42 family-friendly events in and around Cardiff in January 2018 (plus New Year’s Eve)


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With the schools not back until Monday 8th January I know there are a lot of parents wondering how they are going to fill the next week. Here’s everything I could find for January including a few things happening on New Year’s Eve.

Please note a number of attractions are closed on New Year’s Day so do check head to avoid disappointment.

Let me know anything I have missed in the comments below; on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page; or you can tweet me on @cardiffmummy

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New Year’s Eve Special Events

FREENew Year’s Eve at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

Cardiff Civic Centre

Sunday 31st December 7.30pm-late

Live music, a family fun fair and a spectacular midnight firework display as Cardiff sees in the New Year. Cardiff Bus is operating a free bus service from 8pm-3pm. Rides skating and other attractions incur additional charges.

New Year’s Eve celebration

Holiday Inn Cardiff North

Sunday 31st December 7pm

£33.95 adults; children half price; under 3s free

A family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration including a three-course buffet a resident DJ family games and fun. Includes arrival Bucks Fizz champagne at midnight plus unlimited squash for children.

New Year’s Eve Family Party

Village Hotel Coryton Cardiff

Sunday 31st December 7pm-1am

Adults £50 children £25

A family-friendly celebration including a three-course carvery a DJ playing dance floor fillers and a bar open until 1am.


Cardiff's Winter WonderlandAdmiral Ice Rink at Winter Wonderland

City Hall Lawn, Cardiff

Until Sunday January 7th

Adults £10, children 3-15 £8, family (2+2) £30 (plus booking fee).

The famous ice rink once again has a clear-span roof, meaning the weather won’t dampen your skating plans. Advance online booking is advisable for skating; from adults £10, children 3-15 £8, family (2+2) £30 (plus booking fee). Read our review here.

Ice Skating

Celtic Manor Resort, Newport

Friday 24th November-Sunday 7th January

Adults from £10.50; children 3-12 from £8.50

Glide around the sparkling all-weather undercover ice rink. Prices inclusive of skate hire for 45-minute sessions. Read our review here

FREEMeet the Stormtroopers

Odeon Cinema The Red Dragon Centre Cardiff Bay

Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st December at intervals from 12pm-6pm

In celebration of Star Wars: The Last Jedi the Stormtroopers are in town to meet and greet fans and pose for photos.



The Riverfront, Newport

Until Sunday 7th January

From £6.50 to £20.50

A whole host of colourful characters join Aladdin in his story as he struggles to see that good is rewarded and that bad is punished.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

New Theatre Cardiff

Until Sunday 14th January

£13 to £34

Starring Samantha Womack, Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas, Mike Doyle, Chico, Tam Ryan and Stephanie Webber expect an abundance of comedy and music, sensational dance numbers, fabulous costumes and stunning scenery in the New Theatre’s annual family pantomime. Read our review here.

Snow White New Theatre CardiffAladdin

Swansea Grand

Until Sunday 14th January

Tickets from £12.50

Starring Tony Maudsley of TV show Benidorm as the Genie of the Ring, Swansea’s definitive dame Kevin Johns as Widow Twankey, and fresh from the final of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, Matt Edwards as Wishee Washee, Swansea’s annual panto features plenty of laughs, song and dance, impressive special effects and plenty of audience participation.


Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl

Until Sunday 7th January

Dance routines, slapstick humour and elaborate costumes galore as the Ugly Sisters attempt to stop Cinderella from getting to the ball.

Theatre and performance

Miss Saigon

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Miss Saigon Wales Millennium CentreUntil Saturday 6th January

From £25; age guidance 12+

One of the world’s most famous musicals comes to Cardiff for the festive season. This epic love story tells the tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with an American GI called Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. Read my review here.

The Bear

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre

Sunday 31st December, 10.30am 1.30pm 4.30pm (limited tickets available for 1.30pm performance; other two shows sold out)

Age 3+; £10 per person

Based on Raymond Briggs’ much-loved storybook, The Bear is a heart-warming and humorous wintry tale featuring puppetry, music, storytelling, and fun. A great introduction to theatre for little people. Read our review here.

The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia – Swan Lake

St David’s Hall Cardiff

Saturday 30th December 2pm and 5.30pm; Sunday 31st December 2pm

Tickets from £8.25

Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet is a compelling tale of tragic romance followung Odile, the temptress in black tulle as she seduces the Prince by spinning with captivating precision to the spellbound purity of the swan queen, Odette.

Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf

Richard Burton Theatre, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama


Saturday 20th January 2.30pm and 5.30pm (BSL interpreted performance); Sunday 21st January 11.30am (relaxed performance)

A bold and highly theatrical retelling of the classic fairy tale filled with music, dance and song. Are the wolves really the villains in a world where the woodcutter is destroying the forest? And is Grandma the trophy hunter really sick?

Beauty and The Beast (A Twist In Time)

The Atrium, Cardiff

Thursday 4th-Saturday 6th January

Adults £12; concessions £10

The youngsters of Kinetic Theatre Youth Academy present their take on Beauty and the Beast.

Anton and Erin – Broadway to Hollywood

St David’s Hall Cardiff

Sunday 28th January 3pm


Strictly favourites Anton du Beke and Erin Boag celebrate the golden age of Hollywood with a dazzling programme of ballroom dancing featuring new choreography to classic songs including Mr Bojangles Downtown New York New York and This Nearly Was Mine.

TEN: Stage Door One’s 10 Year Anniversary Showcase

Tythe Barne St Donat’s Arts Centre

Friday 26th January 7pm; Saturday 27th January 2pm and 7pm


Celebrating a decade of the youth theatre with a programme of favourite songs from Broadway and the West End.

The Great Outdoors

Twelve Days of Christmas

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Usual entrance fees apply

From Saturday 18th November to Wednesday 7th January

Find French hens, turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree as the Twelve Days of Christmas trail sees outdoor art installations interpreting each gift in the famous song. Read our review here.

Big Garden Birdwatch Bonanza

Newport Wetlands

Saturday 27th January; 10.30am -2pm and 2pm-3.30pm

Price: Donation

In preparation for the Big Garden Birdwatch learn how to identify common garden and water birds plus make a bird feeder to take home for your garden and round off with a bird quiz.

Arts and crafts

Festive craft

Cardiff Story Museum, The Hayes, Cardiff

Wednesday 3rd January, 10am to 3pm

Drop-in arts and crafts sessions with a festive theme. The museum is free to enter, but crafts will cost £1 per child.

FREE Arctic Animal Trail / Arts and crafts / Storytelling

Glanfa Foyer, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Until 7th January

Wales Millennium Centre’s foyer has been turned into an Arctic winter wonderland with a trail of animal sculptures to spot; an alpine village made from cardboard boxes; free craft activities and storytelling sessions; plus a polar walk virtual reality experience where users can come face to face with a polar bear (age guidance 13+). Read our review of the Arctic Animal Trail here.

Regular toddler/family events

Toddler Day – Fairytale Fancy

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Friday 12th January, 9.30am-4.30pm

Fairytale Fancy 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 fairytale-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 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.

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. Read our review of a previous  Toddler Time here.

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.

FREE Super Saturdays

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Saturdays from, 11am-4pm

Every Saturday, visitors can discover what life was like for a soldier in the Roman army. Visit the reconstructed barrack room and learn more about the weapons and armour, as well as try on some replica armour. Families can also dress up and play games in the Capricorn Centre, a relaxed hands-on area of the museum. Both areas are closed on Sundays but are open during some school holidays. Read our review of the National Roman Legion Museum plus other Roman sites in Caerleon here.

FREE Dinky Dragons

Cardiff Story Museum, The Hayes, Cardiff

Friday 12th January, 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.


FREE Wriggle – The Wonderful World of Worms 

National Museum Cardiff

Until June 2018

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.

FREE Family of Blaenavon

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon 

Until Thursday 1st February 2018, Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm

A series of photographs by Walter Waygood documenting the landscape, home life, society, work, religion and youth in Blaenavon from the 1970s onwards. Read our review of Big Pit here.

FREEGeneration Games

National Waterfront Museum Swansea

Until 18th March 2018, 10am-5pm

One man’s collection of computer games consoles depicts the history of games consoles with machines from every one of the eight generations of consoles so far released in the UK included in the exhibition. Visitors to try out the games of yesteryear as Samuel Anstee from Caerphilly loans his collection to the museum.


A Christmas Carol / Star Tours / Paw Prints in the Sky

Techniquest Cardiff Bay

Until Sunday 7th January

Adults £8; children £6.50; family £28 (up to 2+3); under 4s free

As well as all the usual science exhibits A Christmas Carol is a live science show of festive-themed experiments. In the Digital Planetarium Star Tours (age 7+) explores familiar constellations, the planets, how stars are born and how they die; while in Paw Prints in the Sky (under 7s) learn about the animals you can find amongst the stars. Planetarium shows cost an extra £1.50 per person.

FREEFamily Talk: ‘Crash Bang Wallop! Earthquakes, volcanoes and meteorites.

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 6th January, 1pm

A family-friendly talk from Mineralogy and Petrology Curator Andrew Haycock, with a chance to handle real volcanic rocks and meteorites. Book at the information desk on arrival.

FREEStar Attractions at the Museum

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 13th January,10am-4pm

A free day of astronomical activities, shows and displays for all the family. Visitors can explore the Museum’s meteorite collection, and use an impact simulator to discover the effects of a meteorite hitting your home town. Local Astronomical Societies will be on hand offering information and help, telescopes on display, merchandise for sale, and various activities and experiments for children of all ages.

Brother Thomas, the Cellarer

Tintern Abbey

Saturday 20th January, 10.30am-3.30pm

Adults £6.50; children £4.20; family £19.50 (2+3)

Learn more about the daily life and duties of a Cistercian monk at Tintern Abbey in the 14th Century from Brother Thomas. He will be available from 10:30am until 3:30pm, and will give tours at 11am, 1pm and 2:30pm.

FREE The Winding Engine

The Winding House, New Tredegar

Saturday 27th January 12pm

The Winding House is a museum built on the site of the former Elliot Colliery. Its centre-piece is the original Victorian winding engine, which used to operate the cages which transported men and coal between the surface and the mine below. Visitors can see the huge engine in operation for 10-15 minutes at 12pm on the last Saturday of the month.

FREEFireside Stories – National Storytelling Week

St Fagans National Museum of History

Sunday 27th January

11.30am-12.30pm Welsh language

1.30pm-3.30pm English language

Celebrate National Storytelling Week plus The Year of the Sea in Wales with traditional storyrelling sessions from Tamar Williams of adventure and romance on the high seas. Each story session will last approximately 10-15 minutes with short breaks between – stay for as many stories as you like.

Read more about St Fagans in our review here. The museum is free to visit but parking charges apply.


I’m focusing on special film events and cheap family screenings at holidays and weekends here, rather than regular cinema screenings.

FREEMeet the Stormtroopers

Odeon Cinema The Red Dragon Centre Cardiff Bay

Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st December at intervals from 12pm-6pm

In celebration of Star Wars: The Last Jedi the Stormtroopers are in town to meet and greet fans and pose for photos.

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 £2 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 £2.49 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.

Chapter Arts Centre, Canton, Cardiff

A different family film every week

£4/£3 booked in advance; see website for full listings.

Memo Arts Centre Barry

A selection of family-friendly films at weekends and during school holidays.

Adults £6; concessions £4; under 16s £3 when booked in advance. £6.50/£4.50/£3.50 on the door.

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