Are you looking for things to do in Cornwall with your family? Then you’ve come to exactly the right place. Today I’ve rounded up 50 things to do in Cornwall with kids and guess what? That’s not even the extent of what there is to do in this beautiful county with your family.
Yes, there is more but, we hope that this post will serve you with some good inspiration and will help you to plan the best family holiday or day out with your kids.
If you haven’t visited Life Unexpected before, this blog is full of Cornish inspiration from family days out to family friendly places to stay. Be sure to check out our ‘Cornwall‘ section for more guides, honest reviews and sneak peaks into the best of what Cornwall has to offer.
But enough of the waffle, without further ado here is…
50 Things To Do In Cornwall With Kids
1. Go To The Beach – This is a pretty obvious one, but if you’re looking for the best family friendly beaches in Cornwall, check out two of my posts: ‘Top 5 Family Friendly Beaches In Cornwall‘ and Kynance Cove, Cornwall.
Do A Water Based Activity
Cornwall is surrounded by beautiful coastlines. Make the most of the water by doing a sea based activity.
2. Do Some Watersports – We recommend trying out paddleboarding or kayaking. A few of our favourite spots for this include Gyllanvase Beach in Falmouth, the Helford River and Porthminster Beach in St. Ives. If surfing is more your thing, why not take lessons on Fistral Beach in Newquay or Porthmeor Beach in St. Ives.
3. Go On A Boat – All kinds of boat rides are available in Cornwall. You can hire self-drive boats from small fishing harbours such as St.Ives, you can pedal boats or kayak on lakes such as the one in Helston or you take wildlife sea cruises and boat tours along the river Fal and in a whole variety of other places.
4. Visit Jubilee Pool – An outdoor swimming pool with a difference, the Jubilee Pool is a must visit if you fancy a swim. It’s the perfect place for all ages to swim safely in fresh sea-water and enjoy the coastal views of Penzance.
5. Vist The Aqua Park At Retallack – Kids and grown ups will love doing watersports at Retallack. Surf Cornwall’s only FlowRider, challenge your kids in the ‘total wipeout’ styled aqua park and try out water zorbing!
Visit A Museum
6. National Maritime Museum – The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is a multi-award winning, family friendly museum with 15 galleries, a National Small boat Collection, a 100 foot Look Out Tower, a Tidal Zone and an exciting new 2018 Titanic exhibition.
7. Telegraph Museum Porthcurno – Discover the roots of modern communication at Telegraph Museum Porthcurno and find out how Porthcurno was at the very centre of the communications revolution. Explore science, technology, history. With secret trails with codes to crack and creative seasonal events, enjoy family-friendly activities throughout the year.
8. Museum Of Witchcraft and Magic – Nestled in the middle of Boscastle lies the eery Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. The museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of items relating to witchcraft, the occult and magic and makes for a very interesting visit.
Go To An Adventure Theme Park
9. Camel Creek – Camel Creek in Restormel is an all weather attraction that is perfect for kids of all ages. With thrill rides, children’s rides, animals and a huge indoor soft play centre, kids will love spending the day here.
10. Flambards – Expect to have the ‘Best Day Of The Week’ at Flambards Theme Park in Helston. There are rides and attractions to suit everyone at Flambards. With sky high thrill rides, kids rides, exhibitions and indoor zones, you’re sure to find something to do for each family member.
11. Holywell Bay – Entry to Holywell Bay fun park is free, just pay as you play! There are so many rides and activities available. Kids will love riding, sliding, splashing and spinning on all the rides which include racing cars, pedalos, orbiters, a maze and so much more.
Ride On The Train
12. Bodmin and Wenford Railway – The Bodmin and Wenford railway is home to Cornwall’s steam trains. Check their timetable for a whole variety of events. Take a ride on one of their trains and tuck into dinner or a cream tea, or why not take part in the train quiz or murder mystery challenge.
13. Lappa Valley – Park your car and then ‘ride the train’ into Lappa Valley. Inside you will find a leisure park packed full with a whole host of family friendly activities including crazy golf, a canoeing lake, play areas and two further railways to explore.
Meet Some Animals
14. Newquay Zoo – See lions, meerkats, zebras and over 130 species of animal at Newquay Zoo in Cornwall. You can read our review of Newquay Zoo here.
15. Blue Reef Aquarium – Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay is home to 40 naturally-themed habitats – taking you on a journey from the Cornish coasts to the exotic seas. Come face-to-face with freshwater turtles, discover the underwater tunnel, meet the sharks and see shoals of colourful fish.
16. Dairyland Farm World – Dairyland Farm World is a kids’ adventure park that offer pony and tractor rides, animal feeding, games and a whole variety of play areas. Watch the cows being milked on this working farm, pet some animals and have hours of fun in the indoor and outdoor parks. You can read our review of Dairyland here.
17. Paradise Park – Paradise Park in Hayle is a wildlife sanctuary that’s home to over 650 birds and animals. Kids will love feeding the animals, such as penguins, lorakeets, goats and donkeys. They can meet a penguin or a panda, watch bird flying shows, ride the mini train, play in the parks or have fun in the indoor soft play zone; The Jungle Barn. Read our review of Paradise Park here.
18. Cornish Seal Sanctuary – The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek is a sanctuary for injured seal pups, and is owned by The SEA LIFE Trust. Kids will love watching the exciting marine displays. They’ll also get to listen to talks about the rescue animals, explore the centre and watch feeding demonstrations. You can read our review of the Seal Sanctuary here.
Visit A Castle
19. Tintagel Castle – Discover the ancient Tintagel Castle. Explore the dramatic rocks, cross the bridge, see the dark age remains and immerse yourself in the history and legend of King Arthur.
20. Pendennis Castle – Pendennis Castle in Falmouth has the most striking coastal and an equally captivating histort. It’s a castle that has served and defended Cornwall since Tudor times. A castle that saw the reign of Henry the VIII and that survived the battles in WW2. You can read our review of Pendennis Castle here.
21. St. Michaels Mount – The legendary castle can be reached by foot at low tide and by boat at high tide. Learn about the legend of the giant as you climb the steep paved pathway to the castle and admire the most magnificent views of Mounts Bay as you reach the top. You can read our review of St. Michaels Mount here.
Explore An Exotic Garden
22. Glendurgan Garden – Glendurgan Garden is famous for its maze and its beautiful sub-troical valley garden that runs down to meet the Helford River. This is a National Trust property so you can expect plenty of seasonal activities for kids.
23. Trebah Gardens – Next door to Glendurgan you’ll find Trebah Garden, a 26-are award winning sub-tropical garden which is also home to its very own beach. This garden is more like a peaceful paradise and a wonderful place for children to get lost in imagination. You can read our review of Trebah Gardens here.
24. Lost Gardens Of Heligan –The Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey in Cornwall, are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. Twenty five years ago the gardens were lost under a tangle of weeds, but a chance discovery had the 200 acres restored to their former glory.
25. Eden Project – Probably one of Cornwall’s most famous attractions the Eden Project really is a must visit. Step into the two biomes and discover the largest indoor rainforest in the world. Rnjoy special events, interactive exhibitions and so much more. You can read our review of Eden Project here.
26. Camel Trail – Park up and hire bikes for the whole family in Wadebridge then cycle 5.5 miles along the famous Camel Trail, a traffic free trail with the most stunning views of the Camel Estuary. Park up in Padstow and explore this popular fishing town.
27. Go Karting – Do your kids love life in the fast lane? Why not challenge them to a race and go ‘Go Karting’. The best places to do this in Cornwall include Coast To Coast Karting in Hayle, Cornwall Karting in Newquay and Kartworld at the Adrenalin Quarry.
28. Horse Riding – Do your kids love horse riding? Why not gallop along the sand, trot across the moors or plod along the bridleways. Places your kids can try horse riding include Reen Manor in Perranporth, Hallagena on Bodmin Moor and Bosvathick Riding Stables on the South Coast.
29. Segway Ride – Take control of your very own Segway at the iconic Goonhilly Satellite Station near Helston.
30. Country Skittles – Do you love bowling? Why not visit an old school bowling alley and games centre. Country Skittles in Hayle is perfect for rainy days, with an arcade, board games, old school bowling, a shooting gallery and so much more, it’s fun for the whole family.
Go To The Theatre
31. Minack Theatre – The Minack Theatre is Cornwall’s world famous open-air theatre, carved into the granite cliff and set in glorious gardens overlooking the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay
32. Experience Child-Friendly Outdoor Theatre – Penlee Park in Penzance is a unique outdoor theatre space set in beautiful sheltered surroundings. The theatre seats around 300 people and has a packed programme full of shows children will love. They often host film nights too. Another must try theatre experience for kids is the Rogue Theatre. Rogue is a travelling theatre company that does immersive and interactive shows. They host them in a number of magical locations inclulding Tehidy Woods and The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Get Lost In The Woods
33. Cardinham Woods – Home to bike trails and walking trails with both easy and more difficult routes available. Kids will love the Julia Donaldson experience trails and can warm up after with a delicious hot chocolate or lunch in the woodland cafe.
34. Tehidy Woods – Tehidy Woods is home to the worlds most friendliest squirrels (expect them to run up and say hi), a beautiful lake with swans and ducks and 250 acres of peaceful woods. The woodland area has a cafe and picnic area and is the perfect spot for a run, walk or bike ride.
Learn About Cornwall’s Mining Heritage
35. Poldark Mine – Poldark Mine is probably one of the most famous mines in Cornwall at the moment thanks to the popular TV series of the same name. Poldark is the only complete tin mine in Cornwall and is open for underground guided tours.
36. Geevor Tin Mine – Geevor is the largest preserved mine site in the country and is the key centre within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site! Here you can experience the 18th century underground tour, visit the interactive museum, explore abandoned buildings, pan for gems and take part in plenty of family activities.
Enjoy A Food & Drink Day Out
37. Visit a Cider Farm or Vineyard – Healey’s Cyder Farm is by far the most famous, offering tours of the farm and tastings. There are also plenty of things here kids will enjoy. Other cider farms and vineyards to visit include Polgoon Cider Farm and Vineyard, Cornish Orchards, Knightor Winery, Camel Valley and Trevibban Mill. All of these offering wine or cider tours and tastings.
38. Go On An Ice Cream Farm Tour – Visit either Roskilly’s in St. Keverne or Callestick Farm in North Cornwall and see where both these famous ice creams our made. Meet the animals on the farm, stroll around the beautiful walks and of course sample some delicious ice cream.
39. Tate Gallery – Visit the Iconic Tate St Ives Gallery. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this striking gallery has just been extended and reopened. With ever-changing exhibitions celebrating both local and international artists.
40. Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens – Tremenheere is a major new attraction near Penzance in Cornwall. A beautiful sheltered valley in west Cornwall, surrounded by woods and streams. The dramatic 22-acre sub-tropical gardens provide the backdrop to contemplative and inspiring art in the form of permanent site-specific structures created by international renowned artists such as James Turrell RA and David Nash RA.
Visit A Historic Place
41. Lanhydrock – Lanhydrock in Cornwall is a magnificent late Victorian country house with gardens and a large wooded estate. Within the house there are loads of rooms to explore, from the old slave quarters, to magnificent drawing rooms. A National Trust property, expect loads of activities for kids. You can read our review of Lanhydrock here.
42. Godolphin House – Another National Trust property, Godolphin House in Cornwall is a historic house with a medieval garden. Challenge your kids to the ‘barefoot’ sensory walk, let them play in the mud kitchen and tuck into lunch under the rafters of the transformed old piggery. You can read our review of Godolphin House here.
43. Jamaica Inn – Jamaica Inn is Cornwall’s most famous smugglers inn, made world-famous by Daphne du Maurier’s book of the same name. Have lunch here, visit the museum, experienve a murder mystery night and so much more.
44. Charleston Shipwreck and Heritage Centre – Charlestown is a beautiful tiny fishing village that features in a wide number of TV programmes and international films. Pop here to see the ships still in the harbour and visit the Shipwreck and heritage centre where you can see the largest private collection of artefacts of this type in Europe.
45. Adrenalin Quarry – Find the flooded Adrenalin Quarry nr Liskeard in South East Cornwall. Fly down zip wires, ride a giant clifftop swing and go coasteering. An awesome outdoor playground for kids and grown ups to!
46. Visit an Escape Room – Escape Time in St. Ives is a fun adrenalin filled game that the whole family will love. You have one hour to try and escape a fun, fully themed room, by piecing together the puzzles and riddles se out in front of you. Will you be able to escape in time?
47. Pirates Quest – Embark on a swashbucklin’ voyage through Cornwall’s pirating past at Pirates Quest in Newquay. The immersive Pirate themed walk-through experience is a must try for kids. A real live pirate will help them to escape a shipwreck and find some treasure! The perfect visit on a rainy day.
49. Bodmin Jail – Explore life as an 18th century prisoner at Bodmin Jail, one of Cornwall’s top historical sites. Walk through five levels of cells, dine at our Governor’s Hall and experience what life was like for the prisoners in this spooky real life jail.
49. Carnclaze Caverns – Perfect to visit in all weather Carnclaze Caverns in St. Neot is home to a magical woodland walk full of zig zag pathwats, as well as an enchanting underground cavern that both kids and grown ups will love exploring.
50. Lands End – A visit to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete with out a visit to the very tip of the county. Home to striking views and plenty of entertainment for both kids and adults. Don’t forget to get your picture taken in front of the famous sign!
This list of 50 things to do in Cornwall with kids is by no means extensive. We could easily write a whole new list full of another 50 things. Other places you can find inspiration of things to do with kids are the Visit Cornwall website and websites such as ‘Days Out With The Kids‘. Or again, don’t forget to check out our very own ‘Cornish’ section which is updated frequently.
To find out more blogger reviews of days out (I personally love reading other peoples experiences of places), two blogs I cannot recommend enough are ‘A Cornish Mum‘ and ‘The Cornish Life’. The latter blog is great if you have a dog, because she covers loads of dog friendly places to visit in Cornwall.