After school activities for children in Dorset

Prolong that summer holiday feeling at the beginning of the autumn term by making the most of the weekends. Need some ideas? Here are some for you…


Free Trial this September with Jamie Lee Dance Academy 

Jamie Lee Dance Academy (JLDA) is one of the finest Performing Arts schools in Dorset, founded by school principal, visionary and former West-End professional Jamie-Lee Mason. Along with school patrons, Scott Maslen and Ashley Day, JLDA offers the complete package for any up and coming performer.

Classes are available for all abilities and ages including Ballet, Tap, Modern, Street, Jazz, Acrobatic Arts, Shows, Competitions, Drama and Musical Theatre, at the LeAF Studios on Holloway Avenue. JLDA is proud to be a family orientated, welcoming school, dedicated to offering students the best, professional training and performance opportunities. JLDA has a London based casting agency, where students can audition for professional work in TV, Film and Theatre. Current JLDA students can be seen on adverts for DFS, Boots, Samsung, Odeon, John Lewis and more. A two-week free trial is available in September only. Quote JLDA SEP to redeem. See


Family Fun at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts

The season at Lighthouse kicks off in September with two family-friendly performances in the cool and quirky Roundabout tent, which this year is located on the Pavilion Dance Terrace in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens, forming part of the Arts by the Sea Festival.

In How To Spot An Alien, on 29-30 September, join twelve-year-old Jelly and her brother Jonjo on their quest to discover the truth in a rip-roaring adventure through space full of friendship, fun and flying saucers. Also performed in the unique theatre-in-the-round experience of the Roundabout tent is the popular Comedy Club 4 Kids on 29 September.

Award-winning musical comedian Jay Foreman provides a devilishly cheeky hour of songs, poems and comedy for children of all ages in Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children in the Lighthouse Sherling Studio on 6 October. Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World Live in an interactive new show for all the family on 13 and 14 October. Grab your compass and join the show’s intrepid explorer across unchartered territories. Tickets for all events are on sale now - call 01202 280000 or book online at


It’s a Family Affair at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival takes place on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October and with 8 different races to choose from, it’s perfect for the whole family. The junior races kick-start the weekend on Saturday and are a great way for children to be active, have fun and get involved over the weekend. Even better, they can cool down afterwards with an ice cream on the beach or, if they’re feeling brave - a dip in the sea. For full information head to


Autumn Fun at Adventure Wonderland 

Adventure Wonderland has something for everyone this autumn. The full park opens at weekends and all week during half term, with all the family favourite rides open until 28 October. The indoor adventure play centre Wild Thing! will be open daily, keeping children entertained whatever the weather. Adventure Wonderland is inspired by Alice in Wonderland and children love meeting resident characters Alice, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Mr Rabbit, and the cheeky Cheshire Cat. Plus, there’s Cuddle Corner Farm and the South’s largest hedge maze. Book online for a 10% discount. See


Orphaned Orangutan Mimi turns 3 at Monkey World 

Orphaned orangutan Mimi turned three years old on Friday 17 August, and her keepers at Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre celebrated by throwing her a party- complete with jelly, fruit and friends.

Mimi came to the centre in 2016 after her mother at Moscow zoo didn’t care for her. She joined Europe’s only orangutan crèche at Monkey World and was adopted by adult female Oshine. Already present in the nursery were two Sumatran infants, Rieke and Bulu Mata, and adolescent males, Silvestre and Jin. The nursery gives a family to youngsters who would otherwise have had to be reared away from their own kind - a contributing factor to whether they become successful parents themselves. The nursery family were given extra special treats on Mimi’s birthday, specially made for the young orangutans. Visit Mimi and all the other apes at Monkey World this autumn. See


Children Go Free to The Blue Pool 

A truly delightful family attraction since 1935, the magical Blue Pool is surrounded by tranquil woods and heathland with many sandy paths. Visiting families can take an imaginative stroll and enjoy becoming a ‘Searcher and Finder’ looking for squirrels, fairy doors and much more. Whilst there, visit the gift shop and Teahouse which serves coffee, light lunches and delicious Cream Teas made with homemade scones. Entry is £7 per adult, £6 per senior and all children under 16 are admitted free. Find The Blue Pool at Furzebrook near Wareham, BH20 5AR. For more details call 01929 551408 or visit


United Taxis for all Occasions

Over the last few years United Taxis has expanded its operation and now covers a wide area, from Poole all the way across to Lymington. It has also extended its fleet to cope with this extra demand, ensuring customers receive a reliable, professional service at all times. United Taxis has invested heavily in technology, with its bespoke booking App being a popular option for booking taxis. Within minutes, customers can book and track a car. They will receive a text message with the set fare, so they know exactly how much the trip will cost in advance. United Taxis regularly takes families to airports and the docks to begin their holiday and offers a set fee on journeys to and from Bournemouth airport, if pre-booked on a credit card. To ensure that its consistently high service levels are met, United Taxis constantly monitors and values its customer feedback. To book your holiday transportation call 01202 556677 or browse the website and download the App at


Crealy to launch South West’s first Christmas on Ice Show this December

Crealy is launching Devon’s biggest Christmas event to date, with the Crealy Christmas Spectacular. There will be plenty of new attractions on offer including the South West’s first pantomime Christmas Ice Show. The sensational Christmas Ice Show will be in the heated Big Top Arena and is the first pantomime on ice in the South West.

Alongside the Christmas Ice Show, guests will also enjoy a visit to Santa’s Magical Toy Shop, a Christmas Market inside a heated marquee, cookie baking with Mary Christmas, Santa’s Post Office, a Rudolph’s ‘Food Make Station’, a Christmas Craft Session, the Singing Snowman Show and more. For further information, visit


Autumn Term Begins at Saturday Art School

Based at the Arts University Bournemouth, Saturday Art School offers creative courses for young people in school years 5-13. Whether your child is eager to try new techniques or is passionate about a creative career path and wants to gain more experience, these courses offer an opportunity to study in a specialist university. From Young Artists, right through to the Portfolio Preparation course, there are classes for students in school years 5 – 13, on Saturday mornings, from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Call 01202 363030 or email, or see


PDSW Launches into the Autumn

Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth is launching into the Autumn with a great choice of family performances, classes and events for children. Highlights include The Wolf and Peter by CoisCéim Dance Theatre, a playful, funny, moving and extraordinary adventure and winner of the Best Children’s Dance Show (BTA Awards, 2016) on 9 to 10 October. Plus, don’t miss the return of the half-term activity, Frankenstein Fun. This three-day experience, from 22 to 25 October, will include dance and spoken word activities exploring themes of home, love, power and the things that make us unique. For more information and activities see or call 01202 203630.


Sign Up Now to the Blackwell Dance Academy

Blackwell Dance Academy prides itself on being a very friendly school with a high standard of teaching. It offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, street, breakdance and musical theatre at its fully equipped studio. Pupils aged 2 ½ years+ have the chance to take part in the fabulous annual shows along with other regular events. The dance academy offers very competitive rates and boasts a 100% examination pass rate. See


Brand New Kid’s Memberships at Oxley Sports Centre

Check out the new memberships and keep your kids healthy, happy and fit at Oxley Sports Centre. There’s an Active Kids membership for children aged 8-10 years, which covers access to public swimming sessions, kids’ classes such as Kids Boogie Bounce and Kids Zumba, court hire and 10% off holiday activities. This costs £13 per person, per month. For those aged 11 to 13 years, there’s an Active Kids Plus membership, costing £18.25 per person, per month, which offers the benefits of Active Kids plus junior gym, £18.25 per person, per month. There’s an Active Teens membership too. For more information and to find out about the introductory offers call Oxley Sports Centre 01935 818277 or visit


Theatre Machine Classes from Big Little

Big Little’s Theatre Machine programme is the ideal training ground for budding young performers who have a love of musical theatre. The programme is designed for beginners and improvers who want to develop their skills in a nurturing environment. No audition is required, and a free trial is offered with feedback from the teachers. Classes focus on the integrated skills of acting, singing and dancing and work towards a fabulous showcase every year, plus an end of year celebration assembly where certificates of achievement are awarded. The different stages range from ages 4 – 15 in Mini, Junior and Intermediate classes. All classes are taught by an excellent team of experienced teachers and musical director. Full details can be found at


Free Taster Lesson at Centre Stage School of Dance

Centre Stage School of Dance and Performing Arts is a centre of excellence based in Poole, which inspires students to become confident, creative and talented performers. Centre Stage has a 100% exam pass rate, is CDMT recognised, Ofsted registered, accepts childcare vouchers and is a certified Acrobatic Arts studio, offering performing arts, RAD Ballet, Pointe, ISTD Tap Dance/Modern Theatre, Acro, Conditioning and LCM 1-2-1 vocal training. For a free taster lesson, contact the school to arrange on 01202 733231, or see
















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