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Your Total Guide To families

Things to Do with the Kids in Poole

Poole has so much to offer all ages and interests - and they don't all revolve around the beach (but you will need to pack your beach bags for some of our suggestions!).

To help you make the most of your leisure time with your children, we've created ideas for things to do with the kids in and around Poole.

With so many fun activities for kids in Poole, it can be hard to know what to choose and we hope that by listing a mixed-bag of ideas we'll help you make some fantastic memories.

kid surf poole

Hit the Beach

Where: Sandbanks, Shell Bay and Branksome Chine for the safety, soft golden sands and amenities and Studland for the different scenery and adventure.

About: Poole's Beaches offer so much for the kids to do at all times of the year. In autumn and winter months, just go well wrapped up and the kids will have a blast simply running around the beach, getting messy, building and knocking down sandcastles and just experiencing beach life.

In the summer, you can make a real family day of it on Poole's beaches. You can rent beach huts, barbecues, play beach volleyball or just have a picnic and enjoy the ease of letting the kids run wild on some of the UKs safest and cleanist beaches.

If your children are looking for some adventure, then we recommend you look in to some of the kids watersports activities on offer in Poole. These range from Stand-Up Paddleboarding to surf lessons, sailing and snorkelling. There are many weekend watersports clubs for kids in Poole as well as school holiday clubs.

Check out our in-depth guide to Poole's best beaches here.

Food and Drink: Take your own picnic or hire a barbecue or stop at one of the many beachside cafes and restaurants in Poole.

Fun Rating: 5/5

Splashdown Poole

Splashdown Poole

Where:  Tower Park, Poole BH12 4NY

About: Splashdown Poole is a large waterpark situated just 4 miles from central Poole in Tower Park. It was built in 1990 and has been a firm favourite with families ever since; it attracts a whopping 180,000 visitors every year.

There are 13 indoor and outdoor flume rides, and for the little kids, there are three under 5s splash zones. Toddlers will love swimming in Ricky’s Reef and Buccaneers’ SplashZone is a watery, interactive playground for under 8s.

Children must be at least 1m tall to ride the rides and 1.2m for Infinity.  We also have areas specifically for smaller children and they may find that more to their liking.  The waterpark also has trained staff and lifeguards.

Check Splashdown's website for their Family Combo Ticket options to make sure you get the best deal.

Food and Drink: There is a cafe but with limited seating. We recommend you take your own food and drink.

Fun Rating: 4/5

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Oceanarium

Animal Days Out

Where: Farmer Palmer's Farm Park, Monkey World, Putlake Adventure Farm, Liberty's Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre, Oceanarium

About:  There's a good mix of animal days out in Poole and you can't go wrong with a trip to see the animals; it's always a popular option with kids of all ages (adults too!).

Farmer Palmer's is a great choice and just 6 miles from central Poole. It's suitable for babies through to 12 years olds and as well as enjoying seeing, petting and feeding the animals including cows, pigs, pony's, goats and sheep, they can enjoy tractor rides, pedal tractors, waterplay, an indoor and outdoor play area, bouncy castle and a maize maze in the summer months. There's a great cafe with homecooked food on the menu too.

Monkey World is home to over 20 different primate species, it's a fun and educational day out and the Great Ape Play area is the largest adventure play area in the South so will be a huge hit with the kids, there's a good choice of cafes and many picnic areas too.

Putlake Adventure Farm is aimed at children from 0 to 10 years. It's a real working farm with animals, tractor rides, an outdoor play area and very popular large indoor soft play area. Located in Swanage, it's a little further out than our other suggestions but you can really make a full day of it by experiencing the rest of Swanage.

Liberty's Owl, Rapture and Reptile Centre is in Ringwood and approx 18 miles from central Poole but another one worth the short travel.  There's a large selection of Birds Of Prey, including Owls, Hawks, Falcons along with a collection of Reptiles.  There are daily Flying Demonstrations so you'll be able to see the beauty.of these birds in action.

Although based in Bournemouth, the extremely popular Oceanarium is just a few miles from Poole and we find it's always a good go-to when it's raining and it's all indoor.  Kids will be excited to see sharks, turtles, stingrays, a crocodile, jellyfish, clownfish, otters and penguins.  There are regular feeding talks, a gift shop and good cafe on-site.

Food and Drink:  Cafes on site in most parks and numerous picnic areas.

Fun Rating: 4/5

Poole Park swings

Parks and Playgrounds

Where:  Our pick of the best parks and play areas in Poole include; Poole Park, Hamworthy Park, Harbourside Park and Upton Country Park.

About: These are just a small selection of the parks and playgrounds in Poole. The link below will take you to the full list but, in our opinion, these deserve a special mention.

Poole Park, with it's central location, lake, crazy golf, two play areas, tennis courts, and not to mention, The Ark - home to a cafe, soft play area and indoor ice rink, is a firm favourite. You'll be able to spend hours here.

You can even move on to Harbourside Park if you've got some energy left! It's just next to Poole Park before you reach Poole Harbour. As it's explosed, it's a good spot for flying kites and windy walks! There's a skate park and fitness station for the active members of the family. There are two car parks.

Hamworthy Park boasts gorgeous views as it is situated on Hamworthy Beach. There's two large play area, fitness stations and large paddling pool open in the summer months and being on the beach, there are lots of options for watersports activities. 

Upton Country Park is a really popular destination and can be enjoyed by all the family. It's home to a Grade II listed Georgian Mansion Hous surruounded by a beautiful botanical walled garden, and adventure play areas for the kids to enjoy. Keep an eye on their website for updates on there seasonal events too; there's always a reason to keep returning!

Food and Drink:  Cafes on site in most parks and numerous picnic areas.

Fun Rating: 4/5

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