You’ve planned the family holiday, you’re sure its the stuff that memories are made of. Fine food, sea views, golden beaches – perfect. There’s just one catch…you’re bringing teenagers.
So how can you combat the pouty, bored selfies and the eye-rolling huffs and get them to embrace family holidays as you remember them? We’ve come up with a few things to do in Cornwall with teenagers that will make even the grumpiest teen break into a smile! (P.S We know, not all teenagers are like this!)
1. Boardmasters Festival
It would be easy to think Boardmasters is just an awesome music festival. Sure it has three days of some of the UK’s top acts playing in a stunning location on the Cornish cliffs, but it is also so much more.
Nearby Newquay is a hub for the Boardmasters surfing competition, from where the festival actually took its name.
See pro-surfers take to their boards in heats that take place on the run up to the holiday weekend. With categories from groms (young surfers) to both Men’s and Women’s open competitions there’s always action on the water and when the sun goes down the party continues with live music and after parties across the town.
As you would expect, this is also the perfect chance to learn to surf with plenty of experts on hand, so ditch those shoes and get ready to get some sand between your toes. Perfect if you are visiting to Cornwall with teenagers.
2) Adrenalin quarry
Whether you have a thrill seeker or a nature’s child Adrenalin Quarry is a top spot for a days out. If you are looking for a chilled out day with some wild swimming while you watch Cornwall’s answer to Wipeout unfold in front of you, this is the place. Pack a picnic and take a ring-side seat to watch a host of crazy activities take place above the water.
For the adventurous, the toughest part of your day will be choosing what event you want to do first. There’s the UK’s ‘maddest’ zip wire which will have you flying over a lake faster than Harry Potter on a Nimbus 2000, or why not try the giant swing which sees you leap from a dizzying 150ft cliff edge to free fall (apparently the first customer was five years old, but you’d have to take their word for that)!
Try Quarry Coasteering with climbing, tomb-stoning and Blob, or new for this year axe throwing. Yes that’s right, Axe throwing – so if your teenagers want to go all Game of Thrones this is the place. Get busy hurling axes at tree stumps for some real mud, sweat and cheers – this activity is open from ages 12 and over.
All this adventure is hungry work so refuel in the café or if you’re making a day of it, why not order a barbecue and pick it up when you get there. As things to do in Cornwall with teenagers go, this one is bound to be memorable!
3) Rollers Roller Disco, Pool near Redruth
Roll up, roll up, quite literally at Rollers Roller Disco in Pool. Hire some boots and boogie on down at the all day disco. Another great idea when visiting Cornwall with teenagers. Whether you’re an expert of a complete novice there’s nothing to fear as there are stewards on hand to give advice (or pick you up, whichever comes first!).
With skates in all sizes, including some with flashy wheels, there’s no reason why the whole family can’t have a go.
However, if you don’t fancy reenacting Starlight Express, there’s plenty to keep you busy while your teen struts its stuff.
There’s food, free wifi and a balcony viewing area so you can relax while they bust a move. However, if you fancy a nostalgic trip to your youth Roller’s also has an awesome selection of retro arcade games. Pac Man here you come…
4) The Track, Portreath
If you’re old enough to remember BMX bandits or junior Kickstart all I need to say is BMX TRACK! That should have you excited enough… if not then read on while I explain;
The Track is five acres of fun-filled bike-made fun just outside Portreath. You want jumps, you’ve got them. Ramps? Check. Foam pit to perfect your tricks? Tick, tick tick!
Suitable for mountain bikes and BMX’s and with a tarmac section suitable for scooters and skaters, it’s outdoor fun at its best. It’s the chance for your teenagers to do all the things you tell them not to do in the back garden. With a range of obstacles that suit every level and ability, from beginners to pro, The Track is open to families with children from two and over.
If you enjoy cycling, this is a opportunity for your teenagers to cut loose and go wild – something you wouldn’t really want them to do along Cornwall’s many public trails.
There are refreshments, toilet facilities, free parking and a large barn to relax in so you can really make a day of it.
With The Track being a weather dependant attraction check them out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute news.
5) Beach buggying
One of the best things about Cornwall is our wide open beaches. Now picture yourself zipping along just inches above the sand in your very own buggy swept along by a kite billowing in the Cornish wind… pretty cool right?
There are a number of places that offer Kite Buggying, but as beaches go, Watergate Bay near Newquay are hard to beat.
Both the Extreme Academy and Mobius offer classes for beginners, offering introductions on how to get your buggy moving, how to steer with your feet and of course, the art of controlling your kite.
The whole family can take part in their own version of Whacky Races as the speed of the buggy’s are matched to the rider by the use of kite size – the larger the kite, the faster you go!
Both companies offer half-day sessions, which allows you enough time to get used to your new wheels and get in some epic runs before your time runs out.
Be warned, this kind of exhilaration can become addictive!
NB: If you are visiting Cornwall with teenagers who are less adventurous teenagers don’t forget there are a multitude of other fantastic things to do like sailing, castles, beaches, spa, wildlife and walks.