23 of the best rainy day activities in Cornwall with kids

The sun might not be shining, but don't let that stop you from having fun...

The Eden Project in Cornwall with rain clouds above
(Image credit: Getty Images)

These rainy day activities in Cornwall promise plenty of indoor family fun.

You can't beat a family day out in the South West of England, with Cornwall's golden beaches and stunning natural scenery a hotspot for families during the school holidays.

Whilst we can all dream (and pray) for glorious sunshine, sometimes the weather doesn't always go to plan. And though you could make-do with some indoor activities for kids, there's actually plenty of Cornish attractions that are perfect for exploring when the rain pours. With the only difficulty being which one to chose first...

Rainy day activities in North Cornwall

1. Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay

A trip to Blue Reef aquarium is one of the best rainy day activities in North Cornwall. Kids will be mesmerised by the 40 plus habitants that call this place home - be it the freshwater turtles and the reef sharks or the pufferfish and other shoals of brightly coloured fish friends. Plus, you might just bump into Charlie the Clownfish for an extra laugh in the incredible underwater tunnel.

Blue Reef Newquay is open 10am-6pm, and is asking visitors to pre-book their tickets online before arriving. Kids under 3 go free, whilst a family ticket (2 adults, 2 juniors) is £45.00 for the day.

Find out more about Blue Reef Aquarium and book tickets for 2023 here

2. Bodmin Jail

Discover Cornwall's dark past with the family at Bodmin Jail in North Cornwall. This indoor, immersive attraction has recently had a facelift and boasts a number of new exhibits including the new 'Dark Walk' experience. This uses lighting and camera effects to transport visitors back in time to when it was a working prison.

Due to the nature of this attraction, this rainy day activity is more suited towards children aged 8 and older. Tickets must be booked in advance, with children costing £10.50, while a ticket for a family of 3 costs £38.00, or £52.20 for a family of four.

Find out more about Bodmin Jail and book tickets for 2023 here

3. Pirate's Quest Newquay

Pirate's Quest in Newquay is a gem of a tourist attraction and perfect for any young pirate fans in the family. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by a friendly pirate who'll take you on a tour around the magical caves, sharing fascinating facts and a fair few scary stories too, after which you can have a go at a game of Pirate Adventure Golf.

Book your tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Each ticket is valid for a certain time slot and you can select one that works best for you on their website.

Find out more about Pirate's Quest and book tickets for adventure golf here

4. Trerice House, Kestle Mill

You can always rely on the National Trust for a fun family day out - even when the weather isn't playing ball. This stunning Elizabethan manor is steeped in history and has great views of the gardens even on the greyest of days. Grab lunch in the Barn restaurant and make a pit stop at the gift shop on your way out.

Trerice House is currently offering timed session tickets online. A family ticket (with a max of three children) costs £30, while it's just £18 for one adult and two children.

Find out more about Trerice House and book tickets for 2023 here

5. Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Boscastle

Take shelter from the rain at the world’s oldest and largest collection of witchcraft and magic in beautiful Boscastle. Whilst this isn't a recommended activity for toddlers, it's sure to fascinate older children with it details on the history of magic and 3000 unusual artefacts. 

Tickets are released a week in advance of dates and the museum are operating strict timed entrance - so be sure to book!

Find out more about the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic and book tickets for 2023 here

6. Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Take a trip back in time and spend an afternoon chugging around the beautiful Cornish countryside in a classic locomotive. The Bodmin and Wenford railway is one of the best rainy day activities in Cornwall, with the indoor carriages providing a cosy, warm shelter from the wet weather. Plus there's a tasty tea service available on board serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and other refreshments. Little ones will love riding on a real life Thomas the tank engine, whilst mum and dad kick back with a coffee.

The railway offers four departure times: 10:30am, 11:50am, 13:15pm and 14:35pm. And journeys last just over two hours, arriving back at the Bodmin station where passengers departed from. It's advised that families book their tickets in advance before turning up on the day.

Find out more about Bodmin and Wenford Railway and book tickets for 2023 here

7. Dairyland Farm Park, Newquay

Fun in all weather, Dairyland Farm Park has been operating since 1975 and offers the opportunity for a day of family fun while meeting the animals. In the Hay Barn, you can enjoy a Pat-a-Pet session or bottle feed the animals, and there's also trampolines, a play area for small children, Digger Zone, the Animal Ark, Flying Fox zip wire, Nature Trail and lakes which you can take a gentle stroll around, or even jump on a Tractor Ride. 

In addition, there's the opportunity to visit the museum of Cornish Heritage and find out more about how past generations lived and worked with an exhibition loaned by Newquay Old Cornwall Society, plus a number of eateries to tuck into too.

Find out more about Dairyland Farm Park and book your tickets here

8. Oasis Fun Pools, Newquay

When the weather prevents you from swimming in the sea, head to Oasis Fun Pools in Newquay instead! There's two swimming pools to choose from, a river rapid ride, a water canyon and geyser, a giant tap, fountain and waterfalls. There's three different flumes too.

You'll want to book in advance because this venue gets very busy, and bear in mind that use of the flumes and rapids will be restricted to competent swimmers over 1.2 metres in height, and children under 4 must be accompanied by a responsible adult in the water at a ratio of 1 adult to 1 child. Meanwhile, children between 4 and 8 years must be accompanied at a ratio of 1 adult to 2 children and children between 9 and 13 years must be accompanied at a ratio of 1 adult to 5 children.

Find out more about Oasis Fun Pools and book your activity here

Rainy day activities in East Cornwall

9. Cotehele House, Saltash

East Cornwall is home to a number of stunning National Trust properties including Cotele House and Mill in Saltash. The Tudor house officially re-opened it's doors on 17 May and visitors can check out the incredible collection of medieval armour displayed throughout the house. There's also the discovery centre that tells the story of Tamar Valley and the Edgcumbe tea-room which serves a delicious Cornish cream tea. After exploring the house, be sure to take the short walk (with an umbrella) to the cute Cotehele Mill.

There is an online booking system in operation at Cotele so be sure to pre-book your tickets (and timed entry) before heading to the house.

Find out more about Cotehele House and book tickets for 2023 here

10. Tamar Valley Donkey Park

A little bit of drizzle won't get in the way of some donkey spotting in the Tamar Valley. This donkey park has a wide range of furry friends - goats, sheep and rabbits - and they're all available to pet in the indoor play-barn. Plus, kids can run ragged in the soft play area, whilst adults take a well deserved break at Holly's Cafe, serving the classic cream tea and other hot and cold meals.

Guests are asked to pre-book their tickets in advance. Children under two can get in for free, with tickets for older kids priced at £8.50 and adult tickets costing £8.95.

Find out more about Tamar Valley Donkey Park and book tickets for 2023 here

11. Antony House, Torpoint

Antony House is an early 18th century estate steeped in history and stories of the wealthy Carew family. Mums and dads will enjoy the fine interiors of this home, whilst kids will be fascinated by the old toys the Carew children used to play with.

Pre-booking your tickets online is advised, especially when planning a weekend visit. Though mid-week visitors can snap up tickets on the door too.

Find out more about Antony House and book tickets for 2023 here

Rainy day activities in South Cornwall

12. Eden project, St Austell

The Eden Project is the perfect place to enjoy a number of rainy day activities in South Cornwall. The iconic greenhouses are home to thousands of plant species and the obscure infinity blue and seed sculptures. Plus, the outdoor gardens are open during wet weather too if you're feeling brave enough to venture out and explore.

The Eden Project is selling special timed ticketing slots for all visitors to maintain effective social distancing. They ask that you pre-book your tickets before turning up.

Find out more about the Eden Project and book tickets for 2023 here

13. Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

This Truro attraction is the oldest and largest museum in Cornwall. It showcases the best of Cornish talent and culture through fascinating art exhibitions and rare historical artefacts. Though the highlight has to be the Egyptian mummy on site, that is sure to surprise and scare a few kids.

The museum is the cheapest of our rainy day activities in Cornwall, as children enter for free whilst adult day passes are just £5.00. Tickets are to be bought in person at the venue with opening times available on their website.

Find out more about the Royal Cornwall Museum and their opening times here

14. Carnglaze Caverns, Liskeard

Kids will love exploring the nooks and crannies of Carnglaze Caverns - three gigantic man-made caverns formed as part of a slate quarry in the Loveny Valley. The caves provide the perfect shelter from wet weather and have lots of hidden inhabitants, including fairies and dragons, and a few woodland creatures too.

We'd recommended checking out their concert and cinema listings ahead of your visit to see if your visit coincides with a special screening or in-person performance. Tour tickets can be purchased online or on site, with a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) costing you £22.50.

Find out more about Carnglaze Caverns and book tickets for 2023 here

15. Falmouth Art Gallery

The Falmouth Art Gallery is a very inviting attraction for families on a wet and windy day in South Cornwall. The gallery is free to visit, has a 4.5 star rating on trip advisor, and boasts an award for it's family-friendliness. Kids will be kept busy with the three exhibitions on display, plus free craft workshops designed for little hands to let loose in.

Whilst entrance is free, the gallery are operating a booking system during covid restrictions. So be sure to secure you ticket online before arrival.

Find out more about Falmouth Art Gallery and book your free ticket here

16. National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

Falmouth's national maritime museum is packed with amazing exhibitions that are sure to keep the family busy for a rainy afternoon. The attraction covers Cornwall's maritime history through the centuries via interactive exhibits and special storytelling sessions for kids. Be sure to check out their new exhibition 'Monsters of the Deep' and visit the basement Tidal Zone, for incredible views of the town's harbour.

To avoid disappointment, book your timed entry tickets in advance. The website is selling half-an-hour entry slots to monitor visitor numbers and establish safe covid protocols.

Find out more about Cornwall's National Maritime Museum and book your free ticket here

Rainy day activities in West Cornwall

17. Heartlands Cornwall, Redruth

Situated in the Unesco World Heritage Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, Heartlands is a beautiful scenic spot to enjoy even on a rainy day. The attraction features a fascinating and interactive museum that will educate the family on the history of the former mining village. Plus a colourful indoor soft play area called Whealy Play, which boasts a fun mining-theme.

Some of the outdoor adventure playground also has covered play tunnels -  should your little ones feel the need to brave the wet weather.

Entrance to the museum and outdoor space is free. Though Whealy Play costs £4.95 per child - which includes a two-hour time slot to enjoy the soft play.

Find out more about Heartlands Cornwall and book your soft play ticket here

18. Tate St Ives

The Tate St Ives is home to an incredible collection of fine art and sculptures, housed in a stunning conceptual white building that's right on Porthmeor beach. Amongst the permanent collections on display is Haegue Yang's Strange Attractors exhibition, new for 2021. Kids can explore the weird and wonderful art installations via the special family trail route and through the fun activity packs available to pick up at reception.

Under 18s get in for free, whilst adult tickets cost £10.50. All family members - free or not - need to pre-book a timed entry ticket before arriving.

Find out more about the Tate St Ives and book your tickets here

19. Paradise Park, Hayle

Paradise Park may be home to hundreds of birds and wildlife. But it's their indoor soft play centre that makes it one of the best rainy day activities in West Cornwall. Parents can kick back and watch the little ones explore the Spinning Steps, Astra Slide, Squeeze rollers and much more.

A family saver pass for entrance to the park and soft play centre costs £52.50. You'll be asked to select a specific time slot for entrance to the JungleBarn when you pre-book your tickets online. Those who book the 10am JungleBarn session can stay and enjoy the park. And those who book at 1pm or 3:30pm are invited to explore the park earlier. Note that socks are required to play in the indoor soft play centre.

Find out more about Paradise Park and book your Park and JungleBarn tickets here

20. Museum of Global Communications, Porthcurno

Porthcurno's Museum of Global Communications is a time-travelling treat the whole family can enjoy in wet weather. The attraction takes you on a journey of telecommunication through the years, sharing the history of the telegraph and allowing kids - young and small - to venture through the incredible World War II tunnels linked to Porthcurno beach. The Museum has an impressive 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor too - with one reviewer commenting that her husband "said it was his favourite attraction of our trip to Cornwall".

The centre is limiting the number of visitors during covid and so admissions are staggered into half-hourly time slots. Guests are asked to kindly reserve a spot for free at least 24 hours in advance. You'll then pay for your tickets upon arrival. A family ticket for 2 adults and 3 children will cost you £26.00.

Find out more about the Museum of Global Communications and reserve your timed entry tickets here

21. Raze the Roof, Penryn

Raze the Roof is the perfect location for kids to spend their pent-up energy on a rainy day. The indoor activity and soft play area boasts mega play frame, slides, climbing wall, ball cannons, astro glide. There's a virtual reality arena too - in fact it's Cornwall’s biggest 20 player free roam experience.

Meanwhile, adults can enjoy a drinks and refreshment plus a selection of magazines in a comfortable café with a fresh food and drink menu.

Find out more about Raze the Roof and book your tickets here

22. Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen

This family-friendly heritage attraction is the place to discover the story of Cornish metal mining. It's a learning centre as well as a museum, and there's plenty of hands-on activities to keep everyone entertained, from going inside a real mine, having a go at panning for 'gold' and discovering the Hard Rock Museum.

All activities are included in the entry ticket, which costs £57.75 for a family of two adults and up to three children, while children under 4 go free.

Find out more about Geevor Tin Mine and reserve your tickets here

23. Country Skittles, Hayle

Family fun is guaranteed at Country Skittles in Hayle on a gloomy afternoon or evening. The entertainment venue features four skittle alleys, a games arcade, plus a bar and highly-recommended restaurant.  One reviewer on Tripadvisor says that they visit the attraction every year on holiday. Whilst others have commented that they couldn't fault the food which was "great value for money".

Bookings for the alley and restaurant should be made via phone or email, with details available on their website. Lanes are reserved for half an hour and a game of 3-8 players costs £14.50 in total.

Find out more about Country Skittles and how to book your skittle games here

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.