Ultimate guide to days out in Cornwall with the kids

Posted by Kirsty Fensome on 23rd June 2020

Family days out

Ever stuck for things to do with the kids on holiday? In Cornwall, there’s a huge selection of sandy beaches perfect for sandcastles and splish-splashing in the sea, lots of beautiful countryside and coastline for lovely family walks, and there’s certainly plenty of kids' activities in Cornwall, but sometimes there’s just too much to choose from! We even have ideas for places to go when it is raining and also things to see and do for free when you're visiting Cornwall with kids in tow. 

If you're ready to find a fantastic holiday cottage for your next trip to the South West, take a look through our full collection of family-friendly accommodation in Cornwall. 

Family-friendly cottages

There is a huge variety of family days out in Cornwall - take a look at just some of the best things to do with the kids below. With everything from theme parks and wildlife attractions to castles and mystical gardens, Cornwall has your family holiday covered with great places to visit.

The best things to do in Cornwall with the kids

Family-friendly attractions and theme parks 

Flambards Experience, Helston

Flambards Experience, Helston

Perfect for…  

The whole family to enjoy a day out together come rain or shine, with a selection of attractions to entertain those young and old.

Why will the kids love it? 

From the adrenaline rush of the thrill rides for older kids, to the family-fun carousel, pirate ship and more, the kids' activities at Flambards are exhilarating and exciting for visitors of all ages. Whether they’re the next Formula One champion and want to give go-karting a shot, they’re dinosaur obsessed or want to brave the demon drop, when the sun is shining it’s the perfect place for a family day out in Cornwall. Fear not though, as even if the weather isn’t on your side, there are still some fantastic interactive exhibitions undercover such as the Victorian Village, Britain in the Blitz, and other wonderful attractions.

  • Prices: £21.95 for adults, £15.95 for children and infants are free - book 24 hours in advance to save 10% on the admission price. It's roughly half price if you are visiting on an Indoor Attraction-only day
  • Facilities: A whole range of indoor and outdoor attractions including roller coasters, a log flume and Victorian Village. There are disabled toilets, parking and wheelchair access around the park. There are plenty of places for food and drink including a café, Ferdi’s Burger Bar and ice cream kiosks during the summer. 

Stay nearby: Pheasants Walk, Cross Lanes | sleeps 6 guests | 9 miles away from Flambards Experience 

Helston cottages

Adrenalin Quarry, Liskeard

Adrenalin Quarry

Perfect for… 

Thrill seekers and older kids who might have thought the family holiday was going to be ‘boring’!

Why will the kids love it? 

If your kids are a little more grown-up, there really is no better place to head for a day of pulse-racing family fun than here. A world away from a lazy day at the beach, they’ll love being able to fly across the lake on a 40mph zip wire, feel the G-force on the giant swing, and dive from the cliffs into the depths below on a coasteering expedition. This awesome family activity makes for an epic day out with kids in Cornwall! 

  • Prices: It varies depending on what you'd like to do, but you can 'get thrown off a cliff' for just £12.50 (that's ziplining) or can do both the zipline and giant swing for a combined price of £25. 
  • Facilities: Food and drink includes tea and coffee, traditional Cornish pasties and Cornish ice cream too - they also have a list of useful links on their website so you can check out other fun attractions nearby, see beaches to visit and find a pub where you can refuel after a busy day of excitement. 

Stay nearby: Treworgey Deer Park, Liskeard | sleeps 6 and 2 dogs | 8 miles from Adrenalin Quarry 

Liskeard cottages

Camel Creek Adventure Park, Wadebridge

Camel Creek

Perfect for…  

Thrills, spills and adventure for the whole family, offering a year-round destination whatever the weather.

Why will the kids love it? 

With everything from breathtaking thrill rides to the pony express and Swampy and Dina Land, no matter how old your kids are there will be something here to keep them entertained - there are so many great kids' activities at this Cornwall attraction! Whether they choose to get drenched on Thunder Falls, brave the Demon Drop, or ride the rollercoaster with all its twists and turns, you’re guaranteed a fun day out. You don’t even have to pack a picnic either for this family day out in Cornwall, as there’s plenty of shacks, kiosks and eateries all around the park!

  • Prices: Prices are all based on height - so, if you're under 92cm than you enter free! 92cm – 105cm is £8.95 entry and over 105cm is £10.95 entry fee. 
  • Facilities: There are a few different places to grab food including a burger company, ice cream shack and a chocolate factory. The park is wheelchair accessible but get in touch for specific requirements. 

Stay nearby: Trelow Farmhouse, Tredinnick | sleeps 6 | Less than 500 metres from Camel Creek Adventure Park 

Wadebridge cottages

Places to visit with babies and toddlers 

Lappa Valley, St Newlyn East

Lappa Valley

Perfect for… 

A gentle, scenic ride through the beautiful Cornish countryside for little ones. 

Why will the kids love it?

This 7¼ inch gauge miniature woodland railway is approximately one-fifth of a mile long - the perfect size for youngsters! You'll go through a tunnel, around the Toddler's Path Maze, a nature pond and there are fun models for kids to spot as you travel around. Gaze out at the tall trees and over Cornish fields while the movement of the train and the views will intrigue the senses of toddlers who can enjoy discovering this wonderful corner of the world from the comfort of the carriage - a wonderful kids day out in Cornwall where you can relax and take in the views. 

  • Prices: Adult entry is £13.95, children (up to age 16) is £11.95 entry and under 2s are free!
  • Facilities: There's free parking and good disabled access including two free wheelchairs available to borrow. The Whistle Stop Cafe offers up light snacks and lunches while the Ice Cream Express is open seasonally - perfect for those hot summer days. 

Stay nearby: Metha Cottage, St Newlyn East | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs | 1 mile from Lappa Valley 

Newquay cottages

Tamar Valley Donkey Park, St Ann's Chapel

Tamar Valley Donkey Park

Perfect for… 

A sensory day out for toddlers that includes feeding and stroking animals and indoor soft play. 

Why will the kids love it?

There are a few other great animal sanctuaries on this list, but Tamar Valley Donkey Park is a top choice for toddlers and a fantastic choice for a day out for kids in Cornwall. There's an on-site indoor play barn (perfect for rainy days out!) and a mix of animals including goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs that you can feed and pet - a fantastic way to stimulate the senses of growing toddlers.

  • Prices: £5 per person entry and again under 2s are free!
  • Facilities: Holly's Cafe offers up hot and cold meals and a Cornish cream tea while the indoor soft play centre is a great bonus for youngsters looking to burn off steam. 

Stay nearby: The Stables Smallacombe, Saltash | sleeps 4 | 9 miles from Tamar Valley Donkey Sanctuary 

Saltash cottages

Cardinham Woods, Bodmin

Cardinham Woods

Perfect for… 

A relaxed family day outside and ideal for any age - but a particular favourite with young families due to the amount of freedom you can enjoy while exploring the woodland. 

Why will the kids love it?

There are spaces to run about, wildlife to spot and a fantastic Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon Glow Trail where little investigators can use the UV pen to reveal clues and unlock puzzles as you wander around. This family-friendly destination is ideal for a day out with kids in Cornwall - it welcomes dogs and includes a play area, a 3km buggy-friendly walk and plenty of picnic and BBQ areas where you can stop for a break and enjoy being surrounded by nature with your kids. Relax and take your time wandering this family attraction in Cornwall and all the beautiful natural spaces it hides, and if you fancy stopping for a coffee, there's the Woods Cafe you can pop into. 

  • Prices: Parking charges are £2 for up to 2 hours or £5 for the whole day. 
  • Facilities: There's an easy access trail, accessible toilet, cafe, play area and picnic and BBQ spots. 

Stay nearby: Wisteria Barn, Bodmin | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs | 6 miles from Cardinham Woods 

Bomin cottages

Animal parks and sanctuaries 

The Monkey Sanctuary, Looe

The Monkey Sanctuary

Perfect for… 

The whole family to monkey around together and go bananas for all the things there is to do.

Why will the kids love it?

If you're wondering what to do in Cornwall with kids, the Monkey Sanctuary should be top fo your list! With various breeds of monkey living at the sanctuary, there will be lots of opportunities to meet the residents, getting up close and personal with these playful creatures. They’ll also love the Wild Play Area, where they can make use of all the playground equipment and workshops, getting in touch with their inquisitive side. There’s also plenty of birds, butterflies and other beautiful creatures to be found in the gardens, so they can see and learn about lots more than just monkeys!

  • Prices: An adult ticket is £8.10 while a children's ticket is £5.40, check out the full range of prices on their website. You could even treat yourself or a friend to their 'keeper for a day' experience which is £160.  
  • Facilities: Wild play area where youngsters can let off steam, wildlife gardens to wander, a gift shop to peruse and they serve hot drinks too. 

Stay nearby: The Stables - St Martin, St Martin | sleeps 8 and 2 dogs | Less than 500 metres from The Monkey Sanctuary 

Looe cottages

Newquay Zoo, Newquay

Newquay Zoo

Perfect for… 

Big kids, little kids, toddlers and teens. Your whole family will love seeing all the animals at the zoo and discovering more about them and their habitats.

Why will the kids love it? 

With such a variety of animals around every corner, there’s so much to see and discover here that both you and the kids will be entertained for hours. From the African Savanna area with its majestic beasts to the tropical house and penguin pool, it really is a world of exotic creatures and stunning wild animals in their natural habitats, made all the more enjoyable thanks to the play areas, Dragon Maze and snack bars to enjoy on your exciting journey.

  • Prices: £15.95 for adults, £12.00 for children (aged 3-15 years) and free for children under 3 years old - check their page for more. 
  • Facilities: Newquay Zoo considers themselves to be reasonably wheelchair and pushchair friendly with accessible routes, although not all are easy to manage in a manual wheelchair. There is disabled car parking, disabled toilets, and wheelchairs and electric scooters can be hired ahead of your visit. Cafe Lemur offers up a range of hot and cold food for you to enjoy during or after your exploration of the park. 

Stay nearby: Tolcarne Reach, Newquay | sleeps 8 and 3 dogs | 0.5 miles from Newquay Zoo 

Newquay cottages

Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay

Blue Reef Aquarium

Perfect for... 

Junior marine enthusiasts and creature crazy kids.

Why will the kids love it?

What better way to make the most of the wet weather than to embark on an under-the-sea adventure at the Blue Reef Aquarium! 40 natural-themed exhibits house all manner of underwater life, with sharks, turtles, colourful fish and even a caiman among the resident sea creatures you’ll see. Take a walk through the underwater tunnel to view the fish from a unique perspective, and set your watch for the child-friendly talks and feeding sessions scheduled throughout the day.

  • Prices: Online price for adults is £10.62 and £8.10 for children. 
  • Facilities: There are a cafe and shop to peruse and there is wheelchair access (except for a set of steps up to a viewing platform beside the stingray tank). 

Stay nearby: The Tall House, Newquay | sleeps 8 and 2 dogs | 0.5 miles from Blue Reef Aquarium 

Newquay cottages

Besides Newquay's fantastic Blue Reef Aquarium, there's a whole host of other top attractions that are ideal for entertaining the little ones during wet weather - discover some of the best rainy days out with the kids in Cornwall

Adventure and outdoor exploration 

Tintagel Castle, Tintagel

Perfect for… 

Active families that don’t mind a bit of hillwalking and step climbing, and those interested in history. Mad kids who want to play king and queen of the castle.

Why will the kids love it? 

Swathed in the fabled tales of King Arthur and his knights, youngsters will love learning more about the mythical legend surrounding this historical figure. There are some magnificent sections of the structure that remain largely intact so visitors can really feel the grandeur it would have once held, while your little monkeys will love looking out upon the vast ocean spotting any wildlife and boats that might be bobbing along. Don’t forget to head down to the beach with them too, where paddling in the sea and exploring Merlin’s Cave make fantastic family activities in Cornwall, before heading back up to the visitor centre to buy some lovely souvenirs and delicious food to round off your trip.

  • Prices: It's free for English Heritage members or £13 for an adult ticket and £7.80 for a child ticket. They operate using timed tickets to preserve the site, so ensure you book ahead. 
  • Facilities: There are multiple car parks in Tintagel Village, and a shop, cafe and toilets at the bottom of Castle Road. 

Stay nearby: Gull Cottage - Tintagel, Tintagel | sleeps 6 and 2 dogs | 0.5 miles from Tintagel Castle 

Tintagel cottages

Check out Cornwall's incredible coastline in our blog revealing 10 beaches you wouldn't believe are in Cornwall - then head over to our full collection of beach cottages and find your ideal seaside getaway that the whole family will love! 

St Michael's Mount, Marazion  

St Michael's Mount

Perfect for… 

Kids who love fairy-tale castles and a bit of adventure too! 

Why will the kids love it?

With gorgeous sandy or stony beaches, there are plenty of coastal viewpoints to marvel over, sandcastles to build and rock pools to investigate. St Michael's Mount, a rocky island only accessible between mid and low tide, is a must-see for families and one of Cornwall's top attractions. Walk along the causeway or take a boat trip for a brilliant adventure. The island, part of the National Trust, has a beautiful medieval church and castle (accessed at an extra charge), and is home to a living community – it's a fascinating visit.

  • Prices: It's free to cross the causeway and explore the island and if you want to enter the castle and gardens, prices start at £8. 
  • Facilities: There are two places to eat and two shops. If you are getting around by wheelchair, ramps are available on request to enter the shops and there are two access toilers on the island as well as a motorised tramper for hire for £2.50. 

Stay nearby: Petra 1, Marazion | Sleeps 4 | 0.5 miles from St Michael's Mount via causeway or boat 

Marazion cottages

From the remarkable beaches to the wonderful attractions, there are plenty of great ways to enjoy Cornwall for free - take a look at our guide to free things to do in Cornwall with kids.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, nr. Mevagissey

Perfect for…

Budding little horticulturists who love learning about the outdoors, and want to explore the labyrinth of woodlands, gardens and farmland stretching over 200 acres – plenty of space to wear them out!

Why will the kids love it?

It’s a jungle out there, and at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, kids can explore that jungle with boardwalks, rope bridges, swings and more as they discover every inch of the attraction’s glorious landscape. While exploring this wonderful place to go with kids, you'll get to see animals, hunt out the Insect Hotel deep in the woods, and can admire the towering trees and exotic plants that smother the area. Get them to keep an eye out for funky floral designs too – they could be lurking anywhere…

  • Prices: Entry is £15 for adults and £7 for children with youngsters under 5 welcome for free! 
  • Facilities: Parts of the site are wheelchair-friendly but check on their website for more information. They offer mobility scooters for hire and manual wheelchairs to borrow, free of charge, and there are accessible toilets. The Heligan Kitchen & Bakery offers up hot and cold food and drink. 

Stay nearby: Tamar Cottage, Mevagissey | Sleeps 6 and 1 dog | 1 mile from The Lost Gardens of Heligan 

Mevagissey cottages

Plan your next holiday in Cornwall

There are so many wonderful places to visit and things to do in Cornwall with kids, you'll be spoilt for choice on your next trip!

If you've been inspired to spend your next family holiday in Cornwall - discovering all the excellent family attractions on offer - we've got everything to help you find the perfect place to stay too. Take a look at our guide to the best places to stay in Cornwall to find the perfect base for your next family-friendly break.

If you've already got your heart set on where in Cornwall to go, you're sure to find the right holiday accommodation for you amongst our full collection of family cottages in Cornwall - find accommodation that the whole family will love and enjoy days of adventure and excitement on a wonderful getaway to Cornwall. 

Find a family-friendly cottage


*All prices and information correct at time of writing. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.