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A Magical Christmas for Devon!

If you are looking to visit Santa and want to enjoy a festive family day out with the lead up to Christmas, then look no further than a visit to one of Devon’s Top Attractions. Devon is offering a whole variety of

special seasonal treats and meet Santa experiences and they are all wrapped up to fill you with some good old Christmas cheer and give the whole family an unforgettable Christmas!

Chris Murray, Chairman of Devon Association of Tourist Attractions, said “Devon’s Top Attractions have once again put together some wonderful festive days out and lots of delightful meet Santa ideas, they will definitely be putting the sparkle into Christmas this year”.

Be enchanted this Christmas at the National Trust’s Killerton House and delight in the world of ‘Wind in the Willows’. Step through the rooms in the Georgian mansion which have been transformed into scenes from this much-loved tale of camaraderie and adventure. The magic of Christmas continues outdoors with a ‘Wind in the Willows’ inspired family trail in the parkland and Chapel grounds.

Christmas at Woodlands Family Theme Park promises to be full of seasonal fun and magical excitement!  Woodlands will take you on a magical interactive journey through nine rooms of Santa’s Grotto, a visit to see Santa includes a mesmerising walk through Santa’s workshop before meeting the man in red and receiving a special gift. Santa and his festive friends will help your family make the most magical memories this Christmas.

Immerse yourself in the National Marine Aquarium’s underwater festive delights and see Santa dive deep into the aquarium amongst the colourful marine life. Follow their Christmas trail, which is all about reducing the amount we throw away over the Christmas holidays and enjoy the hands-on Christmas craft activities.

There is ‘Santa’s Magical Christmas’ happening over at Crealy this year. Watch the Christmas show and see Santa sprinkle his magic on the self-decorating Christmas tree and enjoy many more tricks throughout. This new interactive Christmas performance will also include a ‘present wrapping challenge’ where the adults can take part and there will even be the chance to grab an ‘elfie’ (elf-selfie). The children will receive a free gift and it’s all included in the cost of the admission.

There’s a fun-filled festive day out promised at The Milky Way Adventure Park this Christmas, Father Christmas and his elves will be visiting the magical grotto. Children will receive a free gift and have a go at gingerbread decorating!  Craft lovers can have a go at making their own personalised baubles and Christmas cards. 

Remember the whole ‘reason for the season’ at Pennywell Farm and join the cast of one of Pennywell’s ever popular interactive Nativity plays. Set in a cosy barn with an authentic manger scene and real animals. After the performance, the children can meet Father Christmas and receive a gift, whilst the adults enjoy homemade treats in the café.


Meet Father Christmas at Seaton Tramway as you ride the Polar Express, a magical tram ride to Santa’s home at the North Pole. Indulge in hot chocolate and a delicious treat, while you walk around the North Pole you will meet Santa and admire the spectacular lights.  

Young and old will delight at South Devon Railway’s ‘Santa by steam’ experience. Step onboard a bygone era on a real steam train, take in the authentic sights and smells as you journey to the ‘North Pole’ and enjoy the stunning views of the River Dart and the beautiful Devon countryside. Whilst on the train the children can meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto and receive a present. And there’s a warming glass of mulled wine and a mince pie for the adults.

Join Stuart Line Cruises aboard the Pride of Exmouth for one of their special festive river cruises. The sailings will be full of Christmas magic and entertainment for the whole family.  Or ‘Sail with Santa’ on one of their magical adventures, with face painting, balloon modelling and magic all aboard their festively decorated boat.

There’s more steaming fun on the Santa Express at Dartmouth Steam Railway, this year featuring ‘The Sleeping Beauty’.  Be entertained by the two-part mini pantomime which will be sure to get you into the festive spirit.  Father Christmas will visit you in your seat with his sleigh and band of merry helpers and there’ll be mulled wine and festive treats for the adults.

Out at The Big Sheep, Bideford they have their spectacular ‘Woolly’s Winter Wonderland’ during weekends in December and daily from 17th December.  Santa’s elves have been busy working day and night adding their very own Christmas creativity to bring the magic of Christmas to everyone who visits. The Big Sheep will be bursting with seasonal entertainment and magical moments for all to enjoy. Take Breakfast with Santa, See Santa’s magical light show, enjoy ice skating and snowboard simulator and don’t forget the Christmas Farmers markets on selected dates through December.

Head to Arlington Court and get into the festive spirit. The house will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas and there will be an outdoor festive family trail and craft activities. There’s another Victorian Christmas happening at Bygones, Torquay, see their twelve foot Christmas tree, join in the special festive hunt or take breakfast or afternoon tea with Santa.  

Step even further back in time for an Elizabethan Christmas at Buckland Abbey and meet the ‘Olde Father Christmas’, enjoy some festive Tudor dancing or get hands with their Christmas ‘Nature make’ making festive decorations from natural materials.

Head to World of Country Life and jump on board Santa’s Christmas deer train, meet Santa in his cottage workshop and visit the Victorian Christmas street for festive refreshments and carol singing with Appy Angus.  More ‘Carols by Candlelight’ can be enjoyed at the Donkey Sanctuary on 8th December at their popular annual candlelit carol service.

Santa Sunday’s are back at Dartington Crystal where you can visit Father Christmas in his amazing gingerbread themed Grotto and the chance for some Christmas shopping in the Dartington factory store. At Quince Honey Farm children can ride a donkey to the Grotto to see Santa on 2nd – 3rd December and let the children enjoy some magical fun in Quince Honey Farm’s Play Hive. 

Santa returns to Kents Cavern again this year for ‘Santa in the Caves’ and he’s going to be joined by some very unexpected and magical friends. See Santa in the caves and enjoy an hour-long show full of Christmas spirit, fun and laughter for all the family.

Magical Christmas illuminations light up Babbacombe Model Village this Christmas, there’ll be alpine skiing for kids, mini-golf and a Christmas trail. Meet Santa in his Lapland log cabin and enjoy the mini Panto which will be sure to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

The festive fun continues after Christmas and into the New Year. Why not visit the hugely popular Clovelly Boxing Day Barbeque, with free entry to the village all day, live music and a hog roast, a perfect follow-up to your Christmas Day. Why not relax and ride on one of the ‘Mince Pie Special’ steam trains at South Devon Railway taking in the glorious view, running from 27th December to 1st January 2018. Or celebrate the start of the New Year with Seaton Tramway for their special New Year’s Day Opening.  There’s even a FREE glass of bubbly on offer for the adults and a soft drink for the children.

So, before you put up your tree and crack open a bottle, why not enjoy a magical fun-filled family day out. To find out when and where all of this festive magic is happening, see the website.


By Anne Blackham

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