specific details.
New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst is holding Family Discovery Days on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 31 July until end of August. Museum entry is free (as is our WIFI) and craft activities are by donation - there's no need to book, just drop in!
Learn more about the New Forest with the family discovery trail at Bolderwood. Self-guided trail, dogs welcome on leads. Pack available 10.30-3.30. There is also a downloadable app. Whilst you're there, cross over the road and see if any deer can be spotted in the Deer Sanctury. A lovely walk on forest paths.
Discover the New Forest with a ranger-led walk (3.5 miles) from Bolderwood on 31 July, 14 and 28 August.
Join an open forester manager on 6 August for Heathlands of the New Forest: discover how both modern and traditional management techniques have helped shape the heathlands of the New Forest. Age 12+.
The Countryside Education Trust will be running Owlets (0-2 years) on 23 July, Little Owls (2-4 years) on 1 and 2 August, Big Owls (4-6 years) on 25 July and 23 August. Plus a Seasonal Bushcraft course on 7 August.
At Lepe Country Park there is a summer holiday trail available every day throughout the holidays and become an Environmental Champion!. Plus Wildplay Wander on 31 July, Marine Wonders on 7 and 8 August, Seashore discovery trail on 2 August, Nature Detectives on 16 and 28 August, Bat Walks on 22 and 23 August and Bushcraft on 30 August.
Visit the Fairweather's Wholesale Nursery in Beaulieu on 28 and 29 July to see their display of Agapanthus, part of the RHS Agapanthus trials, which are also being held at RHS Wisley. Plants are being judged for the second season this year with the judging forum seeking the best performers to whom they can give Award of Garden Merits after 3 summers of assessment.
Family Fun Days Out...
Head to Beaulieu for a fun-filled family day out this summer, as a fascinating programme of living history brings Beaulieu to life with the sights and sounds of the past this Summer from 21 July to 31 August. A great opportunity to witness amazing historic traditions with falconry displays. Discover what life was like in the 1800s and enjoy Victorian music. See veteran and vintage cars driving around the grounds with their occupants dressed in period costumes. All of these living history inspired activities are included in your general admission ticket, which includes The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and World of Top Gear.
Lymington.com top tip! Save money by buying your tickets for Beaulieu online in advance. You can visit again for free within 6 days (there's so much to do, you'll have great fun twice!)
Just down the road from Beaulieu is Bucklers Hard. Discover the Maritime Museum and Bucklers Hard story, brought to life by living history characters.
Visit the Summer Spectacular at Woodside Park in Lymington on Sunday 5 August. Enjoy the fun and excitement of a show that has activities for all ages, including live music, food, craft fair and a Classic Car Show with over two hundred cars (one of the biggest in the South of England)!
On 11 and 12 August don't miss the Lymington Seafood Festival at Bath Road Park! Following its immense success and popularity in 2017, the Lymington Seafood Festival is gearing up for a weekend of gastronomic delights with over 85 local artisan producers attending this year’s event. There'll be cookery demonstrations, great food and excellent live music, it promises to be an excellent day out.
Open throughout the summer holidays, little ones will love to visit Furzey Gardens, part of the Minstead Trust, and hunt for the fairy doors!
On 1 September visit the New Forest Extravaganza with Santus Circus at Strawberry Fields near Lymington, the event will be raising funds for Naomi Hospice.
Pick your own strawberries at Goodall's Farm! And afterwards enjoy a delicious cream tea with homemade cake (and freshly picked strawberries) And they really are the best strawberries in the world...
Other great things to do locally...
Lymington Charter Market is every Saturday 8am to 4pm on Lymington High Street - come and explore the wealth of different stalls! Find out more about Lymington's famous market...
Explore the bargains at the New Forest Car Boot Sale on Sundays and now Wednesdays too. A great way to find some different pre-loved toys and games!
Learn more about Lymington! Lymington Town Tours provide walks with an interesting insight around the local area on Wednesdays and Sundays. For full details of forthcoming tours, look in our Events Calendar.
Discover Lymington's playgrounds! Find out more about where to play from some intrepid experts...
Pick your own strawberries at Goodall's Farm! And afterwards enjoy a delicious cream tea with homemade cake and the best strawberries in the World...
Remember to keep an eye on the Events Calendar as new events are added daily! And subscribe (above) to receive our free 'Weekly What's On' newsletter by email every Friday and we'll keep you up to speed with what's happening locally.
If you hear of any other exciting things to do locally over the summer, do get in touch with us and let us know!
Tanya & Jane