I’ve lived in Bournemouth for 20 years, having moved to the area when I was 8, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else now. It’s such a lovely place to bring up the children, and there’s always plenty for them to see and do in the area. If you’re planning a visit with kids, these are my top things to do, see & eat during your stay!
Situated right on the seafront, this is the perfect daytime activity for little ones (especially if the English weather has let you down a little as it’s all indoors). In the last couple of years they have had a refurbishment including the addition of penguins, and a mini play area which my 4.5 year old daughter loves!
On the pier itself, the Rock Reef activity centre includes indoor rock climbing and the brilliant pier zip – a zipwire taking you from the end of the pier to the beach, over the water. Having done this now four times myself, I can honestly say that it’s nowhere near as scary as it looks. It’s a brilliant activity for those more daring of kids, and is suitable for ages 6 and over.
Moors Valley Country Park
The brilliant thing about this country park is the sheer amount of things to do. You can head out on a walking trail, play on the play areas, take a ride on the real steam train or enjoy a picnic on the grass before feeding the ducks by the lake.
The Gruffalo trail is a lovely addition and really fun for children to use their imagination and get involved, and if you fancy something to get the adrenaline going, Go Ape is also on-site. Entry to the main park is free, however parking is chargeable. If you’re going in a group save money and help the planet by car sharing.
A Firework Display
Over the summer months firework displays are put on each week in both Bournemouth (by the pier) and Poole (on the quay). These displays are free to attend, and there’s plenty of entertainment to keep you occupied before and afterwards.
A show at the Bournemouth International Centre
Bournemouth International Centre (or the BIC) hosts some of the biggest artists and entertainers around. When planning a visit, it’s always worth checking for child friendly acts
The sights on a mini cruise
Head over to Poole Quay and you will be spoilt for choice with a variety of boat tours and mini cruises around the surrounding countryside. My favourite is the Brownsea Island ferry, which takes you over to the island to explore before returning at the end of the day. Perfect for children who love going on an adventure.
Fish & Chips by the sea at Harry Ramsdens
If you didn’t eat fish and chips by the beach, did you even really holiday by the seaside? These are arguably the best fish and chips around, and you can either opt to dine in the restaurant or takeaway and enjoy them strolling by the sea.
Yummy Pizza at The Stable
The Stable is fast becoming my favourite place to eat. With branches in both Bournemouth town centre and on Poole Quay, their location is brilliant, and with a menu bursting with freshly prepared pizzas, pies and salads, there’s sure to be something to please everyone. Plus with a huge array of ciders, mum and dad will be happy too!
New Forest Ice cream
You can’t visit the area without trying some of this delicious ice cream. So thick and creamy, you can purchase it in most local restaurants as a tasty after dinner treat or in a cone or bowl along the seafront.
About the Author: Emma-Louise is mum to three young children, Cameron Carly and baby Benjamin and she is engaged to fiancé Ed.