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Half-term things to do with kids

Boredom begone! From axe throwing and boat safaris, to treasure hunts and puppet-making, we've found 20 things to keep tots to teens entertained this February.

TREASURE HUNT: Tonic Creatives: Playing in the Streets, Brixham Thurs 24 Feb, Torquay Fri 25 Feb and Paignton Sat 26 Feb, 11am – 3pm

Pic credit: Appleton Event Photography

Take them to one of these three street-based events in towns across the Bay, which includes a treasure hunt (and prizes), live music, workshops, and street entertainers. Those gravity-defying stilt walkers, Higher Beings Circus, will be offering FREE circus skills workshops too. 

MUSIC: African Drumming Workshop, RAMM, Exeter, Tues 22 – 23 Feb 

One of a number of events held in the museum in February focusing on the rich culture of West Africa and a chance to get hands-on with djembe and dun dun drums. On the 24th there will be a delicious sounding storytelling session with Kwame who promises to draw you into the mythological world of Anansi the Spider and on the 25th you can learn the importance of Ghanaian Adinkra symbols and use them to make your very own piece of Adinkra cloth to take away.

FITNESS: Hoop & Silks, Flavel Arts, Dartmouth, Mon 21 Feb

Roll up, roll up! Here’s a chance for kids to take to the air on aerial hoops and silks with Onyx Aerial Fitness. Three two-hour workshops, suitable for 5-7, 8-10 and 11-13. Booking essential, £20pp.

COMEDY: Milton Jones, Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Mon 21 Feb

My kids love the man with the crazy hair and his even crazier one liners. Milton Jones is back in Devon to reveal the ‘truth’ about being an international spy, before being given a disappointing new identity which forced him to appear on Mock the Week.

FOREST SCHOOL: Holiday Club, The Outdoors Group, Escot, Totnes, Ilfracombe, Okehampton and Exmouth, all week

No need for the electronic babysitter with this hale and hearty holiday club for 5-15 year-olds where they’ll be climbing trees, bouncing on cargo nets, making mud pies in the mud kitchens and paddling in streams. £30 per day, with discounts for siblings and multiple bookings.

THEATRE: Three Billy Goats Gruff, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Weds 23 Feb, 2pm

Head to Paignton’s beautiful Victorian theatre for an interactive trip-trap over the bridge, performed by Lost the Plot. Suitable for tots to 10 year-olds, it’s just one hour long, so littlies won’t have time to get fidgety and with songs and dances to clap along to. The local connection is that two of the cast directors are Devon boys, who launched their West End careers and this successful national tour right here at Palace Theatre. Tickets £10-£12.

FOODIE: Wild Thyme Cafe, Station Road, Totnes, every Thursday and Friday

Show me a teen who doesn’t love sushi…they’re mad for it, so steer ’em over to Totnes’ Wild Thyme Cafe (aka China Blue), where every Thursday and Friday you can pick up a platter of fishy delights. Twist their arm into some pottery painting while you’re there, then go for a leafy walk down to Dartington via the playground opposite. Bonding sesh sorted!

ANIMALS: Lambing Live, The Big Sheep, Bideford, all week

Yep, it’s that time of year when we all go gaga for cute lambies. Hide your sheepskin jacket and take them to see The Big Sheep’s super-cute Devon Longwool lambs being born – tickets are now live for the sessions but see facebook for updates, babies don’t always come on time! – plus the usual rides, shows and rainy day options. You’d have to be baaaaaa-rking to miss it. (I know, I know…)

ROLE PLAY: Bear Town, nr Cullompton, open daily, two-hour sessions

We’ve heard nothing but good things about this brilliant indoor play area where kids, from walking age up to 7 years old, can get kitted up and into role as firemen, nurses, mechanics, policewoman (“mum, you’re nicked”). Plus, if your little ‘un hates too much noise and chaos (we feel their pain) they’re running quieter 3-5pm week day sessions until the end of Feb for a calmer play experience.  Booked essential.

INTENSIVE SWIMMING: Sidmouth Swim Academy, Mon 21 – Fri 25 Feb

Keen to get your child swimming in time for the summer? Sidmouth Swim Academy are running 1:1 intensive sessions for stage 3 and 4, and older beginners at St Johns School in Sidmouth. Email sidmouthswimacademy@gmail.com to book.

EXHIBITION: Museum of the Moon, Exeter Cathedral, Thurs 3 – Sun 27 Feb

Take them to moon – okay, Exeter Cathedral – to stare in wonder at Luke Jerram’s stunning 7m touring artwork. Adults £5, kids go free.

AXE THROWING: Norse Hawk Axe Throwing, Bishops Tawton, nr Barnstaple, various times

Timberrrrr! If they dare take the axe from the slightly scary lady (and you trust them to) then moody teens can let off steam at this Viking-themed activity centre where their inner warrior will be well and truly embraced and they’ll presumably get a pretty good workout too. £20pp for 2 people for 1.5 hours and £15 per person for groups of up to 6.

ANIMALS: Exmoor Zoo, Britton Fleming, Barnstaple, all week

Here may be known for having the only black leopard in the UK, but they also have some new arrivals at Exmoor Zoo – born in a stable over Christmas, apparently – two capybara pups and a cabal kitten (pictured). Cute or what?

SKATING: Plymouth Ice Rink, Plymouth Pavilions, all week

If you didn’t your skates on in time for the numerous Xmas pop-ups (see what I did there), it’s not too late for a spot of family sashaying. Book kids in for a sesh at Plymouth’s permanent rink where the holiday timetable includes Chilly Tots, Diddy Disco, Family Fun, Ice Disco and private coaching. Plus you can hire fun skating aids for a fiver. From £4.50 for under 5s.

CULTURE & CRAFT: Creative Clay, The Box, Plymouth, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Feb 2022

Here’s a sneaky way to get some culture in them with these FREE craft sessions at The Box, where, inspired by their current Songlines Exhibition of indigenous Australian art, kids can create their own landscapes and maps in clay. And no mess for you to clear up. Bonus!

PONY DAY: Wollaton Equestrian Centre, Torrington, Weds 23 Feb

Little dears begging for a pony? Give them a spot of make-believe by sending them on a Pony Day at this family-run riding school with a BHSAI qualified instructor at the helm. Or beginners can book a lesson in their indoor riding arena, from £17.50pp; £25 for private assessment or a hack.

BOAT TRIP: Boat Safari, Brixham, Mon 21 – Tues 22 Feb, Brixham

Get your woolly hats on and get on board the Boat Safari who have six two-hour slots available for half term for wildlife spotting in Lyme Bay. The crew regularly see seals, bird life and dolphins leaping along by their boats and they’ve even ticked pilot whales off the list. Check out their facebook to see. £25pp or 2 tickets for £45, groups of up to 12.

CRAFT: Pom Stitch & Tassel Workshop, Bovey Tracey Library, Mon 21 Feb

Want something calm, crafty and seasonal? How about this FREE hands-on craft drop-in with Pompom Queen, Emma, to make this cuddly, googly-eyed critter. You’d be baaaa’rking… oh, sorry, done that one.

DRAMA: The Talking Forest, Civic Hall, Totnes, Thurs 24 – Sat 26 Feb

A creative way for drama-oriented 8 -16 year olds to fill three days of the hols – a puppet-making workshop culminating in a climate change-inspired show, The Talking Forest, for which parents can buy tickets and which will be filmed, about what the woods would say if they could talk. £10pp. (Also in Kingsbridge on 21 and 22 Feb).

WATER FUN: Haven Banks, Exeter Quay, all week

Loads of opportunities for splashy fun for 8 – 14 year olds here, from kayaking, canoeing and raft-building, to climbing and artificial caving, archery and bush craft.

TENNIS: Tennis for Free, South Devon Tennis Centre, Ivybridge, Sat 26 Feb

Dust off your racquets! South Devon Tennis Centre are running a family-friendly pilot scheme, with an hour and a half of tennis, including coach led drills, fun games and family free play. Emma Raducanu started somewhere! Saturdays from 5 Feb for 10 weeks.

WRESTLING: Superstars of Wrestling, Crealy Theme Park, Sat 19 – Sun 27 Feb

Chokeholds, headlocks and stomping on your partner – no, not half-term in the Muddy household but Crealy’s wrestling latest show. The theme park is running three shows a day with testosterone-fuelled eye candy, er, I mean professional wrestlers, fighting it out in the arena to see who will be King of the Ring. Day tickets cost £14pp (under 92cm go FREE) and include wrestling, rides and indoor and outdoor attractions (water rides is closed but the Twister will be open, weather permitting).

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