Cornwall is famed for its beautiful sunny weather, but here in the UK we know all too well that the sun can’t shine every day. We would hate for the rain to put a dampener on your holiday, so keep reading to discover a selection of fantastic rainy day activities in Cornwall ideal for children, teens and adults.
Rainy day activities in North Cornwall
Children: Jungle Jack’s, Newquay
Suitable for children of all ages, Jungle Jack’s is the perfect place for your little ones to run wild, explore their surroundings and meet new friends. The purpose-built play frame at Jungle Jack’s provides children with 1,700 square feet of fun and adventure. From the glide slide to the crafty crawl tubes, and from the rope bridge to the dedicated baby and toddler area, this indoor play centre has been specially designed to offer your child a fantastic playtime experience. But let’s not forget about the adults; as your little monkey discovers the play frame, you can sit back and unwind in the well-stocked café as you use the free WiFi to document the children’s adventures. The area has been designed so that no matter where you are, you can keep an eye on the children at all times.
Price: Prices from £4.50 for children three and over, £3.50 for children ages 12-35 months and adults and children under 12 months go free. Please note: prices increase by £1 during peak times. When exceptionally busy, play is also restricted to two hours.
Opening times: Jungle Jack’s is open all year round except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Open from 9.30pm to 6.30pm (last entry 5.30pm) Monday to Friday and from 10 am to 4pm (last entry 3pm) on Sundays.
Teens: Blue Reed Aquarium, Newquay
Allow your teens the experience of a lifetime, as they become top sea adventurers at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium. This spectacular aquarium boasts a selection of over 40 natural sea themed habitats where young explorers can discover fishy critters from local Cornish waters and tropical creatures from exotic seas, all in the same afternoon! The aquarium’s star attractions include fresh water turtles, spectacular pulsating jellyfish, the unusual pufferfish, the impressive giant pacific octopus and intimidating black tip reef sharks. The aquarium also has its very own gift shop where teens can take away their own cuddly souvenirs and a Blue Reef Café which serves a wide selection of drinks, snacks and meals.
Price: From £10.50 for adults, £9.50 for students and seniors, £8.25 for juniors (3-12 years) and £35.50 for family tickets. Remember to book online, in advance for a special discount.
Opening times: Open every day except for Christmas Day, from 10 am until 4pm with last entry at 3pm.
Adults: Trerice, Kestle Mill
Take the time to explore Trerice on a rainy day and you’ll be rewarded with remarkable architecture, sensational interiors and wonderful memories to last a lifetime. The stunning Elizabethan manor house has kept many of its original character features and remains little changed by the building fashions that have come about over the centuries. Trerice is ideal for adults seeking a little peace and quiet; with its tranquil nature and calming atmosphere the building is prized by its visitors. For a real treat we suggest visiting the Barn Restaurant at Trerice; this remarkable restaurant serves up delicious cream teas, hot soups and much more as well as providing a wonderfully romantic atmosphere to dine in.
Price: Adult tickets with gift aid cost £4.25.
Opening times: Vary by time of year; remember to check www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trerice before visiting.
Rain day activities in Bodmin Moor and Tamar Valley
Children: Paint a Pot, Looe
Not only does the charming Paint a Pot in Looe provide an excellent rainy day activity for children but it also allows them to improve their hand eye coordination and gives them a personalised souvenir to take home. The art room is located in a ceramic studio so your little ones will be working alongside professional potters who will be able to give them hands on advice on painting and decorating. From cheeky fairies to full dining sets, you can decorate just about anything before leaving your work with the staff who will glaze the item for you before collection. Also available at Paint a Pot is a wonderful selection of limited edition artwork, so if you have a special occasion coming up make sure to keep an eye out for their wedding, anniversary and christening collections.
Price: Prices vary depending on the item you choose to paint.
Opening times: Open all year round.
Teens: Carnglaze Caverns, St Neot
Carnglaze Caverns is the ideal all weather attraction to keep your teenagers entertained, combining adventure, history and a premier underground experience. Located towards the southern end of the beautiful Bodmin Moor, this former slate mine allows teens and their parents to delve into Cornwall’s fascinating mining history as they descend 60m below ground into Carnglaze Caverns. Take the self-guided underground tour and escape the rain as you learn all about how miners would use their ingenuity and skills to mine slate from the heart of the caverns. The tour concludes at a dazzling underground lake, with crystal clear waters that have a magical green tint and provide the perfect surroundings for family photos.
Price: From £6 for adults, £4 for concessions, £4 for children (3-15 years) and family tickets from £17.50.
Opening times: Open all year except for Christmas Day and possibly Boxing Day and New Year’s Day; please phone to check before arriving. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am until 5pm and until 8pm during August.
Adults: Bodmin Jail, Bodmin
For an educational and highly interesting day out we would suggest heading to Bodmin Jail. The original jail was built by George III in 1779 but the jail you see today was actually built by the jails prisoners. The prisoners would fetch granite from Bodmin’s Cuckoo Quarry to complete the build and in total they shifted around 20,000 tons of granite. Visit the jail on a rainy day and you can explore the dark cells, learn about the prisoners who used to live there and even take part in a ghost walk. After your trip around the cells you can refuel at the Warders Room Restaurant. This superb restaurant has a team of quality chefs who cook all the food in the jail’s kitchen using locally sourced, seasonal meats, fish and vegetables.
Price: Adults £8.50, concessions (aged 65 and older) £7.50, children (5-15 years) £6.50, children under five go free and family ticks are available from £34.
Opening times: Open every day except for Christmas Day. Jail visits are from 9.30am until dusk.
Rainy day activities in South Cornwall
Children: Kidz World, St Austell
With the majority of its attractions located undercover, Kidz World in St Austell is a great place to let your children unwind and release their pent up energy. With 20,000 square feet of adventure play, Kidz World boasts a whopping nine star attractions, all of which are included in the initial admission price. Make a splash as you investigate the sand and water play area, which really gets kids thinking as they discover ways to make water move uphill and channel the current through several different chambers. Alternatively get your adrenaline pumping as you make your way around the obstacles in Kidz World’s action packed laser shooting combat game. Whatever your children are into the attractions at Kidz World are sure to amaze them.
Price: Prices vary throughout the year and discounts are available online so please check the website before visiting.
Opening times: Open seven days a week throughout the school holidays and open every bank holiday. Please see the website for more details.
Teens: Eden Project, Bodelva
The Eden project is a fantastic day out for the whole family, but we think it is especially great for teens. They’re still young enough to marvel at the wonders of the Biomes with new eyes, whilst old enough to really understand the vital conservation work that the Eden Project is involved with. The Eden project houses the world’s largest indoor rainforest in one of the Biomes and a Mediterranean landscape in the other, so there is more than enough to do on a rainy afternoon. As well as the impressive biomes visitors to the Eden Project can also discover the rainforest canopy walkway, seed sculpture and The Core where they will find a variety of interactive exhibits, sculptures, the ‘Making of Eden’ film and much more.
Price: Adults £25, concessions £20, Children (6-16 years) £14, children under five go free and family tickets are available from £69. Remember to book online for a 10% discount.
Opening times: Vary by time of year; remember to check www.edenproject.com/visit/before-you-visit before visiting.
Adults: Antony House, Torpoint
As one of the finest examples of surviving Queen Anne Buildings in the West Country, Antony is a real treat for adults looking at spending a lazy afternoon sheltered from the Cornish rain. Whilst searching through this fantastic 18th century mansion guests will come across an outstanding collection of portraits depicting the unique family history of the Carew Pole family. As well as the beautiful paintings, this historic house also boasts examples of period furniture, textiles and tapestries, making the property perfect for art lovers. From the windows visitors are treated to sweeping views over the countryside and grounds, so even if it’s raining you can still make use of the beautiful gardens. Movie goers will also recognise Antony as one of the film locations for Tim Burton’s massive hit ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Price: Adults £8.90, children £4.50, and family tickets for £22.30 or £13.40 for families with one adult (prices include gift aid).
Opening times: Vary by time of year; remember to check www.nationaltrust.org.uk/antony before visiting.
Rainy day activities in West Cornwall
Children: Paradise Park, Hayle
Paradise Park’s Jungle Barn offers a fantastic distraction from grey skies; with its colourful slides, rainbow ball pool and multi-coloured crash mats you’ll soon forget all about the rain outside. This exciting indoor play centre provides a multi-level play experience for your little ones, so no matter how small your child is there will be something here to keep them entertained. For the parents you can sit back and relax at the snack bar where you will find a copy of the daily newspaper, free WiFi, and a tasty selection of sandwiches. Although it has to be said that many of the parents who visit the Jungle Barn seem to prefer a trip down the drop slides with their kids, over a quiet cup of tea!
Price: Adults £9.95, disabled adults £7.95, seniors £7.50, disabled seniors £5.50, children (3-15 years) £7.95, disabled children £5.95, carers £7.95 and family tickets from £34.
Opening times: The Jungle Barn is open throughout the year from 10am until 6pm. Last admission during summer is 5pm and from November 2nd until March 20th it’s 3pm.
Teens: Poldark Mine, Trenear
As the only complete tin mine in Cornwall your teens are sure to appreciate a trip to the Poldark Mine, which has been made even more popular since the Poldark TV show aired on BBC One. Not only do the underground tours at Poldark Mine offer an exciting experience for any teen but the trip is also very educational as the mines are regarded as one of the most significant and historic locations in the annals of Cornish mining. The tours underground offer a unique insight to the living and working conditions of miners in the 18th and early 19th century, however if the trip underground is too daunting then there is a wonderful museum, café and shop to explore above ground.
Price: Tour prices start from £16.80 for adults, £14.80 for seniors, £15.80 for university students, £14.80 for UK military, £14.80 for local residents, £14.80 for children (under 16), £14.80 for carers and the less able and family tickets are available from £49.20.
Opening times: Site is open from 11am but please see website for tour times and book in advance for availability.
Adults: Tate, St Ives
Known for its strong connection to art, St Ives receives thousands of visitors each year, but where do these visitors hide when the rain starts to pour? Well the Tate of course! This internationally renowned gallery is the perfect hideaway for adults, with a fantastic range of both new and old exhibits to explore you could spend hours lost amongst the art work. The Tate in St Ives not only has an ever changing display of contemporary art pieces but, it is also home to the national collection of British art from 1500 to present day. As well as perusing the art on display you can also spend your time admiring the souvenirs in the gift shop and tasting a traditional Cornish cream tea in the café.
Price: Admission to the gallery is free but there is an extra charge for those wishing to visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Opening times: The gallery is open throughout the year but will be closed until May 21st for construction work.
Along with this fantastic selection of rainy day activities why not shelter from the rain by visiting one of Cornwall’s many family friendly pubs and restaurants? We can’t think of a better way to warm up on a cold wet day, than by enjoying a hearty meal cooked using local Cornish produce!