Exeter entices thousands of visitors each year, passing through on their way to the coast, or staying for a weekend of soaking up the centuries-old history and cosmopolitan culture. The city’s most famous landmarks are its renowned University, established in 1855. And let’s not forget its amazing Gothic cathedral, which boasts the longest unbroken stretch of Gothic vaulting in the world.
So let’s not wait any longer and find out our Best Child-Friendly Indoor activities to do in Exeter.
1. Royal Albert Memorial Museum
At first, a treasure trove of culture, housing diverse collections of artefacts in zoology, anthropology, fine art, archaeology, and geology. The displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and the World Cultures galleries display stunning items from all over the world.
Secondly, there are also an excellent range of children’s activities and workshops on, such as Step Inside Your Brain, Make a Mosaic and The Chocolicious Origins of Chocolate.
Address: Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX
Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays and bank holidays).
2. Powderham Castle
Home of the Earl and Countess of Devon, this 600 year old manor house is just a few miles from Exeter city centre, but feels a world away. There’s also an ancient deer park beside the Exe estuary, a farm shop, café and a beautiful orangery restaurant.
Entrance to the Castle is by guided tour only. So be prepared to choose from The State Room Tour or the Upstairs/Downstairs Tour, each offering a distinct perspective on life inside the ancient walls.
The castle sets the scene for numerous events throughout the year, such as food and music festivals, and garden parties.
Address: Church Rd, Exeter EX6 8JQ
Opening Hours: Open Sunday to Friday from March to November. 10am – 5pm for the grounds, 11am – 4:00 pm for the castle.
3. Bear Feet
When a rainy day strikes, sometimes there is no better way to tire out the kids than a soft play centre. Exeter’s Bear Feet is the best in town because it offers all things springy and bouncy for toddlers and upwards.
As your kids enjoy the slides, ball volcanoes and climbing frames, parents can sit back and relax with refreshments from the café.
Address: 1 Ashton Rd, Exeter EX2 8LN
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm Monday to Saturday. 10 am -4pm Sundays
4. Exeter Underground Passages
Enjoy a guided tour around Exeter’s 14th century underground passages, originally built to bring a steady supply of fresh drinking water into the city. Suitable for ages 5+, they will love the feeling of secrecy and exploration from seeing this hidden part of the city.
Your visit includes a 10 minute film presentation, a 25 minute tour underground and an opportunity to explore the exhibition. Finally, you will find plenty of interactive displays and artefacts from archaeological digs.
N.B. During school holidays, advance booking is essential.
Address: 2 Paris St, Exeter EX1 1GA
Opening Hours: Opening times vary, check the website for more info.
5. Exeter Cathedral
An icon of the city, you simply cannot leave Exeter without paying a visit to this amazing building, dating back 900 years. Kids will love the Big LEGO Build, a project working towards building a 300,000 piece model of the Cathedral from LEGO bricks.
In addition, visitors can add to the model themselves, by donating money (£1 per LEGO brick) towards the upkeep of the Cathedral’s restoration.
Address: 1 The Cloisters, Exeter EX1 1HS
Opening Hours: Open for sightseeing 9am – 5pm. Check the website for details of upcoming events
In conclusion, visiting Exeter with children is a synonym of a great Family City Break. It might not be the most popular big city break in England but we assure you that it is totally worth the visit. And you couple this destination with maybe a more countryside holiday place in Devon.
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