30 family things to do on the Isle of Wight this winter

Although a couple of places do shut down, there’s still a fantastic choice of things to do and places to explore on the Isle of Wight that all the family will enjoy this winter on the Isle of Wight.

Here are 30 ideas for you, remember to check websites and phone in advance to check the latest opening times.

1. Hire some bikes

Over 200 miles of cycle routes through the countryside or along the coast.

See our Cycling page for details of where you can hire adult bikes, child bikes and trailers (book in advance recommended, especially for delivery)

2. Walk through the countryside

Over 500 miles of footpaths through an exceptional landscape of hills, valleys, coastal area, beaches, nature reserves and a large area designated as an official area of outstanding natural beauty

See our Walking page for over 40 different downloadable walking guides (paper copies available in our Firefly House walking folder)

3. Play on the beaches

It might not be sunny enough for sunbathing, but beaches are still a great place to explore in the winter, especially when combined with a walk. See our beaches page for more info

Ideas for winter walks

  • Cowes to Gurnard (paved all the way, walk alongside the beach/seafront)

  • Bonchurch to Ventnor

  • Yaverland to Shanklin

  • Appley to Seaview

  • Colwell Bay

  • Brook and Colwell Bay (when the tide is out, it's a great place for fossil hunting)

  • Steephill Cove

4. Historical palace

Osborne, East Cowes (North Wight)

Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home and gardens.

Winter opening to 29 March: Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. Wednesdays to Sunday open 1000-1600

English Heritage membership or Winter entry for House Ground Floor only and Grounds Family £31.20

5. Historical castle

Carisbrooke Castle, Carisbrooke near Newport (Central Wight)

Elizabethan artillery fortress that became a royal summer residence.

Winter opening to 29 March: Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. Wednesdays to Sunday open 1000-1600

English Heritage membership or Entry for castle Family £24.40

6. Farm Park with indoor play

Tapnell Farm Park, near Yarmouth (West Wight)

Daily animal activities, Play Barn, Jumping Pillow, Staw Bale Adventure, Gift Shop, Farm Park Cafe

Winter opening until March: Monday to Saturday 1000 to 1700 and Sundays 1000 to 1600

Family £26 up to 23-03-18

7. Alpaca farm

West Wight Alpacas, Wellow (West Wight)

Trekking and alpaca and llama stud farm set, alpacas, donkeys, llamas, pygmy goats, and more, Wood fired Pizza bistro and coffee house, alpaca walks (from £12 pp – free farm entry with any purchased walk)

Open 1000-1700 all year round

Family £19.50

8. Dinosaur museum

Dinosaur Isle, Sandown (East Wight)

Purpose built dinosaur museum and visitor attraction, guided fossil walks, shop, cafe

Winter opening times to 31 March: 1000 to 1500

Family £16.50

9. Zoo

IOW zoo, Sandown (East Wight)

Zoo animals: tigers, lions, lemurs, jaguar, racoons, wallabies, tawny owl, farm animals, daily talks & presentations

Winter opening until 31 March 1000-1600

Family £40.20

10. Zoo

Amazon World, near Arreton (Central East Wight)

Primates, rodents, reptiles, parrots penguins, spiders, fish, plants

Open from 1000 all year round (phone for winter closing time)

Family £37.00

11. Donkey sanctuary

IOW Donkey Sanctuary, Wroxall (South East Wight)

Donkeys, gift shop, café

Open all year round from 1000 to 1630 (weather permitting)

Admission free

12. Summer attraction park with craft

Needles Landmark Attraction, Alum Bay (West Wight)

Glass blowing, bar, restaurant

Winter opening: 1000 to 1600

Free parking and no admission fees, chairlift closed over winter (phone to check exactly what is open)


13. Pearl Centre

Isle of Wight Pearl, near Brighstone (South West Wight)

Pearl jewellery, pick-a-pearl, pearl café, chocolate island

Winter opening times to 31 March 1000-1630, Sundays opens at 1030

14. Botanical Gardens

Ventnor Botanical Gardens (South Wight)

Impressive collection of rare and sub-tropical plants and trees

Open daily 1000-1600

Family: £20

15. Riding Centres

Island Riding Centre, Newport (Central Wight)

ABRS approved school, caters for all ages, and all skill levels, group lessons, private lessons

Allendale Equestrian Centre, Godshill (South Central Wight)

Open all year round Tuesday-Sunday 0900-1700

16. Falconry

Haven Falconry Bird of Prey Centre, Havenstreet (North East Wight)

Falconry centre

Opening times 1000-1700. Adults £5


17. Reptilarium

Isle of Wight Reptilarium & Terrapin Sanctuary, Yarmouth (West Wight)

Zoological attraction located at Fort Victoria Country Park

Winter opening until end of March: closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, open 1000-14/1500 (closed 26 Feb to 2 March)

Adults £5

18. Archaeology Centre

Archaeology Discovery Centre at Fort Victoria, Yarmouth (West Wight)

Shipwrecks and amazing submerged landscape, fun activities and a gift shop

Selected winter opening times, please phone

£4.50 for over 4 years

Offer currently on thepriceiswight.co.uk

19. Karting

Wight Karting, Ryde (East Wight)

all-weather outdoor 500m floodlit track, ages 8 to 88

Winter opening til 29-03-18 Fridays 1500-2000, Saturday and Sundays 1000-1800

20. Bowling alley

Ryde Superbowl (East Wight)

Bowling, LaserQuest

Open 7 days per week

Bowling £6.95 adult game, Laserquest £6.50 adult game

21. Trampolining

Isle Jump, Sandown (East Wight)

Trampoline park, parent and toddler sessions, autism friendly, jumpathon

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, Open Wednesday to Saturday 1000-2000 and Sundays 1000-1800

£30 family ticket

22. Pier golf, bowling, adventure play

Sandown Pier (East Wight)

Indoor golf, ten pin bowling, magic island indoor adventure play area, sports bar

End of Pier (rides, café) closed until Easter

Winter opening hours 0900-1000

23. Soft play and laser

JR Zone soft play and laser, Newport (Central Wight)

Soft play, laser, cafe

Open 1000-1800 7 days a week (except special dates)

Soft play £5.50 (under 1s and adults free) Laser £10.30 for 3 games

24. Indoor play, outdoor adventure golf

Shanklin sea front (East Wight)

Jungle Jim’s indoor play area (slides and ball park), Pirate’s Cove (outdoor 18 hole adventure golf course & outdoor fun), Summer arcade (amusement arcade)

Open February half term onwards from 0900

25. Roman museum

Brading Roman Villa, Brading (East Wight)

One of the finest Roman sites in the UK, visitor centre, museum, cafe

Open daily 1000-1700

Family ticket £25

26. Boat museum

Classic Boat Museum, East Cowes/Cowes (North Wight)

Collection of 50 or so small Classic Boats in our main museum, and our gallery has an extensive collection of artefacts and images, as well as housing our archive and library

Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 1000 – 1530

Adults £2

27. Evening illuminations

Robin Hill illuminations, Newport (Central Wight)

Electric woods

Saturday 10 – Sunday 25 February 2018, 6pm – 10pm

Entrance fee £13.50-15

28. Farm shop and craft centre

Arreton barns has a real-ale pub, a 12th Century church, duck pond, village green, numerous craft rooms, a glass works, farm shop, sweet shop, leather works centre and Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum

Free entry, free parking

29. Farm shop and walks

Garlic Farm, Newchurch

Open 7 days a week from 0900-1700

Farm shop, restaurant/café, farm walks, numerous events (workshops, craft markets, art exhibitions, guided walks see events page)

30. Vineyard

Rosemary Vineyard, Ryde

Winery tours, gift shop, coffee shop,

November-March opening times Monday to Saturday 1000-1700, Sunday 1000-1600

Every Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday they have FREE guided winery tours.

Don't forget to check thepriceiswight.co.uk website for the latest island discounts.

Attractions currently closed

(please check websites for exact opening dates)

Yarmouth Castle – closed until 29 March 2018

Needles Old Battery – closed until 11 March 2018

Blackgang Chine (opens 17 March)

Fort Victoria Country Park (park open all year, attractions & cafe open from Easter)

IOW Steam Railway closed until Sunday 18 March

Butterfly World closed until 24 March

Goodleaf Tree Climbing closed until Easter

Shanklin Chine closed until 22 March

Godshill Model Village closed until March

Mottistone Gardens closed until 11 March

Bembridge Windmill closed until 10 March

Bembridge Fort closed until April

Newport Roman Villa closed until 25 Marcy

Lilliput Doll & Toy Musem closed until March (shop open Saturdays)

IOW bus and coach museum closed until Easter 2018

For a handy PDF guide on what you can do and visit on the Isle of Wight over the winter, click here for the Visit IOW guide "Things to do All Year Round"