Twixmas – that most awkward time of year. Christmas has come and gone with a bang and you’ve now got a whole week or more to fill before the kids go back to school. What is a family to do? Well, let me be your slightly off season fairy godmother as I share a few ideas for transforming these lacklustre days into something special. Here’s my guide to things to do in Devon between Christmas and New Year 2021-22.
Please check full details with organisers and venues as some may not be open on bank holidays or have reduced opening hours.
Cheap and FREE things to do between Christmas and New Year
Christmas is expensive – fact! So if you are watching the pennies after the big day here’s some ideas for cheap and free ways to entertain the kids and work off some of that chocolate:
- See the Train of Lights in South Devon – find out more about the best view points in my post about the Train of Lights
- Walk and play at Decoy Country Park in Newton Abbot
- Walk and play at Stover Country Park
- Walk or cycle the Tarka Trail in North Devon
- Walk or cycle Drakes Trail on Dartmoor
- Visit a Devon beach or walk the coast path
- Haldon Forest near Exeter has a Gruffalo Spotter Trail
- Visit the House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey.
- Visit one of these adventure playgrounds in Devon
- Try one of these walks on Dartmoor or waterfall walks.
Here’s some more outdoor activities to check out.
Please check what’s open before you travel as some places have seasonal opening times and may require booking in advance.
Pantomimes: what’s on between Christmas and New Year
Pantomimes are still putting on a show around the county. Oh yes thy are! Here’s where to find them:
Aladdin at The Theatre Royal Plymouth
Follow Aladdin, his brother Wishee Washee, and of course his mother Widow Twankey, on a spectacular adventure.
Expect flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and a lamp-full of laughs, so book your magic carpet ride to old Peking to the magical pantomime Aladdin!
Aladdin The Theatre Royal, Plymouth, until 3 January 2022.
Cinderella at Queens Theatre Barnstaple
From the team that brought you Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, the much loved classic rags to riches fairytale, Cinderella, bursts to life with heaps of audience participation.
Expect spectacular costumes, dazzling sets and enchanting special effects. Cinderella is guaranteed to be an unforgettable pantomime experience.
So polish your pumpkins, dust off your gowns, grab your glass slippers and head to the ball of the year for the ultimate pantomime.
Cinderella, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, until 31 December 2021.
Jack and the Beanstalk at The Palace Theatre
Jack’s back to deliver another fabulous pantomime at the Palace Theatre, Paignton, in 2021.
Jack’s task is to scale the beanstalk and rescue the Princess from the scary giant with the help or hindrance of the usual pantomime characters both good and bad.
Will he succeed? Without wanting to spoil it for you, this fairy tale does have a joyful ending. See a snippet from the finale over on the Devon with Kids Instagram account.
Jack and the Beanstalk, The Palace Theatre, Paignton, until 2 January 2022.
Events happening between Christmas and New Year in Devon
Wondering what’s on in Devon between Christmas and New Year? Here’s some festive events that continue over Twixmas:
Exeter Winter Wonderland
Set in the heart of the city centre, Exeter Winter Wonderland is a magical day out for the whole family to enjoy.
There’s an ice rink as well as rides and locally-sourced festive refreshments.
The Winter Wonderland is free entry, with tickets available to purchase for the ice rink.
Exeter Winter Wonderland, Northernhey Gardens, until 2 January 2022.
Christmas Village North Devon
With a real-ice rink and Christmas Market Village, Christmas Village North Devon is set to be a popular spot this Twixmas.
The large, covered ice rink has adult and toddler sessions daily during term time where skating aids and pushchairs will be welcome on the ice.
You may even catch sight of some of your favourite characters from children’s TV on these sessions, which are a bargain at £11 for one adult and child under five (additional adult tickets can be purchased).
Enjoy local food and drink whilst picking up some locally made presents for the family.
Christmas Village North Devon, Tarka Tennis, Barnstaple, until 2 January 2022.
Attractions open this Twixmas in Devon
Check out my full guide to Devon attraction winter open times and things to do. Lots of places are ready to welcome you for walks, family fun and indoor activities to help you work off some of your Christmas indulgences.
And here’s some attractions that have special events running between Christmas and New Year too:
Train of Lights at Dartmouth Steam Railway
This magical illuminated journey through the South Devon countryside is a special Twixmas treat that all ages will enjoy.
Board the vintage train carriages decked with thousands of fairy lights at Paignton and take a round trip to Kingswear. Along the way there will be a festive show at Churston Station and plenty of sparkle along the track.
Read about our experience of the Train of Lights.
Train of Lights, Dartmouth Steam Railway, Paignton, until 30 December 2021.
Follow the Glow at The Donkey Sanctuary
There’s a festive trail telling stories from around the world at The Donkey Sanctuary right into the New Year.
Follow ‘The Glow’ and find nine festive clues. This magical activity combines seasonal family fun, exercise and brainpower and is just £5 per trail, including a gift on completion.
The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, until 6 January 2022.
Illuminations at Babbacombe Model Village
Enter a magical miniature wonderland of festive lights at Babbacombe Model Village this Twixmas.
The lights will be turned on between 4pm and 7pm every day until New Years Eve, excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay, until 31 December 2021
Christmas at Powderham Castle
Powderham Castle’s light walk is open until New Years Eve along with indoor festive displays.
This year the castle doors will be thrown open to visitors so they can explore the decorated state rooms and experience a Victorian Christmas below stairs.
The light walk has grown and will extend over a mile from the panoramic deer park views to the secret garden through the enchanted woodlands.
The light maze also makes a return, bigger than ever, and alongside winter garden games. Plus, there will be music, delicious food and warming mulled wine and cider bars.
Christmas at the Castle, Powderham Castle, near Exeter, until 31 December 2021.
Glow at RHS Rosemoor
This magical light trail through the gardens at RHS Rosemoor near Torrington, North Devon, will have its longest ever route with striking new light features.
As well as the light trail there will be festive refreshments and plenty of gift ideas in the garden centre.
Book tickets to see the lights from 4.30pm to 8.30pm from Monday to Thursday until 30 December.
RHS Rosemoor, Torrington, until 30 December 2021.
Light trail at Killerton
A brand new, after-dark illuminated trail is on display in the gardens at Killerton into the New Year.
See twinkling lights and hear the air filled with seasonal sounds around this National Trust property north of Exeter.
We visited before Christmas. Find out what we thought in my post about the Christmas light trail at Killerton.
Killerton National Trust, Cullompton, until 2 January 2022, Killerton.
Children’s Escape Room at The Plough Theatre
Can you help save Christmas? The year is 1788 and Isaac Gulliver, one of the greatest pirate smugglers in England and his band of ‘white wigs’ are stealing all the Christmas presents.
In this escape room suitable for primary aged children and up you have one hour to solve the clues and bring Gulliver’s smuggling days to an end!
Your one hour session can be booked for up to 10 people to take part.
The Plough Theatre, Great Torrington, 29 to 30 December 2021.
If you know of an event or activity not in this guide to things to do between Christmas and New year or my guide to Winter in Devon, get in touch. It’s free to be listed!
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