Latest News & Offers

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 

Posted on 27th November 2013

Opening Weekend Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December 2013

Our opening weekend is fast approaching and we can't wait to meet you!  Doors open at 10am and we have some special opening weekend treats running both days - come along and join in the fun.

Posted on 15th November 2013

Bright future for Poole Park cafe, soft play zone and ice skating rink

The new owners of one of Poole’s most iconic cafés and children’s attraction have unveiled ambitious plans to transform them into a spectacular destination for the community.

Local couple, Richard and Sarah de Lisle, bought Central Park earlier this year and are embarking on a major refurbishment programme.

The pair are investing more than £1m into the project which will result in the creation of a new café and leisure complex at the heart of historic Poole Park.

The interior of the existing café will be re-designed to create a light and airy space which will reflect the surrounding landscape.  A new outdoor terrace, incorporating covered areas, will also be created. 

The couple, who have two young children, believe passionately in creating a warm and friendly environment for the local community and visitors of all ages to enjoy.

“Our aim is to transform the building and to put it back at the heart of the park. Poole Park is one of the town’s real gems and is a wonderful amenity - we want to give it the kind of café and play facilities that it deserves,” said Richard.

“The plan is to retain and significantly upgrade the existing ice rink, create an entirely new soft play area for children and to transform the café into a welcoming hub at the centre of the park.

“We want to build a much closer association between the existing buildings and their surroundings, to soften the hard edges and make them much more people-friendly,” he added.

The new design will also link closely to the park’s outdoor play area and provide plenty of space for buggy and cycle parking. 

While renovation work is carried out the café, ice skating rink and Gus Gorillas will close to the public from September 8th and re-open on December 14th 2013.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved. The Ark is a trading name of South Coast Caterers Limited.