45 family-friendly events in and around Cardiff for May 2016


It’s a bank holiday this weekend, woohoo, plus another one at the end of the month. There’s so much going on in and around Cardiff on both bank holidays, not to mention the weeks in between.

Here are 45 ideas of things to do for families. As always, all events are subject to change or cancellation and I recommend checking ahead with the organisers to avoid disappointment.

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 Day/ Bank holiday special events

FREE Meet A Superhero

The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 30th April-Sunday 1st May

To celebrate the release of Captain America: Civil War, Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man tributes will be meeting and greeting fans at The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay. The hero trio will be there for 30-minute sessions at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm each day. Read more about our role as Red Dragon Centre ambassadors here.


FREE Bringing In The May

St Fagans National History Museum

Saturday 30th April-Monday 2nd May, 11am-4pm

Traditional Welsh celebrations mark the arrival of May, with music, folk dancing and the raising of the maypole. Entrance to the museum is free, but car parking is £5. Coins only.


May Day Celebrations

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturday 30th April-Monday 2nd May, 11am-2pm

The National Trust property celebrates May Day with family-friendly activities. Regular entrance fees or membership apply.


Bank Holiday Fun

Caerphilly Castle

Sunday 1st to Monday 2nd May, 10.30am-4pm

Adults £6, children £4.20, family £16.20

Meet historical characters and have a go at family activities including archery. Read more about our role as Cadw ambassadors here.


FREE Calan Mai

Glanfa foyer, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Sunday 1st May, 1.30pm-7pm and Monday 2nd May, 1pm-6pm

Wales Millennium Centre celebrates May Day with its annual free folk music festival is a two-day celebration of music, dancing and festivities, bring together the very best folk musicians.


Dawn Chorus Walk

Cwmcarn Forest

Sunday 1st May, 5.30am

Price to be confirmed; ages 6+. Booking essential

A gentle stroll around the Nantcarn valley to hear the sounds of the birds waking up, will be followed by a hot sausge/bacon bap and a cuppa in the café afterwards.


Family Birdsong Walk

Newport Wetlands

Sunday 1st May, 9.30am-11am

RSPB members £3, non-members £5. Booking essential

Celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day with a gentle walk around the wetlands to discover which song belongs to which bird.


Fortress Wales

Caldicot Castle Country Park

Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May, 10am-5pm

Adult day pass £10, children’s day pass £5, family day pass £30

Re-enactment groups bring history to life, portraying knights in armour, medieval peasants, Second World War soldiers and more.


FREE May Day Carnival

Whitchurch Common, Cardiff

Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May, 11am-4pm

The fourth annual May Day Carnival raises valuable funds for Welsh hearts/Calonnau Cymru. The day includes stalls, fun fair rides, face painting, food and drink, plus live entertainment throughout the day. Entry free but some attractions will incur costs.


FREE Star Wars Day

Hamleys, St David’s shopping centre

Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May, 12-4pm

A chance to meet Star Wars characters in the famous toy store. The store expect it to be busy, so get there early and be prepared to queue.


Animal Magic Family Fun Day

Margam Park

Monday 2nd May, from 10am

Adults £7, children £5, family (2+2) £23

Animal-themed events throughout the day include imaginative performances from Los Kaos Polar Bear, Yeshe the Yak and others. Margam Model Boat Club also be demeonstrating on the new pond.



Annie Jr

Tythe Barn, St Donats Art Centre

Friday 20th-Sunday 22nd May, 7pm


SD1 Theatre present this abridged version of the classical musical about the orphan redhead, Annie, who is determined to find the parents who abandoned her as a baby.


Goodnight Mr Tom

New Theatre, Cardiff

Tuesday 10th-Saturday 14th May, 7pm, plus Wednesday and Thursday matinees, 1.30pm Saturday matinee 2.30pm


The classic literary favourite is brought to the stage in this Olivier-award winning production. It follows young William Beach, who is evacuated to the English countryside during the Second World War and  strikes up a heart-warming friendship with elderly recluse, Tom Oakley.


Studio One: Musicality Mash-Up

Sherman Cymru

Sunday 1st May, 2.30pm

Tickets cost £13.50

An uplifting performance of over 100 musical theatre songs, featuring performers aged 2 ½ to adults, featuring songs made famous by musicals including Billy Elliot, Chicago, Grease, Hairspray, The Lion King, Matilda, Shrek and more.


History, culture, wildlife and other events


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.


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.


FREE Clore Explorers

National Museum Cardiff

Saturdays and Sundays, 2pm

Free workshops give families the chance to find out more about objects from the museum and take part in a crafty activity.


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.


Baby and Toddler Tuesdays

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Tuesdays 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st May

Events and workshops for the pre-school crowd, including singing, crafts and guest sessions from local pre-school classes. Usual entrance fees apply, but all workshops are free on a first-come, first-served basis.


Marvellous Mini Beasts – Toddler Day

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Friday 6th May, 9.30am-4.30pm

Marvellous mini beasts is the theme this month as the famous hands-on science centre opens its doors to the pre-schoolers of Cardiff and beyond. As well as over 100 exhibits, you can expect drawing, colouring and crafts with a mini beast theme, as well as story time and a disco. Under 4s are free, with accompanying adults paying £5 entry. Read our review here.


Toddler Events

Parc Play, Curran Embankment, Cardiff

Fridays, 10.30am-2.30pm

As well as the usual indoor and outdoor play, Fridays in May will see special activities for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Friday 6th May – South Wales Fire Service

Friday 13th May – RSPB

Friday 20th May – Owl Sanctuary

Friday 27th May – Magic Stu


Moth Night

Cwmcarn Forst

Friday 6th May, 9.30pm

Adults £2.50, children £1.50. Booking advisable.

A walk after dark to discover more about the winged creatures.


FREE Dinky Dragons

The Cardiff Story, The Hayes, Cardiff

Friday 13th May, 10am-3pm

The Cardiff Story is a fascinating hands-on exhibition exploring the history of Cardiff. You can read our review here. If you have pre-schoolers, then the monthly Dinky Dragons free family fun days are great. Taking place on the second Friday of each month, between 10am and 3pm, there will be toys to play with, detective trails, crafts, messy play and rhyme time and story time at 11am and 1pm.


The Romans Return

Cardiff Castle

Saturday 14th-Sunday 15th May, 10am-4pm

Adults £6, children £4; Cardiff castle key holders, adults £4, children £2.

Roman soldiers in full authentic costumes will stage drills, displays and will be looking for recuits to join the children’s army and enter the gladiator arena.


FREE Natural History Open Day

National Museum Cardiff

Wednesday 25th May


In celebration of International Day of Biodiversity, the museum’s scientists will help visitors explore dozens of natural history objects, take part in a workshop exploring pond life down the microscope and join a behind the scenes tour.


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

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 31st May, 10am-4pm

Museum staff will reveal their secrets for preserving stories of discovery and adventure.



FREE Printmaking Workshops

Tuesday 31st May to Thursday 2nd June, 11am, 1pm & 3pm

Free family art workshops will explore images and poetry from The Battle of Mametz Wood during the First World War (exhibition currently on at the museum), before creating your own print.

Places are limited. Book at the information desk on arrival.


Bat Walk

St Fagans National History Museum

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

£5 per person, suitable for ages 8+. Pre-booking essential

A 90-minute walk around the museum’s grounds after dark to find bats. Wear sensible clothes and bring a torch.


Wild Flower Seed Bombs – Little Green Fingers Workshops

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Radyr

Tuesday 31st May, various time slots available

£5 per child

Children will get the chance to make a seed bomb in this hand-on workshop. These little balls will create an explosion of colour in your garden. There’s also a chance to make an extra special creation to take home using a pair of old wellington boots.


End of May Bank Holiday special events

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.


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.


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.


Dinosaur Encounter

Cardiff Castle

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.


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. Full details will be announced nearer to the time.


FREE Mermaid Quay Music Fest

Friday 29th April to Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May, 12-4.30pm

The third annual free music festival will see four days of live performances on the quay-side bandstand, featuring all styles of music from pop and musicals to soul and funk.


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. 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 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.

Cinderella (U)

Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 11am and 3pm, Monday 2nd May 2.30pm

Kung Fu Panda 3 (PG)

Saturday 7th May 3pm, Sunday 8th May 11am; Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May 11am and 3pm

Eddie The Eagle (PG)

Friday 13th to Thursday 26th May, various screenings

Up (U)

Saturday 21st May 11am, Sunday 22nd May 3pm

Inside Out (U)

Saturday 21st May 3pm, Sunday 22nd May 11am and 2pm

Zootropolis (PG)

Saturday 28th May to Thursday 2nd June, various screenings

May family-friendly events 1

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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