Schools out for Summer and you may be wondering what to do to entertain the kids?  We’ve compiled a list of activities that will inspire you and your children.   All our suggestions are either in St Ives or a short journey away.

Things to do and see in the great outdoors

Do your kids love to be in or near the sea? Contact St Ives Surf School, they’re based on Porthmeor Beach and host a variety of activities including Surfing, Coasteering, Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking.

There are a wide variety of companies offering boat trips on the harbour front.   A trip to visit the seals on ‘Seal Island’ passing massive granite cliffs or a trip across the bay to Godrevy Lighthouse each take about an hour and are suitable for all ages.

Are they into fishing? How about mackerel fishing?  St Ives Bay is visited by vast shoals of mackerel moving to the natural flow of the ebbing and flooding tides.   The trip takes around one and a half hours and usually includes all the necessary fishing equipment.

How about learning more about marine life? It’s always fascinating to find what the sea left behind in the Rockpools.   Keep a sharp eye out for crabs, anemones, limpets, snails and starfish.  Tiny shrimps dart around, and you may also see other small fish such as a goby or a pipefish.  You can find the rockpools on:

  • Porthmeor beach – under the shadow of the Island, the east side of Porthmeor.   At low tide, the west side of the beach reveals more rock pools.
  • Bamaluz Beach – is a small rocky sandy cove.
  • Porthminster Beach – On the west side of the beach, where the steps head up to the Warren and further east around the headland towards Carbis Bay.

Swim in the Jubilee Pool (Penzance) which is one of the few remaining 1930s art deco lidos in the entire country, jutting out into beautiful Mount’s Bay with a view of St Michael’s Mount.

Stithians Lake (Redruth) offers a great day out, on and off the water.  Create your own pirate adventure, take to the water on a sailing quest or let your children run freely in our pirate-themed play area.  Fill your day with fun and adventure, walk our nature path or bring your bike and cycle off-road.  It’s a 4.8-mile circular route that runs adjacent to the lake, spot birds from our hide and discover Stithians Dam, everyone loves watching water cascade down this megastructure! Stithians is a dog friendly place too!

Flambards (Helston) is the West Country’s leading family attraction with rides for everyone, family fun and entertainment.  Do not forget to visit the award-winning and unique exhibitions including the Victorian Village and the Britain in the Blitz.  They have regular themed events throughout the school holidays.

Geevor Tin Mine is one of the largest preserved mine sites in the country and a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.  Opt to go into the underground mine, the tour is really insightful as to what it was like being a miner!

Paradise Park in Hayle is a wildlife sanctuary with tropical birds in exotic gardens and a huge Jungle Barn indoor play area for children.  Set around sheltered Victorian gardens, it’s a great day out for all the family.

Experience animal welfare in action at Cornwall’s only Seal Sanctuary (Gweek) and rescue centre.  Hear about dramatic rescues and meet the seal and sea lion characters whose individual stories are brought to life during your visit.

National Trust have a variety of attractions nearby such as St Michael’s Mount (Marazion), Levant Mine (St Just), Trengwainton Gardens (Penzance).  All have events on throughout the summer holidays.

English Heritage also have a variety of attractions nearby for example, Pendennis Castle (Falmouth), St Mawes Castle and Chycauster an Ancient Village near Penzance.   At Pendennis Castle they have a ‘Legendary Joust’ every Tuesday/Wednesday during the school holidays.

Do you want to discover where the buried treasure is in St Ives? Why not invest in the St Ives Mystery Treasure Trail, you can obtain one from the St Ives Library & Information Service on Gabreil Street for £6.99.

Or how about Tehidy Country Park (Camborne)? Tehidy has over 9 miles (14.5km) of paths and 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes to explore, together with a café and a picnic area.   Visitors may stroll around the lake, explore leafy glades or wilder areas of woodland or be immersed in the rich flora and fauna.  With a different type of beauty for every season, Tehidy is an enchanting place to visit all year round.  Tehidy hosts ‘Rogue Theatre’ who perform several family orientated shows throughout the Summer.

Just in case it’s raining – indoor activities

There are also a variety of indoor activities, if in the worst-case scenario it’s raining.

Tate St Ives hosts a variety of regular events for children.

A latest craze is to be locked in the room for a certain amount of time with a theme.   Teamwork is required to figure out the clues to be released from the room.  Book a slot with Escape Time.

You could also have a go at a chocolate workshop at CoCoKitchen.

ClayDays at Leach Pottery, let their imagination run wild and let them design and make their sculpture.

Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is a must visit for all the family.  Learn how this underground bunker played its part in the war efforts.

Country Skittles is the home of 9 pin skittles and great food.  This is similar to the more familiar 10 pin bowling, but is a more traditional way of knocking pins over!

And not forgetting the St Ives cinema who show the latest films but tend to show family orientated films during the day.