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Things to do in Devon in May and half term 2024

Things to do in Devon in May and half term 2024

If you are planning your Devon days out in May 2024 and are wondering what’s on and which Devon attractions you might visit, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s my guide to things to do in Devon in May and over the half term holiday.

Half term in Devon takes place from the week beginning 27 May 2024. Keep scrolling for school holiday events and activities later in the month!

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What’s on in Devon in May 2024

Here’s more of the family-friendly events and activities happening in Devon this May:

Flow Art Exhibition at Cockington Court near Torquay – daily until 2 June 2024

Glass sculpture with different coloured waves curling over
Picture credit: Stax Glass

Dive into Cockington Court’s latest exhibition, Flow, which is inspired by water. See a wide range of mediums from glass to paintings.

The exhibition takes place in the Kitchen Gallery and is free to visit between 10.30am and 4.30pm daily.

Find out more on the Cockington Court website.

Wildflower trail at Heddon Valley near Barnstaple – daily until 7 June 2024

Learn about the wildflowers around the Heddon Valley by following this paperless trail through the woods to Heddon’s Mouth.

Find out more about visiting Heddon Valley.

Killerton Springs into Rhyme: Blossom poetry display – daily until 30 June 2024

Find poetry written by local community groups shared around the formal gardens of Killerton.

The poems have been inspired by the blossom of the estate, which you can also see as you wander through the emerging magnolias and cheerful cherry blossom.

This trail is included in the admission price.

Find out more about visiting Killerton.

Wildflower trail at Arlington Court near Barnstaple – daily until 1 July 2024

The Wildflower meadow in May
© National Trust Images Annapurna Mellor

Explore the pleasure grounds of this National Trust house to find eight giant wildflowers. Along the way learn about the work of the grasslands project, the importance of pollinators and how you can make a difference.

This activity is included in the admission price.

Find out more about visiting Arlington Court.

Plymouth Street Food Festival – 3 to 6 May 2024

Families sit on grass in an urban park picnicking
Picture credit: Plymouth Street Food Festival

Plymouth Street Food Festival is returning to Central Park this month.

Top street food traders from across the South West and the rest of the UK will all be ready and waiting to serve you the best range of cuisines from all over the world.

Book your free tickets online to jump the queue on the day.

Find out more and book free tickets.

Toby’s Garden Festival – 3 to 4 May 2024

Street artists dressed as woodland nymphs with foliage themed outfits
Picture credit: Toby’s Garden Festival

Hosted by BBC Two Gardeners’ World presenter Toby Buckland, this family-friendly two day event is full of free gardening and food and drink talks, demonstrations, tastings and workshops, plus live music.

There will be 200 exhibitors including award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show plant nurseries, an ‘Artisan Barn’ showcasing local artists and heritage craft demonstrations including stave baskets and free flower crown making workshops .

Other attractions throughout the festival include taking a ride on the land train around Powderham Castle’s grounds, plus miniature steam engine rides, vintage tractors and Land Rovers. 

Find out more and buy tickets on the Toby’s Garden Festival website

Free storytelling at The Box, Plymouth – every Friday from 3 May to 28 June 2024

Head to The Box in Plymouth every Friday until the end of June for its Tell Me A Story storytelling session for preschoolers.

There’s no need to book. You’ll find the half hour session held under the figureheads in the reception area at 10.30am.

Find out more on The Box website.

Lustleigh May Day celebrations, South Devon – 4 May 2024

Children dance around a traditional may pole weaving colourful ribbons around the pole as their dance
Lustleigh Children dance around the Maypole

Lustleigh Village’s annual May Day celebration takes place this weekend including Maypole dancing, the crowning of the May Queen, live music, fairground games and cream teas.

The celebration in the village orchard is free to attend and starts at 1pm. There is a £5 charge for parking if arriving by car and using the event car park.

Find out more about this event on the Lustleigh Village Hall website.

Roar and Snore at Dartmoor Zoo – 4 May 2024 (SOLD OUT)

There’s a unique opportunity to camp overnight at Dartmoor Zoo this month.

Find out what life is like between dusk and dawn, when many residents come out to play. There will be an evening tour and a twilight tour when you’ll be able to meet all the diurnal and nocturnal animals.

A BBQ dinner and breakfast are also included, as well as a Roar n’ Snore t-shirt to remember the night.

There’s another chance to book in July.

Find out more and book on the Dartmoor Zoo website.

Resurrection from The Buccaneers Legend – 4 May 2024

Promotional poster for Resurrection from The Buccaneers Legend play
Picture credit: ANA Theatre Co

Head to Brixham Theatre for a uniquely enthralling musical play of adventure, mystery and heroism with sword-fighting, story-telling and dance.

Emerging into a world transformed by time, four individuals are resurrected amidst a raging storm of modernity. They find themselves in a world vastly different from their own time, yet their unique perspectives and historical knowledge become powerful tools for change.

As they navigate this tumultuous present, their shared mission becomes a beacon of hope; a chance to heal wounds, restore compassion, and transform society.

This play is suitable for teens and their families.

Find out more and book tickets through the Brixham Theatre website.

Brixham Pirate Festival – 4 to 6 May 2024

French Bulldog dog dressed up in pirate costume with hat and hook arm

There be pirates in Brixham and they’re having a knees up this early May bank Holiday weekend.

Brixham Pirate Festival is one of Britain’s largest gatherings of buccaneers making it a spectacle not to be missed. There will be parades, skirmishes and other swashbuckling entertainment throughout the weekend. Most of it is free to see.

Take a look at the the latest information on the festival’s Facebook page.

South Devon Railway Family Fun Weekend – 4 to 6 May 2024

Steam train at South Devon Railway

Book tickets for South Devon Railway this weekend and not only experience a nostalgic ride through the South Hams countryside but you can also get free entry to Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies Sanctuary on the same day.

Find out more and buy tickets on the railway’s website.

Salcombe Crabfest – 5 May 2024

Crabfest is a vibrant showcase for local fishing, food and drink in the South Hams.

Enjoy hands-on cookery demonstrations by award-winning chefs, crab picking masterclasses, crab pot making, live music and kids activities throughout the day.

Crabfest is organised by the Salcombe Rotary Club and free to attend. Money raised goes to local charities.

Find out more about what’s on at this year’s Salcombe Crabfest.

Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming – 5 May 2024

This bonkers event in the South Hams is as fun as it sounds. Enter a worm charming team to see how many worms you can encourage out of the ground or simply come and spectate at this very Devonly event.

There’s also a fancy dress competition, live music and a beer festival at the George Inn as well as stalls cakes and a fun dog show at the Blackawton Village Hall.

Find out more about the 38th Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming.

Preschooler art sessions at The Box in Plymouth – 7 and 21 May 2024

Families with preschoolers can learn more about the exhibitions at The Box in Plymouth at weekly art sessions for one to four-year-olds.

There’s singing, making and play incorporated in these exhibit inspired art events with sessions tailored for one to two-year-olds and two to four-year-olds.

Find out more and book in advance on The Box website.

Ilfracombe Art Trail – 11 to 12 May 2024

More than 70 local artists will be exhibiting a wide range of work across 48 venues around Ilfracombe in North Devon this weekend.

Inspire your budding artists by touring the town with pit stops at local cafes for a treat.

Find out more on the Ilfracombe Art Trail website.

Watermouth Car Show at Watermouth Castle, Ilfracombe – 12 May 2024

See a display of classic and unique cars against the backdrop of Watermouth Castle.

This free show takes place in the Battlements car park outside the attraction. Visitors can use the cafe and facilities with our paying for entrance to the castle and theme park.

Cars will start arriving at 9am with the show commencing from 10.30am.

Find out more on the Watermouth Castle website.

Devon County Show, West Point, Exeter – 16 to 18 May 2024

Cows wearing ribbons being paraded at Devon County Show
The Grand Parade. Picture credit: Devon County Show

This is Devon’s largest agricultural show with a full programme of activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. Marvel at monster trucks, sample local ales, and cheer on sheep dog displays.

Families with young children will enjoy the petting farm, fairground and countryside activities, like making bees wax candles.

To check out the full weekend programme on the County Show website.

Dart Music Festival – 17 to 19 May 2024

Band on outdoor stage

This is one of our favourite free events in Devon. Dartmouth has a rhythm of its own for this three day music festival with indoor and outdoor venues across the town.

See more than 100 performances across the weekend, ranging from rock to opera and jazz. The festival is free to attend.

Find out more on the festival website.

Charity Spring Fete in Paignton – 18 May 2024

Promotional poster for the Oldway Heights Spring Fete in Paignton

Join the Oldway Heights care home team for their Spring Fete in aid of Vrance House School for children with disabilities.

This fun family event will include entertainment from Wizz Bang, a bouncy castle, live music, local business stalls, delicious treats and even some local beverages.

And that’s not all. Take part in a yoga class in the morning and meet exotic animals in the afternoon.

Proceeds from the fete will go towards creating a new sensory garden for students to enjoy at Vrance House in Exeter.

Show your support at Foxhole Community Centre on Belfield Road, Paignton, TQ3 3UZ, between 11am and 3.30pm.

Find out more on the Oldway Heights care home Facebook page.

Rainforest Discovery Day, Yarner Wood – 18 May 2024

Did you know Dartmoor has its very own rainforests? With so much rain falling on the west of England and Wales it creates the perfect conditions for lichens and mosses to grow on big oak trees and for breeding birds like the pied flycatcher to build their nests.

To celebrate this amazing environment for wildlife Dartmoor National Park is holding a Rainforest Discovery Day in one of these special woodlands.

There will be nature walks, storytelling, mini beasts, river dipping and art sessions.

Find out more and book your places on the Dartmoor National Park website.

Pigstock, Bideford – 18 May 2024

Billed as Devon’s most family-friendly festival Pigstock takes place in and around The Big Sheep theme park in North Devon.

Find out more on the The Big Sheep website.

Devon Truck Show, Honiton – 18 to 19 May 2024

The South West’s latest truck show returns this year with two days packed full of stunt shows, amazing vehicle exhibits and monster truck rides. There’s also three evenings of live music and camping if you want to make a weekend of it.

Evening acts include Radio 2 DJ Scott Mills, N*Trance and The Wurzels. Tickets are available for the day time, evenings and full weekend.

Find out more and buy tickets on the Devon Truck Show website.

Plymouth Pirates Weekend – 18 to 19 May 2024

Ships and crowds during Plymouth Pirates Weekend
Ships and crowds during Plymouth Pirates Weekend – photo credit: Plymouth City Council

There will be plenty of swashbuckling fun in Plymouth this weekend as a hoard of buccaneers lands in the city.

Find out what’s planned during Plymouth Pirates Weekend.

The Goblin and Fairy Festival at Soapbox Children’s Theatre, Devonport – 18 to 19 May 2024

Spellbound festival promotional picture

Dress up as magical creatures and enjoy storytelling, theatre, arts and crafts at this year’s Goblin and Fairy Festival.

This family event is based in and around The Soapbox Children’s Theatre in the beautiful Devonport Park, Plymouth. The majority of activities take place under cover, either in the theatre or in one of the many tents dotted around the site. So, come rain or shine we’ll make sure you have a brilliant time.

The festival is on from 12pm until 4pm each day with early bird tickets available from £12.

Find out more and buy your tickets on the Soapbox Children’s Theatre website

The BT Big Bash in Bishops Tawton, North Devon – 19 May 2024

Parents and teachers at Bishops Tawton Primary School are organising a mini summer festival to raise money for an additional classroom.

This charity event at Saw Mills will feature live music from local musicians, kids open mic, a craft tent, games, face painting, miniature ponies and a barbecue!

Buy tickets online in advance for £5 per person. They are £7 on the gate. Under two go free.

Find out more and buy tickets.

Things to do in May half term

Here’s what’s on in Devon for families this May half term:

Axminster Eats Boutique – 24 May 2024

Beer Eats promotional graphic

Head to Minster Green for an evening street food market in the heart of this historic market town.

There will be global flavours with something for all tastes in this large grassy space set back from the traffic. Families and dogs are most definitely welcome.

The event includes the culmination of Axminster’s Scarecrow Festival and this year there are some brilliant entries – definitely worth a walk around town to work up an appetite.

Reader offer: get 10% off at the bar when quoting ‘KIDSinDEVON’.

Find out more about Axminster Eats Boutique.

Outdoor cinema at Powderham Castle – 24 to 26 May 2024

There’s a movie extravaganza going on at Powderham Castle new Exeter this weekend. Each day there will be family-friendly films screened during the day followed by 12+ rated flicks into the evening.

From 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday Julia Donaldson children’s films will be showing all afternoon. playing.

Stay for one movie or see them all. The late afternoon kids films include Cars, Frozen Sing-Along and Encanto. There will also be a beer garden all day and live music in the evening.

Find out more and buy tickets on the Powderham Castle website.

Sheep Shearing Experience at Made-Well CIC, West Devon – 25 May 2024

Flock of rare breed sheep in a field at Made-Well CIC

Made-Well is running a one-off experience where you can watch the farm’s rare breed sheep being sheared.

During this demonstration you can ask the team questions and have a go at rolling a sheep fleece.

Find out more and book your places on the Made-Well CIC website.

Superstars of Wrestling in Combe Martin – 25 May 2024

See live wrestling in Combe Martin this May Half Term. Pro wrestlers from around the UK and world will be putting on a two hour family-friendly show with all the thrills, spills and twists that you see on TV.

Superstars of Wrestling will be at Combe Martin Villiage Hall on the High Street. But tickets in advance or on the door.

READER OFFER: get a FREE (usually costs £5) meet and greet with the wrestlers at the end of the show when you mention you saw the event listed on Devon with Kids. Simple see the compare or door staff when you arrive to receive your meet and greet pack.

Find out more and buy tickets on Eventbrite.

The Devonshire Balloon and Music Festival – 25 to 26 May 2024

A weekend of hot air balloon launches, live much and family fun is coming to Exeter Racecourse this half term.

The Devonshire Balloon and Music festival will feature stunt displays, dinosaurs, a Saturday evening night glow balloon show and a big top circus tent with live music from UK tribute bands.

Find out more and buy tickets via Ticket Source.

There’s a full programme of family-friendly events happening at Burton Gallery this half term from a photo trail to crafts and photography workshops. Some activities are free while others need to be booked in advance.

Find out more on the Burton Gallery website.

Tumble’s Rumble trail at Dartmoor Zoo – 25 May to 2 June 2024

Dartmoor Zoo is celebrating 10 years of being a conservation charity with a special birthday trail this half term.

Tumble the Tiger needs help making birthday invites. Follow a trail around Dartmoor’s Zoo to help out with the party plans.

This half term event runs alongside daily talks and activities at this famous zoo in Sparkford near Plymouth.

Find out more and get tickets for Dartmoor Zoo.

BMX stunt show at Crealy Theme Park during half term – 25 May to 2 June 2024

In addition to being fully open with all rides ready to roll there will be an adrenaline-fuelled stunt show outside the Piazza Stage during May Half Term.

The show will feature BMX-ers and skateboarders who will perform a number of exciting stunts to provide a spectacle.

Find out more and book tickets for Crealy near Exeter.

Seaton Tramway Dinosaur Tram Adventure – 26 May 2024

All aboard the first Dinosaur Tram experience of 2024! Help Professor Percival the Palaeontologist uncover the secrets of a land that time forgot and fulfil a mission to make contact with some forgotten species.

As well as a ride on this super scenic tram through the East Devon countryside there will be music, stories, fossil dig, and a dinosaur activity area at Colyton Station.

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

Seaweed Festival at Clovelly – 26 May 2024

Each year Devon’s car free village in North Devon holds a Seaweed Festival to promote this marine marvel’s immense health and nutritional benefits.

Enjoy live music, street entertainment and seaweed workshops during your visit.

Ususal admission prices apply.

Find out or about what’s on at Clovelly near Hartland.

Teddy bear’s picnic at Wildwood Devon, East Devon – 27 May 2024

Bring along your little ones and their favourite teddy for an adventure alongside the attraction’s real-life Brown Bears, Mish & Lucy.

There will be bear-themed games, creative crafts and storytelling plus a hot chocolate and a special homemade bear-shaped cookie. 

Tickets are limited so book online in advance. This event is targeted at children aged six and under.

Find out more on the Wildwood Devon website.

Spring Steam Up at Coldharbour Mill – 27 May 2024

Celebrate spring by seeing Coldharbour Mill in full steam! As well as seeing the steam powered complex and waterwheel in action there will be a bouncy castle, live music, storytelling and crafts.

Get 15% off your tickets if you book online in advance.

Find out more and book on the Coldharbour Mill website.

Tavistock Country Garden Show – 27 to 28 May 2024

The annual Tavistock Country Garden Show bring together nurseries, nature inspired market stalls, food and entertainment including live music and birds of prey.

Entry is free and this is a dog-friendly event.

Find out more on the Visit Tavistock website.

Budleigh Salterton Gala Week – 27 May to 2 June 2024

There’s a whole week of family fun happening in Budleigh Salterton this May half term.

Gala Week events are organised by the local Lions to raise funds for charity and include the crowning of the town’s gala queen, competitions, cream teas, live entertainment and evening discos.

Find out more about what’s on during Budleigh Salterton Gala Week.

Haldon Forest Bark, near Exeter – 28 May 2024

Head to Haldon Forest near Exeter with your four-legged family members to celebrate all things dog!

There will be stalls, activities, and a charity dog show (register your pup in advance).

This event is free to attend.

Find out more on the Haldon Forest website.

Family fun day at Watersmeet in Lynmouth – 28 May 2024

Join the National Trust team at Watersmeet for a free family fun day with activities for all ages to help introduce you to the local environment.

Find out more about visiting Watersmeet.

Half term family activities at Made-Well CIC in West Devon – 28 to 31 May 2024

Child wearing baking apron staring batter in a bowl

Join Made-Well CIC for plenty of family fun this May half term. Take part in workshops including animal care, gardening, baking, woodwork and pottery painting.

Made-Well is located at West Fishleigh Farm in Hatherleigh.

Find out more and book your places on the Made-Well CIC website.

Underwater World craft workshop at Teignmouth Pavilions – 29 May 2024

A child's painting of a humpback whale, jelly fish and fish in the sea

Have you ever looked out to sea off the coast of Devon and wondered what creatures might be out there living beneath the waves? Did you know that Humpback Whales are sometimes spotted off our shores?

Join artist Claire Evans for a morning of mixed media creativity including drawing, painting and collaging your very own Underwater World, full of your favourite sea creatures.

Find out more and book your child’s place on the Teignmouth Pavilion’s website.

Family fun day at Lorna Doone near Lynton – 29 May 2024

Malmsmead Bridge with ford at Lorna Doone Valley in Exmoor National Park in Devon
© National Trust Images Mark Johnson

Join the team at Lorna Doone for a free family fun day with activities from crafting to nature discovery.

Find out more about visiting Lorna Doone.

Pirate Tram at Seaton – 29 May 2024

Set sail for a swashbuckling adventure onboard Seaton Tramway this week.

The Seaton Pearl will be voyaging along the Axe Estuary and requires a motley new to search for booty at Colyton Station.

This two hour family experience includes a pirate themed tram ride from Seaton to Colyton and activities and entertainment at Colyton Station.

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

Character meet and greets at Woodlands Family Theme Park, Dartmouth – 29 to 30 May 2024

TV favourites Bluey and Duggee will be meeting and greeting visitors to Woodlands theme park this half term.

Visit on 29 May to see Bluey mixing with families and on 30 May to meet Duggee from Hey Duggee.

Find out more and book tickets on the Woodlands website.

Family fun with nightjars at Haldon Forest near Exeter – 30 May 2024

Nightjar on her nest in a clear fell area
Picture credit: Forestry England Crown Copyright

Children of all ages will love Haldon Forest’s free workshops all about the mysterious and charismatic nightjars that live in the park.

The nocturnal ground-nesting birds travel over 3,000 miles to breed in the forest each summer.

Join Haldon Forest’s rangers to have a go at matching the nightjar’s incredible camouflage skills and discover how your senses and hunting skills match up to those of a nightjar!

Book your free place on the Haldon Forest website.

Flavour Fest – 31 May to 2 June 2024

Delicious fresh burger on food market, ready to eat.

The South West’s largest free food and drink festival returns to the city centre Piazza for its 20th anniversary in 2024 with plenty of activities to get your taste buds tingling.

See celebrity chef demos and sample some of the regions finest produce from more than 80 stalls.

Find out more about what’s on at Flavour Fest this year.

Do you know of an activity not on this list? Drop me a line or comment below.

More things to do in Devon in May

If you’re looking for more ideas for things to do in May then here’s some ideas for entertaining the kids:

Outdoor pools and splash parks

Boy splashing in water

Devon’s outdoor pools and splash parks are usually open from May.

Check which have confirmed they will open in May 2024 in my post about outdoor pools in Devon.

What’s on next month in Devon

What's on in Devon in June button

Thinking ahead to June? Here’s my guide to what’s on in Devon next month.

Get a while to stay? Check out my full guide to family holidays in Devon.

Planning your days out in Devon this Spring? Use Pinterest to save this post about things to do in Devon in May.

Wondering what's on and how to entertain the kids this month? Here's a guide to things to do in Devon in May and May half term in 2021 #Devon #thingstodo #May #halfterm #schoolholidays #holiday #England #UK #Devonwithkids

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