25 Christmassy things to do in Exeter and Devon in December 2018
There are so many things to do in Exeter and Devon in the lead up to Christmas I always end up missing one or two, either because I just haven’t realised they were on or because there are too many all on the same day.
Here’s a roundup of 25 – almost like an advent calendar! – great things to do in Exeter and Devon in the lead up to the big day!
Magdalen Rd Christmas Fayre – December 1st 2pm- 6pm
The annual Magdalen Road Christmas Fair is now in its 8th year, this event sees the road closed to traffic and filled with 50 stalls plus all the usual Magdalen road independent shops. Shop, eat, drink and meet friends at this festive Christmas fayre.
Santa Run – December 2nd, 9:40 start.
I bet you will have never seen quite so many Santas in one place.
Sadly you are too late to enter this fun run, so hopefully, you already have your space booked if you are of the running type. However, I reckon the best fun about this fun run event is seeing so many Santas running down the high street!
More info available on the Exeter Community Trust website.
Lego Penguin Trail Plymouth – December 3rd (or in fact any day until January 3rd)New for Christmas 2018! Penguins: A LEGO® brick trail
“Santa has called on all his Penguin helpers this year, including the Rockhoppers and the Emperor Penguin, to help him spread some Christmas magic over Plymouth!
Join in our brand new family fun Christmas trail, Penguins: A LEGO brick trail. Find the names of all 20 life size LEGO brick penguins which will be hidden in selected shops and businesses across the city centre, and you could win fantastic prizes, including a weekend family trip to LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, or a Penguin Feeding Experience at Living Coasts for four people!”
Trail maps are available to download or to collect from participating shops in Plymouth. There is 19 life-size Rockhoppers and one Emperor penguin to find and collect their names.
More info available here.
Totnes Christmas Market and Late night shopping – December 4th 15:30-21:30
Head to Totnes for their fab Christmas market and late night shopping- happening every Tuesday in the run-up to Christmas from the 4th. The high street gets closed to traffic, there will be stalls and food along with live performances and all the Christmas feels. More info here.
Festival of Carols hosted by Exeter College at Exeter Cathedral – December 5th 18:30-20:30
Join Exeter college for their annual carol concert, performances by students, the college choir and orchestra. All proceeds go to the Colleges charity of the year Devon Nightstop.
Tickets available at www.exe-coll.ac.uk
Spark! In Princesshay – December 6th 17:00-19:15
On Thursday 6th December, Spark!, the outstanding drumming light up show is back for a second year and will be performing throughout Princesshay at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. I missed this last year but heard incredible things so hoping to catch it this year.
Click here for more information about Christmas in Princesshay.
Bedtime Stories at Dartington Arts – December 7th, 11:30 and 18:00
Celebrate the magical time of the day when the stresses and strains of life melt away and enter a world of imagination and dreams with Bedtime Stories.
Tucked up with your family in a bedroom installation, take this chance to unwind and be dazzled with circus, theatre, dance and projections from circus pioneers Upswing.
Bedtime Stories reconnects adults with their childhood, and children with their often too-busy parents. This award-winning show is suitable for the whole family.
Upswing is a leading, award-winning, contemporary circus company based in the UK. Upswing Aerial create world-class experiences that connect audiences, artists and participants through cutting-edge circus.
Tickets available from Dartington Arts at £10 per adult/ £8 per concession/ £6 per under 5
Christmas at Cricklepit Mill – December 8th 10:30-16:30
Devon Wildlife Trust are hosting their annual Christmas event at their HQ, Cricklepit Mill. The Mill is tucked away down at the quay. If you haven’t been there before I’d recommend checking it out, it has the most beautiful nature reserve that you wouldn’t guess was there.
There will be lots of fun craft activities for all ages including making natural Christmas decorations and wreaths, making bird feeders and much more.
More info here.
A Muppets Christmas Carol, Exeter Picture House – December 9th 13:00
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to watch The Muppets Christmas Carol. The Picture House are showing it as part of their 12 days of Christmas film event. I’d recommend buying tickets in advance.
Coleton Aglow – December 10th
Discover Coleton Fishacre in a new light; the house and garden are lit for an opulent 1920s Christmas party. The illuminated route leads you around the garden and inside to see the festivities of the house decorated for a 1920s Christmas party.
The Christmas decorations in the house are inspired by a Christmas party which took place at Coleton Fishacre in 1929. The D’Oyly Carte family built Coleton Fishacre as their country home, and spent their time here relaxing and entertaining in style. When you visit the house you’ll see preparations underway for a glamorous 1920s Christmas party just waiting for the guests’ arrival. You’ll be able to try on your party outfit in the handling room, listen to party music playing in the Saloon and there’ll be parlour games in the Sitting Room such as Gilbert and Sullivan charades.
Tickets: adult £12, child (5-16 years) £6, family (2 adults 2 children) £30, group adult (minimum 15 people) £10 each. Under 5s free. More info available here.
Exeter Christmas Market – December 11th
How could you miss it, I know but just in case it hasn’t been on your agenda yet, head down to the Christmas market, if only for some tasty treats of churros, crepes and a hot chocolate or a cheeky mulled cider. It’s only here until December 16th so go on, get down there today!
Christmas Family Lecture: Saving Lives at Sea: The Science behind the shout, The Forum, University Of Exeter – December 12th 18:30
This event will be jointly hosted by the Institute for Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the University of Exeter.
An interactive family-friendly evening of fun, facts and physics about lifeboats and the incredible work carried out by the men and women of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Take part in experiments and explore the science, engineering and technology behind the equipment used by the volunteers in the BBC’s Saving Lives at Sea TV programme.
Tickets are free but must be booked in advance here.
The Snow Globe and Lightwalkers in Princesshay – December 13th 17:00-20:00
On Thursday 13th December, watch a real-life Snow Queen in her Snow Globe, gliding throughout the centre, as well as the outstanding Light walkers that will illuminate the streets from 5pm – 8pm.
Cotley Christmas Storytelling, Cotley Farm Shop – December 14th 18:00-19:00
Storyteller, Katy Cawkwell brings to life a sparkling host of seasonal tales to warm your hearts at Cotley Farm this Christmas.
Follow brave Gerda in her quest to rescue Kay from the Snow Queen, discover why the Robin’s breast is red and how to kindle the fire that would not burn…
Aimed at children 5-12 years, younger and older most welcome too. Storytelling is in the barn, so wrap up warm! Refreshments will be available.
This is a ticketed event, find out prices and more info here.
Meet and Greet with The Gruffalo, Market Square – December 15th 11:00-16:00
“Oh Help! Oh No! It’s the Gruffalo!”
That’s right the Gruffalo is coming to town. There will be plenty of fun and photo opportunities happening in Market square (the Guildhall) between 11:00 and 16:00.
Exeter Cathedral Nativity, Exeter Cathedral – December 16th 15:00
Look out for characters from the Christmas story around the city centre (from 14.00), then follow them to Exeter Cathedral for a short service at 15.00. More info here.
Tots Go Wild at Christmas, Occombe Farm – December 17th 09:30-11:00
Head to Occombe Farm for festive storytelling by the fire in their garden yurt, followed by a hunt around the garden and lots of Christmas crafts.
£5 per child, booking essential. More info here.
Belle Voci – A Christmas Celebration, Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay – December 18th 19:00
Soprano Donna-Marie Broomfield (nee Hughes) and Tenor Matthew Wilding will take you on a thrilling journey singing your favourite solos and duets from the world of Opera, Sacred, Art Song, Musical Theatre and more!
Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are £12 and available here.
Christmas At Killerton – The Snow Queen – December 19th
Not only on December the 19th but throughout the festive period, Killerton House (national trust) is well worth a visit. Each year the do the house up in the style of a different era/story.
This year you can follow Gerda’s adventure to save her best friend Kay from the Snow Queen as you journey through rooms in the Georgian mansion transformed into scenes from this much loved classic tale of friendship.
Outside continue the journey with a twinkling outdoor trail with activities themed on the classic story.
Entry to the house for members and non-members is through timed tickets which are bookable online. Admission prices apply. Find out more here.
Humbug! St Nicholas Priory – December 20th
An atmospheric and immersive Christmas experience taking place throughout Exeter’s oldest building. Join Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey through past, present and future in this theatrical reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story ‘A Christmas Carol’.
Following a sell-out run last year, ‘Humbug!’ returns to St Nicholas Priory this December. Expect live music, video projections and plenty of festive cheer!
Places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment! https://www.wanderingtiger.com/tickets
Lunchtime Carols at Exeter Cathedral – December 21st 13:00-14:00
Gather in the Cathedral for an hour of singing your favourite Christmas carols, led by the mighty Cathedral organ.
Free admission, for more info about what’s on at the Cathedral over the Christmas period check out their website.
Puffin Island by Quirk Theatre, Exeter Phoenix – December 22nd 14:00 and 16:30
We reviewed Quirk theatres “Lucy and the lost ones” last Christmas, it was an absolute cracker and I’d highly recommend going to any of their shows. So with that in mind, this year’s offering is called Puffin Island and can be seen at Exeter Phoenix on various dates between 16th December- 28th December.
Here’s a little about this year’s show
“Nothing particularly out of the ordinary ever happens on Puffin Island, an unassuming little pile of rock just off the Devon coast. The puffins come and go each year, the Islanders and mainlanders quarrel (about EVERYTHING) and then set aside their differences every year to celebrate the best day of the year – Puffin Day!
Everything carries on as it always has… Until one bitterly cold Christmas Eve, a rather unexpected present washes up on the beach in a little boat – an orphaned baby boy.”
Tickets available from The Exeter Phoenix.
Crealy Christmas Spectacular – December 23rd
Need to get the kids out the house and to burn off some steam? Crealy as always are putting on a good show this holiday. As well as all the usual Crealy awesomeness they’ve got 9 extra festive attractions. (not only on December 23rd but throughout December!)
Booking must be in advance. To find out more and ticket prices head to their website.
It’s a Wonderful Life, Exeter Picturehouse – December 24th 16:00
Is it really Christmas if you haven’t watched ‘It’s a Wonderful life’?! You really don’t need to answer that question… if you haven’t made plans to watch it yet this season get yourself to the Picturehouse on the 24th! It will set you up ready for the big day. Book tickets online here.
Exmouth Christmas Day Swim! Exmouth seafront – December 25th 11:00
That’s right thousands of people swarm to Exmouth seafront on Christmas morning for this “unorganised event” The question is do you dare brave the sea?! (pretty sure I wouldn’t!)Tags: A Muppets Christmas Carol, Bedtime Stories at Dartington Arts, Belle Voci, Christmas At Killerton, Coleton Aglow, Coleton Fishacre, cotley farm, crealy, Cricklepit Mill, exeter cathedral, Exeter Christmas Market, exeter college, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Picture House, Exeter Picturehouse, exmouth, Exmouth Seafront, festoval of carols, Katy Cawkwell, Lego Penguin Trail Plymouth, Magdalen Rd Christmas Fayre, Market Square, Occombe Farm, princesshay, quirk Theatre., Santa Run, Spark!, St Nicholas Priory, the gruffalo, Torre Abbey Museum, Totnes Christmas Market, University Of Exeter