August 15th-21st – 40 family-friendly events in and around Cardiff



Pugh's Little Green Fingers 2

This guide has once again been produced in association with Pugh’s Garden Village in Radyr, Cardiff.

A family-run business, Pugh’s has been encouraging all generations to garden for more than 60 years.

In fact, they’ve just introduced a new Little Green Fingers garden shop, set up in the shrub area of their garden centre. Here you’ll find child-friendly plants, children’s gardening tools, books, children’s seeds, outdoor games and more.

Little Green Fingers is also the name of the popular children’s gardening workshops Pugh’s run during school holidays. This summer, they have a packed programme of events.

Following on from the success of Fairy Tale Week, Butterfly Week, and Really Wild Week workshops, this week is Flower Power Week. Little ones can attend Blooming Bugs – Children’s Flower Arranging Workshops on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th August at 10am, 1pm and 3pm. Tickets are £5 for children, with accompanying adults free. Children will make a Blooming Bug from a variety of flowers, and the take part in a Flower Power Bug Hunt, matching bugs to flowers. Book online here.

As if that isn’t enough, Pugh’s also has an on-site pet shop, reptile house and aquarium, where you can meet the animals. And there’s a warm welcome for families in the restaurant, with a family friendly menu, including a family picnic meal deal for £15, which includes two children’s picnic boxes, a baguette or panini, two muffins and two filter coffees. Perfect for a bite to eat after the workshops. Book online here.

Visit the Pugh’s website, follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Pugh's Little Green Fingers 1

15 08 2016 Events collage with text

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.


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


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.



Splendiferous Science

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 16th July-Sunday 4th September

To celebrate 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, Techniquest’s new show Splendiferous Science is inspired by the work of the Cardiff-born author. Visitors can 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.


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Wednesday 3rd-Sunday 21st August

Age guidance: 5+ (no under 2s); £16.50-£53.50

Lee Mead, Claire Sweeney and Shaun Williamson star in one of the world’s favourite musicals as it comes to Cardiff. Can the loveable but wacky inventor Caractacus Potts, his two children and Truly Scrumptious outwit Baron Bomburst, and free all the children caught by the evil Childcatcher? Read our review of the show here.


FREE Storytelling and more

St Fagans National History Museum

Monday 15th, Wednesday 17th, Monday 22nd, Wednesday 24th August, 3-4pm

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


Crafty Summer

The Cardiff Story Museum, Cardiff

Wednesdays 17th, 24th, 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.


Favourite Fairy Tales Fun Day

Bedwellty House, Tredegar

Tuesday 16th August

£3.50 per child, booking recommended.

Family-themed crafts and activities, with storytelling at 11.30am and workshop at 1.30pm (age guidance 7+).


Minecraft Animation Workshops

Bedwellty House, Tredegar

Thursday 18th August

£8 per child or £15 to book both Minecraft and animation workshops. Workshops run 10.30am-12pm, 1pm-2.30pm and 3pm-4.30pm.

A range of tech-based creative activities around the popular game. Must be prebooked.


Children’s Superheroes Activity Day

Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, Treharris

Thursday 11th August, 11am-4pm

Superhero-themed activities for the family. £5 per child; first adult free, additional adults £1 or included in Manor entry fee



Abergavenny Museum

Friday 19th August, 4pm

Adults £13, children £8, family (2+2) £39

Age 7+; running time 2h incl interval

A stage adaptation of the popular David Walliams book follows Zoe after her hamster dies and her stepmother doesn’t care.


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.

FREE Crafty Worms workshops taking place Tuesday 16th-Thursday 18th August, 11am, 1pm, 3pm. Places limited, book at the information desk on arrival.



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.

Free family storytelling workshops take place on Tuesday 2nd-Thursday 4th August at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Must be pre-booked at the information desk. The museum is closed on Mondays.


Museum Activity Lucky Dip Days

National Roman Legion Museum

Tuesday 16th, Thursday 18th, 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.


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 attraction 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-Saturdays during school summer holidays, 12pm-3pm

Each week will see the Iron Age roundhouses, Victorian schoolhouse or 1930s farm come to life. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Mon 15-Sat 20 August – Llwyn yr Eos, 1930s’ daily life

Mon 22-Sat 28 August – Bryn Eryr, life in an Iron Age farmstead

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

Monday 15th, 22nd, 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 15th August, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm; £3 per person

Join In The Games – one-hour sessions featuring run around games, parachute games and giant twister.

Tuesday 16th August

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

Fantastic felt making, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm; £3 per child

Wednesday 17th August

Zoolab – The Great Zoolab Bug Hunt, 11am, 12.15pm, 1.45pm and 3pm – a hunt for minibeasts in the grounds of Margam Park. Must be pre-booked. £3 per child.

Thursday 11th August

Flower Power – making origami flowers, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. Must be pre-booked. £3 per child.

Friday 19th August

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

The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny – 2.30pm – an outdoor theatre performance. Adults £9, children £6, family (2+2) £28. Book here.


Family Fun In The Wild: Pondemonium

Newport Wetlands

Monday 15th-Thursday 18th August

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

Meet the creatures of the deep in a pond-dipping session, plus catch a duck (not a real one!). Make your own watery paintings plus a raft from natural materials. Read our review of what else Newport Wetlands has to offer here.


Toddler Fun In The Wild: Percy The Pond Skater

Newport Wetlands

Friday 19th August

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

Come along for some pond dipping to find Percy The Pond Skater and his friends, and join in with some pond related songs and poems. Suitable for toddlers and under 5s.


Nature-themed events

Cwmcarn Forest

Floral Suncatchers Planters

Monday 15th August, 10am-2.15pm

£3 per child (ages 4+). Must be pre-booked

Decorate a sun catcher using flowers gathered from the valley floor. Create your own picture and iron it into something unique and beautiful. Read our review about what else Cwmcarn Forest has to offer here. It is free to visit!


Flower Power Seed Bombs

Thursday 18th August, 10am-12.45pm

£4.50 per child (ages 4+)

A messy workshop creating flower power seed bombs. Mix clay with compost and seeds and decorate an egg box (you’ll need to bring an empty ½ dozen box with you) to transport your seeds home in.


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 16th August – All About Bugs

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 16th, 23rd, 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 16th August – Beach Bonanza

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.


Sully Pirates and Dinosaur Footprints Walk

Meet at Sully Church, 12pm

Wednesday 17th and Sunday 21st August, 12pm; £6.75 per person

Young Explorers – Archaeology Cymru will take you on a guided tour of around 2½hours, where you’ll see actual dinosaur footprints and hear about ghostly pirates. Must be prebooked.


Bat Walks

St Fagans National History Museum

Wednesdays 17th 8.30pm; 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.


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (U)

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Monday 15th August, 6.15pm

Monday 19th September, 6pm

A showing of the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder in the centenary year of author Roald Dahl’s birth. Five children win a golden ticket that will give them a tour of Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory.


Fantastic Mr Fox (PG)

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Saturday 20th August, 3pm; Sunday 21st August, 3pm; 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.

15 08 2016 Events collage with text

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