Festive Highlights Devon 2023

By Emma

I LOVE Christmas, and adore Christmas in Devon, in particular. Beautiful lights, country walks, cosy pubs, chilly trips to the beach. It is amazing with a young family.

But. Anyone else get a bit overwhelmed by all of the options for Christmas outings?! And then parents start talking in the playground about the awesome festive experience they have booked and how its selling out, and I just want to hide!!!! Because I don’t know where to start, and quite honestly, you can’t do it all. There are only so many days in December, and everything costs. SO. MUCH.

Soooooo for my own sanity and to help you and your wild tribe find some special festive highlights, here are what we think are some of the loveliest outings in Devon this year. Just pick one or two and have a lovely adventure is what I say. Other days can be spent watching Home Alone on repeat and eating all the chocolates.

Check out our highlights below…

Christmas at Pennywell Farm

  • Lovely for all the family, especially if you have little ones – we all loved it!
  • The experience lasts 2-2.5 hours so a perfect amount of time with children
  • Lovely Father Christmas and gift
  • Brilliant multi-scene nativity which everyone can get involved in
  • Festive treats and animal cuddles

GloWild at Paignton Zoo

  • A new event this year
  • Immersive light experience, including a silent disco
  • Food Village and live music
  • Allow approximately 2 hours
  • You don’t get to view the animals at this event

Christmas Train of Lights, Paignton

  • Paignton to Kingswear
  • Decorated with thousands of lights inside and out
  • A show at Churston Station and enchanted forest after the Greenway Tunnel
  • Father Christmas is booked separately

Saltram’s Christmas in Bloom, Nr Plymouth

  • Saltram brings the beauty, magic, and splendour of an 18th century pleasure garden to life
  • Each room will transport you into a beautiful festive landscape, with wow moments around every corner
  • Outdoor festive trail – follow the mice!
  • Songs and stories with Father Christmas (booking essential)

Christmas at Knightshayes, Tiverton

  • Meet a traditional green-suited Father Christmas on weekends in December, and daily from 18th – 23rd December
  • The house will be decorated
  • Craft activities for children

Christmas at Killerton House, Nr Exeter

  • The house will be traditionally decorated for Chrsitmas
  • Outdoor festive trail
  • Community Christmas trees on display in the Chapel

Christmas at Greenway

  • Explore the winter garden with the “Twelve Wreaths of Christmas” – each wreath inspired by a Christmas movie
  • Christmas selfie stations
  • Traditional Christmas decorations and carols in the house
  • Festive food and drink

Christmas at Crealy, Nr Exeter

  • Christmas on Ice show
  • Magical light displays
  • Santa’s magical Post Office
  • Sooty Show
  • Santa’s Grotto

Trail of Lights, Torquay

  • The 1.5-mile trail will wind its way along Torquay’s iconic waterfront, starting from Abbey Park, through the Tunnel of lights, then go up over the curly bridge, across the seafront promenade and end at the harbour-side
  • You can follow the route in whichever direction you prefer.
  • It is free and accessible
  • The Bay of Lights promises a sensory extravaganza that will delight everyone
  • The trail runs daily from 4:30pm, with sound elements until 9:30pm and lighting displays until 11pm

Lights camera action…

Woodlands Family Theme Park

  • Meet your elf guides and adventure through the magical forest meeting all of Santa’s festive friends before arriving at his toy workshop
  • Sneak a peek of where magical Christmas toys and gifts are made!
  • Free festive treats
  • Lots of photo opportunities
  • Magical interactive journey through 10 rooms

Paulos Circus, Greendale Farm Shop

  • This year the brilliant Paulo’s Circus will be putting on a Christmas spectacular at Greendale Farm, near Exeter
  • Lovely spot for some Christmas shopping too!
  • There is also a Santa’s Grotto from 9th December at Greendale

Santa’s Grotto, Darts Farm

  • Santa and his elf will be at Dart Farm’s grotto in the lead up to Christmas
  • There will be opportunity to take some festive photos & a special Christmas goodie bag from him too
  • Whilst you wait, you can write a letter to the North Pole and do some Christmas colouring or pop to The Shack where they will be serving delicious hot chocolate and mulled apple juice
  • Darts Farm will be making a donation to ELF (Exeter Leukaemia Fund); a brilliant local charity that provides vital support to families in Devon.
  • £15
  • 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17th Dec

Christmas at Strawberry Fields Farm Shop

  • Meet Santa Claus
  • Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine per person
  • Tractor sleigh ride, elf magic show, map with pencil, winter wonderland trail, creation of your own reindeer food, letter to Santa
  • A special gift from the elves (per paid child) & nativity scene including our farm animals
  • Plenty of photo opportunities throughout!

Powderham Christmas Lights

  • We loved this last year – great for all the family
  • Christmas light trails
  • Meet the animals
  • Santa’s Grotto (must be booked as an extra)

Merry Christmas adventuring! Emma and the Wild Ones x

About the author

Hi I'm Emma, mum to two boys, ex-teacher, now on a new career path running my own business. I have always loved to travel and as a big history nerd, love a good city break. We try to travel and spend as much time outdoors as we can with our two little ones, and are passionate about exploring new places with them. Living in Devon provides lots of opportunity to explore, and we are keen to share tips and experiences of travel, days out and good eats. We are a bit obsessed with photography too so will probably have a few of those to share along the way...

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