Last weekend, Ed and I headed over to Bournemouth Gardens with the children for a day out at Christmas Tree Wonderland, a festive trail in the town centre. We started our visit with an ice skating session at SKATE, opposite the Bh2 Leisure centre, with an on-site bar area styled to look like an alpine lodge.
Ed and I are both awful at skating, even though I worked at an indoor rink as a teenager in skate hire, so we were grateful for the children’s skate aids, which can be hired for an additional cost. The children can either sit on the seat or push the aid around themselves for balance, and they are also great for nervous skaters like myself (I ended up going around with one for the majority of the time I was on the ice).
The children absolutely loved going skating, and it was great to do an activity that got them out of the house and doing some light exercise without them realising. It’s a lovely festive family activity to do at this time of the year, and there are plenty of sessions available over the coming weeks, if you would like to go along (it’s advisable to book online in advance if you want to go at peak times, to avoid disappointment).
After skating, we warmed up in the Moguls Alpine Bar with luxury hot chocolates, and Ed enjoyed his first mulled wine of the season.
You can also get some light bites, to enjoy in the cosy, themed seating area, but we’d already promised the kids chips by the sea, so we headed over to the pier next, looking at the impressive Christmas Trees on our route (it was daytime, but they look extra-magical as the sun goes down and they are illuminated).
We have been meaning to try out the new Smugglers Cove outdoor adventure golf since it opened, but hadn’t got round to it, so the children were very excited to give it a go. The 18 hole course is themed around pirates, which is in keeping with its seaside location, and I liked the quirky names for the holes, and the thought that had gone into the decor as you make your way around.
The children have such short attention spans at times, that activities that require them to focus for an extended period of time can be a challenge, but they all really enjoyed themselves and wanted to go round again when they reached the end. There is a small shop as you exit, which you can’t avoid, so bear this in mind and employ some distraction techniques if your children are anything like mine and ask for anything. and everything when they see small toys!
For our final stop, we walked the short distance over to the Bournemouth Big Wheel, which dominates the skyline over the pier, and offers brilliant views across Christmas Tree Wonderland’s winding route through the gardens, as well as out to sea. Ed has a fear of heights, so he wasn’t able to go on, but I took the older two children and they loved it (Carly didn’t want to get off when it stopped).
We had a really enjoyable day out at Christmas Tree Wonderland, enjoying the activities on offer. As well as SKATE, Smugglers Cove and the Big Wheel, Bournemouth square has lots of lovely wooden chalets, offering a range of yummy food and drink and gifts, all with atmospheric lights and music to get you in the Christmas spirit.
We were gifted the tickets to SKATE, Smugglers Cove and Bournemouth Big Wheel, however all words and images are my own.