Five fabulous half term experiences for families in South Devon

South Devon is a hub for events to keep the kids entertained this October half term, ranging from Halloween themed festivities to rural star-gazing events. So, if you’re struggling for things to do, Visit South Devon’s top five autumn experiences could be the key you need to keep the kids content.

1. Dartmoor (East) Treasure Hunt & History Trail

A real treat for the body and mind, the Dartmoor ‘Eastern Fringes’ Treasure Hunt and History Trail starts at Bovey Tracey and continues through the countryside and villages, revealing insights into historical and cultural discoveries along the way.

There are three treasure hunts within this package: a treasure hunt that offers a chance to win a prize; a more ‘informal treasure hunt’ with answers provided online, and a youngsters’ challenge. Each trail comes with a local history trail information pack for you to take away and learn about the places you visited along the way.

Creating the perfect autumnal activity to keep the whole family busy this half-term, the trail can be completed in one day or enjoyed over several days. All directions are provided allowing you to create your own itinerary for the trail. Starting from £6.99, the trails represent great value too. Deep link: https://bit.ly/2O40Qgr

Where to stay: Built in the 1870s, The Edgemoor Hotel has recently been refurbished to feature a mixture of both traditional and contemporary interiors. This family-run hotel, full of warming character, is situated on the boundary of Dartmoor National Park, just 5 minutes from Bovey Tracey. Enjoy a night away with the family with breakfast included from £180 per night. https://edgemoor.co.uk

2. Pennywell Dark Skies Evening, Saturday 20 October

Enjoy an evening of guided star gazing and discover the breath-taking night sky above you.

This unique evening event takes place in Buckfastleigh, on the edge of Dartmoor, making it the perfect rural location for star gazing conditions. With no experience necessary, this after dark event is suitable for all ages.

The night begins with a tractor ride to the Show Field, guided by Chris Cooke from Plymouth Astronomical Society. Afterwards, you will retreat to the heated theatre where you’ll be able to take a look at telescopes and sky charts and enjoy a talk from David Walton, president of Plymouth Astronomical Society.

Tickets include a hearty dinner and hot drink; adults’ tickets cost £25 and children’s (aged 3-16) just £15. Children under the age of 3 are free! Spaces are limited and booking is essential. Deep link: https://bit.ly/2xS59RM

Where to stay: Enjoy a touch of luxury within the South Devon countryside. Lodge 22 is brand-new at Beyond Escapes near Totnes. The lodge offers a family escape for every season, with underfloor heating and a hot-tub to keep you warm whatever the weather. Prices start from £280 for four people, dogs welcome. https://bit.ly/2N7YyYT

3. Dinosaur Halloween Horrors, 20 October – 31 October

Discover the Halloween Horrors that have taken over Torquay’s Dinosaur World this half term.

Kids can take part in a Halloween Horror Hunt to win a ‘Dinosaur Expert’ certificate and a free 160-million-old fossil. You can even help to save the dinosaurs from the wicked witch and ghosts!

From 3.30pm there will be a ‘Lights Out Torch Tour’ where children have the chance to meet the baby T-Rex and listen to a scary ghost story!

Open every day 11am – 3.30pm from 20 October to 28 October. Tickets cost £5.95 for both adults and children (aged 3-16). Children aged 2 and under enter for free. Pay once and get free unlimited entry to the Dinosaur World for three months. Deep link: https://bit.ly/2xQKTjf

Where to stay: The Headland Hotel is located just 5 minutes from the town center, offering beautiful views across Torbay. A standard family room for one-night costs from £150. http://www.headlandtorquay.com

4. Exetreme Imagination Festival, 15 October – 27 October

This uplifting festival of imagination provides the perfect opportunity for young people to indulge in a host of creative writing, art and drama workshops during October half term.

The imagination festival, which takes place across Exeter, aspires to develop young people’s passion for writing. There will be opportunities to meet authors and illustrators alongside workshops to help individuals thrive creatively.

The festival runs from 15 October until 27 October and hosts a number of events each day. Prices vary depending on the workshops, but start from £5.25. Deep link: https://bit.ly/2N6chzo

Where to stay: A central city hotel, within easy access of Exeter Central Station and Exeter St David’s Station, The City Gate has 14 individually designed boutique bedrooms. Prices range from £100 per night, breakfast included. www.citygatehotel.com

5. October half term tricks and treats, from 20 October until 31 October

Take part in a spooktacular variety of Halloween activities this half term at The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. From a trick or treat trail to exploring the bat beacon or trying your hand at pumpkin carving, there’s an activity for everyone, come rain or shine!

Trick or Treat Trail 20 – 31 October, 9am – 5pm. Just £3 per trail, including a mystery prize on completion!

Pumpkin Carving 22 – 28 October, 11am – 3pm. Get creative and take home your masterpiece just in time for Halloween, just £3 per person.

Bat Beacon 20 – 31 October, 9am – 5pm. Discover more about the wildlife, including the different species of bat that live in the woods, hedges and fields.

Entry and parking at the sanctuary is free. Dog on leads are welcome. Deep link: https://bit.ly/2DvmkPb

Where to stay: Oakdown Touring and Holiday Caravan Park is an award-winning campsite that offers a variety of accommodation in Sidmouth, ranging from motor caravans and tents, to the deluxe caravan holiday homes. A great holiday park for a family break that everyone will enjoy. Book a week in a caravan holiday home from £325. www.oakdown.co.uk

For more information on upcoming events, go to www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk