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50 things to do in Poole with kids!

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If you’re looking for inspiration on things to do in Poole then I’d always recommend visiting the Tourist Information Centre on the Quay where you’ll find leaflets with money off vouchers, trail maps and friendly staff who are ready to answer any questions you may have.

For places to go and things to do with the children, please see below.

ATTRACTIONS

Farmer Palmers (Organford): This award winning farm has plenty for children to do with slides, bouncy castles, indoor and outdoor play areas, ride on tractors, soft play, animals, play barn, tractor trailer rides and so much more.

Flip Out (Dolphin Shopping Centre): Indoor adventure park with E-karting, laser tag, interactive football, battle cannon arena, bumper cars, soft play and small arcade.

Putt Putt Noodle (Dolphin Shopping Centre): Asian themed adventure golf course attraction with 3 fun and unique courses to choose from, plus a restaurant serving great food.

Insanity Gaming Arcade (Nuffield): A gaming lovers dream with over 60 machines and consoles from all eras.

High Score Arcades (Dolphin Shopping Centre): High Score is an amusement centre, packed with games to either reminisce or play for the first time.

Hollywood Bowl (Tower Park & Branksome): American themed ten pin bowling alley with amusements and American diner.

Project Climbing Centre (Dolphin Shopping Centre): The climbing centre is a great venue for bouldering and rock climbing.

FTY Lab (Branksome): FTY is a football training centre using the latest training technology to enhance a players technical, physical, and mental skills.

Splashdown (Tower Park): Fantastic waterpark full of thrilling indoor and outdoor rides plus 3 under 5's splash zones.

Harbour Pirates Golf Glow (Poole Quay): Mini golf with a difference.  Children will love the dark room with bright glowing obstacles!

Studio Poole (Poole Quay): Choose from acrylic or ceramic paint to create your own masterpiece.

Create (Upton Country Park): Choose from a range of crafts and activities including pottery painting, sand art, build a bear and model making.

Brownsea Island: Owned by the National Trust and only accessible by boat, Brownsea Island has a thriving natural habitat which creates a unique haven for wildlife including the rare red squirrels.  Open to the public March – November.

Compton Acres (Canford Cliffs): The South's finest privately owned historic gardens.

 

SOFT PLAYS & PLAY CAFES

Lemur Landings (Tower Park): Large soft play with multi level play frame, slides, canons, sensory and toddler area plus role play area and climbing zone.

The Ark (Poole Park): The Ark has a fantastic multi level soft play with exciting obstacles, slides and a separate toddler area with ball pit and sensory activities.  You’ll also find a paint your own pottery area which can be booked seperately.

The Hideout (Canford Heath): The Hideout is a recently opened and family run indoor coffee shop and soft play with a two-tier play area and matted section with toys, sensory accessories and books.

Neptune's Soft Play (Poole Quay): This lovely 2 tier soft play is perfect for babies and younger children and has a separate area with a TV screen and comfy seating for tired little legs.

Coffee & Play (Parkstone): Play café with wooden tree house nature themed play area and soft play pen for babies.

Kidz Kingdom (Broadstone): Fun multi level soft play which is based within the Junction Sports Centre.

Rossmore Leisure Centre Soft Play: Multi-level soft play with ball pit, perfect for younger children.

Places in Poole with kids 1

 

MUSEUMS

Poole Old Lifeboat Museum (Fisherman’s Dock): Lifeboats crewed by the people of Poole have been helping those in trouble at sea since 1865.  Poole Old Lifeboat Museum documents the history of the RNLI in Poole from that time, right up until the present day.  Open March – December.

Poole Museum & Scaplen’s Court (Poole Old Town): Currently closed for major refurbishment and due to re-open at the end of 2024.

 

PARKS & NATURE RESERVES

Upton Country Park: Set in over 130 acres of parkland you’ll find landscaped gardens, a woodland play trail, tea rooms, a gallery, plant centre and a walled garden with a summer splash area.

Poole Park: Poole Park features 110 acres of parkland, 2 play parks, tennis courts, fitness trail, lakes, gardens, wheelchair accessible railway, watersports, restaurants and ice cream parlour.

Whitecliff Recreation Ground: Located next to the waters edge, this large green space includes a fun enclosed play park.

Branksome Recreation Ground: Large field with a play area, sport pitches and community centre.

Hamworthy Park: Sitting on the edge of Poole Harbour with stunning views of Brownsea Island and the Purbeck region, Hamworthy Park features a play area suitable for all ages, large green space, beach, watersports, fitness station, café and paddling pool which is open in the summer months.

Creekmoor Ponds Nature Reserve: The site was originally a large sand reserve which was mined heavily between 1920 and 1950.  The removal of the sand left 2 large pits which after flooding became Creekmoor Ponds.  You’ll see lots of wonderful wildlife here including ducks, swans and squirrels.

Ham Common (Hamworthy): A Site of Special Scientific Interest for its rare Eocene Epoch plant fossils, Ham Common has wonderful views of the Purbeck hills, an adjoining beach, lake and area of woodland.

Broadstone Recreation Ground: A large green space with sports pitches, children’s play area, mature woodland, gardens, lowland heath and incredible views of Poole from the high points.

Penn Hill to Branksome Chine Walk: Starting in Penn Hill you can take the path and then follow the stream through the woodland and across the road to the beach.

Delph Woods (Broadstone & Beyond): Follow the woodland paths and head over footbridges across shallow streams which is great for summertime paddling.

Canford Heath Nature Reserve: The 850 acres of Canford Heath are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of the largest areas of heathland in Dorset.  The many paths make it easy to explore and the diversity of the habitat makes it home to a variety of wildlife including birds, lizards, snakes and even dragonflies.

Bourne Valley Nature Reserve and Park: The area has a huge variety of habitats for wildlife and children will enjoy the skate park and play park.

Coy Pond Gardens (Branksome): The 9 acre beautiful gardens feature a pond with an island, ducks, wildlife and a mix of native and exotic trees.  Make a day out of it and walk from here through Bournemouth Gardens going past a wonderful play park along the way.

Alexandra Park (Upper Parkstone): This green open space is hidden within a busy urbanised area.  The enclosed play park is ideal for younger children and located outside of the enclosed area is a zip line, basketball hoops, football goal and plenty of space for picnics.

Luscombe Valley Nature Reserve (Sandbanks): The reserve covers 10 acres of grassland, wetlands and open areas of gorse.  Nature lovers will enjoy the circular walk where you may be fortune enough to see kingfishers and sand lizards.

Places in Poole with kids 2

 

SPORT & LEISURE CENTRES

Poole Dolphin Leisure Centre: Facilities include a gym, main swimming pool, teaching pool and diving pool, sauna and classes.

Rossmore Leisure Centre: Facilities include a gym, swimming pool, sports hall, soft play, classes plus outdoor grass pitches, netball courts and gaming area.

The Junction Sport & Leisure Centre: Facilities include a gym, swimming pool, tennis courts, sports hall, soft play, classes and café.

Ashdown Leisure Centre: Facilities include a gym, courts, studios, sports hall, classes plus oudoor courts and pitches.

 

THEATRES & CINEMAS

Cineworld (Tower Park)
Lighthouse Arts & Entertainment (Poole Town)

 

LIBRARIES

Local libraries offer more than just books so it’s worth checking out their upcoming activities and events which can include kids clubs, wriggle and rhyme time, crafts, shows and book clubs.

Library locations include the Dolphin Shopping Centre, Hamworthy, Branksome, Broadstone, Canford Cliffs, Parkstone, Canford Heath, Rossmore, Oakdale and Creekmoor.

 

MORE PLACES TO VISIT & ACTIVITIES

The Dorset Scrapstore (Alder Hills): If you love crafting then the Scrapstore is a must.  All materials have been donated by local businesses and for a small membership fee you can join and benefit from buying craft stock at a fraction of store prices.

Sandbanks Beach: Aside from the award winning sandy beach and clear waters you’ll also find eateries close by, watersports, play park and crazy golf course which is open during the summer months.

Poole Quay: Poole’s historic quayside is home to lots of traditional pubs, restaurants and takeaways, quirky shops, ice cream parlours, amusement arcade, viewing platform, the Tourist Information Centre and pleasure boats.

Crabbing: Popular spots include Poole Quay near the Old Lifeboat Museum, Hamworthy Park off the brick jetty, Lake Pier and Baiter Park jetty.  All you need is a bucket, line, net and bait.  Top tip, they love raw bacon! 

Kaspas (Poole Dolphin Centre): Menu includes a large variety of delicious ice cream flavours, sundaes, crepes, waffles, milkshakes and more.

Bueno Gelato (Upper Parkstone): How do you like your gelato?  You can have it on it’s own or as part of a sundae, dessert, waffle or crepe.

 

SPLASH PARKS & PADDLING POOLS

Hamworthy Park: The large paddling pool is surrounded by a grassy area which is perfect for picnics.  There’s also a play park, café, beach and toilets close by.

Upton Country Park: The fountains are located within the stunning Walled Garden and are traditionally turned on at set times from May to September.  There is also a café and toilets within the Walled Garden.

Places in Poole with kids 3

 

NEED MORE IDEAS FOR THINGS TO DO IN DORSET?

 

Car Boot Sales

Pre Loved Baby/Children’s Sales

Attractions and places to visit in Dorset

Soft Plays & Play Cafes

Pubs with Play Parks

Family Friendly Campsites

 

If you think we've missed somewhere great to visit with the family then please do Contact Us.

50 things to do in Poole with kids

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