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5 things to do in Cardiff with kids

5 things to do in Cardiff with kids

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Cardiff is a city oozing with culture, heritage and activities for the whole family to enjoy. It’s also a very compact city so you don’t have to travel far to find something new and interesting to keep your kids entertained. Here’s so of the brilliant things to do in Cardiff with kids.

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Top things to do in Cardiff for families

Here’s five Cardiff family attractions I can recommend you see next time you’re in this vibrant city:

1. Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle - 5 Cardiff family attractions not to miss

If you wander through the city centre it won’t be long before you stumble across Cardiff Castle. It’s one of the truly unmissable things to do in Cardiff.

There’s more than 2,000 years of history within its walls, from its first use as a Roman fort to a Victorian extension and 20th Century wartime shelters. Open air events, such as jousting and theatre products, are held regularly within the castle grounds.

On a previous visit with Mr Tin Box I remember having to wind our way through crowds of Medieval characters on our way to climb the Keep.

There are two dedicated audio guides for younger visitors and a children’s area with hands on activities and costumes to try on. Kids will also love walking around the battlements and I can recommend taking a tour of the opulent castle house, which is something out of a fairytale. 

Families with young children need to be aware that the steps up to the Keep are steep and there are some steps within the Castle.

Cardiff Castle is open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

For the latest opening times and admission prices check the website.

2. Techniquest

Science at Techniquest - 5 Cardiff family attractions not to miss

This top Cardiff attraction is packed full of science experiments designed to help little people explore and discover the world around them. There’s 120 hands-on exhibits in total and they’re not just of interest to kids.

I witnessed quite a few mums and dads spinning wheels, firing tennis balls and squirting water. Don’t tell Tin Box Tot, but I did too!

If you’ve ever been to the The Garden at The Science Museum in London you’ll have some idea of what’s on offer. But think bigger, much bigger!

And there’s activities that will inspire toddlers, children and early teens, including a Planetarium with science shows throughout the day.

If you’re looking for things to do in Cardiff on a wet day it’s hard to beat.

Techniquest is at Cardiff Bay, a short train or bus ride from the city centre. It is open weekends, bank holidays and seven days a week during local school holidays.

Visit the website for opening times and admission prices.

3. St Fagans National History Museum

A re-erected farm house at St Fagans - 5 Cardiff family attractions not to miss

If I didn’t know better I would have said that St Fagans was a charming Welsh village that time had forgotten. In reality it has been pieced together brick by brick from sites all over Wales.

Each building was been identified as a prime example of its time but due to modern developments was set to be demolished.

Since 1948 a school, chapel, church, numerous houses from different time periods, and even an entire workmen’s institute have been re-erected in the beautiful grounds of St Fagans Castle on the outskirts of Cardiff.

It is now an extraordinary open air museum sharing the story of how the people of Wales lived, worked and spent their leisure time over the centuries.

As you walk around each of the 40 buildings there are knowledgeable staff available to answer your questions. I found it fascinating and also enjoyed a stroll around the picturesque 16th Century castle gardens.

Families with pushchairs will find it easy to navigate around the site but be aware that buggies are not allowed in the historic buildings.

St Fagans Castle

St Fagans National History Museum is a short drive from the City Centre or buses also run there. It is open daily and entrance is free but there is a charge for parking.

Check the website for opening times and other visitor information.

4. National Museum Cardiff

Art at the National Museum - 5 Cardiff family attractions not to miss

Looking for cultural things to do in Cardiff with kids? This free museum is home to the largest collection of impressionist art outside Paris thanks to works gifted to the nation by the Davies Sisters.

You could easily lose a few hours drifting around the exhibition.

If your brood doesn’t include any budding Monets then head for the natural history exhibition on the ground floor where you’ll be confronted with all sorts of amazing beasts. 

From a four tonne Basking Shark to the World’s largest ever recorded Leatherback Turtle and skeletons of dinosaurs that once roamed the Welsh landscape, there’s plenty to widen the eyes of your young explorers.

There are also touring exhibitions, so there’s something new to see each time you visit.

Prehistoric skeletons at the National Museum Cardiff - 5 Cardiff family attractions not to miss

The National Museum is in Cardiff City Centre, just a short walk from the Castle. It is open Tuesday to Sunday and most Bank Holiday Mondays. Entrance is free.

See the website for the latest exhibition information and opening times.

5. Taff Trail

Wales Millennium Centre - 5 Cardiff family attractions not to miss

If you prefer a more energetic way to see the sights and South Wales countryside, then cycling the Taff Trail is for you. This would be particularly good if you are visiting Cardiff with older kids or teens.

This activity came recommended by my expert tour guide Noel of South Wales Tours. Most of the trail is traffic free once you get out of the city, so it’s ideal for family cycling.

If you want to avoid the city part of the trail all together you can hop on the train and rejoin the route a bit further north. The trail starts at Cardiff Bay, where you’ll see the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, all the way to the town of Breacon, roughly 55 miles away.

However, if you’re thinking that a 100+ mile round trip sounds a little bit too much like hard work then you can easily hop on the train back to Cardiff.

Here’s some more family-friendly places to visit in Cardiff and in Bristol.

More things to do in South Wales

We’re lucky to have visited South Wales a number of times for family holidays and breaks. Here’s some more posts about things to do that you might like:

Find more days out in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in my big round up of 101 UK attractions for families.

Disclosure: I was given a tour of Cardiff’s family-friendly attractions courtesy of Visit Wales as part of its Year of Adventure. All views are my own.

Wondering what are the must see places when visiting Cardiff with kids? Use Pinterest to save this post about things to do in Cardiff.

5 Cardiff family attractions not to miss

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Welsh Cakes and Wellies

Tuesday 15th of November 2016

I've just stumbled across your blog - what a great review of what Cardiff has to offer. Cardiff also has some great parks too, Roath Park in Cardiff, or the park just behind the Castle are great for little ones. In the summer you can also take boat trips at Cardiff Bay, not far from Techniquest. We love the museum, what with two boys who love dinosaurs we go quite a lot! Great blog!

Claire Hall - Tin Box Traveller

Wednesday 16th of November 2016

Thank you! I've been to Cardiff a couple of times now without my girls but I"m really keen to take them back. There's so much to do and I think they'd enjoy the boat trips too.

Packing my Suitcase

Wednesday 1st of June 2016

Great tips Claire!! I will make sure to remember those attraction when I visit Cardiff :D Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes


Thursday 26th of May 2016

I've been thinking about hopping on a train to Cardiff (I'm in Swansea) with my 5 year old, maybe we'll brave it this summer and visit some of the places on your list! x #KCACOLS

Claire Hall - Tin Box Traveller

Thursday 26th of May 2016

OOH, you're so close. It's definitely worth it. There's lots within easy reach of the station or if you hop on a bus x


Wednesday 25th of May 2016

We visited St Fagans last year and lived it. We'd only allowed a couple of hours so didn't get to see all of it, definitely needs at least half a day. #Mondayescapes


Wednesday 25th of May 2016

*loved it* - although I'm guessing we could have tried living in one of the houses!

Katie Gregory (@therewegoblog)

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

Wow, Techniquest looks so cool! Can't wait until my two are older to go to things like this. Love this post - will be referring back to it in the future I think!x #KCACOLS

Claire Hall - Tin Box Traveller

Wednesday 25th of May 2016

My girls are one and three, and I'd take them to Techniquest. There's lots to do for all ages...even for big kids like me :)

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