A family-friendly Cardiff break

Home town to Charlotte Church, Rob Brydon and Shirley Bassey, Cardiff is the perfect location for family-friendly activities, come rain or shine. (And there’s a good chance there will be rain).

cardiff castle

Family activities

Whatever your interests and budget, Cardiff will find something to offer you and your family. The city centre is just a few square miles in size and there are a number of central hotels in Cardiff to choose from, meaning the city can be navigated relatively easily by foot. If shopping’s your bag, there are the beautiful historic arcades full of independent craft shops, boutiques and delis, while St. Mary Street, Queen Street and St. David’s Centre house high street shops. Be sure to visit Spillers Records in Morgan Arcade, which is the oldest record shop in the world.

Cardiff Castle, built in approximately 55 AD is sat in the heart of the city. Explore the castle grounds, the keep and battlement walk as well as its extravagantly decorated apartments. The Castle is open all year round. Sitting alongside the Castle is Bute Park, which is wonderful for a quiet walk away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Alternatively, a little further out of the city centre is Roath Park which has a beautiful lake with paddleboats and a Victorian greenhouse containing tropical plants and terrapins.

Just a mile from Cardiff city centre, the cosmopolitan Cardiff Bay has a number of great attractions, including the Doctor Who Experience where you can go on an exciting interactive journey behind the scenes of the TV series, the Techniquest science centre and Y Senedd, the home of the National Assembly for Wales.

Evening entertainment

You’ll find a wide range of restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and bistros in Cardiff Bay, such as the eccentric ‘50s style Eddie’s Diner. The city centre itself also offers a number of family-friendly options, including Italian eatery Amici and Sunday brunch hot spot Garlands Eatery and Coffee House.

Chapter Arts is a lovely independent cinema and arts centre in Canton, just outside the city centre; while the Red Dragon Centre is home to a 12-screen cinema and a 26-lane bowling alley as well as handfuls of restaurants, bars and cafes.

Annual events

If you’re not yet sure when to visit Cardiff, there are a number of regular events which might swing your vote. Highlights include the Six Nations rugby at the Millennium Stadium through February and March, Cardiff Summer Festival from June to August and Cardiff Bay’s International Food & Drink Festival in July. Over Christmas, the kids will love the outdoor ice rink which is erected on the City Hall front lawns for Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland. Whichever month you decide to stay in Cardiff, you won’t struggle to keep the kids entertained.