A special family day out in Cornwall can stay in your memory for years to come. 

Whether you are a family of three or every auntie, uncle and the dogs come along to see what Cornwall has to offer, we have plenty of suggestions. Discover a variety of places, suitable for all ages for a proper Cornish family day out:

1. Go Surfing

2. Try the Segway

3. Have a Bike Ride

4. Go Bird Watching

5. Explore a Castle

6. Go Swimming

7. Try an Outdoor Theatre

8. Enjoy a Family Friendly Festival

9. Experience A Theme Park

10. Try Something for Free

11. Explore the Countryside

A Day Packed with Activities for Families 

Family days out in Cornwall can be as adventurous as you like. Whose more adventurous, Mum, Dad or the baby? From sea swimming to surfing and cycling to segway tours, there’s something for the whole family. Being active in Cornwall is a great energy burner and a great excuse for Gran and Paps to have a relaxing afternoon or evening on the beach.

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 hire kayaks or stand up paddleboards. This is a great way of exploring the Cornish coast from a different viewpoint. If you’ve got the token family daredevils, go on a coasteering adventure.

See our ‘Local’s Guide to Surfing in St Ives’ for more 

Cornwall Segway, Goonhilly Satellite Station nr Helston

If you have a family who prefers dry land and wants to see a massive satellite in person, try Cornwall’s very own, unique segway tour experience. Glide through stunning scenery on a unique adventure.

  • Great for a family day out
  • Riding a Segway is really really easy
  • Like riding a magic carpet

West Cornwall Bike Hire, Gwithian

Nothing like a family bike ride eh? 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! 

  • Zigzag your way through the countryside, 
  • Discover secret beaches 
  • Enjoy breathtaking coastal views 


Cornwall Attractions for a Family Day Out

There are lots of attractions in The Duchy that will impress the whole family, from toddlers to teenagers. Choose where to go and enjoy your great family day out in Cornwall:

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. Fun activities happen daily and include:

  • Carrot Time
  • Otter and Penguin feeding
  • Eagles of Paradise Display
  • Free Flying Bird Show

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.

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.

See our 9 Ancient Castles to Explore in Cornwall’ for more

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. We recommend an afternoon swim before relaxing by the cafe where they serve pizzas and cocktails from 5pm – 9pm.

  • Swim in the fresh salt-water
  • Grab a bite to eat and drink at the cafe
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic sea. 

St Michael’s Mount, Longrock

Make memories with the family and walk across the cobbled causeway at low tide (or get wet) and explore the castle, town and harbour. See some of the summer activities St Michael’s Mount has on for the kids:

  • Storytelling – Tall Stories of the Castle
  • Rock Pooling
  • Craft Days based on Myths and Legends from the Sea
  • Learning about Sea Creatures and Giants

Three Outdoor Theatres in Cornwall for the Family

A visit to an open-air theatre is a lovely way to spend 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! 

Choose from a wide range of shows including Cornish themed stories like Jamaica Inn and Pirates of Penzance. Cornwall is great for outdoor cinema, live music events and plenty of children’s performances put on by locals.

Circus Funtasia, Travelling Circus 

Roll up, roll up, the circus has come to Cornwall … And it’s the best family day out… EVER. It features a range of fabulous acts including:

  • Fire breathing
  • Acrobatics
  • Tightrope Walking
  • Motorbike Globe Riders
  • A Terrifying Wheel of Death

There’s also lots of witty comedy thrown in. The show will keep the whole family entertained. Nobody can resist the magic of the Circus Funtasia!


Cornish Festivals: A Great Family Day Out

Harbour Fest, Hayle

Summer festivals are great for a full-on family day out in Cornwall. This year the Harbour Fest in Hayle takes place on the 25th and 27th of July. The community festivities are on the harbour and include: 

  • Street Food
  • Free Kids Tent 
  • Bouncy Castles 
  • Craft Stalls 
  • Licensed Bars

There will also be live music on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening from a range of talented performers, acoustic singers and more, plus live DJ’s on both evenings.

Falmouth Week, Falmouth

Falmouth Week is a great festival in Cornwall that will keep the family busy all day! In 2019 it takes place on Friday 9th August – Sunday 18th August. Highlights include:

  • The Sailing Regatta Events
  • Live Music
  • A Fantastic Firework Display
  • The Falmouth Carnival 
  • Children’s Storytelling Events and Workshops
  • The Impressive Red Arrows Display

The 2019 programme is available on their website along with detailed event information.

Boardmasters, Newquay

Boardmasters is a great family day out or even an entire weekend away in Cornwall. This growing music and surfing festival takes place on the 7th to the 11th of August and has a whole field dedicated to families and children’s activities:

  • Kids Field
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Family Yoga
  • Circus Skills
  • Family Camping

Spend your day both outdoors and indoors and immerse yourself in a fun weekend with family and friends.

See our ‘Toddler-Friendly Days Out In Cornwall’ for more


Seek a Thrilling Day Out for the Family

Who hasn’t been to a theme park as a family?! Cornwall offers a range of themed days out for toddlers to teenagers and even something for Grandad.

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 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.

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 are:

  • 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.

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!


A Free Day out in Cornwall with your Family

Planning your family day out in Cornwall doesn’t have to cost the earth! 

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 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 re-apply it after your family water fight in the sea! Even if you do get a rainy day, take the crew and explore come caves, that can keep you busy all day in Cornwall!

See our ‘Free things to do in Cornwall when it’s Raining’ for more

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.

Spend a Day Exploring the Cornish Countryside

Another brilliant family day out in Cornwall is the countryside! With miles of coastal paths, moorland and woodland to explore, get the family in their walking boots and wellies.

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. 

We’ve got a great selection of St Ives apartments and holiday cottages for families which are the perfect base for your summer adventure in Cornwall.

By: Tony Townsend On:23rd July 2019

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