Days out with the family can sometimes feel like a small mortgage is required but fun-filled days on the Isle of Wight don’t have to cost the earth. We’ve rounded up some of the best family days out for under £50, so Say Yes to affordable days out and budget-friendly activities this summer.

If you are looking for totally free things to do, check out our previous blog.

Monkey Haven, Isle of Wight

Budget-friendly things to do

Many of the Island’s attractions have savings and offers on throughout the year and don’t forget that English Heritage and National Trust members can visit historic places such as Osborne, Carisbrooke Castle and Mottistone Manor for free.

Animal attractions

  1. Monkey around at Monkey Haven, an award-winning animal sanctuary is dedicated to the welfare and conservation of primates and other rescue animals. Located just outside Newport, this delightful sanctuary offers a close encounter with adorable rescued monkeys, owls, meerkats, and other creatures. Kids and adults alike will be entertained by the antics of the primates and the opportunity to learn about their conservation efforts. A family ticket (two adults and two children) costs £46. 
  2. Go wild at Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, a haven for rescued exotic animals offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a diverse range of species, including meerkats, lemurs, lions and more. The sanctuary provides a safe and caring environment for these animals, many of whom have been rescued from difficult situations.Children will be captivated by the educational talks and feeding sessions that take place throughout the day. The entry fee for a family (2 adults and 2 children) is £47 (without a donation).
  3. Family adventures at Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary. A heartwarming and budget-friendly attraction, the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is a haven for rescued donkeys. Spend time with these gentle creatures, learn about their stories of rescue and rehabilitation, and participate in grooming sessions. With free admission and the chance to make voluntary donations, the sanctuary offers an affordable and rewarding experience for families
  4. Get fluffy at West Wight Alpacas. Take part in alpaca walks, where these gentle creatures will lead the way through picturesque trails. Children and adults alike will enjoy the opportunity to interact with and feed the alpacas under the guidance of the friendly staff. Book your tickets in advance to save more.
  5. Horseplay at Island Riding Centre. Set in 40 acres on the outskirts of Newport and Wootton, there’s a real selection for complete beginners through to expert riders. Enjoy a  ‘pony ride and pamper’ session which incorporates a short ride and stable management session, with pony grooming a must! Lessons are available in groups from £20 per hour. 

English Heritage - Carisbrooke Castle

Heritage days out

  1. Fossil fun at Dinosaur Isle. For little explorers with a fascination for dinosaurs, a trip to Dinosaur Isle in Sandown is an absolute must. This interactive museum is dedicated to the Island's rich prehistoric history and showcases an impressive collection of fossils, life-sized dinosaur models, and educational exhibits. Children can step into the role of palaeontologists, digging for fossils in the excavation pits, and learning about the Isle of Wight's significance in palaeontology. Tickets are typically around £7 for adults and £5 for children, making it a wallet-friendly attraction.
  2. Feel like a king at Carisbrooke Castle, a magnificent medieval fortress with a fascinating past. Situated near Newport, the castle offers panoramic views of the island and allows families to explore its well-preserved battlements, ancient walls, and charming gardens. Admission prices are approximately £10 for adults and £6 for children, making it an affordable yet culturally enriching day out.
  3. Step back in time at Isle of Wight Steam Railway and experience the nostalgic charm of a bygone era. The heritage steam locomotives chug along the picturesque countryside, taking visitors on a scenic journey through the Island's landscapes. Hop aboard the vintage carriages and enjoy the rhythmic clatter of the train as you soak in the stunning vistas of rolling hills, quaint villages, and lush woodlands. There’s plenty to do back at the station too, including a pretty woodland walk, an interactive museum and you can even get up close and personal with an engine as you watch the volunteer mechanics in the garage. Tickets for two adults and up to four children typically cost around £45, making it an economical choice for a family day out.
  4. Learn about the Needles Old Battery, a coastal fortification turned museum. Explore the underground tunnels and gun batteries, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Needles. With affordable admission fees and the option to bring a picnic, Needles Old Battery provides an engaging and cost-effective family day out. Free to National Trust members!
  5. Discover our heritage at Brading Roman Villa, an archaeological site and museum that showcases the Island's Roman history. Explore the well-preserved mosaic floors and exhibits, providing insights into Roman life right here. Engage in interactive activities, guided tours, and workshops that make history come alive for children. With reasonable entry prices and free admission for children, Brading Roman Villa offers both an educational and affordable family outing.
  6. Fun for all the family at Fort Victoria, offering an educational and budget-friendly family outing. Explore the museum's exhibits, take guided tours of the fort, and enjoy leisurely walks along the shoreline. You’ll find a reptilarium and an imaginarium onsite, you can take your pick of what to visit or just enjoy the free nature reserve.
  7. Explore the Island’s only windmill in Bembridge. This Grade 1 listed building is managed by the National Trust making it free for members and a very reasonable fee for non-members. Most of the original machinery is still intact and the views from the very top are worth the steep climb. There are plenty of lovely country walks close by so you can easily spend a day here.
  8. Historical delights at Quarr Abbey. Home to a group of Benedictine monks. Visit the church, wander the extensive grounds where you can feed the pigs and pop into the cafe for a slice of something lovely and to pick up a range of local produce. 
  9. Delve into the Shipwreck & Maritime Centre. Dive into maritime history at the Shipwreck Centre in Arreton Barns, a captivating museum with an impressive collection of shipwrecked artifacts. Discover salvaged treasures and hear gripping stories of maritime disasters. With affordable admission prices and a range of exhibits to explore, the Shipwreck Centre promises an adventurous and informative family day out with adult tickets costing less than £10 per head.

Shanklin Chine, Isle of Wight

Enchanting days out

  1. Peace and tranquillity awaits at Ventnor Botanic Garden, a horticultural paradise, offering a peaceful and budget-friendly escape. Stroll through the exotic gardens, spot unique plant species, and enjoy stunning views of the coast. With reasonable entry fees starting from £10 for an adult and the option to bring along a picnic, Ventnor Botanic Garden provides a fun experience for nature-loving families.
  2. Visit the stunning Shanklin Chine, a magical gorge that promises a tranquil and picturesque family day out. Wander through lush gardens, venture along winding pathways, and encounter enchanting waterfalls. With reasonable admission prices and Shanklin Chine ensures a serene and affordable experience for all. In the summer months, visit the adjacent pub, The Fisherman’s Cottage for some family-friendly pub grub.

Adventure days out for the family

  1. Visit the iconic Needles Landmark Attraction. No trip to the Isle of Wight would be complete without a visit to the iconic Needles. Situated on the Island's western tip near Alum Bay, this impressive natural formation consists of three chalk stacks that rise majestically from the sea. The surrounding area also boasts a range of family-friendly attractions and activities.Take a leisurely stroll along the cliffs, enjoy breathtaking views of the Needles, and let the kids run wild on the adjacent sandy beaches. Additionally, you can experience the thrilling chairlift ride down to the beach, which offers spectacular views of the cliffs and the crystal-clear waters below. The chairlift ticket costs around £6 per adult and £4 per child, allowing you to enjoy this iconic attraction without breaking the bank.
  2. Summer fun at Sandham Gardens. Situated in Sandown, visit Sandham Gardens for some family fun. Offering a wide range of activities, including mini-golf, skynet climbing and bouncing fun, and a play area for younger children. The gardens themselves provide a serene setting to unwind, have a picnic, or enjoy an ice cream in the sun. Families can tailor their visit to fit their budget, making Sandham Gardens a fantastic and affordable option for quality time together.
  3. Become a giant at Godshill Model Village, a charming attraction featuring miniature replicas of iconic English buildings and Isle of Wight landmarks. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens, marvelling at the meticulous attention to detail in each model. With affordable entry fees and the option to enjoy homemade cream teas, Godshill Model Village is an idyllic and cost-effective family destination.
  4. Adrenaline junkies will love a Needles Pleasure Cruise - For an exciting nautical adventure, Needles Pleasure Cruises offers thrilling boat trips around the Isle of Wight's coastline. Spot seals, dolphins, and marine life while enjoying scenic views from the water. With reasonable prices for boat excursions, this adrenalin-packed boat trip provides memorable and budget-conscious family fun.
  5. Unique displays at The National Poo Museum: A great mix of humour, fun and education awaits in this museum housed in a former Victoria public toilet on Sandown Bay. Interactive displays showcase poo from a variety of species. An adult and a child can attend for less than £10. 
  6. Fishing fun at Nettlecombe Farm: Spend a day waiting for a catch, taking in the gorgeous location in Whitwell. Each rod costs £5 for a whole day so a family can easily fish here for under £50. 
  7. Rainy-day fun at JR Zone: Whatever the weather, the kids will enjoy the Island’s largest indoor play frame in the heart of Newport. Towering an impressive five levels, attempt the sky rope bridge, feel cool in the Arctic Blast and parents will be glad to grab a cuppa in the onsite cafe. A family of four can enjoy this for easily under £50.
  8. Calbourne Water Mill is set in picturesque surroundings with an 18 hole adventure golf course within the grounds. Enjoy delightful cream teas at the cafe. With affordable entry fees Calbourne Water Mill offers a serene day out for all. 

Picnic on the Isle of Wight

Food and Drink

To keep costs in check, consider packing a picnic to enjoy at one of the picturesque spots on the Island. There are numerous beautiful beaches, parks, and green spaces where you can sit back, relax, and savor your homemade lunch. Alternatively, many attractions have cafés or food stalls where you can find reasonably priced refreshments.

  1. The Caulkheads - This family-friendly pub is just a walk from the beach at Sandown and is perfect for an affordable family meal. Download their app and kids can eat for £2 with every full-price adult meal purchased!
  2. The Fighting Cocks - With a huge children's playpark and the Island’s largest jumping pillow, it’s easy to see why this pub on the outskirts of Arreton is a firm family favourite. There’s a dedicated kids' menu and a stonebaked pizza oven
  3. The Horse & Groom - Set in Shalfleet in the West Wight, this popular pub packs a family-friendly punch thanks to crazy golf, climbing frames and much, much more.

Getting around

To make the most of your budget, consider using our regular public transport network or a family bus pass where a group of five can travel around the Island with Southern Vectis for 24 hours from only £27.50. 

If you're driving, carpooling with other families can help split the cost of petrol and ferry fares, ensuring an economical day out for everyone. Or a great budget-busting way to get around is either on your bike or on foot. The Isle of Wight has miles of well-maintained cycle and footpaths, linking many of the towns and villages.

To save money getting over to the Island, the earlier you book the bigger the saving you will make. You could also consider travelling in the early morning or late evening as these times are often cheaper than during the peak times of the day. Many of the Isle of Wight’s accommodation providers can offer a special ferry discount, so it’s always worth asking.

So, Say Yes to creating wonderful memories and having a fantastic day out for under £50. Gather the family, embrace the Island's beauty, and embark on an affordable adventure!