Forest Leisure Cycling (8 miles)
Forest Leisure Cycling
- is a New Forest Cycle Hire Centre, based in the unspoilt Village of Burley, close to the New Forest cycle trails, with rides and bikes for all ages and abilities. Open all year round with free parking nearby.
Whitecliff Play Area (8 miles)
Whitecliff Play Area
Features the 6m high Multi Activity Tower, boasting slides, ravine bridges and a long plank bridge plus rope ladder, vertical scramble net, an arched climber, fireman's poles and play panels! With covered areas for attacks of British Summer, too.
Brownsea Island (9 miles)
A peaceful island of woodland, wetland and heath with a rich diversity of wildlife for you to visit. Visitor Centre full of history mystery, plus a number of great trails to follow.
Moors Valley Country Park (9 miles)
Moors Valley Country Park
Adventure play with loads of outdoor equipment, narrow-gauge steam railway, extensive play trails, and the picturesque lake to explore, plus independent attractions inside.
Upton Country Park (10 miles)
Upton Country Park
There are tree, nature and orienteering trails, plus harbourside bird hide, Segway Trail and a water feature which children are welcome to play in.
The Blue Pool (15 miles)
The Blue Pool
Amazing natural water feature with turquoise colouring, plus estate to explore with 3 playgrounds and a squirrel sculpture trail. Kids will also love the Wareham Bears collection.
Larmer Tree Gardens (20 miles)
Larmer Tree Gardens
Beautifully landscaped grounds well described as an extraordinary example of Victorian extravagance. Extensive gardens with Fairy Door Trail to get kids; imaginations going.
Southampton Common (21 miles)
Great adventure play area and kids' summer paddling pool wonderful for under 5s, plus nature trails and loads of different terrain to explore. You can also find a fishing lake, boating pond, nature centre and historic cemetery here.
Royal Victoria Country Park (21 miles)
Royal Victoria Country Park
A popular country park with woodland and seashore to explore, plus a Visitor Centre, sensory garden, children’s play area, and a miniature railway! Loads of wildlife to enjoy, plus Family Fun and Story Trails to follow. Free!
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (24 miles)
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
180 acres of gardens to enjoy and explore, including a Children’s Education Garden. The site boasts a restaurant and tearooms, as well as a giant treehouse play area for adventurers of all ages! Free entry for accompanied kids under 17.
Lakeside Country Park (24 miles)
Lakeside Country Park
Over 22 hectares of lakes, wet meadow and woodland including a designated Paw Trail for dog walkers, a narrow gauge railway, lots of natural wildlife, picnic sites and a year round cafe.
Itchen Valley Country Park (24 miles)
Itchen Valley Country Park
Huge park with consistent Green Flag Awards, marked trails and playground, cycle paths and a visitor centre with nature displays, trail maps and a Totem Discovery Trail.
Ventnor Botanic Gardens (26 miles)
Ventnor Botanic Gardens
is a botanic garden with over 23 acres to roam free and explore. Families can enjoy discovering rare and subtropical plants and trees, an outdoor Children’s Playground and even a complimentary Children’s Trail Activity Pack.
Blackbrook Park Play Area (27 miles)
Blackbrook Park Play Area
Facilities for all ages and abilities with skating area and hoops for older kids, plus loads of classic adventure play equipment for younger ones.
Appley Park (28 miles)
Public park with beach area, pitch and putt, picnic areas and ancient trees, plus an awesome adventure playground, paddling pool and sandpits with winch equipment. Simple, traditional and fun!
Dorchester Borough Gardens (29 miles)
Dorchester Borough Gardens
Features fully enclosed play area which has facilities for all age groups including a summer splash pool! Other features include adult sized trim trail, tennis courts, ornate fountain and a cool sundial!
Borough Gardens (29 miles)
Well kept parkland with huge enclosed play area with facilities for all ages. There is also a splash pool, and a rather unusual sundial...
The Forest of Bere (30 miles)
The Forest of Bere
An enchanting place with a diverse range of natural habitats too see from scenic walk and cycle routes. There are also a huge oak tree house, wooden playhouses, wigwams, sand pit, climbing wall, bridge and shingle stream.
Portland Plateau Walk (31 miles)
Portland Plateau Walk
A moderate but varied walk along the South West Coast Park on Portland’s northern plateau. Some short stretches of ascent and descent.
Easton Gardens (32 miles)
Green Flag Awarded park with play and picnic areas, and plenty of attractive space to run about in. Pushchair accessible throughout.
Stourhead (35 miles)
World famous 18th-century landscape garden, magnificent lake shimmering with reflections of classical temples, mystical grottoes and rare and exotic trees. Families can collect tracker packs to make it more fun for the kids, too.
Abbotsbury Playground (36 miles)
Free playground with great equipment and lots of space, which is run, insured and maintained by local volunteers!
Staunton Country Park (37 miles)
Staunton Country Park
Explore acres of ancient woodland and beautifully landscaped parkland at the award winning Staunton Country Park. You can escape to another age as you discover mysterious follies in these idyllic surroundings.
Chichester Harbour Conservancy (40 miles)
Chichester Harbour Conservancy
A designated area of outstanding natural beauty, this is a muddy little wonderland for little ones of all sizes to explore: go fishing and crabbing, visit the Roman Palace, bird watch, seal spot, or take a trip on a solar powered catamaran and sneak up on the waterfowl!
Brokerswood Country Park (42 miles)
Brokerswood Country Park
A great place for a day out or a family camping trip within 80 acres of ancient woodland. Education centre, adventure playgrounds, woodland walk trail and a narrow gauge railway. Picnic and barbeque areas, plus a 5 acre lake.
Drews Pond Wood Local Nature Reserve (43 miles)
Drews Pond Wood Local Nature Reserve
A beautiful area of woodland, full of loads of flowers, plus plenty of ducks and geese to feed. Circuit of paths to follow, picnic area, plus a number of interesting habitats to explore with the kids.
Hope Nature Centre (44 miles)
Hope Nature Centre
A lovely animal centre with lots of animals to see and wonderful walks. Visit the squirrel's tea room too.
The Ridgeway National Trail (48 miles)
The Ridgeway National Trail
85 miles (136km) recreation route that crosses or passes many important wildlife and archaeological sites, set in some of the most scenic landscape in the country. Explore ancient landscapes through woodland, downland and secluded valleys. Free to visit.
Hotham Park (49 miles)
Crazy golf, miniature railway, boating lake, kids adventure play and full putting green! Plenty to keep small to medium sized munchkins happy for an afternoon!
The Vyne (50 miles)
House and gardens to explore plus a tearoom to enjoy but the children will want to visit for the play area which is one of a kind!
South Downs National Park (50 miles)
South Downs National Park
Vast landscape welcoming family rambles, bike rides and exploration, plus for the more adventurous, there are paragliding, hang-gliding, golf, zorbing, mountain-boarding and a range of water sports available.
Prior Park Landscape Gardens (50 miles)
Prior Park Landscape Gardens
One of only four Palladian bridges of this design in the world can be crossed at Prior Park, which was created in the 18th century. A beautiful afternoon can be spent here especially if you've got your walking shoes on! One of many fun family places to visit if you're looking for things to do in...
Northcroft and Goldwell Parks (51 miles)
Northcroft and Goldwell Parks
Peaceful and attractive riverside park with lots of green space for informal play plus equipped play areas for toddlers and juniors, zip slide and BMX track.
Alice Holt Forest Woodland Park (51 miles)
Alice Holt Forest Woodland Park
There's so much to do! You can walk, cycle, play or just have a picnic in these lovely woods. Experience life in the trees with Go Ape, take a relaxing break in our cafe and finish your visit with a quiet stroll in one of the more remote parts of the forest.
The Nature Discovery Centre (51 miles)
The Nature Discovery Centre
Set amid Thatcham Lake and reedbeds. Enjoy lakeside walks, feed the ducks and let off steam in our adventure playgrounds! Explore the interactive wildlife and natural history displays and games in our Centre and enjoy organic refreshments in our cafe.
Royal Victoria Park (52 miles)
Royal Victoria Park
This park boasts a surprising number of child friendly features from the extensive play equipment to the skateboard park, and it's all lovely and free! One of many fun family places to visit if you're looking for things to do in Bath with kids.
Arundel Wetland Centre (54 miles)
Arundel Wetland Centre
Visitor attraction and conservation area with wildfowl from around the world and birds tame enough hand feed. A superb setting to stroll round with picnic and children's activity areas, pond dipping and free daily crafts during summer holidays. Free boat rides through the Wetlands Discovery area too!
North Downs Way National Trail (55 miles)
North Downs Way National Trail
A 153 mile (246km) National walking Trail offering some of the finest scenery in South East England. Watch ferries cross the channel, discover churches, abbeys and castles, visit beautiful villages and more. A number of circular walks available.
Mewsbrooke Park (55 miles)
With miniature railway, pedal boats on the lake, adventure playground, kids' quiz trail, conservation area with info panels and 9 years of Green Flag Awards, this place is a treasure!
Wellington Country Park (56 miles)
Wellington Country Park
350 acres of beautiful parklands surrounding a 35 acre lake, with numerous activities including adventure play areas, animal farm and petting barn (seasonal) sand pits, water play, miniature railway, enchanted forest, maze, crazy golf plus more besides! Family events held throughout the season too.
Brickfields Country Park (57 miles)
Brickfields Country Park
Reclaimed from the remains of a Victorian brickworks and clay diggings, this country park is less than eight acres in size, making it one of the smallest in the country, but well worth a visit.
Burrow Farm Gardens (57 miles)
Burrow Farm Gardens
Almost 10 acres of wonderfully landscaped gardens that have been created from scratch over the last 50 years! Great for a relaxing family day out in beautiful surroundings. Nursery, craft shop, and Tearooms selling home made cream teas!
Lydiard Park (58 miles)
Enjoy the natural beauty of the tranquil lake, rolling lawns and woodlands before heading for some fun in the playground! With colourful, state-of-the-art play and climbing equipment suitable for children of all ages, there's lots of fun to be had climbing, swinging and sliding.
Hengrove Park (59 miles)
Large park with huge Play Park with features for all ages. Areas for ball games, Wheels park for BMX and skating, plus 12m Jungle Dome to explore! Open all year and free to visit.
California Country Park (60 miles)
California Country Park
In the summer a great big paddling pool is opened up, there is a large adventure play area, great nature walks in the ancient bog and woodland replete with natural wildlife!
Adventure Wonderland (4 miles)
This all inclusive theme park mixes kiddie and thrill rides, fairytale activities and animal cuddling, indoor adventure play with, well, outdoor adventures! A great range with something to suit everyone.
Oceanarium (4 miles)
brings you face to face with marine life from the furthest reaches of the globe including clownfish, sea turtles, sharks and stingrays.
Monkey World (19 miles)
is a 65 acre woodland park which is home to over 230 rescued and endangered apes and monkeys.
Isle of Purbeck Aquarium (20 miles)
Isle of Purbeck Aquarium
Essentially a sales aquarium but is still worth a visit with younger children who will particularly enjoy the seahorse display tanks. Serious supervision required.
Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park (27 miles)
Kingston Maurward Gardens & Animal Park
Modest domestic animal park and pleasant gardens to keep your little ones busy while your big ones use the college Adventure Days to try archery, orienteering, high and low ropes courses, canoeing and kayaking!
Thanks for all the great things to do and Play Parks and Great Outdoors near Christchurch with kids you keep sending in.
Now we have the easter and summer holidays fast approaching, we're trying to find the best days out and as many fun things to do with kids as possible, especially cheap and free family friendly places to visit this year - theme parks, waterparks and swimming pools, museums, indoor playcentres and softplay for toddlers, petting farms, wildlife parks and zoos, aquariums, horse riding, castles, steam railways, pottery making and ceramic cafes, roller and ice skating rinks, karting tracks, snowdomes, dry and indoor ski slopes, climbing walls, activity centres, outdoor play at the best local parks, ten pin bowling alleys and all the other best family tourist attractions, that you can visit at the weekend.
Also teachers may find the site useful for ideas for the best places to take their classes on school journeys with many historical and educational atractions listed
So, if you've been for great days out with the kids, or a school trip, which isn't shown above, just send in an email and we'll add it on so people visiting on holidays and all the other children in Dorset can enjoy the great day out as well.
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