St Ives is the perfect family holiday spot with plenty of activities to try in and around town whether you and your kids are looking for something creative, adventurous or something in between. 

To help you plan the perfect trip with your kids, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best activities your kids are guaranteed to love. Try something new, have endless fun or just spend time with the ones you love experiencing something exciting. The choice is yours. 

1. Head to the Beach

The many beaches of St Ives are bound to be a hit with your kids due to the overwhelming variety of activities that always ensure they have something to keep them occupied. 

There are five main beaches in St Ives – Porthmeor, Porthgwidden, Carbis Bay, Harbour Beach and Porthminster – and each offers something fresh and exciting from beach sports to water sports to hunting for crabs in rockpools. 

You can even head down to Bamaluz Beach when the tide’s out, the perfect spot for walking the dog that allows you to spend some quality time with everyone in the family. 

Some of the best beach activities in St Ives include:


  • Rock pooling
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Body boarding
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding

A lot of these activities are a great way to encourage your kids to try something new, discover something they’re passionate about or even just help them to relax and have fun after a long day. 

2. Boating Trips

Why not take the seaside adventure one step further and explore more of St Ives’ stunning coast through a boat trip?

Kids won’t get bored out at sea with the variety on offer here. Take them on an educational journey of discover around the coast, learning about sealife and getting a close up view of the iconic Seal Island. 

Rib Rides are great for an extra shot of adrenaline as you zip around the bay or you can join in on a fishing trip, giving your kids the opportunity to learn something new and get rewarded for their efforts. 

No matter the activity, it’s always a great change of pace to head out onto the water and you’re bound to give your kids some fun memories to look back on and share with their friends. 

And if your kids really love animals, consider booking a place on the Nemo Glass Bottom Boat Trips. The window into the ocean will provide a new way of looking at the world and will even give your kids the chance to spot their favourite fish and sea creatures in action. Maybe one or two curious critters will even float up for a closer look. 

3. Coastal Walks

Coastal walks in St Ives are a great way to let your kids run off all that extra energy they’ve got pent up while also getting to bask in the natural wonders of the Cornish countryside. 

Shorter walks like the St Ives to Carbis Bay walk allow kids to run along the beaches and not get too bored on longer walks with extra fun added if you’re taking your dog with you. You could also take the circular walk around The Island which provides plenty of opportunity for you to break up the walk with some of the beach activities mentioned above.

Alternatively for a longer adventure, you could try out a longer walk. St Ives to Zennor offers some of the most scenic views in the area and the longest walk to St Michael’s Way may be a more demanding endeavour but the reward of relaxing on Marazion Beach afterwards and exploring St Michael’s Mount is too good a reward to pass up. 

The coastal walks also offer some of the best places to get some family cycling in. Whether you’re teaching your kids to ride a bike or they’re already experienced riders, nothing beats cycling to the sound of waves crashing on the rocks below. 

4. Arts and Crafts

There are plenty of opportunities and workshops in St Ives that give kids the opportunity to get some hands on experience making something special and unique to take home with them. St Ives is the gleaming jewel of Cornwall’s arts and crafts culture and whatever activity you decide on is sure to reflect the town’s brilliance. 

Some of the creative opportunities and workshops on offer include:

  • Chocolate workshop at I Should Coco where you can learn to make your own chocolate
  • Pottery workshops for families at Leach Pottery
  • Painting workshops, pottery and art clubs at the St Ives School of Painting
  • Indoor and Outdoor painting and sketchbooking at Barnoon Workshop
  • Bookmaking workshops at St Ives Library
  • Learn to make glass art at St Ives Glass Art Workshop

These activities are perfect for children to absorb themselves in and offer a relaxing alternative to the adrenaline fuelled excitement of other activities in the area. 

5. Indoor Entertainment

Quieter indoor activities are the perfect way to unwind or to enjoy on a rainy day. St Ives isn’t short on venues that can entertain your kids. 

Museums and art galleries are a great way for kids to learn about the culture and craft of the area and there are often interactive exhibits and workshops being held to hook your kids and allow them to have fun and engage with the art and history of the area in new and exciting ways. Head over to the Tate St Ives or the St Ives Museum to get your kids excited about all the interesting art and curious artefacts.

Alternatively, a quiet trip to the cinema or the theatre to catch a new movie or play is a perfect way to entertain the family. The St Ives cinema will always have all the latest releases that your kid has been looking forward to and theatre companies such as Kidz R Us always put on a unique and creative show sure to capture your kid’s attention. 

You can even all head out to try an escape room together. It’s not recommended for children under the age of 8 but working out the puzzles as a family can be a rewarding and sometimes hilarious venture that will leave you wanting to return the moment you’ve left. 

6. Sports and Play

We covered watersports and beach activities earlier on in the guide but there is so much more available in St Ives sports-wise if water activities aren’t your kid’s thing. 

Some of the sporty activities you can check out with your kid include:

  • Horse riding – there are plenty of schools around the St Ives area. You may have to drive to get there but the learning experience for your kid is worth it.
  • Penbeagle Park – great for ball games, skateboarding, playing on the playground and dog walking.
  • Go Karting – over near Hayle is a great go karting course, easily accessible by car and boasting a cafe and a free car park.
  • Penwith Pitch and Putt – a short car drive away, this entertainment venue offers not only Pitch and Putt but crazy golf and football golf as well.

The sports and play activities on offer in and around St Ives are great for more active kids who love to run around and play outside. The sports are perfect for the whole family to get involved in and with the variety on offer, your kid is sure to find something that appeals to them. 

Families are always guaranteed to have a fun time in St Ives as the town is never short on activities designed to suit kids at all ages. There’s always going to be something that catches your kids’ attention whether it’s something they already love doing or something they’re curious to learn more about. 

Stay with us in one of our self-catering holiday cottages and use your new home away from home as a base from which you plan your family activities, giving your kids plenty of opportunities to make the most of their time in town.