The Best Things to do in and Around Cardiff as a Family
As the largest city and capital of Wales, it is little surprise that Cardiff is a major attraction for families around the UK. If you’re planning on taking a visit to the city with your little ones, then you might be wondering what some of the best things to do and places to visit are. Let us help, with our guide to the best things to do in and around Cardiff as a family.
Visit Caerphilly Castle
As Wales’ largest castle, Caerphilly is a major tourist attraction in the region and caters well to families with things to see and do. It also starred in the television series Merlin, which older children and young adults may remember watching as they grew up. The medieval castle retains much of its original architecture and kids will love pretending to be ancient warriors. They can explore many of the ramparts and the castle itself, whilst adults can enjoy learning about the history of the castle. There’s a leaning tower to rival the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa – it was attacked by Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War and was very nearly toppled.
Get outdoors at Cwmcarn Forest
If your idea of the perfect family day out involves dragging the kids away from their screens and heading outside for some fresh air then look no further than Cwmcarn Forest. A former mining site, the area has now been reclaimed by nature and there is lush vegetation and plenty of wildlife for kids and adults alike to spot. There’s a modern visitor centre and café, as well as plenty of hiking and biking trails for visitors to enjoy. If you’d like to make a long weekend of things, you can even stay the night in your very own glamping pod in the forest. An adventure playground also opened during 2019, which has proven very popular with younger visitors.
Take the kids to Bridgend Miniature Railway
Slightly west of Cardiff and near the town of Bridgend is the Bridgend Miniature Railway. At only a 30 minute drive from Cardiff, Train fans of all ages will enjoy the attractions, which include riding on all manner of steam, diesel and electric train locomotives. The centre is set in an attractive area of woodland and there are picnicking facilities for families who wish to bring their own lunch. There’s also a small café serving refreshments and importantly, ice cream.
See the animals at Cefn Mably Farm Park
Handily located on the outskirts of Cardiff, 20 minutes outside of the city and just off the M4, Cefn Mably Farm Park is home to all manner of farmyard animals which are sure to delight young children. There are ponies, donkeys, sheep and goats, some of which can be fed by hand. There are even a selection of smaller animals such as rabbits which kids can hold, assisted by the farm staff. Other attractions at the park are geared for children of all ages. There’s a soft play area for the youngsters, whilst older children can enjoy racing on electric go-karts. There’s also a café serving a variety of food and drinks. With tickets priced from just £5 per person, this is an affordable day out for the whole family.
Enjoy a soaking at Aqua Park Cardiff
Located in Cardiff Bay, the Cardiff Aqua Park is the perfect family destination if the Welsh summer weather has decided to play nice. A huge inflatable obstacle course made up of slides, climbing walls, jumps and rope climbs snakes its way around the bay. Kids will love racing their siblings around the park, fully protected with life jackets and an expert team on hand to ensure everyone enjoys themselves safely.
Children need to be aged eight or over to complete the course, and adults are perfectly welcome to have a go themselves – just remember to pack a towel and keep your fingers crossed the sun keeps shining! Tickets that are pre-booked online cost £20, or £25 on the day if purchased at the Ticket Office.
Uncover the history of the Romans at the National Roman Legion Museum
If your children are studying the Romans at school, then this museum just north of Newport and a half hour drive from Cardiff could be the place for you. Housing hundreds of ancient Roman artefacts, the museum stands more or less at the western extent of the Roman Empire, in the ruins of the Roman fortress at Caerleon. Explore the ancient ruins, learn about the lives of Roman soldiers and their weapons – kids can even dress up in Roman armour for themselves. Better still, entry to the museum is free, so your educational and fun visit to the museum won’t break the bank.
Whether you’re a family of adventure, the great outdoors, animals or history, Cardiff and its surrounding areas are packed with great destinations for a family day out.