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Cohub’s guide to kids days out


A lot of our members work remotely and have either bypassed or grown out of working from home. Family is a big part of their lives and we often discuss where to go and what to do with our families, especially those new to the area.

So here’s our members guide to what’s good for kids and families in and around Eastbourne.

Public Parks

Helen Gardens

A lesser known play area just at the base of the Downs by Bede’s school. With stunning views over Eastbourne, a mini golf course in the tourist season and a newish play area, it’s a great place to spend quality time your kids, especially kids under 5.

Gildredge Park

One of the bigger parks in Eastbourne and very popular with large play area, big lawns, tennis courts, basketballs courts and a skate park. You have the choice of two cafes, one smallish one that is next to the pay area and the other quite large one near the tennis courts. The latter has a fenced off outdoor area for kids and is very much geared towards parents and children. Although saying that the smaller one does have a little indoor area.

Princes Park

Another big park with two play areas at either end, a splash pad in the summer months, a large pond and eat in restaurant. This park gets very busy on sunny days due to the splash pad area as well as kids of all ages learning how to kayak or windsurf on the large pond.

Whitley Rec

With a nice chuck of lottery funding received, this public park is really modern with lots of little areas for kids to test their balance on. Not much in the way of cafes or refreshments but it’s a definite favourite with my Son.

East Dean

Another park with some decent investment recently. There are sections which allow a child to climb and if capable then they can enjoy the larger slides. This one is a bit of a drive but it’s a beautiful location and right next to a basketball/tennis court as well as a cricket pitch and one of the most popular country pubs in the area; the Tiger.

Soft Play

Pup Station

Right next to Eastbourne station and with a handful of free parking spaces for customers, this soft play is really easy for families located around Eastbourne town centre. The facilities are good and the soft play is easily visible from around the edges, plus allows space for parents to get stuck in! Coffee here is pretty good for a soft play.

Indoor/Outdoor

Paradise Park

On first arriving it doesn’t seem to big, however as you progress through to the themed garden areas and outside, you soon realise how big the venue really is! Lots of dinosaurs for jurassic fans, a little scary for very little kids but there are ways around without going directly past the roaring dino models. There is also an arcade with soft play, a little train and a nice garden walk.

Treasure Island

Perfect for days with mixed age kids and the opportunity to go indoors or out with a soft play, chill out tv area, mini golf or the outdoor park with paddling pool in the hotter months.

Fort Fun

As above, idea for indoor and outdoor play. The outdoors is a little more impressive for kids as there is a huge water play area, go karts and crazy gold course.

Drusillas

Probably the biggest family venue in the area. There’s a zoo, outdoor parks, splash pad area, cafes, soft play, a train and lots of fun rides. It can be pricey to go as a one off, however it’s worth it for a treat or the season pass is extremely good value, more than 4 visits and it’s paid for itself for the year.

Knockhatch

Second only to Drusillas but growing very fast. This venue is a bit more farm based with more British animals in the zoo part. The soft play is huge and there’s a separate soft play with foam ball guns which slightly bigger kids will love.

Observatory Science Centre

A really good value day out to show kids the wonders of science and our universe. So many visual things inside and outside, as well as special events using the huge telescopes on clear evenings.

Something Different

Urban Jump

A big trampoline park that has bookable slots so all ages can test themselves. There is a main trampoline area, basketball hoops, reaction games, dodgeball court, foam pits and a mini climbing wall. As well as the trampolines there is also a soft play for smaller kids plus during term time the run weekday mini mornings that little ones will love without the danger of being around bigger excited kids.

Miniature Railway

A real Eastbourne institution. We highly recommend getting a season ticket every year, it is so cheap at around £13 per person and as well as the main feature of a miniature railway, which is beautiful, there is a large play park area, gardens and maze to work your way around.

Laser Quest

What more do you need to know, strap on a laser pack and run around an arena trying to shoot as many moving things as you can! Fantastic for older kids who are happy to run around in the semi dark ducking and diving.

Dotto Train

Stay in Eastbourne long enough and you’ll see the seafront ditto train, taking people from Holywell tea chalet (which only takes cash btw) to Eastbourne Marina. Worth a go at least once.

Open Top Bus

On the topic of worth trying at least once, the open top buses are a great way to hop on and off along the seafront and up on to the downs. The views are amazing and you can hop off, have a walk or grab a bite to eat at one of the pubs along the route.

Farms

Sharnfold Farm

A loverly farm with park, farm shop, cafe and pick your own areas. There is also a trail you can follow and meet some of the animals. We recommend grabbing one of their seasonal fruit and veg guides so you know when to pop over and fill your punnet with glorious goodies.

Blackberry Farm

A large estate with lots of area for kids to enjoy. From the farm areas with cows, pigs, goats, sheep etc, to the play areas with bouncy pillows, big swings, ride on karts and assault courses. Blackberry Farm has a lot to offer.

Swimming

Sovereign Centre

Probably the biggest swimming pool in the area with gym, fun pool, slides, gala pool, diving pool and infant pool. The fun pool has a wave machine and it is also worth noting the sports hall is often used for bouncy castles and kids parties.

Motcombe

A smaller pool but perfect for calmer sessions in the pool. It is idea for kids to learn how to swim and gain confidence.

Hailsham Swimming Pool

A more traditional and generally quieter pool that the Sovereign Centre with lane swimming as well as a shallow area perfect for younger children.

Sport

Tenpin Bowling in Hampden Park or Hailsham.

Everyone has had a go at ten pin surely. These destinations are great for groups and older kids.

Mini Golf

Unlike fort fun this is definitely mini golf rather than crazy gold. Very good value for money and set just at the foot of the downs near the seafront. Take your putter and swing your way around the 9 holes with beautiful surroundings. Helen Gardens where the mini golf is, also has a play area and lawns to lay out a picnic.

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