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Half-term Fun in Dorset

19 January 2023

Half term in Dorset

So, it’s the half term and you may be wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained!

Well don’t worry, whether you are local resident or are staying in Dorset on a break, there’s lots to do throughout the seasons. Our Resort family has children of different ages and here are some of the things we plan to enjoy; perhaps you will too!

Fossil Hunting – you may just discover the next big thing! Do be aware of the tide times and the fossiling code of conduct.

Fossil hunting in Dorset

Bike Rides – get the kids active with a shorter ride for little legs or something a bit more adventurous for older children: take a look at some great cycling routes here

Head for Heights – at 191 metres (627 ft), where is the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain? Yes you guessed right, it’s Golden Cap, and on a good day it is visible for tens of miles along the coastline. Why not challenge your family to see who can get to the top first? Remember to take care and not to get too close to the cliff edge, keeping any dogs on a lead.

Sculptures – the family will enjoy seeking out the creations carved out of stone at the Tout Quarry Sculpture Park and Nature Reserve on the isle of Portland, it’s also a great place to take some lovely family photos – picture perfect!

Shopping – OK I get it, kids don’t always like shopping, but we mums do and Bridport’s Saturday and Wednesday markets have lots of unique stalls: you’ll find vintage clothing, Dorset art, ceramics, bric-a-brac, wooden walking sticks and, of course, a few kids’ toys. There’s also one of the best independent toy shops in Dorset, on East Street. You should also head to Bridport’s vintage quarter where you will find many interesting shops to explore.

Woods – we all love a trip to the woods. We particularly love Thorncombe Woods, near Dorchester, Moors Valley Country Park, which is located on the Dorset/Hampshire border, and the fabulous New Forest too.  If the kids’ legs get tired start a treasure hunt; we hide chocolate coins as we go along for the kids to spot and enjoy whilst taking in the fresh air.

On the Water – It might be colder, but with a dry suit on and a sense of adventure you can try kayaking, windsurfing, or paddle boarding. Or perhaps the simple things work for you; like a stroll along the shoreline, an ice-cream, or skimming stones. Fresh air is good for the soul, and it doesn’t always mean you have to dip into your pocket!

Cheeeeeese – not the edible kind (although we do love Dorset cheeses), but photo opportunities. In Dorset you are spoilt for choice with a host of perfect locations to capture the sunrise, sunset or just your children roaming free in the vast open spaces we are blessed with here. Let the children have a go too; they might find a healthy new hobby, or perhaps even become the next David Bailey!

Some of the best spots we like for photos: Kimmeridge, Man O’ War Bay, Corfe CastleDurdle Door, Golden Cap, The Cobb - Lyme Regis, Portland Bill, Gold Hill - Shaftesbury, Thorncombe Woods and any of Dorset’s beaches!

Osmington Mills beach

Attractions – animal adventures, aquariums, interactive museums, steam trains, gorgeous gardens, and kids’ play, we really are spoilt for choice. Local attractions offer you a great day out, and some will have special half term events on. Take a look at the list below and see what will work for your family, whether it be monkey madness, rides and slides, history highlights or something else, these businesses will welcome your family and keep everyone entertained!

Food - Fish and chips, hard to beat so head to the coast and enjoy them by the seaside.

We hope whatever you and your family plan to do, you have a great week, below are a list of local attractions and activity providers who would love you to join them over half term! 

Attractions and Activities

Half-term Events

03 Feb 2023 to 25 Feb 2023
Shaftesbury, Dorset
Shaftesbury Snowdrop EventsShaftesbury’s snowdrop season is one of the biggest events of its type in the country and the town’s free snowdrop walks, including wheelchair and pushchair accessible routes, can be enjoyed by all, including dogs. Activities on offer during the 2023 season include an open snowdrop art exhibition at Shaftesbury Arts Centre (from 3rd to 25th February), snowdrop-themed craft classes, ...
11 Feb 2023 to 12 Feb 2023
Tank Museum, Wareham, Dorset
South West Model ShowThe biggest model show in the South West is back! 11-12 February 2023 Open 9.30am to 5pm Traders, exhibitors and modelling demonstrations alongside the real thing. A huge collection of model tanks, plus planes, ships and trains – all types and sizes will be available to see, make and purchase.
11 Feb 2023 to 18 Feb 2023
Half-Term at Shire HallKids visit Shire Hall Museum for FREE* this February half-term! Join us for a week packed full of exciting activities! interactive trail craft activities explore the cells dress up in the courtroom! There’s no need to pre-book this half-term. To find out more about your visit to Shire Hall Museum, click here *Under 18s only, up to three children per paying Adult
11 Feb 2023 to 19 Feb 2023
Go Halves This Half Term!Kid’s tickets to Monkey World are half-price for the week of the 11th to the 19th February 2023! Bring your little monkeys to the park and see over 260 rescued and endangered monkeys and apes! Most primates have been rescued from unbelievable cruelty or neglect, but at Monkey World they can enjoy the company of their own kind in safe and natural living environments. Some are even part of ...
11 Feb 2023 to 19 Feb 2023
Beaulieu, New Forest, Dorset
Kids Go FREE* this February half-term at Beaulieu!✨ Kids go FREE this February Half Term at Beaulieu! ✨ Join us between 11th – 19th February 2023 and make the most of our kids go free* offer! There’s so much for all the family to see at 'Hands-On Half Term' at Beaulieu, from fun crafts, to new exhibitions. Why not spend it with us? Sign up to our e-newsletter today to receive your voucher code! 🤩 ➡️ ⬅️ Please note: to ...
11 Feb 2023 to 19 Feb 2023
West Bay, Dorset
West Bay Discovery Centre - Origami BoatsWe are open at the West Bay Discovery Centre over February half–term with all our usual fun interactive displays and toys, plus try your hand at making some colourful origami boats! Open every day from Feb 11th - 19th (excluding Monday 13th), 11am - 4pm. Free entry – donations welcomed.
11 Feb 2023 to 19 Feb 2023
Keep Military Museum, Dorchester, Dorset
Who Captured the Colonel?Join us this February half term to solve the biggest mystery in town- who captured the Colonel? This brand new children's trail guides visitors around the museum in a murder mystery-style story to discover who kidnapped the Colonel, and where is he trapped in the museum? The trail is included in the price of admission, and we are open every day of the week from 10am-4:30pm! Children under 3 ...
11 Feb 2023 to 19 Feb 2023
Nothe Fort, Weymouth, Dorset
World War II WeekJoin the Nothe Fort for a journey back to Weymouth in World War II this February Half Term! For 9 whole days, Nothe Fort will be revisiting the 1940s, with plenty of family fun activities and entertainment. You will be able to give the assault course a go, experience what it was like to be an evacuee, check out some WWII military vehicles, see how the NAAFI made Armed Forces Soldiers feel ...
12 February 2023
Mapperton Gardens, Beaminster, Dorset
Snowdrop SundaySnowdrop Sundays - Harbinger of Spring! William Wordsworth called the snowdrop a ‘venturous harbinger of Spring’ and visitors who come to Mapperton for Snowdrop Sundays will see sweeps of them in the lower garden. They will also encounter many hellebores – the Lent lily, Corsican and stinking hellebores – all around. Camellias are coming through especially on the north façade of the house ...
12 February 2023
Swanage, Dorset
Stargazing at DurlstonJoin experts from the Wessex Astronomical Society at Durlston Country Park and use telescopes to view Jupiter, Mars, the Orion Nebula, galaxies and the winter constellations. Phone on the day to confirm if rainy or cloudy. £3 Booking: not required.
13 Feb 2023 to 19 Feb 2023
Wareham, Dorset
100th Anniversary Celebrations at Half TermJoin us at The Tank Museum for our 100th birthday celebrations this February Half Term, with centenary and party-themed fun for the whole family to enjoy. Experience the biggest day out in history with interactive exhibitions, 300 tanks, kids’ activities, and more at Dorset’s largest indoor attraction. Celebrate our 100th birthday with us, with birthday party-themed activities all week – ...
13 Feb 2023 to 19 Feb 2023
Swanage Railway, Swanage, Dorset
Kids for a Quid this half termKids travel for a quid from Monday, 13 to Sunday, 19 Feburary 2023 Book your tickets online Standard terms and conditions Children aged 5-15 can travel for £1 when accompanied by a fare paying adult
14 February 2023
Bridport, Dorset
Children's Valentine's PartyThis half term Symondsbury Estate host a Valentine's Party the children will be guaranteed to love! Hosted by Strawberry Jam, the party will include a disco, fun themed games, and a live performance. There will be a wide range of food and drink available to purchase throughout the duration of the party, including sweet treats and drinks from the bar. Recommended for up to 7-year ...
14 February 2023
Dorset Museum, Dorchester, Dorset
FREE - After Hours Relaxed Opening14 February 2023, 4:30pm - 6:00pm Join our friendly staff during a relaxed evening at Dorset Museum. The event is designed to support autistic and neurodiverse children and families. Families can explore the galleries with adjustments and lowered volume levels and take part in arts and crafts activities. We have a quiet space to take time out should anyone need it and sensory resources ...
15 February 2023
Lemur Landings, Poole, Dorset
1/2 Term Phaser Night 🔫 Radio Alert... It's another Lunar Landings meteoric event... The Asteriod Trunkesar will pass closer to the earth than any of our satellites... We believe this is a desperate plan to mask an alien invasion... can you help Captain Lewey Hoops stop them? 🚀 Join the crew aboard SS Clash Landings for an exciting evening of phaser tag! Whether you come alone or bring your friends it's sure to ...
15 February 2023
Swanage, Dorset
Wild WednesdayDrop in to the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park between 11 and 3 for free craft activities for kids and families. Donations welcome!
17 February 2023
Purbeck Sports Centre, Wareham, Dorset
Laser Tag and Nerf Gun Fun*** HALF TERM OFFER*** Laser Tag and Nerf Gun Fun - £10 for both On Friday 17 February we are running back to back Nerf Gun battles and Laser Tag battles in our Main Hall. Each session is an hour and costs £7.50 each or pay just £10 for both. Spaces still available - book now to not miss out! Suitable for 7 to 12 year olds
18 February 2023
Comedy in the CourtroomEnjoy a brilliant evening of stand-up comedy in Shire Hall’s historic courtroom! Ticket includes a welcome drink. This event is in partnership with Heckle & Squelch Comedy Club. Acts to be confirmed… £20 ticket (over 18s only) To book your ticket, please see the website below.
18 February 2023
Poole, Dorset
Float to Love FestivalThis one-off event will raise awareness and funds for the Poole Lifeboat Station. With a tombola worth hundreds of pounds, Float to Love will bring a wide range of bands and an opportunity to enjoy some great food. 18th of February 2023, at The King Charles and Lord Nelson, Poole Quay! Tickets to be released soon.

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19 Jan 2023
Half-term Fun in Dorset So, it’s the half term and you may be wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained! Well don’t worry, whether you are local resident or are staying in Dorset on a break, there’s lots to do throughout the seasons. Our Resort family has children of different ages and here are some of the things we plan to enjoy; perhaps you will too! Fossil Hunting – you may just discover the next big thing! Do be aware of the tide times and the ... Read more...
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4 Dec 2022
A Dorset Christmas This Christmas why not find some special Dorset gifts to spoil your loved ones with and support your local businesses. Surprise a loved one with something considered and special and, of course, from Dorset! Below are a few ideas to get you started. 1 – Have you got a tank enthusiast in the family? Take a look at the Tank Museum online shop: from baubles to model kits and themed T-shirts, their shop has something for everyone. 2 – ... Read more...

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