Family holidays are all about relaxing, laughing together and making memories. But often the kids’ endless energy can leave you not quite as revitalised as you’d like after a week away, and you may find yourself racking your brains for an activity to keep the little ones occupied and everyone happy.
But don’t fear! We’ve come up with 10 exciting family activities you can do this summer, which you may not have thought of before. These fun, unique and engaging activities will keep family members of all ages entertained, helping you to experience Cornwall in a new light, learn something new and create memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Here are our top 10 family activities for summer in Cornwall.
Cornwall’s beaches are abundant in rock pools and home to many types of sea creatures, such as fish, crabs, anemones, jellyfish and even starfish. All you need to do is to wait until high tide and head to the rocky part of the beach, where a landscape of mini pools will have been revealed by the receding water. The best thing about this activity is it’s completely free - just bring along a bucket or a net and see what you can find! Some great rock pooling spots nearby include Tolcarne beach and Mawgan Porth. Just be sure to safely return the sea life into the water once you’ve had a look at it.
Picnic on the beach
Another fun activity which saves the pennies is a picnic. Get the children involved in this one by setting out on a walk and let them pick the dining spot - we recommend a sandy beach or grassy cliff top with a sea view. For the daytime, pack up sandwiches and finger food perfect for carrying around with you on the go, or if you’re heading out for the evening, you could buy a disposable BBQ and enjoy dinner on the sand. This is a great way of spending more time in nature, and all you need is some tasty treats and a picnic blanket!
Ride a pony at the Gannel
Are you a family of animal lovers? Head to Trenance Stables, where you can ride ponies along the sands of the River Gannel in Newquay. The perfect activity to enjoy a sunny day in Cornwall, taking in the breathtaking scenery whilst trotting down the river bank. Trenance Stables put on lessons for all abilities, so even if you’ve never tried horse riding before you’re still guaranteed a fun time.
Visit the Eden Project
A Cornish classic, but for good reason. The Eden Project is a must-see when visiting Cornwall and is a great day out for all the family due to its two huge biomes, educational eco-centre and acres of gardens bursting with plants and flowers from around the world. From interactive play spaces to a suspended rainforest canopy walk, there are endless things for the kids to see, do and learn at this unique attraction. It’s also a great way to introduce them to topics such as sustainability and helping the planet, in a fun and immersive environment.
Go on a family foraging course
For a unique chance to explore more of Cornwall’s rural areas, why not book onto a family foraging course? The Family Foraging Kitchen run all sorts of courses for all ages, from seaweed foraging, hedgerow foraging walks and even beekeeping. More than just a fun day out, their courses provide a great insight into food foraging and you’ll even get to taste some delicious freshly grown produce.
If you fancy getting in the sea but don’t quite feel ready to give surfing a go, why not hire bodyboards and spend a day catching some waves? Bodyboards are fairly easy to master compared to surfboards, and are great for children of all ages to get involved in some watersports safely. Start small, and simply line yourself up with a wave and hold on as you ride it into the shore. Bodyboarders should always go in the sea between the red and yellow flags, where lifeguards can keep an eye on them. When staying at Sands Resort Hotel you can hire bodyboards and wetsuits for children and adults completely free of charge.
Visit a garden
Cornwall is bursting with gardens, from tropical terrain leading to secret beaches, Japanese gardens with tranquil ponds, and intricately planted allotments rich in heritage. If you’re looking for a new family experience, a garden visit is a great option, where the kids can look out for rare and unique types of plants and run free amongst mazes of trees. Try Trebah, The Lost Gardens of Heligan or Glendurgan for a day out bursting with colour.
Swim in a sea pool
Cornwall is home to many sea pools - pools of seawater which are separate from the ocean, either man made or formed naturally as a large rockpool. These are a great place to take a dip, especially with young children, as they are often shallow and far safer than swimming in the open ocean. Some of our favourites include Chapel Rock pool on Perranporth beach, Porthtowan tidal pool, and Bude sea pool on Summerleaze beach.
Head to a theme park
If the ocean isn’t adrenaline inducing enough for your little ones, Cornwall has a selection of theme parks and adventure parks which are sure to get their hearts racing. Head to Camel Creek, home to an array of water rides, playhouses, stables with farm animals and even a meerkat enclosure. Or, for the slightly older kids, Flambards is an exciting day out with its rides for thrill-seekers such as the Hornet rollercoaster or the log flume. These are also perfect options for a rainy day.
Explore an ancient castle
If any of your party have an interest in history or an inquisitive mind, a visit to a Cornish castle is an ideal to get the cogs turning. Cornwall is home to a rich landscape steeped in history and many of its ancient castles are largely preserved, with a large selection to choose from on your visit. We’d recommend Tintagel Castle, one of the county’s oldest ruins linked with the legend of King Arthur. Or, make a day of it at the beautiful St. Michael’s Mount in Marazion, accessible by a small boat that runs at high tide or a walkway at low tide.
And if you haven't found a family friendly hotel in Cornwall yet, why not stay at Sands Resort Hotel on the Cornish north coast.