Southampton, known as the cruise capital of Europe, is the largest city in Hampshire. With the New Forest on its door step, and with some excellent activities to entertain the children in this diverse city, Southampton is a fantastic place to bring up your foster children.
Situated on the banks of the River Itchen, and with brilliant boating routes out to the Solent, Southampton has always been an important port throughout its history, and this can be reflected in some of the excellent historical activities on offer in the city.
Take the kids on the fantastic Historic Guided Tour of the old town. Step back in time and discover the old medieval town walls, an array of monuments and over 90 listed buildings including the beautiful Southampton Castle and Arundel Tower. The tour itself is less than 2 miles long, so all ages should comfortably cope – and what a good excuse to get the kids doing some exercise.
Also situated in the old town is the famous Tudor House. Rewarded with the Certificate of Excellence 2015 by Trip Advisor, this is a must see attraction. A fun and great educational experience for the children, you’ll discover 800 years of history as you wonder around this old house. It really gives an excellent insight in to the lives of its residents throughout the years, and with a treasure trove of stories to be told, the whole family will have a brilliant time here.
If you’re up for something a bit more active then why not get those hearts pumping at the Woodmill Activity Centre? With a range of outdoor activities including kayaking, white water rafting, archery and climbing, you can also go leaping through the air on their exhilarating trapeze, or speed down the rollers in to the river below. Surrounded by beautiful wooded scenery, the whole family can wind down with a delicious afternoon picnic, after an action packed morning.
Sporting activities are in abundance in Southampton, and if you and the family are into your snow sports, or you want to try out something new, why not pop along to the Alpine Snowsports Centre for a few hours? With a 110 metre dry ski slope, it’s a great place to practise those moves on your ski’s or snowboards, or you can learn to ski/board in one of the many lessons they hold at the centre. The children will love flying down the slopes, and with an assortment of beginners through to seasoned professionals, you won’t feel out of place whatever your ability.
Spend the day at Manor Farm and Country Park if you want something a little less energetic. This historic working farm dates back 600 years, and has a variety of costumed characters wondering around that bring the farm to life. The children will love watching the traditional farm machinery at work, and can have a go at milking cows – the old fashioned way. There’s also a Meet the Animals session where you can pet and play with some baby animals including rabbits, chicks and ducklings. Even the older kids won’t be able to contain their excitement at these cute little babies. Cue some ‘awww-ing’ sounds! The children will also be able to feed the chickens and ducks, spend some time hurling themselves around the Barnfield play area, and you can even take the family dog along – as there are plenty of walks in the surrounding park to discover.
With plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy, you can see why Southampton is a popular choice for bring up children in care. Start planning your family days out now – and discover what other hidden treasures the city has up its sleeve!