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GO Kids & Families in Brighton

Family Days Out in Brighton With its beaches, sports facilities, visitor attractions and entertainment venues, Brighton is undoubtedly a great place for all the family.

And whether they are six or 16, the kids should never be short of something to do while in the city-on-the-sea.

If your children enjoying learning then one of Brighton’s many museums should keep them occupied for a couple of hours at least.

Science-minded youngsters will love the Booth Museum of Natural History [map], which has over half a million specimens and natural history literature extending back over three centuries. Exhibits here include hundreds of British birds, insects, a killer whale skeleton and dinosaur bones. There are also a number of special displays throughout the year.

For a few lessons about Brighton’s industrial past and present take the kids to the British Engineerium – Museum of Steam and Mechanical Antiquities [map] in Hove. This little gem is a restored Victorian steam water-pumping station crammed with gleaming model and full-size steam engines, craftsmen's tools, domestic gadgets, motorcycles and lawnmowers. There is also a cool Giant’s Tool Box, a hands-on exhibition for children, and a garden where you can enjoy a picnic.

All children love toys so they’ll be mesmerised by the displays at the Brighton Toy and Model Museum [map], which has an array of soldiers, aeroplanes, dolls, teddy bears, buses, ships and one of the finest vintage model railway layouts ever to be seen.

Not far from here you’ll find the National Working Museum of Penny Slot Machines [map], the UK's only public vintage penny arcade. There are more than 50 old machines dating from 1895 and 1945, including "What the Butler Saw", strength testers and fortune-tellers. All the games are played with old pennies, bought from a vintage booth.

If your little ones a mad about animals then head for the Sealife Centre [map] in Kemp Town, a magnificent Victorian aquarium that is home to hundreds of sea creatures, from shrimps to sharks and octopus to eels. Youngsters can enjoy close encounters with various species in the touchpools, while all the family watch the sharks being fed.

For those who fancy heading out of the city centre for the day, Drusillas Park [map] in nearby Alfriston is great place to visit. This park, which claims to be probably the best small zoo in the UK, has a good mix of creatures including meerkats, owls, penguins and otters. There is also a children’s play area, train rides and a café.

Sporty kids will no doubt enjoy an afternoon at the Prince Regent Swimming Complex [map] in the North Laine district, which has an excellent swimming pool with water slides and a diving pool.

Alternatively, on a nice day, why not take the kids for a round of golf at the Windmill Mini-Golf Course [map], an 18-hole pitch and putt course on the cliff top at Rottingdean, two miles from Brighton. This is regarded as one of the best miniature golf courses in the south of England, and takes around an hour and a half to complete. Golf clubs are provided.

If you’d rather just laze in the sunshine then head for Queens Park [map] in Hanover, which is the closest park to the city centre. Here you’ll find a wide variety of attractions including open-air performances of Shakespeare plays in the summer, a children's play area, café, tennis courts and a small lake, complete with hungry ducks.

In the evening there are still plenty of things for youngsters to do, including ten-pin bowling at Bowlplex [map] on the swanky Brighton Marina, which has 26 bowling lanes, a sports bar and grill, American pool pit, video world and a dance floor.

Or you could opt for the somewhat more relaxed option of an evening at the cinema as Brighton has a number of multiplexes and independent picture houses to choose from. The city’s main cinema is the Odeon [map] on the seafront, which has several screens showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters and children’s films, as well as its very own Haagen Dazs Café.

A little out of town at the Brighton Marina, you’ll find UGC Cinema [map], another multiplex showing a mix of new releases and classic favourites.

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