29 awesome things to do this Summer Holiday in Exeter and Devon (2018 edition)
Looking for fun and exciting things to do in or around Exeter this summer?
Well, you’ve come to the right place! Summer holidays are fast approaching and with 3 kids to entertain for 6 weeks I’ve been on the hunt for THE places to be this summer. The good news is there is SO much happening in and around Exeter. Here’s a roundup of just some of the fab things you could be doing:
1. Castle Drogo
There are various summer events on at Castle Drogo over the holidays. You can find out about them all here.
Event days include a Playday on the common and Crafty Capers in the Castle. There is also an activity trail every day during the summer holidays around the gardens.
Where: Castle Drogo
When: Everyday for the activity trail, set days for crafts and play days.
Price: Normal entrance fee plus £1 for the trail.
2. The Big Wild Sleepout at RSPB Aylesbeare
A unique opportunity for families to spend the night in the wild. Bring your tent and sleeping bag and enjoy a night under the stars at RSPB Aylesbeare nature reserve where camping is not normally allowed.
An opportunity to spot bats, nightjars, beetles, toast marshmallows on the campfire and spend a night being really wild.
Where: Aylesbeare common
When: 5pm Friday 3rd August until 11am Saturday 4th August
Price: £28 per adult, £18 per child (discounts for RSPB members available)
3. Happy Hooves Pony Club at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary
Fun filled pony care sessions happening every Wednesday throughout August. The sessions include making haynets, grooming some beautiful ponies and cleaning tack.
Where: Mare and Foal Sanctuary, Totnes
When: Every Wednesday in August
Price: £15 per child
More info: https://www.mareandfoal.org/happy-hooves/
4. Occombe Farm Summer Activity trail,
Occombe Farm is a fab place where you can get the kids outdoor for a runaround and a chance to see some animals. It’s free to visit and they have a lovely onsite cafe.
This summer they are also offering an activity trail for £2.50 every day of the holidays.
Where: Occombe Farm:
When: Everyday in the holidays
Price: Free to get on site, £2.50 if you’d like to do the trail
5. The British Fireworks Championships
Every year the British Fireworks Championships are held in Plymouth. This year its being held on 8/9th August and is sure to be an awesome show. As well fireworks there’s entertainment put on down at the Hoe, including a funfair.
Where: Plymouth Hoe
When: August 8th and 9th
More Info: http://www.britishfireworks.co.uk
6. RHS Rosemoor Summer activities
RHS Rosemoor are holding lots of Jurassic summer fun over the holidays. As well as a trail around the gardens with some hidden surprises they are also hosting various FREE craft activities:
Mondays – Dinosaur Dig and Paint.
Tuesdays – Dinosaur Masks
Wednesdays – Create your own clay Dinosaur
Thursdays – Dino seeking Binoculars and Spikey Hats
Fridays – Paper Plate Dinosaurs
They’ve also got some outdoor theatre and other one-off events happening so do check out their website to find out more info.
Where: RHS Rosemoor
When: Various dates in the Summer holiday
Price: Free craft and trail activities but an entrance fee applies.
7. Torbay’s Biggest ever Butterfly Count
Join Torbay Council in their efforts to help this nationwide butterfly count. They are holding various butterfly count sessions in parks across Torbay.
Where: Parks in Torbay (check out the website for exact dates and times)
When: Various dates between 14th July and the 6th August
8. Bushcraft Skills @Dawlish Countryside Park
Come and enjoy an afternoon at Dawlish Countryside Park where you can learn survival skills including firelighting, shelter building and campcraft.
Where: Dawlish Countryside Park
When: Thursday 16th August 1- 3:30
Price: £4.20 a child – Booking essential
9. Family Pollinator Event @Dawlish Warren Visitors Centre
Learn about the insects we can’t do without- the pollinators! Have a go at a brass rubbing trail and take home a shopping bag you have decorated.
Where: Dawlish Warren Visitors Centre
When: Thursday 16th August 1- 3:30
Price: £3.10 and Adult £1.50 a child – Booking essential
10. Junior Rangers, Sticky Slugs and Slimy Snails @Dawlish Warren Visitor Centre
You may not want to pick them up, but slugs and snails are fascinating animals! We will find out more about them and make a fun model.
Where: Dawlish Warren Visitor Centre
When: Thursday 30th August 10:30- 12
Price: Free- Booking essential
11. Doodle at Hannah’s
Enter a world of woodland creatures, pirates, music, nature, sports & mindfulness with Squircle Arts as they transform Hannah’s Gallery into a giant colouring book for you to explore and create. Discover your inner artist and let your imagination go wild! Colour in existing drawings or create your own doodles, creature & characters and add your self-portrait to our community wall of frames – all on our gallery walls!
Where: Hannahs Seal Hayne
When: All Summer
12. Natural Science in Focus @ The RAMM
A great opportunity to learn more about RAMM’s natural science collections and to get close up using a variety of microscopes. Can you work a Victorian brass microscope or a large modern digital version to examine rocks and minerals, fossils, insects and scientific slides?
Where: The RAMM
When: Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th August Drop-in
Price: Pay what you feel
13. Puppet Making with Alfie the Sparrow
Come and be inspired by your favourite animals at RAMM, or Alfie the sparrow, and make a puppet with artist and children’s book illustrator Victoria Bryon. If the museum came alive at night, what would your animal character get up to? Make up your own story about your character through writing or drawing. Let your imagination go wild. When you have made your puppet, you can visit the Alfie’s Night Out exhibition and play with it in the toy theatre.
Where: The RAMM
When: Wednesday 1st and 8th August Drop-in
14. Heroes and Villians: Superhero Lego @The RAMM
Build your favourite superhero from Lego, or get creative and design your own from scratch. If you’re Superhero-ed out, then create your own dastardly villain, fantastic vehicle, or trusty sidekick.
Every hero or villain needs an awesome name: fill in a name card and take a photo of your creation.
Where: The RAMM
When: Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th August Drop in
Price: Pay what you think
15. Apple Summer Camp
Across the summer there are 3 part summer camps running based around different Apple products. Suitable for children aged 8-12, they can learn about filmmaking, coding and music making.
In the Telling Stories with Clips Summer camp future filmmakers aged 8 to 12 will explore the creative process of telling stories using video, photos and music. Campers will brainstorm and storyboard their ideas. They’ll get hands-on in groups to capture short videos, edit and enhance their shots with fun graphics and filters, and add opening and closing titles in the Clips app on iPad. On the final day, they’ll present their video stories.
Where: The Apple Store in Princesshay
When: Various dates across the holidays.
16. A-Tissue A-Tissue at St Thomas Library
Above Bounds Theatre Collective invite you into the mesmerising world of A Tissue, A Tissue, where the only limit is how far your imagination can take you. Dive deep into Oceans, fly through soaring skies and party like there’s no one watching!
Inspired by the world of Fables and Nursery Rhymes, A Tissue, A Tissue explores play, story and music through an energetic, immersive and interactive experience, perfect for 2-4 year olds and their families.
Where: St Thomas Library
When: Saturday 28th July 2-3pm
Price: £5 per child, £3 per Adult
More Info: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/abovebounds
17. Family Slime Fun
Super slimy fun! Make your very own slime to experiment and try out mess-free foam and silk clay to create a cool key ring or pencil topper.
Suitable for ages 4+
Where: Exminster Methodist Church
When: Saturday 31st July 10am
18. The Magic Garden, Boo to a Goose Theatre at the Phoenix
The teddy bears are going to have a picnic in the Magic Garden under the shade of a magic tree, home to cuddly woodland creatures and fairies. The children become tree guardians, but a knotted handkerchief reminds Mr. Forget-me-not to cut down the tree. Oh dear! Luckily Auntie Mimi has a plan, and with the help of the animals, together they prevent a disaster to an invisible fairy world which only they can see.
Boo to a Goose are touring Exeter and surrounding areas this summer so if you can’t make this date at the Phoenix then do check out their tour dates and see if you can catch them somewhere else.
Where: The Phoenix, Gandy Street
When: Monday 13th August 11am
Price: From £3
More Info: https://bootoagoosetheatre.co.uk/the-magic-garden/
19. Children’s Cookery at Exeter Cookery School
A fun & friendly, half-day cookery course for children aged between 9 and 11, where they will learn how to make pizza and meringues from scratch.
Perfect for all keen cooks and those wishing to learn a few core cooking skills.
Where: Exeter Cookery School
When: Wednesday 1st August
Read our review here.
20. Exeter Library – Design & make a 3D printed speech bubble badge
FabLab Devon Summer Reading Challenge workshops.
Fun and exciting workshop for children aged 8+.
Learn how to design a 3D speech bubble badge using 3D design software. When you are finished send your design over to the 3D printer to be printed.
Please note there may not be time to print out everyone’s designs, so these will need to be collected from the library at an arranged date.
Tickets are £7.50 and can be purchased from the Eventbrite website at the link provided.
Where: Exeter Library
When: Friday 3rd August
21. Mischief Makers Craft Sessions
In this #SummerReadingChallenge craft session, you will be making your very own vintage Gnasher badge, including googly eyes!
Free event but donations warmly welcomed to help us continue to these events. Just drop in. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Where: Exeter Library
When: 6th and 20th August
22. Wild About Worms!
Join Devon Wildlife Trust for their annual ‘Wild About Gardens’ family fun day. This year the theme is WORMS!
“Come along to our headquarters, Cricklepit Mill, and help us celebrate the humble worm! Make your own wormery, take part in worm-themed craft, worm games, listen to ‘Superworm’ storybook told by our Education Assistant, take part in bug hunting.
Find out how to garden for wildlife and enter our #Exeter wildlife gardening award!
If possible, please bring along a 1 litre or 2 litre plastic bottle to make your wormery in.”
Where: Devon Wild Life Trust, CricklePit Mill
Price: £3 per child
23. Exe Cycle Fest
Exeter’s Festival of all things cycling! Showcasing local Stunt riding superstars and a pop-up pump track. The Exe Cycle Festival will give you an insight into the Exeter cycling culture, The Quayside and Exe Estuary areas as well as loads of cycle activities happening throughout the day.
The daytime event will host a range of activities from Ride on, Devon Cycling Holidays, Evolve MTB and The Cycling Partnership. The evening will be an opportunity to socialise and enjoy good company with the bar and live entertainment starting up from about 6pm.
Where: Piazza Terracina
24. Teddy Bears Picnic at Ashclyst Forest
Head to the 400 acre Ashclyst Forest for a short ‘expedition’, some mud, a story and a picnic. Bring a picnic, a rug and a bear! No facilities on site. All ages welcome. Please be aware ticks are present at this time of year, so cover up bare skin.
Where: Ashclyst Forest
When:16th August 11
Price: free but please book: firstname.lastname@example.org, or m: 07875 285539
25. Double Locks Dog show
The annual Double Locks Dog Show is back!
Sunday 19th August. Registration starts at 11:30 with the show starting promptly at 12:30.
Where: The Double locks Pub
Price: free to attend, £2.50 per entrant
26. The Red Arrows at Sidmouth Regatta
The Red Arrows will once again grace the skies over Sidmouth at the opening day of Sidmouth Regatta on Friday 24 August 2018.
With 2018 being the 100th Anniversary of the creation of the RAF, Sidmouth council is thrilled to also welcome the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight consisting of a Lancaster Bomber and two Spitfires.
27. Topsham Fire Station Open Day
Topsham fire station will be opening their big red doors and letting you have a look inside. They will have kit for the kids to try on, a driving simulator, VR headset, Firefighters Charity stall and loads more. It will be a great day out for all the family. It’s also Topsham Charter Day!
Where: Topsham Fire Station
When: 25th August
28. Cathedral Cafe Playday
Bring your little ones along for crafts and activities on the grass in the Cloisters near the Cathedral Café. Enjoy a cream tea, coffee or cake whilst they play. We have parachute games, dress up, ‘catch the tail’ run-around and a few crafts.
Where: Cathedral Cafe
When: 17th August
29. Kids Walk and Wild Swim
Walk with Dartmoor’s Daughter to a beautiful river wild swimming spot. The views are stunning. And along the way we will learn about the history of Dartmoor, the legend of the ‘Witches Pool’; and map out the main river routes moor to sea. The river pool is pretty and not very deep so best for 5-10 years old. Children must be good swimmers or have armbands and be accompanied by parent/guardian. Bring a picnic lunch and drinks. Dartmoor is a stunning natural environment and our intention will be to ‘leave no trace’ please.
Where: Lane End car park above the Dartmoor Inn, Moorside, Lydford, near Okehampton,
When: 1st September
Price: £5 per child
Well if that lot doesn’t keep you busy we don’t know what will! Don’t forget about all the gorgeous coastline and countryside walks you also have access to and most of them are FREE!
Finally, if you have to work during the summer holidays and you usually do that from the peace of quiet at home, which obviously is about to be shattered! Why not try out the awesome Generator Hub. They are a fab community of people coworking in two different locations in the city. Find out more on their website.
Don’t forget we love to see what you’ve been up to so do share your photos and stories with us by tagging us or using #exploringexeter. Have fun!
And there are lots more ideas here: Things to do in Exeter this summer.Tags: above bounds theatre collective, Apple, Ashclyst Forest, Big butterfly count, boo to a goose, British Fireworks Championships, bushcraft, Castle Drogo, Cathedral Cafe, children's activities, Dartmoor's Daughter, Dawish countryside park, dawlish, Dawlish Warren, Devon, Devon Wildlife Trust, Double Locks, Exe cycle fest, exeter cookery school, exeter library, Exeter Phoenix, Hannah's, lego, Mare and Foal Sanctuary, Occombe Farm, Plymouth, princesshay, RAMM, red arrows, RHS Rosemoor, RSPB Aylesbeare, St Thomas Library, summer holidays, Teddy Bears Picnic, Topsham fire station, Torbay