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Things to do in Devon in January 2024

Things to do in Devon in January 2024

Let me help you banish those winter blues with this list of things to do in Devon in January 2024.

When we moved to Devon at the bitter end of December 2015 I felt thoroughly unprepared for starting our West Country life in the ‘off season’. Our previous visits to the area where in summer when Devon buzzes with activity. 

January in Devon felt like a very different beast. 

Since then we’ve learnt a lot more about what to do in Devon in the winter. This post brings together my top tips for things to do in January – the quietest month in Devon’s events calendar.

While every effort has been made to ensure these ideas are up-to-date please check with event organisers and venues for the latest availability and opening information. The weather and other unforeseen circumstances may affect your visit.

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Banish those winter blues with this list of things to do in Devon in January 2021 including family shows, attractions and outdoor fun #Devon #England #UK #winter #thingstodo #whatson #events #daysout #family #kids #attractions #Devonwithkids

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What’s on in Devon this January?

January is quite often light on events, but some do roll over from Christmas and there is the odd gem without a festive theme.

Here’s some of the exciting events I’ve spotted happening in Devon in January 2024:

Beauty and the Beast at Exmouth Pavilion – until 1 January 2024

Trio Entertainment return to Exmouth Pavilion for this year’s Magical Christmas Pantomime Beauty and the Beast.

In a tale that’s as old as time, it’s time to discover what it takes for true love to conquer all! 

Find out more and book tickets.

Sleeping Beauty at Exeter Corn Exchange – until 1 January 2024

Following a wild and wacky record-breaking performance of ‘Cinderella’ in 2023, Exeter Corn Exchange is going for the classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’ this Christmas.

The show stars regular favourites, Matt Finegan and Will Trafford, who will be joined by the fabulous singing star Rachel Modest from BBC’s ‘THE VOICE’ who Tom Jones described as ‘the greatest singer the show ever heard’.

Set in an enchanted fairytale world, with dazzling costumes and the traditional panto magical scenery this festive show will put you in the perfect mood for Christmas with laughs for all the family!

Find out motor and book tickets on the Exeter Corn Exchange website.

Bay of Lights – daily until 2 January 2024

Torquay waterfront during Bay of Lights illuminated light trail

The Bay of Lights free light trail returned to Torbay this winter and continues into the front end of January.

Enjoy a 1.5 mile route along Torquay seafront with glittering and unexpected surprises along the way including a light tunnel, prisms of light and a 12m high Christmas tree.

Bay of LightsTorquay, 1 December 2023 to 2 January 2024.

Dick Whittington at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter – until 7 January 2024

Dick Whittington written in gold on a Burgundy background

If you didn’t get your pre-Christmas Pantones fix Exeter Northcott Theatre has you covered for some New Year family fun.

Following the record-breaking smash-hit Robin HoodExeter Northcott and Le Navet Bete are teaming up once again to bring you Dick Whittington!

Expect plenty of laughs, great music, amazing special effects and full-on-fun for every generation with this fabulous rags-to-riches tale.

Book tickets on the Northcott Theatre website.

Born to Sleigh with Paulos Circus at Greendale Farm Shop – until 7 January 2024

Promotional image for Paulos Circus at Greendale Farm

Enter Paulos yuletide big top this winter for an experience stuffed fuller than a Christmas stocking.

With gravity-defying aerialists, breathtaking acrobatics and plenty of laughter, ‘Born to Sleigh!’ promises to be more christmassy than Father Christmas’s lucky Christmas underpants. At least that’s what the promotional material says!

Find out more and book tickets on the Christmas Circus website.

Santa Escape room in Bovey Tracey – until 7 January 2024

Frosty is dreaming of a white Christmas so that he can see all of his friends and family during the festive holidays. Can you and your team help his dream come true?

Tackle this festive escape room as a family for a unique Christmas experience. This activity us is designed for children aged seven and over.

Escape the Game is located in Pottery Road, Bovey Tracey.

Find out more and book Santa Escape – Frosty’s Christmas Wish.

Winter sculpture exhibition at RHS Rosemoor – until 31 January 2024

Explore the breathtaking colour, tone and texture of RHS Garden Rosemoor in winter as it provides the perfect backdrop a Winter Sculpture Exhibition.

Each year, a number of sculptors are asked to create inspirational pieces to help add to the beauty of our landscape. Pull on your woolies and enjoy some fresh air exploring at this award-winning North Devon garden.

Get more information at the RHS Rosemoor website.

Toys and Treats Trail at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary – daily until 8 February 2024

Donkeys in their barn at The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth
Picture credit: The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth

Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary’s winter trail is themed around Toys and Treats giving visitors the chance to find out about the adoption donkeys’ favourite kind of enrichment.  

The sanctuary’s 200 resident donkeys love to forage for their treats and play with their toys which helps to exercise, excite and entertain them.

Trail sheets cost £5 each and include a prize on completion.

Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary is free to visit and also has a play area, daily talks, engaging hands-on exhibits, a maze to explore and miles of walkways.  

Find out more about the trail on the Donkey sanctuary website.

Snowdrop Festival at The Garden House Fridays, Saturday and Sundays from 12 January until 10 March 2024

Close up of a snowdrops in a sunny day.

Visit The Garden House near Yelverton for its first joyful seasonal event of the year – its Snowdrop Festival.

Expect to see more than 350 varieties of snowdrops to spot making it one of the most diverse collections of named and naturalised snowdrops in the UK.

Find out more about visiting The Garden House.

Earth Photo at Haldon Forest near Exeter – every day until 14 January 2024

Burning trees during a night fire. When an olive tree burns, due to its hollow trunk, the so-called "chimney effect" occurs, which causes the tree to burn very quickly from the inside.
Presicce, Southern Salento, Italy, July 25, 2022.
Picture credit: Filippo Ferraro

Haldon Forest is one of five locations around the country to host 31 shortlisted images from the Earth Photo competition.

Earth Photo is an international competition and exhibition created by Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) to showcase photographs and videos that document the natural world.

These will include the winning image for ‘Forest Ecosystem’ by Filippo Ferraro, who tells the story of the olive tree epidemic in Southern Italy.

This open air exhibition runs until 14 January 2024.

Find out more about the exhibition at Haldon Forest on the Forestry England website.

Disney’s Aladdin at Theatre Royal Plymouth – 17 January to 11 February 2024

Disney Theatrical Productions’ Aladdin, a thrilling production filled with unforgettable magic, comedy and breath-taking spectacle, is coming to Plymouth this winter.

Adapted from Disney’s 1992 animated film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights”, this smash-hit musical is on its first ever UK and Ireland tour.

Escape to a whole new world and experience this extraordinary theatrical event already seen by over 14 million people worldwide.

Get tickets from the Theatre Royal website.

Appledore Pirates New Year Fireworks and Bonfire – 19 January 2024

This charity fireworks display can be viewed from Irsha Street between the Beaver Inn and Royal George pubs in Appledore. It’s free to attend but collections are happening for local charities.

The fireworks are due to begin at 6.30pm so take your place before then.

For the latest updates check the Appledore Pirates’ Facebook page.

Bing and Flop trail and story time at Paignton Zoo – until 3 March 2024

Toddler TV favourites Bing and Flop are hanging out at Paignton Zoo this Spring. Between now and early March you can follow fun family activity trail around the zoo and drop into story time sessions and meet and greets on selected days.

All activities are included in the usual zoo entrance price.

Find out more about meeting Bing and Flop at the zoo.

The Greatest Magician: An Evening of Wonders at Exeter Phoenix Theatre – 24 January 2024

Directed by the late Paul Daniels in his final theatrical project and rated five stars across the board – you’ll see why The List magazine called this show ‘one to watch in the world of magic’.

This enigmatic and critically acclaimed, glance at the most engaging of art-forms transports you to a jaw-dropping world of light-hearted hilarity, wonderment, and mystery. James Phelan is The Greatest Magician.

This is a show that will appeal more to families with teens.

Find out more and book tickets on the Exeter Phoenix website.

Vikings at Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Devonport – 27 January 2024

A viking women puts the ears of a viking man
Picture credit: Soapbox Children’s Theatre

Join Devonport’s children’s theatre company for a voyage back in time to hear tales of the Viking’s visit to Plymouth and the Royal Mint at Lydford.

This one hour show for families with children aged five and up is a fun frolic through historical facts and fiction. Enjoy fantastical storytelling and incredible characters, puppets and so much more.

Find out more visiting the Soapbox Children’s Theatre’s box office.

The Dinosaur Adventure Show at Seaton Station Tramway – 27 to 28 January 2023

Britain’s Got Talent Finalists Dinomania will be presenting an indoor arena extravaganza at Steam’ Station this January.

Expect the show to be fun-filled and full of music, lights, and amazing dinosaurs with an educational twist.

Find out more and book tickets on the Seaton Tramway website.

Living sculpture weekend at RHS Rosemoor – 27 to 28 January 2023

Discover five living statues around the RHS Rosemoor Gardens in Treating Torrington this weekend.

Find out more and book tickets on the Rosemoor website.

Free entry to Killerton National Trust – 31 January 2024

There will be free entry to the grounds and gardens of Killerton near Exeter to celebrate eighty years since the Acland family passed over the estate to the National Trust. 

Visitors can explore the chapel, garden and historic parkland, plus the first 80 visitors will receive a special commemorative badge.

Please be aware that the house is shut for a winter deep clean and to install the 2024 fashion exhibition. Both the house and exhibition will reopen on Saturday 10 February.

For more information visit the National Trust website.

If you know of an event I can add to this guide please get in touch. It’s free to be listed!

Which Devon attractions are open in January?

Opening times for Devon attractions tend to vary in the off season but you can still find some that will welcome you all week through!

Please check the website of each attraction before visiting as weather and other unforeseen circumstances may affect opening hours.

Here’s the options:

Visit a Devon Zoo in January

Otter family at Wildwood Escot

Zoos are open and welcome visitors all year round.

Here’s the Devon zoos open in January 2024:

  • Paignton Zoo in Paignton, South Devon – open every day
  • Dartmoor Zoo in Sparkwell, South Devon – open Friday to Monday and school holidays
  • Exmoor Zoo in Barnstaple, North Devon – open every day
  • Wildwood Escot in Ottery St Mary, East Devon – open every day. Book in advance
  • Shaldon Zoo near Teignmouth, South Devon – open every day.

Visit a Devon theme park

Here are the theme parks that are open this month. They have indoor and outdoor attractions including soft play.

  • The Milky Way near Bideford – main theme park open weekends only. Book in advance
  • Crealy Theme Park near Exeter – open weekends only. Book online for special prices
  • Woodlands Family Adventure Park near Dartmouth – open weekends only (check first opening day with the park). Book online for special prices

Outdoor attractions to visit in January

Countryside scene at Babbacombe Model Village
Babbacombe Model Village

Get some fresh air at these outdoor attractions in Devon throughout January:

National Trust places open in January

Many National Trust properties in Devon take a break in January, but here’s some that are open this winter:

  • Parke near Bovey Tracey – grounds open for walks daily.
  • Buckland Abbey near Plymouth – gardens and estate open weekends only.
  • Knightshayes near Tiverton, Mid-Devon – gardens and estate open daily. House open weekends and school holidays.
  • Coleton Fishacre near Brixham – house and gardens open weekends only.
  • Saltram near Plymouth – garden and parkland open every day.

Indoor attractions open in January

19th Century Royal Navy figureheads hanging in the entrance to The Box
Figureheads at The Box, Plymouth

Here are some of the indoor attractions you can visit during the week in January:

Also check out my guide to things to do on rainy days in Devon for cinemas, climbing centres, soft play, pottery painting and bowling.

Outdoor places to go in January

Of course there are lots more outdoor places in Devon that you can visit over the winter months.

Devon beaches

Child walking on sand at Bantham Beach overlooking Burgh Island
Bantham Beach

Here’s some of our favourite beaches on the south coast of Devon and the best beaches in North Devon.

Adventure playgrounds

There are lots of adventure playgrounds around Devon that you can visit for free as as part of bigger days out.

Devon cycle trails

Family riding Tamar Trail

Make the most of those new bikes your kids got at Christmas and visit a Devon cycle trail.

Here’s where you’ll find them:

South West Coast Path

There’s so many coast walks to enjoy in Devon. Check out the Flip Flops or Wellies blog for plenty of walks in East Devon.

We have recently done the following walks in South Devon:

Here’ some more walks in Devon for families.

Thinking ahead to February? Here’s some suggestions for things to do in Devon in February half term and places to visit in the Spring.

What’s your favourite things to do in Devon in January? Do you know of an activity or attraction not on this list? Drop me a line or comment below.

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