Splashdown Waterpark

The best things to do with pre-school children in Poole and Bournemouth

Posted on: 8th August 2023

Days Out

Travelling with pre-school aged children? There’s plenty for your pre-schooler to see and do in and around Poole when you book a break at our award-winning holiday park.

Firstly, here at South Lytchett Manor, your pre-schooler can make the most of our eco-friendly play area. Conveniently located close to Reception (and the café for the grown-ups!) little ones can spend lots of time enjoying the great outdoors here.

With a bus stop right outside our gates whisking you into Poole and regular connections onto Bournemouth, you can also save the hassle of parking your car or motorhome. Plus, the local buses have easy access for pushchairs.

Take a look at some of things to do with a pre-schooler in Poole and Bournemouth

Tower Park

Perfect for those not-so-sunny days, there’s lots to do at Tower Park.

Burn off some excess energy at Lemur Landings, a large soft play centre with role-play world. Try your hand at bowling (bumpers can be raised for little ones) or have fun in the water at the splash zones of Splashdown Water Park.

Lemur Landings

Bournemouth Oceanarium

Set right beside Bournemouth Pier, Bournemouth Oceanarium is a great place to visit with little ones.

Check out the different tanks to see a variety of colourful fish including sharks! See if you can spot the turtle as is swims over your head. Watch the cheeky otters dive in and out of their holt (we’d recommend trying to visit when they are doing the otter talk as you get to see them being fed too) and check out the penguin enclosure and watch these flightless birds dive in and out of the water.

Pay your admission ticket and come and go throughout the day – perfect for taking a break from the beach or ducking away from the rain!

Bournemouth Oceanarium

Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park

A short distance from our award-winning campsite – Farmer Palmer’s offers lots of fun for preschoolers. Visit the farmyard animals, climb up haystacks and dart down the slides, try out the go karts and have lots of fun in the indoor and outdoor play areas.

You can also catch the bus from outside our gates here.

Farmer Palmer's

Crabbing from Poole Quay

Pick up a line, a bucket and some bait (bacon is a great choice) and have a go at crabbing from Poole Quay or, if you want to travel a little further, Mudeford Quay, near Christchurch. We sell all you need for crabbing in our shop.

It shouldn’t be long until these crustaceans hook onto line. Just be sure to pop them back into the water afterwards.

Upton Country Park

Bike your way from South Lytchett Manor to Upton Country Park. There’s loads to do here with preschool children including the Spurrier’s Play Park, the summer splash fountain (open May-September, 11am-1pm and 2pm-5pm) and the 9-hole adventure golf course.

Grab a picnic and have it on the lawn of the Walled Garden or pick up some light bites from the park’s café.

Upton Country Park
bournemouth pier on a sunny day

Build sandcastles on the beach

This has to be a highlight for many a childhood holiday surely? Grab your bucket and spade (or purchase one from our on-site shop) and head to one of Bournemouth or Poole’s beaches.

We’d recommend the following beaches for families with young children:

Hamworthy Park beach, Poole (2 miles from us)
Shore Road beach, Poole (6 miles from us)
Branksome Chine beach, Bournemouth (6.6 miles from us)
Bournemouth beach (8 miles from us).

Branksome Chine Beach

Take a Brownsea Island adventure

Getting to Brownsea Island is an adventure in itself! Hop aboard one of the boats from Poole Quay and sail your way to this beautiful island.

On the island, see if you can spot the island’s most famous residents, the red squirrels!

Young children will also love the red squirrel-inspired agility course and the den-building area! Free family trails are available to pick up from the Visitor Centre and Outdoor Centre.

red squirrel brownsea island

Poole Park

Travel around Poole Park aboard the miniature steam train, try your hand at crazy golf, play on some of the play areas or burn off some energy in the soft play. For older pre-schoolers and their guardians, pedalos can be hired so you can paddle your way across the lake.

Other days out with pre-schoolers near to Poole and Bournemouth

There are some other fantastic days out you can do with preschool-age children when staying at South Lytchett Manor.

These include the nearby Tank Museum (which has activities and play areas for all ages of children), Moors Valley Country Park with its multiple play areas, miniature steam railway and bike hire centre and ever-popular Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park.

Play area at The Tank Museum

Facilities for young children at South Lytchett Manor

Our award-winning park also has a playing field that’s perfect for practicing your kick abouts, not to mention our play park and during the school holidays, we have other games out that children will love to play. Plus, don’t forget that for a small donation to charity, you can feed our resident hens and go searching for their eggs!

children collecting eggs at south lytchett manor

Within our Information Hut, you’ll find a microwave suitable for heating up baby food/milk plus we have family washrooms which are ideal. There are also lots of brochures here on other places you can visit within easy reach of our park.

We’ve got a variety of accommodation types to choose from, so bring your own tent or caravan or sleep in one of our glamping units; we’ve got shepherd huts, glamping pods and Romany caravans available – all are suitable for 2 adults and 2 children (aged up to 14).

Glamping Pod interior

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