Summer is here and it won't be long until the children are off school.
Our summer holiday is 7 weeks this year!
I love summer, we have lots of family days out and we live in such a great place who needs to go on holiday!
Maybe you are lucky enough to be going away or you have other plans, but 6-7 weeks is a long time to fill and the holidays can be expensive.
I have put together a big list of activities and events that are FREE for families in the Dorset area this summer.
Summer reading challenge
The summer reading challenge is hosted by local libraries and encourages children to read books across the school holidays.
When they sign up they get given a folder and they can set a goal of how many books they would like to read over the summer.
Along the way they can collect rewards and depending on location they may receive a medal for completing the challenge.
You can read more or sign up online here:
Summer Reading Challenge
Pop up Playgrounds
Poole Museum is now On The Move! As part of their redevelopment plan, the museum is going out into the community to bring the museum closer to you. Thanks to their Creatives in the Community funding, we are delighted to be creating Pop Up Playgrounds for 0-99 year olds to experience a playground like no other!
Warning! We are not your average stay & play. We celebrate the power of play; when people play with Big Blue Play all sorts of magic occurs. Play is a process. There isn’t a thing to make, instructions to follow, or something to take home at the end of a session (except memories and endorphins). Children’s brains evolve when they play freely without instructions from an adult.
Check out the pics from our pop ups with Poole Museum so far and tag a friend to join us at one of the following:
Bourne Community Hub on Saturday 22nd July 11-3pm
Bourne Hub // Free entry Pop Up Playgrounds commissioned by Poole Museum
Branksome Centre on Tuesday 25th July 11-3pm
Branksome Community Centre // Free entry Pop Up Playgrounds commissioned by Poole Museum
Oakdale Library on Wednesday 26th July 2-6pm
Oakdale Library // Free entry Pop Up Playgrounds commissioned by Poole Museum
Upton Country Park for National Playday on Weds 2nd August 11-3pm
National Play Day! // Free entry Pop Up Playgrounds commissioned by Poole Museum
For more info including bus routes and parking visit https://bigblueplay.wordpress.com/events/
Free children's entertainment in Bournemouth town centre
There is lots of free entertainment going on this summer at Bournemouth Town Centre.
Please visit the Summer Live website for more information.
Summer Live Bournemouth - Summer Live Bournemouth | Free Entertainment
Bournemouth Air Festival
The Bournemouth Air Festival is back.
The perfect end to your summer holidays.
For more information visit their website:
The UK's largest air festival - in the air, on the ground & at night! - Bournemouth Air Festival
Poole Quay for my car
Quay for my car is back this summer at Poole Quay on Fridays in August from 6-9pm.
Each week has a different theme.
If the kids are into cars you wont want to miss this.
Friday 4th August – Best of British
Friday 11th August – Italian Stallion and Supercars
Friday 18th August – Aircooled VWs
Friday 25th August – American Dream
FREE fireworks displays across Dorset all summer!
Christchurch is hosting a free fireworks display as part of the Christchurch carnival on 12th August 930pm
Lyme Regis are holding a free fireworks display on Friday 4th August at 9:30pm as part of Lyme Regis carnival week.
Weymouth are holding free fireworks displays on Monday evenings through the summer between 31st July to 28th August. You can see this from Weymouth Esplanade at 930pm.
As part of Swanage carnival week, you can enjoy free fireworks displays on the following dates at 9:45pm:
Saturday 29th July
Wednesday 2nd August
Saturday 5th August
Poole Quay are also hosting free fireworks displays every Thursday evening at 10pm between 27th July and 31st August as part of their family fun evenings.
Bournemouth are also hosting free fireworks displays every Friday at 10pm between 4-25th August.
Also, as part of the Air Festival on 1st and 2nd September, also at 10pm.
Poole Baby Event 30th July 2023 - Poole Dolphin Centre
Poole's Baby Event is back at the Dolphin Centre for its 5th time this July.
Samantha Prewett Photography is proud to host this fantastic event aimed at expectant and new parents, older siblings are always welcome to attend.
We have amazing FREE goody bags with freebies from Organix, hot tea mama, vitabiotics and more!
Throughout the day we have an amazing line up of FREE talks, demos and taster classes.
Come and meet lots of other local baby related businesses and enjoy the baby play area hosted by Little Leaps Sensory and Sign.
Girls only Cricket in Parley
Sign up below to a FREE workshop to help create artwork to be illuminated at the Glow Badbury event which will be held on 29th & 30th September.
Glow Badbury Workshops – EMERALD ANT
Information correct at time of publishing. However, please always check with event providers before travelling to events.
Netwalking - 9th August 2023 Potterne to Moors Valley
If like me you run your own business and would love to meet up with other lovely likeminded people, AND bring your children along, then Netwalking is the perfect summer activity for you.
We meet at 10am at Potterne Park and walk together through the forest to Moors Valley.
During the summer we bring our children along with us too.
You can read more about Joanne's netwalking event here:
Netwalking August 2023 Summer Special | Facebook
Other ideas for free activities in the school holidays
You don't need a set day to have fun. How about getting the kids to choose something from this list or pherhaps they have their own ideas of something that you can do for free in the holidays.
* Crabbing at Poole Quay, Lake Pier or Mudeford Quay. Check out this great article on top tip for crabbing in Dorset.
* Visit the beach
* Try geocaching
* Go to the park
* Fossil hunting
* Watch the sunset/ sunrise
* Prize bingo night
* Movie nights
* Games nights
* Do some baking
I hope you all enjoy the summer as much as we always do and I hope that you get some inspiration from reading this.
If you know of anything else please do share in the comments section.