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School Holiday Activities in Dorset

May 26, 2022
It can be tricky to think of new and exciting things to do during school holidays. Luckily, if you’re in and around Dorset, this South-Western county’s packed with activities perfect for a family outing. 

We’ve pulled together a list of the top school holiday activities in Dorset for both warm summer days and gloomy afternoons.  

Sunny day activities 

From relaxing on the beach to challenging obstacle courses, here’s a shortlist of the best things to do with kids in Dorset when the sun comes out:

The Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which spans 95 miles from Exmouth to Swanage. So why not spend an afternoon exploring this unique landmark? Must-visit sites along the coastline include: 

Durdle Door 
Golden Cap 
Lulworth Cove
Old Harry Rocks 

Dorset Adventure Park

For an epic day in the sun, head to Dorset Adventure Park in Corfe Castle. Get stuck in the dirt at the Mud Trail obstacle course, which features balance beams, cargo nets and mud slides. The Waterpark, on the other hand, is set on two lakes and comprises a series of inflatable obstacles, including a slide and flip bag that catapults you into the water! 

Waterpark session price: £17.50
Mud Trail session price: £12.00 (£10.00 for children)
Visit dorsetadventurepark.com for the latest prices and opening times

Have a beach day

Dorset is home to beautiful beaches, many of which have been awarded Blue Flags. So, if the sun’s shining, why not head out for a beach day? You can relax and unwind on the sand or book a watersports session to entertain the kids. Dorset’s top beaches to visit include: 

Lyme Regis

Sea Life Weymouth 

Teach little ones about the wonders of ocean creatures at Weymouth’s Sea Life aquarium. Once inside, you can explore the 13 zones and see over 1,000 animals. Make sure you visit the Night & Day Ocean Display and learn all about the magic of coral reefs.  

Sea Life Weymouth has a blend of indoor and outdoor areas to explore, so it’s best to avoid on rainy days.  

Ticket prices: from £21.55 (free for children under three)
Visit visitsealife.com for the latest prices and opening times

Rainy day activities 

Dorset may be set in the countryside, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do once the sunshine disappears. Here are our top picks of rainy day activities for kids in the county:

Rock Reef 

Whether you’re a wall climbing pro or a complete beginner, everyone can enjoy the Rock Reef centre at Bournemouth pier. With 28 indoor walls to climb, suiting any experience level, this attraction can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. 

Ticket prices: £17.50 
Visit rockreef.co.uk for the latest prices and opening times

Dorset Museum

On those rainy days, an excellent activity for kids in Dorset is visiting local museums and historical buildings. Among these educational attractions is Dorset Museum in Dorchester. This museum celebrates the county’s culture and heritage, covering ancient archaeology, textiles, geology and more!

Ticket prices: £12 (£6 for children)
Visit dorsetmuseum.org for the latest prices and opening times

Dorset Tank Museum

If you want to fill an afternoon during the summer holidays, why not spend it at Dorset’s largest indoor attraction? With over 300 military machines, little motorheads will just love exploring this massive museum. 

Ticket prices: £14.50 (£8.50 for children)
Visit tankmuseum.org for the latest prices and opening times

Swanage steam train 

You can still explore Dorset on rainy days by hopping on the Swanage steam train. The train runs from Swanage to Norden, stopping at Herston Halt, Harmans Cross and Corfe Castle. They also offer a host of onboard dining experiences, a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.  

Ticket prices: return from £17.00 (£8.50 for children)
Visit swanagerailway.co.uk for the latest prices and timetables