May Half Term and Spring Activities in Cornwall
There’s really no excuse for the kids to get bored this May, June and July as there’s a truly wonderful line up of events taking place week after week.
Fill those longer, warmer days with engaging hobbies, fun activities, healthy eating, holiday planning and exciting half-term events…
Get Water Confident, Ready for the Summer
When a child can swim confidently, he or she has open access to enjoy a wide variety of other water sports such as surfing, sailing, canoeing and diving. Playing in and around the rivers and the oceans suddenly becomes less dangerous if a child can swim and has a strong grasp of water safety.
Drowning Prevention Week, from 14 to 24 June 2019, aims to reinforce basic water awareness and on the website - www.rlss.org.uk/water-safety/drowning-prevention-week - there are details on how children, aged 8 to 12 years, can sign up to become Rookie Lifeguards .
Prior to that, it’s Learn to Swim Week, from 13 to 19 May 2019 - https://www.sta.co.uk/events/international-learn-to-swim-week/
If you’re looking to find a local swimming pool or ASA approved swimming lessons enter your location details at www.swimming.org/poolfinder
Learn to ‘Swim Safe’ Outdoors
Swim Safe is a fun and free water safety activity for children aged 7-14 years. Founded by the RNLI and Swim England, it teaches children, who can swim at least 25 metres, essential water safety skills through a fun session delivered by qualified lifeguards and instructors at a choice of open water locations.
Children learn where it is safe to swim, how to float, what to do if something goes wrong and how to call for help if someone else is in trouble. The free 60-minute session includes beach safety advice, up to 30 minutes in-water tuition and all the right kit for swimming outdoors. Find and book a session near to you via: https://swimsafe.org.uk
Learn to Swim at a Pool Near You
Currently, there are 1.18 million children learning to swim on the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme. Find your nearest pool offering swimming lessons, including crash courses during the summer months, at www.swimming.org/learntoswim
This spring make a big splash at:
Bude Sea Pool; Camel Creek Adventure Park, Pentewan Sands, Retallack Aqua Park at Retallack Resort, Holywell Bay Fun Park
Make a big splash in the sea – take your pick of beaches!
Field to Fork Experience
According to the latest research by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), that involved more than 27,500 children across the UK, 29% of five to seven-year-olds thought that cheese came from a plant and 13% of eight to 11 year olds, thought pasta came from an animal.
With these statistics in mind, events such as Open Farm Sunday are great at helping children learn about where their food comes from, giving them a first-hand, field to fork experience.
Open Farm Sunday: Sunday 9 June
On 9 June 2019, hundreds of farms all over the country will open their gates for the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) Open Farm Sunday. This annual event is a must for anyone interested in how farmers produce food and care for the countryside. Essentially, it’s all about making the link between nature, farming and food.
Families visiting a farm on Open Farm Sunday may be entertained and educated on tractor and trailer rides, farm walks or along nature trails. Visitors may even discover how worms are a farmer’s best friend, watch sheep being sheared, see cows being milked or chicks hatching. To find out what local farms are taking part see www.farmsunday.org
LEAF Open Farm School Days: Throughout June
The LEAF Open Farm School Days are an initiative where children can visit farms and learn about where their food comes from. Throughout June, many farms will open their gates for educational visits to enable children to learn about how their food is produced and to meet the farmers who grow it. Teachers can go to https://farmsunday.org/schools to organise a school visit.
National Children’s Gardening Week: Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June
National Children’s Gardening Week aims to capture children’s enthusiasm for growing plants and being in the garden. Find ideas for fun garden projects and activities at: www.childrensgardeningweek.co.uk
It's Picnic Week – Friday 21 June to Sunday 30 June
Eating al-fresco is one of summer’s great pleasures, and after a hearty run-around it’s easy to tempt the children to sit down and tuck into an equally hearty picnic!
Picnics produce a tremendous amount of plastic, but they don’t have to. When you see how much goes into making just one plastic spoon, you may think washing up a few plates after a picnic isn’t such a big deal. Many families use reusable, sturdy plastic containers rather than single-use plastic to ship their picnic food, but if you want to go totally plastic-free here are some suggestions for you…
When buying picnic food, try to choose products that are not packaged in plastic. Opt for loose fruit and vegetables at your local greengrocer or supermarket and make your own sandwiches or pre-made salads stored in bamboo lunchboxes or sturdy glass containers.
Finger food such as chicken drumsticks, celery and carrot sticks, cocktail sausages, scotch eggs, potato wedges, sausage rolls and vegetable kebabs can all be consumed without a hint of plastic in sight. For storage, use tin foil, wax paper or glass containers.
- Wrap the sandwiches in tin foil or a fabric napkin that can double up to catch the crumbs.
- Use light stainless steel cutlery, old plates or fabric napkins
- Store the drink in a re-usable bottle. Many bottle producers are creatively using alternative materials such as bamboo, sugar cane, stainless steel and glass.
- Serve up the drink in small sturdy mugs or tin mugs.
- Transport all the food using an old fashioned picnic basket or reusable canvas bag.
As part of the season’s mini adventures pack up a tasty picnic for the kids. It’s National Picnic Week from 21 to 30 June 2019 – for ideas on how to fill those hampers look at www.nationalpicnicweek.co.uk or grab some nutritious ideas from www.greatgrubclub.com.
Spruce up those summer packed lunches and picnics with some tasty ideas, found here Healthy Lunchboxes - NHS: www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes
Salad and summer recipes at World Cancer Research Fund: www.wcrf-uk.org/uk/recipes/recipes-home
Picnic recipes at BBC Good Food: www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/picnic
Get Together for The Big Lunch – 1 and 2 June
Designed to draw communities together by dining in a communal way, The Big Lunch, an initiative started by the Eden Project, will be taking place on 1-2 June this year.
Why not use this as a great opportunity to form closer bonds with your neighbours? To get started see www.edenprojectcommunities.com/thebiglunch
Bike Week – 8 to 16 June
It’s National Bike Week - www.cyclinguk.org/bikeweek – from 8 to 16 June, when the nation will get mobile on two wheels. Do keep an eye on the website for details about local events.
If you’re wanting to pedal along a nearby route that is suitable for all the family, then you may wish to consider a section of: the Granite Way from Okehampton to Lydford; the Tarka Trail in and around Barnstaple; the Mineral Railway Trail at Tamar Trails; the trails at Haldon Forest near Exeter; the Exe Estuary Cycle trail that runs along the estuary from Exmouth to Dawlish.
Alternatively, choose from one of the many other routes found at www.sustrans.org.uk/bike-routes-map
To find a Bike Week event near you take a look at www.bikeweek.org.uk
Top Tips for a Successful Family Bike Ride
To locate a cycle route or to join the National Cycle Network visit the Sustrans website - www.sustrans.org.uk - which has a vast number of maps of cycle tracks all across the UK.
The National Cycle Network has over 14,000 miles of routes throughout the UK and passes through the centre of every major town in the UK. 75% of people live within a couple of miles of it.
A third of the routes are traffic-free, with paths along disused railways, canal towpaths and forest tracks, whilst the remainder follows quiet roads and traffic-calmed streets.
Tips from Sustrans - Planning a family bike ride
- Don't go too far: it is better that everyone enjoys themselves on a short ride and comes home eager to plan the next trip.
- Check the route beforehand: make sure you don't get lost and plan some options for short cuts.
- Avoid very hilly routes, busy roads and difficult junctions.
- Let the slowest cyclist set the pace.
- Make it interesting: children can get bored so plan plenty of refreshment breaks. Little and often is better than one long break half-way. For younger kids, have a few games, like I-spy, up your sleeve to play along the way.
Children’s Art Week – Saturday 8 – Sunday 16 June
Children's Art Week, the nationwide celebration of creativity for children and their families, will take place from Saturday 8 to Sunday 16 June 2019.
Last year, the occasion was well received when 146 events took place, and 18,825 participants enjoyed creative activities at 116 venues, including galleries, museums, primary and secondary schools.
Find out what’s happening near you at http://engage.org/childrens-art-week.aspx
It's Child Safety Week - 3 to 9 June
The aim of Child Safety Week is to raise awareness, forge partnerships and put child accident prevention on the local agenda. This year Child Safety Week will run from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 June 2018 with the theme ‘Safe Children: Together we've got This’ .
Organisers are asking families, communities and professionals to show they care by playing their part in keeping children safe and sharing their experience and knowledge – not just about the horrors of accidents, but also the really practical, simple things they do to prevent them.
Children’s Hospice Week – 17 to 23 June
Children's Hospice Week is the UK's only awareness and fundraising week for children with life-shortening conditions and the palliative care services that support them.
The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Let's Turn up the Volume’ which is designed to raise awareness of what life is really like for families caring for seriously ill children.
To learn more or to help raise funds visit www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/childrenshospiceweek
After School Summer Checklist:
Embrace the longer days with enriching moments that all the family will be able to enjoy together. Here are some ideas on how to spend that time – (many are dependent on the age of your children):
- Watch the sunset from a viewpoint
- Picnic outside in the park
- Take an early evening bike ride – take a little snack
- Paint a picture of the early evening skies
- Go scooting (then catch the bus home)
- Go on a trail – a town trail, a nature trail
- Go foraging – for raspberries and blackberries
- Paint and decorate plain ceramic pots that can be used in the garden
- Look up at the night sky – track satellites, look for the international space station
- Go paddling – canoeing, an organised canoeing trip, have fun on a pedalo
- Use some coloured chalk to draw shapes and pictures on your patio (if you have one!)
- Play games – French cricket, football in the park, Frisbee on the beach, Boules in the park, rounders (get another family to come along), snail races
- Go swimming - in the sea or a tide pool
- Go fishing
- Watch some outdoor theatre, outdoor music, evening fireworks
Find out what children's activities are taking place in Cornwall this May half term, and beyond, here...
Fill those longer, warmer days with engaging hobbies, fun activities, healthy eating, holiday planning and exciting half-term events…
Pitch Up with World of Camping
World of Camping is based in the heart of Cornwall and is proud to be one of the UK’s biggest independent camping retailers. It sells a complete range of equipment for camping, caravanning, motorhomes and campervans online, over the phone and also welcomes local customers and holidaymakers to its Redruth showroom. So, whether you are off on a family camping trip, trekking with your mates, heading to a festival or exploring the country in your campervan, be sure to check out World of Camping for all of your camping needs. Find World of Camping in Jon Davey Drive, Treleigh Industrial Estate, Redruth, TR16 4AX. Call 01209 203220 or see www.worldofcamping.co.uk
Heart Food Festival: Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June
Cornwall’s newest family food and drink festival will be taking place at Heartlands in Pool on the 22 and 23 June, between 10am and 6pm. The Heart Food Festival will have a jam packed line up of professional chef demonstrations and awesome live music including The Motown Pirates, The Oggymen and Rudi’s Message. The site will be filled with some of the best street food in the county ready for you to sample.
Your little ones will be well-catered for too, as the gardens will be full of activities, games, face painting, interactive demonstrations and chill out areas so that they can truly enjoy the festival. Adult entry is just £3, and kids go free. For details call 01209 722320.
Explore Insect Life at Paradise Park’s Bug and Butterfly Quest
Paradise Park’s Bug and Butterfly Quest, from 25 May to 2 June, will be a fun way to explore the amazing world of insect life. Search out the questions around Paradise Park to learn about colourful butterflies, barmy bugs and creepy insects. Answer all the questions and claim your special bug or butterfly chocolate rewards. Plus, wildlife, nature and the environment are at the heart of its brand new Wildlife Hero Quiz. Pick up your quiz booklet when you enter, navigate the map and look for the logo on signs around the Park to find the answers and claim your exclusive badge. For more, see www.paradisepark.org.uk
7 Days for the Price of 1 at Dairyland Farmworld
DairyLand Farmworld, near Newquay, is a farmtastic day out for the whole family! Bottle feeding, pony rides, Pat-a-Pet and hay rides take place daily, plus the Bull Pen giant indoor play area and the Nature Trail means kids can stay and play all day, whatever the weather. Don’t worry if you can’t fit all the fun of the farm into your visit, as your entry ticket entitles you to 7 days for the price of 1. See www.dairylandfarmworld.com/
Roll Up, Roll Up, It’s Circus Week At Flambards
Visitors to Flambards will have the chance to run away to the circus – at least for a few hours – as part of its May Half Term holiday entertainment from 25 May to 2 June. The Helston theme park will be running a Circus Skills Week and it’s inviting visitors to try their hand at a variety of fun activities from stilt walking and balloon modelling to juggling. There are daily workshop sessions taking place from 12 – 12:45pm and again at 2pm – 2:45pm so visitors can learn all the tricks of the trade.
Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to get some expert tips on pratfalls and custard pie throwing with daily performances at 1pm and 3pm. Plus, don’t miss the go karts, traditional carousels, adventure playgrounds, log flume and pirate ship.
Call 01326 573 404 or visit www.flambards.co.uk for more information.
Adrenalin Quarry is Bigger and Better than Before!
Adrenalin Quarry has grown! Now, it’s bigger and better than ever before – with a Gravity Park, Water Park and Race Track! Since 2009, the friendly team at Adrenalin Quarry have thrown hundreds of thousands of you over the edge. It’s a fabulous place for thrill-seekers with the Zip, the Giant Swing, karting and the Aquapark as well as its axe-throwing and cliff diving activities. There are simply so many brilliant things to try or see and the great news is that entry is free, you just pay for the activities. For details see www.adrenalinquarry.co.uk or call 01579 308 204.
Go Wild at Cardinham Woods
The whole forest is a playground at Cardinham Woods! Kids of all ages will love the wild play among the trees, joining Zog at dragon school on the interactive activity trail, and getting hands on with school holiday sessions at Badger Forest School.
Keep your family entertained all year long with a great value annual Discovery Pass for £32 – that’s just 62p per week! Enjoy unlimited anytime parking for a whole year, as well as exclusive offers and discounts. Visit www.forestryengland.uk/membership
Newquay Trampoline and Play Park – Opens July 2019!
There's so much to look forward to this summer in Cornwall including Newquay's brand new Trampoline and Play Park! It could be the destination for one of your family member’s next birthday parties or for a fun day out with friends or simply a place to let the kids burn off some energy during the summer holiday. Be the first to know what's happening by registering your interest here – www.extreme.better.org.uk/Newquay
Better Play has Arrived at St Austell Leisure Centre
Better, St Austell Leisure Centre offers quality, affordable fitness facilities and leisure activities to help keep local families active and lead a healthy lifestyle. Its brand new Better Play facility contains four levels of action-packed fun. Children will simply love exploring, climbing, sliding, jumping, spinning, playing in the ball pools and much more. The sensory area has a glow room, light tubes, wobbly mirrors and light projectors to stimulate very young minds, whilst the toddler area is perfect for young ones to build confidence before venturing into the larger play areas. Themed party rooms are also available for parties that the whole playground will be talking about afterwards! For further information see www.better.org.uk/staustell
New-Look at Camel Creek Adventure Park
Following an extensive £3million refresh, Camel Creek Adventure Park reopened last month. Watch out for a series of brand new and updated rides and attractions being unveiled throughout spring. Easter saw the reopening of the water rides and slides after extensive refurbishment. Along with the addition of a newly built mini-log flume, a wet 'n' wild ride, there’s also an update to Cornwall’s only state-of-the-art 5D Cinematic simulator. In May, the refreshed colourful Clown Coaster will reopen, along with Cornwall’s newest and finest rollercoaster - the Airbender, an electrifying rider-experience for the over 12s. Find out more www.camelcreek.co.uk
Make Spring A-May-zing at Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn will be bursting at the seams this spring with a varied array of wildlife encounters, culinary treats and daily treasure hunts (from Friday 24 May to Sunday 2 June). Several creepy crawlies will be on display at Mark’s Ark Wildlife Encounter on 25 May, from 12pm to 3pm. See spiders, creepy critters, birds and mini beasts.
The Farm Shop will be well-worth a visit with its series of special Food Days. There’s a Bread Day on Sunday 26 May, a yummy Chocolate and Fudge Day on Wednesday 29 May and a Cheese and Chutney Day on Friday 31 May. Don’t forget to stop for an incredibly tasty bite to eat in the restaurant where kids eat for half price, between 5pm and 6pm, during half term. For details see www.jamaicainn.co.uk or call 01566 86250.