Plymouth, also known as ‘Britain’s Ocean City’ is a port city in the South of Devon, just miles away from Cornwall. The city is very family-friendly. There’s plenty of things to do with kids in Plymouth. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Plymouth with children, kids activities in Plymouth, or even days out near Plymouth, look no further.
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Things to do in Plymouth with kids
1. A visit to the National Marine Aquarium – One of the best things to do in Plymouth
Located on the memorizing Barbican, the national marine aquarium is the UK’s biggest aquarium with over 400 different animals to look at and one of the best Plymouth attractions for families. There’s also various talks and shows throughout the day to keep everyone entertained.
Opening times – Daily 10:00am – 17:00pm
The National Marine Aquarium is fully accessible for pushchairs. If there are any stairs, there’s usually ramps and lifts to compensate. Nursing mothers are also welcome. Just speak to the hosts if you require more privacy.
Loola Land soft play area (Toddlers to 10 years old)
Toddler Tuesday – Sessions running every Tuesday during School term-time for 2-4-year-olds. Sessions focus on different parts of the aquarium per week with the added bonus of stories, arts/Crafts, puppet shows. Tip: Arrive early as there are 15 spaces per session!
Specially designed children’s areas – The discovery zone (create something to take home), Cavern of colour, View sharks from the mermaid’s cave.
The wave gift shop stocks a range of ‘ocean themed’ gifts and eco-friendly ranges inspiring kids to help the ocean.
Wave’s Cafe – Refuel and energize with views across Plymouth Sound.
FAQ: How much is it to get into Plymouth aquarium?
Adult (£17.95), Child 3-15 (£13.70), Family (£56.60), Senior (£15.85)
Website: National Marine Aquarium
2. Outdoor Swimming at Tineside lido (Summertime Only)
The wonder of Plymouth hoe, the Tinside lido is the perfect choice for a hot day in Plymouth. It’s even been voted one of the top 10 outdoor pools in Europe. With the addition of a sunbathing terrace and cafe, there’s certainly something for everyone.
Opening times: Usually from May-September
3. Shopping at Drake Circus
Shop till you drop at Plymouth’s main shopping centre. Drake circus is one of the top things to do in Plymouth. you’ll find a huge range of shops such as M&S, Boots and Primark for all the family. Looking for something to eat? Head to the third floor.
4. The Barcode
Plymouth’s newest addition featuring a 4D cinema, crazy golf and plenty of places to eat, the barcode could keep you entertained for days. Just across the road from drake circus shopping centre, it’s a perfect place to finish a busy day with a film and a meal.
5. Learn about Plymouth at the Tourist Information Center
A visit to the Barbican should naturally start with a visit to the tourist information centre. There’s plenty of maps and brochures available as well as a souvenir shop. There’s always a member of staff on hand to answer any questions.
6. Visit The Mayflower Museum (PL1 2LR)
Learn more about Plymouth’s history and the sailing of the Mayflower with a visit to the Mayflower Museum. View a model of the mayflower up close. The museum is stroller accessible too.
Entry fee: Adults (£3.50). Child (£2), Senior/Student (£2.50), 2 adults/3 children (£10)
Website: Mayflower Museum
7. Eat Fish and Chips on the Barbican
The Barbican is home to plenty of award-winning fish and chip takeaways and restaurants. Round off a trip to the aquarium at the Rockfish or dine in with beautiful views out to the Barbican at harbour fish and chips. Have lunch from one of the many award-winning fish and chip takeaways throughout the Barbican.
8. Swimming at the life centre
An Olympic sized swimming pool and diving pools close to the city centre and walkable through the beautiful central park. This is something that all the family will enjoy. There’s also a gym, climbing wall and sports centre.
A fun activity in Cornwall – St Ives to Carbis Bay on the South west coast path
9. A trip to Mount Batten
Just a short ferry ride from the Barbican, you can enjoy a lovely walk along Mount Batten pier or try your hand at fishing. You’ll also get a chance to view Plymouth Hoe and the Barbican from a different angle.
There’s plenty of water sports and land activities available to try at the Mount Batten Centre which has some of the best activities for kids in Plymouth. Try your hand at stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, powerboating and more. Land activities include team challenges, beach studies, rock-climbing and gorge walking.
10. Try out a Rib Ride
Plymouth Rib Rides combines 30 minutes of adrenaline fun with fantastic views of Plymouth sound and the surrounding area.
Prices: Adult (£15) | Child (£10)
Things to see in Plymouth
Go on a walk to Plymouth hoe of visit for the morning it’s up to you. Plymouth Hoe is one of many free days out in Plymouth. This great expanse offers endless opportunities! Whether it’s to give your toddler a run after a shopping trip of a sleepwalk for your baby, there’s no explanation for visiting Plymouth without a trip to the hoe.
- Smeatons Tower (A famous landmark in the South West, this lighthouse offers views across Plymouth sound).
- The Royal Citadel (A 17ft wall build as an English defence.)
- Tinside Lido (See no.3) – A perfect summer swimming spot
- Sir Francis Drake Statue
The Mayflower Steps
Enjoy breathtaking views out to sea and across the Barbican as you learn about Plymouth’s history. This is where the Pilgrim fathers in 1620 left to cross the Atlantic to settle in North America. There’s also the mayflower museum. A very informative walking tour of the Mayflower Steps and the Barbican is available to book on Viator from the Mayflower Museum. Walk in the footsteps of Sir Francis Drake and learn about the epic voyage of the Pilgrims in 1620. Click here for more information on the tour. The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and accepts any age. It’s also accessible for strollers.
The Royal William Yard (PL1 3AP)
Home to a range of grade one listed military buildings, the royal William Yard is home to plenty of things to do. Eat in one of the many restaurants or walk through the buildings with stunning views out to sea and towards Devonport.
Website | Royal William Yard
Days out and things to do near Plymouth with kids
There are plenty of children’s activities near Plymouth as well as in Plymouth itself.
Yes, you read it right, you can take a day-trip to FRANCE from Plymouth. Sail From Plymouth to Roscoff in the North of France with Brittany Ferries. The journey takes 6-8 hours, and ferries leave each day and often overnight. For a longer break, explore Brittany’s tourist resorts or access the motorway for fast travel to the Loire, the Dordogne and the Atlantic Coast. Rates start from £24 and cars can be brought for £30 extra. Travelling with children? There’s an excellent video available on the website which you can view here
A boat trip to Cawsand, Cornwall
From April, take a boat from the Barbican to the neighbouring county of Cornwall. Cawsand is a small village just over the river Tamar overlooking Plymouth Sound. Take the day to slowly explore the village and visit the stunning beach.
You may also like | Things to do in Exmouth with kids
A scenic train journey to the Tamar Valley
Hop on the Tamar Valley line from Plymouth station. The Tamar is the river separating Devon and Cornwall with the towering Brunel bridge above. This 14 mile stretch of the track can be crossed in 45 minutes. Hop off at one of the villages of Bere Ferrers, Bere Alston, Calstock and Gunnislake.
For more information on things to do at these stops visit Great Scenic Railways at greatscenicrailways.co.uk
For more day trips in Devon, take a look at these day trips from Exeter
Where to stay in Plymouth with Kids
The Juries Inn is located in the heart of Plymouth within minutes from the Barbican and Drake Circus. The rooms have a modern finish and include a flat-screen TV and toiletries. An excellent buffet breakfast is provided at an extra cost. Cots ARE available on request. View the latest prices and availability for your dates here.
The Fox House studios are modern studios in the heart of Plymouth whithin minutes of Drake circus shopping centre, Plymouth Hoe and the Barbican. Each room has a fully equipped kitchenette and guests also have access to a laundry room. Rooms sleep 1-2 adults + kids. Cots CAN NOT be provided but kids are very welcome. View the latest pries and availability for your dates here.