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Top Picks

Summer Holidays Top Picks

School's out! Here are 26 events, activities and things to do to keep the whole family entertained this summer holiday.

School’s out and the summer holidays are upon us. Activities are on offer this month at Eden, Tate St Ives, Wheal Martyn and the National Maritime Museum, along with a sprinkling of family theatre, circus fun and festivities. Why not join in the sea celebrations at Fowey Regatta or Falmouth Week? Or have a sing-song along the river? There are plenty of events to keep everyone in the family entertained this August – even the dog!

Summer is not all about family fun, keep a look out for our next adults only top picks (not R rated!)

1. Wildworks 100:Unearth

Tues 17th – Sun 22nd July, 2018
Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell

War. Love. Loss. Hope.

War is over. It has changed the lives of everyone it has touched. The men are coming home but death is never far away.

100: UnEarth looks at the devastating aftermath of conflict, telling the homecoming stories of those who fight and live through war.  Taking inspiration from the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, 100: UnEarth has a love story at its heart, and explores grief and tragedy with a deeply moving ending.

Recommended for ages 12+

2. Wild Summer at Eden

Mon 25th June – Fri 31st Aug, 2018
Eden Project, St Austell

Join the team at Eden this July and August  for a series of Wild Summer sessions, perfect for families and kids aged up to 14 years old.

Eden’s Wild Summer consists of a range of family adventure days and kids’ clubs full of craft and creativity, physical and practical challenges, campfire cooking and time to relax with old friends and new – with each session taking place in Eden’s magical wild estate.

3. Miracle Theatre: The Cherry Orchard

Tues 17th July – Thurs 23rd Aug, 2018
Multiple Venues across Cornwall

This Summer, Miracle unpacks Chekhov’s bittersweet comedy about a once-wealthy family, whose idleness and extravagance have brought them to the brink of bankruptcy. Obstinate and self-absorbed, they are deaf to the rumblings of change which surrounds them, and unable to accept help when they need it. Will it take a revolution to destroy their cosy world of privilege and entitlement – or will their own stupidity be enough?

See event listings

4. Sterts Theatre Company: Oliver

Thurs 19th July – Tues 28th Aug, 2018
Sterts Theatre, Liskeard

Consider yourself at home with Lionel Bart’s classic musical based on Charles Dickens’ novel. The Tony and Olivier Award-winning show is one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by actors and audience members alike.

5. Hertfordshire Players: Alice

Mon 30th July – Fri 3rd Aug, 2018
Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

Alice is in trouble – Joe’s no longer around and no one understands . . . well, anything! A Rabbit in white leathers arrives, taking her on a journey to a topsy-turvy land, where everyone appears strangely familiar, but nothing seems quite right.

Based on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, Laura Wade’s Alice breathes exciting new life in to a much-loved story. Be prepared to join Alice as she travels down the rabbit hole to a Wonderland like you’ve never seen before.

6. National Maritime Museum Family Activities

Mon 23rd July – Sun 2nd September
National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

Stay cool at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth this summer and enjoy their packed programme of exhibitions and events.

Join the trainee pirate crew at Pirate School in fun packed sessions with Rattlebox Theatre, meet two pirate characters, find out facts and fictions behind real pirates, learn to find your way around a ship and handle some pirate treasure – Shiver me timbers! Or visit Treasure Island Play Zone if ye be brave enough, follow the map through the smugglers cave along the island beach to Treasure Island fort. Watch out for real ‘pirates’ on the way! On the Pirate Parrot Treasure Trail 7 Pirate Parrots have jumped ship and are hidden in the Museum. Can you find them? You can also make your own pirate cutlass, parrot, and treasure chest at the Make and Takes table.

7. Family Fun at Land's End

Tues 24th July – Fri 31st Aug, 2018
Land’s End, Sennen

Pirates, robots, wild animals and fireworks displays are all coming to West Cornwall as Land’s End gets the summer started with a bang. Six weeks of free family fun begins this month at the landmark attraction and runs right through until the end of August. Highlights include high ropes acrobatics, amazing owls and the return of Land’s End’s summer fireworks spectacular. Themed event days will take place each Thursday, while Magic in the Skies, the venue’s popular fireworks show set to music, is every Tuesday and Thursday evening until August 30th.

8. Tate Summer Events

Tate Create
28th July – 31st Aug
Tate St Ives

Investigate materials, make art together and explore the exhibition. Each holiday Tate St Ives will be investigating a new theme, inspired by the fantastic artwork in the galleries.

This summer it’s all about colour at Tate St Ives.  Get your paint brushes ready and help to create an exhibition of artworks, inspired by Patrick Heron but made by you! Be prepared for pots of paint, lots of fun and a rainbow of colour.

Beach Art Explorers
Every Weds 1st – 29th Aug, 2018
Tate St Ives

Explore the beach, get creative and make your own artwork inspired by the wonderful artists and magical stories of Porthmeor.

9. Circus Funtasia

Weds 1st Aug – Sat 1st Sep, 2018
Multiple venues across Cornwall

Spectacular fire-breathing stunts, thrill-seeking acrobats, death-defying motorbike riders, powerful hand-balancing, and much more awaits you at Circus Funtasia! Back with a brand new show for 2018, be prepared to witness a whip-cracking storm of a show with beautiful aerialists, dynamic juggling, tightrope walking, tumbling tricks, PLUS the return of famous clown, Emilion – THE GEEK IS BACK!

Not to be missed, this family show promises laughter and surprises for all ages.

See event listings

10. Kneehigh: The Dancing Frog

Thurs 2nd Aug – Sat 22nd Sep, 2018
The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Poor Gertrude thinks she’ll never laugh or love again. But then she has a lucky encounter on a lily pad. With a frog. Called George. Suddenly, things are looking bright again! For George isn’t just any frog. He’s a dancing frog. When Gertrude thrusts this web-footed wonder into the spotlight he becomes an overnight sensation the likes of which the world has never seen!

Featuring a team including Old Rope String Band musician and early Kneehigh member Tim Dalling, his daughter Ailsa, local performer Jenny Beare, puppeteer extraordinaire Sarah Wright, with puppets created by her mum, Lyndie Wright of the Little Angel Theatre. Mike Shepherd directs this delightful tale of hope, heart and hip-hoppity adventure based on the classic children’s book by Quentin Blake.

11. Play Fest

Thurs 2nd – Friday 3rd Aug, 2018
Cattle Market Fields, Truro

With over 6000 visitors and a wide range of attractions, come and celebrate 10 years of Cornwall’s Children’s Festival, the biggest event of its kind in the South West.

Expect a big top from swamp Circus with all day cabaret, fair ground, lovely food, workshops and have a go activities, storytelling, youth band stage, plus lots more fantastic children’s entertainment.

12. Sing Along the River 2018

Thurs 2nd – Thurs 30th Aug, 2018
Parade Gardens, Lostwithiel

Every Thursday in August, nestled under the trees of Parade Gardens in the heart of Lostwithiel, Lost in Song and choirs from all over Cornwall will be singing alongside the banks of the River Fowey.

As well as enjoying the wide range of vocal arrangements and performances, Lost in Song and their house band will be inviting the audience to join in the ever-popular Sing Along moments, with a careful selected songs to get everyone singing along the river. To accompany the music, the best of the areas food and drink producers off great food including paella, woodfired pizza, crepes and top quality teas and coffees.

13. CANCELLED | Bash Street Theatre Company: Cliffhanger

Sat 4th Aug, 2018
The Buttermarket Courtyard, Redruth

Inspired by Buster Keaton’s short film ‘Convict 13’, Cliffhanger! is a 45-minute, silent-movie style production that returns to the golden age of the silver screen. With falling buildings, dare-devil escapology, silent comedy and live piano accompaniment, Cliffhanger! has proved to be Bash Street Theatre’s most successful and enduring street theatre show.

The story follows the fortunes of a love-sick café waiter as he becomes innocently embroiled in a prison escape. When the heroine is abducted by a convict, there ensues a series of hair-raising episodes as our hero strives to rescue his new-found love.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has now been cancelled. 

14. The Pantaloons: The Importance of Being Earnest

Weds 8th Aug, 2018
Penlee Park Open Air Theatre

Everybody loves Ernest. In fact, Cecily and Gwendolen are both engaged to Ernest. The only trouble is, Ernest doesn’t exist. Or does he…? This energetic and musical production infuses Wilde’s witty words with snappy new songs and frantically funny physical theatre to give this perennially popular play a hilarious contemporary twist!

15. Boardmasters

Weds 8th – Sun 12th Aug, 2018
Watergate Bay, Newquay

From the first wave to the last beat, Boardmasters brings like-minded souls together for a unique festival experience. This year, in the Boardmasters Family tent you can enjoy Family Yoga, Circus Workshops, Craft workshops, Circus Spectacular show, Mr Be Comedy, Mr Mat Juggling show and a Flying trifleenees show. Alongside this look out for walking performers outside the tent during the day.


16. Festival Players: The Winter's Tale

Thurs 9th Aug, 2018
Penlee Park Open Air Theatre

An intriguing mix of drama and comedy. A train of events which affect two kingdoms and two generations; there is jealousy and joy, revenge and romance, loss and discovery, remorse and revelry, and an amazing revelation. Tremendous entertainment for a Summer evening from this premier all-male company.

17. Falmouth Week

Fri 10th – Sun 19th Aug, 2018
Falmouth Town

Falmouth Week is a major attraction for locals and visitors alike. With its origins in a local sailing regatta dating back at least far as 1837 (with an engraved trophy to prove it!) Falmouth Week has evolved into not only a major sailing competition in the South West, but also an opportunity for sailors and landlubbers to enjoy the many daytime and evening attractions in the town.

18. To Life Theatre: Solstice - Tales of Midsummer

Fri 10th Aug, 2018
Penlee Park Open Air Theatre

Prepare for an evening of magic and mystery, a story based on ancient midsummer mythology and folklore, a bewitching journey of the summer solstice, with kings and fairies, battles and celebrations, rewards and retributions! A spectacular piece of immersive theatre.

19. Badger Forest School

Fri 10th Aug & Fri 24th Aug, 2018
Wheal Martyn, St Austell

Badger Forest School and Outdoor Learning are hosting fun family adventures in the beautiful woodland at Wheal Martyn throughout the year. Children and families can take part in a range of exciting outdoor activities including campfire cooking, mask making, building dens for the animals who live in the woods, going on a mini beast hunt, shelter building, nature crafts and face painting.

20. Trebah Gaggle Haus: SCRAWW

Tues 14th – Sat 25th Aug, 2018
Trebah Garden, Falmouth
The birds of the world have gathered; join the flock on an epic quest through the garden to find the legendary Simorgh bird. A feather fuelled, technically immersive journey into Persian poetry… prepare to elect your new king!
An original promenade performance, taking place on foot around the garden, commissioned by Trebah and created by artists from Cornwall, London and New York.

21. Cornish Steam and Country Fair

Fri 17th – Sun 19th Aug, 2018
Stithians Showground, Truro

The 2018 Cornish Steam & Country Fair is the 63rd annual event organised by WESES Ltd on behalf of the West of England Steam Engine Society. The show is very much a family event and 2018 promises to be the best yet as it aims to build on previous year’s events. From bouncy castles to vintage wood sawing, trade stands to heavy horse working demonstrations there is something for everyone.

22. Rogue Theatre Summer Shows

Fri 17th Aug – Sun 2nd September
Tehidy Woods, Redruth

Wild is a fast paced, funny, mischievous and spellbinding show in the heart of the woods mixing some of Rogue’s favourite fairy tales including: Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and The Beast and Sleeping Beauty.

This immersive theatre adventure starts with an enthralling journey along the wandering paths of Cornwall’s breathtakingly beautiful Tehidy Woods North Cliffs.  Journey through the trees where chance meetings with wolves, witches, faeries, princesses and fairy tale creatures will weave you into the magic of the Wild world.

Firebird is a stirring, spellbinding, heart pounding, majestic and riotous feast for the senses combining vivid imagery, wild theatre that takes place all around you, incredible live music , breath taking dance, immersive battles, supernatural visions and a beautiful tale.

Following the fearless footsteps of Rogue’s King Arthur,Firebirdis an immersive theatre adventure into the spell-casting shadows of Tehidy Woods North Cliffs.

Follow the flames to a fantastical bewitchment, a blazing show in the heart of the wild.

23. Newquay Life Boat Day 2018

Sun 19th Aug, 2018
Newquay Harbour

The fantastic Newquay Lifeboat Day is the RNLI’s biggest fundraising event of the year and YOU are all invited!

Head on down to Newquay Harbour on Sunday 19th August 2018 from 10.30am for this FREE EVENT to help raise money and see what amazing work the RNLI Volunteers and other rescue services do within Newquay.

With free admission, dramatic rescue demonstrations, live music, stalls and refreshments at Newquay’s historic harbour, all in aid of the charity that saves lives at sea.

24. Doggy Summer Fete

Sun 19th Aug, 2018
Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge

Join the team for a fun packed day out at Royal Cornwall Showground with your four legged friends. Join in the fun dog show with all proceeds going to a doggy charity, has your pooch got the waggiest tail? Fun activities run throughout the day including have-a-go agility, fun scurry race, temptation alley and much more with prizes for the fastest times of the day! Hit our shopping area for a little retail therapy with fabulous dog related suppliers offering everything you could want for your pooch.

25. Fowey Regatta Week

Sun 19th – Sat 25th Aug, 2018
Fowey Town

The Fowey Regatta is a must visit during August – visitors come from around the world to enjoy all there is to see and do. Enjoy the spectacle of Wednesday’s Carnival procession through town, featuring locals and visitors in a weird and wonderful array of costumes. Little ones love the Giant Pasty ceremony, in which the iconic pasty arrives by boat from Polruan – as well as magicians, the crab catching contest and a visit from Newquay Zoo. For the more active there’s a fun run, harbour swimming races, gig racing and raft race. And the town’s Flora Dance sees everyone dressed in white and bedecked with flowers, dancing though the town accompanied by a marching band.

With live music daily and nightly on the Town Quay to suit every taste, fireworks both on Monday night and a spectacular display to mark the end of Regatta on Saturday, it’s one week you’ll want to come back to again and again.

26. Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Open Daily 10:30am – 5:30pm
Spark children’s imagination with an abundance of plants, trees, art and wildlife. Space, nature and art combine to provide interest for everyone at Tremenheere, both young and old! And there are plenty of grassy areas to run around on, and perfect spots to place your rug for a picnic. Wildlife can be found in abundance; bunnies, squirrels, buzzards, jays, even a shy deer if you are very lucky! And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the children’s adventure map from the ticket desk.
Admission free for any children under 11 years old.

Holly Gambles

Holly joined the Cornwall 365 team in May 2018 as a Communications and Events Co-ordinator, after completing her management degree at Falmouth University.