Basingstoke is one of Hampshire’s worst kept secrets. Bursting with top attractions, plentiful cafes and with its rich historical roots, there’s a lot to spark everyone’s interests. Your time in Basingstoke will not leave you disappointed, from the iconic Willis Museum to the action-packed Exciting Escapes.
Whether you choose to hop on a direct train, jump in the car or climb into a double-decker bus, this ancient market town is easily accessible.
To show how much we love Basingstoke, we’ve rounded up 8 things to do with the whole family so that you can build lasting memories together in this beautiful town:
The Willis Museum
After a trip to The Willis Museum, your kids will have discovered fascinating heritage from the Iron Age to the present day. Full of interactive displays, impressive reconstructions and more, the museum has lovingly curated rare artefacts straight from the heart of Basingstoke and Deane’s past.
The museum runs a diverse range of workshops, events, projects, and classes for the whole family to enjoy throughout the year. What’s more, there are over 2.5 million objects that tell the story of Hampshire’s “rich and internationally important cultural heritage” within the museum’s walls. It’s well worth a look!
JJ’s World of Fun
Little explorers and big adventurers can have a blast at JJ’s World of Fun. Home to one of the largest play frames in the UK, a 140 seat jungle themed cafe and a fantastic range of sessions that cater for tots to teens and beyond, you won’t have a dull minute under this roof!
Take on the twists and turns, ups and downs, slides, wibbles and wobbles spread over two giant floors. Bursting with modern equipment that will test your agility, climbing skills and more, at the heart of it all, the whole family will come out with a memorable experience that will leave you wanting more.
Make sure you check out the Toddler Discovery Classes, laser tag sessions and don’t forget to keep an eye out for unmissable costumed events such as Halloween and Christmas.
Take a step back in time and walk through the cobbled streets of Milestones Museum. You can get suited and booted in era-inspired regalia, take a wander through one of the best collections of vintage vehicles in the county, get a pint from the Victorian pub – all before setting off to the 1940s sweet shop to pick up your rations.
Children will love the old fashioned penny arcade, as well as the Victorian schoolroom, as you can delight in all the delights of a bygone era gone by. Magic!
If you want a memorable family experience that you’ll be reminiscing about for years to come, then look no further! Fully immersive, challenging and dare we say it, flipping cool, Exciting Escapes is Basingstoke’s premier escape room experience.
Do you have what it takes to crack the case? Uncover the mystery? Or stop the villains getting away with Cold War secrets?
Putting all of your logic, puzzle-solving skills, and your creative thinking to the test is just the beginning. You and your family need to work together, take the time to listen to each other and be bold enough to say what you see! Are you up for the challenge?
Basing House is home to amazing stories that have helped shape UK history. Dating back to the Norman times, you can follow in the steps of Henry VIII and stand on the site where Crowell besieged the largest private house in Tudor England during the English Civil War.
You can explore the magnificent grounds, discover the battle-scarred Great Barn (circa 1535) and experience what it was like to live during those harsh and unforgiving times through the impressive audio/visual show.
Steeped in history, mystery and a range of activities to keep the whole family entertained, everyone can enjoy a full, memorable day out at this remarkable former Tudor Palace, The Vyne.
Young adventurers can explore the mysterious and magical family trails that weave throughout the grounds and come face-to-face with a six-hundred-year-old tree before building their own den in the majestic Morgaston Woods.
While strolling, orienteering or geocaching in the ancient woodlands, those with a keen eye will discover traces of history. From medieval fish ponds to a WWII munitions storage bunker, there’s a lot to see and do just outside!
Inside the house, you can follow in the footsteps of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn before heading to the Tudor-era chapel and Victorian saloon, where you’ll make plenty of breathtaking discoveries that you’ll be talking about for years to come.
Planet Ice Basingstoke
You’ve seen the sights and taken a walk through history, now it’s time to get your skates on and head down to Planet Ice Basingstoke. With numerous family-friendly sessions to choose from, children’s sessions, open skating and Disco evenings a plenty, the whole family can chill out in the rink.
If you want to take things a bit more seriously, check out the bumper packed range of lessons on offer, including figure skating, ice dancing, speed skating and ice hockey. Each discipline is designed to assist your child’s fitness, balance and overall confidence.
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for Planet Ice’s seasonal special events and fun activities throughout the year.
Pots To Doodle Do Pottery Studio
Let your imagination run wild and get your creative juices flowing at Pots To Do Pottery Studio! Suitable for all ages, you can paint, sponge, stick and mould your next masterpiece in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.
No matter your skill set, you can unleash your inner Picasso without worrying about making a mess. All the paints easily wash out of clothing, off your face and hair! With a range of pre-made pieces to choose from, all you need to do is grab a brush and get painting.
Are you ready to have a blast with the whole family? Make your next trip count, and see what memories you can make in Basingstoke together. Come rain or shine; there’s something for everyone to enjoy!