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Half term, ahoy! 14 fun things to do with kids

Snorkelling, outdoor theatre, aerobatics or how about feeding them to the visiting prehistoric wildlife? Just a few ideas to keep tots to teens on their toes this holiday.

Gangsta Granny, Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Weds 25 – Sat 28 May

Family trip to the theatre, anyone? David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny is coming to North Devon, an ultra-popular story from the producers of Horrible Histories. 5+, tickets from £10, save £15 on a family of four ticket.

Jubilee Bunting & Flags, The Box, Plymouth, Sat 28 – Tues 31 May

Monarch-minded kids can help the Ocean City’s museum get Jubilee-ready by helping to cut out, colour, stitch and decorate triangles to add to their bunting ribbon, before coming in to see their great works on display between 2-5 June.

How Do I Look? Self Portrait Drawing, RAMM Museum, Exeter, Tue 31 May, Tues 31 May

Tear ’em away from the selfie-taking and encourage them to do some art, dahling, with this self portrait workshop covering the basics with artist Vin Jelly. £5 per child. Up to 2 accompanying adults free.

Half Term Programme, Real Ideas Organisation, Market Hall, Plymouth, Mon 30 May – Sun 5 Jun

Not got this cool, cultural hub on your radar yet? Get it on, pronto as there’s always creative stuff going on here, for young kids and teens, from immersive films in their new Dome Cinema, including Legends of the Reef (above) and man-on-the-moon movie, The Apollo Story, plus creative arts and dance workshops. On 30 May there’s LEGO Robotics, where children will be challenged to design, build and code their own wacky vehicle (and parents aren’t required to hang around while they do it, yay!).

Dinosaurs in the Park, Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, Thurs 26 May – Sun 12 Jun

Northernhay Gardens are set to be transformed to prehistoric times where giants and ferocious predators roam the land and clearly someone fell asleep during the risk assessment. There will be 35 lifesize moving, roaring dinosaurs – yikes! Book online in advance, tickets from £12pp.

Heartbreak Productions’ Awful Auntie, Dartington Estate, Totnes, Weds 1 and Thurs 2 Jun

Up for some open air theatre? Grab the picnic blanket and take the kids to see David Walliams’ tale of Stella Saxby, the sole heir to Saxby Hall, and her awful Aunt Alberta who with her giant owl will go to all sorts of dastardly deeds to steal poor Stella’s inheritance. It’s a hoot. Suitable for 7+, with plenty of lawn space (and no judginess) for fidgety littlies. Adults £16/kids £12

Brontosaurus Day, Woodlands Family Theme Park, Dartmouth, Weds 1 Jun

What more dinosaurs? A not-so-little extra treat where you can introduce the dino-obsessed to Emily Bronte (see what they did there?). As the brontosaurus was one of the largest herbivores to ever walk the Earth you’ll be relieved to hear that Emily is only 15ft tall so not too Wuthering Heights for the littlies. (See what we did there?)

English Riviera Air Show, Paignton, Thurs 2 – Sun 5 Jun

A spectacular weekend is planned for South Devon Bay, starting on Thursday with the lighting of one of the Queen’s Jubilee Beacons and continuing over the weekend with Music on the Meadows, a huge, free party at Torre Abbey filled with loads for kids, including on Friday a tent with activities, a family-friendly circus show called Do What Your Mama Told Yah, which promises to get very messy, and Tall Will, the world’s tallest bubbleologist. The air show itself is on the Saturday and looks set to be quite the spectacle.

North Devon Wake Park, Clovelly, various slots, booking essential

After an adrenalin-fuelled day on the water? North Devon Wake Park (at The Milky Way) have a huge water park with inflatable Ringo rides, knee-boarding (10+), wake boarding (like skateboarding except on water) with special slow speed sessions with their coaches and loads of child-oriented fun.

Fairy Tram, Seaton Tramway, Seaton, Sat 28 May

All aboard the specially-themed fairy tram for a two-hour adventure along the tracks, where young fairies and their families are trundled off to Colyton’s Fairy Kingdom to meet the Fairy Godmother, Puck and the other bewitching bewinged types. No need to bring the wings, as they’re granted their own magical wand and wings as part of the ticket price. £14.95pp, under 2s free.

Sooty Land opens at Crealy Theme Park & Resort, near Exeter, from Sat 28 May

Izzy wizzy, Crealy Theme Park have been busy! They’ve teamed up with Sooty, Sweep & Soo to launch a seaside-themed Sooty Land, based on the longest-running kids’ TV show. Here come four new outdoor rides and a new indoor area, The Pier, where kids can play on including the South West’s first interactive Strike Arena, digi wall ball games, Sooty’s Magical Mirror Maze, an Electronic Climbing Wall, slides and a giant buzz slide.

Scifi Memorabilia, Milky Way Adventure Park, nr Bideford, ongoing

The force is with the Milky Way this spring, with (at no extra cost to visitors) a special exhibition sci-fi memorabilia from a vast private collection, from Darth Vader to Daleks and R2D2 to a certain time-travelling police box.  

Snorkel Safaris, Mount Batten Beach, Plymouth, various dates

What lies beneath? Find out with the National Marine Aquarium’s Ocean Discovery Rangers for a one and a half hour snorkelling sesh, where kids can learn basic snorkel techniques and get to do some ocean exploring. Age 8+, £17.99pp.

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.

Find more ideas here

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