10 Memories to make with your family in Sussex Chichester

If you’re looking for family friendly things to do, whether it be for half-term, wet weekends or family holidays, Sussex has it all. From toddler friendly days out, to activities to engage the most reluctant of teens, we have something to enlighten all the family.

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Explore the City of Chichester, enjoy family-friendly events at the world-renowned Goodwood Estate, venture to Arundel Castle or explore the largest Roman home in Britain at Fishbourne Roman Palace. Whatever you choose to do, we’ll help you make memories that last. Family time has never been so important.

Step back to medieval times at Arundel Castle

One of the England’s largest inhabited and complete castles, Arundel Castle is situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex.

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle boasts an impressive calendar of action-packed historical events taking place between April and October every year, from thrilling Medieval Tournaments and captivating Norman combat displays to International Jousting Tournaments.

If being part of the action isn’t for you, then take a tour of the castle and its grounds. With many of the original features still in place at the castle, including the Norman Keep, medieval Gatehouse and Barbican, as well as the Baron’s Hall, 14th Century Catholic Fitzalan Chapel, Regency Library and Victorian bedrooms, there’s plenty to see.

When you’ve finished why not enjoy some boating on Swanbourne Lake, just a stone’s throw from the castle?

Have a summer to remember at Glorious Goodwood

Goodwood is famed for its world-class events, and rightly so. With something for every interest, Goodwood is guaranteed to put a smile on every member of the family’s face – even the four-legged ones. (Yes, you read correct! If you have a dog in the family then Goodwoof may be the event for you).

an image showing Goodwood racecourse with horses racing

With kids under 12 getting in for free at the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival, there’s every reason to visit while they’re young. The world-renowned Festival of Speed is a showcase for cutting-edge technology, fine food and family fun. Or, don your finest vintage clothing for a day of traditional fairgrounds, classic car racing, singing and dancing at the Goodwood Revival.

If horseracing is more your thing, Goodwood’s Family Race Days offer a chance to get up close to the equine stars while enjoying a variety of themed attractions, all to the backdrop of a high-octane seven race-card. Under 18’s go free.

Get the perfect family snap at Bosham

Widely renowned as one of the most photogenic locations on the South Coast, Bosham is a hive of activity in warmer months thanks to its popular sailing club providing mooring for countless boats and yachts.

But that’s not to say it’s not worth a visit during the winter months. With windy walks and quieter shores, it’s the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs.

Bosham Village Harbour, viewed from the opposite shore with the tide in, West Sussex, England

Footpaths, suitable for all ages, lead along the shoreline in either direction, affording fantastic views of the village. Keen photographers young and old are highly recommended to experience the stunning sunsets and views across the coast.

Once you’re done snapping and exploring, stop for a drink or ice cream in one of the pretty cafes or ice cream shops Bosham has gained such a reputation for. Guaranteed to put a smile on any face – no matter what the age!

Become at twitcher for the day at Arundel Wetlands

Outdoor fun for all the family, Arundel Wetland Centre is home to a collection of 30 species of wildfowl from around the world. Whether or not you’re a twitcher, you’ll fall in love with all this unique wildlife haven has to offer.

An image showing Arundel Wetlands Centre

Arundel Wetlands Centre

Meet the largest member of the pelican family – the incredible Dalmatian Pelicans – at Pelican Cove, then enter the new Coastal Creek aviary walk through experience to admire wetland birds soaring high and diving low. Take guided boat trips, explore the reedbed boardwalk, wander the buggy-friendly pathways and listen to one of the daily warden talks. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to do at Arundel Wetland Centre.

Find something for all the family at Seal Bay

If you have a few days to spare, then pay a visit to Seal Bay Resort (formerly Bunn Leisure) in Selsey, with a huge range of family activities on offer.

From wave simulators and riding mini paddleboats and jet skis, to exploring nature, learning to light fires, axe throwing, sea safaris and pottery, your days can be filled with endless entertainment for all.

If those activities don’t take your fancy, there are also pirate and princess adventures, chocolate parties, a funfair, arcade, tenpin blowing and a wellness suite. The list goes on… With great camping and touring facilities as well as holiday homes, lodges and beach pods to stay in, you may just never want to leave.

Explore life as a Roman at Fishbourne Roman Palace

Fishbourne Roman Palace, or Fishbourne Roman Villa as it’s sometimes known, is the largest Roman home in Britain and is waiting to be explored.

Gladiators at Fishbourne Roman Palace

Gladiators at Fishbourne Roman Palace

Inside this first-century home and outstanding archaeological site you and the family can get hands-on at exciting events and marvel at the largest collection of early Roman mosaic floors in Britain. You can also see a huge range of Roman objects – all found during excavations at the site – at Fishbourne Roman Palace’s Museum Gallery.

From beautiful jewellery, personal items and a sculptured marble head that is believed to be a rare image of the Emperor Nero as a child, you’ll be amazed what’s in store.

While visiting, don’t forget to pop into The Café at the Palace, located within the grounds of the Roman home, there’s plenty to keep you entertained (and fuelled) for a day! Dogs are also welcome at Fishbourne Roman Palace.

Take in a show at Chichester Festival Theatre

Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the UK’s flagship theatres, renowned for the exceptionally high standard of its productions which often transfer to the West End. If you’re looking for something that the whole family can relax and immerse themselves in, then this is for you.

With shows for all ages, family friendly spaces, family workshops, events, activities and an award-winning restaurant on site, there’s plenty to keep you entertained at Chichester Festival Theatre. Family friendly shows include stage adaptations of bestselling books such as an adventure with The Famous Five, comedy and family friendly Christmas productions, you’ll be spolit for choice.

What’s more, Chichester Festival Theatre is located in the City Centre of Chichester, with a large park on its doorstep, meaning you can easily make a day of it (or two!).

Immerse yourself in great cinema at Chichester’s Cineworld

A family day out doesn’t have to be exhausting. There’s nothing quite like sitting back and relaxing, popcorn in one hand, drink in another, watching the latest blockbuster. You can do just that at Cineworld Chichester, a 10-screen cinema located in the Chichester Gate leisure complex, just a short walk from the City Centre.

Cineworld Chichester

Cineworld Chichester

With many other great local attractions on the doorstep including Chichester Air Arena, Chichester Canal, the Novium Museum and a selection of great parks, restaurants and cafes, you can ramp up the pace if desired. If not, why not grab a bite to eat in one of the many family chain restaurants at Chichester Gate.

Take a family beach day at West Wittering

West Wittering Beach is the jewel in crown of the South Coast – expansive beautiful golden sands just six miles south of the City of Chichester. It’s also a blue flag beach, making it the ideal location for family beach days.

An image of West Wittering beach

West Wittering Beach

With equipment hire and tuition for a huge range of watersports including Surf, SUP, Windsurf and Kite available from 2XS – located at the beach – teens and older children will be entertained for hours. Walks to the dunes of East Head (National Trust) and East Wittering Beach are possible directly from the beach. It isn’t just sunbathing and sandcastles at West Wittering!

Parking at West Wittering Beach is pre-book only and this can get fully booked during the busy summer months. If you’e seeking equally great alternatives for the family to enjoy, East Wittering, Selsey and Bracklesham Bay offer the perfect alternative. If you’re visiting West Wittering during off peak months (September to May), dogs are welcome too.

Camp in the South Downs National Park

If switching off and reconnecting as a family are top on the list of priorities, then why not get back to basics with a camping trip in the South Downs National Park?

a picture of a shepherd's hut

Folly Hide Shepherd’s Hut

Imagine waking up surrounded by rolling green hills, magnificent heathland, shimmering rivers and ancient woodland. This can be your reality on a camping trip in the South Downs National park.

By day, cycle the South Downs Way, explore flourishing villages, traverse hills and trundles, wonder at the dark skies (did you know, the South Downs National Park is one of just 16 Dark Sky Reserves in the world?) relax in historic market towns and explore some of the parks greatest walks.

The South Downs has it all. What’s more, this is the perfect dog-friendly mini break.

Other great family things to do in Sussex

Sussex is home to so many great family things to do, the list is endless.

For further ideas, check out:

The Novium Musuem
Pallant House Gallery
Chichester Cathedral
West Dean Gardens
Denmans Garden
Arundel Cathedral
The Weald and Downland Living Museum
Petworth House and Park


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