10 things for families to do in Devon

The English Riviera in the heart of South Devon is all about family fun. With an abundance of award-winning visitor attractions, top quality sandy beaches, family-friendly places to eat and drink, as well as the gorgeous Mediterranean-style climate it’s no wonder that Devon’s Beautiful Bay is often listed as one of the UK’s favourite seaside resorts.

Torquay and Paignton were recently featured and won ‘Gold’ category in the Top 10 places for families to visit, according to Day Out with the Kids. So here are 10 things to do this summer for some great family days out.

Splashdown Quaywest, Paignton

The wettest and wildest attraction on the English Riviera with 8 flume rides and fun water slides and a splash pool. Jump on a tyre and ride the Surf Lagoon and Raging Rapids or try the Devil’s Drop, a vertical 15m drop.

Outdoor Adventure Golf 

Enjoy an 18-hole jungle-themed adventure golf course with Jungle Journey Adventure Golf, located in Abbey Park in Torquay. Navigate through the jungle using your golf skill as you encounter tigers, gorillas, chimps and snakes.  Dodge the cannonballs and evade the pirates at Pirates Bay Adventure Golf, located on Paignton Green with stunning sea views. 

English Riviera Sightseeing Tours

Take a ride on a beautiful vintage open-top bus for breath-taking views of the English Riviera, visiting Babbacombe, Meadfoot, Torquay Seafront, Preston Sands and Paignton. with live commentary from the entertaining tour guides. 

AMF Bowling, Torquay 

Open Daily, all year-round with late night opening on Friday and Saturdays 

Just a short walk from Torquay’s lively harbourside. Indoor family fun at the Hollywood Bowl arcade with 21 state of the art bowling lanes and an impressive selection of amusement machines, pool table, Quasar area and an American-themed diner, serving delicious fast food dishes and drinks.

Escape Room Adventures

Test your team’s communication skills, put your brain power to the ultimate test and solve a mystery or crime with a series of challenging clues and puzzles to help you escape an enclosed themed space and the latest indoor craze sweeping across the country. Great fun for all the family, minimum ages apply at some venues. Visit the links below for further details of venues and dates:

Check out Escape Rooms Paignton and Escape Room and Crime Museum, TorquayRed House Mysteries, Torquay

Dick Whittington Summer Panto at Palace Theatre, Paignton 

Every Thursday at 6pm from Thursday 8th to Thursday 29th August

A fantastic summer adventure with 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.

Torre Abbey Museum Open Air Cinema

Running on selected days from Thursday 15th to Monday 26th August

The gigantic outdoor screen returns with popular blockbuster movies and cult classics including The Greatest Showman: Sing-Along (PG rated) and Mary Poppins Returns (PG rated) and other firm family favourites. Hosted in the beautiful surroundings of Torre Abbey Museum’s award-winning enclosed garden and ancient ruins.  Take along fold up chairs and blankets to snuggle up under the stars.  

Paignton Zoo

Get up close to over 2,500 exotic and unusual protected animals at the world class Paignton Zoo, a top visitor attraction located in 80 acres of beautiful grounds with specially designed habitats. Visit the Reptile Tropics with its amazing array of reptiles and amphibians, See the Western lowland gorillas and Bornean orang-utans at the Ape Centre and the Asiatic lions, Sumatran tigers, cheetahs and other big cats and so much more.  Buy a Zooper ticket for a joint saving on entry to Paignton Zoo and partner coastal zoo and aquarium, Living Coasts in Torquay. Open Daily, all year-round.

Golden Hind Museum Ship, Brixham

Jump aboard The Golden Hind, a full-sized replica of Sir Frances Drake ship and meet Pablo, the friendly pirate mascot or walk the plank and open decks. Try your hand at rope tying, hauling or steering the ship’s wheel. This all-weather popular attraction is a striking landmark in Brixham’s quaint fishing harbour.

Family-Friendly Outdoor Festivals

Paignton Festival (Torbay Carnival Week) (Saturday 27th July to Sunday 4th August)

Highlights include a colourful carnival procession which weaves its way along the seafront and through the town and Dubs at the Beach, a Volkswagen Vehicle Show attracting enthusiasts and owners showcasing a variety of VW cars and campervans.

Paignton Regatta Community Fun Week (Saturday 10 - Sunday 18 August)

Packed with over 80 hours of free family-friendly entertainment on Paignton Green, Paignton Beach and Torbay Velopark. Seaside fun and frolics including big sandcastle building competitions, a fun dog show, beach party on the green, live music, Anderton & Rowlands’ pleasure funfair and the English Rivera’s largest and most spectacular fireworks display.

Children’s Week in Paignton (Monday 19 - Sunday 25 August)

Children’s Week is all about the kids having fun. A packed programme of events with many free activities including arts and crafts, games with the entertainment team, circus skills, and so much more. Suitable for children of all ages.

Pick up a copy of The English Riviera Attractions Passport from the English Riviera Visitor Information Centre for some special offers and great savings on entry prices at many local venues.

For other ideas of great things to do this summer visit our English Riviera Attractions page.

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