For a fun, diverse and relatively inexpensive family day out, Adventure Wonderland, Bournemouth is a great option. There are rides, animals, shows, playgrounds and an indoor play centre to explore. It’s less sophisticated than the major theme parks, but then the entry prices do reflect this (£13.99 per adult and child aged 3+ at the time of writing).
In the three years we have lived in the New Forest, we’ve visited Adventure Wonderland five times. Each occasion, my kids have had an absolutely thrilling time and come away happy and exhausted. What more can you ask from a family day out?!
There’s an Alice in Wonderland theme running throughout the park and you can find out lots of information about the famous children’s novel if interested.
The park is aimed at younger children and so most of the rides are incredibly tame. If you’re looking for hair-raising rides for adults, you will be disappointed (the Ghostly Galleon pirate boat is perhaps the only exception).
Both of my kids (aged 7 and 2) are equally entertained by the selection of rides . There are tea cups, flying elephants, yo-yos, a runaway train, a caterpillar ride and more on offer. Most rides can be accessed by children of all ages, however there are a few which are unsuitable for younger children. My son, at one metre in height, was too short for the runaway train, helter skelter and pirate boat.
When you’ve had enough of the rides, there are many other things to do….
Adventure Wonderland has a fabulous indoor soft-play centre. Rain or shine, my kids will always spend at least an hour inside. There’s a well-equipped toddler area and the whole centre is bright and airy – unlike so many other soft-plays I have visited! It’s also clean which, for a soft-play centre, is always a bonus.
For animal lovers, there’s a lovely petting zoo where we saw pigs, sheep, goats and alpacas as well as smaller animals such as rabbits and chicks. Your child can also enjoy a pony ride (for a small additional cost).
The large grounds also contain a few playgrounds, a huge maze, a bouncy castle area and trampolines. This is all more than enough to keep a pair of small children occupied for the day!
Hot and cold food, drinks and ice-creams are readily available at the park. As with all of these kinds of attractions, food and drinks are quite pricey. However, if you’re willing to sit outside, you can take your own food. There are plenty of picnic areas dotted around the park and lots of grassy areas to loll about on.
Two years ago, we visited Adventure Wonderland during the October half-term and my (then) five year old daughter had a whale of a time watching the Halloween show, having her face painted and taking part in other Halloween activities. They did seem to put a lot of effort into embracing Halloween; with spookily-dressed staff members freely roaming around the park. I haven’t been at Christmas, but I’m sure it is equally as enchanting for the little ones.
All-in-all we love a good day out at Adventure Wonderland. The kids enjoy it, which is obvious the most important consideration but there are many other factors in its favour – its clean, the staff are friendly and it doesn’t cost the earth.
For up-to-date prices, opening times and more information, please visit the Adventure Wonderland website. Membership options and children’s birthday parties are also available.
For more ideas of things to do in the New Forest with the kids, check out this post.
(Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post and am simply recounting our experiences at Adventure Wonderland Bournemouth. I strongly recommend you visit the park’s website before you visit as well as phoning for more information. I do not accept liability for the outcome of any visit. I have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this post and do not accept liability for any errors or omission.)