Top 5 places to go with kids...

Updated: Sep 18, 2018

in Torquay, Devon.

I’m going to write a phrase for you to comment on how it makes you feel and tell us what goes through your mind when you read the words… “travelling/holidaying with kids”?

This is a phrase that strikes fear into the heart of Papa Panda and I’m sure many other parents out there.

Two things at the top of the list when taking the kids on holiday is keeping them entertained and making the most out of your trip. We find it particularly difficult sometimes as we have quite a spread of ages across our children with Shayne being almost 11, Sienna 8 and Benji almost 4 – I think it’s something that can easily be overlooked to the detriment of many a parent's sanity.

We took the munchkins to Torquay this summer to visit Nana but were out pretty much every day to make sure the holiday was an entertaining one (and to give Nana some peace and quiet when the kids got restless). In no particular order, here are our honest and impartial top 5 things to do when we’re there!

1. Dinosaur World

Imagine Madame Tussauds but for dinosaurs. When you arrive, you are given a quiz to fill out with questions and tasks dotted about the trail (after which upon completion, you receive a certificate showing how much of a badassaurus you are). Our eldest enjoyed doing the questionnaire as he loves learning about animals etc. Sienna seemed to enjoy the more practical activities (like excavating fossils) and Benji on the other hand wasn’t sure at all about the whole thing – he spent most of the time attached to mine or one of his siblings’ hips. The lighting is pretty dark once you enter and throughout to set the tone and scene so for younger kids this could seem a bit spooky.

Little Pandas rating: 9/10

Parent Panda rating: 8/10

2. Torquay Seafront

After a week of “living our best life” our pockets were getting lighter and so decided to fill a day with a visit to the Torquay Seafront. Sand between your toes, fresh sea breeze… what more can anyone ask for? Sometimes all you need is a beach and a picnic! However, if you’re feeling a little more active there are canoes and pedalos available for hire. Also, look out for the guy who draws the art in the sand beneath the foot bridge!

Little Pandas rating: 8.5/10

Parent Panda rating: 8/10

3. Play Cafe

The perfect meet-up hub for socialising parents. A huge soft play with age appropriate designated areas and seating surrounding the play area so parents can sit back with a cuppa and watch their kids bounce off the walls. It’s not the biggest soft play area we’ve been to before but just the right size for you to keep an eye on your littles whilst they lose it for a bit.

Little Pandas rating: 10/10

Parent Panda rating: 7/10

4. Babbacombe Model Village

So good we visited twice. Well, we visited once during the day without Papa as he hadn’t arrived from London yet but we went for the second time with him one early evening too. A miniature village with plenty to see and do. Apart from the carefully thought out little models and accurate scenes with humorous alternative details, there was a FREE small but still entertaining mini-golf course where the kids and adults could play and an area where you can race remote control cars and boats (but be sure to bring coins for this). They were showing a short 15 minute 4D version of the movie House of Magic so we decided as it was only brief to take Benji for his first cinema experience – we just didn’t anticipate his seat swinging around and squirting water in his face – he loved it.

Little Pandas rating: 8/10

Parent Panda rating: 8.5/10

5. Paignton Zoo

We had a lovely day at Paignton Zoo but one thing that must be taken note of if you’ve never been and would like to go… wear suitable walking shoes! Although it was Shayne and Sienna’s first time visiting this zoo, it was Emil and mine’s second visit with #TheBenji and so we knew that there would be A LOT of walking (quite a bit of hill climbing too). Visiting all the animals and different enclosures was an eye opener. It was lovely learning about different species with the kids but at the same time a bit of a saddening experience to see such beautiful and large animals living in captivity. It’s not to take away from the amazing work the zoo staff do to provide and help rear some of these animals to preserve the species but more just sad in the sense that it has come to this where some animals are “safer” in zoos than in their natural environment. *sniff sniff*


It was a lovely day and we even got to ride on the little land train that circles around the zoo which the kids absolutely loved.

The kids had such an awesome time and kept saying “it was the best day ever!”.

They slept pretty early that night so I guess you could say we all won that day.

Little Pandas rating: 10/10

Parent Panda rating: 9/10

Hope you enjoyed our mini-guide to things to do with the family in Torquay. Stay tuned for more parenting travel guides and let us know if you have any suggestions on where we should travel to next!

Til next time


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