A festive family day at Cardiff’s Mermaid Quay – the Bay Snow Trail, classic Christmas films at Everyman and dining at Côte

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Cardiff Bay Snow Trail

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Paid collaboration with Mermaid Quay

Christmas has certainly arrived at Cardiff’s Mermaid Quay, with beautiful outdoor decorations, seasonal gifts to browse, classic festive films at Everyman, dining at the many restaurants and cafes, plus sculpture-spotting with the Bay Snow Trail. 

We had the loveliest family day out at Mermaid Quay at the weekend, a chance to escape the chaos of the festive season and spend quality time together.

Our day started with The Bay Snow Trail. We were lucky to visit on launch weekend where a number of festive games were running such as a giant spin the wheel and tin cans to knock down, with children thrilled to win some chocolates and candy canes.

The Bay Snow Trail sees eight snow-themed characters to find around Mermaid Quay and Cardiff Bay before 7 January. We won’t spoil the trail too much by telling exactly what we found where, but we managed to locate five on this visit and will definitely return to find the other three at done point over the festive season.

You can download a trail map here or pick one up at Mermaid Quay or The Red Dragon Centre, subject to availability.

Cardiff Bay Snow Trail
Cardiff Bay Snow Trail
Cardiff Bay Snow Trail

Plus you can also enter a competition to win a family day out in Cardiff Bay, including dinner and an overnight stay at the Coal Exchange hotel, a game of bowling at Hollywood Bowl at The Red Dragon Centre, a £100 voucher for a meal at a Mermaid Quay restaurant of your choice, and a boat trip on Princess Katherine. Simply find the letters on each of the sculptures, and unscramble them to work out the word and enter online to be in with a chance of winning

Cardiff Bay Snow Trail

In between spotting snow sculptures, we browsed the gifts in some of Mermaid Quay’s lovely independent boutiques including Zia boutique, which is a real treasure trove of affordable jewellery, statement scarves, scented beauty products, and festive ornaments. We also stopped by Fabulous Welsh Cakes for a mid-afternoon snack – look out for their seasonal specials, as well as their gift section featuring local food produce and handmade gifts.

Mermaid Quay Christmas
Mermaid Quay Christmas

From there, it was on Everyman cinema to watch Elf, a special 20th anniversary edition of one of our festive film favourites. Elf is one of many classic Christmas films showing at Everyman this month, with others including Home Alone and The Holiday, as well as big releases including Disney’s Wish and Wonka. 

Everyman is a real treat of a cinema experience, with audiences sitting on plush sofas, drink and food service direct to your chair, and a bar and dining area with stunning views across the Bay (even the ladies toilets have the most amazing views).

Everyman cinema cardiff
Everyman cinema Cardiff Bay

Côte Cardiff Bay kindly invited us for a family meal. It was the first time we had visited with our children and I was surprised by how family-friendly the restaurant is, with the children’s menu a very reasonable £6.95 for two courses of £8.95 for three, Mains include chargrilled half a chicken breast, haddock goujons, burgers and pasta, with the children also given a small Christmas gift at the end of their meal. For a French restaurant I was also pleased to see how thoughtful their vegan offerings are. My starter of warm beetroot salad (£7.75) was light, fresh and warming, while the mushroom Bourguignon (£14.75) was rich in taste and served with perfectly smooth and fluffy mashed potato. My husband opted for 10oz rib eye steak (£24.95), served with frites and salad.

Cote Cardiff Bay
Cote Cardiff Bay
Cote Cardiff Bay
Cote Cardiff Bay

Dessert-wise, the chocolate salted caramel tart (£7.75 and vegan) was deep in flavour but thankfully not too rich after two delicious courses. My husband loved his spiced crème brûlée (£7.75), crisp on top and indulgent and creamy on the inside, and my children all opted for ice cream from the children’s menu.

When we left the restaurant, darkness had set in, and the Quay looked beautiful with the Christmas lights twinkling. Naturally we took family photos by the giant star and the Christmas tree which overlooks the water, wonderful reminders of our festive family day. 

Mermaid Quay Cardiff Christmas

Thank you to Mermaid Quay and all the retailers for treating us, it was lovely to spend quality family-time together in the chaos of the festive season. 

Visit mermaidquay.co.uk for details of where you can eat, shop and more, and here for details of the Cardiff Bay Snow Trail.

Look out for special events in the run up to Christmas such as free performances from Mrs Christmas and her Point-Settia LED dancer on Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 December.

Christmas at Mermaid Quay Cardiff Bay 2023
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