A Parent's Survival Guide - 22 Things To Do This Summer!

A Parent's Survival Guide - 22 Things To Do This Summer!

Gulp! Schools out for summer and that’s six whole weeks to entertain the kids. Here’s your survival guide with 22 things to do in the Bay and South Devon. Come rain or shine, we’ve pulled together a bumper list to help you navigate the holidays - phew!

Here’s 22 things to get you started 👇

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Animal Adventures

Meet the Animals
26 & 29 July and 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30 August
Occombe Farm, Preston Down Rd, Paignton TQ3 1RN
Meet the Occombe Farm animals and get a taste of what it's like to feed and care for them! A fun activity event for all the family this summer. Booking is essential, tickets are available online and cost only £3. For ages 3 and over - hurry and get booking.

National Whale and Dolphin Watch Week
28 July - 2 August
Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Brixham TQ5 9AP
The Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust’s Berry Head National Nature Reserve provides a perfect place for whale and dolphin watching and each year, the ranger team, with the help of lots of volunteers take to the headland with their binoculars and notepads to engage in some citizen science. If you’re into marine life then this is the event for you and it’s free! For more information visit the website.

Global Tiger Day
29 July
Paignton Zoo, Totnes Rd, Paignton TQ4 7EU
A perfect opportunity to help raise awareness for the largest of all cats and the beautiful Sumatran tigers at the zoo. Visit the Big Cat talk at 12:15pm and an extra talk for guests at 3:30pm at the tiger exhibit. There will be stripy themed treats in the Island Restaurant, as well as face painting (extra charge applies). Tickets and more info available online from £18.10 (adults) £13.55 (child 3-15 years) under 3’s go Free.

Berry Head Bat Walk
9 August & 6 September
Berry Head, Brixham TQ5 9AW
Get the chance to see the rare Greater Horseshoe bats at Berry Head, a Geopark Gateway Site. The Greater Horseshoe bats live in the caves formed in the 400 million year old limestone cliffs. Start at the Visitor Centre and begin by seeing the bats using the cave camera. Also find out how the cows help to feed the bats!?! Tickets from £5, available online. For ages 13+ (under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult)

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All the Fun of the Fair… and Festival

Kingsbridge Fair Week
20-27 July
Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 1HS
A popular family-focused event and a great opportunity to get to know the town and its friendly people. Listen to some live music, taste the local street food, see an evening of fireworks, five-a-side football, teddy bears picnic, three-legged race, dog show and more! Free to attend, visit the website for more details.

Summer's Here!
31 July - 23 August
Princesshay, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1EU
Are you ready for some fun-filled events? Princesshay will be providing 4 weeks of fun with pop up events every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this summer! Including so many activities; from marvellous mini golf to climbing walls, amazing circus skills to pirates, there will be something everyone will enjoy. A great way for family and friends to get outdoors! Events are free of charge, however donations to the Princesshay charity of the year Living Options Devon will be gratefully received. Visit the website for more details.

Tunes in the Castle
3-4 August
Powderham Castle, Church Rd, Exeter EX6 8JQ
A brand new festival for 2019, born from the incredible festival Tunes in the Dunes on Perranporth beach in Cornwall, Powderham Castle in Exeter presents Tunes in the Castle! This is a unique event and only here for one weekend so don't miss out! Major headliners including; Joss Stone, James Morrison, Pixie Lott and Scouting for Girls! There will also be a silent disco in the forest, a gin terrace in front of the Castles gardens, saunas and hot tubs for grown-ups in by the river plus much more - what could be better? Tickets available online, £31.20 (under 18’s) and £36.40 (adults).

Torbay Steam Fair
2-4 August
Dartmouth Road, Churston Ferrers, Brixham, Devon, TQ5 0JT
Torbay Steam Fair has become one of the biggest events in the Torbay area and attracts visitors from far and wide. Come and see the amazing working steam engines and vintage classic cars as well as market stalls, beer & tea tent, food stalls and more over this 3 day event! Perfect for all the family, free to attend - visit the website for more details.

Cockington Fayre
7 August
Cockington Court, Cockington Village, Torquay, TQ2 6XA
The famous annual Cockington Fayre is back! Come down and join in a traditional old English village summer fair in the beautiful grounds of the historical Cockington Court. A fun day out for all the family! Free to attend, for more information visit the website.

Children’s Week in Paignton
20 – 24 August
Paignton Green, Paignton, TQ4 6BG
Celebrating their 71st Children’s Week Paignton is holding is a free week of fun for all kids both young & old. Consisting of fun-filled performances, workshops and events throughout the week! For more information visit their Facebook page.

Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta
24-31 August
Royal Avenue Garden, Dartmouth TQ6 9PJ
The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta labelled the ‘Best in the West’ lives up to its reputation with superb competition and brilliant entertainment. Dartmouth are celebrating their 175th Regatta and are bringing many festivities to the community! This year there will be much more fun for the family, with many activities and entertainment, and in the evening, Dartmouth’s first ever Silent Disco! Head over to Dartmouth for this week long exciting event! Free to attend, visit the website for more information - you can also purchase your own 2019 Souvenir Programme now and sent directly to you!

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Gone to the Beach

Top 10 Family Beaches!
We have to give mention to the incredible free adventures on our doorstep that come with a trip to the beach. Build sandcastles, skip into the sea, skim some pebbles, explore the rockpools and BBQ/picnic in these glorious family friendly and free outdoor spaces. Our top 10 recommended beaches are: Dawlish Warren Beach, Goodrington Sands, Teignmouth Town Beach, Preston Sands, Bigbury-on-Sea Beach, Paignton Sands, Dawlish Town Beach, Broadsands Beach, Exmouth Beach, Torre Abbey Sands.

Learn to Fish this Summer
20 July
Grand Western Canal, Canal Basin, Devon EX16 4HX
Discover the wonders of angling! Whether you’re fishing for the first time, heading for a day out with the family, or getting back into angling, fishing is a great way to get out there doing something different and will teach kids new outdoor skills. A perfect summer holiday activity for kids and families, and even better that it’s free - so be quick and book your spot now! For bookings and more details visit the website.

Rockpool Ramble
2, 16 & 30 August
Reach Outdoors, The Seashore Centre, Tanners Rd, Paignton TQ4 6LP
Join an expert marine ranger and explore the incredible marine life that lives in Torbay's rock pools. Discover feisty crabs, slimy anemones, wriggly starfish, sneaky prawns and more in the rock pools. Cost per person is £3.50, visit the website for more information.

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Something Crafty

Mini-Door Trail Saturday
27 July to 7 September
Exeter Cathedral, 1 The Cloisters, Exeter, EX1 1HS
Back by popular demand the Mini Door Trail event is back with a new set of doors for your little ones to hunt out this summer! Visit the Welcome Desk for your £2.50 trail map and then head off and seek out the tiny doors. Answer the questions along the way and see if you win a prize at the end! Great family fun activity to get everyone exploring. For more details visit the website. You can also head to Exeter Cathedral on the 30 July for a crafting day. There will be something for all ages to have a go at. Crafts cost £1-£3 and children go free with a paying adult, head to the website for more information.

Storytelling Tuesday
30 July - 27 August
Torre Abbey Museum, The King’s Drive, Torquay, TQ2 5JE

If you have been keeping up to date with The Shorely, then you would’ve heard about The BFG in Pictures show at Torre Abbey Museum. You can now bring your kids along for 30 minutes of storytelling fun amongst the BFG exhibition as well as letting them dress up in costumes and play in our wonderful gardens. Join Jane on Tuesday afternoon in the summer holidays for this playful event. Normal admission applies

Exeter Street Art Festival
24 August
Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS
Exeter Street Arts Festival hits its 4th year this summer! Promoting artistic talents of Exeter’s creative community, there will be lots of things going on such as; theatre, street art, music, interactive workshops, drumming and dance. This is perfect for all the family, free to attend and plenty to go and see! Visit the website for more details.

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Sit Back and Watch

Big Screen in the Park 2019
1-10 August
Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3SA
Pull up a deckchair, or sit on a blanket and enjoy watching some classic movies on the big 10m screen Exeter has to offer - al fresco style! Showing iconic films such as; Jurassic Park, Little Miss Sunshie, Bohemian Rhapsody and more! Tickets available online, this is the perfect way to spend a summers evening! For more outdoor screenings, visit our latest article on outdoor theatre and cinema.

Alice in Wonderland By Doorstep Arts
3-4 August
Palace Theatre, Palace Ave, Paignton TQ3 3HF
Palace Theatre are showcasing the magical story of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland this summer! Performed by our talented Doorstep Arts actors, come and see their catchy new songs, thrilling dance routines and lots of humour that will entertain and delight the whole family! Tickets available on the website, £7 (adults), £5 (children) and under 5's go free!

Illyria Outdoor Theatre at Cockington Court
4, 22 August and 1 September
Cockington Court, Cockington Ln, Torquay TQ2 6XA
Cockington Court are hosting Illyria Outdoor Theatre once again this summer! Showing some of Illyria’s popular shows; Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (4 August), The Tempest (22 August) and Frankenstein (1 September). Sit back, relax and embrace the surroundings of Cockington’s beautiful nature gardens whilst enjoying some outdoor entertainment - perfect family fun activity to do in the summer. Tickets range from £8-£14, booking fee applies - set times shown on website.

Dick Whittington - Summer Panto 8, 15, 22 & 29 August
Palace Theatre, Palace Ave, Paignton TQ3 3HF
Join Dick Whittington and his faithful feline friend Tommy on their quest to seek fame and fortune in the city of London, where the streets are paved with gold and the evil Queen Rat dwells. Another showcase hosted by Palace Theatre for all the family to enjoy this summer! Tickets available online, £11 (adults), £8 (children).

Open Air Cinema Festival, 15 - 26 August
Torre Abbey Museum, The King’s Drive, Torquay, TQ2 5JE
Torre Abbey are hosting their third consecutive year of outdoor cinema. Showing various popular films old and new - Mary Poppins Returns, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Moulin Rouge, Labyrinth, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, The Greatest Showman and another film to be announced - you’re spoilt for choice! Tickets available on their website and range from £8 (club members and under 16’s) to £10 (adults).


This is a brief snippet of everything that’s on this summer for families. Keep up-to-date with our Facebook Page for more events happening over the summer - also take a look at our ‘What’s On’ page for a wider selection of exhibitions and events.

Meet an English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark ambassador artist

Meet an English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark ambassador artist

Trump, Putin & Jong-un meet moth larvae at Sarah Vaci’s exhibition at Artizan Gallery

Trump, Putin & Jong-un meet moth larvae at Sarah Vaci’s exhibition at Artizan Gallery