DEVON is gearing up for a Mega May Half Term and there are plenty of things to get excited about. There will be non-stop family fun for the whole of the Whitsun break.

Anne Blackham, marketing manager for Devon’s Top Attractions, said: 'Our member attractions are thrilled to be offering a super selection of days out this May half term. These award-winning attractions will be offering a fantastic array of top days out and experiences for every budget, find out what’s on and where across Devon!'

What’s On in South Devon

Fun at Pennywell Farm.
Picture: Data 17-5-23
Fun at Pennywell Farm. Picture: Data 17-5-23 (Data)

  • Visit Kents Cavern and celebrate their links to the coast with ‘Stone Age Coast’. The cave is situated 5 minutes from the sea, so our ancestors were using it as a resource for survival. They left behind harpoons that were used for fishing and scallop shells which they used to contain fire in the cave. Learn about harpoons and other artefacts that were found inside. Experience the cave by the same firelight - fires in scallop shells will light up a whole chamber of the cave. Witness the famous Kents Cavern blackout when the shellfires are extinguished.
  • Torre Abbey is hosting a family-friendly exhibition celebrating everyone’s favourite bear. PaddingtonTM: The Story of a Bear explores Michael Bond’s creation of Paddington, in a fun, educational and interactive way. 65 years on, his stories still delight all ages, he even had tea with Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. The exhibition has some great activities so visitors can practice their hard stares, take their own self ‘pawtrait’ and follow the trail of marmalade left by Paddington.
  • Zoo! is English Touring Opera’s new opera for audiences with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities for children aged 2 to 5 that’s coming to Paignton Zoo on 27th May. It tells the story of Ari the zookeeper, who is trying to get tree frog to it’s new home. But Tree frog has gone missing. Ari has to look all over the zoo, and she meets some exciting animals along the way. This is a multi-sensory opera suitable for all the family, with an ingenious set, interactive songs and beautiful puppetry.
  • South Devon Railway is inviting its customers to enjoy a three course Sunday Lunch aboard a steam train. The Sunday Lunch will be served at your seat on the 12.10 Buckfastleigh train and the train will return at 13.30 with the experience ending at 14.00. A menu of fresh local ingredients provides gluten free and vegan options. A bar service is available on board providing a selection of wines, local beers, ciders, and soft drinks.
  • Meet Zog for ‘meet and greet’ on Monday 29th who’s coming to Woodlands Family Theme Park for the first time. Plus, it’s Dino-Week this half term with Ritchie Raptor who’ll be performing tricks and making appearances throughout the day on Tuesday 30th & a T-Rex reaching the dizzy heights of 12ft tall, and a whopping 22ft in length will be roaming the Woodlands DinoTrek on Wednesday 31st! To finish the week, Titan the Robot is back by popular demand on 2nd June. With a unique blend of comedy, street theatre and music Titan creates a unique show that has led him to appear on many TV shows.
  • There’s more to Canonteign Falls than just the falls! With walking trails along cascading streams, waterfalls, panoramic views, a magical fern garden and two adventure play areas, there is something to keep the whole family entertained for the day. Canonteign Kitchen serves delicious food, and the Snack Shack is open selling ice creams, and milkshakes. Then finish the day in their award-winning shop!
  • Picnic at the Park, summer’s biggest family picnic is back on Sunday 4th June at River Dart Country Park! Celebrating 10 years of their popular annual event, expect another fantastic line-up boasting an array of unmissable family activities and displays. Get ready for a day of music, dancing, displays, a fun dog show and much more.
  • Join Pennywell Farm for a spectacular, unicorn-themed week. In addition to all your favourite animals, activities, shows, and displays, there’ll be a host of special unicorn-themed experiences to help unleash your inner unicorn. Meet Merlin, our resident unicorn for the week, take part in Unicorn Hobby Horse racing, and discover fascinating unicorn facts and figures on our Unicorn Farm Trail.
  • This Whitsun break make at least one day a trip to the beach. Blackpool Sands is the ideal family beach to relax, swim or sail. One of Devon’s most beautiful, natural treasures, come and see for yourself. Relax or play, it’s South Devon’s most beautiful beach any day! Treat yourself to a bite to eat in their newly refurbished Takeaway.

What’s On in Exeter and East Devon

Fun at Crealy Theme Park.
Picture: DATA (2023)
Fun at Crealy Theme Park. (data)

  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) in Exeter have a great variety of exhibitions, workshops, and things to do this half term. Design and make your own printed artwork inspired by ceramicist William de Morgan’s use of symmetry on 30th May. Learn how to inscribe your design into the printing tile, roll on the ink and put it through their roller press. Use different colours to produce a more interesting print to take home.
  • Powderham Castle Outdoor Cinema will be showing a number of screenings throughout the week. Come and enjoy a night of cinema fun! Doors open at 6pm and film starts at 7.30pm. 27th – Grease (PG)
  • 28th – The Greatest Showman (PG), 29th – Elvis (12), 30th - Top Gun (12) and 31st – Dirty Dancing (12). Bring your own seating or blankets. Food traders and bar available.
  • On May 30th enjoy a beautiful day sailing with Stuart Line Cruises from Exmouth Marina. Take in all the sights and sounds of the Jurassic coastline. Landing onto the pebbled beach at Sidmouth you will have around 3 hours ashore to explore. Plus on 3rd & 4th June set sail along the dramatic coastline to the English Riviera Geopark to watch the spectacular Torbay air show! This is an all-day cruise and you’ll be on the boat for the duration. On board there’s a fully licensed bar.
  • Enjoy a magical May Half Term at Crealy Theme Park & Resort with a FREE return visit and new magical live entertainment. All rides are open including their splash-tastic water attractions, Magic Show with Tik & Tok, NEW magic, mischief and mayhem with Sooty, Sweep & Soo in Sooty’s Big Top Showtime, NEW show with Buddy & Blossom on the Piazza Stage plus a FREE return visit (valid for use during May Half Term only).
  • Follow the spring trail by spotting all the wildlife hidden around The Donkey Sanctuary, which is bursting with life. Seek out some of the many species by finding the wildlife boards around the Sanctuary and match them to the stickers provided. Just £5 per trail, including a prize when you complete it. Plus, there’s a new play area, daily talks, scenic walks, engaging exhibits, award-winning gardens and, of course, hundreds of adorable donkeys to meet. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome too!
  • It's Wacky Week at Exmouth’s World of Country Life. Join them for lots of fun and children’s activities. Walk a goat, ride on the deer train safari, hand feed the red deer and llama. Bottle feed the calves and lambs and watch the awesome Hawkridge birds of prey flying display. Plus, let the kids enjoy all the other outdoor and indoor play equipment and animal antics on offer. A super full day out for all the family.
  • Join Seaton Tramway, aboard the 'Seaton Pearl Pirate Tram' which sets sail again this year on 31st May. Ahoy, me Hearties, this year ye old “Seaton Pearl” sets sail on her voyage following the Axe Estuary, where we be off to find some “booty” at Colyton Station. Plus take the Dinosaur Tram Adventure on 28th May or the Space Tram on 29th May where your shuttle Captain will take you on a guided mission to learn all about space & engineering.
  • From 27th May to 4th June, visit Wildwood Devon during half term to enjoy a nature trail with a prize at the end, arts and crafts in the Saxon Village and animal talks. Enjoy meeting the resident European Brown Bears, the Red Squirrels, Arctic Fox, Wild Boar, Lynx, Wildcat and Wolves. Then let the kids let off steam in the soft play, drop slide or 30 metre zip line.
  • At Coldharbour Mill there’s a special Coronation Steam Day on Monday 29th May. Explore their working factory floor and 110-year-old Lancashire boiler which will be lit throughout the day! Coronation crown crafting, children’s storytelling and more! The spring Coronation steam fun takes place from 10.30-4.30pm.

What’s on in North Devon

The cosmic Typhoon Rollercoaster at The Milky Way Adventure Park.
DATA (2023)
The cosmic Typhoon Rollercoaster at The Milky Way Adventure Park. (data)
  • Head to Clovelly on 28th May for the popular Seaweed Festival which is held to promote seaweed for its immense health and nutritional benefits. Quay kitchens will be serving a variety of dishes, and stalls will be selling a range of seaweed products and arts and crafts. Plus, live music, craft activities and workshops, talks and demonstrations and street entertainments. Bring your own seaweed for advice from experts on its uses.
  • Big fun and big smiles are guaranteed at The Big Sheep Farm and Theme Park. Rides, thrills, adventure, animals, hilarious live shows and events including the world-famous sheep race are all part of the fun mix on offer. The massive indoor Play Zone has a BIG choice of exciting slides, imaginative soft play, climbing areas, tumble towers, mazes and obstacles. Outside kids can jump around on the giant Jumping Pillows, reach for the sky on the Swing Boats or steer their own tractor around the track plus cuddle the farm animals in Pets Corner.
  • Get sowing this half term at RHS Rosemoor and learn how to grow your own food. Explore the garden with their family trail, join the vegetable craft workshop, or make your own wildflower-seeded paper and more, plus from 26th to 28th May there’s a special Tibetan discovery weekend as RHS Rosemoor welcomes eight Tashi Lhunpo monks as part of their 50th anniversary tour. Enjoy an array of activities including family workshops, colouring activity tables, plus a procession on Sunday.
  • There’s so much to do for the whole family on a visit to the Milky Way Adventure Park. Ride the Cosmic Typhoon roller coaster, have fun on the Gravity Rider donut slide and challenge the family in the Ninja Stars games arena. Pilot a Cyber Scooter and shoot lasers on Ziggy’s Blast Quest, giggle on the Droid Destroyer Dodgems. Leap around on the Jumping Jupiters, explore the maze and kick back on the Milky Way Railway. A full day of fun and entertainment.
  • If you buzz over to Quince Honey Farm on 31st May, let the kids get creative, messy and have fun building with cob in this fun and hands-on workshop. Your child will build a cob bug hotel to take home for your garden for solitary bees and other insects to move into. Cob is a mixture of sandy-sub soil, clay and straw that is a brilliant natural material for making bug hotels! It can be a wee bit messy … but it’s all part of the fun!
  • 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
  • To find attractions and book tickets