Urgh! Rainy days can be the nemesis of family fun, especially in Devon where we all want to be outside enjoying the countryside, coast and brilliant family attractions. But the great British weather happens. So what can you do? Luckily I have 10 suggestions for things to do in Devon in the rain in 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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
- Something Lovely Pottery Painting in Sidmouth, East Devon
- China Blue in Totnes, South Devon
- Poppins Pottery in Torquay, South Devon
- Tessera Hub mosaics, Torquay, South Devon
- Hands2gether, Plymouth, South Devon
- Pom Stitch Tassel, Newton Abbot, South Devon
- Happy Glaze Pottery, Tiverton, Mid-Devon
- Tarka Pottery at Little Torrington, North Devon
- Paint Pots of Devon, North Devon – contact to book
17. Ride a Devon steam train or tram
All aboard for undercover fun on a Devon steam train or tramway.
- Dartmouth Steam Railway, Dartmouth/Paignton, South Devon
- Seaton Tramway, Seaton, East Devon
- Babbacombe Cliff Railway, Torquay, South Devon
- Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Lynton, North Devon
- Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, Woody Bay, North Devon
- South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, South Devon
- Plym Valley Steam Railway, Plym Bridge, South Devon
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:
- iBounce Newton Abbot and Exeter – open seven days a week
- Super Tramp in Plymouth – open seven days a week
- The Barn Indoor Climbing Wall in Tavistock, West Devon – open seven days a week
- Wall in the Hall in Tiverton, Mid Devon – check Facebook page for opening information
- Air Extreme in Barnstaple, North Devon – open seven days a week
19. Indoor climbing
A top thing to do on a wet day in Devon is climbing. Here’s where you’ll find indoor climbing walls in Devon:
- The Quay Climbing Centre in Exeter – open seven days a week
- Clip N’ Climb Exeter – open seven days a week
- Clip N’ Climb Plymouth – open Tuesdays and Thursday to Sundays
- The Wall in the Hall – check Facebook page for opening information
- Dyno Climbing Centre, Buckfastleigh, South Devon – check Facebook page for opening information
- Rock & Rapid, South Molton, North Devon – check website for sessions
20. Go bowling
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
- Tenpin Plymouth – open seven days a week
Exeter bowling centres
- Tenpin Exeter – open seven days a week
Bowling in South Devon
- AMF Bowling Torquay – open seven days a week
Bowling in East Devon
- Ocean Exmouth – open seven days a week
North Devon bowling centres
- Let’s Go Barnstaple – open seven days a week
Looking for more activities teens will love? Check out my recommended things to do in Devon with teenagers.
21. Cinemas in Devon
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
- Vue Cinema Paignton
- Central Cinema Torquay
- Palace Theatre Paignton
- Totnes Cinema
- Barn Cinema, Dartington
- Kings Cinema, Kingsbridge
Cinemas in North Devon
- Neo Cinema Woolacombe (part of Woolacombe Bay Hotel)
- Scott Cinemas Barnstaple
- Bideford Cinema
- Lynton Cinema
- Embassy Cinema Ilfracombe
Cinemas in Exeter
Cinemas in East Devon
22. Soft play
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:
- Bear Feet in Exeter and Newton Abbot, South Devon
- Whizz Kids in Brixham, South Devon
- Hyperspace in Paignton, South Devon – under fives only
- Monsters Mansion in Tiverton, Mid Devon
- Waie 2 Play in Crediton, Mid Devon
- Planet Play in Crediton, Mid Devon
- Let’s Go Barnstaple, North Devon
- JunglaRoo Barnstaple, North Devon
- World of Wonder, Affinity Devon, Bideford, North Devon
- Play Hive at Quince Honey Farm, South Molton, North Devon
- Little Stars at The Milky Way, Bideford North Devon
- Drakes Den, Plymouth
- Plymouth Soft Play Cafe, Plymouth
- Jump in Plymouth
- Miners Adventure Play at Morwellham Quay, Tavistock, West Devon
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!
You could also buy the Devon Colouring Book for Kids, which is supporting Devon Air Ambulance.
Find more activities and days out for all seasons and weathers in my free ebook!
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