• Blue Reef Aquarium
  • Eden Project
  • PK Porthcurno

Rainy Day Ideas for Families in Cornwall

Rainy day forecast? Do not let the weather dampen your spirits, because here in Cornwall, rain most definitely does not stop play. We have put together some of our favourite wet weather activities for families to try during their Cornwall holidays. (Also suitable for sunny days!)

A Rainy Day In Falmouth

When it rains, locals and visitors flock to the shelter of the towns. Falmouth’s outstanding National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a popular rainy day place. There is lots to explore at the museum, with activities for kids of all ages. Look out for their programme of special exhibitions, which are excellent without exception. The current showstopper is called Pirates and runs until late 2024. (The cafe and shop also score highly among families!)

Elsewhere in town, the free Falmouth Art Gallery is always worth visiting and there are a lot of independent shops to explore. If you want somewhere good for lunch, there are lots of family friendly options in Falmouth.

Meet Some Creatures

Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay is another busy spot on a wet day (so book ahead if the forecast is for rain). Highlights include the Ocean Tunnel and the nursery. There are lots of native sea creatures here, so Blue Reef is a great opportunity to find out more about Cornwall’s waters.

While you are in town, Newquay Zoo is a mix of undercover and open areas (although there is a lot of tree cover). In the west, Hayle’s Paradise Park wildlife sanctuary is the locals’ choice on a wet weekend, mainly because it has a huge indoor play area, with areas suitable for toddlers to teens. Parents can enjoy the coffee and WiFi…

Head West To Porthcurno

The rain is a great excuse to drive right out west to Porthcurno and its fabulous communications museum.  PK Porthcurno is housed in the former telegraph station, which back in the day was a significant hub of global communications.  Explore the fascinating WWII bunker and find out more about this small village’s massive impact, through exhibitions and hands on interactives.

Porthcurno beach (next to the museum) is an incredible place to visit on a gloomy and wet day.  Even on the greyest days, Porthcurno’s luminous sands shine through and the sea retains its astonishingly beautiful turquoise hue. 

While you are in the far west, the visitor centres at the Minack Theatre, Geevor Tin Mine and Land’s End have some indoor elements, but there is quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing outdoors as well.  Maybe just head for the museum cafes?

Or East To Eden

Again, the Eden Project is a blend of indoor and outdoor spaces. Explore the biomes on a mizzly day and you could still be in a steamingly hot jungle. Head for the bar in the Med biome and pretend you are sitting outside a sun-drenched taverna. However, most of the walkways across the large site are uncovered, so you may want to save this one for a drier day.

Bodmin Jail: A Rainy Day With A Difference

You’ll certainly be indoors at one of Cornwall’s most unusual attractions, Bodmin Jail. The recently refurbished attraction has been receiving great praise for its immersive experience and guided tours. You need to book ahead online, but the good news is that you can do this on the day after checking the forecast. If you want to take one of the tours however, you will need to book in advance.

As you can imagine, the Georgian jail is a bit too creepy for younger kids and under 10s are not allowed in the main exhibition. The Junior Jailers tour is designed for children aged 7 and up (please book well in advance for this one) and everyone is welcome in the gift shop and Courtyard Restaurant.

Classic Rainy Day Comforts

Sometimes, a rainy day on your Cornwall holiday is a good chance to pause and take a breath. Instead of travelling from one attraction to another, find something cosy and relaxing to do. Cornwall has more than its share of welcoming family friendly pubs: treat yourselves to lunch and a board game at a comfy table.

There are also several cinemas in Cornwall, including St Ives, Penzance, Falmouth and Truro. Newlyn Filmhouse is a favourite, housed in an evocative former fishing building and with an excellent restaurant. The Redruth Regal is another popular choice. Book seats in a Screen One box and enjoy having pizza and drinks brought to your seats. Prefer live theatre? Try and catch a matinee at St Ives’ Kidz R Us theatre.


Embrace The Rain!

Alternatively, just get wet. It’s only rain and many of our cosy Cornwall holiday cottages have drying areas for your waterproofs and wetsuits. 

Head for the beach (everyone else will be in the Tate) and enjoy its quieter beauty. In the summer, most local kids will stay in the sea if it rains anyway (provided the waves are not too rough) and the surf schools continue to run their lessons. Afterwards, a brisk dry off, a hot chocolate and a sense of achievement.

The outdoor geothermal spa at the Jubilee Pool lido in Penzance feels even more fun on a rainy day, or stride out through Tehidy Woods, sheltered by the thick canopy of trees. If you are on holiday in Cornwall with your dog, these woods are the perfect place for wet-weather walkies.

Find Your Cosy Holiday Cottage In Cornwall

And the best thing about a rainy day? Coming back to your snug Cornwall holiday cottage. Whatever the weather, you’ll soon be warm and dry again in one of our lovely holiday cottages in Cornwall.

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