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 

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