38 family-friendly festivals and fun days in and around Cardiff for summer 2017

Cardiff

I love the Cardiff Mums Facebook group – it’s such a great resource if you have any questions on local parenting issues, schools, activities, clubs etc, as well as being a buy and sell site for kid-related items.

Earlier this week, one of the members said her nine-year-old daughter enjoyed Tafwyl, the Welsh language festival held last weekend, so much that she wanted to spend the summer at festivals and asked for recommendations of free/cheap local events.

The thread was popular among members of the group, so I thought I’d build on their suggestions and put together a list of local family-friendly festivals happening over the summer.

My difficulty with this post was determining what constitutes a “festival” – we’re not talking Glastonbury here – so I have taken the term as broadly as possible to include fun days, one-off special events, and other mostly outdoor events, that appeal to families, and which include different elements of entertainment, food, and other activities. There’s certainly loads going on!

I’ve stated whether entry is free or paid for, but the nature of these events means they will include activities at an additional cost. A lot of the free events are charity fundraisers so donations are welcome. All events are within about an hour of Cardiff. All events are subject to change and cancellation so book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Do let me know if I have missed anything in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy

I’m also currently working on my usual school holiday events guides…. so do watch this space!

For family theatre performances in and around Cardiff, see this post. Or you can read 67 free days out in South Wales here,

 

JULY

Penarth Lit Fest

Venues across Penarth

Friday 7th-Monday 10th July, 10am-4pm

Most events are aimed at adults, but sessions for book-loving kids include The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight, storytelling and activities for under 5s with author Helen Docherty (Saturday, 10.30am, Penarth Library, £3 per child); Fables from the Stables, an interactive session for 5-9 year olds with Gavin Puckett (Saturday, 4pm, All Saints Lesser Hall, £3 per child). Book in advance.

 

FREE ENTRY Wellfield Road Summer Fête

St Andrew’s United Reformed Church

Saturday 8th July, 11am-4pm

Games, activities, arts and crafts stalls, a BBC, cake stalls, homemade lemondae and other refreshments. The fete is sponsored by Joe’s Ice Cream and is raising fund for Ty Hafan children’s hospice.

 

FREE ENTRY Music in the Park

Belle Vue Park, Penarth

Sunday 9th July, 2pm-7pm

Now in its 9th year, this family-friendly music festival features jazz, rock’n’roll, hits from the 1960s and 1970s, country and folk, swing and dive, plus street food, crafts and activities for children.

 

FREE ENTRY Parti Ponty

Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypidd

Saturday 15th July, 11am-7pm

A celebration of Welsh language and culture, events include live music, including headliner Amy Wadge, Grammy-winning local musician who co-wrote Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud; performances from local schools, sports sessions, children’s entertainment, sports sessions, a science area, food stalls plus more. Organised by Menter Iaith RCT

 

Friends Fest

Bute Park, Cardiff

Friday 21st-Sunday 30th July, 11am-8pm

Tickets £26, under 5s free

One for fans of 90s sitcom Friends. Visit the apartments of Joey and Chandler, and Monica and Rachel, recreate the opening titles, and grab a coffee in Central Perk, plus lots more. You’ll need to book timed tickets for the set tour, but there’s plenty to see on the site as well, including food and drink plus merchandise stall.

 

FREE ENTRY Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival

Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay

Friday 14th-Sunday 16th July 14, 12pm-10pm Friday and Saturday, 12pm-7pm Sunday

Wales’ biggest food festival brings together over 100 local, national and international food and drink producers showcasing their goods. There’s a producers’ fayre, street food piazza, farmers’ market, craft fayre, plus live music.

 

FREE ENTRY On The Fringe Craftfolk Market

Landsea Square, Cardiff Bay

Friday 14th-Sunday 16th July

A showcase of handmade products from artists and crafts people, as well as demonstration stalls and children’s workshops.

 

FREE ENTRY Penarth Carnival Weekender

Locations across Penarth

Friday 14th July, 6pm-10.20pm, on the Esplanade

Saturday 15th July, 11am-5pm (cliff top, 11am-12pm, then Esplanade and Kymin until 5pm)

Live music from Bethan Elfyn and Into The Ark (The Voice finalists 2017) plus a firework display and food and drink stalls on the Friday night. Saturday sees a display from the RAF Falcons, skate workshops, live entertainment, circus shows, stalls, petting zoo, story sessions and lots more.

 

Vintage For Victory

The Library Gardens, Whitchurch Village, Cardiff

Saturday 15th-Sunday 16th July, 10am-9pm

Adults from £15, 12-18 year olds from £10, children under 12 free; discount for weekend tickets

Celebrating all that was great from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Vintage for Victory features vintage music, performers, dancing, food, fashion and fun, and is an opportunity to dress up in timeless style amongst a crowd of people doing the same. 10% of ticket sales goes to Cancer Research Wales,

 

FREE ENTRY Coney Beach Family Music Festival

Coney Beach, Porthcawl

Friday 15th July, 2pm-9pm

Live music, food and drink stalls and fairground rides at the famous seaside resort hosts this family-friendly event.

 

FREE ENTRY Risca Summer Festival

Risca Park, Risca Town Centre

Saturday 15th July, 12pm

Family-friendly entertainment including Rockwood dog display, Dangerous Steve, Mighty Smith, a Mini Shetland pony display, funfair rides, entertainers, and food and craft stalls.

 

FREE ENTRY Summer Festival and Fun Dog Show

Llys Nini Animal Centre, Penllergaer, Swansea

Sunday 16th July

Parking £3

A fun dog show, a fun fair, live band, arts and crafts and more in aid of the animal centre.

 

FREE ENTRY Grand Duck Race and Fete

Knap Gardens and Lake Barry

Saturday 22nd July, 11am-4pm

A traditional village fete feel with games and activities for all ages and refreshments available. Plus the Rotary Club’s Grand Duck Race with hears from 11am and the grand finale at 3pm.

 

FREE ENTRY Barry Island Weekenders: Isle of Fire

Barry Island Gardens

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July, 9pm-10.30pm

The magical award winning fire garden returns with a flaming stage, live music from New Orleans band Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, fire dance shows from Flame Oz, a lantern parade and the viking ship complete with pirates.

 

FREE The Big Splash Festival

Newport

Saturday 22nd-Sunday 23rd July,

The family street theatre festival sees performances across the city, from the quietly intriguing to outlandish and bonkers.

 

FREE Porthcawl Carnival

Porthcawl Rugby Club

Saturday 22nd July, 2pm-8pm

A procession of floats with the theme of musicals as Porthcawl hosts its annual carnival.

 

FREE ENTRY The Friendship Tree Festival

The Knap Lake and Gardens, Barry

Sunday, July 23, 12pm-6pm

Music art and dance at the Friendship Tree Festival, raising funds for Art4U.

 

FREE ENTRY Barry Island Weekenders: Street Music Weekender

Barry Island prom

Saturday 29th-Sunday 30th July, 12pm-4pm

Live music on the seafront featuring All That Jazz, The Bucket Band, Wonderbrass, Samba Galez, Bombay Baja, Barracuda and Radio Cheese.

 

FREE ENTRY The Big Cheese Festival

Owain Glyndwr Playing Fields, Crescent Road, Caerphilly

Friday 28th-Sunday 30th July

Celebrating its 20th year, the three-day The Big Cheese Festival features street entertainment, re-enactment displays, musical entertainment, educational activities, over 60 food producers, craft stalls, animal marquees, a traditional funfair a firework display (Friday 10pm) and, in fitting with the name, a cheese market and The Great Cheese Race.

 

Miners’ Fortnight

Rhondda Heritage Park, Pontypridd

Saturday 29th-Sunday 30th July, 10am-4.30pm

Adults £4, children, £2

Rhondda Heritage Park celebrates Miners’ Fortnight, the mining community’s annual summer family holidays to Porthcawl and Barry. Enjoy children’s rides, craft stalls, entertainment, relax in a deck chair while the children build sandcastles plus more.

 

AUGUST

 

FREE ENTRY German Village and Bierfest

Museum Park, Swansea

Not just about the beer… there’s plenty for families too in the FunTime area, with traditional German activities. Entry to the festival is free, although you will need to buy tickets for the Bavaviran FestTent as numbers are limited.

 

Tŷ Hafan Family Fun Day

Tŷ Hafan, Hayes Road, Sully

Saturday 5th August, 12pm-5pm

£2 per person; under 5s free

Be the first to see a selection of Snowdogs before they go on tour around Cardiff and the Vale. Other attractions include a fun fair, craft stalls, food stalls, live music, plus hospice tours to see the important work the care team do in supporting life-limited children and their families. Limited tickets available on the day; advance booking recommended.

 

FREE ENTRY Barry Island Weekenders: Circus Weekender

Barry Island

Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th August, 11am-5pm

Airtime Circus will be holding trapeze, hoolahoops and juggling workshops from 11am to 2pm each day with an exciting 30 minute circus show at 4pm featuring dance and physical theatre. Plus the Red Arrows will display over Barry Island on Sunday 6th August, time to be confirmed.

 

FREE ENTRY Big Welsh Bite

Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd

Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th August, 11am-5pm

A feast of locally produced food, plus family-friendly entertainment and cookery demonstrations.

 

King’s Day

Llancaich Fawr Manor

Sunday 6th August, 10am

Adults £8.50, children/concessions £6.95, family (2+3) £25

Interactive living history, encampment, military displays and falconry as King Charles and his troops visit the Manor.

 

Vale of Glamorgan Show

Fonmon Castle Park

Wednesday 9th August

Advance tickets adults £10, children £5, family (2+2) £25

On the gate adults £12, children £5, family (2+2) £30

Celebrating the Vale’s agricultural produce, other attractions include horse shows, dog shows, vegetable growing competitions, a chance to meet some of the animals, fairground rides, food and produce stalls plus more.

 

Brecon Jazz Festival

Brecon

Friday 11th-Sunday 13th August

Day tickets, Friday £28, Saturday £32, Sunday £35, weekend £95

A celebration of all things jazz in the picturesque town of Brecon.

 

Burning Lantern Festival

St Fagans National Museum of History

Saturday 12th August, 4pm-11pm

£45/£22.50, under 5s free but still require a ticket

Live music from Tom Odell, The Shires and more on the main stage, plus street food and craft ales. For families, there’s entertainment and workshops including circus skills, pony rides, arts and crafts and a vintage fun fair.

 

FREE ENTRY Barry Island Weekenders: Barry Breakout Weekender

Barry Island

Saturday 12th-Sunday 13th August, 11am-7pm

This two day hip hop festival will see dancers, DJs, MCs and graffiti writers come together to showcase and battle at the highest standard. Plus live music and entertainment across both days.

 

FREE ENTRY Aberafan Beach Festival

Aberafan Beach, Port Talbot

Saturday 12th August, 11am-5pm

A family-friendly fun day with craft stalls, a food court, fairground rides, zorbing balls, a bouncy castle and a Punch and Judy show, vintage cars, live entertainment, plus more.

 

(SOLD OUT) Greenman Festival

Brecon Beacons

Thursday 17th-Sunday 20th August

PJ Harvey and Ryan Adams headline the independent music and arts festival in the beautiful Brecon Beacons. Families will love the Little Folk area, which has arts and crafts, circus skills, storytelling, and plenty of other activities for children.

The event is sold out but I’m including it in case you want to bookmark it for next year.

 

Grand Medieval Mêlée

Cardiff Castle

Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th August

Adults £6, seniors £5, children £4

Castle key holders Adults £4, seniors £3, children £2

Small additional charge for some activities.

(Does not include entry to Castle Apartments, Keep, Firing Line or an Audio Guide.)

A celebration of medieval life, with re-enactment of a medieval encampment, music, games, displays, archery, falconry demonstrations and noble knights.

 

FREE ENTRY Barry Island Weekenders: Storytelling Weekender

Barry Island prom

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August, 12pm-4pm

A celebration of storytelling, with stories being told inside an 18m giant inflatable whale, a miniature puppet show, and legends and tales of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

FREE ENTRY Cardiff Harbour Festival / Extreme Sailing Series Act 6

Cardiff Bay

Friday 25th August-Bank Holiday Monday 28th August

The Extreme Sailing Series returns to Cardiff Bay for the 6th consecutive year, with world class sailors and breath-taking racing, as well as shoreside family entertainment.

 

FREE ENTRY On The Fringe Craftfolk Market

Landsea Square, Cardiff Bay

Friday 25th-Monday 28th August

A showcase of handmade products from artists and crafts people, as well as demonstration stalls and children’s workshops.

 

Pride Cymru

City Hall Lawns, Cardiff

Saturday 26th-Bank Holiday Monday 28th August

Tickets from £2, hospitality experience £20

Last year’s 2016 Pride was such a success that this year’s event is even bigger and better, taking place over three days and reviving Cardiff’s Big Weekend, last held in 2011. City Hall Lawn and the Civic Centre will be a carnival of colour, with funfair rides, amusements and musical entertainment. The Pride Cymru parade (free) will take place across the city on the Saturday – last year’s had over 7,000 participants and stretched over a mile long through the streets.

 

Hub Festival

Womanby Street, Cardiff

Friday 25th-Sunday 27th August

Weekend tickets £25, children 12-17 £10, under 12s free.

Music venues and bars including Clwb Ifor Bach, City Arms and Bootleggers present a weekend of live music, comedy, spoken word/poetry, comedy, and performance art showing the best Cardiff has to offer in all genres. Under 18s are allowed into venues until 9pm.

 

FREE ENTRY Newton Fest

Newton Green, Beach Road, Portthcawl

Saturday 26th August, 10.30am-10pm

Porthcawl’s most popular outdoor family festival features 11½ hours of amazing talent in beautiful surroundings. Free admission, but we do expect everyone to donate generously to our chosen charities. Great music, comic compere,friendly happy people, lots of stalls, bouncy castle and face-painting – something for everyone, but no unaccompanied under-18’s sorry. Drink sensibly and pace yourselves peeps – it’s a long day.

 

FREE ENTRY Barry Island Weekenders: Cinema by the Sea

Barry Island

Saturday, August 26 – Sunday, August 27, from 8.30pm

Open air cinema featuring Jurassic Park and Beauty and the Beast (the 2017 version).

 

Family Fun Day; Dragons – Myths & Legends

Margam Park

Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August, 10am-5pm

Adults £7, children £5, family 2+2 £23. Free parking.

Family-friendly shows and entertainment throughout the day, all with a dragon theme. See the dragons, discover whether they hatch from eggs, and what they are called on the dragons’ quest.

 

SEPTEMBER

Cardiff Book Festival

Across Cardiff

Saturday 23rd-Sunday 24th September

Events for children include Eloise Williams talking about Gaslight, a gothic mystery for children and young adults, set in Cardiff (Saturday, 11am, £5/£3 concessions) and BBC Wales TV presenter, her husband Rhodri and son Gabriel reading from her children’s picture book Boo-a-Bog in the Park (Sunday, 11am, £5/£3), royalties from which go to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity.

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