Destination UK

10 Things to do in Dorset in Winter with Kids

Posted on
December 30, 2016

Finding things to entertain the kids in winter can be a real challenge with many local attractions shutting down for the coldest months, but there are still lots of fun things to do with the kids.
Bournemouth Wheel
Bournemouth Wheel
Fancy seeing Bournemouth from 100ft in the air, then this is for you. Hurry though, it is only open until 7th January.
Ice Skating
Ice Skating
We have three rinks to choose from locally although the open-air one in Bournemouth Gardens operated by Ice Skate Bournemouth is only open until 3rd January. The Cool Coast Rink at the BIC is open until 19th February and The Ark Ice Rink is open all year round, although only suitable for children due to its size.
Climbing Walls at Rockreef
Rockreef on Bournemouth Pier is home to 28 climbing walls, vertical slide, high-ropes course, a stairway to heaven, indoor caving and a challenging leap of faith. Suitable for children aged 4 and above it is a great way of getting some exercise and having lots of fun learning new skills. On our last visit with spent a good three hours scaling the climbing walls and caving with a spot of lunch in their cafe.
Weymouth Sea Life Centre
Weymouth Sealife Centre
Situated at Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth Sea Life Centre is a lovely day out for all the family and we visit regularly, with the kids favourite part being the new rockpool zone where they are encouraged to gently handle creatures, shown how to squirt a natural water pistol and got to see creatures up close with special underwater camera equipment that they can man themselves.
Moors Valley Country Park
Moors Valley
Situated in Ashley Heath, Moors Valley Country Park and Forest has something for everyone, whether you want to enjoy a peaceful walk or cycle ride through the Forest, swing through the trees at Go Ape, explore the play trail with the kids or ride the miniature railway. They currently have a self-led Percy the Park Keeper trail for the kids at the moment too.
Explore the Dorset Coastline
Lulworth Cove
Dorset is home to some amazing beaches all along the coast. From the 7 miles of sand at Bournemouth to the fossil hunters paradise of the Jurassic coast there is so much to see and do. Our favourites stretches include West Bay, Burton Bradstock, Lyme Regis, Lulworth and Durdle Door.
Lyme Regis
Activate Trampoline Park
Activate Trampoline Park
Based in Ferndown, Activate Trampoline Park is bouncing good fun for all ages. They have the free jump section, tumble track, a dodgeball court, walk the wall, skyball court and a giant air bag to enjoy.
Soft Play
Soft play may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the kids love it and Dorset has lots of soft play centres to choose from. Our favourite has to be Lemur Landings in Poole as it has a large climbing frame, phaser nights and even their own create a bear station.
Fluming Good Fun at Splashdown

For older children and teenagers a visit to Splashdown is lots of fun and one of our favourite rides has to be the new Wave 105 Infinity Bowl where you can choose the music you slide down to.
Snowtrax is Dorset’s premier outdoor activity centre which offers skiing lessons, snowboarding tuition, Ringos, Ski Bobs and ski training at the outdoor wet ski slope. They also have the alpine adventure park behind which is packed full of lots of fun activities for the kids to try.
What activity would you add to the list?

  1. Reply

    Sarah Ebner

    December 30, 2016

    These all look such fun – though I’m pretty sure my son would pick Splashdown as his top pic. Sounds perfect for him!

  2. Reply


    December 31, 2016

    Your photos are so fab! I’d love to visit Dorset, the beach pics look stunning and I love the look of Moors Valley Country Park. We used to spend so much time outdoors when the kids were younger, sadly they are not so keen anymore on coming for walks with us 🙂

  3. Reply

    Emma Raphael

    December 31, 2016

    We loved our trip to Bournemouth in the summer. The first real English beach visit for my poor deprived English children! 😀 Loved this post, will be remembering it for the future! 🙂

  4. Reply


    December 31, 2016

    I’ve only ever been to Bournmouth once and that was for a wedding and sadly I did’t get to see much. Would love to go back and take a look at some of these atrractions

  5. Reply

    Kerry Norris

    January 1, 2017

    Snowtrax looks great fun and I’ve got the sea life centre on my list x

  6. Reply


    January 1, 2017

    Oh wow so many great things to do there in the winter time – a great mix of activities and outdoor adventures! Love this
    Laura x

  7. Reply

    Angela Key Milnes

    January 2, 2017

    Wow, sounds like a good place to visit with my kids. I bet my kids would enjoy to go there

  8. Reply

    Cass Bailey

    January 4, 2017

    I love that you’ve featured such a great mix of outdoors and indoor activities – I hate when people don’t get outside because it’s a bit cold 😉

  9. Reply

    Zena's Suitcase

    January 5, 2017

    You live in an amazing part of the country, with so many family friendly activities. On blue sky days I’d definitely be at the beach

  10. Reply


    January 10, 2017

    Wow so many fab things to do – I do love Dorset you are so lucky to live these and have so many of these fab things on your doorstep!

  11. Reply

    Lisa Backsnbumps

    January 10, 2017

    A great list to keep everyone busy. My boys love Lemur landings and snowtrax.

  12. Reply


    January 10, 2017

    That looks like great fun! I really like the pictures, but I miss my childhood now! ;(

  13. Reply

    Deborah Nicholas

    January 10, 2017

    Oh wow that all looks amazing, i love ice staking and keep meaning to take the girls!

  14. Reply


    January 10, 2017

    Such brilliant ideas! Haven’t taken my little lady ice skating yet

  15. Reply


    January 10, 2017

    I didn’t realise there was so much to do in Dorest! I have never actually been but I like to visit different places round the country and theres loads to do with my little boy. He will love the climbing wall

  16. Reply


    January 11, 2017

    Those activities look so fun! It was difficult to think about so many fun things to do on winter, thanks for sharing x

  17. Reply


    January 11, 2017

    I adore Bournemouth (I used to live there) and this is an amazing list of things to do when I take my 7 year old there!

  18. Reply

    five little doves

    January 11, 2017

    Fab ideas and gorgeous photos as always. I love Dorset, we are just contemplating whether to scrap our idea of going abroad and go down South again for the summer!

  19. Reply


    January 12, 2017

    All activities look like so much fun! I am a big fan of ice-skating.

  20. Reply

    Chloe Ciliberto

    January 13, 2017

    As there is so much to do. You are so lucky. I must pop up to Dorset. So much of Cornwall closes off in Winter. x

  21. Reply


    January 18, 2017

    Great activities! I took my kids ice skating most of the time. They loved it!

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog