Top 15 Beach Activities for a Family Holiday in Cornwall

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There are plenty of fun beach activities for kids to enjoy on a family holiday in Cornwall. From building sandcastles and exploring rock pools, to paddling in the waves and playing games on the beach, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If your children love being by the beach, we’ve got some lovely activities to keep them busy and entertained:

Beach sports

Games such as Frisbee, rounders or cricket are great way for family members to bond and have a good time on the beach. Kadima ball is great for those who are looking for an extra challenge and Boules provides hours of entertainment for little kids. If you don’t happen to have any sports equipment, it’s easy enough to draw a quick game of noughts or crosses in the sand with light and dark stones as the markers.

Obstacle course

Transform your beach day into an entertaining obstacle course for the kids! Sketch a slalom trail using beach shovels, challenge them to hop across rocks, leap over seaweed, and use your creativity to come up with fun tasks. Not only will it be tons of fun for everyone involved, but you’ll also keep the little ones active during your summer holiday break.

Exploring rock pools

A rock pool hunt is something the whole family can enjoy. Exploring the crevices, discovering little fish, hermit crabs and sea anemones, and searching for shells or seaweed is a great way to introduce children to the coastal environment. On beaches in Cornwall, you will find a wealth of creatures including crabs, limpets and starfish. The best time to visit rock pools is when the tide is low.

Paddling in the waves

If you and your family are spending time in Cornwall this summer, the waters are ideal for both young children and adults alike – perfect for paddling, swimming or floating around simply enjoying the sunshine. Nothing beats playing on the shore with kids, so make sure to keep their safety top of mind by making sure they don’t go too far out or venture towards any rocky areas. With its crystal-clear waters and warm temperatures, it’s no wonder splashing around in these waves is one of the best activities for families in Cornwall.

Building a sand sculpture

A family holiday in Cornwall is the perfect opportunity to create something truly magical! Why not try your hand at building a sand sculpture for memories you’ll cherish for years to come? You can have great fun moulding and shaping the sand into anything you want – family members, animals, hearts and shapes, mythical creatures or even a giant sea creature like an octopus, whale or dolphin! The possibilities are endless. Get creative with family members joining in and your masterpiece will be something that’s sure to delight everyone who sees it.

Beach crafts

If you’re looking for an activity to help make your family holiday in Cornwall even more memorable, why not try some beach crafts? Making wind chimes with beautiful shells, or picture frames from driftwood kids find on the beach is sure to keep everyone occupied for hours. You can also challenge family members to come up with pictures made from items they find on the beach.

Making sandcastles

Spending a day creating sandcastles is one of the best things to do on a beach with children. They can make anything from basic towers, to elaborate structures complete with windows and turrets and moats! If you have buckets and spades, they’ll be able to construct their masterpieces easily. Or, get creative and make a sand farm that grows seaweed “plants” or build a sand museum with collections of stone “fossils” and artifacts.

Sea fishing

A family holiday in Cornwall is not complete without a day of sea fishing! All you need to do is grab some fishing rods, bait and a net, and you’re all set. Whether your children are amateur or experienced at sea fishing, it’s sure to be an enjoyable family activity with the potential for a catch. Even if luck isn’t on your side that day, the family can switch gears for a picnic and take in the stunning coastal views. So don’t forget to pack your rods and nets this holiday season – sea fishing promises fun memories for the whole family.

Gathering seashells

Whether you’re exploring family holiday spots near Cornwall or just having a weekend getaway, hunting for shells on the shoreline is a fun activity for the whole family! Transform your finds into meaningful souvenirs; collect the prettiest shells and make one-of-a-kind pieces like collages and necklaces that others can admire. With so many unique shapes and colours to sift through, it can provide hours of imaginative family entertainment. Who knows – by the time you leave, you may even have your own collection of beautiful sea shells as a memento of your family holiday in Cornwall.

Scavenger hunt

Beach scavenger hunts are a fantastic way for the family to have some fun during the family holiday in Cornwall! It’s a great way to get everyone out enjoying nature and discovering all its hidden treasures. Make a list of items they need to find, such as driftwood, sea glass, feathers, seaweed or whatever else you can think of that might be available on the beach. You can make it as easy or difficult as you like too – there may be certain colours or shapes the kids must look out for (we love to look for heart-shaped stones!) Get creative with your family and explore the beach together, discovering all the treasures you can find.

Flying a kite

Flying a kite on the beach is a perfect family holiday activity to enjoy in Cornwall. You’ll experience the ultimate kite flying experience with the sea breeze, allowing your kites to fly high. If you don’t have a kite, there are plenty of shops nearby where you can pick up one easily. Kids (and adults!) will love being able to feel the rush of racing their kites in Cornwall and create lasting family memories.


Making a seaside scrapbook is the perfect family activity to do at the end of each day of your holiday in Cornwall. Get creative by having your kids draw their favourite beach moments, then giving them glue and some scissors to stick in all they’ve collected – from pretty pebbles and shells, to dried seaweed! Or you could take turns with writing down stories about the day, complete with date and location – making this homely scrapbook an amazing memento to come back to for years afterwards.

Beach Ball Bounce challenge

Beach Ball Bounce is the perfect game for a beach day in Cornwall with the family. Two players can join in the game by stretching a beach towel taut between them and attempting to keep a beach ball in play by taking turns bouncing it in the air with their hands. It’s fun to challenge everyone to see how long they can keep the ball up and offers great laughs – especially when someone drops it! Go in teams to make it a family challenge. This fun twist on volleyball makes sitting on the beach extra fun.

A beachy twist on musical chairs

This game is the perfect way for you and your family to have a blast, as you all compete in a rousing game of musical chairs, only instead of chairs there are towels. Simply place one fewer towel than the number of players in circle, start up some pop music, and let everyone walk around them until the music stops, when each player must find the nearest towel to plop down on. Every round will eliminate another competitor until you’re finally left with one beach-loving champion of the family.

Picnic (or pizza!)

What better way to make your family holiday in Cornwall even more special than with a picnic on the beach? Imagine the sun glistening off the blue sea, your little ones playing about in the sand, and you enjoying a delicious family-style picnic lunch together. If you haven’t had time to pack a lunch, don’t worry; Maenporth Beach has a lovely cafe with a range of delicious sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs, with chips and of course, Cornish ice cream. Order ahead to take advantage of their unique wood fired pizza to pick up at the end of the day to enjoy dinner at home or have your pizza feast right on the beach watching the sunset.

You can do all these fun activities with your children when you are enjoying your family holiday in Cornwall. Maenporth is a spectacular beach on the southern side of Cornwall, and has lots of space for you and your family to enjoy an unforgettable holiday.

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