The best things to do with kids in Dorset

Dorset delivers endless family fun! Meet animals, discover dinosaurs, explore castles, and enjoy rides and sports. Whether you seek thrills or a more relaxed pace, families will make memories with loads of entertaining, boredom-busting things to do with the kids in Dorset.


To help you plan an epic family break, here is a whistle-stop guide for the best things to do in Dorset for families. Whether you want action-packed days taking on the Jurassic Coast, or more relaxed pursuits amidst the adventures at Swanage Railway, you'll find ideas the whole family will love.

Then, you can go ahead and book your next family holiday, knowing that everyone (including the dog) will enjoy their stay!

Take a look at our pick for top 10 things to do in Dorset for families:

Top 10 things to do in Dorset for families:

An image of Durdle Door on the coast of Dorset.

Jurassic Coast

Dorset's 95-mile World Heritage designated Jurassic Coast offers incredible coastal scenery and more family fun than you could ever imagine! Come with buckets and spades galore, and head to the beaches and coves to see what ancient treasures you can discover. Charmouth, Durdle Door and Lyme Regis are perfect for your young palaeontologists.

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A close up image of a monkey at Monkey World, Dorset.

Discover Monkey World

This ape rescue centre provides one of the best family days out, where you can walk through large enclosures based on the animals' natural habitats. Wander through and observe squads of chimpanzees at play whilst watching orangutans swing through the trees. You'll find the world's only group of rare Sulawesi macaques living outside Indonesia.

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An image of Corfe Castle on a bright day with blue skies.

Take a history trip to Corfe Castle

You can take a family trip to this awe-inspiring medieval fortress ruin that overlooks the Purbeck Hills. Managed by the National Trust, its intricate remains bring history to life. Bring your entire family here, where younger visitors will love to learn the fascinating tales of its dramatic past. Take part in the monthly young archaeologists club.

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Two children waving at the camera out the window of a train.

Swanage Railway

Heading to the Swanage Railway offers a vintage railway experience between Swanage and Norden – the perfect family day out! Take in the scenic views of the Isle of Purbeck's unspoiled landscape and stop for railway museums and playgrounds. Thomas the Tank Engine tours are the perfect choice for the younger ones in your group.

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Explore Abbotsbury Swannery Sanctuary image

Explore Abbotsbury Swannery Sanctuary

Abbotsbury Swannery provides a beautiful, family-friendly day out for all ages, especially as it's the world's only managed breeding colony of nesting mute swans. May and June are some of the best times to visit, as you'll see hundreds of cygnets taking their first steps. And what makes this even better is that kids go free.

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Visit Lyme Regis' seafront image

Visit Lyme Regis' seafront

Lyme Regis is a popular resort town that offers seaside fun for the whole family. Take on the beach zip wire, pirate shipwreck-themed climbing frame, and huge floating water slide offshore. Go on family strolls along the famous stone Cobb breakwater, then head to Charmouth Beach's rock pools where your little ones can witness plenty of marine life.

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What about Brownsea Island? image

What about Brownsea Island?

Close to Dorset, you can catch a ferry to this small National Trust haven for an adventure-filled family day out. Explore Brownsea's magical coastal scenery bursting with wildlife. As one of the best outdoor things to do with the kids in Dorset, your little ones will enjoy the secret woodland trails, the lagoon filled with birdlife, and beaches.

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Paddle along the River Stour image

Paddle along the River Stour

If you're looking for chilled things to do in Dorset for families, why not spend an afternoon kayaking through the peaceful River Stour? You'll find it to be one of Dorset's most scenic adventures. The canoes here offer guided tours, so even your younger kids can become involved and You can even hire a canoe or kayak.

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Take in the Stonehenge Stone Circle image

Take in the Stonehenge Stone Circle

A holiday to Dorset wouldn't be complete without a trip to Britain's most iconic ancient monument. Your whole family will be able to stand within the UNESCO World Heritage Site to admire the interplay of solstice sunlight with the stones. Kids get in for free whilst being able to enjoy interactive exhibits and archaeological discoveries.

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Visit the sand sculptures at SandWorld image

Visit the sand sculptures at SandWorld

Come rain or shine, this all-weather family attraction near Weymouth showcases spectacular sand art creations. You'll find detailed carvings of majestic mermaids, mythical beasts, and many more magical creations. The whole family can even learn about sand craftsmanship using grains from around the world, and your little ones can get involved.

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Things to do with the kids in Dorset FAQs

With 10 of the best things to do in Dorset for families, are you ready for your next family adventure? To prepare further, here are some of the most frequently asked questions before you embark on your next adventure-filled holiday!

What should I know about Dorset?

Dorset's landscape is mostly rural and is dotted with quaint villages and larger towns like Bournemouth. Poole Harbour is the world's second-largest natural harbour, adding more coastal beauty. Dorset's history includes rebellion and epic battles during the 17th-century English Civil War between Royalists and Oliver Cromwell's forces.

Is Dorset good for kids?

Dorset is fantastic for kids, as there are so many things to do with the kids in Dorset. For example, you can take on the beautiful sandy beaches, including Weymouth, which is only 10 minutes from East Fleet Farm and Swanage.

There are also plenty of family-friendly attractions, including Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre and Adventure Wonderland theme park.

And with plenty more kid-friendly attractions, there's so much more to discover in Dorset!

What is the prettiest place in Dorset?

The prettiest place in Dorset is down to personal preferences, but whilst on holiday here, you may want to visit some of the top places with the whole family to make endless memories.

Here are a few of the prettiest places in Dorset:

  • Lulworth Cove
  • Brownsea Island
  • Weymouth

Where can I go on a day out in Dorset?

Dorset provides some of the best family-friendly days out whilst you're on holiday – here are the top ways to spend a day out: Weymouth Beach

  • Sandsfoot Castle
  • Sandbanks Beach
  • Corfe Castle
  • Durdle Door

And what makes many of these places even better is that they're not only perfect for the kids but also dog-friendly! Make sure to check before you visit.

Is Dorset a good family holiday?

Dorset is an amazing family holiday destination, as there are plenty of activities suitable for both adults and young ones alike, especially within your holiday park.

The only way to find out more is to book your family holiday now!

Why should you visit Dorset as a family?

  • Child-friendly accommodation
  • Beautiful beaches, like Lyme Regis
  • Family-friendly attractions, including Monkey World
  • Scenic walks on the South West Coast Path
  • Dinosaur and fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast

There are so many other things for families to do in Dorset, so why not discover so much more on your next visit to this beautiful location?

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