43 family-friendly events in and around Cardiff for the May bank holiday and half term


The end of May can mean only one thing… a bank holiday weekend and half term. If you’re looking for ways to entertain the little people in your life, here are 43 ideas of family-friendly events in and around Cardiff happening between Saturday 28th May and Sunday 5th June 2016.

Please note, all events are subject to change or cancellation and I recommend checking ahead with the organisers to avoid disappointment. This post is split into three sections: Bank Holiday Weekend; The Rest of Half Term; Family-Friendly Cinema.

Do add any other events to the comments below, tweet me on @cardiffmummy or join in the chat on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.

For more ideas of local family days out, see the Cardiff section of Cardiff Mummy Says, follow the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page (and click to get notifications because otherwise Facebook may well hide me from your news feed), and follow Cardiff Mummy Says on Instagram 

May 2016 half term collage and text

Bank holiday weekend

Margam International Kite Festival

Margam Country Park

Friday 27th-Monday 30th May

Bring your own kite along and join in the fun, as kites of all shapes and sizes take to the sky. (Entrance fees apply on Bank Holiday Monday)


The Battle

St Fagans National History Museum

Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May, 6pm-9pm

Adults £10, children £5

A re-enactment of the bloody battle of St Fagans, which saw 11,000 men fighting in May 1648. Visitors will experience the clash of swords, the shouts of men and the smell of gun smoke, reliving the parliamentary army crushing the royalists.


FREE Dress Up St Fagans

St Fagans National History Museum

Saturday 28th-Monday 30th May, 11am-4pm

See history brought to life, as actors in period dress re-enact life as it once was in Wales. You can also dress in costume yourself if you wish.


FREE World War 1 Spring Time

Blaenavon Ironworks

Saturday 28th-Monday 30th May, 10.30am-4pm

A re-enactment of military and social life in the First World War, will feature soldiers and weaponry displays. There will also be an Edwardian old style family fairground and a working blacksmith display. Read more about our role as Cadw ambassdors here.


Bank Holiday Fun

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturday 28th May-Sunday 5th June, 11am-4pm

Usual entrance fees apply

Daily arts and crafts activities and a trail to complete.

Also, Pirate Day on Monday 30th May, come dressed up for a day of fun and sea shanties.



Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly

£5 per person

Saturday 28th May-Sunday 5th July

Daily activities over the bank holiday and half term include a telling of The Gruffalo around the Gruffalo wood, meeting the rabbits and guinea pigs, archery and a campfire. You can also explore the fairy wood, the badger wood, roll down the rolling hill, climb the climbing tree – and see this year’s new additions, the tree house in the fairy village, the dragon’s nest and eggs and Hobbit Hill. You can read our review of Mountain View Ranch here.


Star Tours / Night and Day / Fire and Ice

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 28th May-Sunday 5th June

Usual entrance fees apply

As well as over 100 hands-on exhibitions that bring science to life, half term sees three science-themed shows running. Star Tours is for over 7s and will teach children more about constellations and the planets. Night and Day is for under 7s and explains more about where the sun goes at night and nocturnal animals. Fire and Ice is suitable for all ages, features an ice-powered cannon and turning a banana into a hammer with liquid nitrogen. Read our review of Techniquest here.


FREE Meet Optimus Prime

Hamleys, St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Sunday 29th May, 10am-5pm

The Optimus Prime truck will be beside the Library at St David’s Shopping Centre between 10am and 5pm, and the Optimus Prime character will be in store at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.


Bank Holiday Fun

Caerphilly Castle

Sunday 29th to Monday 30th May, 10am-5pm

Adults £6, children £4.20, family £16.20

Meet medieval characters and watch as the history of the medieval castle is brought to life with the sounds and smells of the period. Read our review of Caerphilly Castle here.


Miniature Railways and Tramways

Heath Model Railway, Heath Park, Cardiff

Sunday 29th May, 1pm-5pm

Bank Holiday Monday 30th May, 1pm-5pm

Cardiff Model Engineering Society open their doors over the bank holiday weekend. The whole family can go for rides 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.


Croquet Taster Day

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Bank Holiday Monday 30th May, 11am-5pm

Usual entrance fees apply

Members of Dyffryn Croquet Club will be on hand to give you an introduction to the classic lawn game. Equipment is provided.


South Wales Dog and Family Fun Day

Bank Holiday Monday 30th May

Fonmon Castle Showground

Adults £10, children under 16 £5, under-2s free; family ticket (2+up to 3) £20

Dogs from South Wales and beyond will compete in a variety of different categories, with other entertainment on the day including Mascot Mania, meet the T-Rex, live music and free play for children provided by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.


Downy Duckland Week

WWT Llanelli

Saturday 28th May-Sunday 5th June

Adults, £9.20 children 5-16 £5, under 4s free, famly (2+2), £25.75

A behind-the-scenes look at the duckling nursery at Llanelli’s wetlands. Visit the tiny baby ducklings up close in the indoor duckery, see their older brothers and sisters in the outdoor duckery, and witness baby ducklings at different stages of development still inside the eggs. Tours are at 12pm, 2pm and 3pm and you can book on arrival. Other activities include den building in the wiggly wood, craft workshops (a small charge applies), mini-beast hunting and pond dipping.


Half-Term Mini Golf Mayhem

Treetop Adventure Golf, St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Saturday 28th May-Sunday 5th June

Adults £7.50, children £5, under 5s, £3.75; family of 4 £25, family of 5 £30

Extra activities during half term include free face painting and glitter tattoos (Saturday 28th, Monday 30th May, Wednesday 1st and Saturday 4th June) and arts and crafts sessions (Sunday 29th May, Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th June). You can read our review of Treetop Adventure Golf here.


Myths and Legends

Raglan Castle

Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May, 11am-4pm

Adult £6, children £4.20, under 5s free; family ticket £16.20

A chance for youngsters to meet the Dragon Lords and take part in the dragon parade, take sides in the Knights versus Dragon battle, and enter the fairies’ magical forest for crafts, games and trails. Read our review of Raglan Castle here.


Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival

Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May

With over 100 food and drink exhibitors, food demonstrations, musical entertainment and so much more, the organisers have promised to make the Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival more family-friendly than ever before.


FREE Bank Holiday Vintage Extravaganza

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Monday 30th May, 11am-9pm

Retro stalls, live bands, film showings, vintage cars, DJs, dancers, plus plenty of family-friendly events hark back to days gone by as Wales Millennium Centre celebrates all things vintage.


The rest of half term


Various nature workshops

Cwmcarn Forest

Saturday 28th May-Sunday 5th June, must be pre-booked

Bird Box Workshop – Saturday 28th May, £5 per child, ages 5+

Bird Seed Cookies Workshop – Tuesday 31st May, £2.50 per child, ages 3+

Mission Rocket with Dark Skies Wales – Wednesday 1st June, 12pm, £8.50 per child, ages 5+

Upcycled Herby Face Planters – Thursday 2nd June, £2.50 per child, ages 3+

Monks Walk with cream tea – Saturday 4th June, £5 per adult, £3 per child, ages 8+, dogs welcome

Read more about our day out to Cwmcarn Forest here.


Wild Flower Seed Bombs & Busy Bee Hunt

Pugh’s Garden Village, Radyr

Tuesday 31st May and Sunday 5th June

£5 per child, must be pre-booked

The latest in the Little Green Fingers Workshops for children will see youngsters making their very own seed bombs – a mixture of wildflower seeds that will be hand-crafted into little balls to create an explosion of colour in your garden. You can even bring along a pair of old wellies to make a quirky addition for your garden. Read about a previous Little Green Fingers Workshop we took part in here.


Dinosaur Encounter

Cardiff Castle

Tuesday 31st May

£4 per person in addition to normal admission or a valid castle key.

Limited availability – booking essential.

Get up close to dinosaur models, their bones and eggs and see the animals that were living at that time but are still alive today, including cockroaches, scorpions, lizards and snakes. You’ll also meet a walking, growling T-Rex, one of the most feared dinosaurs that roamed the earth.


FREE Discovering Archives Family Open Day: Find, Hold and Keep

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 31st May, 10am-4pm

Join Museum staff and discover their secrets for preserving stories of discovery and adventure!


FREE Printmaking Workshops

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 31st-Friday 2nd June, 11am, 1pm, 3pm

Be inspired by the images and poetry on display in the World War 1 exhibtion, War’s Hell! The Battle of Mametz Wood in Art, to create your own prints. This first world war battle was one of the fiercest involving Welsh regiments.

Places are limited. Please book at the information desk on arrival


FREE Neon Noise

Glanfa Foyer, Wales Millennium Centre

Tuesday 31st May-Saturday 4th June, 11am-4pm

Be inspired by the sound and feel of music and draw in a technicolour of neon hues. Families can respond creatively and artistically to a playlist of different musical genres to create a huge art piece.


Bat Walk

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Tuesday 31st May and Thursday 2nd June, 9pm

£5 per head; ages 8+; must be pre-booked

An after-dark journey around the museum in search of bats,


Washday Play

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Tuesday 31st May and Thursday 2nd June, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

£2.50 per child; ages 3-9; must be pre-booked

This interactive workshop sees families helping Beti Bwt with the laundry, giving children a chance to find out what life was like before washing machines were invented.


Creative Kids Workshops

The Art Workshop, Rhiwbina

Tuesday 31st May and Wednesday 1st June

10am-1pm, ages 7-12, £18; 2pm-3pm, ages 5-6, £10; must be pre-booked

Children can create their own mini portfolio of artworks using fully-taught art techniques.

Photography Studio Workshop

Thursday 2nd June, 10am-1pm, ages 12+, £18; must be pre-booked

Learn how to create your own unique photographic composition and take your own digital picture.


I Spy Scavanger Hunt

Cosmeston Lakes and Medieval Village

Wednesday 1st and Saturday 4th June, 10am-3pm

£3 per child

Collect your map and mission sheet from reception, solve the clues and collect the objects to complete your task and claim your prize. Read our review of Cosmeston here.


Spring Fair

Amelia Trust Farm, Barry

Wednesday 1st June

£5 per car

Plenty on offer for families, including a spring-themed fancy dress competition, food and craft stalls, tractor rides, games, folk dancing, choirs and music, as well as the usual farm animals, play area and woodland trails. All funds raised will help the farm continue its work with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. You can read our review of Amelia Trust Farm here.


Creepy Crawlies and the Ugly Bug Ball

Llancaiach Fawr, Nelson

Wednesday 1st June

A range of bug-themed activities for children. £5 per child, first adult free, additional adults £1 or included in Manor entry fee.


Arts and Crafts

Cardiff Story Museum

Wednesday 1st June, 10am-3pm

£1 per child

Get inspired by nature and glue, stick and draw to create a work of art.

Don’t forget to explore the rest of the museum while you are there – it’s free to visit. Read our review here.


FREE Meet The Gruffalo

Queens Arcade Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Wednesday 1st June

Various intervals between 11am and 4pm

His eyes are orange, his tongue is black, he has purple prickles all over his back… and he’s coming to Cardiff! Children can meet the Gruffalo at Queens Arcade this half term, where he will be posing for photos.



New Theatre, Cardiff

Wednesday 1st-Sunday 5th June

Cardiff’s Orbit Theatre brings an enchanting musical version of the classic fairytale to the stage. Enslaved in rags by her wicked stepmother and step-sisters, a fairy godmother proves dreams can come true when she magically transforms Cinderella so that she can attend the royal ball and meet the handsome prince.


FREE Ninja Turtle Tribute Day

The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

Thursday 2nd June, 12-4pm

A chance to meet a Raphael tribute as The Red Dragon Centre celebrates the release of the new film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. There’s also a mask-making workshop, free balloons (subject to availability) and a chance to win cinema tickets by sharing your Turtle-themed selfies.

Find out more about our role as blogger ambassador for The Red Dragon Centre here.


FREE Songs from the Trenches

National Museum Cardiff

Friday 3rd June, 2.30pm

Singers of all ages and abilities are welcome to join in a musical session of songs from the First World War, including Sospan Fach and Pack Up Your Troubles In Tour Old Kit Bag. Welsh National Opera lead this musical event, to support the current exhibition War’s Hell! The Battle Of Mametz Wood, on display until 4th September.


Welsh Wrestling Live

Memo Arts Centre, Barry

Friday 3rd June, 7.30pm

Glitz, glamour and bodyslam mayhen as the American Wrestling roadshow invades South Wales. Top stars of the wrestling world collide in a night of super-slamming action in this family entertainment show.



The Little Mermaid JR

Paget Rooms, Penarth

Friday 3rd June 7pm, Saturday 4th June 2pm and 7pm, Sunday 5th June 2pm

£10/£8 concessions

All the magic of the Disney classic in this stage adaptation from the Shelley Norton Stage School. There’s also a special performance of Mini Little Mermaid from the school’s youngest performers aged 3-6 at midday on Sunday 5th at 12pm. Tickets £5



FREE Summer Wildlife Festival

Forest Farm, Cardiff

Saturday 4th June

A day of family-friendly wildlife activities, including pond-dipping, bug-hunting, worm-charming and bird-spotting.

You can read more about our day out to Forest Farm and Glamorganshire canal here.


Disney’s Alice In Wonderland JR

Dinas Powys Parish Hall

Thursday 2nd-Saturday 4th June, 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm matinee Saturday

Adults £9, concessions £7, family (2+2) £30

The classic Disney tale of the little girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a strange and curious land is brought to the stage by BillBoard Ensemble.


The Last Mermaid

Wales Millennium Centre

Saturday 4th-Sunday 12th June

Age guidance: 8+

Charlotte Church stars in and helped create this musical performance inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and part of Wales Millennium Centre’s Festival Of Voice. A mermaid emerges from her clamshell and discovers she is the sole survivor of a lost, undersea kingdom. With the help of the last whale, she has a chance to break free from her underwater world and walk on land.


FREE Barry Island Beats, Eats and Treats

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June

Plenty of family-friendly fun at Barry Island’s food and musical weekend. Food and drink, craft stalls, live music, Punch and Judy and various children’s activities are on offer on the island’s seafront.


FREE Open Farm Sunday

Sunday 5th June

The farming industry’s annual open day sees hundreds of farmers across the UK opening their farms so that visits can discover more about the world of farming. Type your postcode into the website to find the nearest farms to you.


Family-friendly cinema screenings

I’m focussing on the cheaper early-morning film screenings here and special events, rather than the latest big films

Odeon Kids

Odeon Cinema, The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

The 10am weekend and half term showings are £2.50 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.


Movies for Juniors

Cineworld, Mary Ann Street, Cardiff

The 10am weekend and half term 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 half term 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

Zootropolis (PG)

Saturday 28th May-Sunday 5th June


Do add any other events to the comments below, tweet me on @cardiffmummy or join in the chat on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.

For more ideas of local family days out, see the Cardiff section of Cardiff Mummy Says, follow the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page (and click to get notifications because otherwise Facebook may well hide me from your news feed), and follow Cardiff Mummy Says on Instagram 

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