5 fun things to do with kids in Weymouth

5 Fun things to do with kids in Weymouth Dorset

by Laura Riddell |
Updated on

If you're looking for a family staycation in the UK this Summer, Weymouth in Dorset has plenty of child-friendly attractions...

Weymouth Beach five things to do with kids in weymouth

1. Weymouth Beach

This award-winning beach is clean with soft sand and water that's shallow for several metres in, making it perfect for toddlers, young children and adults who want to paddle without going too far in. It's overlooked by a charming Georgian seafront, and alongside splashing in the water and building sandcastles, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy such as a fairground with a vintage helter skelter, pony rides and pedalos. At the fairground, one token will cost you £1 or you can buy 22 tokens for £20. Most rides need two or three tokens. I paid for my boys, Odhran, 8, and Reuben, 5, to go on three rides each. But in hindsight, it might have been better value for money to head further along to Fantasy Island, which is opened until 10pm, and where for £15.99 each, the kids could enjoy three hours of unlimited fun on the rides and soft play. The park is free for adults just wanting to watch.

5 fun things to do with kids in Weymouth

Baboo Gelato is conveniently located on Weymouth beach, so you can enjoy delicious award-winning gelato in a variety of flavours, and refreshing rhubarb or blood orange sorbet. Three double scoops and one single scoop cost just over £20. Finish your day of sun and fun with a visit to Wafflicious ice-cream parlour, located right opposite the beach. Here you can enjoy sundaes, milkshakes, crepes and waffles. Kids will love the Smoreo - a waffle topped with mini-marshmallows and crushed Oreo biscuits, drizzled with Nutella and serves with Cookies & Cream ice-cream. A half waffle will cost you £5.99, or £8.99 for a full one.

sandworld weymouth five things to do with kids in weymouth

2. Sandworld

If you're visiting Weymouth it would be a shame to miss this unique attraction. It showcases incredible works of art from some of the world's leading sand sculptors. The detail was incredible. I underestimated the length of time my son, Odhran, 8, and Reuben, 5, would want to spend here, as once they started building sand structures of their own, they didn't want to leave. A friendly and helpful young member of staff was on hand to show them how much water to add to the sand to make their structures stay in place, and they proudly wanted me to take pictures of their creations.

Sandworld Weymouth 5 things to do with kids in weymouth

Sandworld is a fun, all-weather attraction, and the sand sculptures are truly works of art. The kids were given a sheet to encourage them to read the plaques next to the sculptures and answer questions and find all the Disney Stitch characters hidden around in order to claim their prize lollipop at the end. But there was also a fun quiz with harder questions for the adults. This summer, Sandworld features sculptures inspired by film and TV and dinosaur creations to celebrate the Jurassic Coast. The works are created by artists from across the world and we were blown away by the level of detail. It's incredible to know they are made using only sand and water. For an extra charge, you can also fill your own sand art bottle, and there's a small cafe and gift shop. But it's worth noting that there are no toilet facilities on site. However, there are clean public toilets in the car park next to Sandworld. There were families, groups of friends and older couples at Sandworld when we visited, proving it's an enjoyable attraction for all age groups.

Weymouth Harbour five things to do with kids in weymouth

3. Weymouth harbour

Sit and watch the pleasure boats and soak up the lively atmosphere around Weymouth harbour. Enjoy brunch as you relax in the sunshine outside EBIKE Cafe, located in an historic building overlooking the waterfront. Odhran and Reuben tucked into a stack of fluffy pancakes topped with fresh berries and with strawberry and maple syrup on the side. Myself and my husband had a delicious Mexican Buddha Bowl, with smashed avocado, pitta, black beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, chilli flakes, quinoa, jalapeños, kale and soured cream dressing. My husband added chicken to his. But you'll also find paninis, smoothie bowls, light bites and cakes and snacks on the menu.

Ebike cafe weymouth 5 things to do with kids in weymouth

EBIKE combines an electric bike ship with a cafe, and champions an active lifestyle and healthy eating. The menu is seasonal and uses local produce. It's a community minded place, where local groups meet for coffee mornings, and it holds a charity partnership with Weldmar Hospicecare. This is close to co-owner Josephine's heart, as her mother Margaret received great care from Weldmar during her short illness. In memory of Margaret, EBIKE changed the name of its Cappuccino to a Weldmarccino, and 10p from every one sold goes to Weldmar Hospicecare. The coffee at EBIKE is very good, and got the seal of approval from my husband who has been known to drive 40 minutes out of his way for a good coffee. We returned the following morning for a coffee and a deliciously fresh lemon and poppy seed muffin. Brunch at EBIKE is a lovely way to get your day off to a relaxed start.

weymouth harbour five things to do with kids in weymouth

Reuben was super excited to join all the other kids with nets and buckets and try crabbing for the first time. I wouldn't have encouraged it as I was concerned about the wellbeing of the crabs but there were plenty of signs with rules in place and people seemed to be adhering to the rules of not keeping more than three in the bucket at a time and releasing smaller ones if they caught a big one that might injury them. Despite plenty of bacon as bait, it took about 40 mins to catch a small crab. But Reuben was thrilled, and my husband and I sipped a beer in a plastic cup from a bar along the harbour as we sat in the sunshine and patiently waited for the crabs to bite. We ate tasty fish and chips from Bennett's, which offered child-sized portions for the boys, and also sold Mr Whippy ice-creams for a traditional seaside lunch and dessert.

Harbour Hut five things to do with kids in Weymouth

On Hope Square, near to the Harbourside, meat-lovers are in for a treat at Harbour Hut smokehouse. Here you'll find freshly made smoked meats including brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken wings, mac and cheese and burgers. The restaurant is run by Jade and Anthony, who is the chef. Anthony has a background in the pub and restaurant industry. But for Jade, who worked in care, it's a new and exciting venture. Heartbroken after her dad passed away, Jade decided to take a new direction in life. She moved from London to Weymouth with plans to open a restaurant, and when she saw the vacant premises on Hope Square, the address felt like a sign. Harbour Hut aims to bring something a bit different to the culinary offerings in Weymouth. There's a list of classic cocktails on offer and I sipped a delicious Pornstar Martini as we waited for our food to arrive. My husband had the bourbon wings and said they were excellent. As a vegetarian, I wasn't left out and enjoyed a tasty mushroom and halloumi burger. The kids had a hotdog, washed down with an Oreo milkshake. But there's also a separate kids menu serving sausage, chips and beans, chicken nuggets, a mini burger or a mini mix, which includes brisket and chicken wings with corn on the cob. Kids meal prices start from a very reasonable £5.50. Reuben tried chicken wings for the first time and made my husband regret offering, as he helped to polish them off. The dessert menu includes Ice Cream Sundae and Banana Split, which is sure to keep the little ones happy. So, if you get bored of the usual fish and chips options, Harbour Hut is certainlyworth a visit.

Nothe Fort five things to do with kids in Weymouth

4. Nothe Fort

As we climbed the hill to Nothe Fort, my five-year-old son spent the walk telling me we were going the wrong way - 'Mammy, I'm telling you, the sign says Not the Fort!' So he was somewhat surprised when we did actually arrive at this multi award winning museum and visitor attraction. Here we explored underground tunnels to a nuclear bunker and climbed the Ramparts to discover the anti-aircraft guns and take in the 360 degree views of Dorset's Jurassic Coast. The boys enjoyed dressing up in some of the military clothing left around to try on and learning about D-Day. We spent a couple of hours here but you could spend longer if you wanted to enjoy a drink and a snack in the cafe next to the parade ground. While gift shops are normally places you try to scoot kids through as quickly as possible, the one at Nothe Fort actually had some lovely things for sale, including fancy dress items and war related books for kids. Nothe Fort is a nice place to visit for when you want a break from the beach and want the kids to learn a bit of area's history. During school holidays Nothe Fort runs a varied programme of family activities including Halloween Fun at the Fort, World War II Week, Easter Fair and Pirate Week. So, it's worth checking their events page if you're thinking of visiting. They'll be running a Victorian Weekend between 20-21 July. It's a budget friendly attraction with a family ticket (two adults, two children) costing £24.50.

sea life weymouth five things to do with kids in weymouth

5. SEA LIFE Centre

Sea Life is always a winner with kids. But what we love about Sea Life Weymout is a large part of it is outdoors and on a sunny summer's day kids could happily spend hours here. Kids will loved watching the fish (including sharks and rays) swim overhead in the glass tunnel, spotting the seals sunning themselves, and seeing the penguins being fed. But a highlight for my boys was the Rockpool where they got to touch the starfish. My favouriting sighting was the beautiful and inquisitive octopus. There is a splash pool and fountain area to cool down in. This was closed when we visited but I was told it was due to open at the end of May. There's a great playground called Caribbean Cove, with slides, tall climbing structures and little wooden boats for imaginative play.

sea life weymouth five things to do with kids in weymouth

There's a Costa next to the playground if parents want to grab a coffee and a snack. My youngest son enjoyed finding and filling out the answers to questions on a sheet he was given at the entrance as we wandered around. The prize was a paper mask, colouring in sheet and a little magnifying glass. Next door, there's a pirate themed adventure golf if you wanted to add another activity to your day. It's worth considering that Weymouth Beach is at one end of the town and Lodmoor Country Park, a large park with trails, playgrounds and a miniature train, and where Sea Life, Sandworld and Leisureranch, (where kids can ride go-karts) are located, is at the other end of the town. It's about a 35 minute walk between the two. There's a car park located at either end. But when visiting Weymouth it makes money sense to pay to park for the day (It's £3 for up to one hour, £7.50 for up to four hours or £15 for up to 10 hours with parking free between 6pm to 8am). So it's a shame you can't pay for your day ticket and move between both car parks so you can make the most of the beach and the attractions at Lodmoor Country Park. We parked in car park next to the beach and brought the boys bikes so they could cycle to Lodmoor.

Five things to do with kids in Weymouth

Where to stay?

Weymouth has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets with plenty of campsites, caravan parks, hotels, Airbnb and hostels to choose from. We stayed at Penn Castle Estate on the Isle of Portland, about a 15-20 minute drive from the centre of Weymouth. The island is linked to the mainland by the narrow, shingle-covered Chesil Beach, and we loved catching the sunset over the beach and the sense of seclusion as we returned to our accommodation on an evening. Portland is also a great area for families looking to enjoy the many water sports on offer.

Things to do with kids in Weymouth Dorset

At the centre of Penn Castle Estate is the Castle itself, which can be exclusively hired for weddings. This is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and is set above a secluded cove with a pebble beach. If you've got a taste for the finer things in life and are willing to fork out for a luxurious getaway Penn Estate has five Clifftop lodges to hire. These are built of local Portland stone and have been designed to blend in with the natural surroundings, and each has its own terrace for magnificent sea views.

We stayed in one of the 20 more affordable and family friendly holiday lodges called The Front Rows. There are two levels Upper Cliff and Lower Cliff, and these are positioned on a cliff face overlooking the English Channel. We stayed on Lower Cliff and our lodge was right on the cliff edge with floor to ceiling windows on one side, offering uninterrupted sea views. It was so relaxing to sit and sip a cup of tea on a morning and watch the occasional boat sail by. But neighbouring lodges had the added benefit of a decked area with outside seating. So I'd suggested ensuring you having outdoor seating as it's nice to not just see the views but to be able to smell and feel the sea breeze.

5 things to do with kids in Weymouth

The lodge was clean and modern, with a open plan living area. There was a bedroom with en suite, a room with two single beds and shared shower room and toilet. But there was also a fold out bed it you wanted to accommodate six guests. All bed linen and towels were included and the kitchen was well stocked with all utensils you'll need, along with an oven, fridge, freezer and microwave. If you're visiting during the colder months, you'll be happy to hear there's central heating throughout, double glazing and a fire. We received a welcome pack on arrival including tea, coffee, milk, washing-up liquid, a tea towel, and dishcloth, and the boys were delighted we were able to connect the smart TV to our home Netflix account.

On site, there's the Hayloft Coffee Shop & Bar serving coffee, pasties, soups and savouries sourced from Dorset producers. Another convenience for visitors is the Arrive & Cook service available at Penn Estate. We arrived after a long drive from London, and the Arrive & Cook service meant there was a homemade lasagne and garlic bread in the fridge, ready to pop in the oven, and a homemade mango and passionate fruit cheesecake for dessert. There was also a lovely bottle of white wine waiting to be cracked open. It was so handy being able to pop the food in the oven on arrival, while unpacking and settling in. There are three different meals to choose from, and at £50 for this extra we think that's really good value. It's much cheaper than what you'd pay to eat out as a family and as it was a whole lasagne and a whole cheesecake, it would have served six.

5 things to do with kids in Weymouth

Conclusion

Whether it's a day trip, a short break or a week-long staycation, Weymouth is a seaside town with lots to offer families looking to explore the Jurassic Coast.

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