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Take a journey back in time, build amazing models, discover the world of bats or see a fairytale come to life…

These are just some of the family-friendly activities to enjoy at Portsmouth City Council’s museums over the holidays.

As well as their usual displays and things to do, the museums are holding a huge variety of special summer events.

Cllr Steve Pitt, the council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “Our museums have so much to offer families this summer, with loads of hands-on activities and drop-in sessions, many of them completely free.

“If families are looking for ways of keeping the kids busy and entertained, then it really is worth checking out what’s going on.”

Here’s a small selection to give a flavour of what’s on offer:


Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery

  • Festival of Archaeology, 30 July 11am–3pm. This free drop-in event includes a chance to meet some Saxon invaders, see Roman jewellery-making, and discover what precious silver treasures tell us about Portsmouth’s history.
  • Model Railway Show, 17 August, 11am–3pm. See trains in action on brilliant railway sets at this free drop-in event held with the Victory Model Railway Club.
  • Meccano Day, 24 August, 11am–3pm. Another free drop-in event – try your hand at building a model and see fantastic creations from the Solent Meccano Club.
  • Five Weeks of Family Fun, 30 July, 4, 11, 18 and 25 August, 11am–3pm. Part of the HAF Fun Pompey programme. Different activities and a meal each day. Free for families eligible for benefits-related free school meals (booking needed). Non-eligible families can book a place for £8 per child


Cumberland House Natural History Museum

  • Wildlife Wednesdays – free drop-in natural history activities throughout the school holidays, 9.30am or 10.30am to 3pm.
  • Bat Night, 8 September, 6.30pm–8.30pm. £2.50 (£1.50 with a leisure card). For older children.


Southsea Castle

  • Rapunzel, 2 August, 7pm. An open-air production for all the family. Adults £12, concessions £10.


D-Day Story

  • Airfix Extravaganza, 28 and 30 July, 11am–3pm. Make an Airfix model to take home. Admission to museum plus £2 per model. Arrive early to get a spot.
  • The Big Drop, 8 and 13 August, 11am–3pm. Drop in and make and decorate your own parachute to take home. Included in museum admission.

More details of these events, and many more through the summer, are at or the individual museum websites.