Image: The Big Sheep
Find things to do and the best days out in Devon this February Half Term.
February is often known to be a cold, dark and gloomy month at the end of the winter when we’re all waiting for some much-needed spring sunshine. Dispel those winter blues by taking the children to one of Devon’s Top Attractions during the half term break and enjoy a fantastic family day out. Anne Blackham, Marketing Manager, said “We were delighted to welcome 3 new members to our group at the end of last year so there are now 40 quality attractions across the county which means you’re never far away from a great Devon day out. Many of our award-winning attractions have spacious indoor facilities plus activities that are perfect for keeping the family fun buzzing despite cold or rainy weather.”
What’s On in South Devon
Visit Kents Cavern this February Half Term and learn about the origins of art and create a piece of Stone Age art in the cave. Check out the Palaeo Table in the Stone Age Zone and learn how Stone Age people made paint with ochre, how they drilled holes in shells and teeth to make jewellery and discover the strange and familiar shapes that they carved into stones. Create your own piece of art out of clay. Use your clay to make a tooth for a necklace, fashion it into a piece of pottery that can be decorated or try and make your very own Stone Age inspired sculpture.
Also in Torbay, journey back in time to Bygones. This heritage family attraction in Torquay is packed with over 100 years of British history, authentic curiosities & quirky memorabilia. Open daily throughout February including half term from 10am to 4pm (last entry at 3pm). Good value and good fun!
This year Paignton Zoo is celebrating 100 years from 1923 to 2023. With over 2,000 animals and countless amazing plants across 80 acres of beautiful, spacious grounds, you’re in for an inspirational day out. Paignton Zoo is one of the South West’s most exciting visitor attractions. It’s a place to roam, discover, learn and get in touch with nature. As a registered charity they support a number of projects in the UK and overseas that aim to conserve wildlife and protect rare and endangered species. Come rain or shine, Paignton Zoo is a great place to visit for all the family, and you’ll need a full day to see it all!
Take a look around Buckfastleigh Station at South Devon Railway this February Half Term on one of the Winter Steam Open Days. While they are working on winter track renewals and maintenance, the site at Buckfastleigh Station is open where you will find a locomotive in steam, small train rides, museum signal box and workshop viewing gallery open, cream teas and some of their heritage rolling stock on display. Please note they are not open on Mondays or Fridays during this period.
A visit to the multi award-winning Pennywell Farm is something you’ll never forget! Make memories that last a lifetime as you enjoy a fun-filled experience packed full of animals, hands-on activities, rides, play-time, shows and displays. It’s the biggest activity farm in the Southwest with a different activity happening every 30 minutes, just listen for the bell! Pennywell is home to over 150 animals and has something for everyone, from pig racing to tractor rides!
Let the epic adventure begin at Woodlands Family Theme Park. Have an action-packed day out whatever the weather. A visit to the south west’s largest family theme park this winter is guaranteed to give a fantastic family day out, especially as it offers kids the chance to play in one of the largest indoor play areas in the UK! All indoor areas are open but some rides are closed. Check the website for details and to book tickets.
The Box is Plymouth’s new £46 million cultural destination with a museum, gallery and archive as well as cafe, shop and bar. From 11 to 18 February (except Sun 12 & Mon 13 Feb) go and see the new exhibitions and join in the free creative workshops. No previous drawing experience needed with fun activities suitable for all ages. Also make Valentine's Day a family affair this year and bring everyone into The Box Kitchen & Bar for a fun, seasonal event you can all share together. Enjoy a disco, face painting and Valentine's-themed crafts (included in ticket price). You can also treat yourselves to something delicious from the menu.
What’s On in Exeter & East Devon
Join in the fun at Crealy Theme Park this February Half Term with £15 tickets when you book advance online and if you’re under 92cm entry is FREE! You’ll be able to take on both the Maximus Rollercoaster and The Twister (weather dependent), jump on the Jolly Roger and glide through the sky on their Flying Machine. There will be an exciting calendar of family entertainment including a brand-new Sooty Show and the return of the infamous Tik & Tok with a NEW magic act show! All the indoor play areas will be open, as well the animal attractions for fun whatever the weather may bring.
There are lots of fabulous activities at RAMM in Exeter over the half term break. On 14th February take part in Operation Earth an exciting new family show exploring the amazing stories and science of the environment. On 15th Feb come and create your own special miniature ‘den’ inspired by nature in this wonderful artist-led workshop using an incredible array of natural, foraged materials. Calling all explorers! On 16th February the fabulous Explorer Dome returns for another exciting adventure. Let’s travel into the rainforest, across a desert and then up to the North Pole to discover how different environments on Earth might feel and how different animals are able to live in these wonderful places.
Diggerland is the ultimate adventure UK theme park experience where children and adults alike can ride, drive and operate REAL diggers, dumpers and other full-size construction machinery. Fun for all ages (subject to height restrictions), Diggerland has 20 different rides and drives and an array of additional activities. Ideal for children 4-14 years and for groups. Plus, new for 2023 – children under 100cm go free!
On various dates between 10th February and 23rd April, Wildlife Photographer of the Year arrives in Seaton Tramway. From the Natural History Museum stunning images capture fascinating animal behaviour, spectacular species and the breath-taking diversity of the natural world. Also at Seaton Tramway this Valentine’s Day 14th February treat your loved one to a unique Valentine’s date. Take a lovely tram journey to Colyton from Seaton and enjoy a 3-course meal at Colyton Station before returning to Seaton.
Discover the spirit of the sanctuary with stories as you walk along the winter trail at The Donkey Sanctuary. Follow their winter trail around the sanctuary and uncover each spirit word and its matching donkey in merry poems. This joyful activity combines family fun, exercise and brainpower and is just £5 per trail, including a prize when you complete it. Plus, with a new play area, daily talks, scenic walks, engaging exhibits, award-winning gardens and, of course, hundreds of adorable donkeys to meet, there’s so much to explore whatever the weather. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome too!
On Sunday 12th & Wednesday 22nd February book onto a Winter River Exe Cruise. The tranquil waters of the River Exe allow Stuart Line Cruises to cruise through the winter months to see this constantly changing landscape from the ever-calm waters of the river. This award-winning stretch of water is home to a wide range of wildlife and migrating birds that make for magnificent viewing. The indoor heated lower decks have large windows for great viewing and outside upper decks with plenty of fresh air and blankets. Check the timetable to find a cruise to suit you! Duration: 1 to 1.5 hrs.
What’s On in North Devon
Dartington Crystal is the place to be this February Half Term. This Valentine’s Day make it one to remember with a special heart-shaped gift from their bespoke engraving service. For a limited time only, selected products can be embellished with a special hand-engraved heart and your initials – all for free! Make it a day out to remember by capturing a special moment. Have a hand or footprint cast forever in glass which can be personalised with a bespoke message, the perfect gift or souvenir. Visit the website for further information.
No garden? No problem! At RHS Garden Rosemoor you can find lots of ways to bring the garden inside. From huge monsteras plants to tiny terrariums, a houseplant trail to explore and lots of craft workshops to choose from. The houseplants in the wild trail will keep everyone busy from Sat 11th to Sun 19th February as you follow the trail around the garden and discover all kinds of plants that can be grown indoors along the way. In addition, from 13th to 17th you can create your own marimo pet perrarium, perfect to take home in these houseplant-inspired craft workshops.
At The Big Sheep, North Devon’s top family attraction, let the kids burn off some energy in the massive indoor Play Zone with a BIG choice of exciting slides, imaginative soft play, climbing areas, tumble towers, mazes, obstacles, and a sensory room for the babies. Those looking for a bit of healthy fresh air can bounce on the giant jumping pillows, reach for the sky on the swing boats or steer a tractor around the track. The world-famous Sheep Race, hilarious live shows, The Twister and many other rides will be back and you’ll also be able to cuddle farm animals in Pets Corner and feed the baby lambs.
On 21st February, at Clovelly Village, Lentsherd (pronounced ‘Lanshard’) will be taking place. It is an old Clovelly Shrove Tuesday custom. Historically the aim is to chase bad spirits away and drive the devil into the sea before Lent. This has been going on for centuries. At dusk children set off ‘Down-a-Long’, dragging their clattering tin cans. When they reach the harbour, the children’s cans are tied together, thrown into the Harbour and then retrieved.
Go to meet the wide range of unique animals, reptiles, amphibians and birds at Exmoor Zoo which is open every day from 10am to 5pm (last entry at 4pm). Enjoy regular talks and activities by the keepers throughout the day. Children’s play area and café open too.
To find more information and ideas for a day out check out the Devon’s Top Attractions website and their What’s On pages here www.devonstopattractions.co.uk/events/february-half-term
To find attractions and book tickets see www.devonstopattractions.co.uk
Looking for things to do while in Devon? You’ll get great value for money and a day out to remember with Devon’s Top Attractions! Whatever your interests or age or whether you’re on your own, a couple or a family, you can enjoy a fabulous day out in one of the most beautiful parts…