Christmas Activities for Children in Cornwall 2023

Put some Ho, Ho, Ho! into the season with some of these fabulously festive ideas in Cornwall for 2023…

Where's Santa in Cornwall 2023
Pantomimes, Family and Winter Theatre in Cornwall 2023
Full and frequently updated online family 'what's on' and events in Cornwall 2023
Jump to festive activities in Cornwall 2023

Christmas Lights Switch-On, Markets and Lantern Parades 

Although the big build up to Christmas Day starts from the autumn, the real fun begins when towns, villages and cities switch-on their Christmas lights and host festive events.

Many mark the occasion with lantern parades, music from brass bands and dress the streets in bright illuminations, and some places hold themed Christmas markets following traditions of days gone-by.



PTA Christmas Fayres and School Nativities 

Schools are incredibly busy places in the run up to Christmas, with many PTA’s holding Christmas fayres, which are huge money-raisers for the schools – for extra Christmas Fair ideas for your PTA event see

Whilst for many parents, one of the best bits about Christmas, that is the most heart-warming of all, is watching the brilliant school performances or nativity plays and listening to the children sing. Don’t miss it!


Green Christmas 

Reduce, reuse and upcycle your Christmas waste this festive season…

DIY Decorations

Have a go at getting the kids involved by making some DIY Christmas decorations. Cut out snowflakes to stick on the windows, stick cloves into oranges and bake until dry, and pick some holly and ivy to make table decorations and wreaths.

This can be a fantastic way to reduce your waste and costs, while having fun with the kids too.

Get Scrapbooking

As a nation, we use 83 square miles worth of gift wrap every festive season, but this doesn’t mean it needs to be scrapped.

Get the kids involved by cutting and sticking your leftover paper, gluing it into a scrapbook, and adding photos, words and decorations to create a family book of festive mementos.

DIY Decorations for the Tree and Home

Always eager to please, it’s no surprise that Santa’s hair has turned white as the finances at this time of year are often stretched and sometimes even he has to pull tightly on the reins. Still, he always manages to make Christmas dreams come true.

So, taking a giant leaf out of Santa’s book, you too can make amazing savings by making your own Christmas decorations for the home and tree.

Make even more savings by sending Christmas e-cards to friends and family instead of sending traditional cards. Notably, the ‘Elf Yourself’ digital Christmas cards are especially popular –



Giving at Christmas 

Christmas is truly the season of giving and there are so many ways families can give something back to the community or worthwhile charity.

Christmas Day Swims, such as those in Coverack and Bude, are becoming incredibly popular whilst the Santa Fun Runs, such as Children’s Hospice South West’s fun run are a colourful spectacle that all members of the family can join in with.

Buying a Real Christmas Tree 

What better way to celebrate the festive season than with the most glorious Christmas tree! Each tree species can be a little different in size, scent and needle retention, so here’s the Forestry Commission England’s guide to choosing the perfect Christmas tree:

Norway Spruce: Considered the traditional Christmas tree, the Norway Spruce is best known for its wonderful shape, abundance of branches and lovely ‘Christmassy’ scent.

Nordmann Fir: With its big needles which are lovely and soft, Nordmann Fir are perfect for those with young children. Having soft foliage and an even shape, it makes it a joy to decorate.

Lodgepole Pine: With the best needle retention of them all, Lodgepole Pines are perfect for those who like a long festive season. It has luscious long green needles with branches that point upwards which hold a wonderful pine scent.

Caring for your Christmas Tree

Preventing needles dropping and the green from fading on your Christmas tree requires a little bit of care and attention. Follow these top tips for a longer lasting, healthier real Christmas tree:

  1. Cut off 2.5cm from the trunk to aid with water absorption
  2. Put the tree in a stand with the trunk immersed in water
  3. Keep your tree in a cool, dry space. Away from radiators and fires
  4. Water your tree regularly



Read on for more about the wide range of Christmas events and activities taking place in Cornwall...


Get dazzled by the Tunnel of Lights at Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Head to the Shipwreck Treasure Museum at Charlestown and immerse yourselves in this year's new Tunnel of Lights experience. Expect tens of thousands of dazzling lights and a journey through an immersive winter wonderland at the most festive place in Cornwall. Refuel at the Glögg Stop, enjoy making Christmas crafts and why not make memories in the Giant Snow Globe.

New for 2023, Santa will also be visiting Charlestown on selected dates this Christmas, why not book to visit him before you explore the Tunnel of Lights.

Book both events online at


Embark on a thrilling family adventure at the Tide Climbing Centre

Elevate birthdays with their exciting kids' parties, where young climbers conquer new heights with friends. Nurture a love for climbing with their exclusive Junior Memberships, providing access to unlimited climbing. Dive into the excitement of their Kids Clubs, where climbing challenges and engaging activities abound. Rain or shine, their indoor haven ensures non-stop fun, while parents unwind in their cozy café. Join them at Tide Climbing Centre, where each climb marks a step towards lasting family memories.

Find out more at


Dine with Santa at Newquay Zoo

Join Newquay Zoo this Christmas for a morning or afternoon meet and greet with Santa and receive a special festive gift! As part of your Santa experience you will also take part in some Christmas craft activities and enjoy a delicious breakfast or dinner in Café Lemur.

This is a paid for event and spaces are limited.

Find out more and book tickets at


Fun to be had at Discovering42

As the weather gets colder and wetter, time with friends and family becomes even more precious. Discovering42 is open and offers a friendly and cosy space for all ages to play and learn together. Explore our award-winning interactive exhibition, book into one of our winter workshops or try one of our Curious Cocktails. Open Fridays evenings and weekends during term times and daily during holidays.

Jump online and book your visit today at


Visit Santa’s Grotto at Paradise Park in Hayle 

The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts offers exciting training for stage, screen & beyond. From the moment your child steps through their doors, the Academy are on a constant journey of getting to know them, nurturing them and supporting them as a unique individual.

They offer everyone aged 4-18 the opportunity to try a full academy session for free.

To book your free taster session, please visit


Free Kids Christmas Disco at The Seahorse

For fantastic festive fun for all the family, head to The Seahorse, Pentewan Sands for one of its free Kids Christmas Discos! All you need to do is make sure you turn up in Christmas themed fancy dress and the friendly team will do the rest. With festive games and good old seasonal jingles, this is the perfect opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit! The discos are free and open to everyone and take place on Sunday 15 December from 3pm to 5pm and Friday 20 December from 6pm to 8pm. For further information, call the team on 01726 845208 or visit:


Wonder and Magic at Lappa Valley

Enjoy the wonder and magic of Lappa Valley at Christmas time. Take a nostalgic steam train ride through the wooded valley into a world of play and adventure at Lappa, where you’ll find lots of festive fun. Meet Father Christmas in his grotto, where he has a present for every child.

When you disembark from the train, you can enjoy balloon modelling, face painting and Christmas music from the fairground organ - as well as all the usual fun of Lappa’s woodland railway, crazy golf and their adventure play areas – all while you wait to see Father Christmas. For more information and to book your ticket:



Jump Over to iBounce this Festive Season

Don’t miss out on a magical fun-filled festive day out at iBounce this Christmas! It doesn’t matter how old or young you are - trampolining is fun for the whole family. Delve into the Jurassic zone with its state-of-the-art soft play facilities designed to keep your children entertained, engaged and roaring with energy, then relax in one of the cafes and enjoy a festive treat from the delicious menu. Visit regularly and benefit from loyalty card rewards. For more, see


Flock to Cardinham Woods this Winter 

An alien has crash landed into Cardinham Woods and Lu-La, from the Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon has been stranded. Now, Lu-La needs the help from youngsters across the area to charge her communicator so that she can call for rescue. Download the free Glow Trail app and pick up your Activity Pack for just £3.50 from the Ranger’s Office at Cardinham Woods. Search for UV puzzles, solve clues, and help Shaun and Lu-La escape the Hazmats. The Glow Trail is a baa-rilliant way to get kids aged 6-12 active and is supported by Sport England and affiliated to Children’s University. Find out more at cardinham-woods


Dickensian Christmas Craft Fayre in Flambards’ Victorian Village

For a truly Dickensian Christmas shopping experience, whatever the weather, visitors can head inside to explore the full-sized Victorian Village at Flambards and discover craft stalls, sample local treats and enjoy a drink among the authentic 19th Century installations including a milliners, butchers and sweet shop among many others.

Back for its fifth year, the Flambards Christmas Craft Fayre, from Saturday 30 November to Sunday 1 December, is a festive and family-friendly event, combining the magic of Christmas with the perfect opportunity to choose some great gifts and treats for loved ones.

Added entertainment will be on offer in the form of Helston Town band for a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. Entrance is just £1 per person. See




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