Six weeks can be a long time, and finding things for the kids to do during the school holidays can sometimes be a mission in itself. If you’re looking for ideas on what to do with the kids this summer on the Isle of Wight, we’ve picked the top five things to do with the whole family, from across the Island.
The Isle of Wight is the perfect family holiday destination, of course you can still always make the most of our golden beaches and serene waters, but there’s so much more to the Isle of Wight than you may expect.
Fun and Adventure
Blackgang Chine is famed for being the oldest theme park in the country, starting with nothing more than the bones of a washed-up whale from the nearby Needles rocks. Nowadays Blackgang Chine is one of the top things to do with the family on the Isle of Wight. From rollercoasters to waterslides, discover hidden worlds of fantasy, mystery and adventure. Discover dinosaurs deep in the Jungle, or try your hand at panning for gold in an authentic Cowboy town. Throughout the summer Blackgang is also open late into the evenings with their ‘Big Night Out’ event, featuring illuminated gardens, live music, food and more.
Robin Hill the sister park to Blackgang Chine, is also another perfect day out for the whole family. With more of a focus on wildlife, sustainability and nature, explore miles of woodland like no other. Scramble across rope nets hidden in the treetops, or burrow underground in ‘rabbit’ burrows. As well the natural beauty of the park, enjoy thrilling adventures like the swing ship, toboggan run and 4D Cinema. Also open late into the evenings, ‘Jungle Fever’ runs throughout the summer with the woodlands illuminated with spectacular colour.
Heritage and History
Explore the Island’s rich royal heritage, with many of history’s familiar faces finding a place in Isle of Wight history. Osborne House was the summer palace built for Queen Victoria by her husband Prince Albert. Home to them and their family for many years, Osborne is now one of the most popular English Heritage sites in the United Kingdom.
Throughout the summer enjoy their traditional Victorian entertainment on their very own private beach. Find yourself a spot on the sand and laugh out loud as you enjoy a traditional show of Punch & Judy, have a go at the traditional Victorian games, enjoy a delicious locally made ice cream and go for a dip in the Solent.
Another historical highlight of the Isle of Wight is Carisbrooke Castle, a hilltop fortification that was once the prison for Prince Charles. Throughout the year meet the famous donkeys who power the water wheel, run amok around the battlements or climb the castle keep and look out across the Island.
During the summer Carisbrooke Castle becomes home to the exhilarating spectacle of speed and skill as four legendary knights compete for honour and glory in a Jousting tournament like no other. See lances shatter, feel the thunder of hooves and hear the roar of the crowd as reputations are won and lost. Our fearless fighters and their magnificent horses will charge at each other at full speed in this spectacular medieval contest.
Animals and Wildlife
Tapnell Farm, is a former dairy farm, turned all-weather attraction, surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Isle of Wight. Now seen as one of the most popular things to do on the Isle of Wight, and a great family day out whatever the weather! Throughout the summer stay and play all day as the farm park stays open late for its spectacular Sunset Shindigs, expect circus skills, magic shows, pop-up theatre shows, live music and plenty of play and the most wonderful sunset views on the Island.
The previously family-owned IW Zoo recently became a registered charity dedicated to making a meaningful impact on the health of the natural world. Based on Sandown Beach – Winner of BBC Countryfile Magazine’s 2019 Beach of the Year Award – during the summer there are a number of events happening from their Big Bug Bonanza, Madagascar Week and Native Species Week. Plus this summer marks the long awaited opening of it’s adventure playground, anyone visiting the Zoo – young or not so young – can try out their exciting new activity area.
If it’s more ‘old-school’ traditional fun you’re looking for, then look no further than Shanklin Seafront, home to amusement arcades, adventure gold and indoor play area Jungle Jim. Situated right on the seafront you’re within easy access of the beach and there’s a number of family friendly cafés, pubs and restaurants available on the seafront.
Just a short drive or bus journey from Shanklin – or even under an hours walk along the coastal path – Sandown is home to even more traditional seaside fun. Sandown Pier located right on the beach, is home to adventure golf, ten-pin bowling and amusements from penny-slots through to the latest arcade games.
Wanting to spend more time outside? Sandham Gardens located just a short walk away along the beach and is home to go-karts, even more adventure golf and views across the bay. There’s also free entry to the rainbow playground and skate park.