Bumper Muddy Half Term Guide
Oh help – it’s almost half term. Take a deep breath and arm yourself with 20 top ideas for activities, trails, story-telling, shows and days out in Cornwall. Click on each header to link through to a website where you can get all the details and in case you’re lucky enough to get a little time to yourself, skip right to the bottom, where you’ll find a few cool events for the grown-ups to enjoy. Plus, check out our Valentine’s Guide for that all-important, mid-week night of lurrrve.
A creative children’s book festival, with theatrical shows inspired by Roald Dahl, guest authors and illustrators, story-tellers and creative writing workshops. Free with normal Eden entry.
A historical day out in Falmouth. Pendennis Castle is putting on a range of Tudor-inspired activities, from sword drills and junior jousting to preparing a traditional feast for the troops.
The Cbeebies double act brings their show to Cornwall, with songs, comedy sketches, magic and lots of joining in. A nice intro to the theatre for your littlest family members.
For four days over half term, The National Maritime Museum will have its own planetarium for children to take a peek into space. Educational sessions are pitched by age and in the craft area, kids can build their own bi-carb rockets and solar system mobiles.
A series of family workshops put on by Cultural Threads at The Exchange Gallery in Penzance. Create glow-stick photography, shadow puppets, light-up shrines and guiding light goddesses.
A Little Trebiggan children’s puppet show. In this Cornish tale, storms have washed the giants of old folklore back to modern-day Cornwall. Wennie and Jago must solve the riddles and send them back.
7. Love Wildlife – Lost Gardens of Heligan, Sat 11 – Sun 19 Feb
It’s all about our feathered friends at Heligan this half term with a chance to meet the owls from Screech Owl Sanctuary, bird watching in the hide and making hanging bird treats for the garden. Wellies and waterproofs essential. All activities free with admission.
Pick a dry day and go and enjoy the first signs of spring at one of Cornwall’s beautiful National Trust properties. The trail is included in the entry price and free to Trust members.
Got a Bear Grylls wanna-be in the family? They’ll love this action-packed, day-long course that covers self rescue, navigation, fire building, knife work, knots, shelter and survival food.
10. Best Kid-Friendly Bike Trails
When your four walls get too much, get the family out on two wheels on one of Cornwall’s scenic bike trails. Even young riders will enjoy the Camel Trail, Cardinham Woods, the Bissoe Trail and the various trails at Lanhydrock.
Trebah is worth a visit whether there are special events going on or not but if you happen to go on these dates, there’s a ‘Sentinels of the Sea’ trail and creative workshops, where kids can make their own lighthouse.
Depending on the weather, the storytelling sessions at The Minack are a winning option. This half term, The Captain, Mark Harandon will be sharing funny and dramatic tales of smugglers, handed down over the years.
A great way to blow off steam on rainy days, this recently opened trampoline park in Redruth was almost as much fun for Mr Muddy as the kids when we went. With 66 interconnecting trampolines, angled walls, foam pits and a dodge ball court.
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. This half term The Helston Museum are hosting Krafty Kids for a series of free Pebble Painting sessions. Lovely arty fun for all ages.
Have a drink while your children are kept quiet and completely entertained – genius! A screening of Finding Dory (with headphones) will be followed by a silent disco with money raised going to the Newquay Surf Life Saving Nippers. 3.30-6.30pm, £5.
It’s the perfect time to get down to Gweek for two reasons. It’s still pup season, so there’ll be lots of adorable fluffy seals to see and the local’s pass sale (12 months for £12) is on until 28 Feb.
We still haven’t made it to the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary at Looe, so it’s top of my list when it reopens for half term. The Sanctuary cares for a range of species and is set among woodland and meadows, overlooking Looe Bay.
For older kids, Adrenalin Quarry is a super fun day out and it reopens for half term. There’s a 490m-long zip wire, heart-palpitating giant swing and even axe throwing (you know you want to).
Let the kids get their hands dirty with free seed planting at these beautiful exotic gardens. Pop along to the orchard and pot up some seeds, make your own label toppers, then take them home and watch them grow.
Soft play can be a form of parental torture but when the rain won’t stop and the kids are climbing the walls, it’s got to be done. Base Camp takes the usual multi-coloured clambering to another level, they even serve decent coffee. Clip ‘n’ Climb is suitable from ages 4-15 and booking is advised.
AND NOW FOR A BIT OF GROWN-UP FUN…
Joy Gregory: Lost Languages and Other Voices, The Exchange Penzance, opens Sat 11 Feb
The Exchange reopens again this week, with a solo exhibition from Joy Gregory – one of the major artists to emerge from the black photography movement of the ‘80s. Her work explores concepts of truth and beauty, exploring race, history, gender and aesthetics. Joy herself will be at an Artists Talk at 11am on 11 Feb.
Find out more at www.newlynartgallery.co.uk
Probably the first night of the year you’ll be tempted to eat outdoors. Join Ben Quinn at The Lost Gardens for an evening of big woodfired flavours, great produce from the gardens and stories round the table. This is just the first of many events Ben has planned for the year, so like his Facebook page to stay up to date. (Tickets £35)
Find out more and book at www.eventbrite.co.uk
Here’s an idea, rescue another mum and escape for the night to one of these fun events at Hall for Cornwall. Dress up as your favourite Pink Lady and catch the very interactive Sing-a-long-a-Grease on Wed 15 Feb or enjoy a night of big Adele hits on Thurs 16 Feb, performed by Katie Markham (who appeared on the brilliant BBC show with the lady herself).
Book tickets at www.hallforcornwall.co.uk