A Family Day out In Bournemouth

We are some of the fortunate ones to live in Bournemouth. With an award winning sea on one side of the town and a brilliant forest on the other, it's easy to see why it's such a fantastic tourist destination all year round. But whilst there are lots of chain restaurants and obvious things to do for families, we wanted to showcase some of the ways we love to enjoy a day together in our hometown. For those coming further afield, there are plenty of hotels in Bournemouth to suit everyone's budgets. But here's what we got up to during one day in Bournemouth.

It's safe to say that we always knew our first stop would be the beach. We always tend to park in one of the car parks set back from the town centre, that way it's miles cheaper and it's more long stay as opposed to a couple of hours. Fortunately it means that we get a fantastic stroll in the Bournemouth Gardens, a long stretch of garden from one side of Bournemouth town centre to the other. It's one of our favourite picnic spots in spring/summer and nothing beats kicking back on the grass, taking in the atmosphere around you. 

Heading towards the end of the gardens, we went straight for Bournemouth pier for our first activity of the day. At the end of the pier is Rock Reef, an activity centre that's packed with everything from a clip and climb to a zip line across the water. It's worth noting that you have to pay to get onto Bournemouth pier. But at £1.30 for adults for an annual pass, it's hardly breaking the bank and is totally worth it for spending time sat on the pier watching people zip by. 


Our first stop was Rock Reef. One of Max's favourite things to do is rock climbing and this fantastic attraction at the end of the pier is perfect for spending a couple of hours. At just £11 per person, you can climb to your hearts content across 28 different walls and Max honestly had the time of his life. Whilst everyone knows that there is a brilliant zip wire from the pier to the beach, not many people are aware of the brilliant rock climbing on offer at the end of the pier.

For those not wanting to climb, you are free to be a clipper for your kids. I walked around making sure that Max was clipped in safe for each of the walls he wanted to try whilst Scott had a fab time grabbing a coffee in the care. They have brilliant deals where you can eat and climb for a great discount. They also have brilliant offers on throughout the year so it's worth checking the Rock Reef website.

After a good few hours climbing and working up an appetite it was time to have something to eat. Whilst there are lots of chain cafes and restaurants on offer in Bournemouth, one of our favourite places to grab a snack is the Picnic Park Deli in Westover Gardens. This is just at the top of Bournemouth gardens, just behind the Bournemouth Pavilion. It's a brilliant cafe that allows you to take in the brilliant Bournemouth views, play a board game and check out some local art/musicians.

Whilst Max opted for a raspberry ripple ice cream, Scott and I went for the famous cheese toasties that are definitely the best we have had in Bournemouth. One thing we love about this little cafe is how it feels so secluded in such a busy area. How it features art from local artists, allows local musicians to take to the stage and how it genuinely feels like a real feel good part of Bournemouth.

Next up was one of our favourite things to do in Bournemouth... the arcade! We absolutely adore heading to Fun Central on Westover road. They do their arcade a bit differently to the one on Bournemouth pier by allowing you to load a set amount of money onto your game card. Your game card then allows you to swipe and play games, whilst keeping your ticket wins safely stored too.

With brilliant prizes to redeem and set prices to load onto the card it's a really good way to keep your arcade spending in check. We like to load £5 or £10 onto the card for Max and let him run wild for an hour. He really loves trying new things and working out what he can do with his loaded credit. It makes him feel that little bit grown up with some responsibilities, whilst we love seeing him try and problem solve through each game.

Fun Central is a perfect place to spend some time, especially if the weather isn't brilliant! There's enough space to sit and spend some time as well as play some arcade games!

Finally, after many hours of high energy fun in Bournemouth it was time for dinner. Of course there is only one place that we absolutely adore and head to time and time again, Forno Pizza. Tucked away in the Bournemouth area of Winton, Forno is one of the coolest pizza joints around. Having started as a pizza truck, it's now grown in popularity and opened as a restaurant.

We are slightly obsessed with their pizzas and tend to pop in there for any special occasion to soak up the brilliant atmosphere and eat absolutely delicious food. In Max's own words, "it's the best pizza I've ever eaten. And I've eaten loads!". With a soundtrack of brilliant pop punk songs, we love to sing along to the sounds of our youth whilst eating a Shrooms or Meat Jesus pizza. Not forgetting the obligatory portion of Napalm Breath garlic bread on the side to share.

Not only is it one of the coolest pizza places around, it's also one of the friendliest and most affordable. With a whole family meal coming in at £30 including drinks and being able to watch the pizzas being prepared behind the counter, you know that you are going to have a brilliant meal with enough to take home too and have a fantastic chat with everyone else in the restaurant. It's honestly our top hidden gem in the Bournemouth area!

After a fantastic pizza, it's time to call it a day on our family adventure in Bournemouth. With countless other things that we could see and do including crazy golf, escape rooms and brunch spots, there's a never ending list of opportunities for activities in the area. Spending a day out like today reminds me of how much I love where I live. No matter the weather, no matter the money in our pocket, we can always think of amazing things to do in our area. So if you're heading to Bournemouth and want something to do that's slightly different, I hope my list has helped! I can't wait to spend another day being a tourist in my hometown soon.

The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

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