Christmas activities for children in Devon

Put some Ho, Ho, Ho! into the season with some of these fabulously festive ideas in Devon…

Read on for more about the wide range of Christmas events and activities taking place in Devon...

See our full 'Where's Santa in Devon' guide here

See our full Christmas panto and family theatre guide in Devon' here

 

Its Showtime for Christmas 2022

Theatres across Devon are marking the festive season with a great selection of pantomimes, musicals and other shows this winter, all suitable for families.  See our guide to  stage shows that you can see this Christmas in Devon.

 

24th November 2022 to 14th January 2023

Pinocchio

Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR

www.theatreroyal.com

Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company present this adaptation of the classic story combined with skilled puppetry, original music, fantastic staging, outstanding performers and extraordinary physical tricks.  

Suitable for ages 3 to 10.

Relaxed performance - 30th November at 1:30pm

BSL Interpreted performance - 21st December at 3pm

Relaxed with BSL interpretation and Audio Description - 7th January at 11am

Pyjama Party performances on 2nd,9th 26th December and 13th January .  After school performances at 5pm where children are welcome to attend in their pyjamas.

Selected dates from 25th November to 24th December

The Polar Express™ on Seaton Tramway

Seaton Tramway, Seaton, EX12 2NQ

https://www.tram.co.uk/events/view/the-polar-express-tram-ride

Journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express by tram. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, speak to Santa and admire the awesome lights. Each child will receive a special gift from Santa. Pre-booking is essential - dates are already selling out. Call 01297 20375.

 

Selected dates from 26th November to 23rd December

Christmas at Crealy 2022

Crealy Great Adventure Park, Clyst St Mary, Near Exeter, Devon, EX5 1DR

https://www.crealy.co.uk/events/christmas-at-crealy

Enjoy seasonal Christmas attractions including a NEW Meet and Greet with Santa experience and a LIVE ice show, festive entertainment, lights and decorations.

See the video preview.

 

 

30th November to 3rd December - Plough Arts Centre, Torrington

18th to 28th December - Exeter Phoenix, Exeter

MARY THE PIGEON WHO NEVER GAVE UP

High above the English channel a small bird battles against the wind. Visually beautiful, heartfelt and uproariously funny, Mary the Pigeon who Never Gave Up tells the astonishing and true story of one very special local pigeon, who flew top secret messages home from France in World War 2.

Quirk are known for their inventive and innovative approach to live theatre, wowing audiences with their use of projection, puppetry, creative set design and original music. Join Mary, the madcap members of the National Pigeon Service, a lost flamingo and a Polish Eagle Owl from Squadron 307 as they all try to find their way home.

A magical Christmas treat for all the family!

Book now and get 10% off the Mary storybook coming in 2023.

Relaxed performances on 18th December at 2pm and 4:30pm

BSL interpreted performance on 21st December at 2pm and 4:30pm

 

2nd to 24th December

Christmas at Bear Town

Bear Town, Westcott, Cullompton, EX15 1RZ.

www.beartown.co.uk

Children up to the age of 7 can experience a whole set of Christmassy activities including a two-hour play session in the Town, a sleigh ride adventure as well as meeting Father Christmas in his grotto followed by a snowy departure.  Tickets remain strictly limited so visit the website to find out more and book.

 

 

Every Saturday and Sunday from 26th November through to Christmas as well as 19th, 20th 21st and 22nd December

Santa’s Christmas Grotto at the House of Marbles

House of Marbles, Near Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9DS

www.houseofmarbles.com

Take a magical trip through the festive winter wonderland where Santa and his elves await your arrival in their cosy Grotto. Share with him all your Christmas wishes and receive a gift and goody bag filled with seasonal treats to enjoy.

 

Saturday 19th and 20th November

Santa Paws at House of Marbles

House of Marbles, Near Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9DS

www.visithouseofmarbles.com

Take your furry friend on a magical trip through the festive winter wonderland where Santa and his Elves will be waiting to welcome you into the cosy grotto.  Take a photo with Santa and receive a goody bag filled with seasonal treats to enjoy.  50p from each Santa Paws ticket sale will be donated to PDSA.

 

Dates from 18th November

Father Christmas visits Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0LT

www.pennywellfarm.co.uk

During this Christmas experience, families are invited to arrive at the North Pole to be greeted by friendly elves and check in where they will receive their Christmas passport as get stamps as they journey through the Christmas experience.  This is then followed by a walking Nativity journey through scenes and animals representing the story of the first Christmas and refreshments.  The Elves Sweetshop will have a bag of sweets for every child.  Attendees will then have a tractor and trailer ride to see if they can spot gingerbread men hiding along the way before experiencing close encounters with some of the amazing animals at Pennywell including their miniature piglets, pygmy goat kids and other furry friends.  Finally the experience comes to an end in the enchanted forest with a visit to Father Christmas who will have a special gift for every child.

 

Selected dates from 18th November

The Polar Express  at South Devon Railway

South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ

https://southdevonrailwaythepolarexpressride.com/?utm_source=sdr&utm_medium=event-page&utm_campaign=book-tickets-button#

Meet the characters from the film and experience a fun filled theatrical adventure as you make your way to the North Pole hearing the original story told to you by the singing Chefs.  Once there you will meet Santa Claus who will hand you your first gift of Christmas, a Silver Sleigh Bell just as in the film.  

 

Dates from 26th November

Go & See Santa at Bow Garden Centre!

Bow Garden Centre, Bow Bridge, Crediton, EX17 6LA.

www.bowgardencentre.co.uk and book via 01363 82438

Visit Santa in his Magical Winter Wonderland Grotto at Bow Garden & Aquatic Centre. Meet the big man himself, and take part in activities and Santa’s Treasure trail. Booking is essential via Bow’s website & hurry whilst tickets last! The kids can also enjoy seeing Bow’s festive Christmas displays, and use their free play areas and see lots of fish too. With a large selection of decorations including, trees (artificial & real), indoor & outdoor lighting, there is something to make every home sparkle this season. Book your Christmas lunch at Bow’s Waterside cafe now and enjoy delicious festive food in a magical setting.

Santa & his elves at Bow Garden Centre look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find Bow Garden centre ½ way between Okehampton & Crediton at EX17 6LA.


 

Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays from 1st to 16th December and all day every day between 17th to 23rd December

Meet Santa at Marldon Christmas Tree Farm!

Marldon Christmas Tree Farm, Totnes Road

 Book your slot at www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/santasgrotto or by calling 01803 210821.

.Rowcroft Hospice has teamed up with Marldon Christmas Tree Farm to offer a magical Santa’s Grotto experience for local children. In the enchanted snow-covered grotto in the North Pole, Totnes Road, Marldon, children will have the chance to meet Santa and his elves, encounter a real reindeer, and receive a special Christmas gift. The cost for the fairy-tale adventure is £16 per child, with all profits going to support the hospice. Staffed by hospice volunteers, the grotto will be open Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 16 December, and all day every day between 17 to 23 December.

 

3rd to 24th December 2022 (selected dates)

Santa in The Caves at Kents Cavern

Kents Cavern, Ilsham Road, Torquay, TQ1 2JF

https://www.kents-cavern.co.uk/events/detail/santa-in-the-caves

Interactive pantomime performance throughout the caves finishing in Santa's Grotto where you will be able to meet Santa.  Each child will receive a wrapped gift and adults will receive a complimentary adult ticket to return to see the caves in 2023. See the video preview

 

 

 

9th to 31st December

Aladdin 

Princess Theatre Torquay, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5EZ. 

www.atgtickets.com/shows/aladdin/princess-theatre-torquay/

Hop on a magic carpet and fly to a whole new world, a magical place of mystery and enchantment, where the carpets fly, genies live in lamps and love conquers all with lavish sets and stunning costumes.  Casting to be confirmed at the time of writing.

Relaxed performance on 27th December

 

 

 

 

 

 

16th December 2022 to 14th January 2023

SLEEPING BEAUTY

Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR

www.theatreroyal.com

Join soap star and panto legend Shane Richie in this new panto adaptation of the classic story.  Alongside X Factor winner Matt Terry and a talented cast, this show is full of magic, music, comedy and special effects for all the family.

Audio described performances on 29th December at 7pm and 5th January at 2:30pm

Captioned performances on 30th December at 2:30pm and 6th January at 7pm

BSL interpreted performance on 30th December at 7pm

Relaxed performance (with Audio Description and BSL) on 12th January at 12:30.

 

9th December to 7th January

Robin Hood

Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB.

www.exeternorthcott.co.uk/events/robin-hood/

New family show from Exeter Northcott and Le Navet Bete joining forces for the 2022 show.  With all the festive fun of panto, Le Navet Bete's trademark madcap comedy, stunning sets and costumes, music and dance in this new version of the much loved Robin Hood story.  Suitable for the whole family but recommended for 5+ years.

BSL interpreted performance available on 20th December.

 


23rd December 2022

Children's Christmas Party at RHS Rosemoor

RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Rosemoor, Torrington, EX38 8PH

www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor

Get ready to party for Christmas at RHS Garden Rosemoor with Project Dance.  This family-friendly afternoon of activities includes drinks, sweets, games, dances, spot prizes and a special gift.  Event booking includes entrance to the final evening of Glow before Christmas Day.

 


 

 

 



 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Day starts from the autumn, the real fun begins when towns, villages and cities switch-on their Christmas lights and host festive events.

Many mark the occasion with lantern parades, music from brass bands and dress the streets in 

 

 

 

PTA Christmas Fayres and School Nativities 

Schools are incredibly busy places in the run up to Christmas, with many PTA’s holding Christmas fayres, which are huge money-raisers for the schools – for extra Christmas Fair ideas for your PTA event see www.ptasocial.com/christmas-fair-ideas.

Whilst for many parents, one of the best bits about Christmas, that is the most heart-warming of all, is watching the brilliant school performances or nativity plays and listening to the children sing. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Green Christmas 

Reduce, reuse and upcycle your Christmas waste this festive season…

DIY Decorations

Have a go at getting the kids involved by making some DIY Christmas decorations. Cut out snowflakes to stick on the windows, stick cloves into oranges and bake until dry, and pick some holly and ivy to make table decorations and wreaths.

This can be a fantastic way to reduce your waste and costs, while having fun with the kids too.

Get Scrapbooking

As a nation, we use 83 square miles worth of gift wrap every festive season, but this doesn’t mean it needs to be scrapped.

Get the kids involved by cutting and sticking your leftover paper, gluing it into a scrapbook, and adding photos, words and decorations to create a family book of festive mementos.

DIY Decorations for the Tree and Home

Always eager to please, it’s no surprise that Santa’s hair has turned white as the finances at this time of year are often stretched and sometimes even he has to pull tightly on the reins. Still, he always manages to make Christmas dreams come true.

So, taking a giant leaf out of Santa’s book, you too can make amazing savings by making your own Christmas decorations for the home and tree.

Make even more savings by sending Christmas e-cards to friends and family instead of sending traditional cards. Notably, the ‘Elf Yourself’ digital Christmas cards are especially popular –www.elfyourself.com

 

 

Giving at Christmas 

Christmas is truly the season of giving and there are so many ways families can give something back to the community or worthwhile charity.

Christmas Day Swims, such as the one at Exmouth Beach, are becoming incredibly popular whilst the Santa Fun Runs, such as Children’s Hospice South West’s fun run is a colourful spectacle that all members of the family can join in with.

 

 

Buying a Real Christmas Tree 

What better way to celebrate the festive season than with the most glorious Christmas tree! Each tree species can be a little different in size, scent and needle retention, so here’s the Forestry Commission England’s guide to choosing the perfect Christmas tree:

Norway Spruce: Considered the traditional Christmas tree, the Norway Spruce is best known for its wonderful shape, abundance of branches and lovely ‘Christmassy’ scent.

Nordmann Fir: With its big needles which are lovely and soft, Nordmann Fir are perfect for those with young children. Having soft foliage and an even shape, it makes it a joy to decorate.

Lodgepole Pine: With the best needle retention of them all, Lodgepole Pines are perfect for those who like a long festive season. It has luscious long green needles with branches that point upwards which hold a wonderful pine scent.

Caring for your Christmas Tree

Preventing needles dropping and the green from fading on your Christmas tree requires a little bit of care and attention. Follow these top tips for a longer lasting, healthier real Christmas tree:

  1. Cut off 2.5cm from the trunk to aid with water absorption
  2. Put the tree in a stand with the trunk immersed in water
  3. Keep your tree in a cool, dry space. Away from radiators and fires
  4. Water your tree regularly

Read more at www.forestry.gov.uk/england-about-uk

 

 

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