Whether you’re on holiday or not, there are plenty of ways to experience Plymouth with kids.
Known as ‘Britain’s Ocean City,’ Plymouth is one of the largest cities on England’s south coast. Many don’t know that it is teeming with an exciting range of fun activities that the whole family can enjoy, particularly if you have children under 5 years old.
To make your life easier, we’ve searched far and wide to compile a list of top toddler days out in Plymouth. These activities will take you well into the vibrant city centre and the lush surrounding greenery, and the best part is that you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy most of them.
This is by no means a short list but if there are any other family attractions you feel should be on it, then be sure to let us know!
- Fun Things To Do In Plymouth With Toddlers
Fun Things To Do In Plymouth With Toddlers
National Marine Aquarium
One thing that makes Plymouth special is that it is home to the UK’s largest aquarium. This magical marine park is a fantastic place to connect with the ocean by basking in its wonders.
The gigantic display tanks are filled to the brim with diverse marine life from international waters and rarely fail to provide toddlers and even older children with hours of amusement. On top of this, you can enjoy the aquarium at a pace that suits you or see one of the daily shows.
The National Marine Aquarium is quite popular, especially on rainy days, so tickets need to be booked online with a designated arrival time and, luckily, are valid for 12 months from your first visit. This is a strong recommendation, so be sure to add it to your list!
The newly opened Market Hall is a 15-meter dome located in the heart of a historic neighbourhood and is the second largest of its kind in the whole wide world. It can provide an immersive virtual reality experience for people of all ages without needing to put on one of those cumbersome VR headsets.
Because the 45-minute shows range from installer escapades to sea monsters and unique cultural displays, there is something for everyone.
One of the most attractive features of this experience is that they work on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis, so if your little one is in a bit of a mood that day, you can leave midway without feeling like you’ve wasted money.
Plymouth Central Park
If you like the idea of getting a breath of fresh air while looking after your toddler, then Central Park might be what you’ve been looking for.
The park is equipped with a cafe, toilets, a skate park for older kids, and an enthralling adventure playground that your kids will simply love
In addition to providing hours of free fun for all the family, Plymouth Central Park provides a good opportunity to meet the lovely people of Plymouth.
The Box Plymouth
Some of the best things in life are free, and The Box is one of those things.
The Box gives you and your children an interactive way to explore natural history, contemporary art, and Plymouth’s maritime past. Once there, you’ll find life-sized recreations of animals and historical artefacts that paint a vivid picture of what life was like in the past. There is also a TV studio where your budding Spielberg can make their own film.
They are open from Tuesday to Sunday and on Bank Holidays. Tickets don’t need to be booked unless you want to reserve a spot in their Cottonian Research Room.
Stiltskin’s Soapbox Children’s Theatre
Located in Devonport Park, this award-winning specialist theatre should be high on your list of things to do with your kids in Plymouth.
The child-friendly indoor theatre is a good place to make long-lasting memories and kindle the creativity in a child’s heart.
There is also an independent toy shop so your little one can take home a souvenir after enjoying one or more of their original productions.
West Hoe Park
West Hoe Park is yet another one of the outdoor spaces in Plymouth that can encourage families to spend some much-needed quality time together. At West Hoe, you’ll find an adventure playground, a mini train, and a crazy golf course.
Dartmoor National Park
The picturesque moorlands of Dartmoor National Park are home to unique flora and fauna. Like the other open spaces in Plymouth, Dartmoor National Park presents a wealth of entertainment opportunities.
You can take your kids on a short walk or on one of the guided tours through the park. If your kids are still kicking and screaming after that or at the mere thought, then they can alternatively play sound bingo or make medieval toothpaste!
Dartmoor Zoo owes much of its notoriety to the American film ‘We Bought a Zoo.’ Beyond that, it’s home to an assortment of wildlife, including some of the world’s most popular animals.
If you or your toddler is an animal lover, you also have the option to adopt. Do bear in mind that adoption, in this case, refers to you making a financial contribution to the animal’s upkeep and not actually taking it home – we don’t want any toddlers disappointed that they didn’t get a new pet!
Dartmoor Zoo can give your child a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they probably won’t stop talking about, so be sure to check it out.
Royal William Yard
Royal William Yard is a former ship supplying yard in the middle of the southwest that is now a popular destination for families looking to eat, see, and play.
The historically-rich property hosts events throughout the year and has many family-friendly activities that go well beyond your typical ship spotting. If you decide to take your little one to Royal William Yard, you can take a leisurely boat trip, enjoy a dip in the neighbouring tidal pool, or older kids can learn to paddle board with the help of the South West SUP.
Besides standard family fun, you’ll also be able to enjoy awe-inspiring views of Plymouth Sound.
Away from the city centre is Plymouth Hoe, the definition of family fun that is ideal for a relaxed picnic while you admire the glory of Smeaton’s Tower.
If the picnic doesn’t go as planned, kids can always frolic around in the wide open space or play mini golf.
While there, you can also look inside Smeaton’s Tower, which is open on school holidays, and spot the Royal Citadel.
Mount Edgcumbe House
The former home of the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe has been carefully repurposed to function as the ideal place to spend family days. This spot is another fun place that gives a family various options for all ages.
When you’ve finished exploring the many family heirlooms and dressing up like a Tudor, you can check out a few or all the activities on offer.
Family disc golf, a miniature railway, segway trails, Baba Yaga’s Circus, and water sports are all options on the expansive property so that you can choose according to your budget and child’s temperament.
Before becoming a modern-day testament to maritime adventures, Buckland Abbey was once the home of English Naval Officer Sir Francis Drake.
This National Trust property has a beautiful orchid and a display attic to give you an idea of ship life. You can also check out one of the exhibitions they regularly hold in The Great Barn.
Another selling point of Buckland Abbey is that kids under five can enter for free, so you could say your toddler will be doing you a favour if you take them there!
There isn’t exactly a beach in Plymouth, and people normally go to The Hoe when they want to take a dip in the ocean, but this isn’t necessarily a beach.
If you’re willing to travel around 20 minutes outside of Plymouth, you can try out one of the beaches South Devon offers. Bovisands and Wembury beaches are generally the most popular options.
The Barn Pool at Mount Edgcumbe makes a good alternative to these if you aren’t willing or able to travel that far, and the ferry ride there from Stonehouse could serve as extra entertainment.
Saltram National Trust
Considered to be one of Britain’s best preserved Georgian-era houses, The Saltram House and surrounding gardens are practically designed to be explored.
The house itself contains an original collection of jewels, furniture, and architecture that are a must-see, but because toddlers typically don’t care for Georgian architecture, they can instead indulge in the various outdoor activities on offer.
The Riverside cycle trail’s pump track is designed for kids to build their confidence and learn new skills. The forest school site, Snowdrop Woods, can also be hired for special events such as birthday parties.
Looking for another location? Check out our Days Out section for more ideas.