As one of Britain’s most popular destinations for a family holiday, there are certainly a great selection of things to do with kids in Dorset, even on a rainy day.

There are some fascinating museums, adventurous soft play centres, indoor waterparks, art galleries and more. But how will you know which ones are worth a visit?

Dorset is famous for its stunning Jurassic Coast – a World Heritage Site. Its string of seaside towns like Lyme Regis, Poole and Bridport. Its rolling, lush green countryside dotted with dairy farms, ancient castles and pretty villages.

There is so much opportunity for outdoor family adventure, from fun-filled waterparks to dog-friendly hikes and beaches galore.

We’ve done some research left and right and found these great things to do with your kids in Dorset.


1. Tower Park Entertainment, Poole

Boasting a cinema, tenpin bowling, soft play and a range of restaurants. Tower Park is the perfect rainy day attraction for young families. Start at Lemur Landings Soft Play to help the little ones burn off some energy. After that refuel with a lunch, then relax in the afternoon with a movie! There’s something for everyone and every age here.

Address: Tower Park Leisure Complex, Tower Park, Poole BH12 4NY

Opening Hours: Open daily, 9:30am – 6pm

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Source: Tower Park / Facebook

2. Splashdown Waterpark, Poole

An indoor water park offers fantastic fun for all the family, and this is one of the UK’s best. Offering 13 indoor and outdoor rides for older kids and three ‘splash zones’ for young ones (under five yrs). Chill out with the kids as you glide down the lazy river, or choose the Infinity flume, which is accompanied by dance music and laser beams. Don’t forget your camera for some great action snaps!

Address: Tower Park, Poole BH12 4NY

Opening Hours: Opening times vary, check the website for more info.

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3. Sea Life, Weymouth

This is one of the most popular indoor attractions in Dorset. Sea Life is a beautiful aquarium with lots of species to explore inside the venue. There is a huge and fun playground to check out outside too with slides, boats, sand pits and so much more.

Expect to see lots of vivid colourful fishes among other sea creatures. And don’t forget to play a the Pirate Adventure mini golf which is part of Sea Life too.

Address: Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth DT4 7SX


a fantastic aquarium in Dorset for children
Source: Merlin Entertainments

4. The Tank Museum

A must visit for any children who love history or tanks! This museum in Bovington is home to the largest collection of armoured fighting vehicles from around the world. From the world’s first tank, the German Tiger to the ultra modern Challenger 2. That is to say, there are a huge amount of models on display. Also a unique interactive experiences where you can delve into their engineering and escapades around the world. And poignant accounts from the veterans who fought in them.

Don’t miss the ‘Tanks in Action’ Displays during the School Holidays. Your kids will watch in awe as tanks roll into action in the arena, with thundering engines and life-like explosions!

Address: Bovington, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 6JG

Opening Hours: Open daily, 10am – 5pm

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5. Wild Thing at Adventure Wonderland, Christchurch

A family theme park for children under 12. Adventure Wonderland has loads to keep your little ones entertained all day, even if it’s wet! Wild Thing is their popular Aztec themed adventure play centre that’s open all year round.  It will keep your brood entertained for hours, with its rope bridges, canons, slides and ball pits.

If the weather brightens up you can head out to the park’s numerous other rides. Including a miniature railway, a maze and teacup rides with favourite childhood characters like Alice in Wonderland.

Address: Merritown Lane, Hurn, Christchurch BH23 6BA

Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm

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Source: Adventure Wonderland / Facebook

6. Sandworld, Weymouth

This all weather, undercover attraction is a really unique day out for the family. An art gallery like you’ve never seen before, here you will encounter huge lifelike sculptures crafted entirely from sand. There are different themes each year, but you are sure to meet some of the kids favourite characters. The 2019 season opened on April 6th and has some amazing huge sculptures from Toy Story, Dumbo and Marvel Superheroes. You can even have a go at sand carving yourself, with helpful staff on hand to assist in your artistic creations!

Address: Preston Beach Road, Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth. DT4 7SX 

Opening Hours: Open daily, 10:30am – 3:30pm from April to November.

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