Travel guide to the best family-friendly attractions in Dorset

Snappy Croc at Adventure Wonderland, Christchurch, photo by fribbleblib/flickr

If you spend your holiday with the children and still don’t know which destination to choose that fit their preferences, too, I will give you an advice. Go to Dorset! The county of Dorset is located in South West England, on the English Channel coast. It has numerous natural and cultural attractions, but as we all know, children get bored by visiting tourist attractions. They love to play and practice different sports and activities. Whether it is a theme park, an interesting museum, a playground, an oceanarium or a holiday centre, children will be amazed by the numerous activities and fun possibilities awaiting them. If you would like to satisfy their desires and have fun with them, visit some of Dorset’s entertainment facilities. To help you finding them, I will present you some of these.


Adventure Wonderland


The fantastic Adventure Wonderland is an all inclusive park which can be found in the city of Christchurch. It includes more than 30 fantastic rides and attractions, such as fun and games of the Alice in Wonderland story, the thrilling outdoor Adventure rides of the Main Park and the undercover Lost Aztec World of Wild Thing! All rides and attractions are included in the entry price with the exception of The Pony Rides and Charlie Cool’s Driving School. It is important to mention that there are a few rides that are height restricted to comply with safety regulations. There are also numerous shows and events held in the park throughout the year. During winter, the whole place goes winter wild with dozens of Christmas decorations. There are also spectacular entertainment possibilities on Halloween, so if you visit the park at this time of the year, I guarantee you will have a great time with the whole family. The park’s opening hours vary depending on season.


Snappy Croc at Adventure Wonderland, Christchurch, photo by fribbleblib/flickr


Monkey World


It is located in Wareham. The Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre is a woodland park which is home to over 160 rescued and endangered apes and monkeys. Although the park is a rescue centre for animals, there are several fun possibilities for children, too, such as competitions and activities like colouring. You can also make a reservation for your child’s birthday party at the park. The success of such a party is guaranteed. Children will love this park, as they can get very close to the animals. The Centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 10:00 to 17:00. It is open from 10:00 to 18:00 during July and August. (July 2012)


Dinosaur Museum


Located in Dorchester, the museum includes exhibits of fossils, skeletons and life-size dinosaur reconstructions. It was recently voted Dorset’s Family Attraction of the Year. In 2009 the Dinosaur Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary. It opened in 1984. The whole family will enjoy the fantastic skeletons and dinosaur reconstructions. The audio-visual, hands on, computer and CD-ROM displays help the visitors understand the mysterious life of dinosaurs. It is open daily, January to March from 10:00 to 16:00, April to September from 10:00 to 17:00 and October to December, from 10:00 to 16:00. It is closed between the 13th and 26th of December. (July 2012)


Triceratops, Dinosaur Museum, Dorchester, photo by Jim Linwood/flickr




The beloved Splashdown is situated in the well-known city of Poole. It is a waterpark which is a great entertainment possibility for the whole family. With some of the United Kingdom’s most exciting waterflumes, the park is very popular among visitors. There are gorgeous attractions in the park, like the spectacular Little Buccaneers Splash Zone with a starter flume, water play area and Buccaneer Bay and also a toddler swimming pool. During summer, Buccaneer Beach is the perfect place for a splash with the little ones. The opening hours vary depending on season.


Gus Gorilla’s Jungle Playground


The playground can be found in Poole. It is a great day out for the family. There are several attractions here, such as improved toddlers area, three exciting levels, the spiral slide, the amazing ball juggler, the drop slide, the tube slides, the ball cannon and a huge ball pool. There are also fantastic parties that children will surely love. Gus Gorilla’s Jungle Playground is open every day, from 10:00 to 18:00. (July 2012)


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