Families who receive benefits-related free school meals can enjoy a range of funded events provided by HAF (holiday activities and food) Fun Pompey this December break.

HAF Fun Pompey is a scheme delivered by Portsmouth City Council, that hosts enriching activities and healthy food for school-aged children, throughout the Easter, summer, and winter breaks, to help the most at-risk families with childcare and food costs whilst the children aren’t in school.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, and Education said: “Whilst we have always offered family days, we have really prioritised them this December as we recognise the pressure families are under during the cost-of-living crisis.

“HAF provides amazing experiences for school-aged children, but the holidays are also a time to be with families, to encourage bonding and building core memories. We want families to be able to enjoy moments together, without worrying about cost.”

Check out the ten family days you can book by searching ‘HAF Fun Pompey’ on your browser or pycportsmouth.co.uk/haffunpompey/. Each event will have entertainment for the whole family and include a delicious meal for everyone, and some also have pay-as-you-go spaces.

Debutots’ family Xmas sleigh & play
Saturday 16 December, 10am – 3pm, Highbury Community Centre, PO6 2TL

Indulge in festive flavours and make your holiday feast the talk of the town with a Christmas cooking workshop hosted by Emsworth Cookery School. The tips and tricks don’t end there; you can enjoy an interactive story and drama session and let out your inner performer, plus enjoy a magical visitor or two…

Debutots sleigh and play

Victorian Christmas – family day
Monday 18 December, 11am – 3pm, Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, PO1 2LJ

Make your very own Victorian-style Christmas decoration, see a festive puppetry performance, enjoy a delicious Christmas meal, and meet Father Christmas himself who will give you a small gift to take home.

Vicotrian Christmas

Forest School’s family fun in the forest
Monday 18 December 10am – 3pm, Hilsea lines, PO3 5LX

Escape the hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the magic of the forest. Here, you will create your own Christmas crafts, cook lunch over the campfire and then have some free time where you can chill out in the hammocks or hang out as a family by the fire. To end the day, everyone can enjoy a smore or mince pie alongside a silky-smooth hot chocolate.


The Young Creatives’ Southsea festive family fun day
Tuesday 19 December 10am – 3pm,
Cottage Grove Primary School, PO5 1HG

Enjoy a fairytale day of hot food, Christmas crafts and activities, before heading to the matinee showing of ‘Rapunzel – A Tangled Panto’ at The Guildhall Portsmouth.

panto web 2023 NEW

Winter family fun at Aspex
Tuesday 19 December, 10am – 3pm, Vulcan Building, PO1 3BF

Free funded spaces or £8 per child and adult (each)

Capture the joy of the holiday season with your own family portrait! Have the chance to get in front of the camera or channel your inner photographer and direct the photoshoot yourself. Your pictures will be printed so you can take them home and treasure the memories you’ve made that day. Plus, make your own Christmas-themed crafts, such as wreaths, crowns and some pieces that can be used in your pictures. You can also enjoy street and breakdance workshops too.

Exploria HAF family fun day  
Wednesday 20 December, 10am – 2pm, Exploria, PO5 3ST

Jump into adventure at Exploria’s soft play area, with trampolines, slides, foam pits and battle beams. Plus, fuel up your creativity and energy levels with a fun-filled hour of crafts and delicious food for the whole family.


CM Foundation’s winter family fun day
Wednesday 20 December, 9.30am – 1.30pm, John Pounds Centre, 3HN

Let the games begin! Engage and connect with your loved ones through a range of family-friendly activities including board games, sports and arts and crafts. Plus, enjoy a hot lunch and entertainment with Juggling Jake.


Pompey in the Community’s winter wonderland crafts
Wednesday 20 December, 10am – 2.30pm, Pompey in the Community, PO4 8TB

Get into the festive spirit with a Christmas craft session. All materials will be provided for you and your family to make your own charming decorations, personalised Christmas cards and gifts for friends and families to cherish forever.


The Young Creatives’ Paulsgrove festive family fun day
Wednesday 20 December 10am – 2pm, St Michael and All Angels Church, PO6 4AS

Enjoy some family time whilst taking part in festive crafts and activities provided by The Young Creatives Portsmouth. You will also be joined by Seekers Creates and their big doodle project and sharing some delicious hot food provided by Jacket Required.

Paulsgrove TYC

URBOND’s family day and pantomime
Friday 22 December 3am – 8pm, Portsmouth Deaf Centre, PO1 1LX

Go wild, refuel, then sit back and relax! Both children and adults can feel like kids as they get stuck into an epic obstacle course. Then guess who’s coming to town… Santa! Enjoy a visit from Mr Claus himself, before walking over to The New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth where you will watch Aladdin the Pantomime.


Visit pycportsmouth.co.uk/haffunpompey/ for more information.