Family activities in and around West Sussex

There's plenty to explore on long summer days at our Sussex places including Nymans, Sheffield Park, Petworth, Bateman's, Bodiam Castle, Standen and Uppark.

Summer is a great time to run wild in the fresh air and try some family-friendly adventures in Susses. Spot the roses in bloom along garden paths and waterlilies on the ponds.

Visitors enjoying a Jubilee picnic

The Big Jubilee Picnic at Standen and Nymans

On Sunday 5 June, communities across the country will be getting together to celebrate the Jubilee as part of the Big Jubilee Lunch. Bring your own picnic, or pick up something from the cafes & join friends and family to celebrate at Standen and Nymans. Admission free.

Girl looking through binoculars

Nymans 

Play Bird Bingo this May half term at Nymans. Bird nesting season is in full swing at Nymans and the birds have been busy making their nests, ready to hatch their young. Find the different eggs around the garden and match them to the birds – plus some unexpected creatures too.

A family enjoying an Easter Trail

Sheffield Park play trail 

Join us for a unique spring time adventure around the garden at Sheffield Park. See who can finish their bingo sheet first on our colourful nature trail. Take time to take in nature's palette during Sheffield Park's spectacular rhododendron season. A great way for your children to get out and about this half term.

Mother and two children in garden

Bateman's  

Some of the best-known children’s books were written at and inspired by Bateman’s. As Rudyard Kipling’s family home, this charming garden has a river running through it, hedges to hide behind and plenty of space to run around. In May half term, Kipling's children's stories will be brought to life with storytelling in the garden.

Children building a den

Standen 

The garden at Standen is blossoming with flowers this half term. Bertie the Bee loves creating and crafting and this Spring he’s trying his hand at clothes design. Join in the fun, then pop in to the café, where we serve our seasonal home grown produce, hot chocolate and cakes.

The portcullis and badge and shields of the Dallingridge family above the entrance to Bodiam Castle in East Sussex

Bodiam Castle 

Spend some family time against one of our most iconic backdrops. Spot the 50-year-old carp in the moat, climb the steep towers, walk across the battlements and run in the wide-open spaces. Inspire young visitors to learn about medieval life, with the original portcullis, gun loops and medieval bread oven. The castle is surrounded by buggy-friendly paths too. In May half term, there will be storytelling for young families, longbow demonstrations and a medieval armour display. Check the website for details.

Young boy wearing a yellow t-shirt and green rucksack smiling at the camera while sitting on a historical rotunda with green fields in the background

Petworth 

Join local artist Sue O'Keeffe this May half-term in this lantern making workshop on Tuesday 31 May. Create a beautiful willow lantern to be used in The Carnival of Lights - one of the highlights of Culture Spark 2022. A grand parade of lanterns created by local schools, groups and artists will dance through the streets of Chichester to the Canal Basin culminating in a waterside extravaganza. 10.30 - 3.30pm. £5 per person

A girl explores rockpools on the beach at Birling Gap

Birling Gap 

There’s so much for you and your family to see and do at Birling Gap. Hunt for ocean finds along the strand line and look for fossils on the beach. Then pop in to the cafe for an ice cream or a slice of cake.