After school activities for children in Dorset

It’s great for the children to enjoy a variety of activities after school and at weekends during the late summer and early autumn. So, make the most of the last of the longer days by getting the kids to play outdoors with their friends, under the safe, communal watch of the neighbourhood, or perhaps sign them up to an interesting out of school class so they can learn something new. It’s also a great time of year to take a mini-break close by, as many holiday parks and hotels have fantastic offers during the autumn, or enjoy the whole host of attractions on our doorstep.


Here are a few ideas to fill this leisurely time…


Toby’s Garden and Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey: 16 and 17 September 

Join the late-summer fun at Toby’s Garden and Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey on 16 and 17 September where you can discover Forde’s amazing trees and get lost in the meadow maze and willow labyrinth. Learn how to weave willow structures, make botanical soap, grow edible flowers or brew natural dyes from plants in your garden. Plus, there is apple-pressing and juicing. Visit


Big Little’s Free Trial Class in September

Big Little, a respected acting and musical theatre school, will be offering a free trial class to prospective pupils this September – do contact the school to find out more. The autumn term includes Theatre Machine Class Workshops on Monday 11 September at The Corpus Christi Parish Centre, Bournemouth; Rad Ballet Class Trials from Monday 11 September and LAMDA Acting Class Trials from Monday 11 September. Plus, there are Theatre Machine Class Workshops on Wednesday 13 September at Trinity Centre, Ringwood and a New Members’ Workshop/Audition for Saturday Youth Theatre on Saturday 16 September at Bournemouth School for Girls. See or phone 01202 434499.


It’s fun all the way at Adventure Wonderland

Adventure Wonderland, has something for everyone this autumn. The full park, opposite Bournemouth Airport, opens every weekend with more than 30 rides and attractions.

New for 2017 is Jungle Falls, which takes families on a log flume adventure through the Jungle, where they’ll encounter monkeys and a scary crocodile, before plunging over the rapids. Wild Thing! - the vast indoor Aztec adventure play centre - opens daily to keep the children entertained, whatever the weather. And looking ahead to October half-term don’t forget Adventure Wonderland is the home of Halloween. Book online for a 10% discount. For details go to


Music tuition for all at Coda Music Trust 

Coda Music Centre offers high quality music tuition for all ages and abilities in all instruments, as well as group sessions, such as the popular Saturday Kid’s Ukulele Club. Lessons are competitively priced with a £5 taster session enabling your child to try without commitment. During September, Coda Music will be offering limited free tuition taster sessions. Get in touch on 01425 276161 or visit for details and availability.

Find Coda Music Centre at Chewton Farm Road, Christchurch, BH23 5QL.


Unleash your creative side at Create at the Cove 

Create at the Cove is a unique all weather, all year-round attraction nestled between the iconic Jurassic Coastal features of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

The welcoming, relaxing and inspiring environment encourages all age groups to participate and ‘have a go’ whatever your skill level. Choose from a wide range of creative activities from Paint your own pottery to Decopatch, Fossil digging to Model making – plus lots more.

Open every day from 10am with tasty refreshments available from the small but inviting Coffee Shop. There is also a super Gift Shop full of goodies and toilet facilities including baby change and an accessible toilet.

See for further details.


Choosing the right book for reluctant readers 

Dyslexia doesn’t have to be a barrier to great stories. Dyslexia-friendly books by well-known authors are available through Westbourne Bookshop and Gullivers in Wimborne. Books with buff coloured paper, accessible fonts, simpler language and age appropriate stories all help to encourage even the most reluctant reader. If your child struggles with literacy a dyslexia assessment might help. Vicki Angel from Diverse Thinking is a qualified assessor working across Dorset. Contact Vicki on 07913 417192 or


Wildcats Football for Girls from Dorset FA 

The FA SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Clubs are all about girls aged 5 – 11 getting together to have fun, make friends and enjoy being active. Wildcats’ girls can be brand new to the game or already play but just want to play more. All abilities are welcome and catered for with all coaches FA trained including DBS checked and safeguarding trained. Interested in finding out more? Contact Justine Mosley, Development Manager at Dorset FA via email or 01202 688277.


Funtastic Club - get childcare sorted for the October Half Term Holiday 

Funtastic Club offers very special out of school care throughout the year. A wide selection of fun, exciting activities and workshops are available for children of all ages, both indoors and outdoors - so whatever the weather, it is always fun at Funtastic. In addition, a healthy breakfast and hot dinner can be provided, with a hot lunch included during the holiday club. To find out more, to register or to make a booking visit


September Fun at Honeybrook Farm 

You won’t be disappointed by a visit to Honeybrook Farm this September. This welcoming farm park will be open at weekends and on Tuesdays from 10am - 5pm. When visiting, you will be able to meet the new arrivals, enjoy the spider trail, have-a-go at the craft activities and ride on the tractor or train (during the weekends only). There is also a special Bats and BBQ evening on Friday 15 September. Visit for more details.

Lighthouse remains as an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation

Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts has retained its status as a National Portfolio Organisation following the latest funding round from Arts Council England. Lighthouse is one of 831 organisations who are considered leaders in their field for arts in this country. The funding enables Lighthouse to continue to play an important part in delivering arts and culture by providing the community of Poole, Dorset and beyond with a broad programme which will develop artists and reach a wide and diverse audience. Visit


RockStars After School Club at RockReef on Bournemouth Pier

Rockstars After School Club is designed for children of all abilities, aged from 4 to 15 years old. It’s full of exciting adventurous activities and includes 28 climbing walls, a pier cave, a HighLine aerial obstacle course and much more. Rockstars is great for building confidence and all sessions include: 1-hour instruction, weekly competitions, certificates of achievement and free pizza and a soft drink in the café after the activities. There are 4 sessions a week to choose from: on Tuesdays at 4:30-6:00pm or 5:30-7:00pm and Wednesdays at 4:30-6:00pm or 5:30-7:00pm. Sessions cost just £8 or book 6 weeks for the price of 5. Book online today at


Out of school childcare at Allsorts Pre-school 

Allsorts Preschools are run by highly qualified and enthusiastic staff who plan lots of activities to keep the children happy. The pre-schools are located in Brackenbury, Portland and St. Augustine’s School in Weymouth and are open from 7.30am to 6pm each week day, all year round. You will also find Allsorts at the Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre, where there is a dedicated 2-year-old setting as well as a preschool. This is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm during term time and on some days in the holiday. Allsorts Pre-schools take 2-year funded children as well as 30 hours funded children. Call 01305 750444 or see


Family performances at Pavilion Dance South West this Autumn

Let your child’s imagination run riot in The Buildy-Uppy Dance Show on 23 September, as hundreds of boxes are stacked, squashed and rebuilt. They can help create enticing caves, wonky castles and fabulous creatures, and learn that the strongest thing that can be built is friendship. Then, on 29 October, join King Manu and the shape-shifting Indian god Vishnu on their hunt for the greedy demon No-Knowledge, who has stolen Earth’s most precious treasures, in The Magic Fish. To book call 01202 203630 or visit


Learn creative football skills at Bourne 2 Play 

Bourne2play Futsal Academy is a football development project that does not focus on physical strength or playing in a set positions within a team. Instead, it brings out the individual's creative football skills. Futsal offers players the opportunity to continue their football development through futsal professional coaching. Specifically designed for committed players who want to develop technical ability and aspire to make the step from grassroots football schemes form the Development Programme (PDP). For details ring 07725 858281.


Lessons for all ages and abilities at Individuality Swimming

Individuality Swimming offers swimming lessons for everyone no matter what their age or ability. This covers baby swimming to adult lessons and all ages in between. Friendly, qualified instructors run group lessons, and private 1:1 and 2:1 lessons, during the day, after school and at weekends at venues in Bournemouth and Poole. To find out more visit or give them a call on 07900 058395.


Book a free trial at Blackwell Dance Academy 

Blackwell Dance Academy prides itself on being a very friendly school with a high standard of teaching. It is priced very competitively and boasts a 100% examination pass rate. The Academy offers specialised 'Boogie Baby' and 'Dancing Stars' classes for children aged from 2 years at various venues. In the main studio there are classes in ballet, tap, modern jazz, musical theatre, acro and performance classes for older pupils. Call Clare today on 07886 406888 to book a free trial or visit


Reasons why children should learn to swim 

Swimming is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy. It uses most of the muscles in your body and exercises the most important of them all, your heart. It’s also a skill that can help to keep people safe throughout their lives. A recent report from Swim England revealed that one in three children leave primary school unable to swim. Everyone Active aims to improve this statistic by encouraging more people to swim, with award-winning swimming lessons for children as young as four months. To find out more about learning to swim at your local leisure centre visit


Pottery Fun at Bella Ceramics

Halloween is fast approaching and Bella Ceramics is getting ready for some spooky pottery painting. It has lots of fabulous Halloween ceramics to paint! Keep an eye on Bella Ceramics’ Facebook page for the dates of its fun half-term Halloween themed clay workshops and fancy dress pottery painting party. Bella Ceramics is also fast becoming a favourite for kids’ pottery painting birthday parties, with three different packages to choose from. For more information visit


Circus Skills at Brewery Square: Saturday 30 September

Brewery Square has teamed up with Juggling Jake to bring their fantastic circus skills workshop and performances to this vibrant shopping quarter in Dorchester. On Saturday 30 September, from 12noon until 4pm, all visitors can have a go at the circus workshop for free, and enjoy activities such as juggling, plate spinning, hula-hooping, stilts and more. Visitors will also be able to attempt the 14ft tight wire, and enjoy street food as part of Brewery Square’s monthly Street Food Market. For more information visit







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