Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Poole & Bournemouth Things to Do

The Insider's Guide

14 Things to Do Indoors and on a Rainy Day in Bournemouth and Poole

Last updated on 10 January 2020 at 5:21 pm

Things to Do Indoors and on a Rainy Day in Bournemouth and Poole

Whilst there is plenty to do in good weather, on a rainy day it can be tricky to think of local indoor activities that will suit all the family. To give you some ideas, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best things to do indoors in the Bournemouth and Poole area.


1. Crazy Golf at Mr Mulligans, Bournemouth Town Centre

Mr Mulligan’s, Bournemouth

Housed in the new BH2 entertainment complex in the heart of Bournemouth, Mr Mulligan’s doesn’t disappoint. It is an enormous fun-packed crazy golf centre, with three nine-hole courses to choose from. Each course takes you on a wild journey through comic books, an apolocalyse crash scene or unearthly light experiences. There is a large diner style restaurant and currently kids eat free. A great place to visit for all the family.


2. Ten Pin Bowling at Three Alleys in Poole and Bournemouth

We are lucky enough to have three bowling alleys in the local area. Two large traditional ones can be found in:

There is also a smaller American-themed bowling alley located in central Bournemouth at Oasis Fun.


3. Eight Cinemas in Poole and Bournemouth

Odeon BH2 Bournemouth Cinema, Town Centre
Odeon BH2 Cinema, Bournemouth Town Centre

We have written a post about the great cinema options in the local area, from mainstream options to independent cinemas and film festivals too. Please take a look to find out more.


4. Tank Museum near Wareham

Tank Museum near Wareham

It is worth knowing that the Tank Museum is largely inside and therefore makes a great wet weather destination. An impressively modern and cavernous building houses the world’s best collection of tanks, a bright and airy restaurant and toy soldiers, dressing up opportunities and a soft play for children. You can easily spend a whole day there looking at all the exhibits with all the family.


5. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Central Bournemouth

A seaside Victorian villa filled with art, Russell-Cotes is a great indoor cultural activity with plenty to see. You are transported back in time to an extravagantly decorated family home, complete with a decadent Moorish alcove inspired by the Alhambra in Granada. It is easy to find, next to the Royal Bath Hotel to the east of Bournemouth Pier.


6. Five Escape Rooms in Bournemouth

For a totally new and immersive activity, central Bournemouth has five escape rooms to experience. A team of 2-8 people are usually given an background to the rooms’ setting and rules, and are timed while they explore the room and try to solve a number of puzzles that lead to their way out. It gets more exciting as the timer counts down and your team works together to try to get out.


6. Swimming at a Leisure Centre in Poole or Bournemouth

There are some decent leisure centres in the area most with swimming pools and a variety of other facilities. Read our post covering the best leisure centres in Bournemouth and Poole to find out more.


7. Oceanarium, Bournemouth Seafront

Located to the west of Bournemouth Pier, the Oceanarium is packed full of water-loving mammals, crustaceans, molluscs and fish. This aquarium is all inside, and is split into a series of different areas with enormous tanks with otters, penguins, turtles, sharks and stringrays. There is a new shark reef exhibit for 2019.


8. See a Performance at a Theatre or Concert Hall in Bournemouth or Poole

There is a wealth of live performance venues to choose from in the area, read our post on great theatres and concert halls in Bournemouth and Poole to find out more.


9. Two Indoor Skate Parks in Poole

If you are into skateboarding, BMX riding or scooting, then you could visit the Prevail Skatehouse just outside of Poole town centre. It is the South’s leading indoor skate park with foam pit, ramps, bowls, and a recently fitted resi jump box and quarter. If you are new to the sport lessons are available too. For younger children, next door is home to Ramp Ratz, the UK’s first indoor junior skatepark, complete with soft play and coffee shop for parents.


10. Bouncy Castle World, Broadstone, Poole

For those with children aged between 2 and 12 years, The Junction Leisure Centre in Broadstone has a Bouncy Castle World every Saturday morning from 9:15am to 12:45pm. There are chairs and tables for adults to sit and enjoy a coffee whilst the little ones jump for joy on approximately five or six enormous inflatables in the main sports hall.


11. Various Soft Plays Around Bournemouth and Poole

Little children absolutely love climbing around a soft play, and to help you find them we’ve put together a list of recommended soft plays to visit in the area.


12. Two Indoor Climbing Centres in Poole and Bournemouth

Poole is home to The Project Climbing Centre, which is located in the Dolphin Centre. As you enter the centre an unbelievably large area appears before you, perfect for tall climbing walls, bouldering and apparatus.

Rock Reef on the otherhand is on Bournemouth Pier, naturally smaller-scale and more suitable for children and adolescents. Here you can take a hair-raising zip-wire down from a tall tower at the end of the pier down to the terra firmer of the beach.


13. Garden Centres Across Bournemouth and Poole

The area has a wide selection of garden centres to choose from, many of which have a large indoor sections with plants, local produce, a café and even soft play facilities. Here is our post covering the best Poole and Bournemouth garden centres to visit.


14. Shopping in the Poole and Bournemouth Area

Whilst Bournemouth Town Centre is largely outside, The Dolphin Centre in Poole Town is all undercover with many popular high street brands. Southampton’s West Quay Shopping centre is about a 50 minute drive away by car and has an enormous John Lewis and Marks and Spencer to visit too.


That’s the end of our list, thank you for reading. Do you know of any things to do indoors and on a rainy day we have missed or information we could add? Feel free to get in touch and let us know.



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If you are looking after restless little ones, it is very useful to know where good local soft play facilities are. They are a reliable fallback option as you can go in all weather conditions, are open all year round with good changing facilities, and normally have a decent café serving great coffee and cake.