Category Archives: For children & families


This February half term, a free family arts and craft day is being held at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

On Wednesday 15 February between 10.30am and 3pm, families can pop into the museum for some crafty fun with the WOW North Devon Scrap Store.

Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “Entry to the museum is free and there is always plenty to see, which makes it a great place to take the children during school holidays. While you’re there, why not also take a look at the plans for the museum extension, which are on display in the café?”

For more information, email or call 01271 346747.  You can also follow the museum on Facebook to keep up to date with all their events.

For more information on WOW North Devon, visit their


Somerset Wildlife Trust’s most successful urban wildlife projects, Routes To The River Tone is delighted to announce ‘Celebration Of The River Tone’ – an entire week of nature-based activities for all at half term.

The celebration is aimed to give people the opportunity to enjoy, discover and explore Taunton’s amazing green spaces, wild places and the stunning wildlife that lives along the river.  The programme of events aims to inspire people to support the charity’s ongoing work to reconnect people with nature and reap the health and wellbeing benefits of spending quality time outdoors.

The Routes to The River Tone project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with additional support from Viridor Waste Management, was launched in 2014. Over the past three years the project has worked with local people  and partnership organisations to provide a wide range of public  events, school wildplay sessions,  citizen science projects, interpretation for greenspaces, community gardens, trails (art, history, misguided, story and geocaching) and opportunities to get involved in practical conservation.

Nick Tomlinson, Routes the The River Tone Manager, said: “We really weren’t prepared for the overwhelming response we received when we started to talk to people from the communities, neighbourhoods, schools and community groups across Taunton.  The cumulative amount of passion, enthusiasm and interest that people have shown over the past three years and the popularity of the events we have put on, really shows that people in Taunton really do value nature and understand how critical it is that we make ourselves responsible for ensuring our wild places are still there to enjoy going forwards.

“Once people are helped to discover the natural places on their own doorstep, they value their local greenspace even more and have a greater desire to look after it. We are very proud of what the project has achieved and I am really excited about the programme of events we have put together with partners and local community groups to celebrate the successes of the last three years.”

Simon Nash, CEO of Somerset Wildlife Trust, added: “Community-based support for involvement and engagement with the environment is the key to the long term, sustainable management of Taunton’s wild and open spaces, as well as the health and wellbeing of the communities that surround them. Projects such as this one leave a significant and lasting legacy that can be taken beyond the life of the project itself and owned by the people who enjoy these places the most.”


Celebration of the River ToneCelebration of the River Tone – 13th-18th February 2017
Welcome to our Celebration of the River Tone, part of Somerset Wildlife Trust’s urban project – Routes to the River Tone. Join us as we celebrate our town’s amazing green spaces, wild places and the stunning wildlife that lives along the river through a week of nature-based activities. There’s something for all the family, so why not join us, and be part of it!

RTRTLitterboxesLitter Pick for Wildlife (in association with the Inland Waterways Association)
When: Monday 13th February, 2.30-4pm
Where: French Weir Park Slipway (near Clarence St.)

Help your local wildlife by removing litter from along the riverside. All equipment and guidance provided  by the Inland Waterways’ Volunteers.

How to book: No booking required.
Further details or 07977 263840

RTRTBirdboxesBuild a Bird a Home
When: Tuesday 14th February
Session: 1 10am
Session:  2 11am
Session:  3 2pm
Session: 4 3pm
Where: New COACH outdoor classroom, French Weir Park

Join us and build your own bird box for free as part of National Nest Box Week. All materials provided.

How to book: Book your time and a bird box kit by visiting

RTRT_StoryTrailStory Trail
When: Thursday 16th February
Where:  Brewhouse Theatre, Orchard, Taunton TA1 1JL

Join Ollie the Otter and his friend as these characters perform and launch you on an exploration of the river. Enjoy reading the story of Ollie the Otter and Vern the Water Vole as you discover the hidden waterways and green spaces of Taunton. Great family fun (walk is 1.5km pram and wheelchair accessible). You may also like to join a craft workshop or enjoy The Lorax film.

Craft Workshops – 10.30am, 12pm and 1.30pm, Free
Story Walk – 11pm, 12.30pm and 2pm, Free
The Lorax Film PG – 3pm, £4 per ticket

How to book:     Please contact the Brewhouse Theatre, Orchard, Taunton TA1 1JL 01823 283244

RTRT_StorytimeStory Time
When:  Friday 17th February
(Session1) 1.15pm- 2.45pm
(Session 2) 3.00pm-5.30pm
Where: New COACH The Parkroom, French Weir Park

Fantastic fables, wild tales and clay art to launch our new picture book about the wildlife of the River Tone.

How to book:  Book to ensure a place  by visiting

RTRT_River of light_FusePerformaceRiver of Light Finale Event (in partnership with FUSE Performance )
When: Saturday 18th February, 3- 7.30pm

Join us as we create a River of Light with willow lanterns and streamers followed by a fire performance, live music and food.

Willow Streamer Making Workshop: 3-4.30pm at the Brewhouse Theatre

River of Light Procession: Starts at 5.30pm from the Brewhouse Theatre/Castle Green
Fire Performance: 6pm Goodland Gardens
Band and food: 6.30-7.30pm Goodland Gardens

How to book:  No booking required

For further details on the Celebration of the River Tone activities and events visit or contact or call Claire, Nick, Olivia or Rose on 01823 652 400


Whatever the weather, make your way to RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon for February half term fun from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February 2017.

There will be fun drop-in family craft workshops inside in the Leaning Centre with a different theme every day. Make your own rain gauge and design a weather clock or how about creating a Tornado in a jar!

Youngsters can become weather hunters on a daily weather trail through the garden and find out about the different types of weather – from sun and snow to hurricanes and hailstorms – and learn about the weather systems that affect the planet. The garden trail runs daily from 11 – 17 February 2017.

Was 2016 the wettest year on record? Or was it the driest, the hottest, the windiest? On Tuesday 14 February, visitors can listen to a talk from Rosemoor’s very own ‘Weatherman’ as he shows visitors the Rosemoor Weather Station and explains what it can tell us.

On Friday 17, we are joined by Rob Plummer from Meteorological Office in Exeter – the main source for all of the UK weather forecasts seen on TV or heard on radio. He will be helping families with loads of weather related activities.

So come rain or shine this February Half Term, there are some amazing fun family activities to enjoy at Rosemoor – all of which are free with normal garden admission.

RHS members have free garden entry. Visit or call 01805 626810 for more details.


  • Become a weather detective from 11 – 19 February 2017
  • Create your own ‘Tornado in a Jar’ and rain gauges
  • A guest speaker from the Meteorological office in Exeter
  • See our weather station, take part in a weather hunters’ daily garden trail


The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is hosting  some spooktacular fun this half term.

A variety of activities are planned for the whole family to enjoy during the week.

• Wednesday 26 October 11am-4pm – come and make some springy spiders, paper pumpkins, ghostly faces and lots more which you can take home
• Saturday 29 October 5.30pm -7pm – get dressed up bring a torch and explore the museum in the dark! Treats will be available in the tea room along with some spooky stories to round the evening off

There’s no need to book for either event, just pop along and join in the fun, if you dare. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Entry is £1 per child (adults free).

Executive Member Responsible for Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “This will be a family event with fun for all. It’s a great opportunity to come and explore the museum and don’t forget to bring a torch as it will be in darkness”

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, entry is free. Keep up to date with news and events on the museum’s Facebook page



Free event, amazing location, great games and activities – it must be this year’s Big Autumn Adventure which is taking place at Webber’s Post, near Wheddon Cross, in Exmoor National Park (TA24 8HY) on Wednesday 26 October from 10am to 4pm.

National Park Ranger Adam Vasey says: “It’s the last Big Adventure of the year and, with the help of the National Trust, it’s going to be a good one. Get your wellies on and have fun with the Channel Adventure team, help us make a giant den or keep warm by the campfire and toast some marshmallows.

“There will be lots to do with the usual range of fun family-friendly games and activities, so come and join us – we look forward to seeing you there!”

Hundreds of people have enjoyed the Big Adventures this year, free family days out courtesy of Exmoor National Park Authority, the National Trust and other organisations and the wonderful volunteers. The event is free, but donations to CareMoor for Exmoor will be welcome.

There is car parking and there are toilet facilities on site – for more information please contact the National Park Centre at Dulverton, phone 01398 323841.



Number Seven Dulverton is delighted that Jackie Morris will be celebrating the publication of two of her most recent publications with them on Wednesday 14 September.

The two titles illustrate her adept skill of appealing to all ages; in this case quite literally from birth to dotage.  The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow is a coffee table treasury, while One Cheetah, One Cherry is a colourful board book – both radiate with Jackie’s detailed, colourful, rich illustrations and text.

the quiet musicThe Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow

“The words of this book tell only a small part of what can be found in the images; a harbour in which to rest, a catalyst for the imagination.” Jackie Morris

A collection of 12 illustrated folk tales, or lullabies for grown-ups, set in a distant world of music, snow and magic. The stories are based around a series of musically themed illustrations first created by Jackie for Help Musicians UK.

one cheetahOne Cheetah, One Cherry

One cherry, one cheetah

Two dogs, two balls, one big, one small

Three bears, three bowls, three silver spoons

With playful words and beautiful animal paintings, this spectacular counting book features numbers up to ten in words and numerals, illustrated in watercolour, with gold and silver leaf, and including elephants, tigers, swans, mice and more.

An internationally best-selling author, artist and illustrator, Jackie Morris has over 30 years’ experience in writing and illustrating books.  Amongst her current work,  East of the Sun has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and Little Evie in the Wild Wood and Something About a Bear have been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

She is currently illustrating Robert MacFarlane’s The Lost Words – a spell book, “which will highlight the words which have recently, and sadly, been omitted from The Oxford Junior Dictionary.”  Among them are otter, acorn and kingfisher – however, Jackie’s brush will no doubt delight in bringing some of her native animals and plants to life.  MacFarlane is a renowned nature writer but this will be his first book specifically penned for children, although it will no doubt appeal to a far wider audience.

Jackie will be at Number Seven from 10am until 4pm on Wednesday 14 September.  It promises to be a relaxed, informal day and visitors are welcome to drop in at any time.  Jackie will be painting, signing books and reading from The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow.

For more information, contact Davina Jelley (email:, visit Number even’s website: or call 01398 324457.  You can also follow Number Seven on Twitter: @talesartplay


Visit Wimbleball Lake on 27 August (8-10pm) for an exciting evening walk spotting bats.  Hear Exmoor’s bats with BAT detectors and see them in flight.

Why not make a night of it and camp on site – available when booked in advance.  For enquiries please contact Alex Forster on 01398 371116 or email

Participants are asked to meet at the Duck Café, TA22 9NU.  Please bring a torch, warm clothing and stout footwear.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. F ood, drinks, toilets and parking are available on site (normal car parking charges apply).

This event is brought to you by Exmoor National Park Authority and booking is essential.  There is no charge for this event but donations to CareMoor are welcomed.  To book please call 01398 371116.

For more information visit

PHOTO: Daubenton’s bats.


A special holiday treat for young families comes to the Regal Theatre on Tuesday 16 August when MARTY MACDONALD’S TOY MACHINE takes to the stage.

Marty MacDonald’s Farm receives a special delivery – the Toy Machine that makes all the toys in the world!  But they realise that it shouldn’t really be there.  Worse still, the machine has stopped working and they need to fix it before the Toymaker comes to get it back!

Join Marty, Sally the Scarecrow, Pongo the Pig, Molly-Moo the Cow and Sheena the Sheep in a fun, musical, interactive adventure, set on a colourful farmyard with a host of lovable puppet characters.  The show also features the voice of children’s TV favourite Justin Fletcher as Pongo the Pig as well as CBeebies’ Nicole Davis.

Songs include: Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes, The Wheels On The Bus, One Finger One Thumb, Old MacDonald Had A Farm and many more!  We use Makaton™ signing with our singing so everyone can join in!

This is a family show particularly suitable for children aged 2–7.   It lasts 80 minutes (including a 15-minute interval) and has a cast meet and greet after the performance.

The performance begins at 2pm and tickets cost up to £7.50 (a family of four costs £24).  Tickets are now on sale at the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), which is open 10am–3pm Monday–Friday and  10am–1pm Saturday.  You can also book online at


Campers will be hoping for stars in their eyes at the Big Adventure Family Camp Out on Saturday 13 August at Wimbleball Lake (TA22 9NU) in Exmoor National Park.

The event, organised by the National Park Authority, is ideal for first-time campers and a chance to camp out in a wonderful location. The site opens at 4pm when there is time to set up camp and cook dinner after which there will be activities to enjoy.  Tents need to be down by 11am on Sunday 14 August.

National Park ranger Adam Vasey says: “We’re really lucky to be able to offer this camping experience here on the shores of Wimbleball Lake.  Not only have we got the family camping area especially reserved for us, but we’ve got storytelling, a camp fire, guitar playing as well as a bat walk and, when it gets dark, some astronomy (weather permitting).

“It’s a really friendly environment for first time family campers so don’t be scared, there’ll be people to help out and everyone is welcome!”

The campsite has easy access to the cafe and children’s play area, with beautiful walks and a cycle trail around the lake itself.  Facilities include showers, toilet block and washing up facilities; the site is also dog friendly. Exmoor National Park is an International Dark Sky Reserve and Wimbleball Lake is a Dark Sky Discovery Site – so here’s hoping for clear skies.

Booking for the Family Camp Out is essential, for more information and to book please click here or telephone the National Park Centre in Dulverton 01398 323841

Charge: £20/family (two adults & two children). £10/additional adult. £5/additional child.


On Sunday 14 August, BASC Young Shots, in association with South West Lakes Trust, will be running an introduction day at Wimbleball Lake, near Dulverton for children 130cm tall – 16 years old. The day will include a variety of activities including, coached shotgun shooting suitable for beginners or novices, air rifles, gun dog training, fly fishing and bushcraft.

Introduction days are a great way to introduce children to a range of country sports.

Children should bring their lunch, plenty of drinks, clothes suitable for the weather and if necessary, sun cream and a hat.

This is a beautiful location and South West Lakes Trust will be offering special rates on the Monday for lake-based activities, so why not look at the accommodation available and make it a whole weekend for the family.

The cost of the day is £25 per child. Please contact the South West BASC office via email – or by calling 01884 260 910 for further information or bookings.