25+ ideas for family-friendly events in and around Cardiff this August 2023 bank holiday

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It’s a bank holiday weekend and if you’re looking for ideas on how to entertain the family, here’s some a round-up of some of the brilliant activities going on in and around Cardiff. If you’re looking for more ideas for days out, have a search under the Cardiff tab on my blog, or look at the Local Days Out story highlights on my Instagram account or scroll back through my reels.

All events are subject to change and cancellation so do look on the relevant website for avoid disappointment. Let me know anything I’ve missed in the comments.

As always, your support on social media helps me massively. A like, comment, share or tagging someone else who might find this post useful helps other parents find this information so they too can enjoy all the amazing things we have going on here in Cardiff and surrounding areas.

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Historical-themed events

Civil War Comes to Wales

Margam Country Park, Port Talbot

Sunday 27 and Bank Holiday 28 August

From £10.50 children, £12.50 adults, £40 family (early bird prices until 13 August)

The drums echo through the valley as the Parliament army marches to war against King Charles I’s Royalist supporters. Visit the interactive living history camp to immerse yourself in 17th Century life. Meet the soldiers of the Royalist and Parliament armies and see up close the weapons, clothing and equipment used in ages past. Watch as the two sides come head-to-head in a spectacular 17th Century battle display – which army will you be cheering on from the side lines?

The Greatest Knight

Tintern Abbey

Saturday 26-Bank Holiday Monday 28 August, 11am-4pm

Event included in usual admission, adults £8.70, children £6.10, under 5s free, family (2+3) £28.20, or free for Cadw members

To celebrate the life of one of Tintern Abbey’s greatest patrons, Tintern Abbey will be welcoming William Marshal and his wife, Isabel, for the 801st anniversary of her death. Living history, medieval re-enactment, music and horse displays will transport the abbey back to its earliest days, to honour the life of Earl Marshal and his influential spouse – as the Greatest Knight returns.

Scavenger Hunt

Castell Coch

Saturday 26-Bank Holiday 28 August, 11am-3pm

Event included in usual admission, adults £8.70, children £6.10, under 5s free, family (2+3) £28.20, or free for Cadw members

The scavenger hunt will take you on a quest around the inside and outside of Castell Coch, discovering new things along the way. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Raglan Castle Odyssey – Living History through the Ages

Raglan Castle

Sunday 27-Bank Holiday Monday 28 August, 11am-4pm

Event included in usual admission, adults £8.70, children £6.10, under 5s free, family (2+3) £28.20, or free for Cadw members

A multi-historical period weekend of living history, tours, displays and fun. See living history groups from many eras go about their daily lives. Experience re-enactments and displays, wander their camps, and immerse yourself in times past.  

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Medieval Harvest Festival 

Fonmon Castle, Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan 

Saturday 26-Monday 28 August 

Immerse yourself in a world of knights and peasants as Fonmon celebrate the bountiful harvest season. Take on the Sheriff of Fonmon’s challenges, plus have a go at milking goats and grinding corn, medieval style. Plus all the other Fonmon attractions including the Jurassic Wales dinosaur trail and the enchanting Story Trail. 

Farmparks

Summer activities

The Meadows Farm Village Retreat, Cardiff

Saturday 22 July-Sunday 2 September

£9.95 per person aged 3+,

A day of fun pack activities for everyone to enjoy from little kids to big kids we have covered it all – petting stations, rabbit village, chicken garden, farm animal stroll, foam party, summer treasure hunt, meet the mascots, photo wall, plus over 300 animals on site. Additional add-on experiences include reptile encounters, alpaca feeding and cuddles, wallaby walkthrough, goat walking and lorikeet kingdom, plus crafrs and biscuit decorating (£2 per person), roller skating (£4.50pp), bouncy castle (£2.50pp) tattoos (£1-£2.50pp). See the Facebook page for latest news on summer events.

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Summer Festival

Cantref Adventure Farm, Brecon

Big Water Fight plus Slip and Slide

Saturday 26-Thursday 31 August

£11.50-£14.75 per person 93cm and over, under 93 cm£6-£8.50, non-walking babies free

Big Water Fight plus Slip and Slide and a daily end-of-day foam party, maize maize and sunflower patch opening approximately 1 August, petting farm, animals, lots of indoor and outdoor play and more.

Outdoor attractions

Summer holiday events

Celtic Manor Resort, Newport

A wide range of adventurous activities for families. Must be booked online in advance. Age and height restrictions apply. Full details on website.

Forest Nets – £16.50 per person (age 3+)

Adventure Golf – from £9 per person

Low Ropes – £14 per person (minimum height 1.2m)

High ropes – £24 per person (minimum height 1.4m)

Laser Combat – £16.50 per person (age 6+)

All Bounced Out – £16.50 per person (6-15 years)

Archery – £16.50 per person (6+years)

Laser Clay – £10 (age 8+)

Archery Tots – £8 per person (3-6 years)

Craft activities include Ted’s New Threads and Summer Crafts, £10 per child.

Coed Lan High Ropes

St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

Saturday 22 July-Sunday 2 September (plus weekends for the rest of September)

£15 per person

Experience an exciting high ropes course perched in the beech trees at St Fagans National Museum of History. Climb, swing, balance and wobble your way through the trees, and see the sights of St Fagans from above, before zipping back down to earth. Tackle CoedLan’s 18 different obstacles, including a balance beam, zig zag bridge, cargo nets and a zip wire.

Aquapark

Cardiff Bay

Daily until 3 September, weekends only until 25 September

From £25 per hour

The inflatable waterpark is back with obstacles to climb up, jump off and splash around. Minimum age 8+, minimum height 1.2m. Participants must be able to swim 25m unaided. Children 8-16 must be supervised. Online booking is essential.

Family swim sessions

Lido Ponty, Pontypridd

Free for children under 16, adults £3. Activity passes £2.50 per person

The National Lido of Wales features three pools – a main pool, an activity pool and a splash pool. For just £2.50 per person, visitors can also enjoy everything from fun inflatables to  Aqua Peddlerz and Water Walker. For smaller visitors, the splash pool is complete with an umbrella water fountain that your little ones will love. They can bring their buckets and watering cans and play in the warm water in this safe and happy environment. Sessions do sell out in advance, so there will be limited availability.

Sessions are sold out but keep an eye on local Facebook groups for people re-selling tickets they can’t use

Summer trail and adventure

Mountain View Ranch

Saturday 22 July-Sunday 3 September

£8.50 per person aged 2+

Join the Ranch family adventure trail, including the famous Gruffalo trail.Explore and discover all these and much, much more; two jumping pillows, guinea pigs, pygmy goats, ponies, straw bale obstacle course, soft archery, double zip wire, fairy forest, roly poly hill, tree houses, The Vomit Comet, The Big Big Swing, Hobbit Hill, and of course The Gruffalo. Tickets must be booked in advance; various time slots available.

Summer of Play

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturday 22 July-Sunday 3 September, 10.30am-4.30pm

£11 adults, £5.50 children, free for National Trust members

Fun, active, playful experiences for families. Sport equipment to borrow from VR, plus games in the gardens, every Thursday and Saturday throughout the school holidays with additional games available.

Summer of Play

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Saturday 22 July-Sunday 3 September

£11 adults, £5.50 children, free for National Trust members

Dyffryn Gardens will be transformed into a garden of music. Children will be able to explore musical sound outdoors; playing unusual percussion instruments and musical games as well as dressing-up and staring in their own musical in the Theatre Garden. There will also be fun family games and designated quiet areas where you can simply listen to the music of nature.

Dinosaurs in the Park

Bute Park, Cardiff

Thursday 17 August-Sunday 3 September

£9.59 per person 3+, under 3s free, family of 4 £36.21

Journey back in time to the prehistoric, meeting a different life-sized dinosaur at each twist and turn along the Bute Park dinosaur trail. Help the palaeontologist find his tools and solve puzzles along the way. Visit the Dinosaur Dentist and even brush a T Rex’s teeth. The Dino Trail winds its way past  40 life-szed, realistic animatronic dinosaurs from the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous periods. They move their heads, jaws, and claws and hiss, snarl, and growl, to provide an immersive experience. Meet well known favourites such as Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Velociraptor as well as a Dilophosaurus, Kentrosaurus and Hyparosaurus, and the huge, hungry T-Rex.

See our Instagram Reel for more information. (AD-review tickets provided)

Miniature Railway

Heath Park, Cardiff

Sunday 27 and Bank Holiday Monday 28 August, 1pm to 5pm

£2.50 entry plus £2.50 per ride, free entry and free rides for children 3 and under

Cardiff Model Engineering Society opens its doors to the public with miniature train rides – steam, diesel and electric – plus tram rides. 

(Advance notice: also running Sunday 17 September and Sunday 15 October, 1pm-5pm)

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Pick Your Own Strawberries 

Vale Pick Your Own, near Cowbridge 

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August

Pay for the fruit that you pick. Choose your own strawberries, weigh and pay. Check website on the day )and for future dates) as fluctuating crop may affect opening hours. 

Pick Your Own Dahlias

Forage Farm, Vale of Glamorgan 

Daily until 1 October, 10am-4pm

£6 per car, £1 per stem 

Enjoy the beauty of these perfectly formed flowers with over 120 varieties for picking. A flower arch will frame the scene with extensive landscapes offering ample photo opportunities to capture memories to treasure with family and friends. Take home a stunning bunch of flowers, dahlias will cost £1.00 per stem (in addition to ticket fee) with greenery also available to make a  bouquet. Bunches will be hand-tied with twine or you can opt for gift wrap and ribbon (at an additional cost).

Family fun and adventure

Superhero Summer

The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff

FREE Super Summer Hero Quest

From 17 July

A free augmented reality trail. Track down six unique artifacts using the floor markers in the centre, scan using the app, and some of your favourite heroes – scale them up or down on your screen to bring them into your world. Also take a look at the superhero mirror wall and see yourself transform into a superhero.

FREE Superhero Takeover

Bank Holiday Monday 28 August

A day of free superhero-tastic fun. Get up close to life-size superhero statues, meet Iron Man and Spiderman tributes, view rare edition comics, and a chance to win prizes.

Ocean Extravaganza / Legend of the Enchanted Reef / Is Water Wet?

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 22 July-Sunday 2 September

Adults £10.45, children £10, 2 and under free, family (2+3) £40.90

Ocean Extravaganza is a 30 minute live science show, priced at £2 per person in addition to usual entry and suitable for ages 5+.

Discover more about the way our seas are changing and what we can do to help protect the underwater environment for future generations. Test your knowledge of the ocean with a fishy facts quiz, and see whether you might be destined to become an oceanographer yourself. You’ll even discover an explosive way that water can be made.

Legend of the Enchanted Reef is a 30 minute Planetarium show, priced at £2 per person in addition to usual entry and suitable for ages 5+.

When their home reef is destroyed by a fishing trawler, three fish set out on a quest across the polluted ocean to find the “Enchanted Reef” — a mythical underwater heaven free from humans. Legend of the Enchanted Reef is filled with humour and imagination that the whole family will enjoy. The film combines entertainment and education with an important message about the impact of ocean pollution.

Is Water Wet? is a 45-minute lab workshop, with a minimum age requirement of 7, and priced at £2 per person in addition to usual entry. Explore the wonderful world of water in this hands-on workshops and learn all about pH levels, water cycles, the positive effects of phytoplankton and more!

Free Talking City

Across Cardiff city centre

A free, interactive family-friendly walking tour of Cardiff offering an exciting way to explore the Welsh capital while learning about its remarkable past. The best place to start is outside Cardiff Castle, where you can scan the QR code to begin the trail around some of the city’s most famous landmarks. There’s a one hour, eight stop tour suitable for ages 6-11 and a two-hour, 14-stop tour for ages 12+.

See our Instagram Reel for more information (paid partnership).

Bank Holiday fun

Royal Mint Experience, Llantrisant

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August

As well as the guided tour where you’ll get to see how coins for the UK and around the world are made, look out for these special events across the summer.

Alongside the usual tour, challenge your family on an inflatable assault course and for the smaller family members, enjoy a spin on the Chair-o-plane. Plus over 40 stalls of locally produced gifts, cakes and hand crafted items, music and free face painting for all. Free ride ticket with every children’s tour booked; under 5s go free on the tour but will need to purchase a ride voucher at guest services.

FREE Bee the Change family craft workshops

St David’s Cardiff

Saturday 26, Sunday 27 and Bank Holiday Monday 28August

 A medley of activities from the three previous weekends – Summer Seeds, Bee Kind to Bugs and Protect Pollinators. 

Get crafty and help save the bees with free craft workshops at St David’s Cardiff. 

Across each weekend in August, learn about the importance of bees and bugs and take part in a variety of activities from plant pot painting, planting wildflowers, making bug hotels and bee feeders. While you’re there, spot the bee and floral decorations and share a picture using the hashtag #beethechange to make your bee-saving pledge.

Cardiff Bay Family Fun Park

Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 22 July-Tuesday 29 August, 11am-8pm

A range of funfair attractions including the dodgems, waltzer and funhouse plus sweet and savoury food vendors.

FREE Arts and crafts events

IKEA Cardiff

Saturday 22 July-Sunday 3 September, 10am-5pm

A variety of messy arts and crafts, games and competitions, all for free. See in store for details.

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The Big Banquet

Caldicot Castle

Friday 25-Bank Holiday Monday 28 August

Advance tickets £5 for adults, children free

A selection of street food vendors will be serving up an array of food options, alongside a festival feel including side shows, fire spinners, a free circus school, high wire and more.  

FREE Butetown Carnival

Butetown, Cardiff

Sunday 27 and Bank Holiday Monday 28 August

An exhilarating carnival parade will kick start the weekend of celebrations, starting from Loudoun Square at 12pm on Sunday, winding along Bute Street before reaching the vibrant carnival area by the Senedd. Over two days, there’s an array of music and dance performances, all free to watch.

Royal Mint, Llantrisant  

Bank Holiday fun

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August

Alongside the usual tour, challenge your family on an inflatable assault course and for the smaller family members, enjoy a spin on the Chair-o-plane. Plus over 40 stalls of locally produced gifts, cakes and hand crafted items, music and free face painting for all. Free ride ticket with every children’s tour booked; under 5s go free on the tour but will need to purchase a ride voucher at guest services.

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