In today’s blog, I’m sharing a roundup of my ten favourite indoor and wet-weather family attractions in Bournemouth and Poole.
Why? Well, because, as a mum of two, I know how hard it is to conjure up activities when it’s wet, windy and cold outside.
Luckily, down here in Dorset we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to options for indoor family entertainment. So, there should be no need for the kids to crash on the sofa with the PlayStation for hours on end, or to moan “I’m bored!”
Whether you have little or big kids or both, these activities should provide you with plenty of inspiration for what you can do when the weather isn’t at its best.
Grab your trunks, swimming costumes and towels and plan a trip to the local swimming baths.
Or if you’re in Bournemouth, the Littledown Centre has a huge 25-metre pool and loads of free parking. The pool itself is ideal whether you are wanting to have a relaxing swim or a splash around with the family. At selected times over the weekends, they also open the waterslides and have inflatable pool toys.
Rock Reef, located on Bournemouth Pier, is just the ticket if you’re after a thrill, too.
This all-weather attraction offers a range of adventure sports and includes climbing walls suitable for all abilities and all ages from upwards of four years old. There are also high ropes, aerial obstacle courses and an indoor fun cave experience.
Another high-energy attraction worth a visit is Activate Trampoline Park in Ferndown. The trampolines and a new assault course will be sure to wear your big kids out! There is also special area designed for children under 5 and a soft-play facility and on-site café.
A seasonal activity you might want to try is ice-skating, and there are various places across Dorset where you can get your skates on.
There is a small rink at The Ark in Poole Park, and the Bournemouth International Centre offers the south coast’s biggest indoor ice rink from mid-December through to mid-February. There is also an outdoor ice-skating rink in Bournemouth Central Gardens from mid-November to January.
Or if skateboarding is more what your kids are into, take them to Prevail Skatehouse in Poole. This is an indoor skatepark, ideal for burning off some energy and perfecting their BMX, scooter or skateboarding technique. There’s also a dedicated ‘mini ramp room’ for younger skaters. Why not have a go too? There’s no need to just let the kids have all the fun after all!
Not feeling too energetic? There’s always soft-play! These centres are always a good option in wet weather for kids aged up to about 12yrs, and there are loads to choose from across Dorset.
In Poole, Lemur Landings in Tower Park is one of the county’s largest and has recently had a refurb. And there are lots of others dotted around, the best of which include Giggles and The Ark in Poole Park. Soft play is just one of the attractions at places like the Oasis Indoor Fun Centre in central Bournemouth and at many of the larger family destinations such as Adventure Wonderland and Farmer Palmers.
A great wet-weather attraction that even mum and dad can enjoy is the theatre or cinema. We have Bournemouth Pavilion, the Bournemouth International Centre and the Pavilion Dance all in the town centre, playing host to a regular programme of events, shows and concerts. There is also the new Odean Cinema in the new BH2 complex in central Bournemouth.In Poole there is the popular arts centre The Lighthouse as well as Cineworld at Tower Park, showing a wide variety of movies and performances.
Over in west Dorset, you’ll find The Tank Museum which offers an educational and fun day out. It hosts the world’s best collection of tanks and tells the story of armoured warfare from World War One to the present day. Also worth a visit if you’re in Poole is Poole Museum, just off Poole Quay.
A fascinating few hours could also be spent at either the Oceanarium Bournemouth or at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park. You’ll come face to face with marine life from around the world which is something that all the family can enjoy.
Finally, if you’re feeling up to it, brave the weather, grab your welly boots, coats and hats and enjoy the great outdoors. After all, kids of all ages love jumping in muddy puddles! And you never know, the weather may improve once you’re out!
There are lots of parks and woodlands to enjoy across Dorset such as Upton Country Park, Moors Valley, Durlston Country Park and of course, there is the beautiful New Forest in neighbouring Hampshire. Or a beach walk gets my vote all year round.
Do let me know in the comments of any other wet-weather family attractions in Bournemouth and Poole that are worth a mention, and which are your favourites from my list!
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