If you have a tiny tot in your family you’ll know that days out often need military style planning – and that’s just to get out the front door! Well, this guide to things to do in Devon with toddlers is for you!
When we first moved to Devon our kids were two-years-old and nine-months-old. Our days out involved a lot of changes of clothes, working around nap times and wondering what would be the best mode of transport: pushchair or baby carrier?
This means I have first hand experience of how Devon attractions cater for young families and which make for the best days out with toddlers.
In this guide you will find places that:
- offer toddler-friendly activities
- have baby changing facilities
- have onsite cafes.
I’ve also mentioned when entry is free for young children, whether there is parking and if it might be easier to leave the pushchair at home.
You might also like my post about accessible places to visit in Devon as recommended by members of the Devon with Kids Facebook group.
Toddler-friendly Devon attractions
Here’s the Devon attractions that I think you and your toddlers will love.
Devon Railway Centre in Mid-Devon
Young train enthusiasts will love the model railways, miniature towns and toddler rides at the Devon Railway Centre near Tiverton. There’s also a large soft play area and railway carriages that have been turned into toddler-friendly play zones.
The only thing to bear in mind that pushchairs can’t access some of the site. Bring a baby/child carrier.
Visitor snapshot: under 3s free | onsite cafe | baby changing| free onsite parking | Devon Railway Centre
The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth
If you are looking for free things to do in Devon with toddlers then here’s one of the best.
A visit to the Donkey Sanctuary is a wonderful way to get acquainted with these beautiful creatures and support a brilliant charity. Entry to the Sanctuary at Sidmouth is free. But there are plenty of ways to donate during your visit, from collection boxes to a trip to the lovely restaurant.
Toddlers will love wandering between the fields to say hello to donkeys and mules, playing on the playground, and exploring the maze.
The Kitchen Restaurant in the visitors centre has fab views and is great for families. It’s fully accessible, there are highchairs and baby changing facilities in the toilets.
Read about our visit to Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary.
Visitor snapshot: free entry | baby changing | onsite cafe | free onsite parking (donation welcomed) | The Donkey Sanctuary
Animal days out with toddlers in Devon
Take your little animals to one of these Devon zoos or farms. They make perfect days out with kids and come with extra toddler-friendly features.
Pennywell Farm near Buckfastleigh
Meet farm animals both large and small at Pennywell, including the ridiculously cute micro pigs. You simply must give them a cuddle if you visit. If you visit at Easter there’s hands-on lamb and kid goat feeding too.
As well as staying hello to the creatures you can go on a tractor ride through the fields, hop on the Red Rocket trailer in the show field and take a train ride. Our girls love riding ponies (for an additional fee), cheering on racing pigs and the indoor play areas.
Two out of Pennywell’s main rides are suitable for toddlers – the Rainbow Railway train and the tractor trailer ride. There’s an enclosed area with toddler ride-on toys as well as a bouncy castle for small children.
There are two sets of toilets with baby changing, one in the cafe building and the other next to the main barn. The cafe has high chairs.
Pennywell also does a wonderful Christmas nativity experience.
Visitor snapshot: free for under 3s | baby changing | onsite cafe | free onsite parking | Pennywell Farm.
Paignton Zoo is set in 80 acres of botanical garden and is home to more than 300 species – that’s 2,500 animals in total, including many that are endangered in the wild and others that are part of conservation projects.
There’s such a lovely feel about this zoo in Devon. The animals’ enclosures are set within an amazing, shady landscape where they have plenty of room to roam.
Be aware that the zoo is in a valley so some parts are on hills. The footpaths are flat but you may need some strong arms to get pushchairs up the steeper sections around the back of the giraffe house.
There’s a large restaurant near the entrance to the zoo. There are toilets and baby changing facilities close to all the eateries except for the ice cream stall at the furthest end of the zoo near the giraffes.
Read more about visiting Paignton Zoo.
Visitor snapshot: free for under 3s | baby changing | onsite cafes | free onsite parking | Paignton Zoo
World of Country Life near Exmouth
For an all-weather day out with toddlers in Devon we can recommend The World of Country Life at Exmouth. The name suggests an attraction packed with rural fun. And it certainly has that with animal feeding, small pet handling and a country town experience.
But we also found vintage cars, numerous indoor and outdoor play areas. The tractor ride into the attraction’s deer park also makes it possible for small children to get close to and feed deer. The falconry display, walking kid goats and life-size pirate ship are also highlights.
Find out more about our visit to the World of Country Life.
Visitor snapshot: free for under 3s | free onsite parking | baby changing | onsite cafe | World of Country Life
Here’s some more places to visit in East Devon.
Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park near Ilfracombe in North Devon
This Devon wildlife park combines every kid’s favourite things – animals and dinosaurs – and is ideal for younger families.
Visit Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park in North Devon to see lions, wolves, sea lions, primates, meerkats and penguins.
There’s also life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, botanical gardens, a miniature railway and a gigantic indoor soft play area for wet days. This has an area dedicated to under two-year-olds. Avoid the Tomb of the Pharaohs, which might be a little scary for younger kids.
Families visiting with babies and toddlers will find baby changing facilities in both the female and male toilets. There’s also facilities to warm food and milk in the cafes.
Be aware that the park and its car park are on a hill so it can be challenge to get around with a pushchair. Bring a baby/child carrier if your tot is likely to want a ride at some point. You can also borrow a baby carrier for free from the park (deposit required).
Visitor snapshot: free for under 3s | baby changing | onsite cafe | free onsite parking | Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park
Find more things to do near Barnstaple in North Devon.
National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth
Take your tiddlers for an under the sea experience at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. It’s the UK’s largest aquarium and is super accessible for small children. There are floor to ceiling tanks and plenty of steps around for them to get a better view at creatures that are a bit higher up.
You can wander the aquarium at your own pace or stop to see several daily shows and talks at the different tanks. The whole place is accessible with a pushchair and there are lifts between floors.
The cafe on the first floor has great views of the marina, as well as high chairs and soft play. There’s extra activities for kids during the school holidays.
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 NMA is a great value day out with kids of all ages and one of the top things to do in Plymouth on a rainy day.
Read my full guide to visiting Plymouth’s Aquarium.
Visitor snapshot: free for under 3s | baby changing | onsite cafe | paid parking close by | National Marine Aquarium.
Find more things to do in Plymouth with kids.
Toddler-friendly theme parks in Devon
Here are the best theme parks in Devon for toddlers based on the rides they can go on and other family-friendly facilities.
The Milky Way in North Devon
This top Devon family attraction is a great day out whatever the weather. There are literally shed loads of activities to do indoors and out so you don’t have to worry about the rain.
The best bits for toddlers are the Humphrey the Cosmic Caterpillar rollercoaster, the Milky Way train, bouncy cushions and indoor play areas. The Little Stars soft play area is designed specifically for babies and toddlers.
The whole theme park site is flat so you’ll have no problems getting around with a pushchair.
Snapshot for visitors: onsite cafes | baby changing | free parking The Milky Way
The Big Sheep in North Devon
This is a full-on North Devon day out for the whole family with highlights for toddlers including under 2’s and under 5’s indoor play areas, rides that can be slowed down, petting corners, train rides and a tractor safari. They also ride the swan pedalos with an adult.
The Big Sheep is also an ideal North Devon attraction to visit on a wet day as it boasts Devon’s largest indoor play area.
There’s a cafe at the attraction entrance and much of the site is accessible with a pushchair.
Visitor snapshot: baby changing | onsite cafe | free parking | The Big Sheep
Find more things to do in North Devon with kids.
Woodlands Family Theme Park near Dartmouth
We have season passes to Woodlands near Dartmouth and find ourselves there most weekends we are free; even if it’s just for a whirl around the Empire of the Sea Dragon indoor soft play.
If your toddler is under 92cm they can get in free and enjoy a range of the smaller rides and attractions, the farm and outdoor playgrounds.
My kids were able to go on a lot when they were toddlers and loved the tractor ride, toddler village play area, the bouncy cushion and the different soft play areas across the park. There are lots of bigger rides for children over 92cm too.
Here’s what you need to know about visiting Woodlands Family Theme Park.
During the Devon school holidays Woodlands puts on events that a fun for toddlers too. The Easter and Christmas grottos are favourites of ours.
Here’s a video from our visit to the Santa’s Grotto at Christmas:
Be aware that this theme park is in a valley so there are some hills. You can push a pushchair around the whole site – just make sure you’re feeling strong. Pick up a map at reception so you can locate the toilets easily.
Bottle and food heating is available at the cafe in the Empire of the Sea Dragon. Meal options aren’t very healthy but you can get reasonably priced fast food for kids like sausage and chips or beans on toast.
Visitor snapshot: children under 92cm free | baby changing | onsite cafes | free onsite parking | Woodlands Family Theme Park
Find more things to do in South Devon with kids.
Toddler-friendly Devon museums
I remember the days when visiting a museum with kids of any age would have be an absolute no-no. ‘Don’t touch that priceless vase!” *Smash*
Thankfully times have changed and you can even find museums in Devon that are fun with toddlers.
Here’s some that I can recommend for days out in Devon:
RAMM in Exeter
This stunning Victorian building is 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.
Something my kids particularly liked borrowing a wheelie bestie bag, which comes with fancy dress and activities.
You could easily spend half a day looking around and still return each week to see more. Best of all entry is free for everyone.
The museum entrance is level. There’s a lift or level access to both floors. Baby changing is also available on both floors. There’s even a cafe where you can recharge with a lunch or a sweet treat.
Visitor snapshot: free entry | on-site cafe | pushchair accessible | baby changing | paid city centre car parks close by | RAMM
The Box Plymouth
The Box opened in 2020 so I haven’t visited with toddlers, but I did have my eye out for toddler-friendly facilities when I went.
So, what is The Box? It is an interactive arts and heritage museum in the heart of Plymouth.
It tells the story of the city’s natural history, culture and maritime heritage through a series of exhibitions including a life-sized recreation of a woolly mammoth, the UK’s largest media archive and exhibits that challenge the romantic legends behind some of the country’s most historic voyages.
The Woolly Mammoth room is eye opening and a must visit with toddlers who will love the main attraction as well as the jars of strange, pickled creatures and the walk-in bug display.
As a modern attraction, The Box also comes with lots of family-friendly facilities like a buggy park, baby changing and lifts to get you to the first floor exhibitions. There’s also activity sheets for kids and a programme of activities for toddlers and older children.
Find out more about the best bits at The Box for kids.
Visitor snapshot: free entry | baby changing | onsite cafe | chargeable city centre parking | The Box
Country Parks in Devon
Here are some of our favourite country parks in Devon for toddlers:
River Dart Country Park
This woodland park has plenty to do for kids of all ages, from adventure playgrounds, to a manmade beach, canoeing and tree top adventures.
Highlights for young children include the play areas with toddler climbing frames, swings and mini zip lines. There’s also a shallow toddler paddling area in the Pirate Ship Lake.
Baby changing facilities are located in the toilets by the lake, and in the mens and ladies toilets opposite the Old Sawmill café bar.
If you visit during the week outside of the school holidays you only pay for parking. On weekends and during the school holidays entrance fees apply for over 3s.
Visitor snapshot: free for under 3s | baby changing | onsite cafe | car parking (check charges) | River Dart Country Park
Halden Forest Park
There are lots of walking and cycle trails around Halden Forest Park but with toddlers I can recommend taking the 1.5 mile Discovery Trail. It’s flat and sprinkled with activity stations, huge musical instruments and play equipment.
Adventurous tots can also have a go at Go Ape. We took our youngest on the Tree Top Junior course when she was three.
Visitor snapshot: free entry | baby changing near car park | onsite cafe | chargeable parking | Haldon Forest
Decoy Country Park
Decoy Country Park at Newton Abbot in South Devon has pushchair friendly walks, plenty of space for picnics and a greta adventure playground including a splash pad.
Find out more about Decoy Country Park in my full guide.
Visitor snapshot: free entry | baby changing at ranger hut | onsite snack kiosk | chargeable parking | Decoy Country Park
Family-friendly beaches in Devon
A trip to the beach has always been our go-to family day out in Devon.
Creative toddler play spaces in Devon
There’s all kinds of environments where kids can let their imaginations run wild at these creative play spaces.
They also come with all the facilities you’d expect from a toddler-friendly attraction and cafes serving that all important coffee and cake!
Soft play in Devon
Of course, you can’t talk about toddler-friendly days out without this staple: soft play!
Here’s where you’ll find soft play in Devon:
Soft play in North Devon
Soft play in South Devon
- Bear Feet in Exeter and Newton Abbot
- Jump in Plymouth
- Plymouth Soft Play Cafe
- Hyperspace in Paignton
- Play Cafe in Paignton
- Wizz Kids in Brixham
- Tumbling Teds Play House in Newton Abbot
- Bear Feet Play Centre in Newton Abbot
Soft play in East Devon
Soft play in Mid-Devon
Download the 101 Days out in Devon with kids ebook
Grab your copy of this guide to family-friendly things to do across the county, from coast to coast, in the cities, on the moors and whatever the weather.
Got a while to stay? Here’s our BIG guide to family holidays in Devon.
More days out in Devon with kids
I hope you’ve found this guide to things to do in Devon with toddlers handy. Depending on the make up of your family you might also want to check out these other guides where there’s fun for kids (and adults) of all ages:
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