FEBRUARY half term is upon us, as schools across the county close next week, and finding something to keep the children occupied can be a nightmare.
Thankfully there are plenty of things going on in the region to keep the little cherubs busy. Take a look at our handy guide below for a selection of the activities on offer each day.
Monday 18 February
Berry Head Visitor Centre, Brixham, are offering the chance to join a ranger to look for the 'signs of spring' from 11am – 1pm for just £3 per child. See birds starting to nest, new shoots, early flowers and then take part in indoor craft activities using materials provided and collected.
Tuesday 19 February
Meeting at the Gamekeepers Cottage, Cockington, Torquay, at 10.30am, a wildlife ranger will lead deep walk in the woods to build dens and make some mini log furniture. Including hot chocolate brewed over a storm kettle for £4 per child.
Also on Tuesday, at the Quad, Seal-Hayne, Newton Abbot, Hannahs Big Pancake Race is taking place at 2.30pm. For £1 entry, it includes fun races for all ages and abilities, including a three-legged toss and an obstacle race.
February half term is also Explorer's Week at Crealy Adventure Park, near Exeter, and on Tuesday Dora the Explorer herself is visiting to meet and greet children.
Wednesday 20th February
From 10am – 4pm, Occombe Farm is running a Kids 'Get Baking' Workshop for 7-14 year olds for £30 per child. There will be bread, cupcake, sticky buns and homemade sweet making. All ingredients are included and you get to take your creations home with a certificate.
Also on Wednesday, Berry Head Visitor Centre is running a bird feeder making class for children from 10.30am – 12pm for £3.50 each.
Thursday 21st February
From Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 is the swashbuckling Occombe Pirate Treasure Trail from 10am – 3pm. Meeting at Occombe Farm Visitor Centre, 4-12 year olds are invited to solve the clues and locate the pirate's treasure chest for just £2 a child, including a prize.
Friday 22nd February
Home Farm in Bovey Tracey is running a scarecrow spectacular from 11am – 1pm and 1.30pm – 3.30pm. For £3.50, children get to sculpt their very own scarecrow in the walled garden.
Also on Friday, the Seashore Centre in Goodrington, Paignton is running an arty arctic special from 1pm– 3pm. For £3.50, children are invited to demonstrate their artistic skills by making their own arty arctic animals to take home.
Throughout the Week
Even if these specially scheduled events don't take your fancy, there are other happenings taking place throughout the week in South Devon. Here is a selection of extra ideas to keep the little ones happy this half term.
- It's South Devon Railway Branch Line Gala Week where you can take half term steam railway trips along the River Dart. Trains start 9.15am weekends and 10.45am weekdays.
- The Golden Hind, moored in Brixham harbour, is re-opening for half term, so you can re-live Drake's 1577 voyage aboard this full sized replica, from 10am – 4pm each day.
- Torquay's Living Coasts is celebrating its 10th birthday and is open all half term for animal encounters and keeper experiences, research and education.
- It's a February half term lambing special at Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh, where children can enjoy bottle feeding the new arrivals on the farm or just enjoy watching them skipping around.
- Woodlands Theme Park, near Dartmouth, is open every day in half term and offering all day play for just £6.50 per person.
- Anderton and Rowlands Fun Fair will be at The Racecourse throughout half term week.
From Monday 18 February to 22 February Teignbridge District Council is helping to keep children entertained during the half term by providing full day events, activities and courses at various locations throughout the week.
The aim is to provide a range of age-specific, tailored activities for young people, teenagers and help mum and dad into the bargain!
Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve is just one place that is hosting a series of exciting events. From rock-pooling to clearing coppice scrub and cooking spuds over a fire, the activities are all run by the Green Spaces Rangers for children who are interested in environmental activities.
The programme also includes a family orienteering challenge on Thursday 21 February. The Green Spaces Rangers are organising the event which will help people explore the Warren and everything it has to offer from incredible wildlife to breathtaking scenery. People can drop in to the visitor centre anytime between 11am and 3pm to pick up a map and entry form. The only stipulation is that people come prepared with
sturdy footwear, warm clothing and a sense of navigation.
Newton Abbot Leisure Centre, Dawlish Leisure Centre and Broadmeadow Sports Centre are all hosting school holiday activities with opportunities in sports, outdoor pursuits and much more. Aimed at children and young people aged 3 to 16yrs, there is something for everyone.
A popular choice is the Arsenal Soccer Schools at Broadmeadow Sports Centre, Teignmouth, and Newton Abbot Leisure Centre. The full day soccer skills coaching by qualified Arsenal coaches include technique training on dribbling, defending and attacking. The sessions are for children aged between 7-14yrs.
A one-day course is being held at Broadmeadow Sports Centre on Tuesday 19 February from 9am until 4.30pm and a two-day course is being put on at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre on Thursday 21 and Friday 22.
Dawlish Leisure Centre is hosting ‘jungle mega inflatable’ sessions throughout the week where children of all ages can jump, bounce and climb on outsized inflatables. The sessions are being held on Monday 18, Wednesday 20 and Friday 22 from 1.30pm – 3.00pm for children under 8 and Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 at 1.30pm – 3pm for those over 8yrs.
Cllr George Gribble, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Spokesperson for Communities, Leisure and Recreation, said:
“There are lots of activities and events that families can get involved in this half term. We are blessed with having a really diverse and enjoyable landscape in Teignbridge so people can enjoy the great outdoors if they want to and we also have some excellent leisure centres which offer a huge range of pool-based activities as well as special events and sports sessions.
“We put on as much as we can every half term because we know families are looking to spend some quality time together and have a bit of fun. We hope that people come to our parks, leisure centres and nature reserves and enjoy everything they all have to offer.”
Some activities may require booking and are generally accessible to all although suitability may need to be checked for the practical conservation events.
For events in the nature reserves and open spaces call the Green Spaces team on 01626 215751. Alternatively, leaflets and Green Spaces Events Guides can be found in local Tourist Information Centres and libraries. Go online at: www.teignbridge.gov.uk/greenspacesevents
If you know of any other events happening in the South Devon region, feel free to add them below.