Cornwall for Kids: Top Family Days Out

Written by: Eliot Prince

If you’re looking for things to do in Cornwall for families, there is no end of activities available in this corner of southwest England. 

No matter their age, you can find something to whet everyone’s appetite when visiting Cornwall with kids!

Cornwall’s natural rugged beauty and stunning coastline (as well as unique microclimates) makes it a popular holiday destination.

In this guide we’ll cover:

  • The best places to go in Cornwall for families
  • What’s on offer
  • How much it’ll cost

If you’re looking for things to do in Cornwall with kids, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get going.

The Eden Project

The Eden Project in Cornwall

Your kids will love the otherworldly feel of the Eden Project

This former clay mine has been transformed into a spectacular outdoor garden, with futuristic biodomes housing a fantastic array of tropical plants. 

There’s so much to do at Eden Project! 

Plan your adventure through the jungle and keep an eye out for the incredible sculptures, including giant mirrored statues of myths and legends. 

Have a go on a variety of play structures through the project, like the mini mansion and spiral garden. 

Visit Invisible Worlds, a permanent interactive exhibition, and marvel at the breathing statues and other wonders all while learning about biodiversity! 

eden project palm trees

For real thrill seekers, the Eden Project is also home to Hangloose Adventure Park. Brave England’s longest zipline, try tantalising aerial trekking, massive swings and drops, and more. 

Most rides are restricted to ages eight and up, but there are also climbing structures for those as young as four (with supervision).  

There are a range of cafés and restaurants in the park for lunch and snacks, as well as an ice cream parlour if you’re after a treat! 

Make sure to bring layered clothing and suitable shoes, as it can be hotter in the biodomes than outside. 

Sunscreen is recommended even inside the domes, and it’s advised to bring a water bottle even though there are multiple water fountains located throughout the park.

Tickets will set you back £32.50 per adult, or £11 per child (aged 5–16). Children under the age of four go free. There’s a slight increase on ticket prices during peak times, and students get a concession.

Also, if you become an Eden Project Member, you’re also entitled to visit a variety of other sites around Cornwall for free between January and November. Well worth it if you’re planning on coming back again!

Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay

a fish in Blue reef aquarium newquay

Plunge into a marvellous variety of ocean life at the Blue Reef Aquarium! It’s a great spot to spend a few hours on a rainy day in Newquay (or as a break from the sun). 

The aquarium hosts loads of different exhibits, from local Cornish sea life that you might have already spotted on the coast, to a tropical river exhibit with crocodiles and piranhas

Special features include a simulated shipwreck teeming with octopuses and other sea creatures, an ocean tunnel where you can swim with sharks without having to get wet, and educational talks and exciting feeding times. 

shark at blue reef aquarim

The aquarium also has a breeding program so you can check out what babies are in the nursery when you visit. Past features have included clownfish, rays, and cuttlefish. 

The program is a captive-bred-to-release repopulation initiative and is therefore a rare opportunity to see baby fish in a non-pet shop environment. What a great learning opportunity! 

The Blue Reef Café is open year-round and serves a range of lunch and snack food, including children’s lunch boxes (which comes with a sandwich, drink, yoghurt, fruit, and crisps), and potentially much-needed coffee options. 

In the summer months, a beach-front cabin operates and offers pizzas, ice creams, and drinks, as well as beach toys, towels, and other supplies.

Tickets cost £13.25 for anyone over the age of 13 (under 16s have to be accompanied by an adult), or £10.25 for 3–12 year olds. Under 3s go free.

There are some concessions available, as well as a family group ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for £45, and a friends’ group ticket (4 adults) for £52.

Be sure to pay attention to the ticket terms and conditions on the website! Fond of fishies? Find out all about the Best Aquariums in Cornwall.

Newquay Zoo

tiger at newquay zoo

Another gem in Newquay is the fantastic Newquay Zoo, where there are many different animals to see including big cats, otters, lemurs, and penguins! 

The zoo has several outdoor play structures, a secret garden, a tropical aviary, and a tropical house to visit all your favourite creepy crawlies (as well as sloths, because who doesn’t like those). 

The zoo’s iconic dragon-shaped hedge maze has sadly been closed since the onset of Covid, but be sure to check before your visit to see if it has reopened. 

Newquay Zoo also offers a range of different experiences to get up close to your favourite animals, which everyone in your family will love.

The lemur, tapir, and penguin experiences all allow you to get behind the scenes of their respective enclosures and hand-feed the animals. 

animal at newquay zoo

Meanwhile, the Junior Zookeeper experience lets your child try their hand at zookeeping – including feeding and handling some of the animals!

There are a few different food options available to suit your needs. 

Café Lemur is a casual sit-down restaurant featuring pizzas, burgers, and children’s picnic boxes, but takeaway sandwiches and treats are also available at Lazy Lion Grill.

During the summer months, ice creams and popsicles can be purchased at Meerkat Munchies near the children’s play area.

Purchasing your tickets online ahead of time will get you a bit of a discount, with adults at £14.85 (without a Gift Aid donation) and children (aged 3–15) at £11.15. Children under 3 go free!

There are senior (65+) and student concessions, and a family group ticket (2 adults and 2 children) available, as well. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult, and bookings are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Looking for more animal options? Check out our complete guide to the Zoos of Cornwall!

Lappa Valley

lapp valley train

For a charming family outing just beyond Newquay, check out Lappa Valley

This picturesque woodland spot features several different miniature trains to ride, swan paddle boats, an adventure golf course, and an outdoor adventure area with slides, play structures, and trampolines. 

There is also an indoor soft-play area for rainy days or a break from the sunshine. 

Food and drink is available from a few different spots, including pizzas, kids’ meals, and a cheeky pint for the adults (should they want one). 

Dogs are also welcome in the valley and on some of the attractions, so the whole family can get involved!

Tickets will cost £15.95 for adults, or £13.95 for children (aged 3–16). Under 3s go free, as do annual pass holders. 

There are a variety of concessions and group tickets available, so check the website for full information.

Paradise Park

penguins and paradise park

Looking for family fun near Hayle? Check out Paradise Park for an amazing day out! 

Paradise Park is a wildlife sanctuary and features many beautiful animals, including red pandas, penguins, and eagles. 

There are daily feeding events and shows to see the creatures in action. 

The park features a miniature train, goat and sheep feeding, lorikeet feeding, and kids’ quizzes. 

Exciting in any weather, Paradise Park is also home to the JungleBarn, a massive indoor play area. 

JungleBarn has a safe and challenging soft play area for toddlers, as well as a multi-level extravaganza for older kids (and parents). This includes slides, spinning discs, and climbing challenges. 

There is also a large outdoor play area, simulating a river raft. 

While guests are welcome to bring their own food and picnic in the park, there are also dining options available. 

The Otter Pool Café offers kids’ and adults’ picnic lunches as well as jacket potatoes with toppings of your choice, along with Cornish classics (think Cornish Pasties and Cream Teas!

There is also a family pub, the Bird in Hand, which offers a range of local ales, kids’ and adults’ meals, pool, and live music.

Tickets for the park alone will cost adults £15.95 and children (aged 3–15) £12.00. Under 3s go free.

For both the park and Junglebarn, adult tickets are £17.95 and children (aged 3–15) are £14.50. Under 3s go free, again.

There’s a range of concessions, as well as group tickets, plus a few terms and conditions you’ll need to be aware of. Check the website for full details.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

A Seal in a tank at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Have a good time for a good cause at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary!

The sanctuary is located in Gweek and provides rehabilitation for injured grey seals and other marine wildlife, as well as being a permanent home to those who cannot be rehabilitated. On average, they rehabilitate over 70 injured pups a year — aww!

The seal sanctuary is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Permanent residents include grey seals, common seals, Humboldt penguins, beavers, and one Southern sea lion named Diego. 

There are several different tour options available, such as a breakfast tour, or a wildlife boat tour off the coast. 

seal on the rocks in cornwall

Even just having a look will be an experience, however, with three underwater viewing rooms so you can see for yourself how these animals behave beneath the surface. 

For a cheap and delicious meal nearby, try The May Tree. This friendly local pub-style restaurant features hot pies, comfort food, and a build your own kids’ menu for pickier eaters (or just those who know what they want). 

Mains here include pizza or chicken breast, sides such as peas or hot chips, as well as dessert and drink options.

Tickets to the Seal Sanctuary are valid for 12 months free entry (!), so if you come back within the year, you can go check up on your new sealife pals!

Booking ahead of time will get you a 10% discount, at £16.19 for adults and £13.49 for children (aged 3–16). Under 3s go free.

There are multiple concessions again, as well as a family group ticket. You can also purchase a Seal Sanctuary Guide Book for £3.95.

Dairyland Farm World

Get up close and personal with a range of farm animals and more at Dairyland Farm World

Located near Newquay, Dairyland offers pony rides, tractor rides, and the opportunity to pet and feed sheep, llamas, and cows! 

There are also trampolines, flying foxes, a large outdoor play structure, and digging/construction zones with toy trucks and diggers. 

It’s still definitely worth a visit no matter the weather! 

Inside you’ll find a large indoor-play structure with slides, jump zones, and a ball pit; the Bug Zone to see all manner of creepy crawlies; and a museum of Cornish farming history. 

Plus, kids can gently pet bunnies and guinea pigs, and help bottle-feed baby farm animals in the Hay Barn. Cute! 

There’s plenty of delicious local fare and kids’ options at the Farmhouse Kitchen, and you can enjoy a cold beverage while watching the younger ones have a blast on the outdoor patio. 

There is also a Donut Hut being added soon, so check if it’s there by the time of your trip!

Tickets are non-refundable and there are a variety of options available (including concessions), so be sure to pay attention to the website

You can also sign up for annual membership, which could be worth it if you plan on returning multiple times. For more farm options read my guide to the top Cornwall Farms to visit!

Flambards Theme Park

Have the time of your life at Flambards theme park! This bustling amusement park has heaps of attractions, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. 

For thrillseekers, get your breath taken away on the skyraker – taking in a lovely view of the Cornish countryside before taking on the death-defying drop. Or, fly through the air on the sky sailer, a dizzying airborne carousel! 

There’s also a roller coaster, log flume, and many other theme park classics.

For younger guests, there is a traditional carousel, tea cup rides, a dinosaur experience, and much more! 

If the weather is not the best, there’s still loads of fun to be had at the giant indoor play area featuring a ball pit, slides, and tunnels. 

Or, take a stroll through the life-sized Victorian Village and learn and play – old-timey style! If you’re getting a bit dizzy, take a break with some mini golf or visit the arcade. 

Grab an ice cream or cold drink from one of the many stalls around the park, or fill up on a hearty burger and fries from Ferdi’s Burger Bar. Guests are also welcome to bring in their own food and drink. 

Many attractions include an upper or lower age limit, or height and weight restrictions. Make sure to have a look at their website to make sure no little hearts get too set on a restricted ride. Flambards is also typically closed during the winter months.

Tickets booked online for both the rides and indoor attractions will cost you £19.75 for adults or $15.25 for children (up to age 15 and 95 cm and above). Those under 95 cm tall go free.

There’s a senior (aged 60+), disabled, and carer concession, and if you only want to visit the indoor attractions it costs a little less. Season tickets will also get you access to the fireworks shows, of which there are 10 throughout the year.

Be sure to buy your ticket online ahead of time to save a few quid! If you’re keen to find a theme park for your day out then I suggest reading our guide to the Best Theme Parks in Cornwall.

Pirate’s Quest Adventure Golf

Perfect for a rainy day, Pirate’s Quest features a thrilling 12-hole adventure golf course – perfect for you and your wee mateys! 

Have fun while learning about Cornwall’s murky past of smuggling and piracy, and get really swept into the history in the intricately themed rooms. There are also photo opportunities in the stocks or at the captain’s wheel!

Pirate’s Quest is located in a historic Newquay theatre, really setting the scene. It is open seven days a week, with reduced admission for kids and free admission for under threes. 

One of the rooms featured is dimly lit with glow-in-the-dark features, but there is an option to avoid that route if it seems too scary, or for accessibility reasons. 

For a unique meal nearby, check out Bush Pepper! This Australian fusion restaurant serves kangaroo, including steaks and in a scotch egg! 

If that’s not your idea of a g’day, there are also standard dining options for adults and a kids menu with options like fish sticks and mac and cheese.

Tickets will cost £11.50 for over 15s, £7.95 for those aged 3–15 (must be accompanied by a paying adult), and under 3s go free.

Land’s End

lands end front entrance

Land’s End is a must-see in Cornwall for kids and adults alike! 

Located at the westernmost point of the region near Penzance, this attraction boasts stunning cliff-top views and gorgeous walking trails, not to mention a rich history. 

Visit Greeb Farm and say hello to (and even pet and feed) the local sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, miniature ponies, and ferrets! Watch and learn local craft masters at work in the barns, and pick up handmade toys and other souvenirs. 

Venture into a land of myths and magic, if you dare to undertake Arthur’s Quest! Get swept away into a fantasy with mind-boggling special effects and props, and work to solve riddles and puzzles to help the king.

Take a load off and enjoy a magical 4D movie, and plunge into the world of pirates, complete with seat moments and air and water effects. 

For any Wallace and Gromit fans (or those that are just curious), Land’s End is also home to Aardman presents: A Grand Experience

lands end for kids

This interactive exhibition plops you into the world of Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and other classic claymation characters. Explore their world, play some games, and learn about the animation process behind these familiar favourites.

You can nab a ticket to all four attractions for £15 for adults and £10 for children, or purchase each individually.

The Bottom Line

Wherever you decide to head to in Cornwall, you’re bound to have a blast with the whole family!

And remember: on top of all of these attractions, you’ve also got heaps and heaps of beaches to swim and play on (or to relax on while the kids run amok)!

Remember to plan your trip carefully and book ahead, as more often than not online tickets will save you a few bob here and there – meaning more spending money for your Cornish holiday! Or have a gander at our guide to Free Things to Do in Cornwall.