An open – child related – letter to Exeter

rain_in_the_park__part_2_by_lolithium-d4b2x0wDear Exeter,

Why are there hardly any rainy day provisions for smallies?  I realise that Devon is a very beautiful place, full of outdoorsy people but why-oh-why are there so few places to go when it’s rubbish outside?

Yesterday was a Bear Feet day and – according to the lovely member of staff on the door – it was their busiest day of the year.  I can confirm it was ear-splitingly busy.  Generally – as you will understand if you have read my last post – soft play allows parents a little time to drink coffee and write blogs in a very noisy environment.  Today my son didn’t want to play ball and as I nursed my overly-milky slightly tepid cappuccino with my son draped over me, I thought there must be more fun things to do with kids on a rainy day in Exeter.


Dear budding mum or dad-trepeneurs of Exeter,

This song is for you (sing to the tune of Blue Monday, New Order “I see a ship in the harbour“)

I spy a gap in the market,

a gap that would surely pay.

And if it wasn’t for my dislike of softplay,

I would fill that gap today.

How about it? YOU CAN DO IT.


Dear mums and Dads who have been living in Exeter for a while,

Other than the library, RAMM and Bear Feet.  Where do you take your kids on a rainy day? Any ideas gratefully received.

Best Wishes,






7 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlie Gray says:

    I’m a huge advocate of staying indoors and doing nothing. Honestly, I have never been one of those parents who feel the need to do stuff all the time, I like to think my kids have learned to occupy themselves a bit more now. It was also in part because when the kids were younger going anywhere was very stressful (we are now having eldest assessed for autism so now I know why!) so I kept it to a minimum. But you’re right there’s not much here in Exeter!


    1. Stephanie Darkes says:

      I agree Charlie, kids need to learn to occupy themselves, we do a lot of staying in too!

      I also know what you mean about taking them out being stressful, mine are three years apart and there was a period where it was too stressful, we’d go to the park and I’d be having a panic attack every couple of minutes trying to keep an eye on them.

      Now that they are at quite easy ages so we can go places and I can drink coffee (this makes me happy).

      I think soft play is also great for parents who need some respite, I used to take my smallest to play in the toy department at IKEA just to drink coffee & get out of the house for a bit 😀

      Steph (Exploring Exeter)


  2. justcharlieg says:

    I think I’m really just lazy! But yes mine are much better now they are 9 and nearly 7, but there’s so little to do! Crealy we do a lot now they are older and I can just sit myself at a table and occupy myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie Darkes says:

      That sounds good.

      We had an awful experience of Crealy that involved losing the hubby & dealing with a poo-splosion (there’s probably another blog there somewhere).

      RAMM is pretty good we found but it can get a bit repetitive.

      Love your blog btw. Tried to comment on your Prince post but I’m not sure if it worked (I pressed the button too many times!)


  3. justcharlieg says:

    RAMM is fab but we can’t go as my daughter has a phobia of bones. RAMM even sent us a map detailing which room s are bone free but she can’t cope with it at all (the one with suspected Aspergers) such a shame! I definitely got your Prince comment xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie Darkes says:

      That’s a shame and how good of them to do that.

      Does your daughter have favourite places to go to?

      Glad you got the Prince message, guessing you’re a bit of a music nerd like me 😀 xx


      1. justcharlieg says:

        I am a bit of a music nerd yes! We like to go up to Haldon and Crealy mostly, but as you say, we’re not spoiled for choice around here! x


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