65+ family-friendly activities in and around Cardiff for July 2018


The irony of being sat inside on a sunny day putting these events listings together is not lost on me! But now all the research is done there’s no excuse not to make the most of the month ahead with more than 65 family-friendly events and activities happening in and around Cardiff.

This guide mostly contains events happening before the schools break up although I have included a few things happening at the start of the holidays too. I’ve just started work on the big school summer holiday guide so do look out for it.

Please be aware that all events are subject to change or cancellation so do check ahead to avoid disappointment.

If you found this guide useful perhaps you’d consider making a small donation to my fundraising appeal for Ty Hafan – the children’s hospice for Wales. My children and I are trying to raise £1000 to help Ty Hafan support life-limited children and their families by taking part in a series of running events. You can read more about our mission plus find details of how to donate on the Cardiff Mummy Says JustGiving page

As always I would be so grateful if you could help me out by giving this post a like, a share or comment on social media to ensure Cardiff Mummy Says keeps showing up in people’s timelines.

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


Sherman Storytime

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Mondays 2 and 9 July, 10.30am-12pm

£3.50 per child

Traditional storytelling, engaging games and activities combine in the Sherman’s weekly term-time activity for under fives. The cost includes a healthy snack and drink for the youngsters.


Baby and Toddler Tuesdays

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Every Tuesday from 6 February until 27 November; 10am-5pm

£6.50 adults; £5.40 children 2-16; under 2s free; family 2+3 £23.50

As well as all the usual farm attractions there’s a range of music, craft and outdoor sessions for pre-schoolers (see website for timetable) all included in the regular admission cost. Read our review of what else to expect at Greenmeadow here.


FREE Toddler Time at the Play Lab

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon

Wednesday 18 July, 1.30pm-2.45pm

A new monthly session in the museum’s Play Lab will see plenty of themed activities and toys for little ones to enjoy as well as a story and rhyme time.


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.


Toddler Day – A Day At The Seaside

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Friday 6 July, 9.30am-4.30pm

A day at the seaside is the theme this month as Cardiff Bay’s 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 seaside-themed drawing, colouring and crafts, as well as story time and music sessions. Under 4s are free, with accompanying adults paying £5.50 entry. Read our review of a previous toddler day here.


FREE Dinky Dragons

Cardiff Story Museum, The Hayes, Cardiff

Friday 13 July, 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 usually 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 Toddler Time 

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Friday 20 July; 11am-2.30pm

Singing dancing playing and creating for pre-schoolers with a special programme of activities for little ones and their parents.


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. Read our review of a previous session 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 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.


Festivals fun days and charity events


Meet Paddington

The Royal Mint Experience, Llantrisant

Saturday 30 June

Everyone’s favourite bear will be making personal appearances at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm. You’ll also be able to hear tales of Paddington’s exciting adventures during story telling sessions at 11.40am, 1.10pm, 2.40pm and 3.40pm.

Book a tour at any time on the day and get free access to both activities, before or after your tour. Please allow up to 90 minutes for your tour.



Tacoma Square, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

Wednesday 27 June-Wednesday 18 July

The giant screen in Mermaid Quay will be showing World Cup football plus a range of films including family-friendly screenings on early morning weekends. You can download the full schedule of ‘grown up’ movies here and our kid’s early morning movie programme is here.

Saturday 30 June 9am Dora The Explorer (U)

Sunday 1 July 9am Despicable Me (U)

Saturday 7 July 8am Toy Story (PG)

Sunday 8 July 8am Muppets Treasure Island (U)

Saturday 14 July 8am The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (U)

Sunday 15 July 8am The Little Mermaid (U)



Cardiff Castle

Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July, 11am-9pm

The culmination of a week of fringe events Tafwyl Fair is Cardiff’s annual celebration of the best in Welsh arts culture and sports as well as street food and drink. Highlights for families include children’s TV favourites from Cwy live on stage; the Bwrlwm Play Zone; Mudiad Meithrin Yurt; Baby Yurt; family crafts with Wales Millennium Centre; plus performances from local Welsh medium schools and cylchoedd meithrin. See the timetable for full event listings.


FREE Beats, Eats and Treats

Barry Island

Saturday 30 and Sunday 1 July, 11am-7pm

Two days of stalls, music and food.  Enjoy the food and bar area underneath the Eastern shelter featuring Meet the Greek, the Welsh Italian Pizza Company, Vale Cider, Tomos a Lilford and Mr. Croquewich to name but a few. Browse the farmers’ market and brewery stalls on Barry Island Gardens, and Craftfolk will return with arts and crafts stalls all along the prom.  Bro Radio will also host a live music stage on the Eastern prom featuring local bands and singers.


Taste of Summer

Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, Treharris

Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July

Historic seasonal food in the Manor and Blas Lleol fodo and craft fair. Admission to the Visitor Centre shop, café/ restaurant, exhibition and gardens is free.


Raver Tots

Tramshed Cardiff

Sunday 1 July 2pm-4pm

A family rave where kids and grownups can hit the dance floor together complete with face painting, UV lights, bubbles, balloons, confetti and giant parachutes in a rave style atmosphere with some of the UK’s top DJ’s including residents Artful Dodger, Brandon Block, Slipmatt and Nicky Blackmarket.


FREE ENTRY Capital FM Cardiff Bay Beach Festival

Alexandra Head, Cardiff Bay

Friday 6 July-Sunday 2 September

Entry is free with additional charges for some attractions

Cardiff Bay Beach Festival is bigger and better this year with a new location and more attractions offering entertainment for families for nine weeks. The new venue means a bigger beach plus new large-scale attractions including a big wheel, roller coaster, big water spraying arches, movie nights and a marquee area offering street food. There is no admission fee to enter the Cardiff Bay Beach to use the supplied facilities including the beach water pool and live entertainment but charges apply for other rides, food and drink etc. Alexandra Head is a 10-minute walk from its previous site at Roald Dahl Plass. A free shuttle bus service will run from Mermaid Quay to the beach during the listed opening hours.


FREE ENTRY Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival

Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay

Friday 6-Sunday 8 July

Cardiff’s celebration of home grown produce and irresistible food festival also features craft stalls, and chill out with live music at the water’s edge. Stroll through the Street Food Piazza and indulge in some of the best street food around; sample artisan eats at Producers’ Fair; and stock up at the Farmers’ Market.


Hybu World Record Attempt

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

Saturday 7 July, 12.30pm-4.30pm

£5 per person

Books to buy, authors to meet, fun-themed storybook rooms to explore – plus a chance to be a World Record holder with an attempt to break the world record for the number of people dressed as their favourite characters from an illustrated children’s storybook. They need 2,000 to beat the current record. You can visit the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and join the fun and meet the Queen. In Wishy Washy’s laundry you can make your own handkerchief. By visiting the land of Oz you can find your heart, courage and brain. Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow will be there too. At Treasure Island you will meet a pirate and hear a hearty tale. Mr. Men are hiding all over the place so can you find them. By visiting them all you can go to meet Willy Wonder at Charlie Chocolate Factory and see if you can win the Golden ticket. Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Paw Patrol and even a dalek or two will also be in attendance. The event will raise funds for Welsh charity, Hybu which gives training, volunteering opportunities, leadership skills and business skills to young people.


Appearance of the Obeli – Live mystery game

12 secret locations across Cardiff

Saturday 7-Sunday 8 July


FOR Cardiff present a city-wide live mystery game to the streets of the capital with the help of Casebook Events. Adventurers of all ages can delve into Cardiff’s past examine the case-file, question real witnesses, collect the clues, and try to solve this all new mystery. The game will take approximately 2-3 hours to play with players free to complete it at any time until 4pm on either day. A special free trail sheet is provided for 4-8 year-olds to play alongside the main game.


Glamorgan Classic Car Club Show

Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, Treharris

Sunday 8 July

£1 per adults; under 14s free


FREE ENTRY Rachel’s Day Charity Dog walk and Family Fun Day

Rhiwbina Recreation Club, Cardiff

Saturday 14 July 12pm-6pm

A charity dog walk and family fun day held in memory of Rachel Day who was only 29 when she lost her battle with sepsis in 2017. Rachel’s army are determined to raise funds and awareness in her memory. The day includes craft stalls, doggy tombola, raffle, children’s activities, live music and more plus the dog walk at 1pm. Donations gratefully received for sepsis charities.


Vintage For Victory Festival

Whitchurch Library Gardens, Cardiff

Saturday 14-Sunday 15 July, 10am-9pm

Adults from £25 per day or £35 for the weekend; children under 16 free

A boutique vintage festival inspired by the romance and glamour of vintage fashion and nostalgia. Celebrate the 1940s, 1950s and 1960 with live music and performance, dance, a vintage fun fair, vintage emporium, street food bars, RAF replica planes and flyover plus camping and more.


FREE Cadstock

Victoria Park, Barry

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July, 12pm-7pm

Live music and entertainment as Barry’s Victoria Park holds its annual festival.


FREE Duck Race and Summer Fete: Rotary Club of Barry

Knap Gardens, Barry

Saturday 21 July, 12pm-4pm

Barry and Barry Island

A family-friendly fete at Barry’s Knap Gardens including a cake stall, BBQ, tombola, animal zone, arts and crafts, bouncy castle, pony rides and more plus the annual duck race (ducks £1 each).


2018 Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix

Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Saturday 21 July 11am-11pm

From £19-£116

16 thrill-seeking riders, including Great Britain’s double series winner, Tai Woffinden, reigning champ, Jason Doyle, and Cardiff’s 2017 winner, Maciej Janowski, will compete over 23 heats on 500cc bikes with no brakes. The high speed fun begins in the fanzone outside City Hall from 11am, with engines starting in the stadium at 5pm.


Isle of Fire

Barry Island

Saturday 21-Sunday 22 July, 8.30pm-11pm

The magical fire garden returns featuring live music, beautiful street entertainers, fire dance shows from Flame Oz, Lantern Parade and the Viking Ship complete with pirates.  New for 2018 is the mesmerising Mechanical Heart by Blacksmith Felicity Jones, a beating heart with light and music.


FREE Barry Island Weekenders – Cinemôr Weekender

Barry Island Gardens

Friday 27-Sunday 29 July 11am-9.30pm

This free three-day programme of screenings and activities celebrates Welsh film and television and the year of the sea. Created by BAFTA Cymru and Vale of Glamorgan Council, working in partnership with Into Film, Film Hub Wales and the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales present Cinemôr, the event will take place in a tipi on the Barry Island Gardens with capacity limited to 40 per session on a first-come first served basis. Many of the workshops and film screenings are suitable for families with highlights including a Q&A session with Delyth Thomas who has directed TV series including Hetty Feather, Worst Witch, Tracy Beaker; and hands-on animation drop-in workshops to finding out more about film locations and making your own film sound effects.


Children’s Activity Day

Llancaiach Fawr Manor Nelson Treharris

Thursdays 26 July; 2, 9 and 16 August 11am-4pm

£7.50 per child; adults £1.50

Organised activities, games and crafts.





Me & My Bee

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Friday 29-Saturday 30 June


Age guidance: 5+; running time one hour

Me & My Bee is a new family comedy show with a thought-provoking bee twist. Climate change is massive. Bees aren’t. So join the Bee Party and help save our buzzy little friends. Before it’s too late… in a combination of storytelling, clowning, original live music and movement that is both silly and informative.



Depot, Dumballs Rd, Cardiff

Saturday 30 June 11am; Sunday 1 July 11am, 2.30pm & 5pm; Monday 2-Wednesday 4 July 10am & 7pm

Adults £10; children £8

Age 7+ 60-70 minutes

A Faustian tale of fine dining and foolish choices, performed and created by the Royal Welsh College puppeteers. Witness the troubled rise and terrible demise of one of the greatest chefs in the world.


War Horse

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Wednesday 4-Saturday 28 July

From £15-£55

Age guidance 10+; no under 2s

Based on Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling novel War Horse returns to Wales following a sell-out season in 2014. The West End smash is a powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs. A show of phenomenal inventiveness at its heart is astonishing life-sized horses by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage. War Horse is an unforgettable theatrical event which takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France.



New Theatre, Cardiff

Saturday 7-Sunday 8 July

10am 1pm and 4pm; 1hr 10 minutes

The Teletubbies’ first ever theatre show features Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a show full of love and laughter as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland. Look out for the Tubby Phone, Noo-noo and the Sun Baby in a fun, bright and safe world which captures young children’s imaginations and encourages them to explore the world around them. Join in and enjoy beloved features from the TV series along with brand new songs.


Kevin and Karen Dance: The Live Tour 2018

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Sunday 8 July, 3pm


Following their sell-out debut tour last year, Strictly’s Kevin and Karen Clifton are back with a brand new show featuring music that has inspired them to dance – Roxanne, Smooth Criminal, Respect, Jail House Rock and more and featuring heart-pounding choreography filled with Cha Cha, Salsa, Tango and Paso Doble. Backed by a supporting cast of sensational dancers, vocalists and a live 12-piece show band, expect edge-of-your-seat routines that are sassy, sharp and sultry.


Cirque Berserk!

New Theatre, Cardiff

Tuesday 10-Sunday 15 July

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 7.30pm; Wednesday 5pm and 7.45pm; Saturday 2pm, 5pm and 7.45pm; Sunday 2pm and 6pm

£14-£27. Running Time: 1hr 45min

Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of circus by bringing this treasured form of live entertainment bang up-to-date in a jaw-dropping spectacular created especially for the theatre. Combining contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, this astoundingly talented international troupe includes over 30 jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen. The show features the world’s most hair-raising circus act – the legendary motorcycle ‘Globe of Death’.


NAVI – King of Pop: The Legend Continues

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Friday 13 July, 7.30pm

From £23; children under 16 £4 off

The world’s leading Michael Jackson tribute artist Navi is joined on stage by MJ’s iconic female guitarist – Jennifer Batten. Navi is regarded as the world’s No.1 MJ tribute artist and was handpicked by Michael himself as his official body double. Michael also hired Navi to perform at two of his birthday parties where he gave Navi a standing ovation and described his performance as “Incredible”. The show features all the greatest hits along with an incredible live band and dancers.



Memo Arts Centre Barry Friday 13 July; 10.15am

Sherman Theatre Cardiff Monday 16 July, 1.30pm; Tuesday 17 July, 10.30am

Ages 6-11; running time 60 minutes


This new Welsh-language stage play by Meleri Wyn James for 6-11 year olds and their families is based on her popular children’s books Na, Nel!. The novels follows Nel, the mischievous young girl with an exciting imagination, as she faces all sorts of fun and adventures.


Tiddly Prom: Cherry Pie’s Holiday Adventure

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Saturday 21 and Monday 23-Saturday 28 July, 10.30am


Cherry takes us on her holiday adventure enjoying the seaside and funfair, rambling and rainforests, trains, planes and a balloon ride. With original music played by orchestral musicians, a fun, silly story and two lovable characters, Cherry Pie’s Holiday Adventure is an accessible, interactive concert for the under 5s. Part of the Welsh Proms season this is a great opportunity for under 5s to experience live music interactively with professional musicians in a creative and fun environment


Family Prom: The Carnival of the Animals and other Zoological Friends

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Sunday 22 July, 3.00pm

Adults £11.50; children 5-16 £7.50; under 5s free

This year’s Family Prom celebrates the wonders of the animal kingdom with all creatures great and small covered in this powerful performance from Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra. Saint-Saëns’ famous Carnival of the Animals forms a fascinating centre-piece to the programme as the music evokes images of beastly bears, crazy kangaroos and enormous elephants all rampaging across the stage at the National Concert Hall of Wales! Plus, opening and closing this really wild show are family favourites from The Lion King and The Jungle Book. Special guest narrator for the afternoon is the children’s TV presenter, Josie d’Arby. There’s also fun pre-concert activities from 1pm in the foyers including face-painting, hula-hooping, photo ops, instrument demonstrations and live performances.


Thriller Live

New Theatre Cardiff

Monday 23-Saturday 28 July

Monday-Friday 7.30pm; Saturday 4pm and 8pm


Direct from London’s West End where it is now in its record breaking 9th year, Thriller Live is a spectacular concert created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer. Audiences will experience over two hours of non-stop hits as the cast pay homage to Jackson’s legendary live performances and innovative dance moves executed with flair, precision and passion. Songs include I Want You Back, ABC, Can You Feel It, Off The Wall, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Bad, Rock With You, They Don’t Care About Us, Dangerous and Thriller plus more.


Seussical Jr

Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

Saturday 21-Saturday 28 July

£10 per person; £35 for a family of four

The madcap world of Dr Seuss comes to the stage this summer as Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival stages Seussical Jr, an unforgettable musical caper featuring some of the author’s most famous characters.


Sister Act

Memo Arts Centre, Barry

Tuesday 24-Friday 27 July, 7.30pm

Adults £14; concessions £12; groups £45 (2 full and 2 discounts)

BillBoard Ensemble presents Sister Act, the popular comedy musical based on the 1992 film about lounge singer Deloris who sees her mobster beau commit murder. Relocated to a convent and disguised as a nun for her protection she transforms the failing choir into a polished group performing soulful and rock’n’roll infused hymns and pop songs that son gain them international attention.


Peter Pan

Bryngarw Country Park, Bridgend

Wednesday 25 July, 5.30pm

Adults £10.50; children £8.50; family £32

Immersion Theatre invite audiences to Neverland as they present a musical stage adaptation of the little boy who doesn’t want to grow up – Peter Pan. The mischievous Peter embarks on a big adventure, introducing the Darling children to the Lost Boys, the cheeky Tinkerbell, the hilarious Smee, and a host of other exciting characters before facing the infamous Captain Hook.


Nature and the great outdoors


Discover beasts, bees and butterflies

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July – pedal power pond racing and fishing for plastic

Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July – mini-beast log homes and pyrography decoration.

Adults £10.40; children £5.20; family £26

A programme of nature activities dedicated to the mini-beasts, bees and butterflies found in Tredegar House gardens. Egg Seeds will be helping visitors learn more about the mini-beasts living in our gardens and what you can do to help these species thrive. The events are included in usual entrance prices.


Weekend and holiday events

Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly

Saturdays/Sundays.School holidays (subject to weather)

£6 per person age 2+; under 2s free; family of 4 £23; family of 5 £28

One hundred acres of free range fun including Wales’s only licensed Gruffalo trail, a magical fairy forest, Hobbit Hill, den building, a unicorn, rope tree swings, a climbing tree, an adventure play area and more. Check out the Facebook page for weekend and school holiday extra events such as a walk with the funny goats; Ranch story; and space hopper races. For the over 7s there’s a high ropes course (book online for 25% discount). Read our review of Mountain View Ranch here.


Big butterfly count

Dyffryn Gardens Vale of Glamorgan

Friday 20 July-Wednesday 8 August

Adults £11; children £5.50; family £28

Grab an ID sheet , or download the app, and find your favourite spot in the gardens to sit whilst you count the different butterflies and moths that flutter past. The event is free but usual entrance fees apply or free to members.


FREE Chris Packham’s UK Bioblitz

Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve

Saturday 21 July 10am-5pm

Free entry although parking is £3 or free for RSPB members

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham will be visiting Newport Wetlands as part of his UK Bioblitz – Nature reserves are not enough! campaign. He will helping audiences discover what amazing plants and animals live at the reserve with activities to find and record what species live in the ponds, meadows, woodlands and hedgerows. Newport Wetlands expect a high number of visitors to this event, and car parking spaces are limited. There is a demand responsive bus service from Newport City Centre to the Visitor Centre. Bookings need to be made at least 24 hours in advance by contacting Newport Bus on 01633 211202


Underwater Wonders

Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve

Monday 23-Thursday 26 July

Drop-in at 10.30am012 or 2pm-3.30pm

RSPB members £4.40 / non-members £5.50

Learn more about the magical underwater world by pond dipping and using an underwater camera to see the creatures living in the ponds and lagoons.  The session also includes some games and sand sculptures to celebrate the fresh water and marine wildlife that is so special to the area.


Make Your Own Dinosaur Mug

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Radyr

£6 per child; age 3+

Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 July; various sessions 10am-3pm

Use a ceramic pen and a peel-off dinosaur motif and take your unique mug straight home to be set in the oven to make it permanent!





FREE  The Winding Engine

The Winding House, New Tredegar

Saturday 30 June; 28 July; 25 August; 29 September; 27 October; 24 November; 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.



FREE St Fagans’ Birthday Celebration

St Fagans National Museum of History Cardiff

Sunday 1 July, 11am-4pm

Celebrate the museum’s 70th birthday by sharing your memories of your school trips and days out in the video booth, or record a birthday greeting. Bring your family snaps and school photos to share – staff from People’s Collection Wales will be on hand to help you digitise and add them to a special collection charting the Museum’s history. Get a glimpse of some of the objects crucial to the Museum’s early years in our pop up display, or take a seat in the lecture theatre and discover some footage from the archive. The museum’s choir will perform at 3pm.


FREE Tanabata: Star Festival

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 7-Sunday 8 July, 10am-4pm

Tanabata is the Japanese ‘Star Festival’. Legend has it that the two gods, Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by stars can only meet once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month. Tanabata celebrates this special occasion. Enjoy workshops, activities and performances marking this traditional summer event. Try your hand at Japanese calligraphy, write your wishes on colourful tanzaku (wish strips) and hang them on bamboo trees in a traditional Tanabata custom.  You can also try on a kimono, take part in take part in martial art demonstrations, listen to Japanese style drumming – and more. Tanabata is being celebrated alongside Kizuna a special exhibition celebrating the bond between Japan and Wales.


FREE Tanabata: Fun with Japanese workshops

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 7 July

Ages 8+; 30 minutes sessions available in Welsh or English; booking advisable

Learn about the language and the culture of Japan in this enjoyable and varied session. Suitable for adults, and children aged 8 and up. The sessions last an hour and a half. Tanabata is being celebrated alongside Kizuna a special exhibition celebrating the bond between Japan and Wales.


FREE Summer Holiday Museum Trail

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 21 July-Sunday 2 September, 10am-5pm

Take part in the museum’s poppy trail this summer. Find your way around the galleries taking in some Welsh nature and amazing artworks as you follow a fun family flower trail.


Family Printmaking Workshops – Posters for Peace

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 24-Friday 27 July, drop-in 11am-3pm

£2; pay in the shop on arrival

In this hands-on workshop you’ll be able to use printmaking techniques to make a poster for peace. Use your creativity to design a poster that shows what you think about peace. This workshop goes alongside the exhibition ‘Poppies for Remembrance’ which looks at the poppy in the natural world, as medicine and how it came to be a symbol of remembrance. It also encourages reflection on the suffering and loss that took place during the First World War as well as in more recent conflicts.


FREE A Roman Summer

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Monday 23 July-Friday 31 August

Chat to the Roman soldier in the Barrack Room about what life was like in the army and try your hand at some archery at the National Roman Legion Museum this summer. Read more about our visit to the Museum and the other Roam sites in Caerleon here.


Resting at The Abbey during the Wars of the Roses – 1471

Tintern Abbey

Saturday 7-Sunday 8 July, 10am-4pm

Adult £6.90; children under 16 £4.10; family (2+up to 3 £20)

A company of archers and their families rest at the abbey in order to pay their respects to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. They set up camp in the grounds and continue to practice their civilian skills – such as fletching, spinning, dyeing, cooking, leather working and rush weaving and, of course, recreation in the Tavern Tent. One can even write. Come and see their activities close up, try your hand at medieval board and dice games, or braid making. Watch the cooks prepare the company’s meal; question the arrowsmith on his skills and kills.


FREE Steampunk at the Ironworks

Blaenavon Ironworks

Saturday 14-Sunday 15 July 10am-5pm

A Steampunk themed event looking at the influence of Victorian style on the modern world. Today’s technology in Victorian style tells the story of industry through fun and games, music and fashion, art, comedy and good Victorian manners. Enjoy tea duelling and the Steampunk Olympics, as well as talks, rapping, demonstrations and craft stalls.


Festival of Archaeology

Castell Coch, Tonwgynlais

Saturday 14-Sunday 15 July 10am-4pm

Adults £6.90; children £4.10; family (2+up to 3) £20

Reconstructing the Victorian excavations of the 1800s. Uncover with your own hands a range of Medieval treasures, try and guess what you have found. Learn to record these items in their archaeological context and practice these methods that are still used today. Castell Coch is a Victorian rebuild in its upper levels, whilst being on Medieval lower levels and foundations. Before this re-build took place a series of archaeological excavations were conducted by G.T.Clark, whose work was published in 1850.


Brother Thomas, the Cellarer

Tintern Abbey

Saturday 21 July, 10am-4pm

Adult £6.90; children under 16 £4.10; family (2+up to 3 £20)

The daily life and duties of a Cistercian monk at Tintern Abbey in the 14th Century. Brother Thomas will tell you all about his life as a monk at Tintern Abbey with inside information about the monks’ rituals and responsibilities. You will learn about the daily life of the monks at the abbey, including their monastic duties, hygiene and eating habits, as well as the numerous religious services they would have to attend throughout the day. Brother Thomas will be available from 10am until 4pm, and will give tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.


World War I – Living History Event

Caerphilly Castle

Saturday 21-Sunday 22 July, 11am-4pm

Adults £8.50; children £5.10; family (2+up to 3 £24.60)

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 come and learn more about life of cavalry troops, nurses and civilians during the conflict!


Living History Weekend

Chepstow Castle

Saturday 28-Sunday 29 July 9.30am-6pm

Adult £6.90; children under 16 £4.10; family (2+up to 3 £20)

A living history weekend and discover what life was like at Chepstow Castle 900 years ago.


The Tudors V

Raglan Castle

Saturday 28-Sunday 29 July, 11am-4pm

Adult £6.90; children under 16 £4.10; family (2+up to 3 £20)

A weekend of all things Tudor led by the Beaufort Companye and their esteemed friends from the Wars of the Roses Federation. Living history displays, re-enactments plus plenty of Tudor themed fun make up this ever popular festival.




Open air swimming

Lido Ponty, Ynys Angharad Park, Pontypridd

Open daily from Saturday 26 May until the end of September

£2.50 for adults; children under 16 free

With three pools including a main pool, an activity pool and a splash pool, Lido Ponty offers fantastic swimming opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. For just £2.50 per adult and free for children, visitors can also enjoy everything from fun inflatables to Aqua Scooterz, Aqua Peddlerz and Water Walker.

Read our review of Lido Ponty from last year here.


FREE Victoria Park Splash Pad

Victoria Park, Canton, Cardiff

Open daily from Saturday 26 May

Three zones designed for toddlers, juniors and families, with 33 exciting features for children to enjoy including sprays, jets, a tipping water bucket and a tunnel.


Miniature Railways and Tramways

Heath Model Railway, Heath Park, Cardiff

Sunday 22 July, 1pm-5pm

A chance for the whole family to ride on miniature steam, diesel and electric trains, plus a tram, as Cardiff Model Engineering Society open their doors. Entry is £1.80 per person and each ride is £1.80 per person. Under 3s are free.



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


Tacoma Square, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

Wednesday 27 June-Wednesday18 July


The giant screen in Mermaid Quay will be showing World Cup football plus a range of films including family-friendly screenings on early morning weekends. You can download the full schedule of ‘grown up’ movies here and our kid’s early morning movie programme is here.

Saturday 30 June 9am Dora The Explorer (U)

Sunday 1 July 9am Despicable Me (U)

Saturday 7 July 8am Toy Story (PG)

Sunday 8 July 8am Muppets Treasure Island (U)

Saturday 14 July 8am The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (U)

Sunday 15 July 8am The Little Mermaid (U)


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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