Planning a family getaway to the picturesque coastal town of Poole? Nestled on the southern coast of England, Poole is a fantastic destination for a memorable family vacation. With its stunning beaches, vibrant Harbour, and an array of family-friendly activities, Poole offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities that will keep both kids and parents entertained and help create lasting memories. In this guide, we’ll explore 10 exciting things to do in Poole with kids that are sure to make your trip unforgettable and won’t strain your wallet.
1. Splash Around at Sandbanks Beach
Start your adventure in Poole with a visit to Sandbanks Beach, renowned for its golden sands and shallow waters. Let your kids build sandcastles, paddle in the sea, and maybe even take a dip on warmer days.
The gentle slope of the beach makes it a safe and enjoyable spot for families. There is a boulevard with cafes, shops, a beautiful golf course, children’s amusements and a mini road train that gives rides along the seafront. The wide sands host volleyball and polo championships and from the beach, you can learn to windsurf, sail, or even hire jet skis, kayaks and inflatables.
Admission & Pricing: Free all year round. Location: Poole Tourism Enefco House, Poole Quay, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1HJ, England.
For More Information: Head on to Sandbank’s official website.
2. Explore Brownsea Island
Embark on a short ferry ride with your kids to the sensational Brownsea Island, a haven for wildlife and outdoor exploration just off of Poole Harbour where you can see all the way across to the Purbeck Hills.
From red squirrels to peacocks, kids will love spotting various animals. Be sure to follow one of the many wonderful nature trails, like the Tracker Pack for an adventurous introduction to orienteering. From here you can attempt woodland walks, and picnics amidst the tranquillity of this island.
Admission & Pricing: Adults from £7.20, Kids from £3.60, Family from £18.00. Location: Poole, Dorset, BH13 7EE, England.
For More Information: Head on to Brownsea Island’s official website.
3. Visit the Oceanarium
Dive into an underwater adventure at the Oceanarium as you journey through the Amazon, Shark Wreck Reef, Asia and Africa, where kids can marvel at a diverse range of marine life, including sharks, turtles, Otters, Penguins and colourful fishes. If you’re feeling brave, dare to enter the interactive Dive Cage to see the sharks in a different way.
There are Educational talks and feeding times throughout the day, which will tell you more about your favourite aquatic animal and lots of conservation projects to learn about. The Offshore Café and Bay View Terrace are open every day for food and drink and don’t forget to treat yourself to a souvenir from The Cove gift shop on your way home.
Admission & Pricing: Adults (16+) £13.50, Kids (3-15) £9.50, Seniors (60+): £11.50, Family tickets from £27.50, Students (must present student ID): £10.95, Disabled Adults: £10.95, Disabled Kids: £7.95, Carers: £10.95, Family of 3 (2 adults & 1 kid): £25.95, Family of 4 (2 adults & 2 kids): £29.95, Family of 5 (2 adults & 3 kids): £34.95, Family of 6 (2 adults & 4 kids): £39.95. Please Note: All kids must be accompanied by an adult and they are closed on Christmas Day.
Location: Pier Approach, West Beach, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5AA, England.
For More Information: Head on to the Oceanarium’s Website for Opening hours and ticket booking options.
4. Swanage Railway Journey
Board the Swanage Railway for a nostalgic steam train journey through the scenic countryside. It currently operates on the six miles of track between Swanage and Norden, through the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle. Kids will be fascinated by the vintage trains and picturesque views as you chug along on this charming adventure.
During your visit, you can also visit the Swanage Railway Museum at Corfe Castle station, and the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum, which is free to visit. There are 4 stations so you have many combination options for day trips, plus a great way to access the huge variety of local events that are held in the area. On top of the regular services, the railway also holds Steam and Diesel Galas, family events, and Santa Special trains during the run-up to Christmas.
Admission & Pricing: Adults from £3.00, Kids (5-15) from £1.60 Location: Station House, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 1HB, England.
For More Information: Head on to Swanage Railway’s Website for Opening hours and ticket booking options.
5. Miniature Village Delights
Visit the captivating Model Village in nearby Corfe Castle. This miniature village features meticulously crafted replicas of buildings, landscapes, and even moving models, offering a unique perspective of historical scenes. This is a particularly active castle, with lots of events throughout the year including Family Fun Days and awesome Battle Re-enactments, plus Open Air Theatre and Cinema! Check the website to see what’s coming up and when.
Admission & Pricing: Adult: £8.50, Child: £4.25, Family: £21.24. Prices may differ during peak seasons. Location: The Square, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5EZ, England.
6. Go Skiing, Skateboarding and Ziplining
Unleash your family’s adventurous side at Snowtrax Alpine Activity Centre. When combined with a fantastic adventure play area with awesome rope swings and zip lines, this outdoor Ski Slope with dedicated Ski and Snowboard tuition is everything your Children could ever need for a fun day out! It’s like a Winter holiday every day!
Admission & Pricing: Ringo/Ski Bob from £10, Alpine Adventure from £5.30, Kid’s Snowboard/Ski Taster Lesson £10
Location: Matchams Lane, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6AW, England.
For More Information: Head on to Snowtrax Alpine Activity Centre for Opening hours and ticket booking options.
7. Have fun at Poole Park
Spend a day at Poole Park with your kids, an expansive green space with a lake, playgrounds, and mini-golf. The facilities at Poole Park include a fitness trail, tennis courts for hire, and a bowling green where you can play and watch a match. Taking part in a variety of watersports on the lake is another great activity idea. You can also have a beautiful family picnic here. For those who fancy hiring a sailing dingy, or a Pedalo perhaps to feed the ducks, they are available from Rockley Watersports at Poole Park.
This Park is Open all year round. Location: Poole Park, Poole, Dorset, BH15 2SF
8. Wonder Along Poole Quay
Take a stroll along Poole Quay and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Watch as fishing boats and luxury yachts come and go, and let your kids indulge in some delicious ice cream while watching street entertainers. You could set sail on a Harbour cruise or take a boat trip further afield to Swanage or Old Harry. You can also sit with the life-sized sculpture of Lord Baden-Powell, which honours Poole’s scouting connections.
Along the Quay enjoy a range of shops, cafes, restaurants and attractions. Pop around the corner for the Poole Tourist Information Centre at Poole Museum. Here you can pick up a trail leaflet and explore Poole’s historic Old Town. During August you can visit Scaplens Court (next to Poole Museum).
There’s a range of different attractions and activities to enjoy on the quayside.
9. Explore the Jurassic Coast
Embark on a family-friendly Jurassic Coast tour and explore the breathtaking landscapes that date back millions of years. Learn about fossils, and rock formations, and enjoy stunning cliffside walks that offer panoramic views of the coast.
10. High-Octane Water Sports
For families with older kids seeking some adrenaline-pumping action, Poole Harbour offers various water sports. These include kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. Enjoy the thrill of mastering a new skill while surrounded by stunning coastal vistas.
In Conclusion, Poole is a treasure trove of family-friendly activities, ensuring that every moment of your trip is filled with fun and excitement. So, pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and embark on an unforgettable family journey through the enchanting town of Poole. Your kids will thank you for the memories made in this delightful destination.