Summer holidays 2017: family-friendly events in and around Cardiff for August


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Just over a week into the school holidays and we’ve got still the whole of August left to go. If you are looking for ideas on how to entertain the little ones, here’s what’s going on in and around Cardiff this month.

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.

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

This guide has once again been produced in association with the lovely people who run the restaurants at House of Fraser Cardiff, House of Fraser Cwmbran and the Café at Wilko in Swansea.

During the summer holidays, they will be running their brilliant offer where you can buy a child’s meal for just £1 with every adult meal purchased, from now until Sunday 3rd September 2017. See in store for full-details.

All the restaurants and cafés are family-friendly – and House of Fraser in Cardiff has a great kids’ corner, packed full of toys to entertain your little ones, including building bricks, easels, abacuses and even a slide.



Family Fun Days

Llancaiach Fawr

Tuesdays 1st, 8th, 15th August – Children’s soft play and bouncy castle. 10am to 12.30pm, £3 per child, first adult free, extra adults £1 on top of entrance fee

Thursday 3rd August – Children’s activity day Frozen theme – 11am to 4pm, £5 per child, first adult free, extra adults £1 on top of entrance fee

Thursday 10th August – Children’s activity day sea theme – 11am to 4pm, £5 per child, first adult free, extra adults £1 on top of entrance fee

Thursday 17th August – Children’s activity day Roald Dahl theme – 11am to 4pm, £5 per child, first adult free, extra adults £1 on top of entrance fee

Saturday 19th August – Bedwellty Show – £7 per adult, £4 per child (under 5s free), £20 family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) on top of entrance fee

Monday 28th August – Barking Mad Dog Show – 11am to 5pm, £1 per adult, 50p per child on top of entrance fee


Farm Fun Days

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Adults £5.95, children £4.95, family (2+3) £21

Wednesday 2nd August – Mythical Creatures Unicorns and Dragons

Wednesday 9th August – Piggy Pranks

Saturday 12th August – Farmer for the day (suitable 8-14)

Wednesday 16th August – Feather Friends

Wednesday 23rd August – Tractor Ted

Wednesday 30th August – Teddy’s Bears Picnic / Into the Woods

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


FREE ENTRY German Village and Bierfest

Museum Park, Swansea

Thursday 3rd-Sunday 6th August

Not just about the beer… there’s plenty for families too in the FunTime area, with traditional German activities. Entry to the festival is free, although you will need to buy tickets for the Bavaviran FestTent as numbers are limited.


Teddy Bear’s Big Day Out

Amelia Trust Farm, Barry

Friday 4th August, 11am to 3pm

Free entry, £3 car park donation

Face painting, teddy tombola, woodland trails and a chance to meet the animal, plus is your teddy bear brave enough to do a parachute jump to raise money for the Amelia Trust Farm?


Tŷ Hafan Family Fun Day

Tŷ Hafan, Hayes Road, Sully

Saturday 5th August, 12pm-5pm

£2 per person; under 5s free

Be the first to see a selection of Snowdogs before they go on tour around Cardiff and the Vale. Other attractions include a fun fair, craft stalls, food stalls, live music, plus hospice tours to see the important work the care team do in supporting life-limited children and their families. Limited tickets available on the day; advance booking recommended.


FREE ENTRY Barry Island Weekenders: Circus Weekender

Barry Island

Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th August, 11am-5pm

Airtime Circus will be holding trapeze, hoolahoops and juggling workshops from 11am to 2pm each day with an exciting 30 minute circus show at 4pm featuring dance and physical theatre. Plus the Red Arrows will display over Barry Island on Sunday 6th August, time to be confirmed.


FREE ENTRY Big Welsh Bite

Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd

Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th August, 11am-5pm

A feast of locally produced food, plus family-friendly entertainment and cookery demonstrations.


FREE HSBC UK City Ride Cardiff

Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay

Sunday 6th August, 11am-3pm

A day of family cycling on traffic-free closed roads, with entertainment and activities en route, as part of a nationwide series of traffic-free cycling events designed to encourage as many people as possible to get out on their bikes. There’s a closed-road, traffic-free family-friendly bike ride, plus plenty of entertainment and activities too.

The event is free but you do need to sign up in advance.


King’s Day

Llancaich Fawr Manor

Sunday 6th August, 10am

Adults £8.50, children/concessions £6.95, family (2+3) £25

Interactive living history, encampment, military displays and falconry as King Charles and his troops visit the Manor.


Vale of Glamorgan Show

Fonmon Castle Park

Wednesday 9th August

Advance tickets adults £10, children £5, family (2+2) £25

On the gate adults £12, children £5, family (2+2) £30

Celebrating the Vale’s agricultural produce, other attractions include horse shows, dog shows, vegetable growing competitions, a chance to meet some of the animals, fairground rides, food and produce stalls plus more.


Brecon Jazz Festival


Friday 11th-Sunday 13th August

Day tickets, Friday £28, Saturday £32, Sunday £35, weekend £95

A celebration of all things jazz in the picturesque town of Brecon.


Burning Lantern Festival

St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

Saturday 12th August, 4pm-11pm

£45/£22.50, under 5s free but still require a ticket

Live music from Tom Odell, The Shires and more on the main stage, plus street food and craft ales. For families, there’s entertainment and workshops including circus skills, pony rides, arts and crafts and a vintage fun fair.


FREE Barry Island Weekenders: Breakout Weekender

Barry Island

Saturday 12th-Sunday 13th August, 11am-7pm

This two day hip hop festival will see dancers, DJs, MCs and graffiti writers come together to showcase and battle at the highest standard. Plus live music and entertainment across both days.


FREE ENTRY Aberafan Beach Festival

Aberafan Beach, Port Talbot

Saturday 12th August, 11am-5pm

A family-friendly fun day with craft stalls, a food court, fairground rides, zorbing balls, a bouncy castle and a Punch and Judy show, vintage cars, live entertainment, plus more.


(SOLD OUT) Greenman Festival

Brecon Beacons

Thursday 17th-Sunday 20th August

PJ Harvey and Ryan Adams headline the independent music and arts festival in the beautiful Brecon Beacons. Families will love the Little Folk area, which has arts and crafts, circus skills, storytelling, and plenty of other activities for children.

The event is sold out but I’m including it in case you want to bookmark it for next year.


Grand Medieval Mêlée

Cardiff Castle

Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th August

Adults £6, seniors £5, children £4

Castle key holders Adults £4, seniors £3, children £2

Small additional charge for some activities.

(Does not include entry to Castle Apartments, Keep, Firing Line or an Audio Guide.)

A celebration of medieval life, with re-enactment of a medieval encampment, music, games, displays, archery, falconry demonstrations and noble knights.


FREE  Barry Island Weekenders: Storytelling Weekender

Barry Island prom

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August, 12pm-4pm

A celebration of storytelling, with stories being told inside an 18m giant inflatable whale, a miniature puppet show, and legends and tales of the Vale of Glamorgan.


Mixed Traction Weekend

Blaenavon Heritage Railway

Wednesday 2nd, Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Wednesday 9th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Wednesday 16th, Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th, Wednesday 23rd, Saturday 26th, August; Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd September

Adults £10, children £5, family £25

A mix of diesel and steam engines will be running over the weekend, transporting people from


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.


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.


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.


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.


Family Fun Day; Dragons – Myths and Legends

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.


Theatre, performance and cultural


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.


The Addams Family

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Tuesday 1st-Saturday 12th August, 7.30pm

Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 2.30pm

The famously kooky family come to the stage in the UK premier of this musical comedy. Wednesday Addams is all grown up and has a shocking secret – she’s fallen in love with a young man from a respectable family.



New Theatre, Cardiff

Saturday 5th August, 7.30pm

Young people from across Cardiff present a modern and exciting approach to the variety show, with performances from musicians dancers, actors, circus performers and artists showing the diverse talent of the city’s youth and arts scene.


Flossy and Boo’s Curiosity Shop

Penarth Pavilion

Saturday 5 August, 7pm

£8-£10 per person, 10% discount on 3+ tickets

Flossy and Boo have run away from the circus to set up their own travelling curiosity shop – collecting songs, trinkets and stories of rather strange characters along the way.  Enter Flossy and Boo’s mind boggling world and hear all about their curious adventures.


The Wiggles

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Sunday 6th August, 2.30pm

Age guidance: 2-7

Netflix family favourites The Wiggles are coming to Cardiff this summer with their all-singing, all dancing stage show. Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony will be joined by their best pals Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus.


Alice Through The Looking Glass

Bryngarw Country Park

Monday 7th August, 3pm

When Alice climbs through the mirror on her mantelpiece she finds herself in Looking Glass world; a world everything familiar is strange and nothing behaves as it should… An open air theatre performance of Lewis Carroll’s enchanting story.


Three Billy Pigs

Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl

Saturday 12th August, 2pm

Age guidance: 3+

The Three Billy Pigs set off to build their dream houses in the green field on the other side of the river. But then these homes are put to the test by a misunderstood wolf who has a little bit of a problem. And who is the grumpy person who lives under the bridge?



Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Wednesday 16th-Saturday 26th August, various performances

Age guidance: 5+, no under 2s

Baltimore, 1962 and Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV – not to mention overturning the racism which stops black and white dancers appearing on the their favourite dance show together. The smash-hit musical features songs including Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat and The Nicest Kids In Town.


Billionaire Boy

Abergavenny Museum and Castle

Friday 18th August, 4pm

£13 adult, £8 child, £39 family (2+2)

Age guidance: 7+; running time 2 hours including 20 minute interval

David Walliams’ story is bought to the open air stage, as Mr Spud and his son Joe hold a garage sale to sell their final belongings to raise some money to buy food.



Dogs Don’t Do Ballet

Bryngarw Country Park. Bridgend

Wednesday 23rd August, 2pm

Age guidance: 3+

Based on Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie’s bestselling book, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet tells of Biff, who thinks he’s a ballerina, rather than a dog. Brought to the stage by acclaimed Blunderbus, this new story for ages 3+ tells the very funny tale of a small dog with big dreams.


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 ADMISSION St Fagans Makers’ Market

St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

Saturday 22nd July-Sunday 6th August, 10am-5pm

Meet local makers and crafts people, with a chance to make your own. Small charge to cover materials for some activities. Read our review of St Fagans herefollow.


Make it Mondays

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Every Monday over the summer holidays, 12pm to 3.30pm

Normal admission applies

Get crafty as Make it Mondays return for the summer holidays.


FREE Hunt the Seagull – Summer Trail

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Saturday 22nd July-Sunday 3rd September, 10am-4pm

Search the museums galleries to track down the pesky seagulls and the nostalgic toys they have stolen from the museum’s collection.


FREE Giant collaborative arts events

Glanfa Foyer, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

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

Melting Masterpieces

Monday 31st July-Saturday 12th August, 11am-4pm drop-in event

Professor Quatro-Trousers Presents: Wonderful Woven Web

Monday 14th-Saturday 19th August, 11am-4pm drop-in event

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


FREE Picture This

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Tuesday 1st-Saturday 5th August, 12.30pm-3.30pm

Transport yourself back in time into an old photograph. Take a selfie, then create a funky frame!


Craft and Literature events

Rhydpennau Library, Cardiff 

Tuesday 1st August, 2pm-2.45pm – BB Taylor and Pals

The author will read two of her own stories and will be joined by TRrevor the Hamster and Kookie the kookaburra.

Saturday 12th August, 10.30am-12pm – Mike Church, author, juggler and children’s entertainer

Monday 14th August, 2.15pm-3pm – Crime Scenes with the PCSOs

Tuesday 22nd August, 2.15pm-3pm – Amy’s Guide Dogs.


Green Fingers Workshops

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Radyr


Animal Encounters

Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd August, 9.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm

£8.60, age 3+

A hands-on reptiles and mammal experience


Octopus Gardens

Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th August, 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

£8.60, age 3+

Create an Under the Sea miniature garden/octopus hideaway.


Wibble Wobble Jelly Fish

Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th August, 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

£8.60, age 3+

Create a jellyfish on a willow fishing rod.


Flowery Dream Ice Cream

Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24thAugust, 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

£6.50, age 5+

Make an ice cream shaped kids floral arrangement using vanilla and strawberry coloured blooms to be placed in a cone style container.


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.


Drop-in Art Workshops

Chapter Arts Centre, Canton, Cardiff

Friday 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th August, 2pm-5pm

Ages 4-11; £1 per child

Drop in arts and crafts projects; materials and guidance provided.


Family Crafts

The Cardiff Story Museum, The Hayes, Cardiff

Wednesday 2, 9, 16, 23 30 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.


FREE Dinky Dragons

The Cardiff Story, The Hayes, Cardiff

Friday 11th August, 10.30am-3pm

Aimed at pre-schoolers, as well as the usual exhibits and dressing up clothes, there will be toys to play with, detective trails, crafts, messy play and rhyme time and story time at 11am and 1pm.


FREE Create and Make Family Workshop

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 22nd-Thursday 24th August, 11am-4pm

Create your own artwork inspired by Gillian Ayres, using paint, glue, colours, paper, twigs and leaves.


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


ALSO: Baby Dinosaurs Family Workshops

Tuesday 8th-Thursday 10th August, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm

Age guidance: 8+; £2 per child

Be a dinosaur detective and explore what it’s like to be a palaeontologist.

Tuesday 15th-Thursday 17th August, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm

Age guidance: 7 and under; £2 per child

Touch some real fossils, learn about the noises dinosaurs made and take part in a noisy, sound based story about a baby dinosaur.

Limited availability for both events. Book at the information desk on arrival.

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. Please note the museum is not open on Mondays.

See also associated family event:

FREE Create and Make Family Workshop

Tuesday 22nd-Thursday 24th August, 11am-4pm

Create your own artwork inspired by Gillian Ayres, using paint, glue, colours, paper, twigs and leaves.


FREE Hands-on History

Winding House, New Tredegar

Wednesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 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.


Historical Crafts

Winding House, New Tredegar

Fridays 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th August

£2.50 per child; book in advance

A craft club with a historical twist, each week has a different theme and craft including excavating dinosaurs from ice, and cave art and stone age jewellery.


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

Monday 24th and 31st July, 10am-11.30am

£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 Defence of Blaenavon

Blaenavon Ironworks

Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th August, 10.30am-4pm

Living history displays, weapon displays and music, depicting life during the second world war, plus listen to real stories of life on the home front told by the firesides of Stack Square.

Read our review of Blaenavon Ironworks here.


Legends Live!

Caerphilly Castle

Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th August

Saturday 12th-Sunday 13th Augus

Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th August 12pm-4pm

Adults, £7.95, children under 16 £5.20, family (2+3) £23.70

Live action performances throughout the day as the castle heads back to 1326. King Edward II is losing support across his realm and must decide whether to stay within the barricades of Caerphilly Castle or flee, leaving his piles of money and glimmering jewels behind. The question is not ‘whether’ enemy forces will launch an almighty siege on the castle, but ‘when’.


Flying Kites and Lazy Owls

Caerphilly Castle

Tuesday 8th August, 11am-4pm

Adults, £7.95, children under 16 £5.20, family (2+3) £23.70

Learn about birds of prey with Pembrokeshire Falconry. Learn about hunting with birds, as well as why owls are so silent in flight. There will be photo opportunities throughout the day for a small additional charge. Flying displays at 12pm and 3pm with the birds available to view throughout the day.


FREE ENTRY Roman Chariot Remote Controlled Racing

Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths

Thursday 10th-Friday 11th August, 10am-4pm

Entry is free; £1 cost to set a lap time (5 laps)

Remote control Roman chariot racing around a miniature Circus Maximus. Prizes for the fastest.

Read our review of the fortress here.


Medieval Falconry Displays

Chepstow Castle

Saturday 12th-Sunday 13th August, 10am-4pm

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

Be a part of the interactive falconry display and see majestic birds of prey close up.

Throughout the weekend there will be regular falconry displays with visitor interaction, as well as static displays of a range of birds of prey.



Resting at the Abbey during the Wars of the Roses – 1471

Tintern Abbey

Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th August, 10am-4pm

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

Historical re-enactment as a company of archers and their families rest at the abbey in order to pay their respects to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. See their activities close up, try your hand at medieval board and dice games, or braid making. Watch the cooks prepare the company’s meal; question the arrowsmith on his skills and kills, plus more.


Brother Thomas, the Cellarer

Tintern Abbey

Saturday 19th August, 10am-4pm

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

The daily life and duties of a Cistercian monk at Tintern Abbey in the 14th Century. Brother Thomas will tell you all about his life as a monk at Tintern Abbey, including his daily duties, eating, habits and hygiene. Tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Read our review of Tintern Abbey here.


Legends Live!

Raglan Castle

Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th August, 12pm-4pm

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

Live-action performances as visitors are transported to an aristocratic soiree in the year 1462. Lord William and Lady Anne Herbert are keen to show off their impeccable taste in interior design, food and wine.

Celtic Makeover

Caerleon Roman Baths

Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th August, 11am-4pm

£3.50 per child; entry to the Baths is free

Learn how to make a Celtic knotted headband and get your Celtic war paint on ready for battle, as well as finding out more about the relationships between the Celtic tribes and the Romans.


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.


Summer Holiday Events

Margam Country Park

Throughout August

Margam Park has a full programme of events for children this month with different activities taking place most days, including arts and crafts sessions, family bushcraft, a chance to try archery, kayaking and paddle boarding, plus lots more. See the website for full listings.


50 things to do before you are 11 ¾

Tredegar House, Newport

Every Tuesday and Thursday during the school holidays

Normal admission charges apply

Tick off some of the outdoor activities on the National Trust’s list of things to do before you are 11¾. Activities include campfire cooking, bug hunting and den building among others



Nature activities

Newport Wetlands

RSPB members £3 / non-members £5

Brilliant Birds

Monday 31st July to Thursday 3rd August, 10.30am and 2pm

Find out about the birds on the reserve and what they eat, make a clay bird to add to the flock of birds sculpture, and make a bird feeder to take home.

Fairies and Dragons

Monday 7th August to Thursday 10th August, 10.30am and 2pm

A magical trail to find the fairies and dragons that have got lost around the reserve.  Make a fairy garden, your own willow wand or wings, plus use nets to catch some real dragon(flies) and fairy butterflies.


Monday 14 August to Thursday 17 August, 10.30am and 2pm

Let’s dip into the underwater world of Newport’s Wetlands.  Life in the ponds gets very exciting at this time of year, so don’t miss out on the fun.  We’ll also be making our own ‘water boatman’ out of natural materials and having a competition to see who’s sinks or swims!!

Furry Friends

Newport Wetlands

Monday 21 August to Thursday 24 August, 10.30am and 2pm

RSPB members £3 / non members £5

Find out more about our furry friends who visit the reserve, often when we’re all at home asleep.  We’ll look for tracks and trails and other signs of mammals on the reserve.  You’ll get the chance to have first hand – or rather first foot – experience of leaving your own tracks on our barefoot trail too!  Then you’ll make some plaster cast tracks to take home with you.


The Big Butterfly Count

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Until 6th August, 10am-5pm

Usual entry fees apply

Pick up a Big Butterfly Count spotter sheet on your way in and see how many different species you can find as part of the UK-wide survey run by Butterfly Conservation.


Rockpool Ramble

Dunraven Bay

Friday 4th August, 11am

Age 7+

Discover what lives in the pools and under the rocks on the beach at Dunraven.


Nature activities

Dunraven Bay

Age 7+

Bug hunt

Thursday 10th August, 10.30am

Look for invertebrates around the woodland and grassland of Dunraven.


Bug Making Hotel

Wednesday 16th August, 11am

Help construct a bug hotel to take away


Rockpool Ramble

Tuesday 22nd August

Discover what lives in the pools and under the rocks at Dunraven.


Go Wild: Children’s Summer Holiday Activities

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, Penarth

Wednesday 2nd August – All About Bugs

Tuesday 8th August – Den Building and Fire

Thursday 17th August – All About Bugs

Tuesday 29th August – All About Bugs

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


FREE Dragons and Butterflies wildlife walk

St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

Sunday 6th August, 2pm

A guided wildlife tour with the Wildife Trust of South and West Wales, where you can search for butterflies in the meadows and gardens and dragonflies at the ponds, while learning about their amazing life cycles.


Bat Walks

St Fagans National Museum of History

Wednesdays 2nd, 16 and 23 August, dusk

£5 per person, age 8

An after-dark journey around the museum to find bats. Duration: 1½ hrs


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.


Twiggy Art Walk

Cwmcarn Forest

Every Wednesday in August

£3 per child (booking essential)

Join us on this crafty walk and art session. We will venture around the valley collecting twigs and leaves as we go, and turn our finds into a piece of art.


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.


Sun-Catcher Workshops

Cwmcarn Forest

Saturday 11 August from 11am

£4 per child (3 plus)

Join us for this mystical workshop and create your own elusive Cwmcarn ‘Whoop a doop’ bird sculpture. Be prepared to get messy with clay and paints


‘Whoop-a-doop’ workshop

Cwmcarn Forest

Tuesday 15th August from 11am

£4 per child (3 plus)

A crafty and noisy workshop on Japanese flower art, using cotton fabric and a selection of flowers and leaves to pound out the images on to the cloth to make a beautiful picture


Hedgehog Meet and Greet

Cwmcarn Forest

Thursday 17th August from 12 pm

£2 per adult and £1 per child (3+)

Learn about the prickly creatures.


We’re going on a Bear Hunt

Cwmcarn Forest

Saturday 19th August from 11am to 3pm

£3 per child (4+)

Follow the paw prints around the valley, battle through the mud and snowstorm to see if you can find the bear. On return to the centre, claim your ‘Big and Brave award’ and prize.


Rain Stick Makers

Cwmcarn Forest

Tuesday 21 August August from 11am to 2.15pm

£4 per child (4 +)

See if you can create rain in this crafty workshop and make your own rain stick to conjure up the clouds


Nature Clay Prints

Cwmcarn Forest

Friday 25 August from 11am

£4.50 per child (3+)

Create your very own nature prints using leaves/flowers and other woodland items in clay and decorate with a selection of paints


FREE Nature Events

Bute Park, Cardiff

RSPB Discover Nature

Tuesday August 1 to Saturday August 5, 10.30am-4pm

Explore the natural wonders of Cardiff’s city centre park by getting hands on with nature.


My Wild Garden

Monday 7 August – Monday 21 August, 6pm

Join The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales at their pop-up wildlife garden.


The River Taff Shuffle

Tuesday August 15, 2pm to 3.30pm

See what creatures you can catch in the River Taff using nets and getting up close with magnifying glasses.


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.



FREE Science Galleries Project Lab

National Museum Cardiff

Tuesday 1st-Wednesday 3rd August, 11am-4pm

Drop in and bookable workshops where you can tell the museum what you think of the natural history galleries.




Superhero Parties

Hamleys Toy Store, St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Monday 31st July, Wednesday 2nd, Friday 4th Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th August, times various

Go on a super adventure through the store to the Superhero Party Room. Once inside you will take part in superhero activities including arts and crafts and super-duper games. You will also meet Super Hamley Bear and have a chance to take a selfie with him and his superhero friends.

PLUS FREE from 12pm-4pm every day in the school holidays, The Hamleys Superheroes will be hosting a range of in-store superhero activities, including Superhero Training, search for the Lost Supheroe and meet Super Hamlet Bear.


FREE National Playday 2017

Victoria Park, Cardiff

Wednesday 2nd August, 1pm-4pm

Celebrate the national day of play with sports, arts and crafts, circus skills, ceramics and more.


FREE National Playday 2017 – A History of Play in Swansea!

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Wednesday 2nd August, 12.30pm-4pm

Celebrate the national day of play by trying out a range of play opportunities including the Play on Wheels Play Bus and Pirate Ship, as well as traditional play such as hopscotch, skipping and kerbsy! The day will look back at how children’s play has shaped Swansea over the past 100 years with images, audio and film footage, classic toys and re-enactments including how street play has changed over the years!


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


Family Fun Fest

Hollywood Bowl, The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August, 12pm-4pm

As well as all the usual bowling action, families can enjoy face painting, glow bowling, balloons and treasure hunts, inclusive in the usual price.


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


Buzz in for Summer Fun

Wyevale Garden Centre, Old St Mellons, Cardiff

Tuesday 1st August: Bee-autiful Decoration

£2.50, various sessions available

Thursday 3rd August Breakfast or Tea with Buzzy Bee

£10 per child

Breakfast or tea followed by a hunt to learn fun facts about bees, receive a packet of bee friendly seeds to plant in your garden, plus make your own bee boppers, decorate a cup cake and do an activity sheet.

Tuesday 8th August Potty Bees

£2.50, various sessions available

Decorate a plant pot and plant a flower for your gard.en

Thursday 10th August: Breakfast or Tea with Buzzy Bee

£10, details as above.

Tuesday 15th August: Bee Cool

£2.50, various sessions available

Create your own cute and fluffy little bee creature fridge magnet.

Thursday 17th August: Breakfast or Tea with Buzzy Bee

£10, details as above.

Tuesday 22nd August: Kings and Queen Bees

£2.50, various sessions available

Design a bee crown to wear and make a worker bee finger puppet.

Thursday 24th August: Breakfast or Tea with Buzzy Bee

£10, details as above.

Tuesday 29th August: Mini Bee Garden

£2.50, various sessions available

Plant and create your own mini bee garden with hives and flowers.

Thursday 24th August: Breakfast or Tea with Buzzy Bee

£10, details as above.


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.


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.)



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


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 1st August, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (plus drama workshop)

Tuesday 8th August: Despicable Me 3 (plus arts and crafts)

Tuesday 15th August: Cars 3 (plus sewing workshop)

Tuesday 22nd August: The Emoji Movie (plus circus crafts)

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

PLUS Film activity days Monday 7th August, Arietty and Monday 21st August Cars 3

A day full of creative activities around the film, including a ticket to a screening. £15 per child.



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