Kids Special: August Muddy Guide 2017
How to fill the long days of summer in Cornwall
If the school holidays are already dragging (I know the feeling), getting busy is the answer. Here are 27 ideas for summer fun with the sprogs. For more grown-up entertainment, see my August 2017 Muddy Guide.
If you have a family-friendly event you’d like to share or a favourite I’ve missed, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Grand Medieval Joust, Pendennis Castle, Tues 1 Aug
Experience a spectacle of speed and skill as four of the most masterful knights in the kingdom, mounted on their magnificent steeds, battle for glory. Choose your champion and see who is victorious in this colourful display of chivalry and courage. Surround yourself in pageantry and marvel at falcons in flight. The living history encampments will take you back in time, where you’ll be kept entertained by the court jester and merry musicians. Budding knights can enjoy their own hero moment as they test their bravery in the hobby-horse jousting.
Journey Into Space, Eden Project, Thurs 27 July – Sun 3 Sept
After a couple of years of dinosaur fun, Eden’s new summer theme is all about outer space, offering a chance to explore the solar system and discover the secrets of our galaxy, with a solar safari experience, astronaut academy and alien encounter.
Magic in the Skies, Land’s End Landmark, every Tues and Thurs from 27 July to 31 Aug
Vibrant explosions will be lighting up Land’s End every Tuesday and Thursday evening this summer. Each of the twelve fireworks displays will transport you on a musical journey, retelling the ancient legend of the ‘Lost Land of Lyonesse’ and featuring the vocal talents of BAFTA award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes and an original orchestral score, created by Cornish composer Christopher Bond.
Rogue Theatre’s Lost Gardens Summer Ball, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, until Sat 19 Aug
& Wild Woodland Summer Ball, Tehidy Woods Weds 23 Aug – Sun 3 Sept
Known for their immersive theatre adventures, multi-award-winning Rogue Theatre will be weaving its magic at The Lost Gardens of Heligan this summer, before bringing their new show to Tehidy Woods, from Weds 23 Aug. “The Lost Gardens Summer Ball is an exuberant, bewitching, and fun exploration into a world whose magic was lost in time, but not entirely forgotten!” Rogue’s shows are billed as suitable for families, adults and children of all ages who hear the call of the wild. From experience, there is lots that will go over little heads but the music, costumes and magic still manage to hold them entranced.
Tate Create: Our Studio By The Sea, Tate St Ives, Sat 29 July – Sun 3 Sept
Get creative and have some fun investigating materials, making art and exploring the Tate exhibitions. Each holiday Tate St Ives investigates a new theme and this summer they’ll be taking inspiration from the fantastic artwork in The Studio and The Sea exhibition. All ages welcome.
Retallack Aqua Park, St Columb Major, open throughout August (over 6 years only)
Jump, splash, bounce, climb and slide at the huge ‘total wipeout’ style floating inflatable Aqua Park, at Retallack Resort – which has quadrupled in size this year. This huge inflatable Aqua Park has a giant trampoline, catapult, water wheel, ‘stepping stones’ climbing wall, slides, blast bags, challenging balance beams and lots more. Sessions cost £15 per person and include wetsuits, buoyancy aids and lifeguards.
Themed Weeks of Fun, National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
From Awesome Adventurers to Vikings and mermaids – The National Maritime Museum has a fun-packed summer planned for your small folk. Head over to the Falmouth attraction for live performances from Rattlebox and Squashbox Theatre, crafts and adventure trails, with different, exciting maritime themes each week.
Summer of Science, Camel Creek, until Sun 3 Sept
Camel Creek Adventure Park has a summer of science themed fun in store for visitors. The Summer of Science is packed with fascinating facts, exciting experiments and silly scientists. Discover where we’ve come from, what we’re made of and some of the most mind-blowing scientific facts in the multiverse. With exhilarating rides, a gigantic indoor play centre, outdoor fun, water flumes and the UK’s most hi-tech 5D Super Sim Theatre (look out for the new time-travel film coming this summer!), Camel Creek is great fun for the kids, rain or shine. They’re also running a ‘7 days for the price of 1’ offer all summer. Book in advance to save a further 20%.
Summer of Sport, National Trust Godolphin, every Weds this summer from 26 July
Try your arm at archery, with ‘Arrows’ beginner level kits supplied by Archery GB and test your badminton and athletics skills at Godolphin each Wednesday throughout the summer. These activities are part of the West Cornwall summer of sport challenge. Pick up your summer of sport challenge card and see how many activities you can stamp off your list! This is a free event but admission charges for the venue apply.
PlayFest, Boscawen Park, Truro, Weds 2 – Thurs 3 Aug
Cornwall’s largest family-friendly celebration is back, and takes place over two days. Including circus skill workshops, have-a-go sessions, circus performance shows, entertainers, a variety of arts & crafts workshops, stalls, face painting, music, dance, yoga and fairground rides. All dotted around and within the Swamp Circus Big Top, Dance Tent, Art and Music Tents, Green Zone and much more in Boscawen Park, Truro, near Malpas.
Milkshake Live, The Magic Story Book, Hall For Cornwall, Truro, Tues 8 Aug
Starring Milkshake! favourites Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Shimmer & Shine, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur, Wissper, Milkshake! Monkey and two Milkshake! presenters, this all singing, all dancing, musical show, will take audiences on a journey through the world’s favourite fairy tales. The Milkshake! cast will be singing songs and sharing stories that audience members, young and old, will know and love.
Science in the Square, Events Square, Falmouth, Fri 11 Aug
The University of Exeter is hosting Science in the Square in Falmouth once again this year. This fantastic free day out gives scientists from the Penryn Campus the opportunity to share their knowledge, passion and expertise for science with the local community. Children of all ages can experience the wonders of science at first hand through a series of talks and interactive sessions, and really explore the world around us in a fun, friendly and hands-on environment. Science in the Square provides everyone with the opportunity to not only learn more about the amazing science taking place in the inspirational environments of Cornwall, but also become scientists for the day.
Summer Nature Pop-up, Potager Gardens, Constantine, Sat 16 Aug
The Pop-Up Baby and Toddler Café is hosting just one pop-up this summer and it’s at the most magical, Potager Garden. Come join for a very fun summer holiday special with several craft tables out for you to create some lovely nature-inspired crafts, Nature Crowns or Masks, Nature bracelets and leaf rubbings. Plus the normal Pop-up loveliness of playmat, playdough table, hammocks and lots of tea and cake. £5 for parent & child including all crafts and endless hot drinks, £1 for extra children & adults.
Cornish Wild Food Camp Out, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Sat 19 Aug
You’re invited to CAMP-OUT at the Eco Park in Porthtowan this summer. Wild camp and be immersed by nature at these family-friendly evenings full of freshly made delicious food, twilight nature and wildlife watching, moongazing or stargazing and some all-important acoustic music helping us to wind-down by the campfire. Forage for wild food with Matt Vernon and watch him transform it into a Wild Super-food Vegan Pilaf, followed by a proper hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows by the campfire. £10 per adult*, 6-12 year olds £5 and under 5’s free *add the standard rate for pitches on top.
Limited places are available, so please call 01209 891500 to book ahead.
Find out more at Mpecopark.co.uk
Outdoor Cinema for Kids, dates & locations below
When the sun shines, everything in Cornwall moves outdoors and Skylight Cinema have a line up of outdoor film screenings around the county this month, with lots of great kid-friendly flicks lined up. Book to see cult classics and new releases at unique venues from castles to cattle markets.
Thurs 3 Aug – The Goonies, Caerhays Drive In
Tues 8 Aug – Beauty & the Beast, Dairyland Farm World Drive In
Thurs 10 Aug – Jurassic Park, Caerhays Drive In
Tues 29 Aug – Jungle Book, Penlee Open Air Theatre
Weds 30 Aug – Moana, Dairyland Farm World Drive In
Thurs 31 Aug – Jungle Book, Caerhays Beach
Newquay Harbour Sports, Sat 19 Aug
A fantastic free event for children from 9 years – right up to adults, in the open category. It includes swimming races, relay races, board paddle races… Registration from 12-2pm, event starts 2.15pm and all of the events are free! Simply pop down to Newquay Harbour with plenty of time to register.
Penzance Pirates on the Prom, Sun 27 Aug
Where could you possibly find 15,000 pirates in this day and age? Well, head to PZ on Sun 27 Aug and you may find even more than that, as the town attempts to hold onto its record for the largest gathering of pirates. A noble pursuit and quite a spectacle for everyone else! If you want to join in, you’ll find rules for pirate attire on the website. It costs £2 per person to join and all proceeds will go to the RNLI.
10 more ideas and places we love….
- Ride your bike on the Camel trail, Bissoe trail, through Cardinham Woods or around the woodland paths at Lanhydrock – all pretty kid-friendly, even for those with no gears!
- Kill an hour scaling the climbing frames at the amazing Heartlands playground. Parents – there’s great coffee at the Red River Café and a reasonably priced kids’ menu too.
- Eat Cornish ice cream at the source and see a few animals while you’re at it at Roskilly’s and Callestick farm.
- If you love the Great Gardens, try the less well-known (and less touristy) Tanglewood wild garden near Penzance.
- Make a beach trip an adventure by choosing one that requires a bit of a walk or scramble. We love Gwenver, Whipsiderry, Fisherman’s Cove and Polly Joke – only just off the beaten track.
- Of all the more organised kids’ destinations, we love The Seal Sanctuary best. It’s on the river at Gweek, which is beautiful and its inhabitants are so full of Cornish character.
- Go rock pooling at St Michael’s Mount – other beaches have rock pools too but we love it here. When the tide’s out the causeway to the Mount is exposed along with lots of rock pools ripe for exploring.
- If it’s raining and you must hit the soft play, Base Camp at Gwel An Mor is the best one I’ve come across in Cornwall. Proper coffee and proper cleanliness helps.
- Fancy a day off the beach? Head to Trevaskis Farm – see the animals, pick your own and grab a slice of cake at the café.
- For older, adventurers, try Adrenalin Quarry, with its mega zip wires and giant swing. Great for stroppy teens too – throwing axes at tree trunks is all part of the fun.