Generic filters
Cost of living support and advice

If you need to manage your money carefully, there are still lots of things you can do in Portsmouth without having to splash out, including free museums, events and activities.

If you’re eligible for the Portsmouth Leisure card you can get discounts on everything from swimming to top attractions.

Portsmouth residents can now catch the bus for FREE every Sunday in March! Read more about catching the bus for FREE in March ’23

March activities for families

We have put together some fantastic events and activities for families this March, including low cost and free stuff to do in and around the city.

  • Tree planting – Saturday, 4 March, 10am at Castle View Academy in Paulsgrove. Find out more.
  • Bats and hedgehogs at Cumberland House. 5th March 2023 10:30am – 12:30pm – Discover just how prickly hedgehogs can be and see if you can tell the difference between the sounds of a hedgehog and a bat? You will learn about two of UK’s declining mammals and how you can help them survive and thrive this spring. It’s a free event and no booking is required – just turn up on the day.
  • Repair & Ride workshops start on 11 March – If your bike needs a repair or some TLC, join our free Repair & Ride workshops and learn the practical skills to maintain your bike at home. The hands-on workshops can be booked as a course of five or mixed and matched as stand-alone units. We’re holding the workshops in five locations with flexible times to suit you, including during the day, evenings and on Saturday mornings. Find out more and book your place
  • Stitch and Sew at The Hotwalls, 18 March, 10am – 4pm – the first of a series of curated textiles mini markets. There will be a range of textiles artists and makers for you to browse, chat with and buy from. Pop down to enjoy and support local businesses and makers.
  • Portsmouth Spring Fair at Mountbatten Centre, 19 March, 1pm to 4pm – browse an array of goods from local sellers including handmade, seasonal, gifts, vintage and treats. There will also be Greek food and a bar! Find out more about Portsmouth Spring Fair.
  • CAPSID at Aspex Gallery Friday 24 March, 11am–12pm is an Arts Council Collection and large scale multi-media installation by the artist John Walter. Join the artist and University College London molecular virologist, Professor Greg Towers for a free walking tour of CAPSID, shedding light on the science that inspired the artist’s works. Book your free ticket.
  • Portsmouth Rocks UK is a group started by Annette Macgregor and her 3 daughters who enjoy decorating rocks & pebbles and leaving them for people to find and enjoy and hopefully raise a smile. The next time you are out walking, keep your eye’s peeled!  Join Portsmouth Rocks group on Facebook.
  • History trail at Gunwharf Quays – Kids can take part in the treasure hunt by collecting a treasure map and stickers from the Guest Relations Suite in Central Square. The history trail is completely free and helps them learn about some of the artefacts and attractions on this historic site.
  • Family Saturdays at Aspex Gallery – free creative workshops suitable for the whole family. Explore a different creative activity each week, such as painting, model making, print making, and inventing in relaxed sessions suitable for all ages, interests and abilities. Drop in and take part any time from 11am to 1pm every Saturday!

March at Portsmouth Libraries

Portsmouth Libraries are great places to hang out; Keep warm, browse the books and magazines, use the computers and free Wifi, or take part in the many events and activities for adults and children throughout the year, most of them free!

Here’s a small selection of what’s on in March. Full details can be found on the Libraries website

Board games play sessions – Community Learning Services are holding play sessions at Cosham and Alderman Lacey libraries every Thursday during March. Enjoy old favourites like dominoes or try out new games!

  • Cosham Library: Thursdays, 10am to 12pm
  • Alderman Lacey Library: Thursdays, 1.45pm to 3.45pm

Book your place by calling Cosham Library on 023 9283 4210 or Alderman Lacey Library on 023 9282 3991 or email

Drawing workshops for kids 07-16

  • Southsea Library on 11 March, 2.30 to 4.30pm
  • North End Library on 25 March, 1pm to 3pm.

Local artist Andy White will show kids how to draw with pencils, pens or felt tips. It’s completely free and materials are provided, just drop in!

Find out what else is on at Portsmouth Libraries

Central Library – 1 March, 2pm to 3.30pm Arthur Conan Doyle’s Southsea Stories and Beyond – local author Matt Wingett explores Conan Doyle’s work and discover how his 8 years in Southsea was to stay with him in short stories and novels long after he left the city. Book a free place.

Central Library – 3 March, 7pm to 8.30pm – An evening with Graham Hurley – bestselling crime/thriller author Graham Hurley will talk about his writing career and his latest novel – Katastrophe. Book tickets.

Eldon Building – 4 March, 7pm to 8.30pm – In The State of Us, Jon Snow traces how the life of the nation has changed across his five-decade career as a journalist. Book tickets.

Find out more about Portsmouth Bookfest 2023

Other low cost stuff to do in Portsmouth

  • HAF Fun Pompey Easter programme (Monday 3 April to Friday 14 April). Bookings will be opening Thursday 9 March. There’s a fantastic range of activities for 5-16 year olds including sports, climbing, bush-craft, theatre and much more. Activities are FREE for families who get benefits related free school meals and there are also some paid for spaces available. Find out more and book your place.
  • Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery – free entry, take a walk through Portsmouth’s heritage, discover the world of Sherlock Holmes, see fascinating works of art, trace the history of Portsmouth FC and more.
  • Portsmouth Natural History Museum – free entry to Cumberland House where you can take a walk through the A-Z of Natural History, get up close with a huge dinosaur, and visit the wonderful Butterfly House. Open Tuesday to Sunday.
  • Eastney Engine House – free admission to both engine houses on the last Sunday of every month from 10am to 4pm (apart from August and December), and the Gas Engine House every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm. Get up close to these marvels of Victorian engineering.
  • Southsea Castle – this historical attraction is free of charge and is open between April and October each year. The courtyard is open year-round. Visitors can explore the keep, enjoy panoramic views to the Isle of Wight and Solent, and enjoy a bite to eat in The Courtyard.
  • Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson – this museum has free entry, it’s £3 to park and there’s normally events on during the school holidays.
  • Find opening times and details of events and activities at all Portsmouth museums
  • Pompey Tots at Portsmouth Cathedral – a free, fun session for 0-4-year-olds every Wednesday at 2pm.
  • Aspex Gallery – the gallery offers a free creative workshop every Saturday, suitable for the whole family (£1 donations welcome). Explore a different creative activity each week, such as painting, model making, print making, and inventing in these relaxed sessions suitable for all ages, interests and abilities.
  • Portsmouth Libraries – free events throughout the week for children and adults. Local libraries are also welcoming spaces to go and read books, get online with free Wifi and stay warm.
  • Home-Start Portsmouth run free Stay and Play Groups for children (aged 0-5) and their families in family hubs. There are 12 sessions a week and spaces can be booked online.
  • The Parenting Network run a variety of free groups for families, including stay and play social groups for parents and their children.
  • Join a Rambler’s Wellbeing Walk. Walking is free and can have a positive impact on physical and mental health. Join one of our volunteer-led walks in Portsmouth. They are a great way to meet people and improve wellbeing. There are some great incentives too, including a Wellbeing Walks water bottle, 15% Discount at Millets and more.
  • Goodgym – Get fit and do good at the same time by joining a group of local residents who run, walk, or cycle to help out community projects and older people in Portsmouth. Find out how you can get involved


Portsmouth leisure card

The Portsmouth leisure card entitles residents in receipt of means-tested benefits to discounts at Portsmouth City Council facilities as well as some other services. You can enjoy sports centres, swimming pools, golf, museums, city arts and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Find out how to apply for a leisure card

Social activities and groups for adults

Social activities and groups for adults – are you looking to join a new activity, make friends and explore your area? The council runs a variety of social activities and groups for adults across the city. There’s something for everyone – including walking, reading, knitting, gardening cookery, and culture and faith groups. As well as taking part, there are also opportunities to volunteer and help run the sessions.