Family fun

A young boy walking in the winter

December weekends are a great time to visit Coleton Fishacre with your little-ones. As the leaves fall from the trees in the garden you can tick off some of the 50 things to do before you're 11¾, as well as have a go on the wild play area, complete the spotter trail in the house, and see the house decorated for a 1920s Christmas party.

Christmas in the house

Coleton Fishacre will be decorated for a 1920s Christmas party this December. The decorations have been inspired by a Chrismas party which took place at Coleton Fishacre in 1929. The D'Oyly Carte family built Coleton Fishacre as their country home, and spent their time here relaxing and entertaining in style. When you visit the house you'll see preparations underway for a glamourous 1920s Christmas party just waiting for the guests' arrival. You’ll be able to try on your party outfit in the handling room, listen to party music playing in the Saloon and there’ll be parlour games in the Sitting Room such as Gilbert and Sullivan charades. 

Coleton Aglow

The most exciting thing for families to do here at this time of year is to see the garden lit for Christmas at Coleton Aglow. On selected evenings in December, the garden will be aglow with festive lighting. You can follow the trail of lights around the garden, or if you're little-ones aren't up for the full route (which takes about 40 minutes) there is a short route out to the gazebo you could follow instead. Then warm up by exploring the house, and treat yourself in the café. Booking is essential: call 01803 842382 or follow the link at the bottom of the page. 

Get into the festive spirit at Coleton aglow
Visitors looking at the quarry lit for Christmas in the garden of Coleton Fishacre
Get into the festive spirit at Coleton aglow

Wild play area

As you walk down toward the house, the first path you come to on your left leads out through Paddock Woods to Scout Point. It's been levelled and widened so that pushchairs and wheelchairs can go along the path, and is well worth a walk along for the coastal views alone. Even better for families though - towards the end of this path is a wild play area, where kids can climb, hop skip and jump on obstacles made from wood from the garden. There is even a picnic bench and stools made from tree stumps. Watch out though as at this time of year it may get slippery - children should always be accompanied by adults while they play here.


50 things to do before you're 11¾

Are you up to our 50 things to do before you're 11¾ challenge? Now is the time to tick these off of your list:


33. Catch a falling leaf 

The walk through Paddock Woods towards Scout Point is the best place to do this.

13. Make a mud pie

There are a few muddy spots through the gate at the bottom of the garden leading to the South West Coast Path.

4. Build a den

Next to the wild play area on the path leading to Scout Point there is an area dedicated to den building. Have a play in the dens that are there already, make them bigger and better, or have a go at making one of your own.

10. Play conkers

Conkers are falling from the Horse Chestnut trees along the driveway and in Paddock Woods; you're welcome to take them to play conkers with.

Play conkers
Boy putting conkers into a jar
Play conkers

Spotter trails in the house

Once Coleton Fishacre is decorated for Christmas, the children's trail will tie in with the festive theme of a 1920s Christmas party. The trail will be free to do and available to collect at the entrance to the house.