We know that children don’t usually need much encouragement to feel excited at this time of year, especially with the darker nights creeping in and the Christmas lights switching on but if you want to get the whole family into a more festive mood, here are some great activities taking place at some of Devon’s top attractions this winter.
Let’s start off with our friends at Crealy Theme Park, from 26th November right up until Christmas, they are hosting Christmas At Crealy on selected dates. Visitors will get the chance to visit Santa, watch a fascinating live ice show and enjoy other themed activities and workshops. Every child will get a free present from Santa’s magical toy shop and you can find some delicious treats at Mary’s Christmas Bakery – for a full list of what festive fun is available at Crealy this year, click here.
While we’re talking about theme parks, Woodlands Family Theme Park, the largest of the parks in Devon is hosting their own Christmas celebration where you can meet Santa and his elves in their grotto for a limited time. Starting on 26th November, you’ll find lots of magical surprises throughout the park and buying a ticket to the Grotto will give you lots of additional fun on top of the usual activities – find out more here.
Image: Woodland Family Theme Park
In the North Devon region is the Big Sheep Farm and Theme Park. The Winter Fun on the Farm provides plenty of festivities to keep the whole family entertained. With Christmas markets and the Toddler Takeover Christmas Special, complete with an interactive music show, you’ll find plenty to do here. You can find full details here Similarly, Pennywell Farm are holding their own Nativity so you can experience the magic of Christmas with the resident pigs. See a full programme here. In Sidmouth, the Donkey Sanctuary are running a themed trail where you can match the donkeys to the Christmas spirits – you even get a present for finishing the trail!
If you want the chance to exercise your creative side and maybe make your own decorations or gifts, you can find lots of opportunities in Devon this winter. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter have several workshops running across the winter months and Quince Honey Farm are holding Christmas Wreath workshops. These workshops and similar activities are perfect for getting into the spirit and for creating gifts – there is nothing more heartfelt than a home (or Devon!) made gift.
Another great festive activity is attending carol services and where better to experience carols than in a cave!? Kents Cavern’s much loved carol concerts are back for this year and is a wonderfully unique experience. They are also hosting Santa in the Caves, visitors become elves and get sent into the caves on a quest to find Santa’s workshop! Tickets are available to book here.
Image: Kents Cavern
One thing that is synonymous with Christmas is lights – from light switch ons to towns and villages putting up their trees and lighting them up, the warm and coloured lights really help keep the blues away in the darker evenings and provide a lovely family friendly activity – particularly with themed displays. Babbacombe Model Village are once again holding Christmas Illuminations and RHS Rosemoor are hosting Glow, where you can experience the gardens in a whole new way! For something a little different, why not book the family onto a festive boat ride with Stuart Line Cruises? Stuart Line Cruises have Sail with Santa, a firm favourite among families and their festive river cruises which take you along the River Exe. This lovely boat ride shows you the beautiful countryside while enjoying a mulled wine and mince pie.
Image: RHS Rosemoor
For the adventurous among you or those that want to escape from the over-abundance of Christmas-themed activities, check out River Dart Country Park in Ashburton. There are a host of activities within their 90 acres, with plenty to do all year around. The assault course, bike tracks and climbing pods are all great fun and you won’t spot as much tinsel here as you will elsewhere, not only that but they are offering a winter promotion, where entry is just £3 per person!
We could go on, but we don’t want you to spend all your time reading this, we want you to be out enjoying the Christmas activities! We hope this introduction to some of Devon’s upcoming activities has given you some inspiration, but if you want some more, be sure to keep your eyes on our what’s on pages here.