Summer Days Out in Southampton

With plenty going on this summer Southampton is a day tripper’s delight. Top five suggestions from Visit Southampton include:

Soton Art

See Monet for free then Make and Create

Running until 4 September, Southampton’s City Art Gallery is showcasing a major new exhibition in association with the National Gallery. All part of Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025, it features 58 works with paintings by Monet, Gainsborough, Maggi Hambling and Paula Rego. Entry is free.

Combine a visit with one of the gallery’s interactive experiences. Taking place on selected days throughout the summer, the gallery is hosting family art workshops including lantern making, clay creations, block printing, watercolour, wire sculpture and even how to make a miniature art gallery. Led by one of the gallery’s creatives, there are two to three sessions per day, with prices from £7.50 per person and run for 90 minutes. For full details and to book, visit:

Free Titanic Walking Trail then get interactive at the Seacity Museum

Perfect for a summer day out, Southampton’s SeaCity Museum has a free to download Titanic Trail. The 75-minute walking tour and map features key locations in and around the city and port providing a fascinating backstory to the ship, its passengers and crew.

Combine the trail with a visit to the museum’s interactive Titanic exhibition or join one of the many sea-inspired workshops taking place on selected days throughout the summer including sea creature sculpting, make a merperson and the science behind the Titanic. Tickets cost £7.50 and must be booked online

Climb, Kayak and Canoe on a Family Discovery Day

Located 10 minutes from the centre of Southampton, Woodmill Activity Centre is a woodland oasis with its own lake and access to the River Itchen. Every weekend throughout the school holidays, Woodmill runs a series of 90-minute tutored discovery sessions enabling families to try their hand at archery, high ropes, climbing, bushcraft and canoe, kayak or stand-up paddling. As well as the tutored discovery sessions (£22 for adults and £12 for children), which cover basic tuition and an introduction to all the on and off water activities available at Woodmill; every day of the week, the centre also offers equipment hire from £14 per hour. Family boats and vessels for the mobility impaired are also available. Plus there is a paddle to the pub experience. Costing £40 for adults and £20 for children this guided round trip enables participants to enjoy an idyllic paddle along the River Itchen, before disembarking at The White Swan Pub for some refreshments with a view.

For more information and to book visit

Theatrical Fun at the UK’s Newest Theatre – The Mayflower Studios

This summer families can enjoy live theatre again at Southampton’s brand new cultural hub, the MAST Mayflower Studios (MAST). Highlights include master-storyteller Philip Pullman’s reworking of the classics in Grimm Tales on 13-14 August. While the live science show, Brainiac transforms the stage into an interactive lab on 1-2 September. Tickets from £12.50. For more information

Park Life Exploration of Southampton’s Green Spaces, New Mizmaze and Playground Extraordinaire

Southampton has an impressive number of green spaces including the much loved and vast Southampton Common. Stretching 356 acres it’s the ideal spot for bike rides, dog walks, picnics and exercise. A great day out families can follow the Common’s nature trails and discover indigenous mini beasts and habitats including woodland, parklands, ponds and more. The new adventure playground is also a must-visit with its zip wires and a climbing tower as well as traditional swings, slides and roundabouts.

Also, new for summer, the historic Town Quay Park situated near the old city walls and other ancient monuments now features a miz-maze. Painted onto the surface in the centre of the park, it offers an informal play space for children against an historic backdrop.

All activities are subject to Government guidance and restrictions being lifted. For news and inspiration about what’s on and what to do in the city

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