August bank holiday weekend 2017: 45+ family-friendly events in and around Cardiff

Two teddy bears in a field

It’s a bank holiday weekend! Yay! And there’s plenty going on to entertain the family in and around Cardiff.

Events are broken down into eight different categories – Family fun days and festivals; Theatre, culture and performance; Museums and historical; Arts and crafts; The Great Outdoors and nature based; Science-based; Fun and Games; and Cinema.

All events are subject to change and cancellation so do check ahead with organisers to avoid disappointment.

I’ve also added a few events taking place over the last few days of August and the school summer holidays.

If you’ve found this guide useful, please do share with other local families – it helps me massively if you like, comment, or share on any of my social media channels. Thanks so much.

Do let me know anything I’ve missed, either in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy

The Red Dragon Centre Logo

This guide is sponsored by The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay. The entertainment complex is celebrating its 20th birthday this weekend with its Bumper Bank Holiday Birthday Bash on Bank Holiday Monday 28th August from 12pm-4pm.

The party is the culmination of a month of celebratory events. As well as all the usual food, films and fun, expect a birthday cup cake decorating workshop, face painting, character appearances and balloon giveaways. Plus there’s the final chance to win the ultimate birthday present with Capital FM – a whole year of dining and entertainment at The Red Dragon Centre. (Entertainment is free to customers; parking is free subject to minimum spend and ticket verification.)



FREE Bank holiday entertainment

Cardiff Bay Beach

Friday 25th-Monday 28th August

Live entertainment in the beach area, Friday from 1.30pm-10pm, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-10pm, Monday from 1pm-8pm. Highlights include Disney Favourites Saturday 2pm-4.30pm and Monday 4pm-6pm, and Mario Morris and Lady V Magic Show Friday 1.30pm-4pm. Plus free screening of Moana on Sunday at 8.30pm-10pm.


Street Food Cardiff

Sophia Gardens, Bute Park, Cardiff

Friday 25th August-Sunday 24th September

Open Fridays 5pm-11pm

Saturdays, and Sundays, 10am-11pm

Bank Holiday Monday, 12pm-11pm

Entry free before 12pm; £2 after

Cardiff’s annual street food festival sees street food traders, vintage trailers, food trucks, chefs and mixologists set up camp in Sophia Gardens Bute Park, for a colourful outdoor food festival and night market .Expect a circus big top for communal dining, 20 rotating artisan food trucks and a variety of themed bars featuring the finest local craft ales and beers.


Mixed Traction Weekend

Blaenavon Heritage Railway

Saturday 26th, August; Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd September

Adults £10, children £5, family £25

A mix of diesel and steam engines will be running, transporting people between Blaenavon’s historic sites including Big Pit.


FREE  Cardiff Harbour Festival / Extreme Sailing Series Act 6

Cardiff Bay

Friday 25th-Bank Holiday Monday 28th August

The Extreme Sailing Series returns to Cardiff Bay for the 6th consecutive year, with world class sailors and breath-taking racing, as well as shoreside family entertainment.


FREE ENTRY On The Fringe Craftfolk Market

Landsea Square, Cardiff Bay

Friday 25th-Monday 28th August

A showcase of handmade products from artists and crafts people, as well as demonstration stalls and children’s workshops.


Hub Festival

Womanby Street, Cardiff

Friday 25th-Sunday 27th August

Weekend tickets £25, children 12-17 £10, under 12s free.

Music venues and bars including Clwb Ifor Bach, City Arms and Bootleggers present a weekend of live music, comedy, spoken word/poetry, comedy, and performance art showing the best Cardiff has to offer in all genres. Under 18s are allowed into venues until 9pm.


Pride Cymru

City Hall Lawns, Cardiff

Saturday 26th-Bank Holiday Monday 28th August

Tickets from £2, hospitality experience £20

Last year’s 2016 Pride was such a success that this year’s event is even bigger and better, taking place over three days and reviving Cardiff’s Big Weekend, last held in 2011. City Hall Lawn and the Civic Centre will be a carnival of colour, with funfair rides, amusements and musical entertainment. The Pride Cymru parade (free) will take place across the city on the Saturday – last year’s had over 7,000 participants and stretched over a mile long through the streets.



FREE  Newton Fest

Newton Green, Beach Road, Porthcawl

Saturday 26th August, 10.30am-10pm

Porthcawl’s most popular outdoor family festival features 11½ hours of amazing talent in beautiful surroundings. Live music, stalls, bouncy castle and face-painting, plus lots more.


FREE Barry Island Weekenders: Cinema by the Sea

Barry Island

Saturday 26th-Sunday 27th August, from 8.30pm

Open air cinema featuring Jurassic Park and Beauty and the Beast (the 2017 version).


Miniature Railways and Tramways

Heath Model Railway, Heath Park, Cardiff

Sunday 27th and Bank Holiday Monday 28th August, 1pm-5pm

A chance for the whole family to ride on miniature steam, diesel and electric trains, plus a tram, as Cardiff Model Engineering Society open their doors. Entry is £1.60 per person and each ride is £1.60 per person. Under 3s are free.


Classic Transport Show

Blaenavon Heritage Railway

Sunday 27th and Bank Holiday Monday 28th August,

A festival of classic transport with classic vehicles on display. Travel from the main station at Furnace Sidings to Big Pit National Mining Museum or the Ironworks.


FREE Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Insole Court Gardens Llandaff

Sunday 27th August 3pm-6pm

Bring your own picnic and a teddy bear for an afternoon of family fun. Teddies’ Parade at 5pm.


Party in the Park

Llwynfedw Gardens, Birchgrove, Cardiff

Sunday 27th August, 2pm-9.30pm

£2 entry (children free)

Live music all day including VW Beatles, children’s entertainer DJ Sterling, cardboard robot wars, football coaching, toddlers’ play area, wood fire pizza van plus more.


FREE Cardiff Bay Beach cinema – Moana

Cardiff Bay Beach

Sunday 27th August, 8.30pm-10pm

A free family-friendly outdoor screening of the hit Disney film.


FREE Bumper Bank Holiday Birthday Bash

The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August, 12pm-4pm

The Red Dragon Centre is turning 20 this month. They are celebrating all month, culminating in a grand finale on Bank Holiday Monday. As well as all the usual food, films and fun, expect a birthday cup cake decorating workshop, face painting, character appearances and balloon giveaways. Plus the final chance to win the ultimate birthday present with Capital FM – a whole year of dining and entertainment at The Red Dragon Centre. (Entertainment is free to customers; parking is free subject to minimum spend and ticket verification.)


Barking Mad Fun Day

Llancaiach Fawr Manor

Monday 28th August

11am to 5pm, £1 per adult, 50p per child on top of entrance fee


Teddy Bears Picnic / Into the Woods

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Wednesday 30th August

Free admission for children bringing along a teddy and teddy-themed activities throughout the day. Events include teddy bear races tractor and trailer rides cuddle corner with some of the farm’s smaller animals plus teddy tales and crafts.

For more of what to expect at Greenmeadow Community Farm, read our review here.


Family Fun Day; Dragons – Myths and Legendsfollow

Margam Park

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

Adults £7, children £5, family 2+2 £23. Free parking.

Family-friendly shows and entertainment throughout the day, all with a dragon theme. See the dragons, discover whether they hatch from eggs, and what they are called on the dragons’ quest.


Mad Hatters Tea Party

Manor House Hotel Penarth

Wednesday 30th August, 2pm-6pm

£16.50 per person age 3+; £62.50 family ticket

Numbers limited; must be pre-booked

A themed tea party in aid of the Noah’s Ark Tiny Lives Appeal, to raise funds for an incubator for the Children’s Hospital of Wales. Ticket includes a buffet of cake and sandwiches, outdoor games, balloons, face-painting, bouncy castle and more.





FREE Magic Butterfly

Outside Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Friday 14th July-Saturday 14th October

Ague guidance: 13+

A virtual reality experience combing two famous operas, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Puccini’s Madam Butterfly. The pioneering event from Rewind VR and Welsh National Opera uses virtual reality to bring opera to life. Experience lion taming as The Magic Flute’s Tamino and then catch your breath with a performance of One Fine Day from Madam Butterfly.


Paw Patrol Live

Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Saturday 26th-Sunday 27th August, 10.30am, 1.30pm. 4.30pm

Ryder, Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and Everest take to the stage with a live action musical version of the hit animated TV Nickelodeon series. When Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found during the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race, the pups come to the rescue.


The Lost World

Bryngarw Country Park, Bridgend

Wednesday 30th August, 6pm

An outdoor theatre adaptation for older children and their families of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tale of four intrepid explorers who travel to South America where they find flora and fauna beyond their wildest dreams, become involved in tribal warfare between ape men and indigenous humans, and encounter terrifying dinosaurs previously believed to be extinct. But when their camera is destroyed in an accident what evidence can they produce to prove that these creatures actually exist? Unless, of course, they bring live specimens back to London in “unbreakable” crates to reveal to an astounded public. What could possibly go wrong?


The Gruffalo

Swansea Grand Theatre

Tuesday 29th-Wednesday 30th August

Tuesday 1.30pm and 4.30pm

Wednesday 10.30am and 1.30pm.

New Theatre, Cardiff

Thursday 31st August-Sunday 3rd September

Thursday 2pm; Friday-Sunday 11am-2pm

Running time: 55 minutes. Age guidance: 3+

A musical stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s famous children’s picture book. While searching for nuts in the wood, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, eccentric Owl and party-mad Snake. He escapes their clutches by scaring with talk of the Gruffalo – but does the mythical creature exist after all?



FREE Giant collaborative arts events

Glanfa Foyer, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Make a small creation to add to a giant art work.


Mosaic Mansion

Monday 21st-Saturday 26th August, 11am-4pm drop-in event

The Big Green Clean Machine

Monday 28th August-Friday 1st September, 11am-4pm drop-in event


Green Fingers Workshops

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Radyr

Pirate and Mermaid Party

Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st August, 9.30am, 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm

£8.60, age 3+

An hour of pirate-themed fun, games, stories and crafts.

Family Crafts

The Cardiff Story Museum, The Hayes, Cardiff

Wednesday 30th August, 10am to 3pm

Drop in creative crafty fun for all the family with a different activity each week. £1 per child. Read our review of the Cardiff Story here.


Sculpture Family Workshop

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 29th-Thursday 31st August, 11am and 3pm

£2 per child (suitable for 7s and over)

Explore sculpture from the collections and try your hand at making your own clay figure.




FREE Poppies: Weeping Window

Y Senedd, The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff

Tuesday 8th August-Sunday 24th September 2017

First seen at the Tower of London, a beautiful cascade of several thousand handmade ceramic poppies, Weeping Window comes to Cardiff as part of Cymru’n Cofio/Wales Remembers 1914-1918 national centenary programme of remembrance.


Dinosaur Babies

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 27th May-Sunday 5th November, 10am-4.45pm

Adults £7, children £3, £17 family 2+2, £13 family 1+3

Coming to Wales for the first time: an exciting family-friendly exhibition bringing together some of the world’s most amazing finds of dinosaur eggs and embryos. The display includes full size dinosaur skeletons and replicas, touchable models of dinosaur embryos and eggs, and even a huge 2.5 metre model dinosaur nest. Read our review here. The museum is closed on Mondays.


FREE Friday Talk: Welsh dinosaurs family talk

Friday 25th August, 1.05pm

Join Palaeontology Curator Cindy Howells to find out more about dinosaur fossils from Wales, including the newest find Dracoraptor.


FREE Agatha Christie: A Life In Pictures

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 17th June-Sunday 3rd September

An exhibition of photographs, letters and personal belongings from the most widely published author of all time. Rarely seen photos of Agatha Christie taken throughout her life, from her own personal collection, are accompanied by a quote in Christie’s own words, drawn from both published works and unpublished personal correspondence, beautifully capturing her thoughts and feelings from early childhood, through both marriages and her international adventures, to her years as a world famous author. The museum is not open Mondays.


FREE Wriggle – The Wonderful World of Worms

National Museum Cardiff

Until June 2018

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 Gillian Ayres Exhibition

National Museum Cardiff

Until 3rd September 2017

Celebrating the bold and colourful work of one of Britain’s most important and internationally renowned abstract artists, this exhibition features major paintings from across Gillian Ayres’ career. In fact, this is the largest exhibition of her work ever seen in the UK. Children are welcome into the gallery and the paintings even feature specific labels for for young children aged under 5, displayed at children’s height and in a bright yellow colour. Read our review here. The museum is not open on Mondays.



FREE Hands-on History

Winding House, New Tredegar

Wednesday 30th August, 11am-1pm

Drop in historical activities for kids, including dustbin archaeology, poo from the past, pens from the past, toys through time, codes and code-breaking.


FREE Super Saturdays

National Roman Legion Museum Caerleon

Saturdays from, 11am-4pm

Every Saturday, visitors can discover what life was like for a soldier in the Roman army. Visit the reconstructed barrack room and learn more about the weapons and armour, as well as try on some replica armour. Families can also dress up and play games in the Capricorn Centre, a relaxed hands-on area of the museum. Both areas are closed on Sundays but are open during some school holidays.

Read our review of the National Roman Legion Museum plus other Roman sites in Caerleon here.


FREE Summer in the Museum

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Saturday 22nd July-Sunday 3 September

12pm-4pm Monday-Saturdays; 2pm-4pm Sundays

Take part in a prize trail around the museum (small charge applies) and chat to the Roman soldier in the Barack Room, plus dressing up and games in the family room.


History Hunters Club

Cosmeston Lakes Medieval Village, Penarth

£5 per child, ages 7-11, must be pre-booked

Monday 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th August, 10am-11.30am

A medieval villager will tell children about their life, the plague, and punishment, and children can have a go at making bread, holding weapons, making clay tiles and candles.


FREE Family of Blaenavon

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon

Monday 21st August 2017 to Thursday 1st February 2018, Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm

A series of photographs by Walter Waygood documenting the landscape, home life, society, work, religion and youth in Blaenavon from the 1970s onwards. Read our review of Big Pit here.


History Hunters Club

Cosmeston Lakes Medieval Village, Penarth

£5 per child, ages 7-11, must be pre-booked

Monday 28th August, 10am-11.30am

A medieval villager will tell children about their life, the plague, and punishment, and children can have a go at making bread, holding weapons, making clay tiles and candles.


FREE The Winding Engine

The Winding House, New Tredegar

Saturday 26th August

The Winding House is a museum built on the site of the former Elliot Colliery. Its centre-piece is the original Victorian winding engine, which used to operate the cages which transported men and coal between the surface and the mine below. Visitors can see the huge engine in operation for 10-15 minutes at 12pm on the last Saturday of the month.


Legends Live!

Chepstow Castle

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August, 12pm-4.30pm

Adults £6.50, children £4.20, family (2+3) £19.30

Step back into 1189 and medieval Wales to celebrate the marriage of strong and courageous Lord William Marshal to the lovely Lady Isabel de Clare. The lavish celebrations will include courtly dances and medieval tournaments.


The Tudors

Raglan Castle

Sunday 27th and Bank Holiday Monday 28th August, 11am-5pm

Adults £6.50, children £4.20, family (2+3) £19.30

Historical re-enactment from the era of Raglan Castle’s beginnings, as the Beaufort Company brings the 15th Century to life with living history, combat displays, shining knights and colourful characters.


Medieval Fun

Caerphilly Castle

Sunday 27th August, 10am-4pm and Bank Holiday Monday 28th August, 10pm-5pm

Adults £7.95, children £5.20, family (2+3) £23.70

Medieval fun including archery and sword skills, weapons displays and demonstrations, plus an armour display throughout the day.



Summer Holiday activities

Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly

Saturday 22nd July-Sunday 3rd September

£6 per person aged over 18 months; family of 4 £23, family of 5 £28

Over 100 acres of fresh air and free range adventure, with a Gruffalo trail, fairy woods, hobbit houses, a roly poly hill and more. Plus daily summer holiday events inclusive in admission include a goat walk, archery, The Gruffalo Story, campfire and marshmallows and a space hopper race. Read our review of Mountain View Ranch here.


Go Wild: Children’s Summer Holiday Activities

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, Penarth


Tuesday 29th August – All About Bugs

£5 per child, must be pre-booked, age 7-11 year olds.


FREE Ancient Woodland Project

St Fagans National Museum of History

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

Discover what is happening to one of our most precious natural habitats, what the Woodland Trust is doing to protect them, and how you can get involved.


Mini Junior Rangers

Cwmcarn Forest

Every Wednesday in August

£3 per child (booking essential)

Nature/crafty activities around the valley floor, creating art pieces from natural items and making clay faces


50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ Weekend

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Saturday 26th-Bank Holiday Monday 28th August, 10am-4pm

Usual entry fees apply

A chance to take part in some of the outdoor activities the National Trust believes every child should do before they’re 11¾. Collect a scrapbook at reception or download the app and make them off.




Star Stories/Star Tours/Air-Mazing

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 22nd July-Sunday 3rd September, 10am-5pm

Adults £8, child 4-15 £6.50, 3 and under free; family £28 (up to 2+3); entry after 3pm £3.30

As well as more than 100 hands-on science exhibits, science shows over half term include:

Star Stories, for under 7s, Planetarium: follow the dot-to-dot patterns in the night sky and discover some of the amazing stories behind them. £1.50 extra per person.

Star Tours, for 7s and over, Planetarium: find out more about familiar constellations, the planets, how stars are born and how they die. £1.50 extra per person

Air-Mazing, for all ages, Science Theatre: What different gases make up our atmosphere? How can these gases be used to help us? A live science show answering these questions and more. Inclusive in general entrance price.

Find out more of what to expect at Techniquest in our review here.


Summer Fun

Treetop Adventure Golf, St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Friday 21st July-Monday 4th September, from 10am

Extra activities available to mini golfers during the summer holidays.

Arts and crafts sessions – Monday-Thursday, 11am-1pm

Face painting and glitter tattoos – Fridays and Saturdays 12pm-4pm

Summer reading challenge – a pop up library in partnership with Cardiff Central Library

Bank Holiday Weekend – Friday 25th-Monday 28th August

Free face painting, 12pm-4pm

Meet cheeky mascot Simi, Bank Holiday Monday 11am-2pm


Croquet Taster Day

Dyffryn Gardens

Monday 28 August, 11am to 5pm

Free, normal charges apply

Join the Dyffryn Croquet Club on these bank holiday Mondays to have a go at this fun, outdoor sport


Circus skills

Castell Coch

Bank Holiday Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th August, 6pm-9pm

£20 adult/child

Learn circus skills including hula hoop, staff, poi, juggling, aerial hoop and pole.





I’m focusing on special film events and cheap family screenings at holidays and weekends here, rather than regular cinema screenings.

FREE Cardiff Bay Beach cinema – Moana

Cardiff Bay Beach

Sunday 27th August, 8.30pm-10pm

A free family-friendly outdoor screening of the hit Disney film.


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 £2 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 £2.49 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.


Tuesday Film Club

The Riverfront, Newport

Every Tuesday during the summer holiday, 9.30am-3pm

£18 per session, ages 6-12

Watch a movie, have lunch together and try an activity in the afternoon.

Tuesday 29th August: The Nutjob 2 (plus arts and crafts)

The Riverfront will be showing each of these films throughout its respective week, £4 per ticket.


Chapter Arts Centre, Canton, Cardiff

A different family film every week

£4/£3 booked in advance; see website for full listings.



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