The Easter holidays have arrived, so visitors will be descending on Devon over the coming weeks – hardly surprising, as it is one of the best places to celebrate at this time of year.
If you are staying in one of our luxury holiday cottages in Devon and are wondering what activities are running over the Easter period, then you are in luck, as there are lots of family-friendly sites and events you can visit and things you can do.
From hunting for chocolate bunnies to enjoying a day at the races, the Easter celebrations are diverse, entertaining and filled with family fun. For a look at some of the best places you can visit and events to attend, read on.
Where else can you shoot a bow and arrow, score a strike and pot a black, all under one roof?
The indoor play arena, Aztec Games, which is close to Torquay’s seafront, offers all of this and more. With 2000 square foot of wall-to-wall fun and games, it is one of the best all-weather family attractions in the county.
Here, you can try your hand at indoor archery, 10 pin bowling, snooker, table tennis, pool, go on their dance mats, jump in the soft play area and lots more. There is also a licensed bar and plenty of food options.
The popular attraction is open daily from 10am-11pm and in school holidays from 10am-midnight.
The Milky Way
Voted Devon’s Best Large Visitor Attraction 2016/17, the Milky Way Adventure Park is a fantastic family day out.
Just 10 minutes outside of Bideford, and with over 110,000 sq. feet of indoor fun and acres of outdoor activities, The Milky Way is the biggest all-weather, family day out in North Devon.
This Easter the Milky Way has a unique Easter Grotto where you can meet the Easter Bunny. Helped by friendly Eggsperts, the Easter Bunny HQ allows visitors to venture past the crazy control panel, which apparently controls the production of the entire world’s chocolate eggs, and creep down the bunny-themed secret passage to meet the Bunny and receive a free chocolate egg.
This year’s Easter fun runs until Friday 21st April and includes a massive Easter treasure hunt, ‘Eggs Galore’ scratch card game, and Golden Egg Prize Draw – with over 5000 prizes to be won.
You can also enjoy all of Milky Way’s permanent attractions such as the Cosmic Typhoon roller coaster, the Clone Zone dark ride and the huge death slides in the Time Warp.
Becky Falls Woodland Park
A visit to Devon just wouldn’t be complete without heading to Dartmoor’s Becky Falls Woodland Park.
This iconic landmark has been welcoming visitors since 1903 and a day out to the park can be as relaxing or adventurous as you like. Easter is also set to be action-packed with a whole host of activities taking place.
A spokesperson from Becky Falls Woodland Park, said, “We have a wonderful array of activities planned this Easter; including Easter themed children's craft activities and our Eggsellent Quiz for children of all ages - find the answers around the park to all things egg related! There's a prize for every child who takes part, which includes a go on the tombola to win Easter eggs galore!”
On top of these Easter-themed events there will be hands-on animal encounter shows including the cute and cuddly animal encounter show, the scary animal encounter show and a “meet the meerkats” keeper talk.
The park is open every day from 10am - 5pm.
Castle Drogo is a dramatic castle that overlooks the Teign Gorge, but this Easter there’s lots of family fun to be had.
The Cadbury Egg Hunt over the four-day Easter weekend takes visitors through the garden and grounds, hunting out the clues to help you claim your chocolate prize.
The castle itself is worth a visit over the holidays as it is currently undergoing a 6 year project to make it watertight and inside the castle you can see how its collection has been brought together in creative ways.
The drawing room tells the story of the 5 Drewe children, whose father built Castle Drogo, while in the north end of the building you can read about the original building from 100 years ago. The beautiful Lutyens-designed terraced garden is great to walk around as it boasts dramatic views of Dartmoor and you can even explore the sheltered Teign Valley via its endless trails.
Woodlands Family Theme Park
There is an eggstreme Easter at Woodlands Family Theme Park with a giant Easter Bunny grotto open to visitors, a number of Easter egg hunts taking place and lots of craft workshops.
Visitors can find thousands of free chocolate surprise tokens around the park, so keep your eyes open when riding the rides and sliding the slides.
The craft workshops taking place at the park allow visitors to make colourful souvenirs to take home, while the zoo farm activities and falconry displays mean that you and your family will certainly have an action-packed day to enjoy.
If that’s not enough, Woodlands has a magician demonstration and lots of other entertainment shows taking place in April and May, such as the Supastarz, Alice and the Bunny Hunt and The Shipless Pirates and Fairy Show.
Coldharbour Mill Museum
Coldharbour Mill is one of the oldest woollen mills in the UK and has produced and shipped its wool all over the world since 1979.
The Coldharbour Mill Museum ensures this rich heritage lives on by telling the story of how the world-famous textile producer, the Fox Brothers, transformed their wool into cloth, textiles and yarn.
The Uffculme-based museum, which opened in 1982, is one of the finest working wool museums and here visitors can explore the sights and sounds of the industrial revolution, whilst also seeing craftspeople making traditional textiles, beautiful knitting yarn and hand-woven rugs. The mill is also a rare surviving instance of Georgian architecture and industry.
Crealy Adventure Park
This Exeter-based family attraction is great to visit any time of the year with its 100 acres of fabulous countryside and over 60 rides, but Easter is extra special.
Crealy Adventure Park always has a number of Easter-themed events and this year is no different with a m‘egg’a programme of live shows and the opening of a new ride.
This Easter the Junior Driving School attraction opens and you will be one of the first people to navigate the obstacles and obtain your Crealy car licence.
The adventure park will also be hosting its biggest-ever Easter egg hunt. Taking place from 14th-17th April, the egg hunt will be giving away 10,000 free eggs and you will simply need to collect your map and follow the clues to find the stamps to collect your chocolate egg.
How about celebrating the Easter holidays with a day at the races?
Exeter Racecourse is the South West’s most prestigious racecourse. As the highest racecourse in the land, at 850 feet, and the second longest at two miles, it is also described as one of the best courses in the UK.
The Easter period sees a number of races taking place with evening races taking place on 18th and 26th April. BBC presenter John Inverdale is also hosting a private suite on April 18th.
On May 9th the racecourse will be hosting Ladies’ Night, a highlight of the social calendar and a chance to enjoy a special evening of racing with friends. The first 200 ladies through the gate will be given goody bags and Grandstand and Paddock tickets booked before midnight on April 26th will cost just £10 each. There is also a best dressed lady and best dressed gentleman competition.
Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium
Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium is an all-weather attraction in Torquay where there’s plenty for you and your family to see and do.
If you are staying in one of our luxury holiday cottages near Torquay, then you can visit this super attraction and mingle with playful penguins, get close to otters, octopi and seals.
The Penguin Beach attraction allows you to walk alongside African and macaroni penguins, while the panoramic underwater viewing areas allow you to see a number of other marine species. There are also a number of other games and activities you can enjoy over the Easter period.
The Living Coasts Café is well-known for its local food and drink and its stunning panoramic sea views overlooking the Bay. It offers free entry to non-visitors, too.
Quince Honey Farm
There is something happening every day throughout the Easter holidays at Quince Honey Farm in South Molton, with visits from the Easter bunny as well as free chocolate for every child!
You can enjoy a guided tour of the world’s largest honeybee exhibition, BeeWorld. Nowhere in the world can you get so close to live bees without needing protective equipment, as this fascinating exhibit allows you to look inside the working hives as well as learning fun facts about the honeybee.
You can roll your own beeswax candle to take home, taste delicious honey, hold a frame of bees at the beekeeping demo and enter a Critter Cabin full of fascinating insects.
Starting this Easter holiday, there is also a chance to 'be a beekeeper', where participants will be able to learn about the art of beekeeping from one of Quince Honey Farm’s experienced team.
If that’s not enough, the large indoor soft play area will keep the kids entertained, while you sit back and enjoy a delicious homemade Devonshire cream tea from the café next door.
Riviera Centre's Aqua Lounge
South Devon is a popular holiday destination and if you are visiting Torquay, or the English Riviera as it is commonly known, then you will no doubt be looking for somewhere to eat.
The Riviera Centre's Aqua Lounge is a contemporary café offering an extensive menu. From light bites to lunch, healthy smoothies to cake, there is something to suit all tastes.
The children will be entertained by the pirate-themed soft play feature for under 8’s, with hanging snakes, crawl tubes and a ball swamp.
The restaurant also has a Dip and Dine package; where you can swim in Waves Leisure Pool and then enjoy a meal in the Aqua Lounge from as little as £9.90 per adult or £7.00 for a child.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery
Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (or RAMM) is another great day out you could enjoy over the Easter period in Devon.
Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and a busy programme of exhibitions and events means there is likely to be something different to see on every visit. The displays also reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections.
Some iconic displays include Queen Victoria’s water colours from Paris, Hiroshige’s woodblock prints of Japanese scenes and a selection of Exeter’s fine art.
This Easter holiday there are special family activities planned, such as, explorer classes for under 5s, an origami workshop, Ancient Egypt-themed activities and tours and object handling.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery is free to enter and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm.
The Seaton Tramway has an exciting season of fun ahead this Easter!
The Seaton Tramway offers great family days out in Devon as you can ride through two beautiful nature reserves on their “Bird Hide On Wheels” event. You can even try your hand at driving a tram with tram driving lesson packages starting from as little as £40 per person.
This Easter there are new family rides being launched, such as the Fairy Special and the Dinosaur Tram Adventure.
- The Fairy Special is a brand new fairy tram ride where you will embark on a spellbinding trip to the fairy kingdom. This will be running on 29th May, every Friday in August and 1st September.
- The Dinosaur Tram Adventure is an adventure-filled tram ride with music, stories and fossil hunts. You will help Professor Percival the Palaeontologist uncover some secrets and fulfil a mission to make contact with some forgotten species. This ride departs Seaton Terminus on 16th & 23rd April, 1st & 28th May, 23rd & 30th July, every Sunday in August plus Bank Holiday Monday.
The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth is offering lots of family fun this Easter, including an ‘eggciting’ Easter Holiday Hunt and carrot seed planting.
Open from 9am every day, the Sanctuary’s holiday activities include an Easter holiday hunt where you can explore the Sanctuary’s beautiful coast and country walks. Once you’ve completed the hunt, you will receive a delicious, chocolatey reward.
What do donkeys and the Easter Bunny have in common? They both love carrots! If you also love carrots you can grow some for your favourite furry friends by joining in the carrot seed planting activity.
After this you can then go and meet the 500 donkeys who are cared for at the Sidmouth site, including giant Poitou donkeys, gorgeous adoption donkeys and marvellous miniature donkeys; you can even cuddle one or two in the main yard from 11am until 1pm and 1.30pm until 3.30pm.
The maze and farm-themed outdoor play areas are certainly worth a visit and the sanctuary’s nature centre means you can learn about the wild side of the area.
Torquay's Dinosaur World
Torquay's Dinosaur World is a fun interactive indoor exhibition that brings the world of dinosaurs to life!
Visitors can get up-close to life-sized and scaled dinosaurs, learn about their lives, discover incredible fossils, and take part in a quiz to win a Dinosaur Expert Certificate.
No matter whether you are not a dinosaur fan, or are a big one, there is something for everyone to get their teeth into at Torquay’s Dinosaur World!
Some of the dinosaurs you can see include the T-Rex, Triceratops, Brachiosaurus and the Dimetrodon to name just a few.
This Easter the attraction has a dinosaur Easter egg hunt and you have to become a brave explorer to find out who has been stealing the dinosaur eggs. There is also an Easter card competition taking place, with the winning entry receiving a Dinosaur World t shirt and a dinosaur goodie bag full of toys, models and fossils.
The attraction is open all year from 11am-5pm.
World of Country Life
World of Country Life is a multi-award-winning all-weather day out for the whole family.
This Exmouth-based attraction has a great mix of animals, museums, play areas and entertainment. The Exhibition Hall displays old farm machinery as well as the Victorian Street – an indoor replica of an old-time street complete with a thatched cottage, a hardware store, a forge and a pub, which was featured on the BBC’s The One Show.
There are three different age-specific covered soft-play areas at World of Country Life, an indoor full-sized pirate ship play area and an outdoor adventure playground complete with swings, slides, roundabouts and a mini-zip wire. This year also saw the unveiling of a new attraction; the Airbouncer, which is a giant pillow of air-filled fun that the entire family can bounce on together.
Visitors can also see an array of animals including goats, pigs, sheep, cows, red deer, ferrets, wallabies, llamas, rheas, alpacas, pheasants, and a variety of birds of prey, rabbits and guinea pigs.
Animal lovers in the family can even walk a pygmy goat on a lead or bottle feed calves and lambs.
This Easter there are ‘eggstra’ activities taking place with an Easter trail allowing visitors to receive free gifts, Easter arts and craft sessions and a number of Easter-themed games where more prizes can be won.
Image Credits: Aztec Games, Becky Falls, Castle Drogo, Coldharbour Mill Museum, Crealy, Exeter Racecourse, Living Coasts, Quince Honey Farm, Riviera Centre's Aqua Lounge, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Seaton Tramway, the Donkey Sanctuary, the Milky Way, Torquay's Dinosaur World, Woodlands Family Theme Park, World of Country Life.