With the summer holidays on the horizon, you’re likely on the hunt for things to do to entertain the whole family – lucky for you, there is loads to do in Devon over the summer for the family! If you’re in need for some inspiration, check out these ideas for a family friendly day out.
For the adventurous
If you are the kind of family that like to get the heart pumping, book tickets to Crealy Theme Park and Resort. With the most rides in Devon and an exciting calendar of events throughout the school holidays, there is something for everyone here, including an undercover area, just in case we get one of those typical British summer days with drizzle! New this year is Sooty Land with four news rides, attractions and live performances all included in the ticket price – so whether you’re 8 months old, 8 years old or 80 years old, you won’t be bored here! If you’re here for the big rides, the Big Sheep has the South West’s largest family rollercoaster alongside their world famous sheep racing, great rides, indoor and outdoor activities and an extensive entertainment programme lasting throughout the summer holidays.
Image: World of Country Life
If you’re up for combining thrilling rides with cute animals, at the other end of the county you’ll find Pennywell Farm. Packed full of fascinating animals, hands on activities, rides, shows and displays, it is one of the biggest activity centres in the region and has something happening every half an hour, from pig racing to tractor rides. Alternatively, there is World of Country Life in Exmouth. Located in Sandy Bay, this award winning site is right on the dramatic Jurassic Coast and features an eclectic mix of museums, animals, play areas, rides and entertainment.
Woodlands Family Theme Park is Devon’s largest family theme park. With fantastic events, super heroes, watercoasters and a huge indoor play area – perfect for those off days. Stretching over 100 acres, there are 10 play zones, a zoo farm and daily displays at the Falconry Centre.
Did you know that Devon is also home to the UK’s largest outdoor waterpark? Splashdown Quaywest can be found in Paignton in the heart of the English Riviera and features 8 adrenalin pumping slides and rides. See if you dare to take on the Devil’s Drop or the Raging Rapids! Don’t worry about the younger members of the family though, there are a host of rides perfect for the under-5s and there is the Tiddler’s Lagoon for the smaller ones.
Image: Splashdown Quay West
The number of top attractions available in Devon is limitless, with theme parks, farm parks, historic houses, museums and more – find out what else is on offer by visiting Devon’s Top Attractions here.
For the active
With the abundance of wide-open space, Devon is perfect for anyone who wants to be active during their break. For a host of fun outdoor activities, head to the Tamar Trails in the Tamar Valley. With over 25K of walking and running trails and a host of biking trails, you can easily spend all day here. If you want to spend some time off your feet, visit Tree Surfers which is on site and has several tree top activities. Here you’ll have a chance to cross rope bridges, zip lines, walkways, Tarzan swings. What’s more, they’re suitable for all ages, with Tree Surfers Junior for the younger ones. That’s not all there is on offer, you can undertake some archery, hop in a canoe for a guided trip of the River Tamar. Not got your own bikes or other equipment? They have you covered there too, you can hire everything you need!
Image: Tree Surfers
If you’re staying in or around Exeter, there’s plenty of chance to be active here too. Visit Haldon Forest Park, which is just 15 minutes from the city centre. Here you can enjoy incredible views, as well as take part in biking, orienteering, tree top adventures, walking and much more.
Somewhere else packed with outdoor fun for all ages is the River Dart Country Park which stretches over 90 acres. With an agility trail, treetop tower, climbing pod, canoeing, archery, biking and several high adrenaline activities including new high ropes, zip wire, kayaking and more – this is the place for anyone looking for some excitement.
For those on a budget
If you want to try and keep the costs down this summer, don’t worry, there are a host of free things to see and do. If you don’t fancy spending the day at the beach though, there are some attractions that don’t have an entry fee for you to enjoy too. One option is the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. With free entry, this award-winning attraction has plenty to offer and hundreds of donkeys for you to befriend.
Many of Devon’s museums also offer free entry, including the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter. With 16 galleries and an ever changing programme, it doesn’t matter how many times you visit the museum, there is always something new to discover.
For the curious
This summer keep their minds alive with one of the region’s heritage attractions or museums. It’s a great way to learn more about not only Devon but history in general. It isn’t just the kids that will love these places, they’re a great way for the parents and grandparents to enjoy a bit of nostalgia. South Devon Railway gives you the chance to enjoy steam train journeys through some of the picturesque areas of south Devon. During the summer holidays there are often additional events and activities too, including themed days. Similarly, you can experience a tram ride in East Devon at Seaton Tramway. They also have a host of themed days and activities throughout the summer holidays.
Alternatively, have you ever wondered how honey is made? Or how it is used? Head to Quince Honey Farm in North Devon. During your visit, you can join the Honey Factory tour and even make your own beeswax candles. Plus, it is a great place for picking up some locally made honey to enjoy at home! Or for something a little more unique, check out Dingles Fairground Museum for the ultimate nostalgia. It is the perfect way to find out about heritage fairgrounds and from this June, a new exhibition space will be open with a host of new artefacts to explore.
Image: Dingles Fairground Museum
For those needing to relax
If you’re looking for something leisurely and gentle to do while in Devon, there are loads of places where you can spend some hours in peace and quiet. You could take a stroll on one of the National Parks or walk along the South West Coast Path. During the summer RHS Rosemoor has a host of family friendly events and activities going on to keep you entertained while enjoying the colours of the landscaped gardens.
For something awe inspiring, visit Becky Falls, where you can explore over 50 acres of ancient woodland and beautiful streams. Choose from challenging or gentle walk and discover the stunning waterfall. There is also a small zoo and exotics house to inspire you further. Another option is Canonteign Falls, a stunning natural attraction in the heart of the county. It is a must visit for anyone looking for leisurely walk, follow the original Victorian steps through the fern garden up to the top of the falls themselves for some lovely views and there is plenty of space for the kids to play.
Of course, these are just a selection of activities and attractions to keep you entertained in Devon over the summer holiday. If you want to find out more about family friendly things to do, see more options here.