Christmas lights are one of my favourite things about Christmas. It gives me that warm tingly feeling, and transports me back to my childhood. There’s something so magical about fairy lights glowing after dark, and the beautiful illuminations popping up all over Devon show that we all just love them. So if you fancy wandering around one of the twinkling light displays, here’s a great list, so you don’t miss out on the best of this magical season.
Saturday 26th November
After 24 years the Exeter Carnival is back! Billed as a celebration of Exeter, expect light up acts, floats (such as the Jubilation that took part in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant parade in London this summer) and bands and carts in this carnival which will also celebrate the Christmas lights and festivities in the city.
Where to watch? Exeter Carnival will start at 6pm at the bottom of South Street. It will parade up South Street, turning right onto the High Street, processing up Sidwell Street all the way to the Odeon roundabout, around the roundabout and back down Sidwell Street to finish at the junction with High Street and Paris Street. No matter where you watch the carnival you will see all of the parade. Those spectating on Sidwell Street will get the chance to see the parade pass twice, as the carnival procession will parade up then turn around to parade back along Sidwell Street.
We encourage people to spread out across the route to get a great view of the parade. Areas with barriers will be restricted zones where spectating cannot take place. View the map and download or for more details on Exeter Carnival website.
Saturday 3rd December 2022
The Strand, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 1AL
Performers from 3pm and Christmas tree light switch on at 7pm.
Join us from 3pm on Saturday 3rd December as The Strand is lit up with walk-about performers, choirs and the annual Christmas Tree Lights switch-on.
Our performance timings are:
3pm Spark! Worldbeaters performing Spark!
3.45pm Centre Stage Exmouth
4pm Exmouth A Cappella Chorus Community Page
5pm La La Choirs
5.45pm Exmouth Youth Theatre – EYT
6.15pm Rock Choir East Devon – Exeter, Exmouth & Honiton
7pm Christmas Tree lights switch-on
Shops around The Strand will be open late so you can enjoy the atmosphere while you do some local Christmas shopping
9-18th December 2022
Connaught Gardens, Peak Hill Rd, Sidmouth, EX10 8RU
Tickets: Adult: £9.50, Child: £5, Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 children) £25.00, Under 2s free, Carer free entry with any disabled guest purchasing a standard adult ticket + booking fees
We really enjoyed this last year – the beautiful lights, how quiet it was despite being sold out so the children could have a bit of freedom, the music, and my daughter loved the anticipation of if we’d see Father Christmas wandering around (and then become completely star struck when she saw him!) Check out my reel from last year here.
Celebrate the spirit of Christmas with the whole family at Connaught@Christmas
If you’re looking for a truly magical experience this Christmas, join us at Connaught Gardens in the coastal town of Sidmouth. This creative illuminated trail through the gardens high on the clifftops is filled with joy, wonder and a few surprises too. Suitable for the whole family to enjoy from babes in arms to grandparents, there really is something for everyone. It’s the perfect start to your Christmas celebrations this year.
Illuminations and lit trails in the gardens will include some of last year’s favourites plus brand new
themes and fantastic light experiences, such as a new projection across Sidmouth town beach and
pretty snowy scenes. Father Christmas will be on hand to chat to children throughout the 10-day
event in the Christmas Garden, and there will be new interactive fun including a reindeer trail.
Music: Sidmouth Town Band will be playing on Friday 9th and Friday 15th and Rock Choir will be singing
during the run, too.
Sensory sessions: New ‘sensory sessions’ are available between 4.30pm to 5.30pm on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th . These are for families with children, young people or adults who need quieter sessions without crowds. Music and lighting will be muted for these sessions. Limited available, when booking please use password SENSORYC@C22. If the sessions are fully booked email the organiser for advice on quieter times to book.
Food & Craft Village: You can also visit our free undercover Christmas Food & Craft Village where you’ll be tempted by delicious food, mouth-watering drinks and an array of crafty Christmas gift ideas from over 40 high quality local makers.
9th December -2nd January: 5pm until 8pm, or Day & Night admission ticket 12pm – 8pm
Dartmoor Zoo, Sparkwell, Plymouth, Devon, PL7 5DG
Adult (ages 16+) Day & Night Admission: £15.70 or Night only: £12.50
Child (ages 3-15) Day & Night Admission: £11.50 or Night only: £10.00 Child (2 yrs & under) Free
Family (4 people, max. of 2 adults) Day & Night Admission: £47.20 or Night only: £40.00
DZS Member – free
This sounds amazing!
This Winter, prepare to experience Dartmoor Zoo in a way you’ve never seen us before! Presenting: Zooluminate.
A series of beautiful light installations (from JHAV, the incredible team that brought you The Atlantic Project and Illuminate Festival of Light), which bring the zoo to life after dark in the most enchanting way possible. There are stunning installation spaces the entire way around our site, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities for those selfies, plus – some of our enclosures are going to be illuminated, so you might even get the chance to see our animals all snuggled up for the night. We can’t guarantee the animals will be outside of their cosy homes, but the lights have been specifically researched and chosen to illuminate without causing any harm or disruption, so if they’re outside, you should be able to capture some wonderful evening photos of our very happy animals.
Thurs – Sat 17 Nov – 17 Dec then Tues – Fri, 20 – 30 December 4.40pm – 8.30pm
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Torrington EX38 8PH, UK
Tickets: Peak prices: Adult: member £8.95 or non member £14.95 Child (5-16): member £4.45 or non member £7.95, under 5s free.
This is a really beautiful longer trail among the ancient trees and gardens of Rosemoor. We loved the twinkling lights, lit up trees and the fire last year. Always on my husband’s Christmas to do! We take pjs so the kids can fall asleep in the car on the way home too.
Bring all the family for a magical evening at RHS Garden Rosemoor. See the garden in breathtaking beauty and follow our longest Glow trail yet, with spectacular new light displays.
Wander the magical trail: Immerse yourself in light and sound at RHS Garden Rosemoor this winter, discovering exciting new lighting displays along the way. On our longest route yet, see your favourite garden areas, including the Lake and Woodland, light up the night with festive colour and sparkle.
Bask in the glow: New for 2022, be wowed by an enchanting galaxy of giant stars on the Stream Field, a tunnel of lights along the Long Borders, and the Orchard shelter all aglow.
Live entertainment at Glow: Every evening of Glow enjoy a range of entertainment and events, including craft fairs, live music and even a spectacular fire show! NB: * are ticketed events
Looking for something to keep you aglow? Tuck into a selection of hot takeway food including hotdogs, pulled beef baps and festive veggie burgers from the Garden Kitchen Restaurant. Buy a Glow food voucher and get 10% off. Warm up along the trail with mulled wine, mince pies, soup and tasty treats from the Shepherd’s Rest and Otter Café.
1st December – 31st Dec 2022
Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter, EX6 8JQ
Adults: £12.95, Children: £6.95, Under 5 free, Powderham Member & Carer free, Christmas Grotto £8 per child, must be purchased with day or evening entry tickets.
Another of our favourites that is fabulously child friendly. There’s the meeting and feeding the animals, the space to run and enjoy flashing light toys yo might like to buy, the light maze which is great and the little stream train too. We always get something to eat too and enjoy the lights as a family.
What does my ticket include?
- The Castle; Christmas State Rooms Experience
- The Secret Garden; Petting Zoo
- The Christmas Barn; Food, Bar and Games
- The Grounds; Christmas Trail and Grounds Experience
- Evening Light Walk (evening admission tickets only)
The Exmouth Miniature Railway and will also be running every day and evening! (£2 per ride)
Important Grotto info!
- Admission tickets must be purchased for all children and adults attending the grotto.
- Maximum 6 children per grotto slot, £8 per child.
- You will be allocated a 15 minute entry window. There will be other families waiting with you but we aim to see all children within the 15 minute slot allocated.