Dorset is the ideal holiday destination for families with young children. There’s an abundance of child friendly attractions on offer across the county providing hours of fun for all the family. We’ve compiled a list of just some of our favourite things to in Dorset with children and toddlers. You’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding how to spend your leisure time during a stay at Ulwell Holiday Park!
Photo credit: Stephen Fulljames, Flickr
Putlake Farm is the perfect attraction for families with children aged 10 and under. The small working farm is home to a range of animals both large and small, some of which you’ll have a chance to help bottle feed during your visit. Enjoy a tractor ride or make use of the outdoor play equipment, including go karts and trampolines. An indoor soft play area provides endless fun for the youngest members of the family.
Delve deep into an underwater world at the Bournemouth Oceanarium and learn more about marine creatures from around the world. There are more than 100 different species in the various tanks and enclosures including turtles, fish, crocodiles, stingrays, penguins and otters! Collect an adventure trail booklet on your way in, which contains lots of activities to complete as you make your way around the exhibits. There’s a sea themed play area for the under 10’s and plenty of talks and demonstrations to watch during your visit.
Lemur Landings is the perfect rainy-day activity if the weather takes a turn for the worse during your camping or caravan holiday in Swanage. The venue boasts two multi-level soft play areas as well as well as a role play village with a makeshift house, school, shop, fire station and garage. There is a dedicated area for the under 8’s as well as variety of indoor climbing walls and rope courses for older children. As an extra special treat you could pay a visit to the ‘Ted Shed’ where your children can build their very own bear to take home.
Photo credit: Richard Gillin, Flickr
Abbotsbury Swannery is home to the world’s only nesting colony of Mute Swans. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the nature reserve and help the rangers feed the swans at 12pm and 4pm each day. Our favourite time to visit is between mid-May and the end of June when the cygnets hatch. Children will love seeing the fluffy grey chicks in their nests. After you’ve explored the sanctuary, little ones can take on the willow maze or burn off some energy in the play area.
Moors Valley Country Park and Forest
Photo credit: Rob, Flickr
Moors Valley is one of our favourite outdoor attractions to visit regardless of season. You can easily spend the whole day here and still be wanting more! The country park occupies a 150-acre site comprising of forest, lake and parkland. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely picnic or an action-packed adventure day out. Children can let their imaginations run wild as they take on the woodland creature themed play trail or seek out Gruffalo sculptures hidden among the trees. There’s also a railway and Rangers Den, where you can find out more about the various creatures that call Moors Valley Country Park home. Entry to Moors Valley is free but there is a small charge for parking.
Wimborne Model Town & Gardens
Photo credit: Jim Champion, Flickr
Children will feel like giants as they walk around Wimborne Model Town & Gardens. There are over 100 vintage buildings to explore, all built to 1/10th of their actual size. The village is an exact replica of Wimborne high street 65 years ago. As you walk around, you’ll find shops, banks, cafes, public toilets and even a ringing phone box! There’s a children’s trail for younger members of the family to complete as well as an enclosed play area and crazy golf course. The extensive grounds are ideal setting for a summer picnic. Inside you’ll find an impressive dolls house collection, miniature railway and 1950’s school!
Photo credit: Herry Lawson, Flickr
Ulwell’s spectacular location affords visitors access to a wealth of free outdoor attractions, including scenic walks and fun-filled days at the beach. Children will love having the freedom to explore nature on their doorstep and spending time building sandcastles and paddling in the sea. Swanage beach is just a short walk from our caravan and camping park and has plenty to offer visitors of all ages. There’s a lifeguard service on duty throughout the summer and a range of food and drink kiosks and entertainment facilities just moments from the beach!
Photo credit: Jim Linwood, Flickr
The Dinosaur Museum is the perfect day out for any budding fossil hunters. The Museum houses life-size reconstructions of a stegosaurus and T-rex and offers the chance to see dinosaur heads, teeth, poo and eggs that have been discovered along the Jurassic Coast. Through a variety of interactive displays children will learn more about the lives of these prehistoric creatures. They can even have a go in an excavation pit and see what they can uncover for themselves!
Photo credit: Martin Robson, Flickr
The Nothe Fort is set in an idyllic position, overlooking Weymouth Bay and the Isle of Portland. It was originally built to protect the Naval Base at Portland Harbour and played an important role in the Second World War. Today, the Fort has been decommissioned and is one of Weymouth’s most popular family attractions. Visitors can explore secret passages and venture deep beneath the ground. There is a large collection of model ships, submarines and guns on display. Little ones will enjoy the dedicated children’s trail, where they must find mice hidden among the exhibits. There’s a 1940’s shop and kitchen where younger members of the family can learn about rationing and the products used in times gone by. There’s plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy a picnic among the ramparts as the children play.
Adventure Wonderland was voted Dorset’s top family attraction, so it’s an absolute must during your stay at Ulwell Holiday Park. The theme park is specifically aimed at younger children, but there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Keep your eyes peeled for characters from Alice and Wonderland as you walk around the site! There’s a maze and indoor soft play area to explore as well as various roller coasters and rides.
Ulwell is a family friendly holiday park in Swanage with plenty to offer visitors with young children. Our indoor swimming pool is the ideal wet-weather activity, boasting a slide and dedicated toddler’s pool. The play area has plenty of equipment to keep all ages entertained. There’s also ample space for outdoor games such as football or cricket.