20 Best rainy day activities in Cornwall with kids

A close-up of the Eden Project - one of the best rainy day activities in Cornwall

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

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

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 (opens in new tab), 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 re-opened on 17 May 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 £42.00 for the day.

Find out more about Blue Reef Aquarium and book tickets for summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

See more

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 ticket prices starting from £12.50.

Find out more about Bodmin Jail and book tickets for summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

See more

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. This attraction has 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and has a brand new addition for 2021: 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 (opens in new tab)

See more

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 just £12.50 - making this one of the cheapest rainy day activities in North Cornwall.

Find out more about Trerice House and book tickets for summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

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 (opens in new tab), 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 summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

See more

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 summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

See more

7. Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre

From trains to planes now, and this highly recommended aeroplane museum near Newquay. The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre boasts an impressive number of engines, of all shapes and sizes in their indoor museum, that are sure to wow little kids and adults alike. The attraction has a 5 star rating on trip advisor, with reviewers praising the "excellent museum run by a small friendly band of mainly volunteers".

There's no need to book ahead for this attraction, with tickets available to buy on the door.

Find out more about the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre and their opening times here (opens in new tab)

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Rainy day activities in East Cornwall

8. 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 summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

9. 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 summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

10. 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 summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Rainy day activities in South Cornwall

11. 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 summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)


12. 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 (opens in new tab)

See more

13. 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 summer 2021 here (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

See more

15. 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 (opens in new tab)


Rainy day activities in West Cornwall

16. 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 (opens in new tab)

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

17. 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 timed ticket here (opens in new tab)

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

18. 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 (opens in new tab)

See more

19. 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 (opens in new tab)

See more

20. 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 (opens in new tab)