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22 things to do in Devon in the rain 2024

22 things to do in Devon in the rain 2024

Whether you are looking for things to do in North Devon in the rain or things to do on a rainy day in South Devon, here’s some inspiration to keep the good times rolling.

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If you’re looking for fun in Devon in the off season you might also like to check out my posts about things to do in Spring, what to do in the Autumn and things to in Devon this winter.

Devon attractions to visit in the rain

Devon has a bunch of family attractions that are indoors or mostly undercover. Here’s the ones to visit when it’s a rainy day in Devon:

1. Bygones in Torquay, South Devon

Child curtsying in front of Queen Victoria mannequin
The Victorian Street at Bygones

Immerse yourself in the sights and smells of Victorian life at Bygones where you’ll find a Post Office, iron mongers, apothecary and sweet shop among 15 shops that have been recreated on a period street.

For families there’s a quiz, dressing up and toys for the kids to handle. If you’re looking for things to do in Torquay with dogs your four-legged friends are welcome at Bygones too.

Find out more about visiting Bygones in Torquay.

Open all year round. Find out more about opening hours and admission charges on the Bygones website.

2. Dinosaur World in Torquay, South Devon

Children playing with touch screen games in Torquay Dinosaur World

Do you have a dino fan in your house? Dinosaur World is small indoor attraction is bursting with facts, models and interactive displays. It’s also a top destination for an hour or so of wet day fun.

Highlights for us are sitting on loads of the models, playing on the touch screen games and the 30 question (yep, 30!!) quiz. It was quite challenging and I wasn’t the only parent scouring displays. But the kids were pleased with their Dinosaur Expert Certificates at the end.

Find out more about our visit to Torquay Dinosaur World.

Open all year round. Check the website for open days and times as these vary.

3. Kents Cavern in Torquay, South Devon

Visitors silhouetted against The Rocky Chamber at Kents Cavern
The Rocky Chamber

This naturally formed cave dating back 2.5 million years is an ideal place to visit on a wet day, or a really hot one come to think of it. It is Britain’s oldest ancient monument and evidence has been found that it was once home to Neanderthals, Homo Sapiens and pre-historic beasts.

Read the Devon with Kids guide to Kents Cavern.

Open all year round. Find out more about opening hours and admission charges on the Kents Cavern website.

4. Torquay Museum, South Devon

Ancient Egyptian child's coffin in Explorers Gallery at Torquay Museum
Explorers’ Gallery, Torquay Museum

Discover the history of Devon and some of its most famous characters in exhibitions at Torquay Museum. There’s a reconstruction of a 1860s Devon farm house and you can step inside the study of Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot.

Add to that stories and treasures brought back to Torquay by its famous explorers and the Museum is the idea place to feed young minds for a few hours on a wet day.

Read my guide to Torquay Museum.

Open all year round. Find out more about opening hours and admission charges on the Torquay Museum website.

5. Torre Abbey in Torquay, South Devon

Torre Abbey gardens in Torquay
Torre Abbey gardens

This 12th Century Abbey turned family home has hosted the likes of Nelson and holds 600 works of art dating from the 18th Century. The museum telling the story of the abbey, its characters and the area is fascinating for children and adults with interactive displays, videos and talking portraits.

There’s also an extensive garden which is fabulous to walk around in all seasons. The Abbey hosts many family events over the year.

Open all year round. Find out more about opening hours and admission charges on the Torre Abbey Museum website.

6. National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth

Silhouette of a child stood in front of aquarium
Great Barrier Reef at the National Marine Aquarium

Did you know Plymouth boasts the UK’s largest aquarium? The National Marine Aquarium is one of those places you could visit again and again. And with tickets being valid for 12 months from your first visit you can do just that.

The enormous tanks showcase species from UK waters, as well as the Atlantic Ocean and Great Barrier Reef. 

As well as wandering around the aquarium at your own pace you can also see several daily shows and talks at the different tanks.

Read my full guide to visiting the National Marine Aquarium Plymouth.

Open all year round. Find out more about visiting the National Marine Aquarium.

7. The Box in Plymouth

Wooly Mammoth at The Box Plymouth

The Box is one of the free things to do in Plymouth and a top choice for a rainy day. But what is it?

The Box is an interactive arts and heritage centre that explores natural history, contemporary art and the city’s maritime history.

Far from being a stuffy museum, there’s plenty to intrigue and inspire young visitors including a fleet of floating Royal Navy figureheads, a life-sized recreation of a wooly mammoth, cases of insects that you can step inside, and a TV studio where you can create your own film.

There’s permanent and visiting exhibitions too.

Read my post about visiting The Box Plymouth and the best bits for kids.

Open all year round. Find out more about visiting The Box.

8. Market Hall in Devonport, Plymouth

Sea Monsters show projected on immersive dome at Market Hall in Plymouth
Market Hall’s Immersive Dome

Market Hall in Devonport now boasts the largest immersive dome in Europe and the second largest in the whole wide world, second only to SAT in Montreal, Canada.

So, what can you expect? Entering the dome and experiencing one of its epic shows is a little like having a full-scale virtual reality experience without having to don a headset.

There’s a wide range of events and experiences for all the family, from arts and culture to outer space and sea monster experiences.

Shows last for up to 45 minutes and there’s a ‘pay as you feel’ policy making this an accessible experience for all.

Open all year round. Find out what’s on at the Market Hall immersive dome.

9. The House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey, South Devon

Snooker 2000 giant marble run at The House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey
Giant marble run ‘Snooker 2000’

This free, small attraction is home to some fascinating marble runs that will keep kids entertained while you can browse the Devon gifts, crafts and boutique clothing. They can also press a button to get the largest run working. It covers an enormous wall and is quite an eye-opener.

You should also visit the restaurant which has all sorted of curiosities and annotated animals the walls.

Read about our visit to The House of Marbles at Bovey Tracey.

Open all year round. For more information visit the House of Marbles website.

10. Brixham Heritage Museum in Brixham South Devon

Brixham Heritage Museum tells the story of all the key moments in the town’s past, from the sailing of the Mayflower to the Americas to the impact of the Second World War and the lives of important personalities from Brixham’s maritime history.

The museum is also a family heritage research centre – could you have links to Brixham? Find out here!

Open on selected dates. Find out more about Brixham Heritage Museum.

11. RAMM in Exeter

Gerald the giraffe at RAMM in Exeter
RAMM in Exeter

Our number one recommendation for free things to do in Exeter is to visit RAMM – the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in the city centre. It’s also ideal for rainy days.

This stunning Victorian building is packed full of natural history, artefacts from cultures around the world, Devon history and art. There are plenty of hands-on activities for children, plus a packed calendar of family events. 

You could easily spend half a day looking around and still return each week to see more. Best of all entry is free.

Open all year round. Find out more about visiting RAMM.

12. Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

This family-friendly museum in the heart of Barnstaple tells the story of the area with collections of local geology and minerals, local industry and the regimental collection of the Royal Devon Yeomanry.

It also hosts interactive exhibitions for children with games and activities to bring stories to life.

Find out more about what’s on at the Museum of Barnstaple

13. Ilfracombe Aquarium in North Devon

Sea star in aquarium tank

Inside Ilfracombe’s Old Lifeboat House you’ll find Ilfracombe Aquarium. This small attraction is great for wet days in North Devon.

Step inside and you’ll find exhibits telling the story of North Devon’s marine life from river to coast.

Open February to November. Find out more about visiting Ilfracombe Aquarium.

14. Dartington Crystal Visitor Centre in Great Torrington, North Devon

See glassblowers and engravers craft pieces for one of Britain’s best known glassware companies and have a go at making your own.

Alongside factory tours (Monday to Friday only), during which you can see crafters using white hot molten lead crystal, there’s a chance for children to get hands on decorating their own glass.

Children under 16 can visit for free with a paying adult.

Dogs are welcome in the visitor centre and shop only.

Open all year round. Find out more about visiting Dartington Crystal in Great Torrington.

Find more things to do in North Devon when it rains.

15. Devon theme parks

Toddler in car at driving school at Crealy theme park, Devon
Driving School at Crealy

When it comes to being prepared for things to do in Devon in the rain, theme parks have got you covered.

There’s large indoor play areas at theme parks in Devon, particularly Woodlands near Dartmouth in South Devon, Crealy at Exeter, and The Milky Way and The Big Sheep in North Devon.

Here’s more about theme parks in Devon.

16. Pottery painting and crafts

Child painting pottery at China Blue in Totnes
Pottery Studio at China Blue

If your kids have an artistic streak, and even if you don’t, take them pottery painting on a wet day in Devon. You’ll find pottery painting in Devon at:

17. Ride a Devon steam train or tram

Pink Tram on Seaton Tramway
Seaton Tramway

All aboard for undercover fun on a Devon steam train or tramway.

18. Trampoline centres

Another rainy day activity bound to keep the kids happy is bouncing. Here’s where you’ll find trampoline centres in South, East and North Devon:

19. Indoor climbing

Child climbing rope ladder

A top thing to do on a wet day in Devon is climbing. Here’s where you’ll find indoor climbing walls in Devon:

20. Go bowling

Bowling ball and shoes in bowling alley

If the rain is pouring why not challenge your family to a bowling contest. Here’s where you’ll find bowling in Devon:

Bowling in Plymouth

Exeter bowling centres

Bowling in South Devon

Bowling in East Devon

North Devon bowling centres

Looking for more activities teens will love? Check out my recommended things to do in Devon with teenagers.

21. Cinemas in Devon

Happy family watching movie in cinema theatre.

Take your mind off the weather by seeing the latest blockbusters or arthouse flick at a cinema in Devon. Check with individual cinemas for opening and screening times.

Here’s where you’ll find them: 

Cinemas in Plymouth

Cinemas in South Devon

Cinemas in North Devon

Cinemas in Exeter

Cinemas in East Devon

22. Soft play

Boy laying in ball pit of brightly coloured balls

When you have young kids, soft play is a life saver on a wet day. Check with individual centres for opening times and whether booking is necessary.

Here’s where to find coffee, cake and loads of indoor fun for little ones:

Find more information about these places in my guide to soft play in Devon.

Find more places to visit with toddlers in Devon.

23. Stay in!

If all else fails then why not stay in and have a go at our free printable puzzle and quiz sheets or Devon baking recipes.

You could also buy the Devon Colouring Book for Kids, which is supporting Devon Air Ambulance.

Devon Colouring Book for Kids cover with pencils fanned out below
£5.95 +P&P *Supporting Devon Air Ambulance Trust*

Find more activities and days out for all seasons and weathers in my free ebook!

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