19 May Cardiff with Kids Come Rain or Shine

The Welsh capital is a great city break destination and is Citybase’s sixth most popular city in the UK. Having gone through major redevelopment in recent years, Cardiff has a lot to offer any visitor and these are our top picks for visiting Cardiff with kids come rain or shine.

Cardiff with Children on Sunny Days

1. Cardiff Bay Spy Mission Treasure Trail

Make sightseeing fun for the kids with the Cardiff Bay Spy Mission Treasure Trail. Follow the map and conquer the tasks to complete your mission. Trails can be done at your own pace and time, so they are perfect for families of mixed ages and abilities, and one booklet is enough for a family of four or six. You can print the booklet at home, have them posted to you or even have them personalised! A great way to explore Cardiff with the whole clan in tow.

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: This particular trail is around Cardiff Bay, but there are others.
Opening hours: best done during the day
Prices: £6.99 – £11.48 per booklet
Order your trail

2. Cosmeston Lakes Country Park & Medieval Village

Travel in time and visit a medieval village. Twenty minutes drive or thirty-one minutes on the bus from Cardiff city centre and you will be in the beautiful Cosmeston Lakes. The park itself is beautiful, but the really cool thing is their medieval village. It’s even free to enter if you get there before 11am!

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: Cosmeston Park & Medieval Village, Lavernock Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 5UY
Opening hours: 10am – 5pm (Free in between 9:30am and 12pm)
Prices: After midday guided tours are available at £5 per adult, £3.50 per child and free for children under five.
More information on visiting Cosmeston Medieval Village

3. Glamorganshire Canal Nature Reserve

In its heydey, Glamorganshire Canal used to carry iron from the Ironworks at Merthyr down to the sea at Cardiff. Today, the section you see here is the only part of the canal that remains in water and it has since become a sanctuary for wildlife and nature. Take a guided tour through the reserve and explore places of historical and natural interest. You can visit their website and print the tour or take the guided tour on your phone as you walk around. The walk takes around two hours to complete and is fairly flat, so it makes for a nice long family walk.

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: Glamorganshire Canal Nature Reserve, Forest Farm Road, Free Car Park and Wardens Centre, Cardiff CF1 4JH
Opening hours: 24 hours, but best visited during the day
Prices: Free
Read the guided tour here

4. Cardiff Bay Boat Trip

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Cardiff Bay has received major investment in recent years and it’s looking rather dashing these days. The best way to see it on a sunny day is taking a boat trip on the bay. There are many options of different speeds and lengths. But with children, we would highly recommend Cardiff Baytrippers or The Open Boat 20 minute journeys around the bay. Go on a boat, have a good look and get off the boat before the little ones get bored.

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: Cardiff Bay (recommended)
Opening hours: please check individual websites
Prices: please check individual websites

5. Bute Park & Other Green Spaces

Cardiff with Kids - Bute Park

Image credits: Athena’s Pix (Flickr original image) [CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]

Cardiff has several parks in or around its city centre, the biggest of which is Bute Park. Go for a family walk, follow animal and sculpture trails or simply pack a picnic and to let the kids play at one of the outdoor playgrounds. Bute Park also has a Woodland Play Trail that you can follow with the kids as well as three different cafes if you don’t want to bring a picnic. Either way, in a nice day, you couldn’t do much better than a relaxed day in the park.

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: Bute Park, North Road, Cardiff CF10 3DX
Opening hours: 7.30am – 30 mins before sunset
Prices: Free
Visiting Bute Park 

6. Parc Play

Including outdoor and indoor play zones with sand pits, wet play area, climbing frames and the best a giant playground can offer, your kids will be in play heaven at Parc! Although food and drinks are available from their café, you can also bring your own picnic, so it’s fantastic for families in a tight budget. You might even feel the urge to join the fun!

Recommended age: 0-12
Address: Parc Play, Unit 5, Curran Embankment, Grangetown, Cardiff CF10 5DX
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm (last admission at 5pm)
Prices:
• Under 2’s – £2.50 or FREE with an older sibling
• Ages 2-3 – £4.50
• Ages 4-12 – £6.00
• Adults – Free
More information

7. Ski and Snowboard Centre

Don’t pack your skis just yet! While the name sounds very serious and you can indeed ski, snowboard and freestyle here, our suggestions is actually to go tubing. Similar to sledging, tubes are giant inflatable rings that you can go down the slope with. Race other family members to the bottom, spin around, link to one another… It’s great fun and you can do it as a family.

Recommended age: from 7 upwards, riders must be able to carry their own tube up the slope
Address: Cardiff Ski and Snowboard Centre, 198 Fairwater Road, Fairwater, Cardiff CF4 3JR
Opening hours: times change during the season, best done during the day please check opening times here and book in advance
Prices: prices change with the season, please check their website for more details
Go tubing

Cardiff with Children on Rainy Days

8. Cardiff Castle

With a long history as a Roman Keep, a Norman Stronghold and a Gothic Palace, Cardiff Castle is one of the most decorated and varied castle estates in the UK. The beauty of visiting the castle with children is that you can choose exactly what you want to see and how much you want to see. While we have listed this attraction for a rainy day, the Castle can equally be visited during fair weather and they host many events on its grounds, so it’s definitely worth checking their calendar of events to check if something takes your fancy.

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: Cardiff Castle, West Street, Cardiff CF10 3RB
Opening hours: different times for different parts of the castle, check here
Prices: prices change with the season, please check their website for more details
Explore the Castle

9. Cardiff Story Museum

Learn about the city’s heritage in a fun way. As well as permanent exhibitions the museum also hosts temporary ones and entry is free.

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: The Cardiff Story, The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1BH
Opening hours: 10am – 4pm
Prices: Free
Visiting the museum

10. Techniquest

Spark your child’s interest in science at Techniquest. Experiment, see presentations, test principles hands on and have a lot of fun!

Recommended age: unlimited, but children at primary school age might find it particularly interesting.
Address: Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 5BW
Opening hours:
• Weekdays during term time – Tue to Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm
• Weekends, bank holidays and school holidays – 10am – 5pm
Prices: Adults – £8, Children (4-15) £6.50, Under 3s Free; Family Group (up to 5 with 2 Adults) £28
Visiting the museum

11. Doctor Who Experience

If you love the TV series, there is no other place you should be but the BBC Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. Join the Doctor, fly in the Tardis and go behind the scenes to see the costumes and even meet a Dalek, but I wouldn’t blink if I were you…

Recommended age: there is no limitation on age, but we would recommend it for children seven and older.
Address: Doctor Who Experience, Discovery Quay, Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 4GA
Opening hours: Vary throughout the year, check their website for more details
Prices: Please note that it’s cheaper if you buy the tickets in advance, but you can also purchase them at the door. More information here.
Meet Doctor Who

12. Cardiff National Museum

Admire art, explore natural history and learn about the evolution of Wales. With colourful displays and a good section on natural history, even little ones will be engaged. A fantastic attraction for the whole family.

Recommended age: unlimited
Address: National Museum of Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP
Opening hours: Tue to Sun 10am – 5pm
Prices: Free
Visit the museum

13. Treetop Adventure Golf

Think mini- golf at its best! Decorated like a jungle, Treetop Adventure Golf is great fun for adults and children alike. It even has a bar and café, so you can have some nibbles and drinks too. During half-term they also host events, so it’s worth checking their calendar to see what is on.

Recommended age: unlimited, but children under the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult at all times
Address: Treetop Adventure Golf, Level P3, St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff CF10 2EL
Opening hours: Tue to Sun 10am – 5pm
Prices: Depends on the number of courses you want to play, please see the price list here https://adventuregolf.com/adventure-golf
Play mini-golf

14. Cardiff International Pool

Cardiff with Kids Leisure Pool

Image credit: Cardiff International Pool

Who said you have to avoid water completely on a rainy day? Let them splash around in the Leisure Pool at the Cardiff International Pool. With crazy slides, inflatables, toys and floats, they will have a great time!

Recommended age: unlimited, but children must be supervised by an adult at all times
Address: Cardiff International Pool, Olympian Drive, Grangetown, Cardiff CF11 0JS
Opening hours: Mon to Fri 8am – 11pm, Sat 11am – 6pm and Sun 11am – 7pm
Prices: different packs available see here for further info
More about the centre

15. Go Bowling

Cardiff with kids

There are two main bowling alleys in the centre of Cardiff – Hollywood Bowl and Superbowl. Great fun for the whole family on a rainy day. Mind the competitive one in the family, though!

Recommended age: unlimited, but children under the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult at all times
Address: see individual websites
Opening hours: see individual websites
Prices: see individual websites

16. Go Air

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Trampoline heaven. Here you can quite literally let the kids bounce off the walls! They even have tot sessions so the little ones can bounce around too.

Recommended age: unlimited, but under 6s must be accompanied by an adult at all times
Address: Go Air Cardiff, Ty Glas Avenue, Llanishen CF14 5DX
Opening hours: Sun to Thu 10am – 8pm, Fri 10am – 9pm, Sat 9am – 9pm (latest admission 1hr prior to closing time)
Prices: £10 per hour for over 6 year-olds and £5 for under 6s
Book a jumping session

17. Play Centres

Cardiff with kids - play centres

For families with young children, there are several soft play areas in Cardiff. So if the weather is bad and the kids are restless, you can always pay them a visit and let them burn some energy. Here are a few you could try:

Recommended age: 0-12
Zone Play Centre
123 Jump Cardiff
Mambo Play Centre

18. Laser Quest

Play hide and seek inside an ultra-violet, fog filled laser arena. Great fun for adults and children. In fact, adults might just be using the kids as an excuse to go themselves!

Recommended age: 7 years old upwards, players must also be above 1.1 meters (3ft 4in) tall.
Address: Laser Quest @ Superbowl Cardiff, Stadium Plaza, Wood Street, Cardiff CF10 1LA
Opening hours: 9am – late
Prices: £5.50 per person for a single game, deals for more than one game are available
More information

19. Escape Reality Cardiff

Be transported to another reality and live your way through the story. Choose in between six adventures from eluding a serial killer, escaping prison or organising an art gallery heist. A fantastic activity for families with older children. Please note you have to book in advance for this attraction.

Recommended age: there is no age limit, but we recommend this activity for families with children at secondary school age.
Address: Escape Reality Cardiff, 2nd and 3rd Floor, 6-7 St John Street, Cardiff CF10 1GJ
Opening hours: Mon to Thu 12 noon – 10.30pm; Fri to Sat 10.30am – 10.30pm
Prices: £16 – £20 per person, there are also special prices for groups and families, check their website for details.
See the adventures

So you see, even if the weather lets you down, there is plenty to do come rain or shine in this city, why not take your next adventure to Cardiff?

Paula de Santana

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