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Family-Friendly Fun and Activities in St Ives

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St Ives is a fantastic place for family fun and activities, with 4 centrally located flat, sandy beaches with calm waters. Arty activity trails at the Tate St Ives, crab fishing in rock pools, and surf lessons on Porthmeor Beach will entertain kids. Families will love boat trips and bike rides along the Zennor coastal path, followed by a scrumptious Cornish ice cream from Moomaid of Zennor on the harbor.

Beaches and water adventures


St Ives’ 4 golden-sand beaches are perfect for families, and there’s no shortage of activities on the sand or in the sea. From central Harbor Beach, you can catch a boat to Seal Island and watch seals sunbathe on rocks. Porthgwidden Beach has a sheltered location, ideal for picnics and sandcastle building, while little ones can paddle in rock pools at Porthmeor and older kids can learn to surf its rolling waves.


Porthminster Beach


This large, flat beach has calm waters and seasonal lifeguards. There’s a shop, ice cream parlor, restaurant, fish and chip takeaway, and café with burgers and drinks. Families can hire kayaks, or play mini golf on the beachfront green.


St Ives TR26 2EBTel: +44 1736 799097


Porthminster Beach website


St Ives Boats


Hop on a boat at the harbor and venture 3.5 miles west to Seal Island to watch Grey Atlantic Seals frolic and play. Trips to Godrevy Lighthouse and Hell’s Mouth boast views of the rugged coast and its diverse wildlife.


Outside the Lifeboat Station, 
Wharf Road, 
St Ives 
TR26 1LF. Tel: +44 777 300 8000


St Ives Boats website

Animal encounters


Leaping dolphins and playful seals are often spotted during scenic boat trips, or you might catch sightings from the harbor. You can feed penguins and parrots, or watch Green-naped Lorikeets fly freely through the park during the "Flight of the Rainbows" at nearby Paradise Park. Strolls along the coastline often feature hovering Kestrels and seagulls swooping down for their fresh fish supper. Penhalwyn Trekking Centre offers supervised horse riding tours over the moors of the west Penwith Peninsula.


Paradise Park


Four miles from St Ives, the family-run wildlife park boasts more than 650 birds and animals. Kids can feed penguins and otters, watch eagle flying displays, or play in the indoor JungleBarn, before stopping off at the café and shop.


16 Trelissick Road, Hayle TR27 4HB. Tel: +44 1736 751020


Paradise Park website


Penhalwyn Trekking Centre


Open all year round, the centre has a selection of ponies and horses that are suitable for kids and adults, and all riding abilities. Horseback treks will take you off exploring the historic, rugged moors of Penwith Peninsula.


Goon Mine, Mellyn, Halsetown, St Ives TR26 3AW. Tel: +44 1736 796461


Penhalwyn Trekking Centre website


Family arts and theatre


St Ives is renowned for its arts and there’s plenty for kids to get involved with, from family art trails at St Ives School of Painting, to summer Tate workshops on Porthmeor Beach. The Royal Cinema screens current movies for those rainy days, and families can enjoy musicals and plays performed by youngsters at the Kids R Us theatre.


Kidz R Us


Dedicated to involving youngsters in the arts, Kids R Us is a theatre company based in a converted chapel. Performed by children, teens, and young adults, the eclectic mix of shows range from Disney classics, to West End musicals.


St Ives Theatre, Lower Stennack, St Ives TR26 1QG. Tel: +44 1736 797007


Kidz R Us website


Tate St Ives


At Tate St Ives, young ones can go on interactive activity art trails around the gallery, or treasure hunts through the sculpture garden and museum of artist Barbara Hepworth. Summer beach workshops also take place on Porthmeor Beach.


Porthmeor Beach 
St Ives 
TR26 1TG. Tel: +44 1736 796 226


Tate St Ives website


Family-friendly dining


St Ives is bursting with family-friendly restaurants and cafés that serve fresh and local food like juicy homemade burgers that can be enjoyed in the venue or on the beach. From fish and chip shops and traditional pubs, to ice cream counters and café with sea views and homemade snacks, there’s something to suit the fussiest of palates, day or night.


The Beach Restaurant


This family-friendly restaurant overlooks the harbor and beach in the town centre. The kids’ menu has favorites like sausages, baked beans, and Strawberry Monsters ice cream, while fresh, locally sourced meat and seafood is accompanied by a good wine list.


Wharf Rd, St. Ives TR26 1LG. Tel: +44 1736 798798


The Beach Restaurant website