Posted on 26th November 2017

Santa Claus and his elves arrive at The Ark ...

...with a little help from our friends at The Lighthouse and Poole Park Railway.

   

Santa's Workshop will run every weekend until Saturday 16th December when it will then be open daily until Christmas Eve.  Book your place by calling 01202 717197.

Posted on 21st November 2017

Poole Hospital Charity Elf Dash - Sunday 10th December at 11am, Poole Park

The Ark and The Kitchen are proudly supporting Poole Hospital Charity’s Elf Dash event in Poole Park with the sale of a special character cookie.

From 1st December, specially designed – and deliciously homemade - festive cookies will be on sale and for each cookie sold, a donation will be made to Poole Hospital Charity. We will also be donating a fabulous raffle prize so grab your tickets now to be in with a chance of winning!

Poole Hospital Charity’s Elf Dash is a 3k fancy dress walk around picturesque Poole Park. Entry is priced £7.50 for adults and £5 for children (dogs are free!) and includes a mince pie, drink, elf hat and medal. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed, so go on … release your inner elf!

For further information and to purchase raffle tickets, visit www.poolehospitalcharity.co.uk/event/elf-dash or call Poole Hospital Charity on 01202 448449

Why not visit us at The Ark or The Kitchen after (or before if you’re an early elf!) for a play, skate or delicious bite to eat?

Don’t forget Santa’s Workshop is open throughout December at The Ark – offering children the chance to meet Santa’s little helpers and the big man himself, while enjoying tons of festive family fun. Must be pre-booked in advance, selected dates and times apply. For further details and to book, click here

Posted on 9th November 2017

It’s time to release your inner ELF!

Forget presents, tinsel and turkey. What could make Christmas more magical than a visit to see the elves and meeting Santa Claus, the man himself?

Come and experience the magic and sparkle of Christmas with fabulous festive fun for all the family at the award-winning Ark Poole Park this year.

From Saturday 25th November to Sunday 24th December, The Ark will be overrun with elves as they set up elf-camp to meet, greet and entertain visitors big and small.

Meet Santa’s little helpers at the Elf Workshop and enjoy an experience that’s sure to get you in the festive mood:

• Dear Santa Claus … The Ark’s fun and friendly elves will be on hand to assist with letter writing to the big man himself. Prepare to learn the elf-abet!

• Delectable Delights to take home - sticky fingers and the sweet smell of candy can only mean one thing … it’s Christmas! Unleash your creativity with The Ark’s gingerbread decorating activity - a seasonal must!

• Get Crafty – Christmas craft at its festive best! Make a truly unique hanging keepsake for your tree which can be enjoyed for years to come

• Don’t forget Rudolph! Have fun making reindeer food to take home and sprinkle on Christmas Eve in anticipation of a visit from Santa’s furriest friends.

• Meet Santa and receive a goodie bag to take home.

Price: £12.50 per child.

Standard entrance fee applies for soft play and ice rink.

Dates: Weekends only until Saturday 16th and then daily until 24th December 2017

(25th/26th November, 2nd/3rd, 9th/10th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December)

Times: 10:30am - 5.30pm

Santa’s Workshop must be pre-booked in advance.

Tickets can be booked by calling The Ark on 01202 717197 or emailing info@thearkpoolepark.co.uk

All children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.

Terms and conditions.

Posted on 7th September 2017

Are you ready for some spooky fun this half term? Prepare for a frightful week of fun and games

Join us for our biggest and best Octobeer Half Term Camp... find out more on the Camps section

 
 

Posted on 5th September 2017

Spooky Surprises At The Ark This Halloween - Frightful Nights Of Fiendish Fun For The Whole Family!

Friday Night - SOLD OUT!
Saturday Night - Hurry, only a few tickets remaining

 

Join us on Friday 27th (SOLD OUT) and Saturday 28th October, for our spookiest Halloween spectacular yet! 

Halloween-themed activities will transform The Ark’s soft play and ice rink, even casting a spooky net over Poole Park’s Miniature Railway with a frightfully exciting new ghost train ride. BOO!

Devilishly delicious treats and eats will be available throughout the night with a hog roast, Halloween buffet and popcorn and candyfloss stalls, plus mulled cider and punch for grown-up ghouls!

Hurry, this is one spook-tacular not to be missed! Tickets are limited and must be booked in advance. To book, call 01202 717197 or email info@thearkpoolepark.co.uk.

All-inclusive ticket: £16 for little horrors (aged 5-12 years), £12 for adults

Family ticket: £45 for two adults and 2 children

What's Included in the ticket price:

  • Ghost train ride
  • Fancy dress competition
  • Vampire laser tag in soft play
  • Ghostbuster on ice – can you dodge the bullets?
  • Dracula’s disco
  • Hog roast and Halloween buffet
  • Prizes 

Party time: 5.00 - 8.30pm approximately.

Remember to dress up ghouls and ghosts in your totally terrifying costumes to be in with a chance of winning our fancy dress competition. Good luck!

Posted on 22nd June 2017

YouTube Video

Posted on 2nd June 2017

Poole Festival Of Running 3rd - 4th June 2017

Take part in Poole’s biggest running event!


The weekend includes five kids’ races, a 5k charity race and our flagship 10K road race, a 1 mile time trial, along with family entertainment and live music for a festival atmosphere!

http://poolefestivalofrunning.com/  [link will open in new window]

The festival starts on Saturday as 5pm with the 5k, followed at 7pm by a 2k time trial. It starts and finishes in the marquee and the live band starts as soon as the champion has been crowned. Bar until late... 

The Sunday starts with Tux and his friends at 9am with the minithons* for 14 and under, folllowed by the 10k at 10:30am. There is also a alternative duathlon (run kayak run) in the early afternoon. 

Sign up is opens on West Field at 2pm on Saturday 3rd June.  *All children who run recieve a free goodie bag.

Also lots of stalls (including the Running Free expo), and food outlets.

Posted on 11th May 2017

The Kitchen Pop-up Theatre - The History of Poole Maritime in Thirty Minutes Flat Show

…well, perhaps not all the history…just the tasty bits.

This romp through the maritime history of Poole is seen through the eyes of Galactic interplanetary visitors who resemble Steam Punk space travellers in search of a large Poole of water. It has lively join-in songs, comic interludes, true facts and some not-so-true revelations about the history of Poole and probably the worst jokes available this side of the Milky Way.

The Kitchen Community Pop-Up Theatre presents this show as a prelude to the launch of the main dinner theatre programme in September 2017. This show is written and produced by Idea Cabinet and is part of the Borough of Poole’s Maritime Festival. The 30-minute performance venues include:

Dates and Times

Wednesday 17th, May 3.00pm at The Kitchen, Poole Park 3pm 

Friday 19th May, 2.30pm at Seven Seas Festival, Baiter Park

Saturday 20th May, 1.00pm at The Kitchen, Poole Park 

Saturday 20th May, 5.00pm at The Taste of the South Food Festival, Poole Park

Sunday 21st May, 11.00am at Seven Seas Festival, Baiter Park

Sunday 21st May, 1.00pm at The Kitchen, Poole Park 

 

Further Information:

Idea Cabinet Limited: The production company behind The Kitchen Pop-Up Theatre was created by Mary Dale to “bring new and compelling storytelling to Dorset”. Their last project pulled together David Glass and AUB students in a site-specific event based on the movie ‘The Shining’ that sold out for 18 nights at The Chine Hotel. Idea Cabinet makes films, radio and theatrical storytelling happen through their extensive networks of professionals and contacts with our local Universities.

Director – Mary Dale

...has been an actress and director for over thirty-five years and has worked in theatre, television, radio, commercials and feature film. As a presenter, she has worked for ITV as a long-running presenter of schools’ programmes and factual entertainment shows and she has done over 30 commercials. She has written scripts for all ages, mostly being produced on television and in the theatre. She has taught undergraduates at Bournemouth University and directed many theatre productions.

Musical Composer & Director – Harry Skinner 

We are thrilled to announce that Harry Skinner, the inspiration and founder of The Producers has agreed to be our Director of Music. It was 25 years and thirteen albums ago that the Producers first appeared on the UK music scene and since then they have gigged their version of the blues in clubs, theatres and on major festival stages worldwide and they continue to do so.

Mary Dale, Founder of Idea Cabinet says:

“We are very pleased to bring together experienced musical theatre talent already living in the region to join with the extraordinary new talent emerging in Dorset to create a Community Pop-Up theatre experience at the stunning Kitchen restaurant in Poole Park and other venues during the Poole Maritime Festival. We have an exciting new story to tell, with some supportive sponsors and I am sure the public will like the new experience. If they do, then we’ll be back in September in our new Kitchen Theatre and at then Christmas with new shows for both families and the business community and we’re planning a New Dorset Writer’s Festival for this time next year.”

Posted on 5th May 2017

Become a ‘Friend of The Ark’ and enjoy exclusive member offers & discounts.

Coming Soon.

We’re delighted to announce the imminent launch of ‘Friends of The Ark’, which offers exclusive discounts and special offers to members, big and small!

Friends of the Ark will enjoy 10% discount on soft play, ice skating and in the café as well as exclusive access to news, events and priority booking. Designed for families with children aged three months to 12 years who love all The Ark has to offer, Friends of The Ark will be the first to hear our latest news and offers with a dedicated e-newsletter.

Posted on 9th March 2017

The Egg-stravaganza Continues In 2017 At The Ark, Poole Park.

Egg-citing news, Ark fans! Those of you who have enjoyed last years Egg-cellent egg hunt will be glad to know that it will be returning to the park this spring.

This egg-ceptional event will, of course, take place on Easter Sunday 16th April and once again there is a twist! Our very own ‘Easter’ bunny Sparkle, along with her mischievous sidekick Acorn, will be hosting and joining in the fun and games.

Here’s what you can egg-spect!

Make Your Own Easter Basket
Egg & Spoon Race
Egg Hunt
Golden Egg Competition.  Find the golden egg and win a Family Pass to Friday Club Night –soft play, ice skating and supper!
10% off entry*

Event Times

10.00am 1-6 year olds

10.30am 7-11 year olds

Tickets are limited and pre-booking is essential.

£5.00 per child.

 

*please present your Easter egg hunt ticket at soft play/ice rink reception to qualify.

Posted on 19th January 2017

Under 5’s story time today had a Where’s Wally theme.

Come and join us for Story Time every Thursday's at 11am and enjoy free entry to the soft play.

 

Posted on 6th January 2017

New Weekly Activities For Under 5s at The Ark

Posted on 15th December 2016

The Ice Rink Is Repaired And We Are Building The Ice Ready For Re-Opening Saturday 17th December

Posted on 13th December 2016

PPP Pick-Up A Penguin. The Ark Penguins Become Panto Stars.

Aladdin, at the Lighthouse, Poole. From 14th Deccember - 8th January.

 

Posted on 5th December 2016

New Characters - The Judging Begins

The Ark’s very own Rabbit and Squirrel will be brought to life in incredible detail with charismatic costumes and cheeky, dynamic characters later this month. There was just one thing missing – their names, but not for much longer!

A big thank you to everyone who entered our competition which closed earlier today.  We had over 400 entries and have shorlisted three names for each character which will be announced through our facebook page later this week.  

The judges - Mayor of Poole Cllr Xena Dion, Sarah de Lisle, Rachael Pountney and Mike Frend.

Posted on 30th November 2016

New Menu

On the 1st of December we are launching our new menu full of delicious snacks and meals with lots of healthy options to choose from. 

Our children's menu continues to offer great variety including hot and cold options so you'll easily find something to suit the whole family!

 

Posted on 30th November 2016

Come and join us on Christmas Eve, Eve! as we host a family Christmas party to remember

Event Details:

When: 23rd December 2016

Time: 5-7pm

Event: Join in the fun and experience traditional party games, festive buffet and a special visit from Santa with a gift for every child.

Tickets are £12.50 per child and £7.50 per adult.

To find out more or to book please call 01202 717197 or e-mail: PAM@thearkpoolepark.co.uk

Posted on 3rd November 2016

The Ark Poole Park Brings Its Cheeky Characters To Life - Help Name Them And Win A Golden Ticket!

The Ark in Poole Park is set to create more magical moments and active fun and games with the creation of two enchanting new costume characters. 

The Ark’s very own Rabbit and Squirrel will be brought to life in incredible detail with charismatic costumes and cheeky, dynamic characters to inspire and entertain. There’s just one thing missing – their names! Enter The Ark’s competition to name the characters and you could be in with a chance of winning one of two golden tickets valid for 12 months of fun and games in soft play and worth over £500 each. 

Rabbit is thoughtful and creative. She can be shy but on stage she’s a dancing legend and an amazing singer! She’s great at arts and crafts and loves sparkles. 

Squirrel is mischievous. Super active, he’s great at climbing. He loves to play jokes on Tux and is very often naughty! 

Tux is The Ark’s resident penguin super hero. He is smart, sporty, helpful and fun. He’s always ready to try new things and is very excited about the arrival of his friends. Tux was named by a competition winner as part of The Ark’s opening celebrations in December 2013. 

How to Enter: Simply visit www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk/whatsmyname or drop it into The Ark and complete an entry form. But hurry! Competition closes on 05.12.16. There are two golden ticket prizes; one for each winning character name. For full terms and conditions, visit www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk

Posted on 26th October 2016

Wiltshire and Dorset Fire and Rescue Team Visit The Ark, Poole Park 26th October 2016

Thank you everyone at the Wiltshire and Dorset Fire and Rescue Team who helped make this special visit possible.

Posted on 6th October 2016

October Half Term Camp Activities

Posted on 6th October 2016

Children’s Hallowe’en Party At The Ark On Friday 28th October

Posted on 28th September 2016

Dorset Day Of Play At The Ark, Poole Park 29th September 2016

Posted on 10th September 2016

October Half Term Camp

October Half Term Camp - 24th October to 28th October

Some of our planned spooktacular activities:

Ice skating
Apple bobbing team challenge
Themed arts and crafts
Pumpkin carving 
Halloween face paint fun
Plus loads more!!

 

Posted on 2nd August 2016

August - Twice As Nice Promotion

AUGUST SPECIAL 

Show your Ice Skating ticket in Soft Play and enter for just £3.00 or show your Soft Play ticket in the Ice Rink to skate for £3.00!

Ticket discount only valid for use on the same day.

Posted on 2nd August 2016

Poole Park Funday! 4th August

Posted on 26th July 2016

Having A Great Time - Day One Summer Camp Adventures In Poole Park

Day one of Summer Camp - loads of fun and games created by our awesome team!  The day started with breakfast creations with a twist and silly string tag.

Find out more about Summer Camp 

  

Posted on 16th June 2016

1am At The Ark - Noo-noo Would Be Proud…

The holidays are almost upon us, and as we head towards long summer days, we’re conducting a seasonal deep-clean of our entire site to ensure we’re ready for the busy fun-packed season ahead. In addition to our daily cleaning of all play and café facilities, we’re undergoing a full site clean to ensure our soft play, real ice rink, café, kitchen, toilet and outside terrace areas are spotless.

Posted on 13th June 2016

Bournemouth Junior Chess Tournament and The British Chess Championships 2016

The Ark sponsored the inaugural Bournemouth Junior Chess Tournament on Saturday June 11th held at Harewood College. Sarah de Lisle’s son Arthur came second in the Under 9’s category and his school friend Simon Button came first.  Prizes included free entry to the British Chess Championships, which Bournemouth is hosting for the first time in 70 years at the end of July.

Find out more about The British Chess Championships including how to enter here

Posted on 11th April 2016

The Ark Will Be Closed From 3pm On Saturday 16th April Due To Camp Bestival - Space Camp Tour!

The Ark Will Be Closed From 3pm On Saturday 16th April Due To Camp Bestival - Space Camp Tour!

Tickets are still available from Camp Bestival

Posted on 11th April 2016

The Ark Will Be Closed From 3pm On Saturday 16th April Due To Camp Bestival - Space Camp Tour!

The Ark Will Be Closed From 3pm On Saturday 16th April Due To Camp Bestival - Space Camp Tour!

Tickets are still available from Camp Bestival

Posted on 5th April 2016

Coffee Taster Week 11th – 17th April 2016

Calling all coffee connoisseurs!

We’re excited to be trialling a delightful new speciality coffee for one week this April.

Join us at The Kitchen and The Ark to sample this exclusive single estate bean coffee, specially selected for its distinctive rich smooth flavour.

Supplied by local organic coffee roastery, Beanpress, which produces the finest quality single origin coffee in Dorset, this special new bean is grown by members of Fairtrade co-operative CECANOR, the members of which are supported by Cafe Femenino Foundation, a charity that enhances the lives of women and families in coffee-producing communities throughout the world.

Freshly roasted and full of flavour, our new coffee is organic, ethical and simply divine. Don’t just take our word for it – come on down and taste it for yourself!

Available from 11th to 17th April* 2016 at The Ark and The Kitchen, Poole Park.

*While stocks last.

www.beanpress.co.uk

www.coffeecan.org

Posted on 18th March 2016

The Ark Awarded Green PEA Award For Reduced Carbon Emissions

Green PEA, the energy certification scheme aimed at reducing carbon emissions for local businesses and supported by Borough of Poole and Christchurch & East Dorset council, has hailed another successful round of certificate presentations for organisations who have achieved progress through the Green PEA scheme. 

At an event staged by Green PEA member The Kitchen in Poole Park, several members of the scheme collected their Level 1, 2 and 3 certificates, with one company, Brittany Ferries, receiving its Level 4 certificate, the first one to be presented within the scheme. 

Companies represented at the presentation included the Green Pastures Christian Centre and the Hadland Care Group, along with Brittany Ferries. The Kitchen’s certificate was received by General Manager Rachel Pountney, who also collected a Level 2 certificate for their other catering establishment in the park, The Ark. Work done recently on both buildings includes: having magnetic conditioners, renewing their energy contract, installation of solar PV and replacing all their lighting with LED lighting. 

The event also included a presentation by Green Wing UK, a delivery partner within the scheme who supplies magnetic conditioning devices that reduce fuel consumption through a process called ionisation. 

Paul Cooling, Chair of the Green PEA company, commented: 

“To have so many organisations collecting their certificates is testament to the success of Green PEA and how companies and other organisations are really benefitting from being members of the scheme. We are delighted that Brittany Ferries has reached Level 4 status and we look forward to many more members progressing towards their individual targets. Every step forward results in a reduction in carbon emissions and energy costs, which is what Green PEA was established to achieve.” 

If you are a business or organisation (including a school or faith group) from Poole, Christchurch or East Dorset and are interested in joining the Green PEA scheme please contact us on tel: 01202 633029 or 01202 633346, by email: greenpea@poole.gov.uk or though the website www.greenpea

Posted on 22nd February 2016

The Ark Holiday Camp Dates Announced

The Ark team has devised an all-weather multi-activity holiday camp suitable for children between 5 and 12 years old.

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.

Easter Camp - 28th March to 8th April

May Half Term Camp - 30th May to 3rd June

Summer Holiday Camp - 25th July to 31st August

October Half Term Camp - 24th October to 28th October

Posted on 22nd February 2016

Easter Sunday Egg Hunt

Join us for an egg-cellent Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday, with a twist! Poor Tux, our resident penguin, was feeling very left out with all the talk of Easter bunnies and chicks, so we’ve included him as a special guest in our egg hunt!

10.00am for children aged 18mths to 6yrs

10.30am for children aged 7-11yrs

Tickets £4.50 per child and must be booked in advance as places are limited.  

 

To Book

Places are limited and pre-booking is essential. For further information and to book, contact Kieran at The Ark on 01202 717197 or PAM@thearkpoolepark.co.uk

 

Posted on 22nd February 2016

Join us for a cracking good time!

Easter Holiday Camp 28th March - 8th April

Visit The Ark this Easter for a host of egg-cellent events! We’ll be running our popular all-weather multi-activity holiday camp. Suitable for children aged 5-12 years old, activities include the legendary Ark taste challenge, arts and crafts, ice skating, sports activities, soft play and more, all run by our fully qualified staff.  

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.

 

Prices

Full day £25.00

Half Day £11.50

 

To Book

Hurry! Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

To find out more and book, call Kieran at The Ark on 01202 717197 or email PAM@thearkpoolepark.co.uk

Posted on 1st February 2016

We Are Hiring

The Ark are looking for fun energetic individuals who are looking for part time work at the weekends and during school holidays in a busy family environment.


Hours are 09.30am-6.30pm (8.5 hour shift)

We pay over the minimum wage and have company benefits attached to the job offer

To apply please send a copy of your current CV to gm@thearkpoolepark.co.uk

Positions available for immediate start for the right candidate

Posted on 21st January 2016

The Ark and The Kitchen, Poole Park - Family fun and dining that doesn’t cost the earth

The Ark, and sister restaurant, The Kitchen in Poole Park, are going green with the installation of state-of-the-art solar electricity systems.

Following significant investment, the family-owned business has installed the renewable energy systems as part of an ongoing environmental strategy.

Supplied by local family run company NGPS Ltd, the new solar PV systems offer a ‘green’ alternative to energy generation and consumption. Designed to capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic (PV) cells, the solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, which is used to power appliances and lighting.

Richard de Lisle, Owner, said: “We are committed to enhancing our ‘green’ credentials and reducing our impact on the environment. Working with NGPS Ltd on this bespoke installation, we’re delighted to be able to harness the power of renewable technologies to achieve a more sustainable business operation. Nestled amongst the beautiful surroundings of Poole Park, it seems only fitting that our business adopts a sympathetic environmental approach; offering first-class family entertainment and dining that doesn’t cost the earth”.

Posted on 18th November 2015

Meet Father Christmas at The Ark on Christmas Eve!

Ho, Ho, Ho!  Come and join us this Christmas Eve as we host a day full of sparkle and festive cheer.

The Ark is set to transform its real ice rink into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas Eve and is expecting a special visitor from the North Pole.

Dorset’s multi-award winning family leisure attraction will be filled with sparkle and festive cheer from late November and this Christmas Eve the ice rink will see youngsters visit an ice wonderland, full of sparkling lights, festive music and falling snow. Our costume characters Tux, Olaf and Elsa, will all be there to welcome and skate with visitors on the indoor real ice rink followed by an individual visit to Father Christmas.

Each young guest will receive a gift to take home.

Tickets should be booked in advance as places are limited, so hurry!  To find out more or to book please call 01202 717197.

Event Details:

When: 24th December 2015 

Time: (on the hour) 10am, 11am, 12 midday, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm

  • Join in the fun and experience the thrill of skating on real ice…in the warm* and dry!  As long as you are 2 years old or more you can skate but all 2-7 year olds must be accompanied by an adult on skates. 
  • Each young guest will have an individual visit with Father Christmas and receive a gift to take home.

  • Tickets £10 per child to include grotto, gift, ice skating and skate hire and £5.95 per accompanying (skating) adult.  

To find out more or to book please call 01202 717197 

Additional Information:

Please be aware for health and safety reasons an adult on skates must accompany all children up to and including 7 years of age on the ice.

Only one adult skater is permitted per child ticket on Christmas Eve.

Up to 14 fun skate penguins/Bobby seals are available for hire on a first come basis from the skate hire counter for £3.00 each. (Please note these are not meant as a skate aid but simply for fun).

* The Ark is heated. Please note the ice rink has to be kept at a suitable temperature for the ice, appropriate clothing should be worn.

Posted on 16th October 2015

The Ark, Poole Park wins at the Dorset Tourism Awards

The Ark, Poole Park has been awarded bronze in the Small Visitor Attraction category at the Dorset tourism awards 2015. 

Recognising Dorset’s top quality and most progressive tourism businesses, finalists in the annual Tourism Awards were subjected to a comprehensive three-stage judging process conducted by an independent panel of experts and tourism professionals to establish the very best of the region’s tourism businesses, from cafés, pubs and restaurants to hotels, events and visitor attractions.

Situated in the heart of Poole’s historic park, The Ark is one of Dorset’s leading family leisure attractions with real ice rink, soft play and café facilities. Offering an all-weather family fun day out, The Ark boasts a bespoke split-level soft play area, café with heated outside terrace and indoor ice rink. Open daily throughout the year (except Christmas Day) with easy, free parking, The Ark has become renowned for its legendary school holiday camps, children’s parties and special events since opening in December 2013.

Sarah de Lisle, Owner, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to once again receive this award, which recognises the incredible hard work and dedication of our team to deliver a truly excellent all-weather family fun day out, year-round. We pride ourselves on our facilities and service, and are continually evolving our business to ensure we offer a first-class experience for every visitor while establishing ourselves as the ultimate family destination in Poole. Set amid the beautiful surroundings of Poole Park, we enjoy an idyllic, unrivalled location and feel privileged to have this recognised for the second year running.

Unveiled at a glittering awards ceremony hosted at Bovington Tank Museum on 15th October 2015, The Dorset Tourism Awards is now in its fourth year and attracted 76 entries across 17 awards categories. For further information on the Dorset Tourism Awards, visit www.dorsettourismawards.org.uk.

Posted on 24th September 2015

Children’s Hallowe’en Party At The Ark On Friday 30th October 5-9pm.

Join us for the spookiest night of the year with a trick or treat Hallowe'en party full of frightful fun, ghostly games, terrifying treats, devilish decorations and more!

Plus: fancy dress competition – prize for the best-dressed!

When: Friday 30th October, 5-9pm

Where: Meet in The Ark café

  • Ghost hunt in soft play with prizes and free play for children
  • Surprise from The Ark team (get your skates or dancing shoes on!)
  • Disco on ice
  • Fancy dress competition
  • Interactive Halloween balloon building
  • Spook-tacular BBQ/Buffet

Tickets cost £8.00 little horrors (children) and £5.00 per adult. Ticket price includes BBQ buffet.

Suitable for children aged 3-11 years.

Book now to avoid disappointment.  To book or find out more, speak with Kieran next time you visit or call 01202 717197 or email: agm@thearkpoolepark.co.uk

Posted on 21st September 2015

Sparkling ready for autumn!

Here at The Ark, it’s out with the old and in with the new!

Autumn is the new spring, and as we head towards cooler days and cosy nights, we’re conducting a thorough deep-clean of our entire site to ensure we’re ready for the busy fun-packed season ahead. In addition to our daily cleaning of all play and café facilities, we’re undergoing a full site clean to ensure our soft play, real ice rink, café, kitchen, toilet and outside terrace areas are looking tip-top.

Half –term Come on down and enjoy the fun! There’s a host of activities with spook-tacular Halloween events, October half term holiday camp, and a spooky party on 31st October.

Why not visit our new sister café bar, The Kitchen, situated a stone’s throw across the water? With uninterrupted views, the stylish waterside café bar serves a delightful menu of simple, delicious food, seasonally inspired and locally-sourced where possible.

The Kitchen, Poole Park, Poole, Dorset BH15 2SF

Tel: 01202 742842

Open daily, 10am - 6pm

www.thekitchenpoolepark.co.uk

The Ark will remain open daily throughout our autumn deep clean.

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 21st September 2015

The Ark October Half Term Holiday Camp Monday 26th - Friday 30th October

Monday 26th - Friday 30th October Inclusive

Back to school? Not for long! Get set for the return of The Ark’s popular holiday camp. Following our successful summer camp series, we’re hosting a spook-tacular Halloween-themed holiday camp during October half term. Bursting with activities indoor and out from arts and crafts to games, sports and exploring The Ark’s soft play, ice rink facilities and more, we’ll keep the kids entertained whatever the weather.

Suitable for children aged 5 – 12 years and with an emphasis on enjoyment and team building, The Ark’s half term holiday camp is packed full of activities including:

Scary mask making
Potion making
Board games
Ice rink fun and games
Halloween pop-up card making
The Ark taste challenge
Trick or treat bag making
Quick cricket
Tri golf
T-shirt designing
Halloween face painting
Hunt the ghost challenge

But hurry! Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

Book now to avoid disappointment.

To find out more and book, call Rachael at The Ark on 01202 717197 or email agm@thearkpoolepark.

The Ark’s holiday camps are run by our fully qualified activities team who are committed to delivering a memorable experience for every child. Whilst the emphasis for your child is on fun, your child’s safety and wellbeing is paramount and first aiders are available at all times. All staff are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked. 

Posted on 21st September 2015

The Ark October Half Term Holiday Camp Monday 26th – Friday 30th October 2015 Inclusive

Monday 26th – Friday 30th October 2015 inclusive

Back to school? Not for long! Get set for the return of The Ark’s popular holiday camp. Following our successful summer camp series, we’re hosting a spook-tacular Halloween-themed holiday camp during October half term. Bursting with activities indoor and out from arts and crafts to games, sports and exploring The Ark’s soft play, ice rink facilities and more, we’ll keep the kids entertained whatever the weather.

Suitable for children aged 5 – 12 years and with an emphasis on enjoyment and team building, The Ark’s half term holiday camp is packed full of activities including:

Scary mask making
Potion making
Board games
Ice rink fun and games
Halloween pop-up card making
The Ark taste challenge
Trick or treat bag making
Quick cricket
Tri golf
T-shirt designing
Halloween face painting
Hunt the ghost challenge

But hurry! Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

Book now to avoid disappointment.

To find out more and book, call Rachael at The Ark on 01202 717197 or email agm@thearkpoolepark.

The Ark’s holiday camps are run by our fully qualified activities team who are committed to delivering a memorable experience for every child. Whilst the emphasis for your child is on fun, your child’s safety and wellbeing is paramount and first aiders are available at all times. All staff are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked. 

Posted on 19th August 2015

Do you have the edge? Sharpen your skates with us!

New! At The Ark, Poole Park

Do you have the edge? Sharpen your skates with us!

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our ice skate blade sharpening service – now available on site at The Ark, Poole Park.

Essential maintenance to keep your ice skates in tip top condition, sharper blades make for a better grip on the ice and more enjoyable skate!

Priced £5.00 per pair.

Simply bring your skates in and speak to one of our friendly ice rink staff. 

Posted on 14th June 2015

Poole Park 125 Year Anniversary Event

Join us for a party in the park on Sunday 2nd August, celebrating 125 years of Poole’s historic park.

This family event will showcase Poole Park throughout the decades with a host of free activities including vintage cars, period fashion, live music, sports, art and much more!

Hosted by Borough of Poole, and Friends of Poole Park The Ark is proudly supporting this event with special activities throughout the day. Join us from 10am to 6pm to eat, drink, skate or play!

Free event

Sunday 2nd August, 10am to 4pm 

Posted on 14th June 2015

The Ark Summer Camp Is Back!

School’s Out for Summer! But don’t worry, The Ark is here to help!

Our legendary school holiday camp returns this summer with a fantastic range of boredom-busting activities designed to keep children aged 5-12 years old happy during the holidays.

Devised by The Ark’s resident entertainment team, our all-weather multi-activity holiday camps provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to laugh and learn. Activities include ice skating, arts and crafts, sports activities, soft play and much more – indoors and out – all run by our fully qualified staff.

Join us for a full (£25.00) or half day (£11.50), but hurry - places are limited and must be booked in advance. 

To book, call 01202 717197

Posted on 14th June 2015

The Ark Summer Camp Is Back!

School’s Out for Summer! But don’t worry, The Ark is here to help!

Our legendary school holiday camp returns this summer with a fantastic range of boredom-busting activities designed to keep children aged 5-12 years old happy during the holidays.

Devised by The Ark’s resident entertainment team, our all-weather multi-activity holiday camps provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to laugh and learn. Activities include ice skating, arts and crafts, sports activities, soft play and much more – indoors and out – all run by our fully qualified staff.

Join us for a full (£25.00) or half day (£11.50), but hurry - places are limited and must be booked in advance. 

To book, call 01202 717197

Posted on 14th June 2015

The Ark Summer Camp Is Back!

School Will Soon Be Out for Summer! But don’t worry, The Ark is here to help!

Our legendary school holiday camp returns this summer with a fantastic range of boredom-busting activities designed to keep children aged 5-12 years old happy during the holidays.

Devised by The Ark’s resident entertainment team, our all-weather multi-activity holiday camps provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to laugh and learn. Activities include ice skating, arts and crafts, sports activities, soft play and much more – indoors and out – all run by our fully qualified staff.

Join us for a full (£25.00) or half day (£11.50), but hurry - places are limited and must be booked in advance. 

To book, call 01202 717197

Posted on 14th June 2015

Poole Festival of Running Pictures

Did you enjoy the Poole Festival of Running? The sun was shining and Poole Park was full of runners and their supporters. Here's a selection of pictures from the day but please tag yourself and friends if you're featured. Congratulations to everybody that took part and if you're looking for your next challenge, it's the Poole Race for Life on June the 21st!

Posted on 29th May 2015

Work Starts On The Kitchen in Poole Park.

Construction, has started on a £400k project to transform Poole Park with the refurbishment of a spectacular new waterside restaurant and ice-cream parlour.

‘The Kitchen,’ which occupies the former ‘Boat Shed’ site on the edge of the boating lake, will provide a stylish new venue to eat, drink and relax, with stunning panoramic views across the water.  The work, due for completion in July 2015 will see Greendale completely refurbish the interior of the building with a new bar area and kitchen layout, with new entrance canopy and landscaping to the surrounding outdoor area, enabling visitors to enjoy alfresco dining.

A new ice cream parlour, ‘Scoops,’ situated alongside ‘The Kitchen’ will be serving a range of ice creams, waffles, sundaes, milkshakes, teas and coffees.

The ambitious project is the second major development in the park for Poole husband and wife team, Richard and Sarah de Lisle, who also own award winning family attraction, The Ark, which opened in 2013 and recently won a Poole and Dorset Tourism Award.

Sarah de Lisle said: “For us Poole Park is a magical place with its idyllic setting, family appeal and outstanding natural beauty, so when the opportunity came up to also acquire the Boat Shed we were both really excited.

“Our aim is to create a warm, friendly and above-all welcoming atmosphere where people of all ages can meet up and enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed, stylish environment.

“There will be lots of indoor and outdoor seating areas and new landscaped spaces to make the most of the truly spectacular waterfront location. We’re also going to have an open-plan kitchen area so people can watch the chefs at work,” she added.

Poole based Chartered Building Company, Greendale director, Rob Hooker, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed main contractors on this fast track project to transform and refurbish the current buildings and external areas.  It is in a beautiful location and Greendale look forward to working with our clients and architects DMWA on this project.”

Posted on 26th May 2015

Meet Ben: the ten-year-old figure skater with Olympic ambitions - Bournemouth Echo

Ben Gregory from Hamworthy has been in skates since he was five years old. But, over the past year, he has discovered a flair for figure skating. Now he is sponsored by The Ark in Poole, where he trains several times a week.   

Ben was recently featured in the Bournemouth Echo, read the article here

Posted on 17th May 2015

Ready, steady, go! Poole Park Festival of Running, Sunday 7th June 2015

We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Minithon race series as part of Poole’s Festival of Running this year and to celebrate, we’re running (excuse the pun!) a special promotion.

Simply register for the Minithon race online at The Ark using one of our specially supplied IPads during May half term (25th – 29th May 2015) to receive a free family pass which entitles up to 2 adults and 2 children to skate or play at a later date.

Minithon races are open to children aged 8-14 and runners of all abilities are encouraged to enter.

Race details:

10.00am         Girls 8-9

10.15am         Boys 8-9

10.30am         Girls 10-11

10.45am         Boys 10-11

11.00am         Mixed 12-14

All finishers will receive a quality medal and personal race time on the day. Races are held on traffic-free roads and are fully marshalled by experienced Poole Running Club officials.

Places are limited, so hurry down to The Ark during May half term to secure your spot! Alternatively, entrants can register online at www.poolerunners.com or at Poole Park on Sunday 7th June 2015 (subject to availability).

For further information on the 2015 Poole Festival of Running and Minithon races, visit poolerunners

 

*One pass per family.  Terms and Conditions apply

Posted on 2nd May 2015

Come And Join The Fun At The Ark’s May Half Term Holiday Camp Monday 25th – Friday 29th May 2015

The Ark’s school holiday camps are becoming legendary! Join us once again this May half term for our popular all-weather multi-activity holiday camp.

Suitable for children aged 5-12 years old, activities include ice skating, arts and crafts, sports activities, soft play and more – indoors and out - all run by our fully qualified staff.  

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.

Prices

Full day £25.00

Half Day £11.50

To Book

Hurry! Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

e-mail or telephone 01202 717197

Posted on 29th April 2015

New! Baby Ballet with Shining Bright Like A Star Performing Arts School

Calling all budding ballerinas – boys and girls!

We’re delighted to have teamed up with local performing arts school, Shining Bright Like A Star (SBLAS) to host weekly Baby Ballet classes at The Ark.

Baby Toes dance classes, suitable for toddlers aged 18 months to 3.5 years, are run by SBLAS dance teacher Miss Charlotte, who uses use stories, props and music to inspire and delight little ones.

Classes follow the principles of ballet, tap and jazz and offer 30-45 minutes of music and dance. Specially designed to prepare children for dance classes when they reach school age, Baby Ballet is a fun way of developing a child’s learning skills and confidence in a relaxed environment.

Taking place every Tuesday during term time from 10am, classes must be booked in advance with SBLAS.

For further information on SBLAS, and to book, contact:

Shining Bright Like A Star 

Tel: 07734 429 445

 

Posted on 27th April 2015

Congratulations To Ben Who Came 2nd In The Basingstoke Coaches Cup!

The results are in and Ben managed to secure 2nd place in the 2015 Basingstoke Coaches Cup! Ben skates for the freestyle team BXFIST. (Bournemouth Xtreme Freestyle Ice Skating Team)... If you would like to see Ben in action, you can usually find him on The Ark's Ice Rink.  Congratulations Ben!  

 

Posted on 28th February 2015

Easter Egg Tree At The Ark, Poole Park - Bring Your Decorated Egg Along!

We’ll be hosting a decorated Egg Tree in the main café entrance as part of our Easter celebrations. Join the fun by decorating an egg to hang on the tree or simply visit us to see the tree for yourself! Local schools and nurseries have also been invited to take part, encouraging children to get creative and take part in this Easter tradition which creates a striking, brightly coloured display.

How To Blow An Egg 

NB: The Ark recommend egg blowing is done by an adult.

What you need:

Eggs, a scalpel, bowl, also required: a wooden skewer or long needle.

How To:

Gently swirl the point of your scalpel into the end of the egg, pushing as you go slightly, until it pierces.

Repeat at other end but continue to widen the hole at the other end by swirling the scalpel around so it chips away at the sides. Make it large enough to just insert the skewer.

Insert the skewer and jiggle it around a little to break up the yolk.

Place your mouth over one end, with the other end over a bowl; gently blow into the egg. It might take a few puffs before it starts to come out, but once it gets going it will all come out with a few blows. If the yolk appears stuck, shake the egg and try the skewer again.

Now hold a finger over the bottom hole and place the top one under running water so the egg catches a little water. Shake it around a little and blow out again.

Leave to dry and then they’re ready to decorate.

 

How To Make An Egg Tree Decoration. Real Egg – Decorating

What you need:    

Needle that will fit through the entire length of the egg thin, thread or cotton

Small beads – in two sizes if you desire (we used a small one for the top of the egg and a larger one for the bottom).

Neat way:

1. Thread the needle and insert it into the top of the egg. Wiggle it until it pokes through the hole in the other side. Thread through and thread on a bead.

2. Thread the needle back through the same hole and out the top again so it looks as though there are two lines of thread coming from the top hole.

3. Thread on another bead and tie into place at the top of the egg. Make a knot at the ends of the thread lengths and hang.

4. Bring to The Ark and hang it on our Easter tree!

Easy way:

1. Thread the needle and insert it into the top of the egg. Wiggle it until it pokes through the hole in the other side. Thread through, thread on a bead and tie into place.

2. Thread a small bead onto the thread at the top of the egg and tie into place. Using the thread remaining, tie into a knot at the top, creating a loop to hang.

 3. Bring to The Ark and hang it on our Easter tree!

 

Alternatively Polystyrene Egg - Decorating

1. Paint polystyrene eggs in a variety of pretty colours. You can use test/sample pots of household emulsion to paint.

2. Once dry, use a small paintbrush to decorate the eggs.

3. To make the hanging loop, cut a 10cm length of narrow ribbon and tie the ends together. Attach a ribbon loop to the top of each egg with a pin.

4. Bring to The Ark and hang it on our Easter tree!

Tip: Place a needle or pin in one end of each egg and wedge this in a lump of Plasticine or similar so you can paint the entire egg in one go and leave it to dry.

Posted on 28th February 2015

Easter Egg And P-P-P-Up A Penguin Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt - Sunday 5th April

Join us for an egg-cellent Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday, with a twist! Poor Tux, our resident penguin, was feeling very left out with all the talk of Easter bunnies and chicks, so we’ve included him as a special guest in our egg hunt! Simply find a penguin card – amongst the chocolate eggs – and exchange for a plush penguin soft toy.

10.00am for children aged 18mths to 7yrs

10.30am for children aged 8-11yrs

Tickets cost £2.50 and must be booked in advance as places are limited.

Terms and conditions apply. One penguin per paid child entrant.

To Book

Places are limited and pre-booking is essential. For further information and to book, contact Rachael at The Ark on 01202 717197 or email 

Posted on 28th February 2015

Easter Egg-stravaganza. Join us for a cracking good time!

Easter School Holiday Camp

Visit The Ark this Easter for a host of egg-cellent events! We’ll be running our popular all-weather multi-activity holiday camp from Monday 6th to Friday 17th April inclusive. Suitable for children aged 5-12 years old, activities include the legendary Ark taste challenge, arts and crafts, ice skating, sports activities, soft play and more, all run by our fully qualified staff.  

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.

Prices

Full day £25.00

Half Day £11.50

To Book

Hurry! Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

To find out more and book, call Rachael at The Ark on 01202 717197 or email rachael

Posted on 14th February 2015

Love Is In The Air at The Ark!

In spite of years of vowing she would never re-marry, duty manager Hayley House made a shock proposal to her long-term partner Jerry (The Ark's maintenance manger) when she emerged from a large wrapped gift box earlier today.

The couple, always come in for breakfast while one of their children has ice skating lessons and Hayley decided it would be the perfect opportunity to pop the question.

Tux, The Ark’s mascot penguin wheeled Hayley out in a wrapped box, then, with the assistance of his handler, Tux unrolled a banner saying “Jerry, will you marry me….?” and Hayley emerged!  Thankfully, the reply was a resounding “Yes,” from Jerry.  

The couple, who have been together 13 years, have five children, and Hayley said she decided to change her view of getting married when she overheard their two youngest children, Joshua and Evie saying ‘So, you're not our real Mum and Dad then’.

“I have been quite vocal in the past about never getting married again and in turn Jerry has also adopted this approach. He has never been married before,” said Hayley.

“The reason for doing this now? I want to make my family complete and when better to propose than Valentine’s Day?” she added.

Congratulations Hayley and Jerry – we're looking forward to The Ark’s first wedding!

         

Posted on 14th February 2015

The Ark Valentine’s Day Surprise

Posted on 14th February 2015

The Ark Valentine’s Day Surprise

Posted on 16th January 2015

Half Term Camp 16th - 20th February At The Ark, Poole Park

This February half term let The Ark team entertain your child with their all-weather multi-activity 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. 

Multi-Activity 

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 20 activities throughout the course of the week, including the popular Ark taste challenge, arts and crafts, ice skating, football, cricket and fun and games in soft play, 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.

Prices:
Full Day  £25 
Half Day £11.50 

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

Posted on 27th November 2014

The Ark, Poole Park Charity Christmas Grotto Reviews

Review 1, Sam Palmer: All the children had a fantastic time, your new grotto is really cool & all the elves were great with the children & Santa made each child feel special, was such a wonderful night, topped off with a yummy festive tea which everyone also enjoyed, But then the chocolate yule log came out & then it turned the childen loopy! ha 

I will definatley be recommending your grotto to everyone x

Ps All the penguins are very much loved & enjoying their new homes 

 

Review 2:

Posted on 27th November 2014

The Ark Christmas Grotto Is Now Open!

The Ark have created a one-off event and transformed Poole Park’s cricket pavilion into a magical winter log cabin, home to Father Christmas and his elves from 27th November to 24th December 2014. Funded by The Ark, the grotto is operating as a not-for-profit initiative, with all profits benefiting Fernheath Play, a local charity which provides specialist free play and short play breaks to fully able and disabled children.

Billed as an enchanting, quality, Christmas grotto experience, The Ark is aiming to put the magic back into Christmas for local youngsters. Children visiting the grotto will meet Father Christmas and his elves, receive a special Penguin soft toy and enjoy a supervised craft activity such as creating magical reindeer food.  

The Ark Christmas grotto: tickets cost £12 per child. Pre-booking is recommended.

For further information, visit www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk.

The Ark Grotto: www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk/christmasgrotto/

        

Posted on 27th November 2014

Father Christmas Visits Local Play Centre

Father Christmas made a special surprise visit to youngsters at the Fernheath Play Centre in Verney Road, Bournemouth on Tuesday, November 25th.

Santa was accompanied by Tux, the giant cuddly mascot penguin from The Ark in Poole Park, and handed out soft toys to the children. Fernheath Play provides specialist free play and short breaks for all children; regardless of their background or abilities.

Paddy Williamson from Fernheath Play said "We are thrilled to have been selected as The Ark’s chosen charity to benefit from their Christmas grotto this year. The children and staff at Fernheath Play were delighted to receive a special visit from Father Christmas ahead of the grand opening of the grotto this week. Together with the friendly Ark team and their resident penguin Tux, the children were treated to a magical afternoon of festive fun. We are so grateful for the support of individuals and local businesses like The Ark who allow us to continue offering invaluable support to able and disabled children across Dorset."  

After the event both Santa and Tux returned to Poole Park to greet the first visitors at the grand unveiling of their new Grotto.

Co-created by Eskimo Jo, who have developed Christmas events, for Selfridges and Westfield shopping centres, and Dorset-based entertainment agency Funnybone, the Grotto has transformed the park’s cricket pavilion in to a magical winter log cabin.

As part of the experience youngsters get to meet Father Christmas and his elves, receive a special plush penguin soft toy and enjoy a supervised festive-themed craft activity like creating magical reindeer food.

Funded by The Ark, the Grotto is a one-off event and operating as a not-for-profit initiative, with all proceeds going towards the Fernheath Play charity.

The Ark Christmas Grotto: tickets cost £12 per child. Pre-booking is advisable. 

For further information, visit www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk/christmasgrotto. The Ark, Poole Park, BH15 2SF.

  

Posted on 17th November 2014

Magical Grotto Set To Enchant Visitors To Poole Park

   

An all-new Christmas Grotto experience, which is being created by one of the UK’s leading events’ company, is set to open in Poole at the end of the month.

The Ark Christmas Grotto in Poole Park will become home from home for Santa Claus and his elves from November  27th all the way through until Christmas Eve.

Co-created by Eskimo Jo, who have developed Christmas events for Selfridges and Westfield Shopping Centres, and Dorset-based entertainment agency Funnybone, the Grotto will transform the park’s cricket pavilion in to a magical winter log cabin.

As part of the experience youngsters will meet Father Christmas and his elves, receive a special plush penguin soft toy and enjoy a supervised festive-themed craft activity like creating magical reindeer food.

Funded by The Ark, the one-off Grotto is operating as a not-for-profit initiative, with all proceeds going towards the local Fernheath Play charity which provides specialist free play and short breaks for all children; regardless of their background or abilities.

The Ark owner, Sarah de Lisle, said: “Since opening in December 2013 we have been committed to creating a first-class family entertainment hub in the heart of this beautiful park.

“To celebrate our first anniversary we wanted to do something truly special. We have enlisted the help and expertise of some of the country’s leading events’ and entertainments companies to create the Grotto.

“Our aim is for the Christmas Grotto to deliver a magical experience for children and adults to enjoy together, while raising much-needed funds for a deserving local charity,” she added.

Since opening, The Ark has become one of Poole’s most popular family destinations with its mix of high quality facilities including a bespoke soft play area, café, ice cream parlour and ice skating rink.

The Ark Christmas Grotto: tickets cost £12 per child. Pre-booking is advised.  For further information, visit thearkpoolepark.co.uk/christmasgrotto. The Ark, Poole Park, BH15 2SF.

Open 10am – 6pm 7 days a week*

Posted on 27th October 2014

New Laser Tag Parties Launching November 2014 At The Ark, Poole Park

One, two, three, shoot! We are all fired up here at The Ark with the launch of our new laser tag parties, available from 17th November 2014.

Combining the thrill of laser tag with the fun and excitement of soft play, this game sees players navigate The Ark’s split level soft play area in the dark with a super lightweight laser gun. Perfect for older children aged seven years and over, laser tag is a dynamic game of adventure and suspense, making it the ultimate action-packed party!

Choose from team or solo games for groups of 12 children or more with exclusive use of the soft play area during game play. Laser birthday parties include a designated special gun for the birthday child with rapid fire function and a singing ‘Happy Birthday’ feature which will play before the first laser game starts. There are no uncomfortable heavy vests; simply hold the laser gun and shoot.

Laser party price: £16.50 per person, minimum of 12 children. Party includes three laser games plus standard party package.

All parties last for 90 minutes and include:

A dedicated Party Planner to help you book, organise and prepare for your party
A dedicated Party Host for the duration of your party
Exclusive use of a private party room
60 minutes for 3 x laser games and 30 minutes for food and present giving
A hot or cold food buffet
Party invites and thank you cards
Party bags for all players
Present for the party child

The Ark specialises in children’s birthday parties for groups of 12 or more, with a variety of entertaining themes suitable for tots to teens. For details of other party packages, click here.

To find out more, or to check availability, please call 01202 717197 or send us a message. 

Posted on 19th October 2014

The Ark Poole Park Wins ‘Small Visitor Attraction’ in the Dorset Tourism Awards 2014

The Ark won bronze in ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’, one of 46 trophies presented at a glittering awards ceremony on 16th October at The Tank Museum, Bovington. Following a rigorous three-stage judging process comprising initial scoring, a mystery shopper visit and final assessment by an independent judging panel, The Ark was shortlisted in one of 16 categories covering best accommodation, events, activity providers, pubs, places to eat and drink, and venues.

 

Sarah de Lisle, owner, said “We are thrilled and privileged to receive this award in our first year of trading. It’s a testament to the hard work and investment that went into creating The Ark and to the management and staff who continually deliver a first class experience for local and visiting families. We created The Ark with a vision of providing a welcoming, family-friendly destination with outstanding play facilities and great food and drink. This accolade recognises our significant achievements to date whilst firmly putting The Ark on the map as a key attraction and contributor to Poole’s economy, all year round.” 

Posted on 14th October 2014

Christmas is coming! The Ark’s Magical Christmas Grotto At The Cricket Pavilion, Poole Park

This Christmas is going to be really special at The Ark, Poole Park.

From 27th November to 24th December, we’re transforming Poole Park’s cricket pavilion into a magical winter cabin, complete with Father Christmas and his elves.

Sprinklings of snow, twinkly lights, jingling bells and jolly cheer; The Ark’s 
fairy-tale Christmas Grotto is set to thrill and delight, capturing the imagination of visitors - both big and small! Meet Father Christmas in his enchanting log cabin where children will receive a special gift, be entertained by his mischievous elves and have the chance to make magical reindeer food to take home - the perfect treat to leave out for Rudolph and friends on Christmas Eve.  

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Explore the magical kingdom of The Ark with its real ice rink, split-level soft play and stylish café area. Visitors to the Christmas Grotto can enjoy 5% off a visit to the ice rink on the same day - simply present your grotto ticket to staff.

Tickets cost £12 per child. Two adults per child only. Book Here

Recommended for children aged 6mths – 12yrs.

The Ark Grotto is a one-off event and not for profit initiative. All profits will be donated to Fernheath Play Charity No. 1148263, a local charity which provides specialist free play and short play breaks to fully able and disabled children.
For further information, visit www.fernheath.org

Posted on 14th October 2014

Christmas is coming! The Ark’s Magical Christmas Grotto At The Cricket Pavilion, Poole Park

This Christmas is going to be really special at The Ark, Poole Park.

From 27th November to 24th December, we’re transforming Poole Park’s cricket pavilion into a magical winter cabin, complete with Father Christmas and his elves.

Sprinklings of snow, twinkly lights, jingling bells and jolly cheer; The Ark’s one off not-fo-profit  fairy-tale Christmas Grotto is set to thrill and delight, capturing the imagination of visitors - both big and small! Meet Father Christmas in his enchanting log cabin where children will receive a special gift, be entertained by his mischievous elves and have the chance to make magical reindeer food to take home - the perfect treat to leave out for Rudolph and friends on Christmas Eve.  

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Explore the magical kingdom of The Ark with its real ice rink, split-level soft play and stylish café area. Visitors to the Christmas Grotto can enjoy £1.00 off a visit to the ice rink on the same day - simply present your grotto ticket to staff.

Tickets cost £12 per child. Two adults per child only. Book Here

Recommended for children aged 6mths – 12yrs.

The Ark Grotto is a one-off event and not for profit initiative. All profits will be donated to Fernheath Play Charity No. 1148263, a local charity which provides specialist free play and short play breaks to fully able and disabled children.
For further information, visit www.fernheath.org

Posted on 3rd October 2014

Ehlers Danlos Support Group Meeting At The Ark, Poole Park

Held every two months, a support group for locals with Ehlers Danlos, a genetic disease which causes weakness and fragility in skin, bone, joints and blood vessels, resulting in them becoming damaged. Joints are hypermobile and dislocate, and sufferers live with chronic pain and fatigue. Next meeting is in December, please contact The Ark for more details.

Find out more:  http://www.ehlers-danlos.org

Posted on 26th September 2014

Let It Go! The Ark Launches New Frozen-Themed Birthday Parties

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new Frozen-themed birthday party package, inspired by Disney’s enchanting hit film.

Specially designed for children aged 2-11, our Frozen-themed parties include all the magic and adventure you need to celebrate your special occasion. Choose from our soft play or ice rink, perfect for fairy tale ice princesses, talking snowmen and guests!

The Ark specialises in children’s birthday parties for groups of 12 or more, with a variety of entertaining themes from tots to teens.

All parties last for 90 minutes and include:

A dedicated Party Planner to help you book, organise and prepare for your party
A dedicated Party Host for the duration of your party
Exclusive use of a private party room
60 minutes for your chosen activity and 30 minutes for food and present giving
A hot or cold food buffet
Party invites and thank you cards
Party bags for all children
Present for the party child

For details of other party packages, click here

To find out more or to check availability, please call 01202 717197 or send us a message

Posted on 26th September 2014

The Ark October Half Term Holiday Camp Monday 27th – Friday 31st October 2014 Inclusive

Back to school? Not for long! Get set for the return of The Ark’s popular holiday camp. Following our successful summer camp series, we’re hosting a spook-tacular Halloween-themed holiday camp during October half term. Bursting with activities indoor and out, from arts and crafts to games, sports and exploring The Ark’s soft play, ice rink facilities and more, we’ll keep the kids entertained, whatever the weather.

Suitable for children aged 5 – 12 years and with an emphasis on enjoyment and team building, The Ark’s half term holiday camp is packed full of activities including:

Scary mask making
Potion making
Board games
Ice rink fun and games
Halloween pop-up card making
The Ark taste challenge
Trick or treat bag making
Quick cricket
Tri golf
T-shirt designing
Halloween face painting
Hunt the ghost challenge

But hurry! Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

Book now to avoid disappointment.

Full day £25.00, half day £11.50.

To find out more and book, call Rachael at The Ark on 01202 717197 or email rachael@thearkpoolepark.

The Ark’s holiday camps are run by our fully qualified activities team who are committed to delivering a memorable experience for every child. Whilst the emphasis for your child is on fun, your child’s safety and wellbeing is paramount and first aiders are available at all times. All staff are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked.

Posted on 26th September 2014

Children’s Hallowe’en Party At The Ark On Friday 31st October 6-9pm. Booking Required

Join us for the spookiest night of the year with a trick or treat Hallowe'en party full of frightful fun, ghostly games, terrifying treats, devilish decorations and more!

Plus: fancy dress competition – prize for the best-dressed!

Friday 31st October, 6-9pm

6.00 - 6.15pm Meet in café
6.15 – 7.00pm Ghost hunt in soft play and free play for children
7.00 - 7.30pm Surprise from The Ark team (get your dancing shoes on!)
7.30 – 9.00pm Disco, fancy dress competition plus spook-tacular buffet

Tickets cost £7.50 for little horrors (children) and £4.95 per adult for the buffet.

Suitable for children aged 5 – 12 years.

Book now to avoid disappointment.  To book or find out more, speak with Rachael next time you visit or call 01202 717197 or email: rachael@thearkpoolepark.

Posted on 25th September 2014

The Ark, Poole Park Wins Development Of The Year In The Sibbett Gregory Poole Tourism Awards

The Ark, formerly Gus Gorilla’s, closed last September for major refurbishment to transform it into a brand new family destination. Local couple, Richard and Sarah de Lisle, invested more than £1.6m into the project creating a stunning new café, soft play, ice rink and ice cream parlour at the heart of historic Poole Park which opened in December 2014. 

“After months of hard work, we were thrilled to finally unveil The Ark last December.  Our vision was to create a family-friendly, welcoming destination where local people and visitors to the area could 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, Sarah de Lisle.

" We’ve had an incredible first year and it’s a real privilege to receive this accolade in recognition of our achievement to date." said Sarah.

 Find out more about the awards

Posted on 24th September 2014

The Ark Has Been Selected As A Finalist In This Year’s Dorset Tourism Awards!

The Ark has been selected as finalist in the 'Small Visitor Attraction' category in this year’s Dorset Tourism Awards which will be presented at The Tank Museum on 16th October. 

The Dorset Tourism Awards were launched in 2013, and have gone to new heights this year with an increase in both categories and entries.  Their main aim is to raise the profile of Dorset as a destination and recognise its top quality and progressive tourism businesses.

The Awards saw an increased 67 entries across 16 categories, with each going through a three-stage judging process.  Firstly each entry was pored over and scored by tourism professionals; secondly, a programme of visits were carried out, leading to recommendations for each category; and finally these recommendations were considered by an independent panel. Finalists were selected from across the county with businesses from Lyme Regis, Poole, Weymouth, Cranborne, Sherborne and Bournemouth amongst the list.

Andrew Alder of headline sponsors Saffery Champness and a member of the judging panel said: “We have been delighted by the high standard of entrants and the quality of their submissions.  It’s quite clear from all the hard work and commitment of the businesses involved that these awards have captured the imagination of the regional tourism industry and the accolades they bring. We were particularly pleased by the entries for the Entrepreneurs Category which we helped to introduce this year. A big thank you for everyone’s time and effort.”

Robin Barker of Services for Tourism, who created and manage the awards programme, commented: “It is a real delight seeing the increase in entries this year, along with the commitment to quality shown by all concerned.  The judges have faced some very difficult decisions and I congratulate all entrants for their vision, drive and dedication.”

Find out more here

Posted on 9th September 2014

Boo ‘Outdoor Circus’, 12th-13th September 2014, Poole Park

Poole Park will be brought to life with this spectacular live circus show performed by French artists ‘Cirk Vost’. The show, staged up in the air on a giant bamboo structure, is completely free of charge and guaranteed to impress!

The Ark will be open both evenings.

For more information, visit http://activateperformingarts.org.uk/inside-out/poole-park/boo

Posted on 6th June 2014

Anyone For Tennis?  The Ark Holds A Key To Poole Park Courts

The Ark holds a key to the Poole Park courts and can take bookings.  Just pop-in, pay and play*!

* Subject to court availability

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. 

Multi-Activity 

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 20th May 2014

Summer Opening, 6-7th June 2014, The Ark, Poole Park

We’ll be trialling extended Summer opening hours until 8pm on Friday 6th & Saturday 7th June, giving you more time to play! Join us for family fun whatever the weather, and a sumptuous Hog Roast on the evening of Saturday 7th.  

Posted on 2nd May 2014

Poole Festival of Running, 1st June 2014, Poole Park

Ready Steady Go! Join in the fun with races, children’s activities and family entertainment at Poole’s annual Festival of Running. From first-time runners to Olympic champions and spectators, everyone is welcome for a great day out!

Junior runners can participate in the under 8’s Fun Run which kicks off at 11.05am – visit us at The Ark after the race to receive a 15% discount in the ice rink or soft play. Simply show proof of participation to staff.

Please note: Poole Park will be closed to vehicular traffic all day.   Alternative parking available at the Civic Centre. 

 

Children’s (under 8s Fun Run takes place at 11.05am.

Races for children aged 8-14 take place between 10-11am.

5km and 10km races for adults and over 15s at 11.30am and 2pm respectively.

There are medals, prizes and trophies to be won in all races. But hurry! Places fill up fast and entry is limited.

Find out more & enter online at www.poolerunners.com

Posted on 2nd May 2014

Race for Life, 22nd June 2014, Poole Park

The Ark will be open for refreshments and play from 10am to 6pm – bring along proof of race entry to enjoy 15% discount in the ice rink or soft play.

Good luck to all runners!

http://raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org/choose-your-event/poole.html?event=1673

Posted on 2nd May 2014

Harbourview 110ft Abseil in aid of Diverse Abilities Plus, 8th June 2014

Good luck to Tux, our resident penguin, who plans to take part in a 110ft abseil overlooking Poole Harbour on Sunday 8th June. We’re busy fundraising here at The Ark for the event hosted by Diverse Abilities Plus, Dorset’s disability charity which supports children and adults with physical and learning disabilities. Why not enter yourself? or sponsor Tux by visiting The Ark to make a donation. Thank you!

Posted on 1st May 2014

Dorset Coast and Harbour Bike Race, 8th June 2014

This charity bike ride, now in its fourth year, will be starting and finishing in Poole Park. Join cyclists of all ages and abilities in the event which has three different routes, all along Dorset’s world-famous Jurassic Coast.

For further information and to register online, visit:

http://www.bike-events.com/Ride.aspx?id=454

Posted on 1st May 2014

Dragon Boat Race, 20th July, Poole Park

Cheer the entrants on in the annual Dragon Boat Race – an exciting, fiercely competitive, colourful and noisy spectacle - all in aid of Diverse Abilities Plus, Dorset’s disability charity supporting children and adults with physical and learning disabilities.

http://www.diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk/events/uk-challenges/poole-dragon-boat-race/

Posted on 28th March 2014

The Ark Easter Eggstravaganza 5th - 21st April 2014

* Enter our free competition in the cafe to Win a giant Chococo Easter rabbit

* Indulge your taste buds with our Limited Edition Easter Sundae available from the Ice Cream Parlour

* Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, 18th - 21st April - We are giving away 1000 Fair Trade Chocolate Easter Lollies in Soft Play and the Ice rink.  One per full paying child admission, whilst stocks last

Come And Join The Fun!

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

www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk

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 Supports Poole Park Life

The Ark are supporting Poole Park Life - 6 weeks of public engagement that will lead to a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding for Poole Park

Please have your say by:

- Taking part in an event

- Completing an on-line questionnaire, available from www.boroughofpoole/pooleparklife

- Returning a paper questionnaire available from libraries, The Ark and the Boat Shed in Poole Park and from the events listed below

 

Have your say and get involved!

 

Sunday 26th January 

An Introduction To The Consultation

12 -3pm meet in the pavilion: 1pm Guided walk

 

Saturday 8th February

Poole Park Lake Day

12-3pm Marquee near the learning tree

 

Saturday 15th February

Wild About Birds

12-3pm Marquee near the learning tree

 

Wednesday 19th February

Poole Park Family Funday

11am-3pm Marquee near the learning tree

 

Friday 21st February

Poole Park Heritage & Landscape

12-3pm in the pavilion and around the park.  Bookings only, please call 01202 261358

 

Saturday 1st March

Poole Park Moves!

12-3pm in the pavilion and around the park.  Bookings only, please call 01202 261358

 

Friday 7th March

Last Chance Friday: what comes next?

4-6pm in the pavilion

 

Monday 10th March

Poole Park Life - A place for all ages?

6.30 -9pm Civic Centre

 

Project background and more information from www.pooleprojects.net

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. 

  http://www.natalieguymosaics.co.uk

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

The Ark Opening Weekend Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December 2013

Come and join in the fun at our opening weekend on Saturday 14th December & Sunday 15th December, doors open at 10.00am and close at 6.00pm each day. Sign up for our newsletter and receive half-price entry and a FREE gift for each paying child.  

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.

Posted on 15th November 2013

New Ark in the Park nears completion

Ambitious plans to transform Poole’s old Gus Gorilla’s and Central Park café into a stunning new family destination are nearing completion.

Local couple, Richard and Sarah de Lisle, acquired the old Poole Park site earlier this year and have, with the help of a team of local contractors, undertaken a major refurbishment programme.

The pair has invested more than £1.4m into the project to create a stunning new café and leisure complex at the heart of historic Poole Park – which is set to open on Saturday, December 14th.

The new café and attractions complex, which includes a three-storey bespoke soft play area, café, ice cream parlour and ice skating rink, will be called ‘The Ark’.

The Ark is now embarking on a recruitment drive for key senior management and general staff.

Owner Richard de Lisle said: “It’s incredibly exciting to see the project coming together and we have now reached a stage when we can start recruiting for staff.

“As parents of young children we know what works best for families and The Ark is our vision of the perfect day out! 

“The aim is for The Ark to be a family-friendly, welcoming destination where local people and visitors to the town can meet up, socialise and enjoy great food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere.

“The soft play area and ice rink means you will be able to spend anything from a couple of hours to the whole day here,” he added.

As well as its local recruitment drive, The Ark has also launched an online competition on their website for youngsters to name its new penguin cuddly character and win a pre-opening party on 12th December for themselves and 30 friends.

For the latest news and information about The Ark and to enter the penguin naming competition visit www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk/mynameis.

Posted on 15th November 2013

Ice Skating Competition

Win a pre-opening ice skating party on the 13th December 2013!

Enter our competition to win an exclusive ice skating party for up to 20 people at The Ark. To win this great prize, simply enter your details via the page on our website http://www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk/competition

The competition closes on the 4th December 2013 and the winner will be announced on Facebook!

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