Browse fourteen half-term activities on a budget. Keep the youngsters entertained with these pocket-friendly, fun-packed thrills.

Crabbing at Mudeford Quay

No matter the weather, crabbing at Mudeford Quay makes for the perfect family day out. Wrap up warm and prepare for a fun filled afternoon.

A beautiful aerial view of Mudeford Quay on a warm day, featuring families crabbing

Christchurch Quay/High Street

Christchurch is a truly beautiful and tranquil place to spend some time ambling with the kids. Numerous coffee shops dotted along the high street present a lovely opportunity to warm-up over a hot chocolate.

An aerial view of Christchurch Quay and the surrounding heathland

Poole Park

Another ideal location to enjoy a picnic of your favourite snacks and view the wildlife is Poole Park. Relax on a bench and watch the world go by.

A view over the lake at Poole Park lake on a sunny day

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

For the more active Moors Valley includes some fantastic options to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Run England’s designated trails are perfect for youngsters and parents who want to squeeze some running into their half-term plans.

An aerial view of trails through Moors Valley near Bournemouth

Upton Country Park

Upton’s activity area hosts animal and craft sessions on Monday 17 and Wednesday 19 February for the more inquisitive visitors. Make sure to visit the recently developed (and free) adventure play area too.

Upton Country Park

Highcliffe Castle

With four hours of parking for less than the cost of two Freddos, the surrounding nature reserve and gorgeous sandy beaches are a must for your half term plans. There are also a number of family friendly cafés at Steamer Point.

Highcliffe Castle in Christchurch on a warm afternoon with a blue, cloudy sky overhead

Hengistbury Head and Information Centre

Hengistbury Head is a stunning location offering breath-taking views of Bournemouth and Poole in one direction and Christchurch and Mudeford in the other. 

Three cows sitting on the heathland at Hengistbury Head in Christchurch on a misty morning

Kingfisher/Stour Valley

Ideal for families based closer to Muscliff and the north of Bournemouth, this hidden gem is a great way to get outdoors, explore the diverse local woodland and the hidden nature within.

Bournemouth's Stour Valley river and grassland

Light Up Poole

Light Up Poole, the digital art festival, enters its third year and the array of illuminations promises to fascinate people of all ages.

Light Up Poole

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum and Poole Museum & Scaplen's Court

Russell-Cotes Gallery and Museum hosts an arts session for just £4 per child while at Poole youngsters can make their own shadow puppets.

A view out to the iconic Bournemouth Pier from the balcony of the Russell-Cotes arts gallery

Brownsea Island 

For the first time the island will be open for the duration of half term - a chance to explore the new natural play area and learn all about the history of Scouting and Guiding.

Upside Gallery

A flyover might seem an odd choice of location but the Upside Gallery has transformed the Wessex Way pillars into art installations - definitely a unique addition to your half-term bucket list.

Carpe Diem by Dave Bonzai from Upside Gallery on Vimeo.

Two Riversmeet Skate Park/BMX Track

Grab your bike, board or scooter and show off your best tricks - and burn off some energy - at this family friendly skate park. 

The Two Rivers Meet skate park

Park Run

Taking place at 9am on a Saturday morning at Kings Park in Bournemouth, Poole Park and Upton Country Park, this is the best excuse to blow away those cobwebs and liven up your weekend.

A woman in a high-vis yellow jacket running alongside a sunny Bournemouth seafront




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