What’s on in the New Forest over the May Half Term Holidays

Things to do during the school holidays in the New Forest and surrounding areas 

Girl on beachThere are lots of exciting things to do in the New Forest, Lymington and surrounding areas during the school holidays. Here's our guide of what's on locally for visitors and locals. For those having to juggle work with school holidays, we have information about holiday childcare.

To see what's on day by day, take a look at our Events Calendar for the Lymington, New Milton and New Forest area. Remember, if you're organising a local event then add your event to the Lymington.com calendar for free and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out about business membership which includes local advertising and promotion (including being in this article!)

Take a look also at our Things to Do section, which includes Places to Visit, Walks and Leisure Activities.

And if you've not already subscribed to receive our FREE Weekly What's On newsletter, emailed every Friday morning and full of the latest New Forest events, news and information, subscribe here:

Remember to mention Lymington.com when you're out and about this half term!

Fun Days Out

Beaulieu secret agent 2019

It's a great time of year to visit Beaulieu! Beaulieu was a top secret school for agents of the Special Operations Executive during World War II. Follow in their footsteps this May half-term and learn espionage skills before graduating as a fully-trained SOE agent. More info here.

Lymington.com Top Tip! Get a discount when you buy your tickets online at least one day in advance. Plus visit again within 6 days free of charge - perfect if its a cold day - spread out all the things to do over several days! 

Find the fairy doors at Furzey Gardens and enjoy time out enjoying 10 acres of enchanting woodland gardens! Plus make a miniature garden, perfect for elves and fairies.

The Mudeford Seafood Festival is taking place over the bank holiday weekend at Mudeford Quay, with food demonstrations and lots of entertainment over the three days.

Lepe Country Park are holding a two day History Festival on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, exploring Lepe’s fascinating history.

At Buckler's Hard there'll be a re-enactment of D-Day on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May with model boats! A great way to learn about the Normandy Landings on the 75th anniversary. Also tour HMS Medusa at Buckler's Hard on 25 and 26 May. Plus throughout half term step back in time and chat to living history characters in the village to discover what life was life like during its shipbuilding heyday.

Film Chitty outside Palace House

Great things to do in Lymington!

New Forest Adventure Golf is open throughout the holidays from 10am to 5pm. Built with children in mind, it's also fun and challenging for adults. The beautifully landscaped adventure golf course is a high spec 18 hole discovery adventure of the New Forest, including Isle of Wight ferry, Lymington and Beaulieu Rivers and New Forest towns and villages.

Over the way, Goodall's strawberry farm is open daily for pick-your-own berries. There are lots of other delicious homemade goodies at Pauline's pantry - including tea, coffee, scones and homemade cake in the wonderful tea garden, which has lots of toys to keep little ones amused.

Visit St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery for the last week of the 2019 Open Art Exhibition and all the St Barbe Young Artists' Open Exhibition, plus also the Textile Exhibition. Visit the museum - a delightful and entertaining exploration of the history of Lymington and the New Forest Coast - and remember to plan a stop at the spacious St Barbe café afterwards! Plus on Tuesday 29 May there's a Buzz Day: Painting on Fabric.

Lymington’s Charter Market takes place along the length of the High Street every Saturday throughout the year from 8am to 4pm. It's by far the largest street market in the New Forest area with over 100 traders who regularly attend. Established in 1250, this traditional market with a great deal of history behind it is nowadays a special experience for New Forest visitors to enjoy.

Get out on the water!

NFActivities Canoe Explorer

Lymington's Sea Water Baths will be open throughout the school holidays from 10am to 6pm daily. The Lymington Sea Water Baths is a fantastic place for all the family to enjoy - come rain or shine! Many local families take the attitude 'well, you're going to get wet anyway' and just pop on a wetsuit if the weather is a little chilly (wetsuits are available for hire). The kiosk is open daily serving a range of drinks and snacks.

Royal Lymington Yacht Club has Wednesday Junior Sailing for children aged 8 and over: you'll need to sign up online for either the 2-4pm or 4-6pm session.

Based in Milford On Sea, the New Forest Paddle Sport Company, offers you the chance to explore the scenic Solent coastline and Keyhaven River to Hurst Castle and beyond! Try the Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Castle Experience or the Kayak Castle Experience.

New Forest Activities have a number of outdoor activities for families. The Family Adventure Day combines kayaking along the Beaulieu River with cycling in the New Forest. Over the Easter weekend, go on a Canoe Easter Egg Hunt - enjoyed a guided family canoe paddle before disembarking for an Easter egg hunt with a twist! Meanwhile, Beaulieu River tours in canoes or kayaks give you more time out on the water, great for families with children aged 12+. 

If you're considering boat ownership then head for the FlexiSail Taster Sail Day on Saturday 1 June at Lymington Yacht Haven - you can also find FlexiSail at the Mudeford Seafood Festival over the bank holiday weekend.

Ballard BasketBallGet active!

Holiday Adventure Days with New Forest Activities will be taking place on Thursday 30 May: the group will begin the day learning bushcraft skills such as foraging, shelter building and fire lighting before testing their aim with a bow on the archery range - then try your skills on the low ropes and high ropes courses set in the woods.

Ballard School have a one day basketball camp on Thursday 30 May and one day netball camp on Thursday 30 May.

Durlston Court Prep School have a Holiday Activity Day on Wednesday 29 and Friday 31 May (sport, yoga, woodland, art, story) and a Football Camp on Tuesday 28 May.

Lymington Tennis Club will be running full day and half day tennis camps Monday 27 to Friday 31 May. Half days are either morning or afternoon. 10% off for Lymington Tennis Club members!
 
Park Run takes place every Saturday morning at 9am in Lymington at Woodside Park (meet by the Pavillion) and in Brockenhurst. Remember to register beforehand and bring your bar code!

If the weather is kind, make use of our local facilities, including tennis courts, table tennis tables and outdoor gym at Woodside Park, plus the chess/draughts table at Bath Road Park. 

Get creative!

Shadow Puppetry at Forest Forge TheatreForest Forge Theatre Company have a Half Term Shadow Puppetry Workshop on Thursday 30 May.

Durlston Court Prep School have a Holiday Activity Day on Wednesday 29 and Friday 31 May (sport, yoga, woodland, art, story).

Write your name with salad at Patrick's Patch at Fairweather's on Wednesday 29 May. Worth a look around Fairweather's and enjoy coffee and cake in Steph's Kitchen whilst you're there!

Get building at Construction Club at Lymington Library and Ringwood Library every Saturday, plus at New Milton Library every Thursday afternoon.

Learn about the New Forest and get hands on with crafts at a Discovery Day at the New Forest Heritage Centre, taking place on Tuesday 28 and Thursday 30 May.

Get crafting at Lymington Library 

Drama, Film & Comedy

The Malt Cinema at Lymington Community Centre will be showing Lego Movie 2 on Saturday 25, Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 May.

At Milford on Sea Primary School there's a Coding and Film-Making Workshop on Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May.

What's cooking?

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen have a number of cookery courses for children over Half Term, including Junior Chef Time for Tea on Tuesday 28 May, Junior Chef Bonkers for Brunch on Thursday 30 May, Teen Chef Home Cooked Comforts on Tuesday 28 May and Teen Chef Oriental Express on Thursday 30 May. 

Understanding nature and our environment

Alex pony behind tree

This month Lymington Transition group challenge us to REFILL - think about things differently and try something new - have a go at these suggestions over the holidays! Find some ideas here - and where you can refill your water bottle with tap water in the New Forest area.

Learn more about the New Forest with seasonal activities at the Bolderwood Information Unit throughout Half Term. Plus cross over the road to the Deer Sanctuary and see how many deer you can spot!

The New Forest Reptile Centre  is open daily, with Wild Wednesday on Wednesday 29 May.

Meet a ranger and learn more about our beloved New Forest ponies. Wild about Ponies at Tilery Road Car Park in Brockenhurst on Thursday 30 May. 

On Wednesday 29 May near Burley, a talk and walk for adults and children aged 10+ about The Castleman Corksrew: the history of the New Forest railway

At Lepe Country Park, enjoy a Wildflower walk on Friday 24 May, Nature Detectives on Tuesday 28 May, Family Bushcraft on Wednesday 29 May and the Half Term trail from 25 to 31 May.

Things for preschoolers during the holidays

toddler groupsSchool holidays can be soul-destroying for parents whose children have not yet reached school age as many clubs, drop ins and classes only happen in term time. Thankfully the following are on during half term to help you retain some structure and sanity!

At Lymington Library there will be the Tuesday Rhyme Time, Thursday Baby Play and Thursday Toddler Time as usual. 

At Lyndhurst Library there will be Tuesday Terrific Tales for Tiny Tots and Wednesday Tots and Tinies

At Ringwood Library there will be Tuesday Tots and Tinies and Thursday Story Time.

At Hythe Library there will be Baby Rhyme Time and Toddler Rhyme Time on Monday as usual, plus Friday Story Time. Take a look at the Babies and Toddlers section in our Events Calendar to see what else is on! 

At New Milton Library there will be Thursday Storytime and Monday Rhyme Time as usual. 

Do you know of any other interesting events or activities happening in and around Lymington this half term? Suggest the organiser adds it to our Events Calendar!

If you'd like to find an event for a specific day take a look at our New Forest Events Calendar.

Weekly What's On in the New Forest