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Cost of living support and advice

If you find that 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. There are also ways to get discounts on everything from swimming to top attractions.

  • Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson – this museum has free entry, it’s £3 to park and there’s normally events on during the school holidays
  • 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
  • Pompey Tots, Portsmouth Cathedral – a free, fun session for 0-4-year-olds every Wednesday at 2pm
  • 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.
  • 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 including story time, rhyme time, drawing workshops and Saturday morning activities. Free events for adults include scrabble club, craft/knitting/sewing clubs and reading groups. The local libraries are also a warm and welcoming space to go and read books with your children and avoid the winter weather
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

Seasonal activities and events

(Please check directly with the organisers for availability before attending)
  • Port Solent – offers a range of free events for children during the school holidays, as well as markets, classic car days, along with free parking. During December there will be carols on the boardwalk as well as a Christmas market. Free parking.
  • 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
  • HAF – HAF Fun Pompey (holiday activities and food) runs during the school holidays, free children’s spaces for families in receipt of welfare benefits

Limited time only

  • Yoga by Emily – for a limited time only, Emily is offering free yoga sessions on a Wednesday morning in the Nike store at Gunwharf Quays
  • Mrs Blossom’s Crafty Little Toddlers – a free toddler group that will encourage your little ones to explore shape, sound and texture through fun and engaging crafts that encourage fine motor, cognitive and other foundation skills in a relaxed and friendly environment. Weekly sessions until 13 December