Every parent knows that panicked feeling. The school holidays are approaching and nothing’s in the diary...

With a wide range of family-friendly activities in and around the Chichester area, you could spend the whole day researching what to do with the kids. Buy why waste those precious hours. We’ve scoured the streets, road-tested the activities and compiled a list of the very best things to do with children in Chichester, so you don’t have to.

Holiday plans sorted? You’re very welcome.

Flip Out Chichester: Best for Burning off Excess Energy

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Age Range: All ages

Price: From £5/session

If the kids are bouncing off the walls, there’s no better place to head than the biggest trampoline park in Sussex: Flip Out Chichester. As well as a huge selection trampolines to bounce away your day, you’ll find a Ninja Assault Course, Dropslide and three floors of Soft Play to tackle. What better way to burn off that excess energy?

Bowling at Tenpin Chichester: Best for Groups

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Age range: Suitable for all ages
Price: One game for a family of four from £30.30. Other deals are available.

Maybe you’re looking to entertain the whole family on a rainy day. Or perhaps you’re seeking the perfect party destination for a large group of children. Whatever the occasion, Tenpin Chichester guarantees a fun-filled day out for everyone. With 16 lanes dedicated to bowling, as well as a bar and restaurant, arcade games, American pool and table tennis, there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained for hours.

Jungle Mania Soft Play: Best for Mixed Ages

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Age range: Suitable for children aged up to 11, with accompanying adults
Price: From £2.20 per adult / from £5.50 per child

If you have children of varying ages to entertain, Chichester’s Jungle Mania may solve your ‘what to do today’ conundrum. With a dedicated baby and toddler area that includes a slide and plenty of soft play items to climb on, young children can play safely out of harm’s way. Meanwhile, the older children can run wild in their own dedicated soft play area, featuring endless slides, walls, trampolines, spinners and nets. You name it, you’ll find it at Jungle Mania.

Cineworld Chichester: Best for a rainy day

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Age range: Suitable for all ages
Price: From £10.20 per adult / from £7.70 per child

There’s nothing better on a rainy day than snuggling up in a warm dark room, popcorn in hand, watching the latest blockbuster with the family. Do just that at Cineworld Chichester. With an incredible 10 screens on offer, you’ll be able to choose from all the latest international blockbusters. With 2D, 3D, IMAX, Screen X and 4DX screens you'll be able to make the most of your cinematic experience. And if you’re not content with watching just one film, stay for another.

Chichester Cinema at New Park: Best Family Activity to Support Independents

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Age range: suitable for all ages

Price: From £5.50 per adult/from £2.50 per child

If you’re a proud supporter of independents, this could be the perfect family activity for you. Relax and unwind - once again with popcorn in hand - at one of the country’s most respected independent cinemas: Chichester Cinema at New Park.

Showing national and international current releases, classics and foreign language films, as well as live performances, this quaint and traditional one-screen cinema has been entertaining families with since the late 1970's. If you’re visiting in the summer, check out the record-breaking Chichester International Film Festival of which Chichester Cinema is a proud host.

Little Street Chichester: Best for Young Families

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Age range: Designed for children aged 12 months to 7 years, however children up to 10 years may attend with younger siblings
Price: From £4.95 per adult / from £6.95 per child

Slightly higher energy than a cinema, you’ll still find Chichester’s Little Street a lot more relaxing than a day out at a run-of-the-mill soft play centre. Designed specifically for little ones, this make-believe play centre has a variety of themed rooms, scaled down to be the perfect size for little people.

Visit the scaled-down café, theatre, beauty salon, supermarket, construction site and medical centre with your little one, or watch as they ride on vehicles or dress up in the theatre to perform their own show. With a (full size) café right next to the play area, you can refresh, refuel, or feed your little ones on-the-go during your allotted play session.

The Novium Museum: Best Educational Activity

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Age range: Suitable for all ages
Price: Admissions free, donations gratefully accepted

Visitors of all ages are guaranteed to learn something new at Chichester’s Novium Museum. Spanning over 500,000 years of history, you’ll learn about everything from Chichester’s Roman history right up to its modern-day ties with the frontiers of space.

The Novium Museum is built over the archaeological remains of Chichester’s Roman bath house, you’ll also find the famous Mystery Warrior (the North Bersted Man) who archaeologists believe was a French Gallic fighter who fled Julias Cesar’s Roman Army and relocated here as a refugee. With a revolving exhibition space on the top floor, as well as incredible views across to Chichester Cathedral, there’s easily enough to entertain the whole family.  

Swimming at Westgate Leisure Centre: Best Family Work Out

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Age range: Suitable for all ages
Price: From £6 per adult / from £5.20 per child / from £2 per under 3

Who says working out has to be hard work? Tick off the 30 minutes of daily exercise for all the family at Westgate Leisure Centre. With a 33 metre six-lane pool, a leisure pool, splash pad zone and exciting flume to entertain you, you’ll probably want to stay a lot longer than half-an-hour. Visit during the recreational swimming sessions, family sessions or if you want to up ante, try out the inflatable fun swims. Whatever you choose, have a splashing good time.

The Aqua Park at Chichester Watersports: Best for Adrenaline Seekers

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Age range: Suitable for ages 7+ who can swim 50m unaided without a buoyancy aid. Check website for child to adult ratios.
Price: From £20 per person

Slip, slide and have super-sized summer fun at Chichester Watersports’ super-sized Aqua Park. Located in the middle of a freshwater lake measuring around 40 acres, this inflatable course offers great fun for all the family. Climb up inflatable walls, slip down inflatable slides and bounce your way to the end, trying not to fall in along the way. Great fun for all the family and a great workout too, what more could you ask for?

Arundel Lido: Best for Summer Fun

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Age Range: Suitable for all ages
Price: From £7 per adult / from £5 per child / £20 for a family of four

Another great water-based activity for all the family, once again supporting our proud Sussex-based independents, is swimming at Arundel Lido. From Chichester it's just 20 minutes in the car or 35 minutes by train to Arundel, Arundel Lido is one we couldn’t miss off the list thanks to it being such a hit with local families. It’s also the only remaining Lido in West Sussex!

Open for public swimming between May and September, Arundel Lido’s two heated pools offer endless fun for everyone. With plenty of space for sunbathing and relaxing against the beautiful backdrop of the historic town of Arundel and the South Downs National Park, you may want to spend all summer here.

Surf Lessons With 2XS: Best for Learning a New Skill

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Age range: Minimum age 12
Price: From £45 per person

What better way to bond than by learning a new skill? Perhaps you want some quality 1:1 time with your teen, or you’re a family with older children looking for something new to do. Either way, 2XS Learn to Surf Course should tick every box. This two hour session is a beginner’s complete introduction to surfing. You’ll learn the basics including paddling out to the waves, catching waves, popping up and how to balance, whilst using soft 9ft longboards with flexible rubber fins - ideal for first timers.

The sessions take place at West Wittering Beach, 25 minutes by car from Chichester or 16 minutes on the number 53 bus, followed by a 15 minute scenic stroll. While this isn’t Chichester-centric it’s well worth the journey for a great family bonding session.

Jungle Paradise Adventure: Best for Competitive Families

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Age range: Suitable for all
Price: From £9 per adult / from £6.50 per child  

For a great day of light-hearted competitiveness, drive 10 minutes out of Chichester (or take the 20 minute journey on the number 51 bus) to Chichester’s Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf Course. Challenge the kids, or yourselves, to complete the 18 holes, taking on waterfalls, crocodiles, zebras, thick jungle and even a crashed aeroplane along the way. This ultimate crazy golf course offers fun for all the family. There’s even a jungle quiz to complete along the way.

Aldingbourne Country Centre: Best Enriching Experience

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Age range: All ages welcome. Perfect for primary school aged children and under  
From £8.50 per person / under 2s go free

Eat, drink, learn and laugh together at Aldingbourne Country Centre, one of the South Coast’s most innovative charities. If you love the outdoors, you’ll find plenty to entertain you. From the open farm and Woodland Walk, to the ride-on Aldingbourne Express, maze and soft play areas, there’s something for everyone. You can even indulge in homemade cake and soft drinks from the onsite Quarry Café while you’re there.

In case you didn’t know, the Aldingbourne Trust works with adults with learning disabilities and autism, with every visit to the centre making a difference. You’ll leave enriched, as will the people you’re helping.

Goodwood Cycling Sessions

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Cycle the two and half mile track at the Goodwood motor circuit away from traffic and uneven road surfaces. Perfect for families of all ages, bring a picnic and spend the day improving your cycling skills. Various Sundays available throughout the year (10am-4pm), adults £10, juniors (13-17) £5, children under 12 go free. If the sun is shining, you'll also be able to watch light aircraft and even Spitfires take off and land at the aerodrome. Refreshments available at the Motor Circuit Café or Aerodrome Café.

Goodwood Cycling Sessions

Family Favourite Places to Eat in Chichester

If you’re looking for family-friendly places to eat whilst you’re visiting Chichester, you won’t be short on choice.

Enjoy milkshakes and pizza in the Cathedral Courtyard at Shake-A-Delic!, dine on pancakes aplenty at Boston Tea Party, see the burger menu that’s as long as your arm at Five Guys, step into the American West at Smith & Western or visit firm family favourites likes Bill's.

Browse our full range of eateries here.

How to get to Chichester

Unless stated otherwise, all attractions and eateries mentioned above are in central Chichester, or just a short walk away.

Chichester can be accessed from all neighbouring cities by train. Chichester train station is just a short ten minute scenic stroll from the City Centre. Bus services from all major towns, and many villages, stop at the Chichester Bus Station, a six minute walk from the City Centre.

More Great Things to do in West Sussex

Inspired to learn more about the great things we have to do in Chichester? Or perhaps you’re seeking great family friendly things to do in our neighbouring towns, including Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey?

Either way, be inspired by viewing our full range of things to do in West Sussex here.