Devon’s Top Attractions have got Christmas all wrapped up!
It’s official, Christmas is coming to some of Devon’s Top Attractions so ‘let’s get festive’.
The festive season will be a little different this year, a little lower key than usual BUT it will still be happening. As we come out of ‘Lockdown 2’ and into Devon’s ‘Tier 2’ banding some of our attractions have reopened their doors and will be attempting to spread some Covid-safe Christmas cheer.
It might be harder to find that elusive ‘man in red’ this year but fear not, the top attractions have a lovely selection of festive outings and ideas that are sure to please and help us all get into the Christmas spirit.
Where can I find Santa in Devon?
Head to Pennywell and you’ll find this top Devon attraction has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland complete with twinkling lights, hundreds of Christmas trees and plenty of Christmas sparkle. Arrive at the North Pole where you will be greeted by the friendly Elves. Collect your Christmas passport and get the stamps as you journey through this special seasonal experience. Journey back 2000 years as the Christmas Nativity begins. Travel to Bethlehem to find an inn for the night. Once in the cosy barn, the scene is set, and the story of the first Christmas starts to unfold. After the nativity head for Noah’s Barn for some delicious Christmas cheer. Visit the Elves sweetshop, enjoy some close encounters with some of the amazing Pennywell animals and round off the whole experience nicely with a visit to see Father Christmas in his sparkly enchanted forest. He will be waiting in his grotto with a special gift for every child.
All aboard Stuart Line Cruises who will be offering a ‘Sail with Santa’ experience. This enchanting experience has been a firm family favourite for over 20 years and this year with some added safety measures and limited capacity you can still take some well-deserved time out and enjoy this lovely Christmas outing. The children will be able to meet Santa in his enchanting on-board grotto where they will receive a handpicked gift, whilst the adults can enjoy a secret recipe mulled wine and a locally baked mince pie.
It’s all change this Christmas at Crealy. Watch their all-new Crealy Christmas Parade. See Santa and Mrs Claus joined by some cheeky elves, festive street performers and some ‘beary’ special guests, Buddy and Blossom. The parade features family favourite Christmas music and a singalong for all! Also new for this year is Buddy and Blossom’s Christmas Party on the Piazza stage. Enjoy the festive Show with lots of Christmas magic, song, dance and laughter. You can also see Tik and Tock’s Christmas Countdown with their all-new festive themed show. Celebrate the countdown to Christmas with this mischievous pair who have some new festive magic tricks up their sleeves. Don’t forget that your admission ticket includes entry to all the usual rides and attractions at the park too.
There’s a Santa’s Special Story Tram on the 18th December at Seaton Tramway. Travel with the little ones and inspire big imaginations with new stories and songs. On arrival at Colyton, enjoy a special meal, take part in the action songs and rhymes, games and art activities and have a story time with Santa himself and take a return trip onboard the Christmas themed tram. Santa will also be available for socially distanced photos!
Where can you find other festive days out in Devon?
Why not go underground to Kents Cavern for their ‘Winter Underground’ festive cheer? This is a unique fun-filled festive treat like no other, where all the family can enjoy the magic of Winter at Kents Cavern. The festive cave tour is suitable for all ages and your day includes underground lights, winter warmers in the café and the Winter Warrior Trail. You can even post your letter to Santa in the Underground post box. Tickets include a festive drink and mince pie for the adults, a light-up flashing wand for every child, plus an activity booklet for the Winter Warrior Trail in the Woodlands.
There is a Celebration of Yuletide at Wildwood Escot from 19th December until the 3rd January. Travel back in time to experience traditional yuletide activities. Create Christmas wreaths, tree decorations and wood carvings alongside the Saxon villagers and even make traditional jewellery in the village forge. Little ones can explore the magical maze and adventure play, get up close with the many resident animals and before heading home full of fresh air and Christmas cheer.
Head for the Milky Way Adventure Park for a special sprinkling of Christmas magic! Hunt for the naughty elves and take a festive ride on the Milky Way train. Visit the garland festooned train station made jolly with festive music and giant Christmas tree for hot chocolate and shortbread straight from Mother Christmas’s kitchen. Meet the station master who will welcome you to the newly adapted outdoor train with separate carriages for each family. In addition to this little bit of festive fun, there is plenty to keep the whole family safely entertained including the NEW Ninja Stars play arena, dodgems, Ziggy’s Blast quest and the newly updated Planet Play area.
Check out Seaton Tramway’s NEW Twilight Trams and travel the beautiful Axe Valley by tram light. Visitors can travel to Colyton by tram and experience the trip by moonlight, while taking in the local Christmas lights. You might even spot some of the local wildlife. To enhance the whole experience further you could also include a two course Christmas meal at the delightful Colyton Station before making your return trip. Any meals will need to be pre-booked.
Hop aboard a Festive Special Cruise with Stuart Line Cruises this holiday season. Explore the Exe Estuary in Winter from the comfort of the covered and heated festively decorated boats. See the beautiful scenery and fascinating wildlife from the entirely unique perspective of the water, whilst enjoying some homemade mulled wine and a warm, locally baked mince pie all included. These are on selected dates from 8th December through to 1st January and there is even one on Christmas day.
The Donkey Sanctuary’s award-winning Carols by Candlelight is back, although a little differently for this year. ‘Sanctuary from your Sofa’ presents the virtual Carols by Candlelight on the 11th December for a fantastic festive special. Join them LIVE on Facebook from 6pm when they will bring the Sanctuary into your living room. They will be caching up with a few firm favourites, meeting some of the donkeys and talking to the wonderful people who care for them plus a full-length virtual carol concert. So, tune in, sit back, relax, and enjoy the festive evening from the comfort of your sofa.
The Big Sheep is offering some socially distanced Christmas Fireworks Fiesta nights on 5th– 6th December and more dates may also be released very soon but depending on the weather. The tickets are offered first to those that had them for the November 5th bonfire night celebrations that sadly didn’t happen due to second lockdown. They will then release further social bubble tickets to the general public.
There is a free entry Christmas Craft Fair at Bicton Park on the 11th December. The fair runs from 4pm-8pm and will have a wide variety of exhibitors selling locally handmade craft goods. Why not go along and do some Christmas shopping and find those special handmade gifts. Get into the festive spirit and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.
Babbacombe Model Village is open and will this year be offering ‘A Very Mini Christmas’. The model village gardens are great to visit all year round and from 5th December until 3rd January, they will have a selection of miniature Christmas themed scenes to add a seasonal twist. Sadly, they won’t be offering their usual Christmas event, advance booking is advised.
Christmas Shopping Made Easy
Devon’s Top Attractions have a super variety of unique Christmas gift ideas with a difference and you can buy online from the comfort of your armchair whilst supporting the attractions at the same time. Gift ideas include season tickets, gift vouchers, boat cruises, island experiences, animal experiences, drive a train experiences, afternoon tea vouchers, calendars, merchandise and much more. Take a look on Devon’s Top Attractions website at the Xmas Gift Ideas page.
Chairman of the Devon Association of Tourist Attractions, Dick Wood said: “We all know what a tough year 2020 has turned out to be and tourism has been hit hard. Some of our attraction’s doors remain closed, but those that are open have put together a rather nice selection of safe, seasonally themed experiences and days out that we are sure people will enjoy. Advance online booking is nearly always essential, so please check the attraction’s website.”
So, why not add a little seasonal magic to the countdown to Christmas with a special seasonally themed day out or find that unique gift idea? To find out when and where all this festive magic is taking place see www.devonstopattraction.co.uk