Family Fun in Cardiff: Top 20 Attractions for a Day Out with the Kids

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Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is a fantastic destination for a day out with the kids. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning outdoor spaces, and exciting attractions, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring Cardiff’s cultural gems, seeking outdoor adventures, unleashing creativity through art and craft activities, or simply indulging in tasty treats, Cardiff has it all. Let’s dive into the top 20 attractions that will make your family’s day out in Cardiff truly unforgettable.

cardiff overview from drone

Exploring Cardiff’s Cultural Gems with Kids

Cardiff is home to a treasure trove of cultural attractions that will captivate both young and old. Start your day by immersing yourselves in history at the Cardiff Museum. The museum offers fascinating exhibits that showcase the rich heritage of Wales, including ancient artifacts, interactive displays, and even a dinosaur exhibit that will delight budding paleontologists.

Afterward, take a stroll through Cardiff city center, where you’ll find an abundance of shops, cafes, and street performers. Don’t miss the chance to admire the stunning architecture of Cardiff Castle, a medieval fortress nestled within the heart of the city.

For lunch, head to one of the many family-friendly restaurants in Cardiff. Try traditional Welsh dishes like cawl (a hearty soup) or Welsh rarebit (cheesy toast) to experience the local cuisine. Many restaurants offer children’s menus with smaller portions and kid-friendly options to ensure a happy and satisfied tummy for your little ones.

After refueling, venture to Bute Park, a sprawling green oasis in the city center. Let the kids run wild in the playgrounds, feed the ducks by the river, or simply relax on the lush lawns while taking in the picturesque surroundings. Bute Park is also home to the National Museum Cardiff, where you can explore even more exhibits ranging from art and natural history to archaeology, providing a perfect blend of education and entertainment for the whole family.

Adventure Awaits: Outdoor Activities for Families in Cardiff

When it comes to outdoor adventure, Cardiff has plenty to offer. Head to Cardiff Bay, where you can take a boat ride along the waterfront, rent bicycles to explore the area, or simply enjoy a picnic overlooking the bay. For those seeking thrills, why not try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding at the Cardiff International White Water Center? It’s the perfect place to unleash your inner adventurer.

If your family enjoys hiking, be sure to visit the nearby Brecon Beacons National Park. With its breathtaking landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and countless trails, this natural wonderland provides endless opportunities for exploration and outdoor fun.

a busy street in cardiff

For a unique experience, consider taking a guided tour of Cardiff Castle, a medieval fortress with a rich history dating back over 2,000 years. Explore the majestic grounds, climb to the top of the Norman Keep for panoramic views of the city, and delve into the intricate architecture of the Victorian Gothic revival mansion.

After a day of outdoor activities, treat your taste buds to some traditional Welsh cuisine at one of Cardiff’s charming restaurants. Indulge in a hearty bowl of cawl, a traditional Welsh soup, or savor a plate of Welsh rarebit, a delicious dish of melted cheese on toast. Don’t forget to top it off with a slice of mouthwatering Welsh cake for dessert!

Unleashing Creativity: Art and Craft Activities for Kids

Cardiff is a hub of creativity, and there are plenty of arts and crafts activities to engage little ones. The National Museum Cardiff offers art workshops and interactive exhibits that inspire creativity and foster a love for the arts. Let your kids unleash their inner artists as they create their masterpieces.

For a hands-on experience, visit Techniquest, a science discovery center that combines education with entertainment. Your children can participate in interactive exhibits, build structures, and learn about various scientific phenomena in a fun and engaging way.

Additionally, Cardiff is home to numerous art studios and craft workshops that cater to children of all ages. These studios offer a wide range of activities, from pottery painting to jewelry making, providing a diverse and enriching experience for young artists. Children can explore different mediums and techniques under the guidance of skilled instructors, allowing them to express their creativity in unique ways.

Moreover, the city hosts regular art and craft fairs where kids can not only showcase their artistic talents but also interact with local artisans and learn about traditional crafts. These fairs create a vibrant and inspiring atmosphere, encouraging children to appreciate the value of handmade goods and the dedication that goes into creating them. It’s a wonderful opportunity for kids to immerse themselves in the world of art and craft, gaining a deeper understanding of the creative process.

Tasty Treats: Family-Friendly Dining Spots in Cardiff

Exploring can work up an appetite, and Cardiff boasts a wide range of family-friendly dining spots. If you’re craving a taste of Wales, head to Cardiff Bay and indulge in traditional Welsh dishes, such as Welsh rarebit and laverbread. These iconic dishes are deeply rooted in Welsh culinary history, with Welsh rarebit being a savory dish made of melted cheese and various other ingredients, often served hot on bread. Laverbread, on the other hand, is a type of edible seaweed that is typically cooked with oatmeal to create a unique and nutritious dish.

Alternatively, you can satisfy your sweet tooth at one of the city’s many dessert cafes, where you’ll find delectable cakes, pastries, and ice creams. These cafes often offer a cozy and inviting atmosphere, perfect for relaxing with a hot cup of coffee alongside your sweet treat. From classic Victoria sponges to modern vegan delights, the dessert scene in Cardiff is sure to impress even the most discerning of palates.

dining spot in cardiff

Cardiff city center

If you’re looking for a quick and casual meal, Cardiff city center has a plethora of options, ranging from global cuisines to comforting pub fare. Wander through the bustling streets and you’ll find everything from authentic Italian pizzerias to trendy burger joints. The city’s food scene is a vibrant tapestry of flavors and cultures, reflecting Cardiff’s diverse community and rich history. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find a dining spot to suit every taste and budget, making Cardiff a true paradise for food lovers of all kinds.

Connecting with Nature: Parks and Gardens to Visit

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by spending time in Cardiff’s beautiful parks and gardens. Bute Park, located adjacent to Cardiff Castle, offers a serene atmosphere and lush green spaces ideal for picnics or leisurely walks.

Roath Park is another must-visit destination. With its magnificent lake, charming Victorian conservatory, and vibrant flower displays, it’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature and enjoy some quality family time.

Things to do in Cardiff City Centre

Cardiff city center is a vibrant hub of activity, with numerous attractions to explore. In addition to the aforementioned Cardiff Castle and shopping opportunities, families can also visit the Doctor Who Experience, a must-see for fans of the iconic sci-fi series. Step into the TARDIS and embark on an interactive adventure through time and space.

The Cardiff Bay Barrage is another popular spot. Take a stroll along the barrage and enjoy stunning views of the bay, or let your kids burn off some energy at the nearby play area.

Bowling Cardiff

If you’re looking for some indoor fun, why not try bowling in Cardiff? Several bowling alleys in the city offer family-friendly lanes and a range of fun-filled activities. Challenge each other to a friendly competition and see who can score the most strikes!

Things to do in Swansea

Just a short drive from Cardiff lies the charming city of Swansea, which offers even more family-friendly attractions. Spend a day exploring the Dylan Thomas Centre, where you can learn about the famous Welsh poet through interactive exhibits and workshops.

For animal lovers, visit the Plantasia Tropical Zoo, home to a variety of exotic creatures. The zoo provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with animals such as meerkats, snakes, and even monkeys.

Cardiff Museum

As mentioned earlier, the Cardiff Museum is a must-visit attraction for families. With its wide range of exhibits and interactive displays, it offers a fun and educational experience that will spark curiosity and inspire learning.

a front view of Cardiff Museum

Thrills and Spills: Exciting Adventures for the Whole Family

If you’re in search of heart-pumping excitement, look no further than the various adventure parks in Cardiff. The Escape Rooms Cardiff will challenge your family to solve puzzles and escape from themed rooms within a set time limit. It’s a perfect activity to foster teamwork and problem-solving skills.

For adrenaline junkies, visit Go Ape in Margam County Park. Swing through the treetops, tackle thrilling zip wires, and conquer high rope challenges. It’s an adventure that will leave both kids and adults with unforgettable memories.

Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions in Cardiff

While exploring the popular tourist spots is undoubtedly enjoyable, don’t forget to discover some of Cardiff’s hidden gems. The Norwegian Church Arts Centre is a charming venue that hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year. Additionally, a visit to the Mediaeval Village of St Fagans is a step back in time, allowing you to experience Welsh history in a unique and immersive way.

As you can see, Cardiff offers a plethora of family-friendly attractions that cater to all interests and preferences. From cultural excursions to outdoor adventures, art activities, and culinary delights, there is no shortage of things to do in Cardiff with kids to do in this vibrant city. So pack up the kids and get ready for a day filled with fun, laughter, and unforgettable memories in the beautiful city of Cardiff.

cardiff portrait


What are the top 5 most kid-friendly attractions in Cardiff?

Some top suggestions could include Cardiff Castle, Techniquest Science Museum, St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff Bay Beach, and Bute Park.

Are there any good parks in Cardiff for families?

Bute Park is a top recommendation with wide open green spaces, playgrounds, and even a castle adjacent. Other options are Roath Park and Victoria Park.

What is there to do on a rainy day in Cardiff with kids?

Great rainy day activity ideas include the National Museum Cardiff, Hollywood Bowl for bowling and arcade games, the International Swimming Pool for water fun, or Jump indoor trampoline park.

What family-friendly events happen annually in Cardiff?

Some annual favorites include the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival in June, Cardiff Bay Beach in the summer, and festive events like Winter Wonderland in the colder months.

What kid-friendly restaurants are there in Cardiff?

Some top family dining options could include Bella Italia, Zerodegrees Microbrewery, Harry Ramsden’s fish and chips, The Cabbage Patch pub which has an indoor play area, or The Family Pub.

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