One thing we’ve learnt from living in the West Country is that it comes alive in the summer. Each weekend and school holiday between May and September oozes with family-friendly events in Devon. From epic air displays and quintessentially British country shows to festivals geared towards visitors with kids, Devon knows how to entertain. So, what’s happening this summer?
As a Devon-based blogger with an eye for great family days out, Sykes Cottages have asked me to share some of my hot tips from the county’s summer events calendar.
Family-friendly events in Devon this summer
Here are our top picks for fantastic family-friendly events in Devon this summer. Scroll through the entire list or click on the links below to jump to the section of most interested to you:
Brixfest, Brixham – 27-31 May
This celebration of sea, food and music takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. There will be a dragon boat challenge, cooking demonstrations and fireworks. Families will also love the Children’s Day with lots of children’s activities planned.
Download a copy of the event programme and find out more on the festival website.
Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival, Kingsbridge – 2-4 June
Kingsbridge will come alive with three days of top-notch music, local food and drink, and family fun. The dedicated Kids Zone behind the main stage offers young festival-goers the chance to learn bush craft, as well as take part in a fancy dress disco.
See the full programme of festival activities on the Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival website.
Teignmouth Folk Festival, Teignmouth – 16-18 June
This lively folk festival takes place across five venues in Teignmouth. Throughout the three-day festival there’s a heady mix of music performances and morris dancing performed by more than 20 clubs from across the country. Tickets are available for camping and night time concerts.
Check the festival website for announcements about acts, the event programme and to book tickets.
Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth – 4-11 August
Sidmouth will be wash with music, dance and workshops for all ages during this four-day event. The dedicated children’s folk festival is staged across three workshop venues with crafts, family-friendly shows and story times.
Find out more about the festival programme and children’s festival activities on the website.
Fishstock, Brixham – 9 September
This award-winning food and music festival in picturesque Brixham is run to raise funds for The Fisherman’s Mission. The line-up includes local rock bands and seafood chefs who will cook up a storm with the catch of the day.
White Rock Festival of Learning, Paignton – 9-16 September
This community-run festival is loaded with family activities, lively music, food from around the world, and stalls run by local businesses. And it’s FREE to attend. Get all the enjoyment of a family festival without the hefty price tag!
Abbfest, Newton Abbot – 22-24 September
The best of Newton Abbot’s food, drink and craft traders will showcase their wares alongside a weekend of music and cookery demonstrations. Families will get the most out of the Saturday when there is a day of children’s activities.
For the full festival line-up and ticket information visit the event website.
Devon County Show, West Point, Exeter – 18-20 May
This is Devon’s largest agricultural show with a full programme of activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. Marvel at monster trucks, sample local ales, and cheer on sheep dog displays. Families with young children will enjoy the petting farm, fairground and countryside activities, like making bees wax candles.
To check out the full weekend programme see the show website.
Mid-Devon Show, Knightshayes, Tiverton – 22 July
This show is now in its 24th year and offers an award-winning combination of ringside entertainment, countryside history and livestock competitions. There’s also plenty of local traders selling Devon delicacies, crafts and gifts in the grounds of this beautiful National Trust estate. Parking is free and dogs are welcome on a lead.
All the latest event information is available on the show website.
Yealmpton Agricultural Show, Yealmpton – 26 July
See vintage tractors, a motorcycle display team and the live stock parade. There’s also a countryside marquee where you can get up close with farm animals. Don’t miss the parade of hounds!
For more information about the show, tickets and parking visit the website.
Totnes & District Show, Totnes – 30 July
The Totnes & District Show is nearly 100-years-old. Popular features of the event are seeing the livestock in the main ring, the lamb sheering competition, horse events and live music.
For all the latest show information see the website.
North Devon Show, Umberleigh – 2 August
This show is a celebration of North Devon’s agricultural roots with plenty of opportunity to see the region’s finest livestock in the arena. There’s also arena shows, vintage vehicles, family activities and trade stalls.
For full details about what will be happening at the show see the website.
Honiton Show, Honiton – 3 August
Head to this traditional farming show to see one of the county’s largest one-day celebrations of agriculture. Honiton offers a fantastic showcase of local farming, produce and rural skills that will entertain the whole family.
For the latest updates and event programme see the Honiton Show website.
Kingsbridge Agricultural Show, Kingsbridge – 2 September
2017 marks the show’s 135th anniversary. Each year it offers a great family day out with livestock and countryside competitions, donkey rides, vintage vehicles and live music. There’s also a packed programme of arena entertainment.
See all the show details, ticket prices and what’s on by visiting the website.
Clovelly Maritime Festival, Clovelly – 16 July
This year spectators will see the village’s second Clovelly Cup Race as well as other waterborne competitions. Back on land there will be lots of family entertainment including building your own model boat, arts and crafts, story-telling, and Punch & Judy.
See what else is happening during the maritime festival on the Clovelly website.
Salcombe Town Regatta, Salcombe – 5-12 August
Dozens of craft will take take part in sailing competitions during this week long event. Alongside the regatta locals and visitors will be able to try their hands at sandcastle building, crab catching and climbing the greasy pole (!). This year Slacombe’s biggest annual event also boasts a firework display and a cycling event.
For updates about this year’s event as they become available see the Experience Salcombe website.
Beer Regatta, Beer – 12-18 August
There will be plenty of fun on the water as well as fireworks, children’s scavenger hunts and shore-side entertainment during this year’s regatta.
Torbay Royal Regatta, Torquay – 18-23 August
Rowing and sailing races straddle the main regatta competition during this week-long sailing event between Torquay and Paignton. There’s also fireworks and a funfair to complement the action on the water.
Dartmouth Royal Regatta, Dartmouth – 24-26 August
Devon’s royal regatta hosts sports, sailing and family events throughout the three days, plus a ball and live music festival. You can also see a Royal Navy ship moored on the River Dart throughout the festivities. Families will love the children’s fancy dress competition, scavenger hunt and a shopping village showcasing local companies.
To see the full regatta programme visit the Dartmouth Royal Regatta website.
Sidmouth Regatta, Sidmouth – 26-17 August
The water will come alive with races during this two-day event, with fireworks and live music back on land Saturday evening. On Sunday there will be plenty of family activities including a drawing competition and fancy dress contest.
For more information about the regatta at Sidmouth visit the website.
Torbay Airshow, Torbay – 3-4 June
This free two-day airshow takes place in the natural amphitheatre provided by Torbay. The RAF Red Arrows will make their 2017 debut at the show. They will be joined during the weekend by a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a Typhoon Jet, and the Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team. As well as plenty of action in the skies there’s stalls, entertainment and children’s activities on Paignton Green.
For the complete air display line up see the Torbay Airshow website.
Plymouth Firework Championships, Plymouth – 9-10 August
The Championships are a spectacle not to be missed and take place overlooking Plymouth Harbour and Sound for extra sea view drama. This is the premier firework display in the country, attracting tens of thousands of people each year. As well as the pyrotechnics there is a fun fair and live music on The Hoe, which is the prime viewing point. Get there early to secure the best spot each evening.
For the latest event news and information see the British Firework Championships website.
What family-friendly Devon events have I missed? Share your recommendations in the comments below. You might also like to check out my top tips for family attractions in Devon.
Disclosure: this post has been written in collaboration with Sykes Cottages. All event recommendations are my own. Pictures courtesy of Pixabay and Shutterstock.
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