Things to do in Cornwall this February half term
February is a great time of year to visit Cornwall — the promise of spring is just around the corner with longer days and flowers popping up all over the place, but the county remains quiet and you’ll still have beaches entirely to yourself. We’ve rounded up just some of the exciting family-friendly things to see and do over the half term holiday to keep children — and dogs — entertained.
Snowdrop Weekend at Pencarrow House — 11 & 12 February
Tucked away on the edge of Bodmin Moor is Pencarrow House, a beautiful stately home and gardens which has been in the same family since the 1500s. Although the dog and child-friendly gardens are open to the public from April-October, for one weekend in February visitors can wander the gardens to admire the stunning carpets of snowdrops in the gardens. Although this is a free event, a donation of £5 per person is recommended, with raised funds going to two charities working to improve the lives of young people in the local area.
Seal Pup Mania at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Celebrating the vital work that the team do to rescue, rehabilitate and release pups around the Cornish coastline, the dog-friendly Cornish Seal Sanctuary in the lovely village of Gweek on the Helford River will be putting on a week-long event of seal pup-themed activities. There will be regular story readings with Lily the Seal in the viewing area, competitions to guess the weight of the pup, and a Conservation Club for 7-12 year olds, where children can learn about animal winter survival, help feed pups and make hedgehog homes.
Beach clean at Trevone Head, near Padstow — 19 Feb
Do your bit and help keep our beaches and oceans plastic free by joining an organised beach clean this half term. Beach Guardian, a father-and-daughter duo from Cornwall who work to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans through school workshops and regular beach cleans, have organised hundreds of beach cleans to date, and will be running a clean at Trevone Bay on Sunday 19th February at 10am. Check out the Beach Guardian Facebook page for upcoming beach cleans.
Find out more about beach cleans in Cornwall
Doodletastic Adventures with Tom Gates at the Eden Project
This half term, the Eden Project is partnering up with the team behind Tom Gates, the popular children’s book and TV series, to bring a series of creative activities and workshops, from drawing workshops to reading sessions around the rainforest biome. It’s also the last week of ice skating at Eden so you need to get your skates on if you don’t want to miss out.
The Sea Show at the Minack Theatre
This is a quirky puppet with a difference, mixing natural history with slapstick comedy, live music and songs. You’ll meet crazy characters like Morwenna the ‘beautiful’ mermaid, Ruan the reformed seagull and salty seadog Captain Pemburthy, as well as a cast of mischievous sea-squirts, anemones, limpets, crabs and pilchards. This is the creation of Craig Johnson, an actor, musician and puppeteer, and long-standing member of Cornwall’s renowned Kneehigh Theatre.
Science of the Sea at the National Maritime Museum — 13-19 February
Introducing youngsters to the wonderful world of chemistry, our favourite visitor attraction in the maritime town of Falmouth will be hosting an entertaining expert-led science show with demonstrations and plenty of audience interaction. Find out about liquid nitrogen and how to split H2O into an explosive mixture, and discover the strange seas of fire and ice on other worlds. Alongside these brilliant sessions, visitors can also expect craft making activities, a play zone, and sailing miniature boats on the boat pool.
Animation Festival at the Museum of Cornish Life
The theme of this year’s half term festival at the Museum of Cornish Life in Helston, on the wonderful Lizard Peninsula, is ‘Play and games’, and the museum will be hosting a number of workshops, including storyboarding, clay model making and shadow lantern making. There will be free pop-up cinemas showing a variety of films, including a family feature length film at neighbouring CAST. The Young Animators Competition will also be held over the week.
A warm dip in the Penzance’s lido
If swimming in the Cornish waters in the middle of winter doesn’t appeal, we’d highly recommend a dip in a geothermal outdoor pool instead! Penzance’s lido is the UK’s first outdoor geothermal pool, which opened in 2020 — the temperature, which is maintained by a heat exchange system via a 410m deep geothermal well, is kept at a toasty 30-35 degrees year round. The wonderful poolside cafe uses local suppliers, such a Yallah Coffee.
Sweet Dreams and Hibernation at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Pop down to the Lost Gardens of Heligan with your brood this half term and celebrate wintertime, the season of rest, recuperation and hibernation. There will be family-friendly activities like the ‘Who sleeps in a bed like this?’ trail, as well as a ‘Counting Sheep’ tent packed with crafts and games. Across the site, the gardens are waking up after a period of slumber and you’ll see the first splash of daffodils and camellias in the Woodland Walk.
The Trebah Tree Hugging Trail
Children will be able to explore the beautiful sub tropical Trebah Gardens on the Helford this half term with a brand new game. Pick up a game board on arrival and follow the trail, find the markers hidden across the garden, and answer the questions correctly to reveal your next move, playing against friends and family to get to the finish first. It costs £2.50 to enter and each game purchased supports the work of Plant One Cornwall which helps communities plant more trees across Cornwall.