Category: Events

What’s on this October half term in Cornwall

October half term is the perfect time to reconnect with family and nature alike in Cornwall. Blustery beaches, lively surf and a jam-packed schedule of family friendly events make half term week one not to miss. See what’s on for October half term 2023 below.

Book your October half term stay with 20% off selected retreats.

Falmouth Oyster Festival

12th – 15th October 2023

This festival celebrates the start of the oyster dredging season. A five day festival packed with cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, the opportunity to sample the seafood, oysters, wine and local ale. Entertainment includes children’s shell painting, sea shanties, live music, oyster shucking competitions and the Falmouth working boat race.

Image credit: Jamie Johnson

Eden Project Ice Skating

Starting 14 October 2023 until February 2024

Get your skates on, grab a penguin and hit the ice rink at the Eden Project. With music flooding the sound waves, ice sessions for all ages, and sugary hot chocolates to be enjoyed on the sidelines, a spin around the ice rink is a quintessential way to kick off the autumn and winter season in Cornwall.

Minack Theatre

Visit the Minack Theatre, Cornwall’s world famous open-air theatre which is carved into the granite cliff and set in glorious gardens overlooking the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay.

There is a programme of live performances throughout the year, and outside of these performances you can visit the theatre, stand on stage, explore the glorious sub-tropical gardens full of exotic plants and discover the extraordinary story of how it was created.

This October half term, catch children’s shows The Lonely Lighthouse Keeper and Madagascar Junior.

Image credit: Minack Theatre

Hall for Cornwall

Perfect for a rainy day or evening out of the house, Truro’s Hall for Cornwall has an exciting variety of shows, with theatre performances, live music and interactive kids events throughout the year.  This October half term, the line up includes Tom Fletcher’s ‘There’s a Monster in your Show’, James Martin Live, The Manfreds Maximum Rhythm n Blues, alongside Toddler Time which is on every Tuesday morning until December.

‘Pirates’ at Falmouth Maritime Museum

Running until December 2024

Visit the Maritime museum in Falmouth for their latest major exhibition on Pirates! Explore how popular culture has shaped how we think of pirates today and dive beneath the surface to unearth the harsh and terrifying truth.

To find out, immerse yourself in the digital world of the Sea of Thieves game, land on Treasure Island, meet the man behind Long John Silver and dance a hornpipe with Horatio Pugwash before discovering the dark world of the real pirates of the Caribbean.

Book your October half term stay with 20% off selected retreats.

Arts on the beach at Watergate Bay

Head to Watergate Bay on the 9th and 10th September for a free family weekend of theatre, aerial performance, dance, music and craft workshops inspired by the ocean. Arts on the Beach 2023 is a celebration of creativity, community, imagination and ocean culture, set against the mesmerising backdrop of Watergate Bay.

Discover roaming sea giants and sailors’ love songs, mermaid’s tales and shoreside silent discos. This event, new to Watergate Bay for 2023, is brought to you by the team behind Polo on the Beach
and the Watergate Bay events calendar.

Book a retreat in Watergate Bay to experience the weekend in full.

The programme

Mirroring the many moods of the ocean, September’s line up will ebb and flow against its dramatic backdrop – from a lively programme of dance troupes, aerial performance, live music and interactive theatre, to getting hands-on with bubble bikes, lantern and willow building, sea-themed arts and crafts, and dancing workshops. Expect large-scale puppetry from Autin Dance Theatre, dance and parkour from Prodigal UPG, roaming ‘land based synchronised swimming’ from Cscape’s Bathing Belles, aerial shows, stilt walking captains and inspired choreography born from the sea. Workshop sessions will see beach-goers making a giant willow sea turtle with City of Lights, creating mermaid tails with Beach Guardian, pedal-powering bubble bikes and getting stuck into sea crafts with Blystra Arts. As the evenings draw in, the beach will light up with silent disco headphones on Saturday and the Old Time Sailors’ stirring sea shanties will echo from the cliffs on Sunday. The programme is brimming with imaginative performances and runs throughout the day from 11am on Saturday – then all over again on Sunday.

It’s set to be a lively, fun-filled and exciting weekend. Will Ashworth, Watergate Bay Hotel founder and executive director, said about the event:

“We’ve always loved creating inclusive events on the beach for our wider community, as well as visitors. Thanks to additional support from Visit Cornwall, being able to provide this exciting new event for people to come along to for free means everyone can be part of something special.”

Line up

Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September
From 11am


• Out of the Deep Blue by Johnny Autin Dance Compan –
• On the Strandline by Prodigal UPG – dance/parkour
• Sea Dogs by Prodigal UPG emerging ensemble – dance
• Hall for Cornwall Youth Dance Company present DAWN choreography by Rob Mennear
• Bathing Belles by Cscape – dance/performance
• Tipping Point by Off the Wall – aerial show – Saturday only
• Captain O’Goldie/ Detrius of the Deep by Hotch Potch Theatre –
roaming on stilts
Participation workshops
• City of Lights – two-day build of a willow sea turtle and end
• Blystra Arts – two days craft tent with four artists offering sea/
eco-friendly activities and pedal powered bubble bikes
• Beach Guardian – beach clean and mermaid tail workshops
• Watergate Bay Kids’ Zone Beach School


Saturday 9 September, 5-7pm – Silent Disco
Grab an LED headset and be part of one of the UK’s largest silent
discos at this unique dancing venue right on the beach.
Sunday 10 September, 5-8pm – Old Time Sailors
A merry band of musical marauders, ready to lure audiences back
in time on an immersive journey of dance, song and 19th-century
knees-up shenanigans. 17 musicians playing over 30 songs, will be
roaming the tide line.

Find out more about the event here. We’ll see you on the beach!

Fancy a long weekend packed with oceanside entertainment and creativity? Book a self-catered retreat by the two miles of beach and enjoy two days of sea-themed, sustainably minded festivities.