Dreading the summer holidays? Six weeks in which parents have to think of increasingly creative ways to keep their children entertained until they go back to school at the end of the summer.
We’ve put together a guide of events in and around Cardiff during the summer holidays so that you can plan ahead and keep your little ones occupied.
Here’s our giant bumper article of things to do for families this summer…
SATURDAY, JULY 20
CARDIFF: The good and bad guys of music will be celebrated in the ever-popular lunchtime Family Prom. Presented by television presenter Barney Harwood at St David’s Hall, from noon. Tickets are £11 and £6.50. Tel: 029 2087 8444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.com.
BARRY: Things will be getting all fired up in the first of the summer’s Barry Island Weekenders, free exciting events taking place at the beach-side every weekend over the holidays. The Isle of Fire will see Barry Island transformed into a lost island Fire Garden, inspired by tales of the deep, where legends of fire-breathing flowers, enchanted glowing trees and a Viking ghost ship are all brought to life. Tel: 01446 704737.
CARDIFF: Hear the enchanting story of Kevin a speck of dust who dreams of being a rainbow in Titchy Tiny Science talk at the Wales Millennium Centre as part of Cardiff Science Festival. Starts at 10.30am. There will also be workshops at Mermaid Quay. www.cardiffsciencefestival.co.uk.
CARDIFF: Get them out and about on the first day of the holidays with the monthly nature ramble at Forest Farm, from 10am. There are also walks in Bute Park and Grangemoor Park. Tel: 029 2068 4000 www.cardiff.gov.uk/parks.
PENARTH: Family fun day extravaganza to celebrate the end of term and the Penarth Summer Festival. Runs from 10am to 4.30pm at The Kymin. Tel: 01446 741166.
CARDIFF: Ever heard of Gamelan? Will neither had we, until inquiring what the Gamelan workshop were at St David’s Hall. It is a type of percussion instrument and the whole family can learn to play in two hour sessions at the music venue today, from 1.30pm. Suitable for children aged over seven. Tel: 029 2087 8444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk.
CARDIFF: Always a fun venue over the summer holidays, St Fagans: National History Museum has an Ask The Gardener session today between 2pm and 3pm. Tel: 029 2057 3500 www.museumwales.ac.uk.
YSTRAD MYNACH: Pooches on parade at family fun day and dog show in the grounds of Lewis Girls’ School between noon and 5pm. Fun packed day. Tel: 07970 798889.
CAERLEON: Join the Time Pirate at the National Roman Legion Museum to solve the clue and find the treasure. Tel: 029 2057 3000 www.museumwales.ac.uk.
CARDIFF: Make your own piece of bling to celebrate the Mold Cape on display at the National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park. The museum is a great place to visit throughout the summer, but remember that it is closed on Mondays. Today’s workshop is from 11am and 4pm. Tel: 029 2057 3000 www.museumwales.ac.uk.
SUNDAY, JULY 21
RHONDDA: Get their daps on and tire them out with childrens fun runs at Barry Sidings Visitor Centre. Starts at 11am and if the adults are feeling energetic there is a six-mile run too. Tel: 01443 680502
CARDIFF: The city’s second science festival continues with a talk about how Cardiff Docks developed. Held at the Pierhead Building, from 11am. Interactive performance with volunteers taking part in demonstrations. www.cardiffsciencefestival.co.uk.
CARDIFF: Enjoy the thrill of riding on miniature steam trains and tram around the beautiful area of Heath Park. There will also be model railway layouts and refreshments today and tomorrow. Entrance is £1.50 and rides are £1.50 per person. From 1pm to 5pm. Children aged three and under have free entry and rides. www.cardiffmes.com.
CEFN HENGOED: Get those arms swinging with a jazz band competition at Cefn Hengoed Youth Centre between 10am and 6pm. Marching displays with bands from all over the UK. Tel: 01443 300737.
MONDAY, JULY 22
BLAENAVON: Learn about the legendary Miners’ Fortnight at Big Pit, with a week of family activities for all ages, titled Sea, Sand and Coal Dust. Storytelling, craft activities and Punch Judy. Tel: 029 2057 3650 www.museumwales.ac.uk.
CARDIFF: There’s a spine-tingling adventure waiting for children as part of reading schemes in libraries across Wales this summer. Free events and activities are being held on Monday afternoons at Cardiff Central library on the theme. www.creepy-house.org.uk or www.facebook.com/cardiff.central.library.
TUESDAY, JULY 23
CARDIFF: Hear the dragon roar during some tall tales and puppetry at Cardiff Castle. Tickets for the event are £5 per person. Tel: 029 2057 3650029 2087 8100 www.cardiffcastle.com.
CARDIFF: There were no egg and spoon races in Tudor times, it was all about wrestling and cockfighting. Learn more about sport from the time at St Fagans: National History Museum. Free sessions at the museum in Welsh at 11am and 3pm and in English at noon and 2pm today and tomorrow. Tel: 029 2057 3500 www.museumwales.ac.uk.
NEW TREDEGAR: Historical clues, trails and puzzles at the Winding House throughout the summer holidays. The museum is closed on Mondays, but for the rest of the time there is lots going on. Tel: 01443 822666
BARRY: Have a wildlife adventure at Forest Lodge, Porthkerry, under the watchful eye of the local rangers. Fun for seven to 11 year olds between 10.30am and noon. Cost is £3 and must be booked. Tel: 01446 733589.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 24
CARDIFF: Every Wednesday throughout the summer holidays, Cardiff Story Museum is holding free family fun days. Drop in to the museum on The Hayes and make your own musical instrument between 10am and 5pm, or join in a story time at 11.30am. www.cardiffstory.com.
ABERDARE: Investigations and experiments to find out how nature works at Dare Valley Country Park. If you want to be a nature detective, it runs from 10am to noon, is free, but needs to be booked. Tel: 01685 874672 www.darevalleycountrypark.co.uk.
BARGOED: You don’t have to run off to the circus to learn the skills of the big tent. Just take yourself along to Parc Cwm Darran for noon to learn juggling, unicycling and many more skills. Charge of £3 and you need to book. Tel: 01443 875557.
NELSON: Activity days are being held at Llancaiach Fawr Manor through the summer. The programme kicks off with a Pirates and Princesses day between 11am and 4pm. Crafts, games and activities for children up to the age of 11. Tel: 01443 412248 www.llancaiachfawr.co.uk.
CARDIFF: Make some noise at a Samba drumming session at St David’s Hall, from 1.30pm. There will also be a songwriting session for the ukulele at 4pm in the Hall for all ages. Instruments are provided and the cost is £8. Tel: 029 2087 8444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk.
CARDIFF: It is all going on in Bute Park today, with an animal antics activity day between 11am and 2pm. Make a mask, run races and play games to see who will be crowned champion of the animal sports day. All takes place around the Education Centre and the cost is a very reasonable £3. Later in the day, join the Urban Rangers of Bute Park for an evening walk to learn about the history of the flora and fauna in the stunning central park. It is a 2km walk and completely free. There is also a bat walk at Hailey Park, Llandaff North, between 9pm and 11pm. Tel: 029 2068 4000 www.cardiff.gov.uk/parks.
THURSDAY, JULY 25
CAERPHILLY: Hands-on historical workshops and demonstrations at Caerphilly Castle as part of the Festival of Archaeology. Starts at 10.30am. Tel: 029 2088 3143 www.cadw.wales.gov.uk.
CARDIFF: Make a shield and learn about the Iron Age at St Fagans: National History Museum. Different sessions through the day. Tel: 029 2057 3500 www.museumwales.ack.uk.
CARDIFF: Free family fun activities at the Taff Housing Community Family Fun Day at Fitzalan High School, between noon and 4pm. Tel: 0800 121 6064.
CARDIFF: Fast-paced outdoor stage production of Alice in Wonderland Jr is being staged by Everyman Theatre in Sophia Gardens as part of the Cardiff Festival. New arrangements of some well-known classics included. Tickets are £7. Tel: 0844 8700 887 www.everymanfestival.co.uk.
FRIDAY, JULY 26
CARDIFF: Musical fun with Tiddly Prom’s Cherry Pie. A fun and information introduction for children aged one to five. Tickets are £5. Tel: 029 2087 8444 www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk.
CAERPHILLY: The Big Cheese, an extravaganza of street entertainers, living history encampments, music, dance, traditional funfair, folk dancing, falconry, fire eating, minstrels, troubadours and much more comes to Caerphilly for the weekend. A free festival of fun. Tel: 029 2088 0011 your.caerphilly.gov.uk/bigcheese.
BARGOED: Discover what lurks within the waters and you can investigate what mini-beasts live within the grasslands of Parc Cwm Darran, from 11am. Three sessions through the day. Must be booked. Tel: 01443 875557.