35 family-friendly events in and around Cardiff for September 2016


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The schools are back, pre-school classes are starting again, and life is getting back to normal after the summer. As always, there’s plenty of family-friendly events taking place in Cardiff and the surrounding areas.

The big event this month is City of the Unexpected, which will see celebrations across Cardiff marking the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl, on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September. More detailed information below.

Lots of the regular toddler and pre-school days are back running again, including Techniquest, Cardiff Story, Wales Millennium Centre, National Museum Cardiff and Greemeadow Farm. Again, all the details are below.

September also sees significant buildings across Wales giving free entry for Open Doors. There’s too many events to list here, but you can find a full list on the Cadw website.

I hope you find something to inspire you and your little ones! And please spread the word to other local parents you know. I’m always so grateful to people who like, comment or share any of these events postings – because Facebook does its best to hide me from people’s timelines and without regular interaction, I’ll disappear from your news feed!

Please remember all events are subject to change so check with the organisers to avoid disappointment.

Follow the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page for more ideas of local family-friendly activities, visit the Cardiff section of Cardiff Mummy Says, follow Cardiff Mummy Says on Instagram or @cardiffmummy on Twitter

September events collage 2


Family Fun Walk

Cardiff Bay Barrage

Sunday 18th September, 9.30am-2pm

Support Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales with a family-friendly walk of either 3K or 10K across Cardiff Bay barrage. The day will begin with a Zumba warm-up. Ffancy dress is optional, and the route suitable for buggies, wheelchairs and dogs. £5 registration per person includes a t-shirt and bottle of water. Minimum sponsorship, £35.


Wobbles and Wheelies

Ynysmaerdy Community Centre

Sunday 18th September, 10am-1pm

Little ones (and parents, if they wish!) can cycle between one and five miles for 2 Wish Upon A Star, which supports bereaved parents. The cycle path is safe, away from traffic and will be fully marshalled. The charity’s elephant mascot, Gorgeous George, will be attending, and there’s also a bouncy castle, lucky dip, cakes and refreshments. Registration costs £5 or £10 to include a t-shirt.

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Parc Play, Cardiff

Friday 30th September, 10am-2pm


Regular toddler/family days

FREE Family Saturdays

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Saturdays, 11am-4pm

Drop in to enjoy some family-friendly arts and crafts in Wales Millennium Centre’s foyer, with a different theme every week. September and October see Roald Dahl-themed events each weekend.


FREE Toddler Time

National Museum Cardiff

Every Friday during term-time, 1.30pm-4pm

The museum welcomes pre-schoolers every Friday afternoon, with special boxes of toys, games and books hidden in different galleries to help parents and children explore the museum through play.


FREE Clore Explorers

National Museum Cardiff

Saturdays and Sundays during term time, 2pm

Free workshops give families the chance to find out more about objects from the museum and take part in a crafty activity.


Baby and Toddler Tuesdays

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Every Tuesday

Events and workshops for the pre-school crowd, including singing, crafts and guest sessions from local pre-school classes. Usual entrance fees apply, but all workshops are free on a first-come, first-served basis.


FREE Dinky Dragons

Cardiff Story Museum, The Hayes, Cardiff

Friday 9th September, 10am-3pm

The Cardiff Story is a fascinating hands-on exhibition exploring the history of Cardiff. You can read our review here. The monthly Dinky Dragons free family days are great fun, taking place on the second Friday of each month, between 10am and 3pm. As well as the usual exhibits and dressing up clothes, there will be toys to play with, detective trails, crafts, messy play and rhyme time and story time at 11am and 1pm.


FREE Story and Rhyme Time in Welsh for Babies

Big Pit National Coal Museum

Thursdays during term time,10am-11.30am

Storytelling and singing for parents and babies, through the medium of Welsh, as well as soft play equipment for youngsters. Suitable for 0-4 years. In partnership with Menter Iaith Blaenau Gwent.


Ongoing events

The Wondercrump World Of Roald Dahl

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Friday 16th August to 14th January 2017


A magical and interactive journey, learning about Roald Dahl’s extraordinary life and the surprising inspiration for his most famous characters and stories. The guided tour features interactive installations, chance to test your own powers of creativity as well as unique items from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre archives.

Ages 7+; the guided group experience lasts around one hour; maximum of three children per adult.

Read our review here.


FREE Wriggle – The Wonderful World of Worms

National Museum Cardiff

Until September 2017

A fascinating look into the weird and wonderful world of worms, this has plenty of interactive exhibits, perfect for children. Read our review here. Please note the museum is not open on Mondays.


Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology

National Museum Cardiff

Until Sunday 30th October 2016

Adults £7, concessions £5, 16s and under free – book online beforehand

An Egyptian mummy, Roman treasures, a crystal skull from the film India Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, plus human skulls from Viking-age burials on Anglesey are among key exhibits in this celebration of archaeological discoveries. The museum is not open on Mondays. Read our review here.


FREE Quentin Blake: Inside Stories

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 16th July-Sunday 20th November 2016

The famous illustrator of children’s books gives an insight into his creative process, with sketches, drafts and finished pictures of some of his most famous characters. Read our review here.


Other events

Animal Weekend

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September

The hands-on science centre welcomes a host of animals, wildlife, reptiles and birds for its annual Animal Weekend. Visitors can hold an owl, learn how to fish, meet reptiles, plus lots more. Usual entrance fees apply.


FREE Gobblefunk

Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 10th-Sunday 25th September

10 made up words dotted around Mermaid Quay, in celebration of the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth. You can also have a go at making up your own words. There will also be Roald Dahl colouring and a quiz for children each weekend.

The activities are free, although donations for some of Roald Dahl’s community outreach programmes are appreciated.


FREE Food Festival

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September 2016, 10am-5pm

More than 80 food, drink and craft stalls showcase the best Welsh and international produce, with family-friendly activities during the festival include circus workshops, model cows to milk, and historic cooking displays. Across the museum, there’s also foraging, fly fishing, beekeeping and brewing, with flavours from the Iron Age to 1950s post-war Wales.


Blaenavon Heritage Community Concert

Blaenavon Ironworks

Saturday 10th September, 6.30-pm-8.30pm

Blaenavon Town Band, Male Voice Choir, Ladies Choir, Welsh Dancers and the Pashy Pops singers present an evening of family-friendly entertainment in aid of the Mayor’s charities and Royal British Legion. £3 adults, £5 family. Available from the Ironworks shop.


FREE Open Doors Weekend

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September

Free entry at the National Trust houses and gardens, as part of Cadw’s Open Doors Weekend.


FREE Experience a birthday party at Hamleys

Hamleys, St David’s shopping centre, Cardiff

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, 12-4pm – Tea Party with rag dolls and toy soldiers

Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September, 12-4pm – Pirates and Princess party

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September, 12-4pm – Luvlies party

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October, 12-4pm – Superheroes party

Experience the thrill of a Hamleys birthday party with fun, magic, theatre and party games.

If you book your party by 2nd October, the birthday child will receive a free toy to the value of £75 for parties of 10 children or more.

Expect big queues and get there early!



Miniature Railways and Tramways

Heath Model Railway, Heath Park, Cardiff

Sunday 11th September, 1pm-5pm

Cardiff Model Engineering Society open their doors, meaning the whole family can ride on miniature steam, diesel and electric trains, plus a tram. Entry is £1.50 per person and each ride is £1.50 per person. Under 3s are free.


The Greenmeadow Show

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Sunday 11th September, 10am-5pm

An action packed family fun day, including old fashioned races (egg and spoon, three-legged etc), duck agility and pig racing, plus a show from Airborne, involving thrilling stunts on bikes and a tightrope.


Toddler Day – When I Grow Up

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Friday 16th September, 9.30am-4.30pm

When I Grow Up is the theme this month as the famous hands-on science centre opens its doors to the pre-schoolers of Cardiff and beyond. As well as more than 100 exhibits, you can expect themed drawing, colouring and crafts, as well as story time and a disco. Under 4s are free, with accompanying adults paying £5.50 entry. Read our review of a previous toddler day here.


FREE Beachwatch – The Great British Beach Clean

Ogmore Beach

Saturday 17th September, 11.30am-3.30pm

11.30pm-1pm – Biologists and geologists from National Museum Wales will be leading free science and art beach activities for families, including finding rockpools and fossils. Must be pre-booked.

2pm-3.30pm – beach clean and survey. Equipment provided. No need to book.

Parking at the beach costs around £5 for the day.


FREE City of the Unexpected

Various locations across Cardiff

Saturday 17th September, 1pm-9.30pm

Look out for unexpected happenings on the streets and buildings of Cardiff throughout the city…but don’t be fooled, not everything is what it seems! The locations will be revealed during the day.

(There are also readings from Roald Dahl’s books taking part in strange and unusual venues across the city. Tickets cost £10 but are currently sold out.)


FREE The Great Pyjama Picnic – City of the Unexpected

Coopers Field, Bute Park

Sunday 18th September, 2pm-5pm

Put on your PJs, bring a picnic, and enjoy a Roald Dahl themed afternoon of music, food and stories. Beca Lyne-Pirkis of Great British Bake Off fame will be judging a picnics competition, with four categories – Most Dahlian Picnic, Most Revolting Picnic, Most Beautiful Picnic and Most Unexpected Picnic.


FREE Telescope Workshop

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 24th September, 10am-4pm

Advice on using a telescope, plus a prize trail to explore the museum’s display of space rocks. In partnership with Cardff Astronomical Society.


The Big Welsh Car Show

Margam Park, Port Talbot

Sunday 18th September, 11am

Classic cars, military vehicles, buses and more, feature in The Big Wlsh Car Show, raising money for the charity Blood Wise. Other highloghts include the Rockwood Dog Display Team, a funfair for the children, craft stalls and entertainers, plus show your strength in the Big Welsh Car Show Car Pull. Adults £10, seniors £7. Children under 16 free with a paying adult.


Boudicca – The Warrior Queen

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September

St Fagan’s National History Museum

12pm (Welsh language), 1.30pm, 3pm

£5 per person

Was Boudicca a guardian of her people or a warmongering woman with a taste for Roman blood? With the Romans having invaded most of Wales and England, Boudicca insisted on fighting for her cause, and for the freedom of her people. But what difference did the red-haired leader make in the end? The family-friendly show takes place in Bryn Eryr, the Iron Age roundhouse.


Family Fun Fest

Hollywood Bowl, The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September

As well as all the usual fun of bowling, families can enjoy extra inclusive treats including face painting, glow bowling, balloons and treasure hunts. Usual bowling charges



FREE Newport Family Cycling Festival

Newport Wetlands and Tredegar House

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September

Newport Wetlands, Tredegar House and Sustrans present a weekend for young cyclists and their families.

The Saturday (3pm-5pm) sees the chance to have your bike transported from Tredegar House to Newport Wetlands for a guided family ride and a pond dipping session.

Sunday (11am-4pm) sees a 20 mile round trip from Tredegar House to Newport Wetlands, via the Newport Transporter bridge. Participants must be a minimum of 12 years of age.



Roald Dahl Party

Bedwellty House, Newport

Sunday 25th September, 2pm-5pm

An afternoon of whizzpopping fun to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl, with a children’s afternoon tea, storytelling, and craft activities inspired by some of the author’s most famous characters.


Why The Whales Came

Sherman Cymru

Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th September

Age 7+. £9 a ticket.

Michael Morpugo’s enchanting tale is brought to life by award-winning performer and storyteller Danyah Miller. Despite being warned to stay away by their parents, Gracie and Daniel begin to unravel the mysterious Birdman’s secrets, the villages’ fears and superstitions and learn why the whales came to the island.


FREE Giant Paper Sculptures

Lindbury Gallery, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Friday 30th September-Friday 28th October

Jaw-dropping creations from the college’s theatre designers in this annual exhibition of giant paper sculptures, all made from recycled items.




Family-friendly cinema screenings

Odeon Kids

Odeon Cinema, The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

The 10am weekend and school holiday showings are £2.50 per person. Films to be announced; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.


Movies for Juniors

Cineworld, Mary Ann Street, Cardiff

The 10am weekend and school holiday Movies for Juniors showings are just £1.75 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.


Mini Mornings

Vue Cinema, Millennium Plaza, Cardiff

The 10am weekend and school holiday Movies for Juniors showings are just £1.99 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.


Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Family friendly film screenings of classic films, every weekend and during school holidays. See website for full listings. Tuesday 13th September sees Scratch’n’Sniff Matilda, James and The Giant Peach, and The Witches; Esio Trot and Fantastic Mr Fox on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September; and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on Monday 19th September. Plus Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September.

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