Kids Special: Cornwall 2020
After nearly 4 months with the kids at home, another six weeks of the school holidays will be easy peasy (we jest!). Getting busy is the answer. Here are more than 21 ideas for summer fun with the sprogs in Cornwall.
Obviously a lot of the usual events aren’t on at the mo due to Covid but we’ll be updating this as and when we have details. Seen anything else – let us know in the comments.
Hangloose Zip Wire, Eden Project
Skywire is England’s longest and fastest zip wire experience – soar over the Eden Project! Only for those over 8 years of age (they must also weigh between 40kg and 120kg).
Adrenalin Quarry, Plymouth
With its mega zip wires and giant swing, Adrenalin Quarry is a fun day out for the whole family. Great for stroppy teens too – throwing axes at tree trunks is all part of the fun (12+ on that).
Retallack Aqua Park, St Columb Major
Jump, splash, bounce, climb and slide at the huge ‘total wipeout’ style floating inflatable Aqua Park, including the FlowRider (above), at Retallack Resort. 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 (Age 6+) The resort also offers wake boarding.
Get on the water
Giving surfing a go is a must on a Cornish getaway (no, dipping your toes in wearing a wetsuit doesn’t count). George’s Surf School at Polzeath is great for individual coaching, or there’s Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay and the Sennen Surfing Centre, near Land’s End.
Try Stand Up Paddleboarding at Polkerris or Gylly Beach in Falmouth, and there’s also Cornish Rock Tours based at Port Gaverne, near Port Isaac, which will take you kyaking, SUP, coasteering or open water swimming. Check out Camel Ski School at Rock for waterskiing and sailing schools operate in Fowey, Rock, Mylor and Falmouth. Porthoustock, on the eastern side of The Lizard peninsular, is a great spot for kayaking.
Organised by groups including Cornwall Wildlife Trust, The National Trust and local groups like Polzeath Marine Centre Rockpool Rambles allow the whole family to join local experts to explore the rocky shore, finding lots of the amazing critters that live on it and in it. Learn about starfish, crabs, fish, anemones and lots more.
Alternatively, if you don’t fancy joining an event, 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.
Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods
Keep an eye on Rogue Theatre’s social pages for an imminent announcement about this season’s new outdoor shows. Known for their immersive theatre adventures, multi-award-winning Rogue Theatre, the 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. To whet your appetite, the video above was made during lockdown, suitable for older kids and adults only.
Giant Slip and Slide, St Endellion
Loads of fun – kids of all ages (including the big kids) will love to slip and slide down the giant 100m water slide with sea views near Port Isaac on the North Coast. £11 per person per hour, under 4s free but must be accompanied. Wetsuits highly recommended – bring your own – and no changing rooms this year, but you can bring your own picnic.
Monsters of the Deep, National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
The National Maritime Museum re-opens on 27 July with their Monsters of the Deep exhibition which was due to open the week of lockdown. Explore the centuries-old myths and legends, when chance sightings and odd appearances led to tall tales of deep sea creatures. Learn how, even today, these stories continue to capture imaginations, fuelled by fake news and conspiracy theories.
Tate St Ives, St Ives
Re-opening on 27 July, the Tate St Ives has a new one way route to ensure visitor safety. Catch the Naum Gaubo exhibition which has been extended for the summer season, and keep an eye out for the Tate Create series of activities for children, no details have yet been released on whether these will run, but the Tate is still a great day out for the whole fam, and brings a little culture to your beach trip.
Camel Creek Adventure Park, Tredinnick, Wadebridge
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. Look out on social media for their character days.
Ride your bike on the Camel trail, Bissoe trail, through Cardinham Woods or around the woodland paths at Lanhydrock (you’ll need to book first) – all pretty kid-friendly, even for those with no gears!
The Seal Sanctuary, Gweek
On the river at Gweek, which is beautiful, find the seals – so full of Cornish character. Opening with limited capacity at present, pre-booking essential.
If you love the Great Gardens, try the less well-known (and less touristy) Tanglewood wild garden near Penzance.
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.
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.
Summer Adventure Quest, Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Visit Pendennis Castle (members free but still need to book) and take the family on a summer adventure quest. Set on a headland with breathtaking views out to sea, Pendennis Castle is one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses. Follow the trail around the castle and track down the clues – crack them all to claim your adventurer’s certificate. Kick-off your quest at Pendennis Castle every day of the school holidays. Standard admission applies.
PlayFest, Boscawen Park, Truro, 6 and 7 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.
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.
Storytelling, The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno
Keep your eyes open for the two grizzly old wizards who haunt the cliff tops above the tiny Cornish cove of Porthgwarra. There is only one thing that is more trouble than a grumpy wizard – Two grumpy wizards. Can no one save the village?
John Brolly tells this enchanting original tale of wizard wars and magic in the Cornish mist. Packed full of comical and interactive madness. (5+)