As the parents of young children will testify, holidaying with a baby or toddler for any length of time is intimidating at best, terrifying at worst.  Weekend mini-breaks are a distant memory, at least until school starts and the equipment needs lessen.  

Re-discover simple pleasures such as paddling in the sea, rock-pooling and building sandcastles.  Enjoy some of the hundreds of free playgrounds in Cornwall. Be seduced by boutique hotels and contemporary apartments where sticky fingers are welcomed and toddler tantrums go unnoticed, and take advantage of the freedom to holiday during school term times when Cornwall is traditionally less busy.

By making families feel so welcome and encouraging all of its accommodation and attraction providers to follow suit, Cornwall is aiming to make itself the pre-school holiday destination of choice.  Here is a selection of “all weather activities” you could enjoy on your child friendly break to the country.

Attraction number one is The Eden Project, gold winner of CORNWALL TOURISM AWARDS 2009 - Large Visitor Attraction of the Year. Dubbed the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' by some, Eden is a dramatic global garden housed in tropical biomes that nestle in a crater the size of 30 football pitches.

It is certainly a fascinating location, but, more importantly, Eden is a fun and family friendly day out. Curious kids can find out where tea, rubber and sugar come from, and travel the world to the simulated environments of tropical destinations that they dream of traveling to in the future. There are themed events according to the seasons, workshops for adults and children, activity days, music concerts and much more besides.

Facilities include on-site restaurants and cafes, gift shops and well equipped child- and baby-friendly toilet facilities. In fact, for a day out you needn't worry about taking much more than yourselves. Eden is also offers easy access to wheelchairs and buggies.

Next on the agenda for a visit to Cornwall, is Dairy Land Farm World –"The National Farm Attraction of the Year"

Enjoy the fun of an all-weather attraction, with activities suitable for all ages.  Your child has the opportunity to meet lots of beautiful animals from lambs to Llamas. Daily events include the chance to feed the animals and even milk a cyber cow. You can take a trip through history at the Cornish Heritage Centre, and enjoy a nature trail through beautiful cornish countryside if the weather permits. If it doesn’t, active kids will love the 12’000 square foot soft play zone. Again, refreshments and toilets are available throughout the site.

Animal loving families have a number of attractions to keep the little ones entertained. 

Paradise Park is an Award winning sanctuary specialising in rare birds with otters, red squirrels, red pandas, pet’s corner and a farmyard as well as an indoor area making a visit perfect for families even in poor weather.   Small children in particular are enthralled by the exotic bird displays taking place daily.

Newquay Zoo, set in sub-tropical lakeside gardens and home to over 130 species of animals offers hours of education and wonder for children.  Let them visit the animals of the African Plains in the Savannah area or see Lemurs in the Madagascan walkthrough, new for 2010.

Creative families should definitely head to the Tate St Ives.  The centre provides activity packs and interactive talks to allow children and adults to explore the exhibitions together in inclusive and engaging demonstrations that include navigating the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden with the Hepworth Family Sculpture Trail.

Continuing with the creative theme, Cornwall invites the opportunity to release your child’s inner artist, often at no cost to you. Beach art is one such example of this. Use stones, driftwood, shells and seaweed to create your own beach art, but don’t forget to take a photo for posterity before the evidence of your genius washes into the sea when the tide turns.

Catch their imaginations retelling the local stories of magic and mystery. Children will love visiting some infamous locations which are all free. Explore Merlin’s mysterious cave on the beach at Tintagel and the ancient stone at Slaughterbridge where legend has it King Arthur fought his last battle. You could even see where Ralph the Giant once threw huge boulders out to sea to scuttle passing ships.

Throughout the area the food, facilities and accommodation are of the highest standards.  Local Cornish produce is highly prized and the local communities are friendly and welcoming to families. 

To start your Cornish Adventure visit the website here.

Online Resources: 

Visit Cornwall

Visit South West