February Half Term Events in Devon, Dorset and Somerset 2017
When you have children, if you are anything like me half term brings mixed emotions. I love to have the children around to get out and about and spend some quality time together. There’s no mad rush to be out the door for school, no packed lunches to prepare or schedule to keep to. But by the end of the week I have that nagging parent’s guilt that we should have achieved more, we’ve wasted the precious time we have together and to top it off I’ve hardly done any work!
So this year I thought I’d start researching in advance for February school half term events in Devon, Dorset and Somerset and make a plan! Sadly it seems that this half term is a bit lacking in free stuff, but here’s a round up of what the local attractions have to offer plus a few other recommendations.
“Grab your coats and wellies – you know it will be wet, just budget for a hot chocolate or take a flask and a nice packet of biscuits!”
DEVON DAYS OUT
Wildwood at Escot encompasses everything I think a childhood should include – great fun outdoors, getting muddy, learning about nature and running around outside, as well as an indoor play area for the younger ones.
This half term there are animal talks and creepy crawlie welly walks at 11.30 and 3.30 each day and some new animals since we last visited.
We are planning a trip at the beginning of half term so will tell you all about our day once we’ve been – assuming I find my way out of the maze! More details on the Escot website.
Killerton House, National Trust near Exeter
This is another place we enjoy and we’ve been NT members for years, which makes it feel like good value when you don’t have to pay on the day for a visit. The Christmas display at Killerton was magical and National Trust sites up and down the country are well known for adding new events and activities throughout the year.
This half term they have a Spring Flower Trail which takes you on an exploration around the gardens nearest the house. Inside the house is lovely as well. There is a small toddler play area and we found a rope swing in the woods.
Sadly no dogs on the flower route, however there are acres of parkland where you can walk your dog and importantly dogs are welcome in the cafe as well. The spring trail is open from 11 February until 2nd March. For more details click here.
Perfect for a blast of fresh air and a good outdoors stomp around where the children can run safely. There are easy flat footpaths and pushchair accessible boardwalks – you might even stop still long enough to watch some birds! Even better access to Seaton Wetlands is a FREE.
The Wetlands has 5 bird hides, 3 pond dipping platforms with pond dipping equipment for hire and a Discovery hut. There is free parking, toilets (including disabled toilet and baby changing facilities), and a picnic area. Refreshments are available at the weekends as well as Mon 13th and Tues 14th from 10am – 4pm.
Over half term you can help in the garden or if you are quick to book there might be some spaces left on the children’s birdwatching session. Follow this link for more events details and take a look my Seaton Wetlands blog post from last spring for more idea of what to expect. Sorry no dogs allowed.
There are many other countryside areas supported by East Devon District Council that also hold events throughout the year such as Exmouth, Honiton and Cranbrook, so take a look at those as well.
Axe Valley Wildlife Park
This wildlife park near Axminster just keeps getting better and they are open again after a winter break this half term.
A great favourite with local schools and clubs I think more children have seen their animals than parents! I have not been since they first opened so will make this a trip soon myself.
Over half term there will be activity days on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but they open all week 10-5. There is a proper café as well, always a bonus.
More details on the Axe Valley Wildlife website here.
Crealy Adventure Park
We have been going to Crealy near Exeter on and off for years and used to have a annual pass when the girls were younger.
It’s still a great day out albeit not the cheapest (buy your tickets on online for a discount). Last Autumn we were lucky enough to be invited there for the fireworks display. Now the children are taller I only had to going on the roller coaster rides with them once as they are big enough to queue up and go on again themselves (phew)!
There are lots of rides, slides and great indoor play areas (2 areas designed for different aged children), perfect for those wet weather days. The animal barn is lovely as well with daily feeding and grooming sessions.
If it’s dry don’t forget the walk round the outside of the park through the trees and over the little bridges to the bird lake at the bottom. There are no specific events listed for half term but they do have a big competition running (see below).
“Visitors to Crealy Adventure Park & Resort could be in with the chance of winning prizes for the whole family in a competition which runs from Monday 13th February to Friday 17th February. Prizes include annual family passes to Crealy, a family glamping break, an entertainment system worth £1,000, a luxury lodge holiday and Apple iPads for the whole family”.
The Bear Trail
This is outdoors, no alternative!
The aim is to get wet, muddy and have fun.