Things to do in Devon after May 17th

a man throws a bowling ball down a lane towards pins, the lights are low with a blue tinge

Many places can't wait to open their doors to guests again - Credit: Rodrigo Tejeda

With restrictions lifting across England from May 17th, there are plenty of things to do that have been closed for almost a year. We've put together a list of some great ideas for days out in indoor spaces

Please do remember to practice social distancing wherever possible and don't forget to take your mask. We recommend booking ahead when you can to avoid disappointment.

Cinema

Where once we took them for granted, the big screen feels like a distant dream for many nowadays. Cinemas will be throwing open their doors once more from the 17th with extra spacing and other measures to keep viewers safe. There are plenty of big productions coming out including Oscar winner Nomadland, as well as Godzilla vs Kong, Peter Rabbit 2, and horror film Spiral.

Where to go: 

  1. Scott Cinemas, Exmouth, Newton Abbot, & Sidmouth: With all of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, there's something to watch for everyone at Scott Cinemas.
  2. Picturehouse, Exeter: With two big screens and a tasty café, you can turn your visit into a longer treat and meet friends for a delicious pizza before or after your visit.
  3. Embassy Cinema, Ilfracombe: All tickets are £8 or less making this cheaper than many of the big name screens. The owners, Merlin Cinemas, also have a handful of other locations across the county.
  4. Totnes Cinema, Totnes: For more than 70 years, 27a High Street in Totnes has been some form of cinema. Nowadays they are a great independent place to see all of the new releases and classics.
  5. Deckchair Cinema, Croyde: This last cinema is very popular with locals and visitors alike thanks to its cute set up with (you've guessed it) deckchair seating. They wont be opening until late July but are well worth the wait. 

Live performances

More up close and personal than the cinema, May 17th will also be the time to welcome back theatres across the country. Seating has been carefully updated so groups are distanced from each other and other precautions have been taken to ensure your safety at venues.

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Where to go:

  1. Theatre Royal, Plymouth: One of the most popular theatres in the South West, they always have big name performances as well as more local events. Theatre Royal Plymouth will welcome back audiences from 27th May with the stage premiere of Drawn From Within by Wim
    Vandekeybus. 
  2. Exeter Northcott Theatre, Exeter: The theatre cannot wait to welcome you back and has plenty of touring performances to enjoy, including Horrible Histories at the end of May and an online production of Antigone.
  3. Babbacombe Theatre, Torquay: Babbacombe hosts plenty of events and performances from comedy to tribute bands. The difficulty is choosing between all the great options.
  4. Pavilions Teignmouth: A hidden gem with a diverse and fun programme of events. They have everything from live performances to cinema screening and art exhibitions.
  5. The Beehive, Honiton: This charity-run venue is full of socially distanced events this summer and relies on the community to keep running.

Indoor play areas

The kids have all definitely earned some playtime after the last 12 months and indoor play areas are a great place for them to let loose and meet other children. Most venues also have food and drink options so you can really make a day of your visit.

Where to go:

  1. Waie 2 Play, Crediton: Attached to The Waie Inn, this is a great place to let loose and eat some tasty grub afterwards. 
  2. Bear Feet, Exeter & Newton Abbot: Both venues are large and offer great fun for kids. Food is available on site including tea and cakes for parents.
  3. Tumbling Teds, Newton Abbot: For 25 years, Tumbling Teds has been entertaining small children in a safe but fun manner. 

Museums

For something a little quieter, a museum is the perfect place to relax and take in some history. That being said, many institutions in Somerset offer fun for all the family from ancient history all the way to the modern. The county is alive with the past and the handful of favourites below only just skim the surface. 

Where to go:

  1. Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter: one of the best regional museums in the country, RAMM is home to countless collections of global significance. 
  2. Golden Hind Museum Ship, Brixham: Go back in time and explore one of only two full replicas of Sir Francis Drake's legendary ship. With five decks to explore and a brand new audio tour, you're sure to learn something new.
  3. North Devon Maritime Museum, Appledore: Opening in June, this museum uncovers the incredible history of ship building and sailing in the region from the past few centuries. 
  4. Ilfracombe Museum: Not only dedicated to the history of the area, you will also find artefacts from across the world at this venue. They promise something for everyone, from shrunken heads to pickled bats!
  5.  Allhallows Museum of Lace and Antiquities, Honiton: From a town renowned once for its lace making, the museum takes you through the history of not just this industry but many more.

Bowling

Bowling is a great way to let off steam as a family with some healthy competition. Sometimes, being bad at it can make the experience all the more fun and there's usually some snacks to go with it that make the whole experience worthwhile. 

Where to go:

  1. Ocean, Exmouth: A great spot to unwind, there's also an excellent arcade and you can finish the whole experience off with some tasty grub from The Engine Room.
  2. AMF Bowling, Torquay: There is so much to do on your visit to AMF Bowling, from VIP lanes to Quasar, arcade games to an American-style diner. 
  3. Tenpin, Plymouth: Another bowling alley with plenty going on. They also have several deals available to make your visit even more worthwhile.
  4. Lets Go, Barnstaple: This place also has a soft play, snooker, and karaoke so everyone can have a great afternoon or night out. 
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