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My family is a boisterous lot. Honestly, we’d put that lot off Malcolm in the Middle to shame.
Well maybe we’re not that bad but I certainly feel like Lois sometimes when I’m trying to make myself heard over my three boys. I love them to pieces but if I don’t keep them occupied, there’s mayhem.
In my 10 years of being a mother I’ve found focusing that energy on an activity is the best way to keep my boys out of trouble – and a sure fire way to make sure they’re tired by bedtime. This autumn I felt like we all needed a getaway so I decided to take the whole family away on a weekend break to Church Farm Park in Sussex. But within a few hours of booking, I had a sudden realisation – would anything still be open in November?
I frantically turned to Google and started researching what would be open at this time of year – surely there would be something? I wanted to plan an action-packed trip that gets us out of the house – not stuck indoors because all the tourist attractions have closed for the winter.
So that was my mission – find fun things to do on Sussex holidays in November & December that the whole family would enjoy. Here’s what I managed to find but if I’ve missed anything, I’d be very grateful for your help.
Picturedrome, Bognor Regis
We don’t normally take a television on holiday, but I usually grant my kids a trip to the cinema as a treat. This old-fashioned Picturedrome in Bognor Regis looks particularly special and the run-up to Christmas is a great time for new films. This old cinema was built in 1885 and is now a grade II listed building.
Taking them here will be my attempt to insert a bit of culture into the family. In all honesty the boys’ eyes will probably only move from the big screen to their bucket of popcorn but my husband and I will certainly enjoy a more ‘cultural’ cinema experience.
Take them away from the TV and their games consoles and my boys love exploring. That’s why I’d love to take them to Drusillas Park if the weather holds out. TripAdvisor tells me it’s one of the best small zoos in Europe and most families seem to spend around 4-6 hours there – the perfect length of time for a day out. My youngest son is a particular fan on monkeys and I hear they’ve got loads of different types there. They even run special events for guests to get involved!
The Observatory Science Centre
However much we’d love to spend the day exploring the zoo, you can’t always guarantee the weather; that’s why I’ve found the Observatory Science Centre as a back-up in case we’d rather do something indoors.
A family friend of ours went here on their last trip to Sussex and said it’s fantastic for kids, with loads of interactive experiments for them to take part in. I think my boys will particularly like the space section and considering this seems to be a very hands-on place, they’ll love getting stuck into the activities.
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Treasure Island is one place I know my family would absolutely love if we visited in the summer, but the good news is the indoor activities are open all year round.
When the whole thing is open it’s a huge indoor and outdoor theme park, but since the outdoor bit shuts in September, we’ll be going there for the ‘Buccaneers Indoor Adventure’. This is a massive soft play area spanning two floors and while the kids run around and let off some steam, my husband and I can grab a snack in the ‘Hungry Pirate Café’.
Ghost Walk of the Lanes, Brighton
Finally, the Ghost Walk of the Lanes in Brighton is something my eldest son Liam (who’s 14) spotted when he was peering over my shoulder at my laptop. It’s definitely not suitable for the little ones but if Liam’s good I take him along. A few people on TripAdvisor have said they’ve taken their kids along and I think I might actually end up being more scared than Liam! Whatever happens I know he’ll be itching to get back home to tell his friends all the creepy stories he’s heard.
So there you have it – the top five tourist attractions I’ve found in Sussex that are still open in winter. I’m sure that’s not everything though so if any of you have been on Sussex holidays in the winter and know something good that I’ve missed, please let me know!