Low-cost events and activities in Dorset this half term

ARE you wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained this half term? Well, look no further as we’ve rounded up some of the best budget-friendly activities in Dorset.

With the nation easing out of lockdown, we can finally start going out and about – meaning hopefully the kids won’t be quite so bored this half term.

But keeping children occupied can be quite expensive, making half term a daunting prospect for many of us. 

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If you’re looking to get your children out of the house but wanting to keep costs down, fear not as there’s plenty to do this May half term.

Here are some of the best budget-friendly events and activities taking place in Dorset:

Football coaching session with AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth Echo:

Kids can enjoy a free coaching session with The Cherries this half term.

  • Where: Waterman’s Park, Christchurch
  • When: Tuesday, 1 June and Wednesday, 2 June
  • Price: Free

If you have a football-mad child then you need to sign them up to one of the free 45-minute training sessions with AFC Bournemouth and The Parks Foundation.

Meeting at Watermans Park in Christchurch there will be a mixture of fun games, shooting, dribbling and skill practices with games to finish.

There are four sessions running on Tuesday and Wednesday during half term, two for 7 to 10 year-olds and two for 11 to 13 year-olds. 

To find out more and register – visit Eventbrite.

Adventures in nature – trail at Brownsea Island

Bournemouth Echo:

Take your children on an adventure around Brownsea Island.

  • Where: Brownsea Island
  • When: All week
  • Price: £3 for an adventure pack

Let your little ones roam wild on the naturally rich Brownsea Island this half term with the National Trust’s ‘adventures in nature’ trail. 

Little ones can use their senses to look and listen to the signs of the island as spring awakens, meeting trees and getting active in the outdoors through a series of fun challenges. 

The trail costs £3 per pack, which includes a bag with activity sheet and pencil and a National Trust chocolate reward, sustainably sourced using Rainforest Alliance cocoa. 

Head to the theatre to watch Rapunzel

  • Where: Weymouth Pavillion
  • When: 3 to 6 June
  • Price: Adults £18 and under 16s and seniors £16

Who’d have thought – Christmas panto in June!

As Rapunzel nears her 18th Birthday the evil witch, Gothel, and her scheming wizardly brother, Alphonso are plotting to kidnap her.

They plan to lock Rapunzel away in a secret tower in a bid to gain eternal youth from her magical hair.

In a trance and with no memory of her real family Rapunzel is doomed to spend the rest of her life in the tower.

Can her determination and a little help from her friends  in the palace save the Princess and give her a ‘happy ever after’?

The incredible pantomime cast are back for three special days of rip-roaring fun as they pick up where they left off in December.

‘Woodland clan’ trail and events

Bournemouth Echo:

Durlston Country Park won VisitEngland’s Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award last year. Picture: ROY EGGLESTONE

  • Where: Durlston Country Park
  • When: 17 May to 27 June
  • Price: £3 trail and free entry

Following the success of the Woodland Trail pilot that ran July – September 2020 at Durlston Country Park, the animals are now planning their next trail to get their voices heard.

This imaginative trail through Durlston Country Park has taken inspiration from the Purbeck coastline as writer Annie Herridge heard the voices of the animals calling to her. 

The Woodland Clan Activity Trail’ invites families to join the Purbeck beat of “beak, bone, feather and song” and help save Purbeck’s wildlife from destruction by the “Bigfoots”. This spectacular trail explores the wisdom of the animals through sculptures, activities, quizzes, storytelling and prizes.

Visit the Drive-Thru

Bournemouth Echo:

Cinema-goers will be able to sit outside of their cars or inside, so they can watch the latest blockbusters no matter the weather (FLIX).

  • Where: Bournemouth Airport Events Field on Parley Lane
  • When: 28 May to 6 June
  • Price: £34 per car (no max number of people per car)

Flix drive-in has announced it will be bringing England’s first ever ‘drive in, sit out’ cinema to Bournemouth this half term.

The events will allow guests to watch a host of the latest blockbuster films this summer, no matter the weather – day or night, rain or shine, the all-new drive-in offers the ultimate, covid-friendly cinema experience.

Some of the latest blockbusters will be shown including The Little Things, Godzilla Vs. Kong, Wonder Women 1984 and Golden Globe and Academy Award Winner Judas and The Black Messiah. There’s also something for the whole family with screenings of Warner Bros. ‘Tom & Jerry’, ‘Scoob!’ and Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’.

Bourne 4 Tennis half term camp

Bournemouth Echo:

Tennis camps at Swanmore Gardens.

  • Where: Swanmore Gardens Tennis Courts
  • When: Tuesday, 1 June
  • Price: £20 per person

If you’re looking ot keep your little ones entertained for the whole day whilst you go and get your admin sorted, then look no further. 

Bourne 4 Tennis camp runs from 10am to 3pm and costs £20 per child between the ages of 4 to 16 for coaching with Matthew Cole.

Bounce Back Science Events

Bournemouth Echo:

  • Where: Science Zone Boscombe
  • When: Tuesday, 1 to Saturday, 5 June
  • Price: varying per activity, starting at £3

Science Zone is hosting a range of family-friendly events across the half term to keep your little ones entertained.

With something for everyone there’s a whole range of activities going on daily, booking in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Timetable:
10:30am-12:00 noon: Making Lego robots and Lego education sets (£20 per child)
11:30am-12:00 noon: Dig your own fossils activity (£5 per child).
1:30pm-2:00pm- Clay volcanoes making and fun eruptions activity (£3 per child).
2:00pm- 3:30pm: Making Lego robots and Lego education sets (£20 per child)

Have a day out at Corfe Castle

Bournemouth Echo:

Sunrise at Corfe Castle by Richard Murgatroyd

  • Where: Corfe village
  • When: Daily 
  • Price: Adults £10 unders 17s £5

Step back in time with an adventure around Corfe Castle.

The mighty Corfe Castle has stood tall overlooking the village of Corfe for a thousand years.

The castle has been a Saxon stronghold, a Norman fortress, a royal palace and a family home.

It was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century and has a myriad of dark and grisly tales – if only the walls could speak.

READ MORE: Dorset castles you MUST visit this summer

Throughout half term the castle, which is operated by the National Trust, is running a timed entry system so tickets should be pre-booked in advance.

The castle, castle view visitor welcome centre, retail shop and tea room are all open.

Go wild at Splashdown

Bournemouth Echo:

The water park is finally reopen (Splashdown)

  • Where: Tower Park, Poole BH12 4NY
  • When: Daily 
  • Price: Tickets for the park start at £14.50 for over 5s.

Splashdown is finally reopen so why not head down there this half term and let the kids let off a little bit of steam.

With a myriad of water slides and rides, there’s endless fun to be had at Poole’s very own waterpark. 

Pre-booking is essential via their website.

Four! Visit one of the many mini golf courses

Bournemouth Echo:

Enjoy mini golf this half term

We’re spoilt for choice with golf courses, indoor crazy golf centres and mini golf parks in the county. 

Starting at as little as £3 per player, there’s plenty of fun to be had on the course.

From pirate themed courses to dinosaurs, check out the full list below to find your closest course.

READ MORE: Every mini golf course now open in Dorset

Are there any activities your children are signed up to that you want to give a shout out? Let us know in the comments. 

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