August 22nd-September 4th – 50 family-friendly events in and around Cardiff


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Wow, how is it the last two weeks of the school summer holidays already? I’m continuing my weekly family-friendly events guide with 30 family-friendly events taking place in and around Cardiff from Monday 22nd August until Sunday 4th September, including the bank holiday weekend.

I’ve put all the bank holiday special events together at the top. Below them, is everything else. All events are subject to change to do check ahead with the relevant venues to avoid disappointment.

I hope you find something to inspire you and your little ones! And do please spread the word to other parents you know looking to entertain their children over the holidays. I’m always so grateful to people who like, comment or share any of these events postings – because Facebook does its best to hide me from people’s timelines and without regular interaction, I’ll disappear from your newsfeed!

Do follow the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page for more ideas of local family-friendly activities, or visit the Cardiff section of Cardiff Mummy Says, follow Cardiff Mummy Says on Instagram or follow @cardiffmummy on Twitter.


National Museum Cardiff

This events guide is produced in association with St Fagans National History Museum and National Museum Cardiff – two great free attractions in Cardiff perfect for families.

At the National Museum Cardiff, you’ll find the famous dinosaur skeletons, a humpback whale skeleton alongside hundreds of other creatures from land, sea and air, meteorites, fossils and more, plus art galleries filled with paintings, statues and ceramics from some of the world’s most famous artists. New for this summer is the hands-on interactive exhibition Wriggle – The Wonderful World of Worms (read our review here) as well as Quentin Blake: Inside Stories, which explores the work of the artist best known for bringing to life the characters of Roald Dahl (read our review here). Please note the museum is closed on Mondays but will be open on Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August.

Until October 30th 2016, you can also visit Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology (£7 for adults, concessions £5, free for children ages 16 and under).). Here, you will see amazing artefacts from around the world, including an Egyptian Mummy, South American gold, and coin hoards and cauldrons from Wales. The exhibition also celebrates archaeologists from the movies, with a display of the jacket, hat and whip worn by Indiana Jones and material from the fictional character Tintin. You can read our review here.

St Fagans National History Musuem

St Fagans National History Museum brings to life the history of the people of Wales with more than 40 buildings from across Wales to explore. All were carefully deconstructed at their original location before being rebuilt on the museum’s 100-acre site, and furnished accordingly. There’s a Victorian school, a chapel, a toll booth, a miners’ institute as well as the Rhyd-y-Car mining cottages. New for this summer is a reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse. Each week the Iron Age roundhouses, Victorian Schoolhouse or 1930s farm will come to life – call in to see what’s going on. There’s also a traditional fairground with retro rides and games for your little ones to enjoy (charges apply). Please note parking charges apply at St Fagans.

Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September sees the annual St Fagans National History Museum Food Festival, a free event with plenty on offer for families.

More than 80 food, drink and craft stalls will showcase the best Welsh and international produce, with family-friendly activities during the festival include circus workshops, model cows to milk, and historic cooking displays. As you can imagine, the Food Festival gets busy, so do arrive early to avoid disappointment.

21 08 2016 Events Collage with text


Bank holiday weekend special events

FREE Roald Dahl Family Fun Day

The Cardiff Story Museum

Saturday 27th August, 10am-3pm

Celebrate Roald Dahl’s stories and enjoy face painting, gallery trails, craft sessions and story time. You could even come dressed as your favourite character.


Empire: A Roman Spectacular

Caerleon Ampitheatre

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August, 11am-5pm

Amphitheatre will echo to the sound of marching feet as the soldiers display the weapons that made the Roman army the best fighting force on earth. Watch as the horses are put through their paces in the arena. Talk to our Romans and find out what life was like as a soldier, a doctor or as a Roman lady. Adults £5; family £15; concessions and children under 16, £4.


Knights of Arkley Family Fun Day

Margam Park, Port Talbot

Bank Holiday Monday 29th August

All the thrills and pageantry of a medieval festival, with mounted noblemen challenged to a series of races, games and horsemanship. Adults £7, children £5, family (2+2), £23


1930s Garden Party

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th August, 11am-4pm

Step back to the 1930s jazz era and experience a Tredegar House garden party with fun activities for all the family.


Bank Holiday Fun

Caerphilly Castle

Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th August, 10am-5pm

Meet medieval characters, and watch as the history of this medieval castle come alive with the sights, sounds and smells of the period. Hands-on activities, living history, talks and displays. Suitable for all the family. Adults £6, family £16.20, concessions and children under 16, £4.20.


FREE Cardiff Harbour Festival and The P1 Welsh Grand Prix of the Sea

Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th August

On land, explore the craft stalls and enjoy live music. On the water, the Bay will again be the venue for the penultimate round of this year’s P1 SuperStock and AquaX UK championships.


FREE Summer Fun

The Senedd, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th August, 10.30am-4.30pm

Games and activities for all the family, including soft play for youngsters, carnival games, face painting, hula hooping competitions, choir performances, a treasure hunt and more.


Miniature Railways and Tramways

Heath Model Railway, Heath Park, Cardiff

Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th August, 1pm-5pm

Cardiff Model Engineering Society open their doors, meaning 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.

FREE Sand Art Workshop

The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

Bank Holiday Monday 29th August, 12pm-4pm

Bringing the flavour of the beach indoors, visitors can take part in free drop-in sand workshops, creating their very own sand picture to take home. (Parking is free for Centre customers; minimum spend and ticket validation apply).


Barking Mad Dog Show

Llancaich Fawr Manor

Bank Holiday Monday 29th August

An annual fun dog show with Hope Rescue. £1.50 entry per person; £1 per class entry for dogs.



Culture, creative, and science-based

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 Dream Jars

Tortoise Tales

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

4th August-4th September, 10am-4pm

Inspired by Roald Dahl’s The BFG and Esio Trot, come and make your own dream jar (free) and visit the tortoise pen filled with tortoises (age 4+; parental supervision required; £3 for 5 minutes of tortoise fishing), ready for you to catch and take home, at Wales Millennium Centre’s drop-in events.


The Wondercrump World Of Roald Dahl

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Friday 16th August to 14th January 2017; £8-£9

Ages 7+; the guided group experience lasts around one hour; maximum of three children per adult

A magical and interactive journey, learning about Roald Dahl’s extraordinary life and the surprising inspiration for his most famous characters and stories. The guided tour features interactive installations, chance to test your own powers of creativity as well as unique items from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre archives. Read our review here.


Splendiferous Science

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 16th July-Sunday 4th September

Take part in interactive demonstrations and explore the most memorable and best-loved characters and events from Roald Dahl’s children’s books. Ever wondered if there was an easy way to find a golden ticket? How did Augustus Gloop get stuck in the pipe? Can you move objects with your mind like Matilda? This show will reveal all. The show is included in the general admittance fee but must be pre-booked on arrival.


FREE Storytelling and more

St Fagans National History Museum

Monday 22nd, Wednesday 24th August, 3-4pm

Reading, storytelling and craft activities from Cardiff Libraries. In English on Monday and bilingually in Welsh and English on Wednesday.


FREE The Imagination of Roald Dahl

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 23rd-Thursday 25th August, 11am, 1pm, 3pm

Places limited; book on arrival

Explore some of Roald Dahl’s characters and storylines and use museum collections as inspiration to develop your own story.


The Butterfly Ball – Little Green Fingers Workshops

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Radyr, Cardiff

Wednesday 24th August, 10am, 1pm, 3pm

Make your own butterflies and dragonflies using all sorts of crafts materials, and then go on a butterfly hunt around the garden centre. £5 per child.



Crafty Summer

The Cardiff Story Museum, Cardiff

Wednesdays 24th and 31st August, 10am-1pm

Weekly drop-in crafts sessions featuring creative activities suitable for all ages. The museum is free to visit (read our review here) but the crafts are £1 per child.



Riverfront Theatre, Newport

Monday 22nd August, 2pm-4pm

Ages 6-11; £8

A chance to share the experience of Minecraft with others, in a safe off-line environment. Children get the opportunity to join worlds and work in teams to complete a number of challenges. iPads provided.


Circus Skills Workshops

Riverfront Theatre, Newport

Wednesday 24th August, 10am-12pm

£3.50 per child, ages 8+

Learn juggling, stilt walking, unicycling, diablo, poi and staff spinning, tightrope and more. Open to all abilities.


Pirate Pandemonium

Bedwellty House, Tredegar, Newport

Tuesday 23rd August, 11am-3pm

A pirate pantomime show featuring comedy, music, puppets and mayhem, plus pirate-themed crafts and activities. Ages 3+. Panto part one 11.30am; part two 2pm. £6 per child, booking recommended.


Simon Sparkles Magic School

Bedwellty House, Tredegar, Newport

Thursday 25th August; 10.30am-12pm; 1pm-2.30pm; 3pm-4.30pm

Hands-on interactive workshops teaching magic tricks with everyday items that participants can then perform at home to their own audience. £8 per child; must be pre-booked.


Monster Jam

Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Saturday 3rd September, 11am-5.45pm

An action-packed afternoon of monster truck racing and freestyle competitions as the four-wheelers come to Cardiff for their only UK date. Tickets from £10-£60.


Charles Chipperfield Circus

Tredegar House, Newport

Wednesday 24th August to Sunday 4th September

Acrobats, clowns, jugglers and more in this traditional big top circus. (Performance does not feature animals.)



Museums and historical

FREE Wriggle – The Wonderful World of Worms

National Museum Cardiff

Until September 2017

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.


Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology

National Museum Cardiff

Until Sunday 30th October 2016

Adults £7, concessions £5, 16s and under free – book online beforehand

An Egyptian mummy, Roman treasures, a crystal skull from the film India Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, plus human skulls from Viking-age burials on Anglesey are among key exhibits in this celebration of archaeological discoveries. The museum is not open on Mondays. See our review here.


FREE Quentin Blake: Inside Stories

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 16th July-Sunday 20th November 2016

The famous illustrator of children’s books gives an insight into his creative process, with sketches, drafts and finished pictures of some of his most famous characters. Read our review here.


Museum Activity Lucky Dip Days

National Roman Legion Museum

Monday 22nd, Wednesday 24th, Wednesday 31st August, 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm

Two activities per week, from a choice of making pottery, jewellery or pizza, or trying archery or gladiator fighting. The activity will be decided on the day, depending on the weather. Cost £3 per person. Entry to the museum is free.


FREE Soldiering On

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Until Tuesday 23rd August, 12pm-4pm Monday to Saturday, 2-4pm Sunday

Visit a soldier or cook in the barrack room to learn about life and food in the Roman army.

Cook in the barrack room on Sundays 14th and 21st August. Soldier in the barrack room on all other days.

Until Sunday 4th September, you can also take part in the Roman prize activity trail for £1.


Living History Weekend

Raglan Castle

Saturday 3rd-Sunday 4th September, 11am-4pm

Living history, displays and hands-on activities bring the castle’s history to life. Adults £6, family £16.20, concessions and children under 16 £4.20.



Nature and The Great Outdoors

FREE Cardiff Bay Beach

Friday 22nd July-Sunday 4th September

10am-8pm, Sundays to Thursdays; 10am-10pm Fridays and Saturdays

The urban beach is back with a sandy bay area, water pool and live entertainment all for free. Traditional attractions and rides, plus face painting and food and drink will incur an extra cost.


FREE Family Drop-in Activity Sessions

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Mondays 22nd-Saturday 28th August, 12pm-3pm

See the Iron Age roundhouses of Bryn Eryr come to life. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The museum is free but car parking charges apply.


Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly

From Saturday 30th July, 9.30am-5pm

£5 per person aged 2+ (under 2s are free); family of 4 £19; family of 5 £23.

Daily events include Gruffalo storytelling, archery, space hopper races, campfire and marshallows, all included in admission during the summer holidays. Plus there’s a fairy wood, climbing tree, tree houses, dragon’s lair, hobbit houses and acres of open space to explore. Read our review here.


Hendrewennol Fruit Farm

Daily, 9.30am-6pm (come early if you want strawberries)

£1 for adults, including basket, £3 for children

As well as strawberries, currants, raspberries and blueberries to pick, there is plenty to keep youngsters amused. There’s a bouncy castle, den building, hay bales to jump and climb on, sand to play in, willow domes to explore, giant chess, and a wild flower maze. Fruit prices per kg are £6.50 for strawberries and currants, £11.50 for raspberries, and £13.50 for blueberries.


Make It Mondays

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Mondays 22nd and 29th August, 12pm-3.30pm

A weekly family-friendly craft activity. The activity is free but usual admission prices apply.


Summer holiday activities

Tredegar House, Newport

Daily themed activities for families, with a different theme each day of the week. Choose from Fabulous Film Mondays, 50 Things Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays, 50 Things Thursday, Wonderful Beasts Friday, Mystery Meander Saturday and Ice Cream Making Sundays. The activities are free but usual admission prices apply.


Summer holiday activities

Margam Country Park, Port Talbot

Monday 22nd August, 11am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm

Pamela’s Cupcakes – learn to decorate cakes. £3 per child.

Tuesday 23rd August

FREE Find Morgan the Margam Monk (book on arrival; spaces limited), 12pm

Summertime Sun Catchers – get crafty and colourful. £3 per child. 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Margam Archery – 11am-4pm, price TBC

Wednesday 24th August

Zoolab – Habitats, 11am, 12.15pm, 1.45pm and 3pm – discover animal homes, focus on habitats in the UK’s wetlands, forests, seashore, towns and cities, as well as rainforests and desserts. £3 per child.

FREE Summer Senses drop in sessions at the Discovery Centre, 10.30am-2.30pm

Thursday 25th August

Family Bushcraft – Fire through the ages. £3 per child. 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm.

Friday 26th August

FREE Find Morgan the Margam Monk – 12pm (book on arrival; spaces limited)

FREE Pirate Day, including shows in the Castle, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Tuesday 30th August

FREE Find Morgan the Margam Monk (book on arrival; spaces limited), 12pm

Funky Fridge Magnet Making – 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. £3 per child. Book on arrival.

Wednesday 31st August

Zoolab: Food Webs – 11am, 12.15pm, 1.45pm, 3pm – learn about food webs and chains, and get up close with stick insects, lizards, frogs and snakes. £3 per child.


Family Fun In The Wild: Furry Friends

Newport Wetlands

Monday 22nd-Thursday 25th August

Drop in from 10.30am-12pm or 2pm-3.30pm; £3 RSPB member, £5 non-members

Track down furry friends on the reserve, looking for mammal tracks and trails. Make your own tracks on our barefoot trail, plus other sensory-based activities to discover what life is like for mammals in the wild.

Read our review of what else Newport Wetlands has to offer here.


Toddler Fun In The Wild: Wilber The Water Vole

Newport Wetlands

Friday 26th August

10.30am-11.45am or 2pm-3.15pm; £3 RSPB member, £5 non-members

Find out more about Wilber the Water Vole and his adventures at Newport Wetlands. Find clues that Wilber has left behind to show that he has been here, and leave your own tracks on our barefoot trail. Plus lots of sensory activities to explore and discover more about life for furry creatures on the reserve.


Nature-themed events

Cwmcarn Forest

FREE Mini and Junior Rangers

Wednesday 24th August, 10am-11am; 1pm-3pm

Join the warden on the valley floor to create some gardens and plant flowers to create habitats for different animals. Mini ranges ages 4-6; juniors 7-11. Pre-booking recommended.

Clay Birdies Workshop

Thursday 25th August, 10.30am-3.15pm

Make your own bird out of clay and decorate with paints, glitter and even feathers. £4 per child, ages 4+. Pre-booking recommended.

Read our review about what else Cwmcarn Forest has to offer here. It is free to visit!


Den building and Fire / All About Bugs

Cosmeston Lakes, Penarth

Tuesdays, 10am-12pm

Outdoor sessions for 7-11s. £5 per session. Must be pre-booked by calling 029 2070 1678.

Tuesday 23rd August – Den Building and Fire (with treats)

Tuesday 30th August – All About Bugs

Even if you’re not taking part in the activities, Cosmeston is a lovely place to visit. Read our review here.


FREE Grow Wild: The City Seedlings

Riverfront Theatre, Newport

Tuesdays 23rd and 30th August; 12pm-2pm

A free family drop-in session where you can plant seeds and create some arty flowers.


Go Wild! Summer holiday outdoor activities

Porthkerry Country Park, Barry

Tuesdays, 10am-12pm

Tuesday 23rd August – Survival Skills

Tuesday 30th August – Minibeast Madness

Join the rangers to discover what bugs are in the ponds and meadows of Porthkerry. £5 per child, must be prebooked. Suitable for 7-11 year olds.

Even if you’re not taking part in the activities, Porthkerry is a great place to visit. Read our review here.



Bat Walks

St Fagans National History Museum

Wednesdays 24th 8.15pm; and 31st August 8pm

£5 per person; age 8+; pre-booking essential

An after-dark journey around the museum to find bats.


Family-friendly cinema screenings

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

FREE Barry Island Weekenders

Cinema by the Sea – Saturday 27th (Star Wars The Force Awakens) and Sunday 28th August (Dirty Dancing), from 8.30pm


Fantastic Mr Fox (PG)

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Tuesday 23rd August 11am

Meryl Streep and George Clooney provide voices in this big screen adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, following Mr Fox as he attempts to escape three brutish farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean.


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 £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 school holiday 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. See website for full listings.

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