Where has this year gone?! It’s almost the school holidays once again and if you are wondering how to entertain your little ones over the bank holiday weekend and the coming week, then look no further. Here’s 31 things to do in and around Cardiff in half term May 2015. Let me know if I have missed anything and I’ll do my best to add it in. Enjoy!
Theatre, music and performance
* Welsh National Opera’s Peter Pan, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Saturday 23rd May, 630pm, and Sunday 31st May, 4pm
Age guidance 8+. Running time, 2 hours 5 minutes with one interval
A great introduction to opera for anyone over the age of eight, this isn’t the sanitised, saccharine Peter Pan we know so well. Instead, the danger, delightful anarchy and vibrancy of JM Barrie’s original story is brought to the stage in a fast-paced and thrilling production. Before the shows, there will be free Peter Pan-themed family activities in the Centre.
*The Wizard of Oz, New Theatre, Cardiff
Wednesday 27th– Sunday 31st May
Wednesday – Saturday 2.00pm & 7.00pm,Sunday 2.00pm
Cardiff’s Orbit Theatre present the classic tale of Dorothy and her dog Toto as they travel the yellow brick road on the way to the Emerald City. Includes all the classic songs made famous by the film, such as Over The Rainbow, Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead and We’re Off To See The Wizard.
*Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Junior, Dinas Powys Parish Hall
28th-30th May, 7.30pm plus 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday
Talented youngsters from the of Vale of Glamorgan’s Billboard Ensemble bring to life the beautiful story full of love, with a host of fantastic musical numbers and the much-loved characters from the Disney movie. Adults £9, child/OAP £7, family £30 (2+2)
*FREE! The Mavron Quartet Half Term Family Concert, The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath
Wednesday 27th May, 1pm
The Mavron Quartet’s free family concerts are a regular fixture during school holidays, with families and children of all ages invited to explore a wide range of music and activities and experiment with musical ideas.
*Cinderella (U), Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Saturday 23rd-Sunday 24th May, 11am and 3pm
This is Disney’s real action version of the tale of Ella, who finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and stepsister when her father unexpectedly dies. An invitation to the palace ball gives her hope she may reunited with a dashing stranger she met in the woods, with the help of a fairy godmother played by Helena Bonham Carter.
*Kids’ Film Club, Odeon, Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay
Saturday 23rd-Thursday 28th May (films not yet available from the 29th onwards)
A chance to see Big Hero 6, Cinderella, Paddington and The Box Trolls for just £2.50 per ticket as part of Odeon’s Kids’ Club, every day of the school holidays and at the weekend.
*Movies for Juniors, Cineworld, Cardiff
Saturday 23rd– Thursday 28th May (films not yet available from the 29th onwards)
Movies for Juniors screenings cost just £1.75 per person over the holidays and at the weekends. This half term, you can see Sean The Sheep, Annie and Big Hero 6.
*Music With Mummy / Jolly Babies – Stay and Play
Monday 25th May, 9.30am-11.30am, Bethany Baptist Church Hall, Heol Uchaf, Rhiwbina
Wednesday 27th May, 9.30am-11.30am, Undy Community and Church Hall, Church Road, Undy
Friday 29th May, 9.30am-11.30am, The Ararat Centre, Plas Treoda, Whitchurch
If you’ve got pre-schoolers, it can be frustrating in the school holidays when all the classes stop running and all the parks and softplays are full of big kids. Beth from Music With Mummy North Cardiff and Caldicot will be running playgroup-style stay-and-play session for the under five this week, featuring a music session. It costs £3.20 per family and places must be pre-booked.
*Discotots Pirates and Princesses Parties
Thursday 28th May, 10am Whitchurch, 2pm Penarth
A chance to get dressed up and disco dancing with percussion instruments and games.
Suitable for ages walking to four. Must be pre-booked. Tickets costs £7 (walking siblings are £2 extra, adults and babes in arms free)
*FREE All Hands On Deck, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Tuesday 26th-Saturday 30th May, 11am-4pm
Ahoy, me hearties! Following the success of Home Sweet Home, where visitors helped to create a cardboard city, comes the chance to build a giant cardboard pirate ship in the Centre’s Glanfa foyer. The ship will grow over the week, until it is ready to sail the seven seas. The event is free, you can just turn up on the day (although best to arrive early as spaces may be limited).
*FREE Design Your Science Gallery, National Museum Cardiff
Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st May 2015, 11am-4pm (the museum is closed on Mondays)
A chance for families to get creative in this free, drop-in session. Children can show the museum what they’d like to see in a new Natural Sciences Gallery.
*FREE Create Your Own St Fagans Artefact, St Fagans National History Museum
Monday 25th May, 11am, 1pm & 3pm
This unique workshop, run by ceramics and illustration students from Cardiff School of Art and Design, will encourage exploration of the history of objects at the St Fagans and give them the chance to create their very own ‘St Fagans artefact’ using clay dug from the museum site.
Workshops are free but must be booked at the cockpit on arrival. Suitable for 5+, and last for about an hour.
*FREE Family Craft Session, Cardiff Story Museum
Wednesday 27th May
If you haven’t yet been to the Cardiff Story yet, then do – it’s such an interesting, interactive and free place to visit, suitable for all ages. This Wednesday sees a family craft day, where little ones can get creative for just £1.
*Natural Vase Workshop, Cwmcarn Forest Drive
Friday 29th May, 10am-2.15pm
Create your own natural flower vase using a glass jar and natural materials from the forest Bring along a clean jar. Booking essential; £3 per child, ages 4 and above.
History and natural history
*FREE Natural History Open Day, National Museum Cardiff
Saturday 23 May, 10am-4pm
The museum is inviting families to celebrate International Day of Biodiversity with its scientists. You can explore dozens of natural history objects or join a behind-the-scenes tour to discover even more – and all for free.
*FREE Toys in the Schoolyard, St Fagans National History Museum
Tuesday 26th, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th May, 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm
How did children play before the days of plastic and computers? Stop by the Victorian school house for an opportunity to play with some of the toys in the schoolyard. Free, suitable for families.
*FREE Food In War, St Fagans National History Museum
Tuesday 26th, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th May, 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm
In this free drop-in session you can learn more about the food industry during the First World War and have a go at making butter, which was a key ingredient for many meals.
*Slings and Arrows, National Roman Legion Museum
Monday 25th–Friday 29th May, 11am-3pm
Make a working model of a catapult and try out archery and get a taste of what life was like for the Romans, who refined these into long-range weapons that could throw large stones.
Entry to the museum is free but Slings and Arrows costs £2 per person.
*Fire and Ice, Techniquest, Cardiff Bay
Saturday 23rd-Sunday 31st May
Fire and Ice is the theme at Techniquest this half term, with a spectacular show that discovers what happens when things when get hot and cold. You’ll discover whether ice burns and how to turn a banana into a hammer with liquid nitrogen. You can also explore space in Wales’s only digital planetarium, not to mention getting hands-on with the 120 exhibits that make science fun. The Fire and Ice show is in addition to regular ticket prices.
*Miri Meithrin, Canton Community Hall
Thursday 28th May, 9.30am-11.30am
Arts and crafts, a bouncy castle, and a performance from Heini plus more are on offer at this Welsh language play session. Non-Welsh speaking parents are welcome. £3.50 a child/baby.
For more information, email email@example.com
*Urdd Eisteddfod, Llancaich Fawr Manor, Caerphilly
Monday 25th-Saturday 30th May
More than 45,000 children will take part in the Urdd Eisteddfod, making it one of the biggest youth festivals in Europe. As well as competitions in dancing, music, poetry recitation and singing, there will be activities, stalls, an open air theatre and a funfair.
*Miniature Railways and Tramways, Heath Model Railway, Heath Park, Cardiff
Sunday 25th and Bank Holiday Monday 25th May, 1pm-5pm
The miniature railway is a great family day out, for all ages. You can 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.
*Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival
Sunday 24th-Monday 25th 2015
There’s plenty to keep children entertained at Cowbridge’s famous Food and Drink festival this bank holiday. From light-hearted competitions such as best animal made out of a vegetable and spaghetti sculpture, to best garden in a shoebox and ugliest vegetable, each category is divided into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, with prizes on offer for the top three in each category. Tickets cost £5 per day or £8 for the weekend, with under 12s admitted for free.
*South Wales Dog and Family Fun Day, Fonmon Castle Showground, Vale of Glamorgan
Bank Holiday Monday 25th May, 9am-5pm
This family-friendly day out combines fun dog shows with a fairground, donkey rides, a chance to meet a host of popular children’s characters, falconry displays, a laser gun combat zone and a chance to meet exotic animals, plus much more. Entry costs from £10 per car, with full pricing structure on the website.
*Bank Holiday Super Hero Family Fun Day, Margam Park
Bank Holiday Monday 25th May
A chance to meet SpiderMan, Iron Man, the Hulk, and Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen. Also features the Margam Kite Festival, plus Wonder Woman Hula Hoop Show, a vintage circus, Tangent Man, and Welsh superhero, Pontycanna Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Archive. Come dressed as your favourite super hero.
Admission charges apply. Adults £6, children/OAP £4, family (2 plus 2) £19, (under-3s are free).
*FREE Story time with Disney Junior’s Doc Mcstuffin and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Margam Park
Wednesday 27th May, sessions in the castle at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm
A meet and greet and photo opportunity with a story read by storyteller.
Plus ‘Bird Brains’ Discovery Centre at 10.30am-2.30pm where you can contribute to a wildlife recording with a guided bird walk!
*Wildlife Week, Dyffryn Gardens
Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st May
This half term is dedicated to all things wild. Highlights include getting creepy crawly with make-it Monday and 50 things Wednesday. Normal admission costs apply.
*Half term events at Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly
Saturday 23rd-Sunday 31st May, 9.30am-5pm
Daily events over the holiday include the Gruffalo story, meet the rabbits, archery, campfire and marshmallow toasting, plus high ropes and segway at an additional cost for the more adventurous.
Tuesday 26th May, 11am or 1.30pm
With a reading of Brambley Hedge – The Spring Story by Jill Barklem, participants will then head out into the park to look for spring flowers and enjoy outdoor activities, followed by a mini fruit and cake picnic and arts and crafts activities. For ages 3+. Booking is essential on 029 2087 2730 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Butterfly Feeder Workshop, Cwmcarn Forest Drive
Wednesday 27th May, 10am-2.15pm
A chance to understand more about nature by creating your own butterfly feeder for the garden. Booking essential; £3 per child, ages 4 and above.
*FREE WITH A CASTLE KEY Dragon Tales, Cardiff Castle
Thursday 28th May, timed slots
Cardiff Castle will be taken over by dragons with dragon-themed storytelling and dragons on the loose. No need to book in advance. The sessions are free but normal admission applies, or a valid Castle Key.
*Parrot Pandemonium, Cardiff Castle
Friday 29th May, timed slots
A chance to meet beautiful birds up close, including macaws, cockatoos, African greys and a kookaburra. Limited availability, tickets are £3 per person in addition to normal admission or a valid Castle Key. You can book via 029 2087 8100 or in person at the ticket office.
Holiday Soccer School, Gol Centre, Cardiff
Tuesday 26th-Friday 29th May, 8.30am-12pm/3.30pm/5.30pm
A chance for children to brush up on their soccer skills in either Welsh or English, from £7 per half day.
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