What could a seaside town with oodles of piratey atmosphere, beach and rock pools aplenty, arcades, play parks and museums possibly have to offer kids?
Well, now you come to mention it…
At every turn, our lovely town answers the question, ‘But what will we do with the kids?’ with half a dozen great ideas to keep the little ones entertained. And, parents, you know the drill – keeping the children happy is the first step to having a great time yourself.
Here’s 10 of the best ideas for your family.
Go rock pooling
Shoes off, trousers up, lean over and… oh, wow, isn’t that beautiful?! On the shorelines of our town you’ll find a dozen places to step down onto the beach and explore another world. Rock pooling in Penzance is a great way to while away an afternoon with kids, discovering anenomes, jellyfish, mermaids’ purses, sea snails and more. At low tide, find great spots near the Jubilee Pool at Battery Rocks, and at Wherrytown towards Newlyn.
Get your skates on
How do you feel about goofyfoot nose grinds? No, we don’t have a clue what that sentences means either, but if your kids do they are going to love Penzance’s skate parks. At Prince’s May recreation ground there’s a top-quality bowl for skaters, roller skaters stunt bikers and scooterers. Meanwhile, at Wherrytown next to the Promenade, there’s Penzance Skating Plaza, which is within half a splash (literally) of the ocean.
Have a piratey adventure
Why are Penzance people so piratey? Because we arrrrr! Enjoy the nautical vibe of our harbour and dock district by walking the piers and gazing at the boats. One notable boat often in harbour is the Phoenix, a tallship which has appeared in Poldark, Doctor Who and many Hollywood movies. You can also grab a souvenir in the Buccaneer Shell Shop, or aboard the Bag O’ Rags pirate shop. Many of our piratey pubs and restaurants down on the harbourside and in Chapel Street are kid-friendly too.
Play in a beautiful park
Any parent with antsy kids knows just what an oasis a play park can be. We’ve got some beautifully appointed spots for kids to run off steam and grown ups to take in the view. At the bottom of Penlee Park, there’s a picturesque, peaceful play area under a canopy, with plenty of options for climbing and swinging. Alexandra Playpark opposite the Prom and next to the arcade is newly refurbished and has a zipwire too. Finally, a real fave with locals, Wherrytown Playpark, also refurbished, is nestled in lovely landscaped gardens with views of the ocean.
Enjoy old school arcade action
‘Place you bets, place your bets.’ Anyone who lives in our town will know the call of the roulette machine in The Grand Casino Amusements. There’s a real old-school charm to this spot, with its air hockey, video games and the penny shove machines. Grab a pot, get the kids a pounds worth of 2ps and try to time your coin drop just perfectly to splash the cash. There’s reasonably priced bowling too and Fraser’s chippie next door. It’s like taking a time machine back to your own childhood.
Soak up some local art and culture
Contrary to everything you’ve heard, it does occasionally rain in Penzance. On wet days, we highly recommend a trip to Penlee House Gallery and Museum. This gorgeous venue set in one of our loveliest parks features archaeological and natural history artefacts, as well as iconic paintings from the legendary Newlyn School. This kid-friendly museum offers quizzes and trails, and special child-friendly activities on weekends.
Catch a movie
Another rainy day must for kids is a visit to one of the areas two beautiful movie houses. The Savoy’s cinema, bar and restaurant in Penzance is a great venue to grab a bite and a movie. Meanwhile, Newlyn Filmhouse is a super-stylish venue in the heart of a fishing community. Watch a movie, top up with refreshments in the café/bar, and finish with a stroll around one of the biggest working fishing communities in the UK.
Step aboard an ocean experience
Encounter a whole new world with a boat trip from Penzance. We live in a wonderfully diverse region for marine life. Kids can keep their eyes peeled for seals, dolphins, porpoises and, yes, even sharks and have a good chance of seeing them too. Take short excursions or longer two to three hour jaunts from one of our local pleasure trip providers. Marine Discovery – Mermaid Pleasure Trips
Visit our outdoor theatre
In the summer months, Penlee Park Open Air Theatre offers a programme of fab kids’ entertainment, including the famous Squashbox Theatre. In previous seasons, educational, quirky and inventive shows have included Myths and Monsters, a journey through myths and legends, and Stones and Bones, which looked at the wonders of archaeology. The cosy, tree lined ampitheatre is a heavenly location, too.
Get on your bike
Two things you need when cycling with kids – reasonably flat terrain and a safe route. Penzance offers both, and in two different directions, too. Starting at Penzance bus station you can cycle all the way to Marazion on a flat, newly refurbished cycle path that hugs the very edge of the shore. Or, why not start at the Jubilee Pool and cycle the full length of our (also refurbished) Promenade. You can continue your journey across Newlyn Green to the Fisherman’s Statue and even take older children as far as Mousehole. While there is some road riding here, large sections can be enjoyed on mixed cycle/walkways.