Latest News & Offers

Posted on 28th May 2014

New - The Ark Summer Camp 14th July 29th August 2014

The school summer holidays are set to see the UK basking in glorious sunshine once again but just in case they don’t The Ark team has devised an all-weather multi-activity summer camp suitable for children from 5 – 12 years of age. 

With an emphasis on enjoyment and team building, The Ark activity camp will not only increase your child’s confidence, but also their overall fitness, coordination and balance. 


The Ark is committed to getting children more active, and what better way to have fun inside and outside this summer than with Tux and his friends? 

With more than 40 activities throughout the course of the week, including football, ice-skating, street dance, cheerleading, basketball, cricket and dodgeball, there is plenty of opportunity for children to have fun and be active. Our arts and crafts sessions will bring out their artistic side – who knows there could be a budding Hockney or Hirst lurking within? 

The Team 

Our fully qualified activities team is committed to delivering a memorable experience for every child. Whilst the emphasis for your child is on fun, your child’s safety and well-being is paramount and first aiders are available at all times. Each member of the team is Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked.

Ask for details next time you visit The Ark or email Rachael

Posted on 21st March 2014

Mothering Sunday Afternoon Tea

New! Afternoon Tea

To celebrate Mothering Sunday, The Ark is launching a delightful afternoon tea. Served 11am-5.30pm on Sunday 30th March, The Ark afternoon tea for two (from £19.95) includes: pot of tea, sandwiches with a choice of filling, selection of cakes, glass of sparkling wine (additional charge) and a pink rose for Mum’s to take away (Mother’s Day only). After Mother’s Day, afternoon tea will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (12.30-4.30pm) only. 


Since opening in December 2013, The Ark has established itself as one of Dorset’s premier family attractions and a firm favourite amongst local and visiting families. Providing an unforgettable fun-filled experience for both children and adults alike, the stunning new café and leisure attraction is located at the heart of historic Poole Park, with ample parking and all-weather facilities.


‘After an incredibly successful opening and initial trading period, we’re delighted to be launching two exciting new events. We’ve been thrilled with the support and custom we have received to date, and we continue to pride ourselves on offering the very best in family entertainment. Our Friday family fun nights offer exceptional value for money and an opportunity to explore everything The Ark has to offer, and our afternoon tea is a must! We look forward to continuing to welcome families from the Dorset area and beyond’ said Owner, Richard de Lisle.


The Ark has been specially designed to offer a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to parents as well as children. The light and airy café area boasts free wi-fi, newspapers and magazines, delicious homemade food and fresh coffee, roasted locally by Poole’s Beanpress coffee company (Little Red Roaster) and freshly ground onsite at The Ark. 

Open year round (except 25 Dec), The Ark provides fun family entertainment, rain or shine, for a full day or a few hours. Come on down and enjoy the fun!


The Ark, Poole Park, BH15 2SF, Tel: 01202 717197

Open 10am – 6pm 7 days a week*

*Except 25 Dec Closed, 26 Dec 10am – 4pm, 1 Jan 10am - 4pm 

Posted on 28th January 2014

The Ark Launches Friday Family Fun Nights - Skate, Soft Play and Family Buffet

We are delighted to announce the launch of our Friday Family Fun Nights, from 5.00pm to 8.00pm. 


Friday Nights Skate, Play & Eat 

5.00pm to 8.00pm

£24.95 (2 adults and 2 children maximum)

1 hour skate – Ice Disco! Join in with the YMCA/Gangnam Style/Macarana/Agadoo.

1 hour play –Time for the kids to run riot and you to catch your breath after dancing on ice.

1 hour eat – Family Buffet.  Excludes drinks.

Limited Spaces, please book you family in early! 01202 717197

Posted on 5th December 2013

The Ark Penguin Family Starts To Take Shape

  Local Artist Natalie Guy is helping to create our resident Penguin family.

Posted on 5th December 2013

The Ark, Poole Park Grand Opening Ceremony: Saturday 14th December 2014

Grand Opening Ceremony: Saturday 14th December 2013 - Come and Enjoy a Festival of Fun!

New Poole-based family attraction The Ark is set to throw open its doors this Saturday amid fun-filled celebrations for its grand opening weekend. 

Officially opening at 10am on Saturday morning with ribbon cutting by Councillor Mrs Judy Butt, The Ark is hosting an opening party with a difference! Youngsters are invited to meet The Ark’s resident penguin, Tux – recently named by popular vote – as well as receive an exclusive goody bag* and take part in a host of celebratory activities including face painting and Christmas crafting. And, in festive spirit, The Ark is asking local children and their families to help decorate its Christmas tree with a personalised message about their Christmas wish. 

There will also be a very special penguin family on hand to welcome guests, exclusively decorated by local artist Natalie Guy, who has meticulously decorated a mummy, daddy and baby penguin in her signature mosaic artwork. 

Visitors are encouraged to explore and make use of the impressive new facilities which include a three-storey bespoke soft play area, café, ice cream parlour and ice skating rink. There is also an outside terrace with covered areas and seating overlooking the picturesque Swan Lake. 

The Ark, formerly Gus Gorilla’s, has been closed since September for major refurbishment to transform it into a brand new family destination. Local couple, Richard and Sarah de Lisle, have invested more than £1.6m into the project to create a stunning new café and leisure attraction at the heart of historic Poole Park. 

“After months of hard work, we’re thrilled to finally unveil The Ark – the ultimate in local family fun! Our vision was to create a family-friendly, welcoming destination where local people and visitors to the area can meet up, socialise and enjoy great food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere and I believe The Ark has lived up to that vision” said owner, Richard de Lisle.

“The team working on the project have created outstanding and modern facilities; soft play, ice rink, café and ice cream parlour, which means you will be able to spend anything from a couple of hours to the whole day here.” He added.

“Poole Park is one of the area’s real gems and we are excited about the future and look forward to welcoming families from the local area and beyond.” said Richard.

The new complex has been thoughtfully designed to offer a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to parents as well as children. The light and airy café area boasts free wi-fi, newspapers and magazines, delicious homemade food and fresh coffee, roasted and ground locally by Poole’s Beanpress Coffee Company (Little Red Roaster) and tea from Teapigs.

Open year round (except 25 December), The Ark will provide fun family entertainment, rain or shine, for a full day or a few hours. Come on down and enjoy the fun!

* pre-registered VIP ticket holders.

Open 10am – 6pm, 7 days 

© 2018 All Rights Reserved. The Ark is a trading name of South Coast Caterers Limited.