Family Friendly things to do

If you’re seeking fun-packed days out in Dorset with the kids, we've got loads of ideas to keep all ages entertained.

There’s animals to meet, dinosaurs to discover, castles to explore, thrilling rides and sports of all sorts.

One thing’s for sure, we can guarantee you and the family won’t be bored on your holiday. Get ready for some great fun!

What shall we do today?

It’s not difficult to keep the kids (and parents) entertained in Dorset as there’s a fair share of star family attractions hidden in amongst all that lovely West Country scenery.

One of the most renowned ape rescue centres in the world, Monkey World is home to over 230 rescued and endangered apes and monkeys. A great day out for your cheeky chimps!

Moors Valley Country Park has something for everyone. Set in 1000 acres of parkland and forest you can explore the way marked trails, tree-top walkways and tackle the high wire adventure.

Enjoy some fun down on the farm at Farmer Palmers. This is a great day out for under 8s with a brilliant adventure playground and a number of animal based activities.

If a family theme park is what the kids crave, Adventure Wonderland is the place for you. With over 30 family rides and attractions, the park takes its inspiration from Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland. The children will love meeting Alice, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Mr Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat.

Inspirational days out

You’ll never be stuck for interesting things to see and do in Dorset, even when the British weather takes a turn for the worse. Don’t panic, Dorset has plenty of indoor fun to keep everyone entertained.

For your little soldiers, the Tank Museum is a must. Learn the story of the tank and look around a massive display of armoured vehicles; you can even take part in a trench experience. Tonnes of fun for everyone!

Kids will love the amazing variety of museums in Dorset where children of all ages can learn, explore, touch, and discover. Board a Concorde aircraft, be amazed at life sized dinosaurs and teddy bears, see Tutankhamun’s tomb and have your photo taken with Mr Bean’s yellow mini!

If the children need to let off some steam, take them to Lemur Landings – a huge soft play centre with bridges to cross, tunnels to explore and plenty of clambering up, sliding down and running around.

Get back to nature

For any animal lovers in your family, Dorset won’t disappoint. Dorset is home to some of the very best riding stables that cater for little ones and big ones!

Enjoy a trek across the open countryside or enjoy one on one tuition with an experienced instructor with Rosewall Equestrian or The Ancient Trails Company.  

For those of you not keen on riding your animal companion, why not lead a loving Donkey or exotic Llama while taking some of the sites and sounds of the countryside on an organised walk.

On the crest of a wave

It’s not surprising that with Dorset’s fantastic coastline that we have some of the very best water based activities that you’ll find anywhere. Dorset is home to the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy and its waters hosted the sailing events for the London 2012 Olympics. Spend a day out on the water and see if you’ve got what it takes to be the next Ben Ainsley.

The best view of Dorset’s world heritage coastline is most certainly from the water so the chance to enjoy a blast along the coast in a specially adapted RIB shouldn't be missed. Book a session with Lyme Bay RIB Charter to experience a ride you’ll never forget, just remember to hold on tight!!

Did you know that the RNLI headquarters and national training college is in Poole? Why not take a behind the scenes tour of the RNLI College to find out how their crews and lifeguards are trained and be given the chance to explore the college and its training facilities, including their world-class Sea Survival Centre, which hosts the wave tank and Lifeboat simulator. Maybe the little ones will be inspired to become a lifeguard?

Hit the trail

Explore Dorset with Treasure Trails Dorset. They offer a host of self-guided walks with a number of different themes for families and children to enjoy. Spot the clues, follow the trail, and find the treasure.

Be creative

If you'd like to try something different, then a visit to Burngate Stone Carving Centre is a must. They run 2 hour sessions for both adults and children. Try carving a flower, name or your favourite animal.

Fit and fun

Don’t forget that Dorset also has a number of modern sports centres offering a vast array of activities, from badminton and squash through to family fun session’s poolside or outside.

Experience the country life

The biggest and best attractions in Dorset aren’t those that would immediately spring to mind; they’re our beaches, cliffs, harbours, woods and meadows – places that are absolutely free to go and see! If you’re after a great family day out that won’t cost you a penny, come and experience some of Dorset’s finest natural wonders.

A picnic at Durdle Door will entertain the whole family. Spend the day at Dorset’s most famous landmark and soak up the atmosphere at this magnificent beauty spot. Splash in the sea, play games, relax and enjoy some quality family time.

Start planning your family adventures today

In order to get the most out of your stay in Dorset and experience as many attractions as possible, it is advisable to book some accommodation.

We are proud to offer a wide range of accommodation that is suitable for families, whether you’re looking for hotels, B&Bs, holiday cottages, caravan parks or camping facilities, you can rest assured we have everything here for you to enjoy during your stay in Dorset.

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