In my mind, travelling with children is one of the best forms of education, yes of course it can be a little stressful but it can also be very rewarding so don’t be put off by the idea of a city break with toddlers or kids in tow.
Cardiff, with a wide selection of things to do, many of which are free, is the perfect city for a family trip. The city can also provide fantastic and reasonably priced family friendly accommodation with a Travelodge on St Mary’s Street and another just off Queen Street, meaning you can be in the heart of the city with tons of activities on your doorstep.
Tempted? This mini guide will hopefully come in handy when you plan your next visit.
1. Cardiff Museum and National Art Gallery
This is a fantastic place for both children and adults. Best of all it is completely free and perfect for rainy days as it can provide hours of fun with dinosaurs, artefacts and a natural world exhibition as well as an interactive learning centre and art exhibitions. Not only is this a fun place to visit, but it’s also an educational one. Located just 5min walk from Queen Street through some very pretty gardens.
2. The Cardiff Story
Another great little museum all about Cardiff. This one is based in The Hayes which is right in the city centre. The exhibitions on various floors encourage children to get involved, especially the discovery and interactive City-Lab downstairs which has a lovely play area with costumes to dress up in, lots of books, colouring in and various other bits of entertainment.
3. Cardiff Bay
It’s worth jumping on the 5min train from Queen Street to the Bay as there is a lot for children and adults to see and do. Take a boat ride, head to a skatepark, visit The Dr Who exhibition or just take a lovely walk with an ice-cream in hand across the barrage to Penarth, past the adventure playground. This is a great place to enjoy with the family while being outside and enjoying the beautiful views.
4. St Fagans Outdoor Museum
Located slightly outside the city centre but easy to get to by bus or car, this museum gives you a chance to take in a little bit of the Welsh countryside. This place is great for a sunny day and has a lot to offer including historical houses from different ages, a small working farm, a tractor train, Italian gardens, bird hides and a Castle, plus lots of places to enjoy a picnic or freshly baked scone from the bakery and a playground. Entry is free but parking is £3.50 per car for the whole day.
5. Play Park
Located behind central station this is the place if you want the kids to run off some steam. A far more natural approach to the normal “soft play” centres this place inspires children to be active, explore and have fun. The outside consists of a large sandpit that houses a wooden pirate ship and a very long slide and mini climbing wall while the inside has various slides and a large wooden castle plus a designated toddler area with a mini hill and tunnel to climb up and crawl through as well as playhouses and gentle games. This place has a very small and budget friendly café, but they actually encourage people bringing their own food and having a picnic on one of the many benches. Adults are always free and prices start from £1.75 for the day.
Being a mum in Cardiff myself I know how important it is to have some tricks up your sleeve when you’re got the little ones in tow. If you decide to visit the vibrant Welsh capital, keep these 5 places in mind for fun for the whole family.