Home TravelFamily Adventures 5 must-do family activities on a day trip to Brighton

5 must-do family activities on a day trip to Brighton

by LaurettaCWright
Family activities on a day trip to Brighton

With the October half-term just round the corner, why not consider a day trip to Brighton with the family?

I’ve always enjoyed Brighton's creative feel when I've visited, with plenty of things to grab your imagination– and a buzzing atmosphere of course.

So I decided on a recent visit with VIP and the kids to find out just how much we could squeeze into a day.

1. A visit to the i360

If you’re heading to Brighton, there’s literally nowhere better to get some perspective on the city than by taking a flight on the British Airways i360. As the name suggests, the 162m observational tower offers 360° views – you can even see the Isle of Wight 49 miles away on a clear day.

We thoroughly enjoyed our flight (with drinks at the top) and it was great to see another side to this bustling city, with vibrantly decorated rooftops featuring murals and messages.

The pod itself (which offered a smooth ride despite the windy weather on the day), is ten times the size of a London Eye capsule, meaning that I didn’t feel my usual claustrophic self. I was too busy noticing the views and scenery anyway to notice I was in a glass bubble.

Family activities on a day trip to Brighton

Family activities on a day trip to Brighton

I was concerned about the pod being chilly (given that I’ve got no hair), but I needn’t have worried – it’s heated in winter to make for a comfortable flight and features viewing maps dotted around the pod that show landmarks so you can see what’s what 450ft up in the air.

Prices start from £14.85 and there are curriculum based worksheets (designed by a teacher) available to download and print, which makes the whole experience much more fun and interactive for the kids.

The must-do:
  • Leave some time to enjoy the construction exhibition at the base of the tower. It’s really fascinating to read all about how the i360 was built.

2. Brighton Beach!

If you’re heading to Brighton, a walk along the beach is a must-do – even on a windy day!

Brighton has a pebble beach, so rather than juggling with sand in your shoes, you’ll only have to contend with walking on the pebbles – fine if you’ve got appropriate footwear – worth bearing in mind!

Spotting smooth flat pebbles was a nice activity to do with my daughter and we then watched the boys skimming the pebbles into the sea.

On the day we visited, the wind was up and the waves were crashing, so the kids had an absolute hoot daring to go as close as they could and then running away from the waves at the last minute. It was funny to see them get caught out a couple of times and run away with dripping wet shoes!

The beach goes on for miles, so it’s never usually crowded – even on a decent, warm summer’s day, they’ll be somewhere to sit for all visitors.

Family activities on a day trip to Brighton

The must-do
  • Bring appropriate footwear – and some spare socks for the kids in case they get wet.

3. A bite to eat

When it’s time for lunch Brighton certainly isn’t short of eateries – there’s everything from the quirky, one-off finds to the usual family-friendly restaurants.

We decided to try a place called Waffelmeister – it sounded German, so VIP was up for it.

You could get all day breakfast (and brunch) wrapped in savoury crepes which was an interesting concept. I opted for the brunch option – it tasted like nothing I’d had before, so it was great to get an alternative gastronomy experience.

The café serves all day brunch, along with generous desserts including American waffles, crepes and milkshakes.

Family activities on a day trip to Brighton

The must-do
  • The kids enjoyed the triple chocolate waffle and the Dream team waffle which they polished off quick sharp. Make sure you’ve worked up an appetite!

4. A visit to the Lanes

Oh I do love the Lanes in Brighton. They remind me of the Shambles in York – lots of narrow, cobbled streets lined with pretty little shops. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream, although I struggled to take some decent shots because of the sheer number of people. If you’ve got this in mind, go early when the shops first open.

If you’re wondering why the kids will like the Lanes, they’ll love the twisting alleyways – plenty of hide and seek opportunities – plus it’s not all designer boutiques – my son came across the Armoury shop where he delighted in picking up a WW2 Russian pin badge, which he wore with pride the rest of the day.

And I delighted in finding an “olde sweet job” where I could indulge my sweet tooth and pick up some pick ‘n’ mix classics.

Family activities on a day trip to Brighton

The must-do:
  • Don’t rush a visit – the Lanes are there to be enjoyed at your leisure. Check out the myriad of shops – they’ll be something for the kids too.

5. An afternoon stroll on Brighton Palace Pier

To end a great day in Brighton with the family, head to Brighton Palace Pier where you can grab a coffee or two and enjoy a spot of people watching.

There are free deckchairs to enjoy and the kids will enjoy watching the seagulls as they try to steal people’s chips!

With shops, arcades, rides and plenty of eating and snacking options, there’s something for all the family – plus it’s a nice wind down experience away from the main shopping area to top off a great day out.

The must-do:
  • A few gos on the 2p machines will bring back childhood memories of seaside holidays!
Other Brighton family activities to consider include…
  • If it’s raining, Sea Life Brighton is a good bet, or if you’re watching the pennies try the free Booth Museum, where history comes to life through interactive displays and hands-on activities featuring birds, butterflies and bones!
  • Alternatively, try a walk along Brighton marina. There’s a working harbour where you can spot boats of all shapes and sizes, play table tennis for free (or the giant chess boards) and enjoy a more unrushed experience.
  • If it’s adrenaline you’re looking for, the Brighton Zip will thrill the kids – but it’s not a great activity to do when it’s wet or windy. The zip runs along Brighton Beach and offers a 300-metre dual zip wire.

Have you been to Brighton? If so, what activities do you like doing while there? And do you have a favourite place to shop, eat or drink?

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25 comments

Playdays and Runways 12th October 2019 - 12:50 pm

We have never been to Brighton but it’s somewhere I would love to visit.

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LaurettaCWright 12th October 2019 - 2:27 pm

Yes – you’d definitely love a visit to the city. I don’t know of anyone who’s ever been and not liked it.

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Jenni 11th October 2019 - 6:54 am

Brighton is on my to do travel list, it looks like so much fun

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LaurettaCWright 12th October 2019 - 2:28 pm

It’s a fantastic place – one of my favourite coastal locations.

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Super Busy Mum 10th October 2019 - 9:04 am

We have never been to Brighton, but it looks like a place we would all absolutely love! So, I’ll have to add it to our list of places to visit!

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LaurettaCWright 14th October 2019 - 4:32 pm

It’s a wonderful place to visit – full of quirky finds and I’m sure you’d love the destination and want to return if you visit…it’s definitely worth considering if you’re over that way…

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Kara Guppy 9th October 2019 - 11:09 am

I used to live in Brighton and would love to do the i360 – we went back recently but the weather was rubbish, so planning it for a sunny day

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LaurettaCWright 9th October 2019 - 4:16 pm

Great to hear Kara – I’m sure you’ll have a super time – and get some great pictures too!

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Laura 9th October 2019 - 10:52 am

Ohh I love Brighton but haven’t been in years but this makes me really want to revisit – love the Lanes and and the beach – also those milkshakes look insanely good

Laura x

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LaurettaCWright 13th October 2019 - 6:22 pm

Thanks Laura – the milkshakes are pretty amazing! You forget how many great independent shops, cafes and restaurants are there – it’s a wonderful place!

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Rachael 8th October 2019 - 8:10 am

I have only been to Brighton once, we had a baby moon in Eastbourne and popped in on the way back. I wish we had researched the area more but we did have a lovely time wondering the streets and walking along the beach. Looks like there’s loads that we missed out on!

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LaurettaCWright 9th October 2019 - 4:17 pm

Even more reason for a return visit Rachael – it’s one of those places that you can go back to again and again and always find something new to do or see.

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Devy 7th October 2019 - 10:35 pm

Thank you for sharing such comprehensive reviews on Brighton. Hubby and I have been meaning to take the boys to Brighton for sometime now. So if we do so, we’ll know what to do. I personally will look for the yummy looking waffle there 😀

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LaurettaCWright 9th October 2019 - 4:18 pm

Thanks Devy – and you’re very welcome. It’s great to know that it’s been a bit of inspiration for you. I’m sure you’ll love going there 🙂

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Ali Rost 7th October 2019 - 9:35 pm

Brighton looks like my kind of place! I’m such a sucker for beaches and long walks along a pier. Plus, I’m the biggest sucker for great food and it’s fun to read that they have lots of spots for brunch (my favorite meal of the day!) xx

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LaurettaCWright 9th October 2019 - 4:20 pm

Great to hear Ali – Brighton is an awesome place if you’re looking for something that bit different. And food choices are second to none of course.

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Rebecca Smith 7th October 2019 - 3:06 pm

It has been SO long since I last visited Brighton! I love the beach, lanes and pier but will definitely have to visit soon with the family and go up the i360!

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LaurettaCWright 9th October 2019 - 4:21 pm

That was definitely the highlight of my trip on the day Rebecca. I don’t think you can go to Brighton and not have a go on the i360! Would wholeheartedly recommend.

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Liona 7th October 2019 - 12:41 pm

I’ve wanted to go to Brighton for ages and we haven’t made it there yet. I will save this list for later!

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LaurettaCWright 9th October 2019 - 4:23 pm

Thanks Liona – good thinking! 🙂

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fashionandstylepolice 7th October 2019 - 10:07 am

We have never been to Brighton before. I would love to explore the city one day.

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Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too 7th October 2019 - 9:50 am

I think the children would love the i360, I’m not too good with heights but the views do look amazing

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LaurettaCWright 14th October 2019 - 4:30 pm

I think they’d love it Sarah – I didn’t notice the height thing to be honest (I only looked out rather than down!) but I can understand how you might be a little reserved if heights are not your thing…

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Erica 6th October 2019 - 11:11 pm

I heard that the British Airways i360 is definitely a must-see. Glad you didn’t feel claustrophobic. I wonder if I’ll feel the same way given the chance to visit this place.

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LaurettaCWright 14th October 2019 - 4:29 pm

Thanks Erica – the pod is too spacious to feel claustrophobic (that’s what I found anyway), and you’re too busy admiring the wonderful views too!

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