10 Fun things to do with kids in a Country Park

Much as I love a good theme park, some of our best days out are out in the wild, running free.

We live in Dorset, close enough to visit the seaside, forest or countryside – all of which is fun and best of all free. There are a few country parks local to us but one of our favourites is Avon Heath as it is less commercialised than its close neighbour Moors Valley.

Avon Heath has miles of tracks offering an opportunity to explore some of Dorset’s internationally important heathland and its rare wildlife. The park is dominated by lowland and wet heath, acid grassland and heather, which is broken only by clumps of birch and pine and we always take a different path whenever we visit in the hope of spotting some of the resident creatures which include Sand Lizards, Smooth Snakes, Dartford Warblers, Woodlarks, Nightjars and the Silver-studded Blue butterfly.

Spotting wildlife isn’t for everyone although they have made it easier here with a hide and a big blackboard to write down what you have seen that day and the kids love to join in, even if they have just seen a Wood Pigeon.

So what are the 10 best things to do when at a Country Park?

1.  Climbing Trees – make sure you find a sturdy one with lots of branches to make getting up, and back down, easier.

Tree Climbing

2.  Animal Tracking – this is great fun to do along sandy or muddy pathways. We found lots of dog paw prints and also some birds and judging by some rather large cow pats, there were some cows around too

Animal Tracking

3.  Jumping Up and Down in Muddy Puddles – if it has been raining, and it has been raining a LOT, take a change of clothes for the kids, don your wellies and release your inner Peppa Pig.

Muddy Puddles

4.  Look for local wildlife – Wildlife is all around us and we have found ants, snails, beetles, worms and of course bigger creatures like horses and cows. We haven’t been lucky enough to spot a deer yet though.

Beetle Hunting

5.  Water Play – Nothing seems to capture a child’s imagination like water. We have great fun skimming stones, creating ripples or just gazing at our reflections in the water.

Water Play

6.  Build a Den – OK, so this one we found pre-built but we added our own finishing touches to it. I love watching it fire the kids imaginations and they were busy “cooking” us all sorts of wonderful delights.

Build a Den

7.  Walking with Friends – it is always more fun when you go out with friends and we were hanging out with the CharlieMoos gang. When one child got tired the others rallied round and we had races, sword fights (with sticks), joke telling and a few games of hide and seek.

Avon Heath Country Park

8.  Find a stick! – When you are a child there is apparently no better toy than a stick. You can build your own stickman, have sword fights and even pretend its a gun. Apparently the bigger the stick, the better it is!!


9.  Take a picnic – Nothing beats eating in the great outdoors where you can find a comfy spot and sit down to eat whilst having a good old natter with friends and family.

Avon Heath Country Park

10. Let them run free and watch their imaginations fire. Eliza was looking for elves and fairies here and the boys were off building a bridge over a stream.

Avon Heath Country Park

There is so much to do outdoors and all seasons are different, plus a I find a couple of hours of outdoor play puts my kids in a better mood and they sleep better that night!!

What are your favourite things to do when visiting a country park?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



17 thoughts on “10 Fun things to do with kids in a Country Park

  1. What a great list of exciting things to do in a Country Park, I must admit that my lot loved doing most and some they still do! Your lot look like they’re having the perfect wintry day exploring the Avon Heath Country Park, there’s definitely plenty there to keep them occupied and their imaginations working. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids and for supporting it throughout the year. Merry Christmas to you all.

  2. What great suggestions – and ones my boys all love. I also like to make the children aware of things changing with the seasons. We also like to look at nature and all her beauty and see if we can find things that we don’t know what they are (and find out)

  3. I think we should get out a bit more than we are doing at the moment. We’ve been stuck in watching Christmas movies and eating far too much junk. A day in the fresh air would do all good 🙂

  4. Get list of suggestions – I think all our favourites are on it. Muddy puddles and picnics in particular. Something else I can’t wait to try with my two is bark rubbings. Maybe not in the wet but something for spring time 🙂 #countrykids

  5. Great tips and gorgeous photos. My daughter loves picnics and is always asking to go on one. It’s brilliant to get them used to going to parks and not always having to have organised activities isn’t it?

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