On a lovely sunny day there's nothing better than packing up the kids cozzies and heading to one of Dorset's free splash parks or paddling pools.

An advisable packing list for the children would be swimwear, water nappies if required, towels, blanket, hat, suncream, baby wipes, aqua shoes (to avoid slipping), drinks and a yummy picnic.  Have fun!

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Set in the beautiful surroundings of Christchurch Quay the enclosed splash park and shallow paddling pool has water jets and sprays, a water play pump, channels, sluices, 3D fishy friends and a durable rubber flooring.

Next to the splash park is a lovely play park and plenty of space for the kids to run around. 

Facilities and Parking:
There are several pay and display car parks near the Quay.
Public toilet and baby change facilities are nearby.
A café and restaurant can be found on the Quay plus there's plenty more in the town which is within walking distance.

Location: Christchurch Quay, Wick Lane, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1BY

Website: Christchurch Town Council

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You will find the splash fountains within the beautiful Walled Garden and on a sunny day you will be able to hear the screams of happy children all the way from the car park!  Upton Country Park also has lots of scenic walks and play areas making it a great place to go for several hours. 

Fountains are normally turned on from 11am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm from late May to September when the weather is nice. 

Facilities and Parking:
Parking charges apply however entry to the park is free.
Public toilets and baby change facilities are nearby.
There is a Café selling light lunches, cake and ice creams within the Walled Garden and a kiosk selling drinks and ice creams by Upton House.

Location: Upton Country Park, Poole Road, Poole, Dorset, BH17 7BJ

Website: Upton Country Park 

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The water play feature comprises of a network of channels, dams, sluices and pumps all set within an enclosed small play area.

Facilities and Parking
Free parking on some nearby roads or there’s a small pay and display car park near the bottom of the hill on Boscombe Pier approach.
There are public toilets and baby change facilities at the top of the gardens by the totem poles.
There are several eateries and take aways near Boscombe Pier plus a Cafe in the park.

Location: Boscombe Chine Gardens, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH5 1BL

Website: Boscombe Chine Gardens

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REDHILL PARK bournemouth

This is a very popular paddling pool which sits within an enclosed play park ensuring the kids will be entertained for hours!

Facilities and Parking
Free parking on side roads.
Public toilet facilities are nearby.
There is a Café by the pool selling snacks, drinks and ice creams.

Location: Redhill Park, Redhill Drive, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH9 2SW

Website: Bournemouth Council

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The Parkland at the Littledown Centre has a fantastic paddling pool which is right next to a large enclosed play park.

Within the Parkland you will also find plenty of green space to explore, a large pond, wildlife and a miniature railway which runs on selected days.   

Facilities and Parking
Free parking at The Littledown for up to 3 hours.
Public toilet facilities are nearby.
The park kiosk sells snacks, drinks and ice creams or the restaurant inside the sports centre offers a wider selection of food.

Location: Littledown Centre, Chaseside, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH7 7DX

Website: BH Live Littledown Centre 

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PIER APPROACH bournemouth

The sprinklers at Pier Approach have proved very popular since they opened a couple of years ago and with the beach only a stone’s throw away you’ll have a fantastic day of wet fun.

The fountains are traditionally turned on from May to September when the weather is nice.

Facilities and Parking
There are several pay and display car parks nearby.
Public toilets and baby change facilities are at the entrance to Bournemouth Pier.
There’s plenty of restaurants, take aways and kiosks nearby or visit Key West Bar and Grill on Bournemouth Pier for a variety of children’s meals.

Location: Pier Approach, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5AA

Website: Bournemouth Tourism

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This large shallow paddling pool and play park is perfect for big and little kids and all within a fenced area with gates.  The park is set by the water’s edge and fantastic for a picturesque walk alongside the beach huts.

Facilities and Parking
There’s a small pay and display car park or free parking on some of the nearby side roads.
Public toilets are nearby.
The Park Café sells light lunches, snacks, drinks and ice creams.

Location: Hamworthy Park, Lulworth Avenue, Poole, Dorset, BH15 4DH

Website: Poole Council
Facebook: Friends of Hamworthy Park

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Brewery Square is a wonderful place to visit with eateries, shops and all year round family friendly events.  In the middle of the Square is a set of fountains which children will enjoy running through and cooling down on a hot day.

Facilities and Parking
There are several pay and display car parks nearby.
Public toilets and baby change facilities are nearby.
There are plenty of eateries in the Square including Pizza Express, Nandos, Wagamama, The Deli Kitchen and Creams.

Location: Brewery Square, 21 Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1QR

Website: Brewery Square

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The shallow paddling pool and sandpit are set within a fenced area which is adjacent to Weymouth beach.  Greenhill Gardens has tennis courts, a putting green and beautiful flowers which win the Green Flag award every year.  Musical entertainment is provided most Sunday afternoons from May to September.

Facilities and Parking
During the summer months there is a kiosk café on the Esplanade for food and drinks.
Toilet facilities are a short walk along the Esplanade to the tennis courts area and up the steps near another café.  This café is open all year round and has a good menu.
A pay and display car park can be found at Lodmoor Country Park nearby.

Location: Greenhill Gardens, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 7TH

Website: Friends of Greenhill Gardens


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The Weymouth SEA LIFE Splash Zone is fantastic and suitable for children of all ages with water fountains and jets plus a paddling pool and slide.

There’s plenty more to do and see for the day with lots of marine zones plus the amazing Caribbean Cove play area. 

Location: Weymouth SEA LIFE, Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 7SX

Website: SEALIFE Weymouth Adventure Park    

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Farmer Palmers has an interactive water play area where the children can pump the water and watch it flow.  But keep an eye out for the buttons which shoot out a shower of water!

Farmer Palmers is one of Dorset’s best attractions and much loved local families.  Other than the water feature you will find play barns, ride on tractors, bouncy castles, indoor soft play, bumpy tractor trailer rides, dinosaurs on the woodland walk and a daily activity timetable which includes bottle feeding the guinea pig handling.

Location: Wareham Road, Organford, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6EU

Website: Farmer Palmers

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The Dorset Adventure Park is spread over two beautiful lakes overlooking Corfe Castle.  The course includes slides, a trampoline, gladiator rings, jumps, balance beams and lots more.

Location: Dorset Adventure Park, Arfleet Mill Lakes, Studland Road, Corfe Castle, Dorset, BH20 5JG

Website: Dorset Adventurepark


Dorsetmums has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this site and does not accept liability for any errors or omission.  Please also note that a location may close at any time and you should consider checking a pool is open before travelling.