December in St Ives is full of festivities every year, and Christmas in St Ives 2019 is no different.

From local Christmas markets, live music, the St Ives Christmas light switch-on, to Santa Claus himself making an appearance at high tide. St Ives offers a Christmas for everyone.

Cakes on a Christmas Market School

St Ives Christmas Lights Switch On

St Ives officially kicks Christmas off with the switch on of the town’s Christmas lights on the 29th December.

The countdown begins at 7pm and soon after, as the cold night sky is lit with a warm sparkling glow, you’ll know it’s Christmas in St Ives.

There will be road closures from 5-8pm on Gabriel Street. Chapel Street. Tregenna Hill, Tregenna Place, High Street, Back Street, Market Place, Lifeboat Hill, Back Lane, Fore Street.

Santa Clause is coming to St Ives Town

Santa normally arrives on a sleigh, but not in St Ives. Father Christmas lets his reindeers rest up for a night and comes into St Ives harbour riding the high-tide with the RNLI.

On the 29th November, Santa Claus will drive around the harbour and wave hello to all the waiting children before descending on the Wharf where the Mayor will greet him and the Phoenix Choir will sing Christmas carols. A wonderfully festive evening.

Light up the Town

The Christmas light spectacle takes over St Ives on the 7th December at 6pm with an energetic Lantern Parade. It’s hard not to feel in the Christmas spirit with an entire town singing and dancing along with the Celtic Samba Band whilst parading their lanterns all the way to Royal Square.

St Ives Christmas Markets

Local markets are the place for gift ideas, stocking up the pantry and perhaps treating yourself to a little something special at Christmas time. St Ives has two main Christmas markets to explore this December.

Saffron Christmas Market 2019

After great success last year, the St Ives Saffron Christmas fair will be taking place in The Guildhall, Street an Pol over three days with 40 different stalls.

Go along to interact with the many artists and makers of Cornwall who are inspired by the Cornish landscape and pick up some truly original gifts. Enjoy your time browsing the stalls with live music, festive refreshments and, of course, a very Christmassy atmosphere.

Friday 29th November 6 am to 9 pm
Saturday 30th November 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday 1st December 10 am to 4 pm

St Ives Farmers Market

St Ives town centre is always bustling with excitement, and in December, it is no different. With the inviting smell of homemade bread and pastries wafting through the streets, you can find local produce being sold on a variety of stalls.

Freshly caught fish, homemade jams, olives, fruit and veg, pies, cheese… the delicious list goes on. For a truly local, sustainable shopping experience at Christmas time, head down to the stalls and see what Cornish delicacies land in your basket.

Every Thursday in December from 9.30 am – 2 pm in The Guildhall, Street an Pol, St Ives.

Local markets are the place for gift ideas, stocking up the pantry and perhaps treating yourself to a little something special at Christmas time. St Ives has two main Christmas markets to explore this December.

Live Music, Quizzes and Open-Mic Nights – The Castle Inn

Fancy something celebrating like the locals do? The Castle Inn is a traditional ‘proper’ Cornish pub in St Ives. They host live acoustic lunchtime sessions during your Sunday roast as well as evening performances on Fridays and Saturdays throughout December. What’s more, they have a quiz every Monday night and invite everyone to participate in open mic nights for those Christmas hits every Sunday evening.

Woman drinking hot chocolate at Christmas time

Be a judge in the St Ives Christmas Window Competition

It is a Christmas tradition in St Ives for over 60 shops and galleries to dress their windows in the finest festive gear to compete for one (or both) of the coveted annual awards. The theme this year is Sleeping Beauty and the judges will be touring the town to decide the winner for Best Overall Window Display and deciding rosettes for Best Interpretation of the Theme; Most Humorous Window; Best Small Window. 

BUT, you can have your say too!

The People’s Award is highly sought after. This is where visitors and locals of St Ives vote for their favourite display. You can get involved throughout December by casting your vote at one of the voting boxes at both local Post Offices – on the Wharf and on Tregenna Hill. Closing date for votes is 12.30 Tuesday 31st December. 

You can also vote via Instagram. Simply take a photo of the window you want to vote for and hashtag it with #SIDwindow2019 and the name of the shop. (It can only be counted if you have a public account). The closing date for votes is midnight on Tuesday 31 December.

Or, post a picture on the St Ives in December Facebook page comments section with the shop name. One vote per person. The closing date for votes is midnight on Monday 31 December.

Santa Claus giving young boy a Christmas gift

St Ives’ New Year’s Eve Party

The culmination of the Christmas season, this is the biggest, most dazzling party in St Ives’ annual calendar. The entire town takes on a carnival ambience and folk come from far and wide to join the fancy dress celebrations. Streets are packed with revellers sporting crazy costumes, live music spills out of harbourside venues and the skies over the ocean light up with fireworks at midnight.

To find out about all the events happening in St Ives over Christmas, see www.stivesindecember.co.uk and www.stives-cornwall.co.uk.

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a range of self-catering holiday cottages perfect for a Christmas holiday in St Ives. Whether you’re looking for a cosy cottage with a wood burner or a family pile footsteps from the sea, check out our luxury holiday accommodation in and around St Ives.

NOTE: this article will be reviewed and updated closer to Christmas to ensure that all dates and events are running.

By: Tony Townsend On:26th November 2019
Categories:Blog,Seasonal Breaks

Arty Activities in St Ives

2nd February 2016

Once a fishing village turned artists’ colony, St Ives is home to a plethora of art galleries including the eminent Tate St Ives. As well as witnessing world-class art and coming face-to-face with local artists, why not get in touch with your creative side trying these arty activities in St Ives?

For the Family

Hepworth Family Activity Trail & Sculpture Quest

Enter the magical environment of Hepworth’s Sculpture Garden on a fun family activity trail that encourages you to draw while you explore (sketch book and art materials included). There is also a treasure hunt game and sculpture quest, to engage adventurous families on an interactive tour around the studio, museum and garden of one of St Ives’ most famous artists.

Tate Create

Proof that art appreciation isn’t just for adults, you can get creative and have some fabulous holiday fun at Tate Create.

Investigate materials, make art together and explore the exhibition. Each holiday we’ll be investigating a new theme, inspired by the fantastic artwork in the galleries.

For families with children under 12. Free with admission, Local’s Pass or Tate Membership. Drop in, no booking required, but places will be limited at busy times.

Kids’ Chocolate Workshops

Kids can get stuck into their favourite food during a chocolate-making workshop at the Cornish chocolatier ‘I Should Coco’. Learn the skills of an artisan chocolate maker, create your own chocolate designs and decorations, and take your delicious chocolate goodies home to share with friends and family. Courses are held on various dates throughout school holidays. £15 per child.

Learn to be a Chocolatier during the holidays! Children can enjoy an I Should Coco workshop in St Ives and take home their very own creations. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Learn to be a Chocolatier with I Should Coco

Clay Days at Leach Pottery

Design and create your own clay models at a hands-on, messy clay session at the Leach Pottery. Held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the holidays for kids aged 6-12, the one-hour workshops cost £6 per child (parents free).

For Adults

Barnoon Workshop

Get back to the basics of art with guided exercises in drawing, try a sketching and sculpting workshop, or create unique mosaics using beach treasure. There are all sorts of inspiring workshops and arty sessions held at the seafront Barnoon Workshop – you can even learn to make felt flowers, try knitting, cast resin charms and hand-make paper using recycled materials. Prices and times vary.

Enjoy using textiles at Barnoon Workshop, St Ives and take your own masterpiece home with you as a memory of your stay. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Work with textiles and other media at Barnoon Workshop

St Ives School of Painting

Ever wanted to commit the wild coastal landscape of St Ives to canvas? Under the tutelage of artist Gary Long you can learn to capture the drama of where the land meets the sea, using water-based media to express the energy and movement of the sea. Other courses with the experts at the St Ives School of Painting include a ‘Stroll and Sketch’ around St Ives, landscape painting, an introduction to oils, and printmaking.

There are a wealth of arty activities in St Ives. Why not choose to be a painter for the day with St Ives School of Painting? Take a tour with them and create some superb memories of your stay.

Landscape painting on the Cornish Coast with St Ives School of Painting

Back Road Trail

A great way to explore the warren of cobbled streets, the Back Road Trail takes you to the best of the local art and crafts galleries – many of which are off the beaten tourist trail. Come face-to-face with local artists and witness a mix of modern and traditional arts, pottery and even a chocolate workshop. Maps and information are available from the Visit St Ives Information Centre.

Delve into the arty vibe of St Ives from one of Carbis Bays Holidays’ stylish self-catering cottages. Hepworth and Pelagos which are both part of Barbara Hepworth’s former home.   Porth Glas, Prospect, Whistler and Wallis are a few more luxury properties footsteps from the town’s galleries.

By: Amanda O'Toole On:2nd February 2016
Categories:Local Area,Things to Do

Toddler Friendly Cornwall

8th April 2015

Cornwall is the perfect destination for holidays with toddlers. Bring buckets, spades, wellies and waterproofs, and you can hit the beaches, woodland and wide open spaces for all sorts of family fun. From crabbing to kite flying, here are 10 of our top toddler friendly experiences and activities:

1: Go Rockpooling

Take your fishing nets down to the rocky shoreline to search for starfish, sea anemones, crabs and crustaceans, and see if you can identify different types of seaweed from bladderwrack to sea oak. Our favourite rockpooling beaches are Godrevy (by the lighthouse), Trebarwith Strand and Bedruthan Steps.

Enjoy rockpooling at Gwithian, Cornwall. https://carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Rockpooling at Gwithian

2: Go bodyboarding

There are few better thrills than whooshing along on a wave, and even toddlers can paddle out catch the white water on a foam bodyboard. Never go out of your depth and always bodyboard between the flags on a lifeguarded beach. Try Porthmeor, Gwithian or Porthtowan.

Toddlers will love experiences of body boarding in Cornwall. https://carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Toddlers love body boarding!

3: Go crabbing

Dangle a crab line over the harbour wall at Hayle and see if you can haul in a crab. You can buy a crab line complete with hooks and a net for bait, or make one using string and a wire hook weighted down with a pebble. Beware of toddlers by steep drops and slippery steps at the edge of the water.

4: Build a sandcastle

A bucket and spade will keep a toddler amused for hours on the beach. Whether you make a fortress, a boat or a sand sculpture, digging in the sand is simply what tots love to do most. As well as castles with moats, we like to build sand boats and wait for the tide to come in and cast us out to sea.

5: Take the train to St Ives

Enjoy one of the most scenic train rides in the UK on the coastal railway between St Erth and St Ives. Toddlers will love spotting boats, the lighthouse and surfers against the gob-smacking backdrop of St Ives Bay, and an all-day ranger ticket means you can travel up and down the line as many times as you like (great for a rainy day activity).

Scenic train link from Carbis Bay to St Ives, a must for guests of https://carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Scenic train to St Ives

6: Hunt for beach treasure

Scour the shore for shells, driftwood, feathers and treasure washed in by the waves.  Turn your collection into a game for toddlers by laying out 10 different items on the sand, from limpet shells to mermaids’ purses, then take one item away at a time, and see if the children can identify which one is missing.

Hunt for treasures on the beach with the children during your stay in Cornwall. This Seashore guide is perfect for little people. One of our top ten toddler friendly experiences in Cornwall. https://carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Hunt for beach treasure

7: Fly a kite

There is nothing as simple and exhilarating as flying a kite on a blustery day. Pick up a one-string stunt kite, or try harnessing the elements with a dual-stringed power kite. Our favourite kite-flying beaches are St Ives Bay, Kennack Sands (on the Lizard) and Mawgan Porth.

Kite flying on the beach in Cornwall. https://carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Kite flying on the beach

8: Pick mussels

Turn a rockpool ramble into a family foraging excursion, when you pluck mussels off the rocks at the lowest point of the tide. Kids love filling buckets with their finds, scrubbing off the barnacles and beards, then putting them into a pot for tea. (Always pick mussels in a month with an ‘r’ in it, as there is less bacteria in the water and the mussels aren’t breeding.)

Mussels clinging to a rock in Carbis Bay. Only pick mussels during a month with an "R" in it. https://carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Mussels cling to a rock on Carbis Bay beach.

9: Follow the woodland trail

Crunch through leaves, picnic by the river, play in the park and tuck into cake in the family friendly café – Cardinham Woods is the perfect place to take wild toddlers at any time of year.

10: Walk in the footsteps of giants

Walk in the footsteps of a legendary giant when you cross the causeway to the sea-wrapped castle of St Michael’s Mount. Hunt for the giant’s stone heart etched in a cobbled pathway, climb to the castle turrets and return by boat once the tide has come in.

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a superb range of family accommodation in and around St Ives, Cornwall. Our toddler-friendly cottages come equipped with the likes of travel cots, toys, stair gates and highchairs.

You may also wish to read our recommendations for great family days out and buggy friendly walks in Cornwall.

By: Tony Townsend On:8th April 2015
Categories:Family Friendly,Things to Do

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