Dorset is a fabulous place to visit for the whole family all year round with lots of family friendly attractions, beautiful countryside and lovely coastal beaches.
Here’s a little family-friendly guide to Dorset to help get the most out of a visit whether you have something already booked or a destination your family have been considering and you just need that extra nudge to get there!
It is only 3 hours drive from central London so can really be an option for a long weekend but even a little longer, there is still much to do and see!
Let’s get cracking…
Bournemouth beaches and activities
The beaches – Bournemouth has 5 of its own beaches which are all have blue flag status. Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Fisherman’s Walk, Manor Steps & Southbourne. – 7 miles of award-winning beaches!
What is there to do at Bournemouth beach?
A walk worth taking at anytime of the year as you can take a look at Bournemouth’s 7 mile shore line, as well as the west side of Solent, the Isle of Wight and even views of the Purbeck Hills.
On the pier there is an indoor play area for little ones and for older children there is a Pie Zip and is a zip-line that whisks you over the waves to the shore. During the summertime, seaside traditional games can be enjoyed such as arcades and concession stands.
Alum Chine Beach
I know we have mentioned all the beaches above but this beach has its very own KidZone with a adventure playground, ice cream stands and pubs!
Boscombe Chine Gardens
Opposite Boscombe Pier is the fab gardens with formal flower beds and large grassy areas. It is home to an 18 hole mini golf and a water-themed playground. There is also a lovely café called the Squirrel Café where you can purchase hot and cold drinks as well as freshly baked cakes.
A great aquarium with fab creatures including sharks, turtles, jellyfish, clownfish, penguins and even a crocodile. With daily animal talks and feeds!
Located at the heart of the Jurassic Coast is the award-winning sandy beach in Weymouth which is overlooked by a fabulous Georgian seafront. It is very popular for families with younger children thanks to its shallow waters.
What is there to do Weymouth beach?
Weymouth is a traditional seaside town with a historic harbour. Lots of lovely restaurants, cafes and bars where families can enjoy some delicious locally caught fish and chips. You can even have a mooch on the harbour wall, watching the visiting yachts sail by. During peak season you can witness local bands performing as well as market stalls showcasing local produce.
Weymouth beach entertainment
Throughout the warmer months, there is great entertainment for the little ones with a traditional seaside attraction, Punch & Judy show and donkey rides. There are also firework displays throughout the summer and live music.
This beautiful beach is considered one of England’s best beaches. it is also a blue flag beach with golden sand and clean water. There is a collection of beach huts, some of which can be hired for a perfect day out.
What is there to do at Sandbanks beach?
There is a miniature 18 hole crazy golf for the whole family to enjoy. It is placed next door to the beach and the children’s play area.
Toddlers will love the sandy play area on Sandbanks Beach perfect for a little break from the sea and there are climbing frames, swings and a roundabout to play oo while making new friends.
Now for the adults and older children; there is a fab academy with lots of different water sport activities including wind-surfing, sailing, ringo ride, wakeboarding, paddling boarding and much more. They even have a kids club throughout the school holidays for 8yrs – 16yrs old.
There are some great options for beach days with entertainment close by, here are a few extra toddler friendly activities to consider…
Voted Dorset’s top family-attraction of the year is this fun-filed day out with over 30 rides, indoor and outdoor play areas, animals and entertainment.
An indoor soft play area with play frames created for the under 5’s and separate baby/toddler zone.
A rescue and rehabilitation centre for monkeys and apes, worth visiting if anyone in the family loves monkeys.
What toddler doesn’t love Peppa Pig? Peppa Pig World is within Paulton Park which is a larger adventure theme park with over 70 rides and attractions. Peppa Pig World has 6 fun ride and the Muddy Puddles water splash park.
Lots of family fun on a farm. Hand feeding experiences with the goats and deer. A tractor trailer ride can be enjoyed around the farm and cuddling with a guinea pig is also a big hit. There is also an indoor play area for when families need a break from the outdoors.
As you can see there are lots to see and do within Dorset and there is so much more to consider. If you are a big stuck on accommodations and where to stay. Holiday Tots have a great selection of child-friendly cottages in the area worth having a little look at.