3rd February 2023

February Half-term – free or low cost kids activities in Dorset

“What are we doing today?” is often the question dreaded by parents in the school holidays. With the double challenge of finding entertainment that doesn’t break the budget, we are well aware that the February half-term may feel daunting.

From coding, building a bug hotel to a free family film club – we have put together a list of either free or very low cost activities that can be enjoyed across BCP and wider Dorset.

Activities at Faithworks:

SMILE lone parent families

  • SMILE are running a free Games and Craft morning for lone parent families. Games and craft will be provided however feel free to bring a game or two and trading cards to play with others! If you would like to come along, simply contact Lucy on 07944 171432.
    When – Friday 17 February, 9am – 12pm.
    Where – Poole (contact Lucy for more details).
    Cost – free.
Connect with SMILE

Blandford Food Bank+

  • The Warmer Welcome runs every Thursday afternoon – simply turn up and join others for a hot drink, cake and a chat.
    When – Thursdays, 2pm – 4pm.
    Where – Blandford Food Bank+, United Reformed Church, Whitecliff Mill Street, Blandford Forum, DT11 7DQ.
    Cost – free.
Follow BFB on Facebook

Poole Food Bank+

  • Will be providing their free holiday Craft Bags – this half-term’s pack is animal themed, and includes instructions on how to make an animal bookmark, a dragon puppet and a lion paper plate mask.

Wimborne Food Bank+

  • Are hosting a free breakfast on Monday 13 February. There will be a buffet style breakfast as well as cooked breakfasts made to order. Hot and cold drinks also available.
    *Please book your free spaces by emailing wimbornefoodbank@faith-works.org.uk or phone Rachel on 07766 395944.
    When – Monday 13 February, 10am – 11.30am.
    Where – Wimborne Food Bank+, Leigh Park Community Centre, Gordon Road, Wimborne, BH21 2AP.
    Cost – free.
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Faithworks Recovery – support for those affected by addiction.

  • Regular activities will continue to run throughout half-term including Staysafe, coffee catch ups and the infamous free cheese toastie club!
Find out more

Other Activities in BCP:

Russell-Cotes Museum

  • Valentines card making craft, and trails in garden and house.
    Where – Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, East Cliff Promenade, Bournemouth, BH1 3AA.
    Cost – £1.50 per child for the craft activity.
    * The garden trail is free but house admission applies to trail in house.
    **Admission to the house is free for children under the age of 5 and carers, concession prices also available – see below.
Find out more
Admission prices

Birds of Poole Harbour

  • Follow this interactive guide to help you learn when and where the best places are to watch birds. Poole Harbour is made up of many different habitats, which in turn provides a stunning variety of bird life throughout the entire year.
Find out more

Upton Country Park

  • Half-term craft shed, £2 per craft.
  • Historic Explorer Trail, Pick up your trail sheet from the Welcome Centre, only £1.
  • BARI (The Bird and Recreation Initiative) – drop by The Lookout bird hide on Tuesday 14 February between 12 – 3pm, and meet Emily from BARI. Find out about the wading birds that visit over winter from around the world and how we can best take care of them.
  • Bird watching sessions are also happening on Thursday 16 February.
  • Fox & Cub Club Dads and Kids Activity Sessions – £4 per child and adults go free.
Find out more

The Parks Foundation – Build a Bug House

  • Come along to this family friendly Nature Recovery project activity and help make a brilliant bug house – these are fantastic habitats for many invertebrate species, including butterflies, bees, ladybirds, and spiders.
    When – various dates over half-term (depending on location).
    Where – various parks across BCP (see below for more detail).
    Cost – free.
Find out more


  • Board Games for Families.
    Where – Branksome Library.
    When – Friday 17 February, 2pm – 4pm.
    Cost – free.
  • Check out your local library for plenty of other free half-term activities including crafts, a creative writing workshop and a healthy eating workshop.
Find your local library in BCP
Find your local library in Dorset

Find out more about activities across BCP on the Family Information Directory.

Family Information Directory


  • Breakfast Church – Blandford Evangelical Church are hosting a free breakfast followed by the church service led by the youth group.
    When – Sunday 12 Feb, 10am – 12pm.
    Where – Blandford Evangelical Church, Sunnydale, Albert Street, Blandford Forum, DT11 7HZ.
    Cost – free.
  • The North Dorset Trailway – why not take the opportunity to explore the 22.5km of trailway on foot or by bike and stop for a cup of tea at Shillingstone station. For more detail see below.
    Where – the route runs from Sturminster Newton to Spetisbury.
    Cost – the trailway is free however there may be some costs such as for car parks.
North Dorset Trailway

Christchurch – Red House Museum and Gardens

  • The Dino Doodle Room – open to all, this space has been created to draw and doodle inspired by the theme of dinosaurs. Also available is a dino-themed play area for younger children and life-size dinosaur models in the garden.
  • Dinosaur Trail – explore the museum and follow the trail to find out more about these incredible creatures.
    When – 4 February – 5 March 2023 (see website).
    Where – Red House Museum and Gardens, Quay Road, Christchurch, BH23 1BU.
    Cost – £1 per dinosaur trail sheet (includes dinosaur sticker as prize), other activities mentioned here are free.
    *Please note that the gallery is occasionally closed for bookable events.
Dino Doodle Room
Dinosaur Trail


  • Free Family Film Club – this free monthly club is hosted by The Allendale. No ticket is required simply turn up and enjoy the film.
    When – next film will be showing on Sunday 12 February, 10am entry for a 10.30am start.
    Where – The Allendale, Hanham Road, Wimborne, BH21 1AS.
The Allendale

Online Coding Courses: why not challenge your kids to try coding over half-term?

  • The Code Zone are offering 5 initial free sessions (no credit card required to sign up).
  • Software Academy are offering a 7 day free trial with their Skills Lab.
The Code Zone
Software Academy

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