16 Family days out in Cornwall for the summer
Special family days out in Cornwall can stay in yours and your children’s memories for years to come.
Covid-19 Update for Guests.
Make the most of your holiday by planning in advance.
Cornwall has so many wonderful outdoor spaces to enjoy but if you want to visit somewhere specific our advice is to plan in advance. Many of the county’s top attractions are opening their gardens and open areas. To comply with social distancing and keep everyone safe, visitors are being limited. You may need advance tickets.
Whether you are a family of three or you bring along every auntie, uncle and the dogs to see what Cornwall has to offer, we’ve got plenty of suggestions. Discover a variety of family days out throughout Cornwall, suitable for all ages to create summer holiday memories that will last a lifetime:
Carbis Bay Holidays’ top family days out in Cornwall:
- Go Surfing with St Ives Surf School – St Ives
- Try a Segway with Cornwall Segway – Goonhilly
- Take a Bike Ride with West Cornwall Bike Hire – Gwithian
- Open Air Swimming at Jubilee Pool – Penzance
- Canoe or Paddle Board – Carbis Bay
- Try Fishing – Carbis Bay
- See Exotic Birds at Paradise Park – Hayle
- Flambards Theme Park – Helston
- Camel Creek Adventure Park – Wadebridge
- Retallack Water Park – near Newquay
- Explore Henry the 8th’s Castle at Pendennis – Falmouth
- Visit a Castle on an Island at St Michael’s Mount – Marazion
- Experience Outdoor Theatre at the Minack – Porthcurno
- Explore the Cornish Coast – all around the coast!
- Head to Heartlands – Pool
- Discover the Cornish Countryside – anywhere in Cornwall!
Outdoor Activities for Families in Cornwall
Family days out in Cornwall can be as exhilarating or mellow as you like. Why not find out who’s more adventurous, Mum, Dad or the kids? From sea swimming to surfing, cycling to segway tours, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy on family days in Cornwall.
1. Surf School, St Ives
Learn to surf in Cornwall as a family for a great day out. Take part in a lesson or guided tour. Or, enjoy some of Cornwall’s other watersports and hire kayaks or stand up paddleboards for a day out in Cornwall. This is a great way of exploring the Cornish coast from a different viewpoint. And, if you’ve got some daredevils in the family, how about going on a coasteering adventure?
2. Cornwall Segway, Goonhilly Satellite Station near Helston
If you are a family who prefers dry land, try Cornwall’s very own, unique segway tour experience. Based at the world-famous Goonhilly satellite station, you’ll also get to see the station’s massive satellites in person as you glide through stunning scenery on a unique adventure.
3. West Cornwall Bike Hire, Gwithian
There’s nothing quite like a family bike ride to bring everyone together for the day. Grab your comfiest shoes and pedal your way through Cornwall’s woods and coastal paths with your cousins, nieces and nephews. West Cornwall Bike Hire is based in Gwithian, near St Ives, and can deliver your bikes to your holiday accommodation too!
4. Jubilee Pool, Penzance
If you fancy a splash somewhere a bit safer than the sea, make sure you pack your swimming costumes and head to The Jubilee Pool, Art Deco lido in Penzance for a fun family day out in Cornwall. We recommend an afternoon swim before relaxing by the cafe where they serve pizzas and cocktails from 5pm – 9pm.
5. Explore the Bay by Hawaiian Canoe or SUP
Families can join in the latest global craze of stand-up paddle-boarding on the (usually) calm waters, hire sit-on-top kayaks, or learn the ropes on a fleet of Topper dinghies. However, the most unique vessel for a coastal explorer tour is a four – or six-seater Hawaiian canoe, with underwater viewers that bring you face-to-face with marine life.
6. Catch Your Own Mackerel for Tea
Hop aboard for a family-friendly fishing trip and learn how to catch mackerel using traditional hand-lines. Or, if you prefer your seafood plated up at one of St Ives’ harbour-side restaurants, ditch the fishing trip for an exciting boat ride out with St Ives Boats to Seal Island, Godrevy Lighthouse or Hell’s Mouth.
You never know what you might encounter out to sea – from pods of dolphins to seals, basking sharks and sunfish.
Cornwall Theme Parks and Attractions for a Family Day Out
What kid doesn’t want to spend a hair raising day out at a theme park with their family?! Cornwall offers a range of themed days out for toddlers to teenagers and even something for Grandad.
7. Paradise Park, Hayle
Just up the road from St Ives in Hayle, you’ll have the best day out in West Cornwall. Paradise Park is perfect for your little ones who love animals with various displays and feeding sessions throughout the day.
From a wide variety of animals and tropical birds to riding the Jungle Express train. There is something for all ages. Watch the penguins being fed and explore the gardens or take the kids to the ‘Jungle Barn’ – an indoor play centre with a soft play area, ball pools and slides.
8. Flambards Theme Park, Helston
Tucked away in West Cornwall, there is an exciting day out waiting for the family. Flambards Theme Park in Helston has a brilliant selection of rides for small children such as:
- The Balloon Race
- The Pirate Ship
- The Dino Express
For the more dangerous thrill-seekers in the family visit:
- The Demon Drops
- The G-force Skyforce Ride
- The Hornet Roller Coaster
- The Famous Log Flume
You can also spend the day travelling back in time and explore the Victorian Village and Britain in the Blitz which are both fun and educational. These are great places to retreat to if it rains, as are the indoor play centres.
9. Camel Creek Adventure Park, Wadebridge
Take the family to North Cornwall for a day out and experience Swampy’s super slides, Shire horse stables and The Ultimate Wave Rider. The park has different areas for different ages which include:
- Swampy and Dina Land
- Kiddies Kingdom
- Thunder Canyon
- Creature Creek
Camel Creek Adventure Park also offers a great junior keeper experience for children where kids get given a hat and badge and can enjoy meeting and grooming animals and even get given a certificate at the end! Plus, there are special events during the summer which feature some of the children’s favourite characters from Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol.
10. Retallack Aqua Park, near Newquay
Has your family got children over the age of six and looking for a wet day out? There is an adventure waiting for you that’s similar to Total Wipeout. Jump, splash, bounce, climb and slide at Retallack’s huge inflatable Aqua Park. Race as Mum and Dad through the exhilarating obstacle course and be prepared to get very wet!
Historical and Educational Days out in Cornwall
There are lots of attractions in The Duchy that will impress and educate the whole family, from toddlers to teenagers. Choose where to go and enjoy your great family day out in Cornwall while learning a little more about the county.
11. Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Take the family to see the knights, princesses and castles on the south coast of Cornwall in the stunning town of Falmouth. Turn your sons and daughters into history buffs where they can learn all about weapons of war in a well-preserved 16th-century fortress built by Henry VIII. Exciting activities include:
- Midday Gunfire Re-enactment
- Climb the Spiral Staircase
- Immersive Historic Story-telling
- The Grand Medieval Joust
If it’s a sunny day, there’s a Pendennis Castle has a large grassy area that’s perfect for picnics to top off a busy family day out.
12. St Michael’s Mount, Longrock
Make memories with the whole family and walk across the cobbled causeway at low tide to explore the castle, town and harbour. There’s always an abundance of activities on at St Michael’s Mount including storytelling, rock pooling and craft days.
13. Minack Theatre, Porthcurnow
A visit to an open-air theatre is a lovely way to spend family days out in Cornwall for an afternoon or evening during your holiday. Three of our top choices are the iconic Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, Penlee Park Open Air Theatre in Penzance and Trebah Gardens near Falmouth.
The Minack has spectacular sea views, Penlee Theatre is situated in a beautiful park and Trebah has beautiful sub-tropical gardens. All are stunning locations to sit and watch a theatrical performance!
Cornwall is great for outdoor cinema, live music events and plenty of children’s performances put on by locals.
Free Family Days out Cornwall
Planning your family days out in Cornwall doesn’t have to cost the earth! Check out these free options for a fantastic free family day out in Cornwall.
14. Explore the Cornish Coast
If you’re lucky with the weather, the best thing to do is head to the beach! St Ives Bay has twelve beaches to explore and if you’re staying in St Ives or Carbis Bay, you’ll always be within walking distance of a beautiful sandy beach. Some things you can do include:
- A Picnic
- Beach Games
- A Traditional Bucket and Spade
- A Swim and Paddle
- A Good Book
Don’t forget to pack the sun cream and buckets and spades! Even if you do get a rainy day, take the crew and head off to explore some of the caves and coves dotted around Cornwall!
16. Heartlands, Pool
Heartlands is a free visitor attraction and World Heritage site in Cornwall. Based in Redruth, once the mining hub of Cornwall, Heartlands has lots of things to do, whatever the weather:
- 19 Acre Site
- An Adventure Playground
- Beautiful Botanical Gardens
- Art Exhibitions
- An Old Carpenter’s Workshop
With a unique cafe and a range of free events, there is enough to entertain the whole family for a day for two! Including engine house tours, farmers markets, cultural festivals, dance shows, music events, art exhibitions and theatre performances.
16. Discover the Cornish Countryside
Another brilliant family day out in Cornwall is to head out and explore the countryside! With miles of coastal paths, moorland and woodland to discover, get the family in their walking boots and wellies and get going!
Explore the south-west coast path from St Ives by walking towards Hayle or in the opposite direction to Zennor. Alternatively, drive down the West Cornwall Coast Road for breathtaking views of the rugged landscape and stop off at Sennen where you can enjoy a beautiful walk to Land’s End.
Or drive down to Praa Sands and explore the coastal path between there and Prussia Cove. For a fantastic woodland walk, head to Tehidy Woods, the largest woodland area in West Cornwall which has 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes to explore, together with a café and a picnic area.
Finally, no visit to Cornwall would be complete without watching a sunset, so pack your jumpers, drinks and snacks and head to the clifftop for the best views. We hope you now have plenty of inspiration and choose a family day out in Cornwall that gets the kids going.