Museums Galleries and Historic Places

Museums Galleries and Historic Places (published 2014)

Geevor Tin, Levant and East Pool Mines

The Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno

Has had a wonderful new makeover and is more family-friendly than ever. There is an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel as all the space is utilised from toddler-level cubby holes, gazing high up at messenger pigeons & funky lights, doors that open onto pictures & funky peep-hole windows revealing weirdly-lit huge machinery in the tunnels. It is stuffed with hands-on exhibitions, free explorer backpacks, family trails and daily creative craft activities. The new museum café is simple & excellent with home-baked treats and child-friendly food options. Under 5s go free, unlimited free re-entry for the year when Gift Aiding. Open daily 10am to 5pm. 

Royal Cornwall Museum

River St. Truro. Family-friendly museum, children free, adults £5 (return free for a year). Gallery activities and Explorer Backpacks. Crafts, brass-rubbings, badge-making, 10am to 4pm, free. 29 July to 28 Aug: Free activities for children and families. Story, Make and Take sessions on Tuesdays for accompanied under 5s. Culture Kids on Thursdays– exciting and engaging activities for accompanied over 5s. Check the website for more information on individual sessions. Must book 01872 272205

Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery

Wild About Plymouth 19 July: Giant Big Bug Hunt, Ford Park Cemetery, drop-in 11am to 1pm,free; 9 Aug: Summer Nature Trail, Woodland Wood Nature Reserve, 10am to 12pm, identify the trees, plants, birds and animals, free activity bags, £2 /1/under 3s free, book by 15 July. 23 Aug: Dinosaur Day with specialists, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, drop-in 10am to 3pm, activities like walk like a dinosaur, dig deep for real fossils, free. Summer Films, from 1.30pm, free but donations welcomed, book – 30 July: ‘The Lego Movie’ (PG); 31 July: ‘Muppets Most Wanted’(PG). Weds & Thursdays in Aug, 10.30am to 12.30pm: create mini print masterpieces, Andy Warhol-inspired works,colourful paper collages, monoprints, paper chess pieces, clay creations, hilarious hats, lighthouses, details on 12 July: Archaeology’s Alive,drop-in, 11am to 3pm, quiz, new computer game, craft activities BBC Bronze Age documentary, donations. 13 Sept: Tales and songs from the Great War, drop-in 1.30 to 2.15pm & 2.30 to 3.15pm, tales from the home front and the battlefield, 7+, donations.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Falmouth. Pay once, get in free for a year and activities FREE with entry. 18 Jul, 19 Sept: Museum Minnows 1.30 to 2.30pm, free family drop-in session of creative play, stories and craft activities for under 5s. 21 Jul to 3 Sept: Crabbing from the pontoon, 10.30am to 3.30pm, 50p – line, bucket and bait supplied. 12 Jul to 3 Sep: Smuggler’s Cove Play Zone, 10am to 5pm, interactive play zone, full of colourful characters from Cornwall’s past; rummage like a Revenue man or dress up to conceal the contraband; Smelly Smugglers Trail 10am to 5pm. Tuesdays this holiday: Douglas Dapper the Story Explorer’s Shore Thing, 11.30am, 2 & 3.30pm, weird and wonderful adventures, using exhibits and artefacts. 21 Jul to 3 Aug: make flintlock pistols, pop-up smugglers and a chest with concealed compartment,12noon to 3.30pm. 31 Jul : the Captain’s tall tales of real smugglers, running secret cargoes into Cornish coves, 11.30am, 2 & 3.30pm, 4 to 10 Aug: make paper plate rock pools, seagull gliders and sandcastle flags,12noon to 3.30pm. 7 Aug: meet the crew from the Royal Navy 771 Squadron, 11.30am, 2 & 3.30pm, climb inside a Sea King helicopter, dress as a member of the crew and learn how Search and Rescue helicopters fly. 11 to 17 Aug: make fish masks, googly-eyed lobster and paper plate fish, 12noon to 3.30pm. 12 Aug: Free Flying Fish, 11.30am, 2pm & 3.30pm, tales of stormy seas and courageous characters. 14 Aug: make characters come to life in a short film, using stop-motion claymation. 11am to 3.30pm. 18 to 24 Aug: Myths & Monsters, make a monstrous Morgawr puppet, Beast of Bodmin mask and King Arthur Crown, 12noon to 3.30pm. 21 Aug: Hands on History, 11.30am, 2 & 3.30pm, learn rope making. 25 to 27 Aug & 1 to 3 Sep: make pirate hats, parrots, buccaneer booty, 12noon to 3.30pm. 28 to 31 Aug: Terrific Tall Ships Weekend, the Museum is best for views, news and action from the water; make a Tall Ships collage, Packet ship scene and compass rose badge, 12noon to 3.30pm. 28 Aug: knot-tying workshop, 11.30am, 2 & 3.30pm. 01326 313388

Hayle Heritage Centre

4 to 14 Aug: Hayle’s First World War exhibition. 5 Aug: make poppies and medals, learn their fascinating history, 11am to 4pm, free, for all ages. 01736 757683

Truro Cathedral

28 July to 3 Sept: free themed art & craft activities like layered ‘3D’ paper scenes, mobiles, pinwheels, finger puppets, masks, cup animals, drop-in 11am to 2pm – Mondays: Legends of the Saints; Wednesdays Christian signs & symbols; Thursdays ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. 21 Aug: Family Fun Day, 11am to 4pm, free, bouncy castle, fishing for ducks, brass rubbing, craft activities, giant Jenga, Connect 4, floor draughts, dressing up & parade, storytelling, 10p tombola, trails, snakes and ladders, splat that rat, cake stall. 15 July to 21 Nov: Cornwall’s Schools Remember, school  children’s personal stories and reflections on the First World War inspired by interviews, visits to WW1 sites and Cornwall Record Office, 10 to 5pm (Mon to Sat), 12 to 4pm (Sun), free. Enjoy lunch and children’s menu in the Cathedral Restaurant. 01872 276782

Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum,

Free entry for under 18s. Family packs are available for Tate St Ives and the Hepworth Sculpture Trails. I Spy Tate returns to both Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum: use picture clues to find artworks on display in the galleries; spot all 9 to win a prize, and you could win a luxury £2,000 holiday! Tuesdays in Aug: Beach Art Explorers art workshops, Porthmeor Beach,10.30am to 12noon & 2 to 3.30pm, £4,50 child/ £0 adult, 5+, must book 01736 796226. Wednesdays in Aug: Stories by the Sea, 12noon to 12.30pm & 2 to 2.30pm, in the atmospheric Loggia. Thursday to Sunday during August: Art Base, explore, play, create and investigate art (free, drop in 11am to 4pm). 14 Sept: FREE Super Sunday, drop-in 11am to 3pm, hands-on creative activities. 01736 796 226

Falmouth Art Gallery

Free entry. Every Saturday there are themed workshops – drop-in 2 to 3pm, ring 01326 313863 for details. Summer activities and exhibitions, all free, Aug Mondays to Fridays: Doodle Time with pastels, graphite and charcoal on easels in the gallery, 10am to 4pm. ‘Incredible Edible Art Week’ with the amazing Sally Crabtree, inspired by ‘The boy who bit Picasso’ exhibition. 9 Aug: make Picasso-style masks for the Carnival, 3 to 5pm, parade 6pm at Rugby Ground, wear stripes. 14 Aug: make a bling edible hat, 2 to 3pm. 15 Aug: make big noses and glasses that you can nibble, 2 to 3pm. 16 Aug: Sweet shop of words, 11am to 3pm, Sing a ditty, yodel a tune or maybe eat your words…. wam-bam-booze finale explosion at 3pm!

English Heritage Tintagel Castle.

29 to 31 July: Fighting Knights, 11am to 5pm, displays of weaponry, tales of magic and adventure. 5 to 7, 12 to 14, 19 to 21, 26 to 28 Aug: Tales of King Arthur, at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.15pm, with Merlin and King Arthur.

English Heritage Pendennis Castle

Falmouth, 29 to 30 July, 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20 Aug: Grand Medieval Joust – 11am to 5pm, fighting knights, jester, campfires, music, dance, falconry, medieval games, knights’ training school. 27 to 29 Aug: Pirates Attack!! Elizabethan England, battle drills, musket displays, 11am to 5pm. 01326 316594

Pentillie Castle

Paynters Cross, St Mellion, a magnificent estate with extensive gardens, parklands, ancient woodlands and a castle! 8 Aug: Bat walk & star gazing, 8pm. 9 Aug: Dawn bird ringing & watching, 5.30am, bacon baps, tea/coffee £5pp, events free, book, 5+.10 Aug: Garden Fête Open Day, 12noon to 4pm, afternoon tea with live music, face painting, croquet and garden activities, £6pp, some garden activities and tea are extra. 28 Aug: outdoor performance ‘Robin Hood’ open from 4pm, performance 6pm, 5+, £15 adult, £10 child, £40 family.01579 350 044

 National Trust events Outdoor theatre, gardens & estates events

Trerice, nr Newquay. A glorious, child-friendly Tudor mansion and gardens with events and activities which make History really engaging. 26 & 27 July: Celebrate in 1950s style, 10.30 am to 5pm. 28 July to 25 Aug Mondays & Wednesday s: Tudor Costume Days, learn about Tudor clothes, try on costumes, take your photo in the giant portrait frame, 11am to 4pm. 2 to 17 Aug: life in Tudor times, hands on activities, 10.30 am to 5pm, free with entry. 5 & 12 Aug: make your family shields inspired by the mottos and heraldic symbols within Trerice’s plasterwork, 11am to 4pm. 9 & 10 Aug: Wardour Garrison comes alive, chat to Sir John’s Royalist pikemen who support King Charles against Parliament; explore the camp, musket firing drill, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, free with entry. 30 & 31 Aug: Tudor falconry displays to delight and dazzle (as seen on the BBC’s Tudor Monastery Farm), free with entry, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. 01637 875404

Cotehele, nr Saltash, a Tudor house decorated with tapestries, arms and armour, pewter, brass and old oak furniture. From 27 July to 31 Aug: Costume Sundays: Cotehele Mill’s team dressed in their  finest Victorian garb, milling demos and tours, 11am to 4.30 pm, free with entry. 28 July to 8 Aug weekdays: different activities including wild art, family woodland trail, barefoot walk; make swords &  shields, 1 to 3pm. 2 to 31 Aug daily except Fridays: look at the bladed weapons that usually hang on the walls, 11am to 4pm, free with entry. 13 & 14 Sept: delicious crumble pleasure, demos, free recipes,  and samples, 11.30am to 4pm, free with entry. 01579 351346

Godolphin, near Helston. Enjoy the barefoot trail, mudpie kitchen in the orchard and see the chickens in the Piggery Yard. 5 & 21 Aug: seed sowing, 11am to 3pm, have a go, learn about different varieties, take them home to grow. 12 Aug: join the Ranger and cook on a camp fire in the woods, 11am to 3pm. 15 Aug: Nature Night Walk 8.30 to 10.30pm, discover rare breeds of bats and owls, £4 /£2. Must book on 01736 763194. 17 Aug: BareFoot Festival, 10am to 4pm, Are pebbles your favourite, mud or smooth clean slate? Multi-textured barefoot trail, games, foot-art, stalls and demos. 01736  763194

Lanhydrock, nr Bodmin, fascinating Victorian house, huge park and new cycleways to explore. 01208 265950 or 01208 265975 for cycle hire

Antony, Torpoint. Garden games & trail £1, and ‘50 things’ activities daily. Themed events, 12noon to 3pm, £2 ─ 31 July, 7, 21, 28 Aug: discover about bugs & creepy crawlies; 14 Aug: make miniature gardens using real flowers and foliage; 25 Aug: summer crafts. 01752 812191

Tintagel Old Post Office. 6, 13, 27 Aug: Fun in the sun activities, 11am to 4pm, free with entry 01840 770024