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Devon Days Out – The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth

It’s Daddy’s birthday tomorrow but I’ve got to work so we thought we’d have a day out today and have some fun.

The Donkey Sanctuary had their annual Summer Fair so we thought we’d head there for the day with a picnic.

The Donkey Sanctuary

It was completely heaving when we arrived.

There were loads of stalls, entertainment, and activities to do as well as being able to see all the lovely donkeys.

We went with family so it was really nice being able to spend the day together.

The boys had a go at welly wanging and Isabelle had a go at a human fruit machine. I so should have recorded it as there were hands sticking out of holes holding up fruit and when the bell rang, if they were holding up the same you won.

Isabelle won a knitted donkey on the tombola which she loved, and she then made a bear on a stall that was similar to Build a Bear.

We had a huge picnic and then Isabelle presented her birthday cake that she took ages to make yesterday. It was a Choca Mocha Cake (recipe to follow).

The Donkey Sanctuary

The place was packed and there were dogs everywhere. We didn’t think to bring Charlie with us, so we know for next time we visit.

After eating and listening to music we went for a walk around to see all the donkeys.

The Donkey Sanctuary

So what do you call a cross between a donkey and a horse?

A honkey or a dorse.

Well, it’s a mule actually. I didn’t even know that this was a thing until we saw two horses, and the keeper in the pen told us they were in fact mules. They don’t look very donkey-like, more horsey.

All in all, it was a lovely day and we’d definitely go again.

 

#SchoolHols2017 – Exeter Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Exeter Royal Albert Memorial Museum

So far I’ve only posted about out-doorsy type days out but after we got drenched and had to camp out under a tree whilst it poured down I thought it would be a good idea to choose an indoor activity. We make regular trips to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum as they run lots of themed events throughout the year as well as all the great treasures to discover in the Museum.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

What is there to do?

Loads.

If you’re visiting with little ones don’t forget to pick up a Bee-Bag which is full of stuff to make the most of your visit to the museum.

For older children (7 – 14 years) you can pick up an explorer bag from the Garden Reception.

There are lots of interactive areas dotted throughout the Museum.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Here are a few of the activities on offer over the Summer Holidays:

  • 2nd – 3rd August – Create a Neon Seascape – Draw an underwater world in neon crayons and fill it with fluorescent fish, sparkling starfish, or luminous lobsters. Suitable from 3 years. This is a drop-in session.
  • Various dates in August – Little Explorers – A chance for under-fives to take a journey of discovery and take part in art and craft activities inspired by the museum’s collections. Pre-booking for these sessions is advised.
  • 16th – 17th August – Make a Lego Aquarium – Who doesn’t love to play and create with Lego? Add to the display with your own underwater addition. Suitable from 3 years.
  • 23rd – 24th August – Marine Masks and High Tide Hats – Make a hat and decorate it with seaweed and fish or a mask and turn yourself into a seahorse or an anemone. This is a drop-in activity and is suitable from 3 years.
  • Various dates in August – Lots of underwater activities – Made an under the sea scene on a lightbox, make a badge, use a microscope or magnifying glass. These are drop-in sessions so do pop over to the site for more details.
  • 9th – 10th August – Suspended Sea Creatures and Meet the Curator – Make a realistic or imaginary underwater friend to dangle in a display from our cafe balcony. Take along your own beach finds and chat to Holly the Curator. Suitable from 5 years.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Don’t forget to pop into the cafe for some lovely cake.

Opening Times

Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm.

Note (mostly to myself) that the Museum is not open on a Monday. Hand’s up how many times you’ve turned up on a Monday!

How much does it cost?

The Museum is FREE but some activities have a suggested donation, and others are bookable paid for activities.

What we think

We love the museum. You can go there for a quick drop-in or take your time and spend the whole afternoon there. As it’s based in the centre of Exeter it can be a pit-stop for the kids after you’ve dragged them around the shops.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment and please check out our other ideas for days out and activities in the South West on our #SchoolHols2017 page.

#SchoolHols2017 – Killerton House

Killerton House

I think our favourite National Trust property by far is Killerton House. The grounds are beautiful and you can either take a short walk or a long walk dependent on your stamina or if you have little legs with you.

Killerton House

What is there to do?

The house and grounds are family-friendly with baby changing and feeding facilities. You can take pushchairs into the house, but some of the off-path walks may be a bit tricky.

There is a children’s play area and several interesting things around the grounds to climb on. Don’t forget to check out the Bear House.

It’s a great place to take a picnic but you can of course opt to go to one of their two cafes for refreshments.

You can also take dogs on leads (not in the house).

Take a walk around the house and discover the history and take part in the Builder Mouse Trail which area dotted throughout the building and see what jobs they’re doing.

Try it Tuesdays – Take the kids along and let them take part in a new sport.

  • 1st August – Laser clay shooting and rugby skills.
  • 8th August – Frisbee golf and archery.
  • 15th August – American football and archery.
  • 19th August – Frisbee golf and American football.
  • 22nd August – Tennis and cricket.

Wicked Wednesdays – Themed activities for the kids to take part in. Here are the ones upcoming:

  • 2nd August – We’re going on a Bear Hunt 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 9th August – Pirates 2pm – 4pm.
  • 16th August – Knights, Dragons, and Damsels 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 23rd August – Fairies and Elves 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 30th August – Jungle Explorers 2 pm – 4 pm.

Killerton House

Check out the website for 50 things to do before you’re 11.

They also have a Secret Supper Club which we haven’t experienced ourselves, but it sounds like a really nice thing to do.

Opening Times

10.00am – 5.00pm Every day.

How much does it cost?

Child £5.50
Adult £11.00
Family £27.50

Killerton House

What did we think?

We love Killerton. Thankfully Isabelle likes to walk as long as there are interesting things to look at and do along the way. Killerton has everything you need for the perfect family day out so a big thumbs up from us.

Lisa x

Don’t forget to leave us a comment if you’ve been to Killerton – and if you’re looking for inspiration this school holidays then don’t forget to have a look at our #SchoolHols2017 page where we have lots of days out in the South West listed.

 

The Bear Trail

The Bear Trail

Have you found the Bear Trail yet? Do you like the outdoors? Do your kids like mud? Do the kids need to burn off some school holiday energy?

If it’s a YES to all of the above then you need to add The Bear Trail to your list of School Holiday activities.

The Bear Trail
One of my FAVE pics!

Things to do!

Get Muddy!
Get Wet!
Have Fun!
Get the Kids Muddy!
Get the Adults Muddy!
Climb!
Roll!
Wallow!

There are loads of climbing apparatus, stepping stones, wobbly bridges, rope bridges, hay bales, tyres to squeeze through, a mountain to climb, and more……

Wear your oldest clothes and trainers and go and have some fun!

Either take a picnic or choose from their menu of panini’s, stonebaked pizzas or selection of cakes and drinks.

There is no age range, the idea being that if you feel able to take part then do it.

There is a smaller area for the littles to play but if they are feeling adventurous they can also take part in all of the equipment.

Once the kids have had enough (you can spend as long as you like) there are shower and changing facilities on-site to get you to a respectable cleanliness before heading off home.

The Bear Trail

How Much Does it Cost?

Under 1 metre £4.50
Over 1 metre £7.50

It’s advisable to pre-book your tickets during the school holidays to guarantee entry.

Opening Times

10.00am – 5.00pm Every day.

Our Thoughts

We loved it! Daddy and Isabelle (6) were straight in whilst I needed a bit of coaxing, but once I got stuck in we were all loving it and got thoroughly muddy. We went on everything and there were no tears just tired happy mud smeared faces by the end of the day! The pizzas are awesome too!

We hope you’re enjoying our #SchoolHols2017 series where we’ve posted some of our fave places to go in the South West. Drop us an email if you can think of any great places that you would recommend.

Lisa x

Devon Days Out – Fingle Bridge

Devon Days Out – Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor.

We went to Fingle Bridge on Dartmoor.

Since getting the dog a couple of years ago we love finding new places to walk him and thankfully Isabelle loves a good walk as long as we have the following:

Drinks
Snacks
Mud/Sand
Water

A view of Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor, Devon with the river flowing beneath

One of our fellow dog walkers recommended Fingle Bridge as a place to go with the dog and the littles. Lots of opportunities to paddle in the water, lots of mud to splash and splodge in, and being woodland lots of stones, twigs, acorns, and other things to fill our pockets with.

We started off at the bridge noting the HUGE pub with its lovely setting and garden.

What to do!

The route that we took was not the easiest of walks with lots of tricky areas, huge muddy patches (thankfully we all managed to keep our shoes on our feet) and narrow rickety steps to contend with.

This was great for Isabelle who at five is slightly more fearless than we’d like her to be.

Charlie (our dog) was amazingly well behaved and loved to explore his new surroundings. We kept our beady eyes out for families with food as unfortunately at only two he’s still a total scavenger and will gatecrash, steal and run!

Strangely there were canvasses dotted around the place which kind of looked a bit odd, but Isabelle quite liked looking out for them.

The walk took us a good couple of hours with a picnic stop along the way.

Isabelle found a walking stick along the way which she held onto until we found a waterfall so she sent it on its way out to sea and wonders what country it will end up in.

It was a lovely day and we ended it by visiting the pub at the start (Fingle Bridge Inn).  We may even have to go back for the Duck Race which takes place in April/May of each year.

fingle bridge

Leave a comment to let me know your favourite place to visit in Devon.

Lisa x