'Out Instead' at Christmas

Client and Care Professional friendly Christmas venues in our Exeter, East and Mid Devon community

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our office, and across the community…

As part of our ‘Out Instead’ project, we are keen to encourage our Clients to explore a little more with the support of their Care Professionals, Christmas time included!

Our community is home to a host of hidden gems, with events, attractions and spectacles to cheer us. Take a look to our guide to getting ‘Out Instead’ this Christmas, with a collection of fun and festive suggestions…

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market

Friday 17th November – Sunday 17th December 2023

With over 100 twinkling chalets offering local gifts and produce, along with offerings from further afield, there’s something for everyone at what is Devon’s biggest Christmas market! Plus, beautiful Exeter Cathedral offers free entry* and the chance to see the 2023 Christmas attraction, being the Light of Hope Star installation, by artist, Peter Walker.

Entry to the Cathedral Market is free.

Opening times: Monday-Wednesday 10am-7pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am -9pm, Sunday 11am-5pm

Access: The main floor of the Cathedral is generally accessible although there are places where the floor is a little uneven. There are single steps into some of the smaller chapels. Wheelchairs are available and can be pre-booked via the Cathedral office HERE. Whilst temporary matted flooring is in place on Cathedral Green along the various ‘streets’ of the market area, the ground is uneven in places.

Parking is available at various sites, including Princesshay Multi Story and Southernhay pay and display. *Exclusions apply during event times.

Home Instead Nostalgic Family Cinema, The Gateway Theatre, Seaton

Tuesday 12th December 2023, 1.30pm

Having taken part in our free Dementia Awareness training in early 2023, the Gateway Theatre team have been working with us to organise our Nostalgic Family Cinema: a year of family friendly and dementia aware events, the first of which is Elf! Filmed in 2003, this has become a popular family favourite across the generations, and features the story of Buddy the elf, starring Will Ferrell. The Gateway Nostalgic Cinema offers relaxed seating at tables, subtitles on all films, lower volume and increased lighting. The café will remain open and serving a selection of soft drinks (and cake) throughout the screening. There will also be a fun, free quiz! Whilst promoted as a dementia friendly screening, anyone who loves nostalgic films is very welcome.

Tickets: £3.50 per person

Opening times: Tuesday-Thursday 10am-1pm – later for events.

Access: Both the Box Office and auditorium are located on the ground floor at street level, with access through to toilet facilities.

Parking: A number of car parks are located nearby. Details HERE.

Otter Garden Centre, Ottery St Mary

November – December 2023

Popular with our Clients and Care Professionals year-round, at Christmas time Otter Garden Centre takes on a whole new identity, becoming something of a winter wonderland! Whether you are looking to do a little Christmas shopping, have a festive coffee, add to your Christmas decoration collection or simply take in the sights and sounds, including a full-scale Christmas Steam engine, Otter is the place to visit. Plus, there are some special events taking place throughout December, including a Christmas Music event featuring the Ottery Silver Band, A Devon Midwinter Murder book signing with author, Stephanie Austin and a festive Christmas Carols evening with Otter St Mary Choral Society.

Opening times: Monday-Tuesday 9am-5pm, Wednesday 9am-8pm, Thursday-Saturday 9am-5.30pm, Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm

Access: Otter Garden Centre is wheelchair friendly. Free Wheelchair hire (must be book in advance). No dogs policy (except for guide dogs).

Parking: Free and accessible parking on site at the two main car parking areas. To enter the garden centre without needing to cross the road, disabled customers are advised to use the car park located off Gosford Road (coming from Ottery St Mary).

Prices: Event info is available via the Otter Garden Centre website.

Exmouth Pavilion at Christmas

December 2023 – January 2024

Exmouth Pavilion is offering a host of festive shows, including the Chapterhouse Theatre Company Production of Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol and also their 2023 panto, Beauty and the Beast – produced by Trio Entertainment – which promises to be a truly family friendly show.

Opening times: The theatre is open 7 days a week from 9am-5pm, and later on performance evenings. Booking is required via the Pavilion Box office online HERE or by calling 01395 222477.

Access: Exmouth Pavilion has level access throughout the building, including to the main foyer, toilets, auditorium and café bar.

Parking: Exmouth Pavilion do have a very limited number of spaces in dedicated areas for wheelchair users. Customers requiring support with regard to parking, mobility and access are advised to call the Box Office team directly, rather than book online.

Christmas at National Trust Knightshayes, Tiverton

Promising “sweeping garlands, showstopper trees and shimmering lights” beautiful Knightshayes promises to be even more enchanting than usual for Christmas! The ground floor of this Victorian house will be decorated in a truly traditional way, along with an illuminated display through parts of the formal garden. There is also festive food and gifts on offer, along with family fun with a Meet Father Christmas event and Craft Activity workshops.

Prices: Available from the National Trust Knightshayes website. Reductions and concessions available for those attending with the support of a Care Professional or carer.

Access: National Trust Knightshayes advise that their formal and woodland gardens are partly accessible and feature hard and step free paths. However these can be sloped and in areas include gravel paths and steps to some terrace areas. There is level access to the shop but the floor is uneven. Access from the stables courtyard is cobbles. Further information HERE. Manual wheelchairs can be booked in advance via [email protected] or by calling 01884 257381.

Parking: There are 8 designated accessible parking spaces in the main car park. A drop-off point is available at the house: Visitors must attend reception first.

Home Instead Nostalgic Cinema, The Beehive, Honiton

Thursday 21st December 2023, 2.00pm

The Beehive is an award-winning community venue in the popular market town of Honiton and is home to our own, popular Nostalgic Cinema, which takes place regularly on the last Thursday of each month. For Christmas 2023, our chosen classic is Santa Claus The Movie, from 1985, featuring Dudley Moore. All of our Nostalgic Cinema screenings are Dementia Aware and feature subtitles and discreet adjustments to make them a truly inclusive experience that every generation can enjoy, together. Screenings start at 2.00pm and ticket prices include a hot drink and free fun quiz in the Beehive Café following the film.

Access: The Beehive is fully accessible and offers spaces for wheelchair uses in the auditorium – advance booking is advised in order to take advantage of this facility.

Parking: There is a large, free car park area to the rear of The Beehive, including 2 designated disabled parking spaces – these can be found at the far end of the car park, with ramp access to the front entrance.

Prices: Tickets £4.50* per person – includes hot drink, biscuit and chat after the screening. *Includes £1 admin fee.