26 Exciting Exeter Experiences for Pre-Schoolers

By VisitExeter | Jul 4, 2020
Europe > United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter

1. Explore Exeter Green Circle

Want to burn off some energy? Exeter’s Green Circle is 12 miles long and varies from green countryside valley parks to pavements and quiet leafy suburbs. It's a long way for little legs so you don't need to do it all at once, much of the route is easily accessible from the city centre so it's easy to tackle smaller sections at a time!

Exeter Green Circle Trail

Exeter Green Circle Trail

2. Visit the Play Areas

Exeter is full of great play areas for young children. New equipment was installed in the Pinhoe Station Road Play Area in August 2019 and Exeter is also home to the MENCAP Inclusive Community Play Park in Countess Wear.

3. Exeter Library

The Central Library offers loads of activities for young children including Early Years Storytime, Bounce and Rhyme, Books with Buggies and Songs and Stories on Sunday – see the full list at https://www.devonlibraries.org.uk/web/arena/exeterlibrary.

4. Darts Farm

Get out and explore the Exe Estuary as a family with Darts Farm’s family bike hire. They also have an outdoor play area to help tire out the kids!

5. Make them Feel Giant!

Babbacombe Model Village is 4 acres of miniature model scenes, vehicles and people; perfect for giants to do lots of wandering and exploring of this other world! They also host a variety of sensational seasonal events for families.

6. Cofton Holidays

Cofton Holidays is full of fantastic family facilities for young children, including an indoor pool with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, outdoor pools, soft play area, playground, sports wall and the Woodland Adventure Area! New for 2020 are 12 luxury family-friendly lodges, overlooking the panoramic glory of the Haldon Hills and Ashcombe Forest, which can be enjoyed from the large decking areas or bubbling hot tubs!

Cofton Holidays

Cofton Holidays

7. Haldon Forest Park

Haldon Forest Park) is a place where wonderful memories are made. Follow the themed activity trails aimed at young children, such as Gruffalo Orienteering & Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon, or simply visit to stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh air. See all their activities at https://www.forestryengland.uk/haldon-forest-park/activities.

8. Visit RAMM

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is amazing - it's full of great exhibits to keep little imaginations alive. They have Beastie Bags to help keep them entertained and a cosy family area in the World Cultures gallery to play and read! They also host a variety of excellent events aimed at children and families.

9. Visit Devon's Largest Theme Park

Crealy Theme Park and Resort has over 60 amazing rides and attractions including the adrenaline pumping rollercoasters Twister and Maximus, as well as water rides Tidal Wave and Vortex. They also feature lots of soft play areas around the theme park, which are aimed at different age groups, so there is plenty for smaller children to do!

10. Exeter Cathedral

The nave of Exeter Cathedral will certainly make your little ones feel small! A place of peace and tranquility, where families are very welcome, the Cathedral hosts a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year - check out the upcoming Space: Light and Sound Show! View the full list of what's on.

11. The Donkey Sanctuary

Visit the Donkey Sanctuary and you’ll have a great day out, as well as supporting a great cause! Explore the sanctuary’s new indoor attractions and discover just why donkeys are so special through fun, interactive exhibits in the new Exhibition Barn and Understanding Donkeys Zone, all completely free!

The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary

12. Splash Around

On a warm day, take them to the St Thomas Splash Pad, which is suitable for toddlers and under 12s. It's full of water fountains, tipping buckets and cannons, and a range of equipment including springers, swings, multiplay unit and a stand on seesaw.

13. Saddles and Paddles

Offering a range of hire equipment, including canoes, kayaks & bikes – Saddles and Paddles is ideal for families, as they offer child seats, trailers and “tag-along” bars so the whole family can take part!

14. Heavitree Pleasure Grounds

Heavitree Pleasure Grounds is a park that combines a wide range of leisure facilities for the city's residents and even has free paddling pools which are open from June to September, perfect to get the little ones cooled down in those hot months!

15. Set Sail up the River Exe

Have a truly extraordinary experience with Stuart Line Cruises on the calm-assured waters of the River Exe or you could enjoy one of their marvellous mini coastal cruises! What’s more? They offer joint tickets with World of Country Life so you can save yourself money on an amazing day out too.

16. World of Country Life

The World of Country Life attraction is full of things to do: animal petting and feeding; daily activities; soft play areas; giant air bouncers and slides; trampolines; adventure playgrounds and more. Brand new for 2020, they also have a Maize Maze and Ninja Warrior course!

World of Country Life

World of Country Life

17. Ocean, Exmouth

Ocean is fun for the whole family. Not only do they have Ten-Pin bowling, but they also have a three storey soft play which is full of slides and chutes to keep your little ones entertained, anD a dedicated padded area for the littlest visitors (under 2)!

18. Visit the Theatre

Exeter has some great family friendly shows coming up in 2020, including Alice in Wonderland, on 11th April at the Barnfield Theatre or Giraffes Can’t Dance from 12th-14th June at the Exeter Northcott Theatre!

19. Greendale Farm Shop

Greendale Farm Shop is ideal for families. They have a wonderful family farm trail, which is free, and in their Farm Shop café they feature a fabulous family room and children’s menus so you can all stop for some delicious cake!

20. South Devon Railway

South Devon Railway passes through some of Devon's most beautiful countryside, which is rich in wildlife that is barely visible from the road. At Buckfastleigh, there is a riverside walk and picnic area, play area, gardens, a fascinating museum, a workshop and historic steam and diesel engines, as well as refreshment rooms! South Devon Railway run regular events aimed at families, and new for 2020 they have introduced a vintage fair with vintage fairground rides, side shows, vintage cars, commercial vehicles and traction engines!

21. Killerton House and Gardens

There’s lots of family filled fun to be had at Killerton House and Gardens, you can let them explore winding paths, climb an extinct volcano and even discover an Iron Age hill fort. They also have slacklines and swings dotted around and a family forest school!

Killerton House and Gardens

Killerton House and Gardens

22. Let Them Run Wild

At Wildwood Escot, there are amazing animals, a magnificent maze, outdoor adventure play, indoor soft play, terrific traversing walls, heart-stopping drop-slide, a 40 metre zip line, and authentic Saxon village – enough to keep the kids engaged and entertained all day.

23. Exeter Phoenix

Exeter Phoenix have a variety of shows, performances and other events that are suitable for those with young children! On 17th February, they will have ‘Chloe and the Colour Catcher’ from Ad Infinitum & Bristol Old Vic. They also run a monthly session called “Mothers Who Make” which is for mums to go along get creative with their kids, regardless of their ages.

24. Take a Tram Ride

Seaton Tramway is a truly unique experience in itself, especially if you have never ridden a tram before, but they also have loads of family events, such as The Dinosaur Tram Adventure, Fairy Special, Pirate Tram, Halloween themed events and THE POLAR EXPRESS™!

25. St Nicholas Priory

St Nicholas Priory is Exeter’s oldest building, and they have public openings on Sundays, as well as a variety of events and activities aimed at all age groups. See a full calendar of events at https://www.nicholaspriory.com/calendar/.

26. iPlay + iBounce

Situated in Marsh Barton, iBounce is an indoor trampoline park and iPlay is the adjoining soft play area for young children. It features a Jurassic zone, an Ice Age zone, a Mini-Tot zone for babies and toddlers and a refreshing rainforest café.

iPlay   iBounce

iPlay iBounce

PLEASE NOTE: Openings may vary due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, please check before you travel.

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Written by VisitExeter
A small city that packs a big punch, Exeter is one of the most vibrant, attractive and historically interesting cities in England. Pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50, Exeter’s history is rich and long. This is reflected in its fascinating visitor attractions including its unique Underground Passages, free Red Coat Guided Tours, magnificent Cathedral, imposing Roman wall and beautiful Quayside. Exeter is also home to the award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum where visitors can explore the city’s 2,000-year history under one roof! Exeter has a real sense of individuality, its varied cultural scene is embraced by proud ... Read more

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