Cornwall is the perfect place for a holiday with the whole family, especially with our guide to toddler-friendly days out in Cornwall

Holidays in Cornwall aren’t all about extreme water sports, hikes along the South West Coast Path and days lounging on the beach. There are plenty of attractions and things to do in Cornwall with toddlers and babies that will keep the little ones entertained and give parents a much needed minute to relax, explore and have fun too. 

Carbis Bay Holidays’ top things to do in Cornwall with toddlers

  1. Lappa Valley Railway Park – Newquay
  2. Dairyland Farmworld – Newquay
  3. Seal Sanctuary – Gweek
  4. Roskilly’s Farm – St. Keverne
  5. Paradise Park – Hayle
  6. Eden Project – Bodmin
  7. One2Eleven – Helston
  8. Roar Jungle Play – Redruth
  9. Waterworld – Newquay
  10. National Maritime Museum – Falmouth
  11. Blue Reef Aquarium – Newquay
  12. Outdoor Adventures at Lanhydrock – Bodmin
  13. Waterside Fun at Stithians Lake – Redruth
  14. Glendurgan Garden – Mawnan Smith
  15. Sandy Beach Days at Gwithian – Hayle
  16. Paddling Playtime at Carbis Bay – St Ives
  17. Rockpooling at Godrevy – Hayle
  18. Causeway Exploring at Marazion – Penzance

Toddler-friendly outdoor attractions in Cornwall

Cornwall is a stunning holiday destination all year round but is especially beautiful in the summer months when the temperature is up and the skies are brilliant blue. If you’re visiting the county in the summer season, these outdoor activities are sure to be fun for the whole family and are especially great for keeping the toddlers entertained. 

1. Lappa Valley Railway & Activity Park – Newquay

If you’re not sure what the weather’s doing, a day out at Lappa Valley will ensure you have plenty to do to keep the little ones busy come rain or shine. Take a ride on the woodland railway, explore the toddler’s path maze and follow the nature trails. There’s an outdoor play area plus indoor play areas inside train carriages! There are plenty of family events throughout the year including Halloween fun and Santa trains at Christmas.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Roskillys Farm

2. Dairyland Farmworld – Newquay

Dairyland is a fantastic all-weather attraction on a farm near Newquay. Young children can enjoy tractor rides and pony rides, feed farm animals, watch cow milking, follow nature trails and burn off energy on the play areas and rides. The Bull Pen indoor play area, soft play areas & ball pool are great in the rain, whereas the mini tractors and adventure playground are great in dry weather.

3. Seal Sanctuary – Gweek

The Seal Sanctuary in Gweek is a great all-weather attraction where you can meet the seals and sea lions both indoors and outdoors. September to February is the best time to go and meet the new seal pups and Parent and Toddler tickets are available for one adult and one child aged 5 or under, for just £10.00 to visit during off-peak periods between Monday to Friday.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Seal Sanctuary

4. Roskilly’s Farm – St Keverne

Visiting Roskilly’s Farm is completely free, so you can have a fun day out meeting the animals without spending any money! The free entry includes seeing the farm animals, going for a stroll around the meadows, and enjoying the tranquillity by the ponds. However, we’re sure you’ll want to sample Roskilly’s award-winning ice cream too!

Try their ice cream, sorbet or frozen yoghurt, all made on-site, and enjoy in a tub or cone with spectacular rural views. Daily milking takes place between 0830-1030am which you can watch from above in the milking gallery. You can also pick up bags of animal feed from the Croust House restaurant to feed the animals roaming around the farm.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Dairyland

5. Paradise Park – Hayle

Situated just down the road from St Ives, Paradise Park is a popular choice with families staying at our St Ives holiday cottages. Children love watching the penguin feeding and meeting all the different birds of paradise and other animals, Paradise Park is home to 140 species and 650 birds! Be sure to take a ride on the Jungle Express train and enjoy the Jungle Barn indoor play centre, which also has a toddler’s area with soft play and a ball pool.

6. Eden Project – Bodmin

Where else can toddlers step into a rainforest, explore the Mediterannean and get up-close to nature with weather-proof, child-friendly facilities at hand? Exploring our natural environment, children can step inside jungle huts, take a walk in the rainforest canopies, enjoy story-time in the iconic biomes and ride a tractor-train up through the gardens. As well as themed events throughout the year, during winter Eden hosts toddler ice-play sessions on the ice rink.

Things to do in Cornwall with toddlers when it rains

One of the questions we are asked most often is ‘what can we do with the children if it rains?’ The answer is, plenty! Cornwall has many indoor play centres, museums, galleries and all-weather attractions, many of which are also fun places to visit for toddlers and young children. Read on for things to do in Cornwall with toddlers when it’s raining.

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Soft Play

7. One2Eleven – Helston

This fun play centre has kept the parents in mind as well as the children. The eating facilities at One2Eleven have been positioned around the indoor play area creating the perfect opportunity for parents to watch and interact with children whilst enjoying a drink or snack.

Play equipment includes slides, a cannon park, ball swamps, climbing frames, an assault course, rope walkways, set across different levels. There’s also a toddler zone for 1-4-year-olds with a soft play horse carousel, soft play rocking horses and giant puzzles. On One2eleven Street there’s also an animal hospital with cuddly toys, a costume castle dressing up area, a ‘let’s pretend’ supermarket and much more.

8. Roar Jungle Play – Redruth

Roar Jungle Play in Redruth has everything you need to keep kids occupied for hours! This jungle-themed play centre has bouncy castles, play frames, ball pools, roller skating, an under 4’s area and much more. There’s even a jungle-themed cafe to grab some refreshments after working up an appetite.

9. Waterworld – Newquay

The Tropical fun pool at Waterworld in Newquay consists of a leisure pool, 2 water flumes, snake floaties, water play hut with cannon and tipper, erupting volcano and snake fountain. The perfect ingredients for family fun in the water! Little ones can splash about in the shallows and kick about using floats. Waterworld also has a 6 lane 25m swimming pool adjacent to the leisure pool.

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is great for toddler friendly days out in Cornwall. Look out for their fun half term and holiday activities for kids. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

10. National Maritime Museum – Falmouth

Boats, helicopters, pirates and sea life; experience maritime adventures with your feet firmly on dry land. At the National Maritime Museum, kids can take the helm of a model sailing boat, check out the underwater gallery and climb aboard a rescue helicopter. With interactive exhibitions designed especially for younger children, family trails and half-term art and craft workshops, it’s no wonder that this was the winner of the What’s On Cornwall award for Best Gallery in 2017. 

11. Blue Reef Aquarium – Newquay

Peering into the underwater kingdoms on display at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium, children will feel as if they’ve just dived into the Finding Nemo film set. Come face to face with all sorts of sea life from clownfish and sea cucumbers, to spider crabs and a giant octopus. The highlight is the underwater tunnel, where children will be mesmerised by close encounters with stingrays, reef sharks, turtles and tropical fish.

Things to do outside in Cornwall with toddlers

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Lanhydrock

12. Outdoor adventures at Lanhydrock – Bodmin

Lanhydrock has a spectacular Victorian country house surrounded by beautiful gardens and a spacious wooded estate. There’s plenty of space to explore on balance bikes, lots of routes suitable for buggy walks, and a great adventure playground which is situated next to the cafe.

13. Waterside fun at Stithians Lake

Stithians Lake Country Park has plenty to do, both on and off the water. The pirate-themed adventure play area is great for young children, there are nature trails and lakeside pathways to explore on foot, with buggies or on bikes, as well as canoeing, sailing and other watersports available.

14. Glendurgan Garden, Mawnan Smith

Get dizzy on the Giant’s Stride swing, find the heart of the cherry laurel maze, wend through the bamboo jungle and take shelter under giant Gunnera plants. Glendurgan is the perfect setting for a day out in the garden with toddlers. Tumble through sub-tropical gardens, picnic on the beach, skim stones in the Helford River and scoff ice cream in the family-friendly café.

For more buggy-friendly walks check out our guide to the best walks in Cornwall

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers, Beach Day

Toddler-friendly beaches in Cornwall

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Cornwall with toddlers, why not grab your picnic blanket and basket, bucket and spade and sun hats and get ready for a day on the beach! If it’s really hot, don’t forget to slather on the sun cream and bring a little tent or a windbreak to provide some shade for the little ones. On chilly but dry days, bring jumpers and woolly hats and keep everyone moving with fun beach games, shell collecting, rock pooling and sandcastle building.

15. Sandy beach days at Gwithian – Hayle

The beauty of a beach day is that children can entertain themselves for hours just playing in the sand, allowing you to relax a bit whilst keeping an eye on them.

16. Paddling Playtime at Carbis Bay – St Ives

Carbis Bay is the ideal spot to get your toddler’s toes wet. With sandy shores that stretch out into shallow waters, it’s the perfect place for you to give your little one their first taste of a Cornish beach. The shallowness of the waters means they’re much warmer for little ones to sit and splash in safety. And, with the beach conveniently located so close to our Carbis Bay luxury coastal cottages, you’ll only be a short walk from home during your stay; perfect for spontaneous beach trips or popping back if you forgot the towels!

Things to do in Cornwall with Toddlers

17. Rockpooling at Godrevy – Hayle

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. Godrevy, close to the lighthouse, is one of our favourite places for a spot of rockpooling, there’s always something exciting to discover!

18. Causeway exploring at Marazion – Penzance

Walk in the footsteps of a legendary giant when you cross the causeway to the sea-wrapped castle of St Michael’s Mount. The tidal causeway is only visible at low tide and makes a lovely walk towards the Mount with the ocean on either side of you. When you reach the Mount, try and 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.

Enjoy all of these toddler-friendly days out in Cornwall while you’re staying in one of Carbis Bay Holidays’ cottages in and around St Ives. Our family-friendly cottages are ideal for babies and young children, and we provide all sorts of equipment from travel cots and toys to highchairs and toddler steps.

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By: Amanda O'Toole On:10th February 2016
Categories:Family Friendly,Local Area,Things to Do

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

When you’re on holiday in St Ives, eating out with kids doesn’t mean you’re limited to takeaway pasties or fish and chips on the beach. Thanks to the town’s burgeoning foodie scene beckoning even the youngest diners to tuck into fresh, local ingredients, there are plenty of restaurants where you can mix Sauvignon and seafood with family fun and fish fingers. Here are some of our favourites:

The Rum & Crab Shack

A meal at this nautical-themed eatery peering out to sea feels much like dining aboard a boat. And it’s not just a quirky joint to test your sea legs after a few rums, while pint-sized pirates raid treasure chests of toys. An extensive menu (with an emphasis on crab, of course) shows off sumptuous seafood landed by local fisherman, and includes ready-cracked crab claws and fish finger sarnies to entice kids to try fishy delights too.

The Rum & Crab Shack is one of St Ives best family friendly restaurants. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

The Rum & Crab Shack

Seafood Cafe

Although it’s not one of St Ives’ eateries that spills out onto the beach, time and time again the Seafood Café has proved to be one of the best family friendly restaurants in town. Here young diners can scoff lashings of Fisherman’s Pie and local Moomaid ice cream, while grown ups sip Prosecco and select locally-caught fish from the line-up on ice at the seafood counter.
www.seafoodcafe.co.uk

The Seafood Cafe is a seafood lovers dream! Select your fish and your sauce and off you go! www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

The Seafood Cafe

Porthgwidden Cafe

Hidden in a white-sand cove at the foot of St Ives’ Island, this is the lesser-known little sister of the eminent Porthminster Café. A smaller, more relaxed version of its famous relative, here the best local ingredients are wrapped into dishes such as paella and moules marinière. As well as a kids’ menu and delicious cakes, its family-friendly credentials are boosted by nearby parking and outdoor seating overlooking the beautiful Blue Flag beach.
www.porthgwiddencafe.co.uk

Porthgwidden Beach Cafe is a superb spot to dine out with the children. Enjoy the freshest of ingredients and then blast away the energy on the beach. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Porthgwidden Beach Cafe

Blas Burgerworks

Passionate about good food and the environment, Blas serves mouth-watering burgers made from fresh Cornish ingredients. As well as the classic beef in a bun, there are innovative veggie options from blackbean burgers to halloumi stacks. Eat inside at reclaimed timber benches, or take your feast to the nearby beaches.
www.blasburgerworks.co.uk

Blas Burgerworks offers a wide selection of burgers, all sustainably sourced. A favourite with children and adults alike. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Blas Burgerworks

The Queens Hotel

If you’re looking for a cosy pub where dogs and kids are welcome, head to the Queens Hotel, where the blackboard is chalked daily with the best of what comes in from local fishermen and farmers. Good value, locally sourced pub grub is served up in a rustic, relaxed environment, where there’s room for dogs to flop by the fire and a simple menu served for those fussy little eaters too.
www.queenshotelstives.com

The Queens Hotel, a lovely restaurant for family friendly dining in central St Ives. www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

The Queens Hotel

Carbis Bay Holidays offer a superb range of family friendly cottages in St Ives and Carbis Bay – so you can choose the perfect holiday pad close to St Ives’ family friendly restaurants.  Consider also taking a look at our inspiration for a great Family Day Out in St Ives.

By: Tony Townsend On:25th May 2015
Categories:Family Friendly,Food and Drink,Local Area

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