Things to do with the Family in Plymouth – Elmer’s Big Parade

Things to do with the Family in Plymouth – Elmer’s Big Parade

Forty colourful and unique elephants can be found in Plymouth and the surrounding areas. A free trail map or a free app has been created to help you track them all down, this summer, until 16th September 2019 – the perfect family activity.

See how many Elmer’s you can find

It is time for some family fun in Plymouth!  Explore Elmer’s Big Parade in Plymouth and discover 40 individually-designed Elmer sculptures inspired by the much-loved book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.  Elmer’s Big Parade celebrates 30 years of the book series by Devon-born artist, David McKee.  There is also a mini trail at Mount Edgcumbe, with 25 smaller Elmer’s which have been designed by local school children. 

Follow the trail around Plymouth

For your next family day out, this is a fantastic opportunity to explore all the city has to offer whilst being enchanted, inspired and amazed by the sculptures themselves.

The sculptures have been designed by well-known and emerging local and national artists.  Use the app from the App Store or Google Play to find and unlock Elmer sculptures and pick up exciting rewards along the way.  Vote for your favourite photos in the Elmer Gallery, view your trail progress, discover the inspiration behind each design, and grab some great local discounts.

Elmer's Parade in Plymouth - Family Fun this Summer

Pick up a trail map

If you would prefer, maps of the trail can also be picked up at any St Luke’s Hospice Shop in Plymouth or the Mayflower Museum, Barbican Tourist Information Centre. The Elmer’s Big Parade map can also be downloaded online.

How much does it cost?

The trail maps and app are completely FREE to ensure all can take part.  There is a donation button on the app, if you did want to support St Luke’s Hospice, and the donations received go towards providing outstanding care and family support.

How long does it take to complete?

The Elmer’s Big Parade team think it will take at least 2 days.  The trail covers the city centre, Barbican, The Hoe, Millbay, Royal William Yard and the surrounding streets as well as Mount Edgcumbe.  There are a lot of picnic spots, cafes and restaurants along the way so you can take breaks and rest your feet.

Elmer's Parade in Plymouth - Family Fun this Summer

Raising funds for St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth

At the end of the summer, each of the beautifully designed Elmer’s will be auctioned to raise funds for St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.  St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is working in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press to bring this mass participation, family-friendly, art trail to life.

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is an independent charity providing specialist care and support to people with progressive life-limiting illnesses in Plymouth, South West Devon and East Cornwall. We believe that everyone deserves quality end of life care, no matter where. Their vision is a community where no person has to die alone, in pain or distress.

Elmer's Big Parade Plymouth website

Family-friendly hotel in Plymouth

Future Inn Plymouth is an ideal base for the family for the night offering various sized rooms including ones that can sleep up to four adults or a family.  Perks include free car parking, free wifi and a complimentary robe and slippers. Book direct for the best available rates on our website or by contacting the Reservations Team on 01752 701000 or Plymouth City Centre is a 15-minute drive from Future Inn Plymouth.  Alternatively, it would take around 30-minutes on public transport, or 24-minutes by bike. 

Family places to eat in Plymouth

Fishbone Restaurant is our family-friendly restaurant and it is perfect for fuelling up before or after elephant tracking. Every day the team serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening a-la-carte or traditional roasts on Sunday. Relax outside with a refreshing beverage, from our well-stocked bar, during the summer months on the large sun terrace with giant umbrellas. 

There’s a wide range of beer, lager and wine on offer – almost all of which are available by the glass, as well as by the bottle. Choose your favourite or try one of our creations from the cocktail menu, all of which are £7 each.  There is a refreshing selection of soft drinks and juices too.

Kids Eat Free

Did we mention that during the school holidays that under 12's eat for free with a paying adult?  Children aged under 12 can enjoy an Omelette, Chicken Nuggets, Fish Fingers, Mini Burgers, Roast chicken and more! Plus lots of delicious desserts and refreshments too. We welcome walk-in's or you can book on 01752 701000, by emailing, or online: 


Our friends at Visit Plymouth have put together a list of 10 things you probably don't know about David McKee and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

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