Portsmouth

Family attractions

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Many of our visitors are young families looking for attractions that suit everyone’s needs. This is a year-round consideration, as it’s not just during the busier summer months that visitors want something to do, but also during winter – to get out of the sometimes cold or wet weather.

A lot of attractions are covered in the Museums and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard sections, with the Dockyard, Gunwharf Quays and Emirates Spinnaker Tower being firm favourites. However, those aren’t the only things to recommend.

The Blue Reef Aquarium is situated right on the seafront, on Clarence Esplanade. It’s a perennial wet weather favourite for those not just looking to get out of the conditions but also see sharks, clownfish, jellyfish, otters and more. In good weather, the outside space is a popular spot for young families, with the splash zone providing kids with ample play, whilst the adults can enjoy a drink or snack from the cafĂ©, overlooking the sea. Tickets can be bought on the day, or online ahead of visiting for discounted prices.

Just off the island is Port Solent, which offers ‘quayside boutique shopping and restaurants’. Visitors can enjoy visiting the shops, or simply taking a walk through the marina where scores of boats are moored. There are also pubs and restaurants which overlook the serene harbour. Evening entertainment can be found at the 6-screen Odeon cinema. The centre offers a year-round programme of family-friendly events (such as its popular Kids Club, which runs during school holidays), and has ample free parking.

Just around the corner from Port Solent are Flip Out and PlayZone.

Flip Out is where young and old can discover (or rediscover) trampolining. There are numerous trampolines to bounce between, as well as a sprung basketball court, foam pit and special area for young children trying it out for the first time.

PlayZone is the south coast’s biggest indoor adventure play area, offering “huge slides, rope walk ways, fireman’s poles, web climber, tumble towers, up and overs pads, bish bash bags” and more. It caters to toddlers, teens and adults, with special sessions catering to all groups. Details on these dates can be found on the PlayZone website and social media channels.

Aspex gallery offers an enlightening trip for young and old. It champions up-and-coming contemporary artists, meaning there’s always something different to see. Furthermore, its location within the Gunwharf Quays complex makes it easy to visit, offering a good location but one that’s away from the shopping centre’s hustle and bustle.

The Visit Portsmouth website is a valuable resource not just for city attractions but also its events, accommodation and more. Additionally, our knowledgeable Visitor Information team are on hand to answer any questions.