Rainy Day Activities For Families in Dorset

We all like to think of summer holidays as endless, scorching weeks lounging on the beach in shorts and T-shirts. Sadly, the reality of British weather is often quite different! Save this list of rainy day activities for families to prevent having to scramble for a back-up plan…

Here, we’ve pulled together the best indoor activities in Dorset that will help you to make those lasting summer holiday memories even when the sun isn’t shining. All within an hour’s drive!

As with everything, please check with the establishments directly to check whether you need to book in advance.

What to do in Dorset when it’s raining?


Indoor Skate Parks in Dorset

The new way to spend a day with children of all ages from toddlers upwards, why not bring along the scooters, skateboards or balance bikes to enjoy a super fun session at these – they won’t want to leave!

skate park for children

Prevail Junior Skatepark

Soft Play in Dorset

Always a favourite way for younger children to spend an hour or two, soft plays always have a nice spot to relax with a coffee and cake while the little ones play. Here are our favourites:

  • Lemur Landings – Tower Park, Poole (30 mins)
  • Purbeck Sports Centre, Wareham (15 mins)


Indoor Family Attractions in Dorset
  • Lulworth Castle (5 mins)
  • Farmer Palmers, Organford (20 mins) – if it’s just a bit drizzly, explore the whole park and all the animals. If it’s pouring down, there’s soft play, animal bottle feeding, demonstrations and more indoors.
  • Putlake Farm, Langton Matravers (30 mins) – similar to Farmer Palmers, soft play and lots of cuddly animals to pet.
  • Arcades and indoor amusements are the classic seaside holiday activity – head to nearby Swanage or Weymouth (both 30 mins) for sea front amusements and fish and chips.
  • Splashdown at Tower Park, Poole (30 mins) won’t keep you dry, but it’s definitely fun! An indoor water park that promises lots of fun for the family (and a good night’s sleep afterwards too!)
  • Cinemas can be found in Dorchester (30 mins), Weymouth (30 mins), Poole (30 mins) and Wareham (15 mins).
  • Oceanarium, Bournemouth (40 mins) is an aquarium that is largely indoors.
  • Bowling can be found at Tower Park, Poole (30 mins)
  • Mr Mulligans indoor crazy golf, Bournemouth (40 mins) comes highly recommended for adults and children alike.


Lulworth Castle and Park

Lulworth Castle and Park

Swimming in Dorset
  • Purbeck Sports Centre, Wareham (15 mins) for lane swimming and family fun sessions
  • Blandford Leisure Centre, Blandford (45 mins) has a toddler pool and a water slide


Eating Out in Lulworth

Rainy weather makes us hungry… luckily there are so many options for great food and drink locally. Read more about Amazing Food and Drink at Durdle Door in our separate blog here:



burger and chips at the weld arms

The Weld Arms pub, East Lulworth



Where are the best museums in Dorset?

With Dorset’s rich history, we’re spoilt for choice with the many museums of fantastic quality in all our surrounding towns. First stop should always be Lulworth’s Visitor Centre. Learn all about the geology of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, then go further afield to explore more:

  • The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Kimmeridge (20 mins) is a truly incredible experience that takes you through Mr Steve Etches’ personal collection of fossils he has found in Kimmeridge, spanning throughout Jurassic history. Your ticket will give you unlimited trips for a year!
  • Dorchester Museum (30 mins) has recently undergone a huge refurbishment ready for 2021 and looks incredible – Dorset has so much to offer and this museum does a great job of presenting information in an interactive and accessible way.
  • Tank Museum, Bovington (10 mins) is always a firm favourite with our guests, some of which book to come simply to visit! All indoors, the Tank Museum also has a café and soft play.
  • Dinosaur Museum, Dorchester (30 mins)
  • Tutankhamun Museum, Dorchester (30 mins) for a fascinating look at all things Ancient Egypt


Tutankhamun museum, Dorchester


For complexes with several activities, we recommend heading out to either Purbeck Sports Centre in Wareham (15 mins) for soft play, swimming, and bookable sports sessions including squash, badminton and other self directed games.

Tower Park in Poole (30 mins) is a fantastic complex where you can easily while away a rainy day. Tower Park in particular has several well-known eateries, Splashdown, a cinema, bingo, bowling and more!


These options should be enough to keep the kids entertained on the rainiest of days. Durdle Door is conveniently located centrally between large towns making it an ideal base for a summer holiday, whatever the weather! Explore Holiday Homes and Glamping at Durdle Door Holiday Park.