20 best family days out in Wales: Cheap things to do with your kids

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  • Come rain or shine, these are the family days in Wales that are certainly worth checking out whether you live in the area or are heading over for a holiday. 

    With its beautiful scenery, unique wildlife and heaps of exciting attractions, Wales is bursting full of wonderful places to go with kids during over the weekend or before the kids go back to school.

    From the #1 Best Family Attraction voted 4 years running to stunning castle visits with kids, these are the sites in Wales you absolutely need to add to your bucket list.

    20 of the best family days out in Wales:

    1. Caernarfon Castle, Caernarfon

    Budding history buffs will LOVE Caernarfon Castle, which sits on the River Seiont on one side and the Menai Strait on the other. It was built by King Edward I in the 13th century and it’s one of the biggest castles in Wales – perfect for a family day out. This fortress has 13 impressive towers, two gates and is also one of the best-preserved castles in the whole of Europe. So kids can really see what it was like to live as a king in the Middle Ages!

    One of the best attractions at the fortress is the ‘Castle Quest’, a journey around the site to discover the mythical beasts linked to the area. Another is the ‘Game of Crowns’ where little ones can meet the famous Prince of Wales who first built the castle – along with his wife, Queen Eleanor. There’s also the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum with captivating films, soundscapes, models and films which tell the exhilarating story of Wales’ oldest army regiment.

    Find out more about Caernarfon Castle and book your tickets for this year here

    2. Anglesey Sea Zoo, Llanfairpwll

    Anglesey Sea Zoo is famous for being the biggest aquarium in Wales so you absolutely shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit on your travels. Inside this jungle-like zoo, there are over 150 native species of animal that range from the familiar to the downright bizarre. Ever heard of a lumpsucker? What about a short-spined sea scorpion? Us neither until we saw the fantastic array of critters and creatures that live here.

    Wales family days out

    Credit: ASZMRC/Facebook

    Any fans of Pirates of the Caribbean will love the Seven Sisters Shipwreck and families will have to pluck up the courage to walk the Shark Pool grids. While the hilariously-named No Bone Zone will bring little ones face to face with the unbelievable invertebrates that live in the centre, including the intelligent octopus and a range of cute seahorses.

    Find out more about Anglesey Sea Zoo and book your tickets for 2021 here

    3. LC Waterpark, Swansea

    LC Waterpark is the country’s biggest and most exciting waterpark. So if rain is forecast for your visit to Swansea, be sure to book tickets for this exciting indoor attraction!

    Splash around at The Edge, which is the specific waterpark section of the site. It has a huge, impressive network of pools, rides and slides for the whole family to enjoy. The best one has got to be the MasterBlaster, a rollercoaster water slide that takes riders on a journey uphill and then brings them back down to earth using the force of gravity alone. New additions to the waterpark are the wave pool, the ‘Lazy River’ ride and the volcano slide.

    But while this may sound a little too wild for younger children, don’t worry! There’s the interactive pool which is more ideal for younger kids to splash around in with a mini slide, tipping buckets and a great water fountain feature.

    Find out more about LC Waterpark and book tickets for this year here

    4. Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm and Animal Park, Criccieth

    Another one for the animal lovers! This one’s on land though. Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm and Animal Park hosts a huge range of animals – including some fascinating rare breeds. Kids can play with some of the animals at the farm, including rabbits, guinea pigs and puppies. Those feeling brave enough can also try their hand at feeding some of the larger animals at the site – including pigmy goats, alpacas, rhea, donkeys, pigs and lambs. And if you’re VERY lucky, there might even be the chance to see the newborn animals or witness a birth!

    This is also an excellent place to come for lunch as after kids have met the animals at the park, there is plenty of delicious food on offer at Caffi yr Efail – otherwise known as The Smithy Cafe. Full of delicious cakes and bakes, there’s also savoury food on offer for every taste. If you’re looking for something a little more wild, there’s the picnic area for visitors that would prefer to bring their own food and eat out in the open. Afterwards, kids can check out the adventure playground.

    Horses at Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm and Animal Park

    Credit: Getty

    Find out more about Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm and Animal Park and book tickets for this year here

    5. Playzone Indoor Soft Play Centre, Swansea

    Another great family day out in Wales if it starts to pour down! Playzone in Swansea is an incredible indoor play area and it’s suitable for all ages, with one area for those under 4 and another for those over 5 years old.

    For the younger ones, there’s the Mini Playzone – a safe area to let small children run wild with slides and play equipment. While the older ones can get stuck into bigger slides, rope walkways, fireman’s poles, tumble towers and so much more.

    But there’s also something to do for the rest of the family as adults can also head into the play centre and help their children navigate their way through the tunnels and down the slides. Then, head to lunch at the cafe, which serves hot and cold drinks, snacks and meals all day.

    Find out more about Playzone Indoor Soft Play Centre and book your tickets for this year here

    6. GreenWood Forest Park, Y Felinheli

    This theme park wasn’t voted the Best Family Attraction in North Wales for four years running by accident. This forest park covers a whopping 17 acres of land and holds the world’s only people-powered rollercoaster! It moves across a 250-metre long track and includes a jaw-dropping 360 degree horizontal loop. This, and the longest sledge run in North Wales which is also at the site, is certainly not one for the faint-hearted.

    For those looking for something a little more relaxed, there’s The Barefoot Trail where the whole family can shed their shoes and socks and connect with nature as they walk barefoot through the forest, clambering over sand, bark, timber, water and straw. In the GreenWood’s Den Building area, kids can get stuck into building their own den out of completely natural materials – especially ideal for anyone enrolled in a forest school. While in the afternoon, there’s the opportunity to go go-karting and head into the treetops for a walk.

    Just some of the many attractions you can expect at GreenWood Forest Park on their days out, making it one of our best picks for Wales family days out.

    Find out more about GreenWood Forest Park and book your tickets for this year here.

    7. Cefn Mably Farm Park, Cardiff

    This isn’t only a massive, 20,000ft all-weather family farm – it’s also a HUGE soft play area! The site holds a super unique blend of farm animals, including alpacas, and soft play areas which are perfect for kids of all ages. If you’re after an action-packed day out then this attraction is certainly one to put on your Cardiff trip itinerary.

    As well as spending the day climbing around the slides, towers, ropes and more in the play areas, the whole family can get stuck into feeding the animals at designated feeding times and have their go at seeing what it’s like to be an animal keeper. Once the kids have had their time with the animals, they can check out the other the other facilities on site like the go karts and diggers – although these cost extra. Teens are welcome at the farm too!

    Wales family days out

    Credit: cefnmablyfarmpark/Facebook

    While the kids go crazy for the attractions, parents can chill out in the cafe with coffee and a slice of the farm’s delicious homemade cake.

    Find out more about Cefn Mably Farm Park and book tickets for this year here

    8. Rhyl Miniature Railway, Rhyl

    Train fans assemble! Most visitors start their day out at the Miniature Railway with a train ride on what is now the UK’s oldest miniature railway line. These trains were built in the area during the 1920s so have been taking people across from Rhyl and around Marine Lake for almost the last 100 years! The oldest train on the site was built in 1911 and has just returned to the site after 90 years away on display at another location.

    Once you’ve had the trip around and returned to ‘Central Station’, families can explore the history of the Rhyl Miniature Railway at the local museum with plenty of exhibits on offer. The former ticket office sells tea, coffee and sweet treats for all those looking for a snack, as well as gifts for kids.

    Find out more about Rhyl Miniature Railway and book your tickets for this year here

    9. Marine Lake, Rhyl

    Right next door to the Rhyl Miniature Railway is Marine Lake.

    This is the perfect place for kids to try out a whole range of activities – like crabbing! This fun activity is great for the whole family to have a go at and once you’ve caught the crab, you can just pop it back in the lake. And if you’ve never done it before, don’t worry! The Miniature Railway site is a great place to start as from here, you can pick up everything you need to get started.

    Then afterwards, head over to the children’s playground at Marine Lake. Here there’s an exciting play area for kids, full of swings, equipment and rides for smaller children. There’s also a climbing net for older one, so certainly something to do for kids of all ages here.

    For those feeling more adventurous, the area also boasts a great amount of water sports opportunities at the Ski Club and the Yacht Club. While these will cost a little more, there’s everything from sailing to canoeing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and other exciting water-based activities.

    Find out more about Marine Lake and opening times here.

    10. Surf Snowdonia, Conwy

    While many people think surfing is just reserved for the likes of Cornwall and Devon, surfing is also on the to-do list for family days out in Wales! Surf Snowdonia is actually the world’s first inland surf lagoon with the opportunity to ‘Just Surf’ or to take lessons from the professional – from beginner all the way to advanced surfing.

    If you’re an experienced surfer already, get involved with the ‘Just Surf’ sessions on beginner, intermediate or advances waves and experience up to 150 metres of wave at 6-7 metres per second. For those between the ages of 5 and 7, there’s the Little Rippers surf school, Groms for those 8 to 13 years old and Juniors for those up to 17 years old. These are expert lessons taught by real professionals, so certainly not an experience to miss if you’re in the area.

    There’s also simple wetsuit and board hire for all types of sessions and even something for those who haven’t caught the surfing bug just yet. Flat-water stand-up paddleboard sessions and lessons are also available to take on at this site.

    Find out more about Surf Snowdonia and book your sessions for this year here

    11. Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog

    For a truly unique family day out in Wales, the Llechwedd Slate Caverns at Blaenau Ffestiniog is a must visit! It’s an abandoned slate mine 500ft below the ground. Expeditions down below take keen explorers on a tour of the Llechwedd Slate Cavern, after a journey down the steepest cable railway in the UK.

    Once groups are in the tunnel, they will get to experience tales from the past when the slate mines were in operation and even get the chance to “meet” the owner of the mine, John Whitehead Greaves. They’ll also get to hear stories of the men and boys who used to work in the mines – up to 12 hours a day, nearly every day during the week, underground in almost complete darkness.

    There is also accommodation on site as well as glamping experiences if you’re looking to turn your visit to the mines into a weekend extravaganza!

    Llechwedd Slate Caverns

    Credit: Getty

    Find out more about Llechwedd Slate Caverns and book tickets for this year here

    12. National Roman Legion Museum, Newport

    Take full advantage of the free entry to the National Roman Legion Museum in Newport to explore the fascinating history of Roman Wales.

    Along with exhibits including the Bathstone Coffin, containing remains of a person from the 2nd/3rd century, there’s other rooms like the reconstructed Barrack Room. This room will give the whole family a real insight into what Roman army life was like in Wales. Be sure to visit the museum at either the weekend or during the school holidays as well, since children can step back in time during these times and truly get into the spirit of ancient times with replica armour and activities. After this, visit the ruins of one of the three only permanent fortresses in Roman Britain which are contained inside the site. It includes elements of the most complete amphitheatre in the UK and the only Legionary Barracks available to view in Europe.

    There’s also plenty of exhibitions to appeal to classicists of older ages including the ongoing Firestarter Exhibition. This interesting exhibit focuses on how fire was used in the Roman world in everyday life and in battle, and how it was linked to the famous Roman gods.

    Find out more about the National Roman Legion Museum and book tickets for this year here

    13. Manor House Wildlife Park, Tenby

    Take a walk on the wild side at Manor House Wildlife Park in Tenby. This site is unlike any other in Wales as it’s packed full of exotic animals and wild creatures that kids can get up close (but not too close!) and personal with. Animals housed in the Wildlife Park include the illusive Visayan Warty Pig, Saki monkey and Bactrian Camel. Along with zebras, red pandas and tigers, it’s the perfect UK safari experience for the whole family.

    Tickets come in for adults at £17.95 and for kids at £15.95. So while this is one of the slightly more expensive experiences in Wales, it’s well worth the visit! There really aren’t many places in the UK where you can experience a real-life Sumatran Tiger out and about, walking, eating and interacting with keepers in a safe and secure sanctuary, dedicated to their safeguarding. If monkeys are more your thing, why not go and meet the group of lemurs that live in their own Madagascan home built into the stunning surroundings of the Welsh countryside?

    Once you’ve got up to all the monkey business you can handle, head for lunch at the Wildlife Park’s own restaurant – which specialises in homemade Italian pizzas! The cafe also serves homemade cakes, amazing coffee and other delicious food and drinks.

    Find out more about Manor House Wildlife Park and book tickets for this year here

    14. Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion

    For a real activity-packed family day out in Wales, head over to Cardigan Bay and Ceredigion and get away from city life on your holiday. While there’s plenty to do in the area that doesn’t cost a penny, including taking a trip out to the mountain lakes and waterfalls and exploring the wilderness of the greenery in the area, our favourite activity has got to be dolphin watching.

    A dolphin spotted in Cardigan Bay, Wales, one of the great family days out in Wales

    Credit: Getty

    If you have the cash to spare, there are paid-for boat trips that sail out into the bay to help you get a better view. But if not, you will certainly be able to stop all the dolphins, porpoises and seals that live out in the bay from the shore – just keep your eyes peeled. Take a picnic and sit on top of one of the several stunning cliffs in the area. Watch the local wildlife glide through the waters beneath you – and if you’re REALLY lucky, you might spot a visiting whale or even a roaming shark.

    Find out more about Cardiagan Bay and if you’re interested in taking a boat trip into Cardigan Bay, book your tickets here

    15. Llanishen Leisure Centre, Cardiff

    If you’re in Cardiff and are looking to go for a splash, Llanishen Leisure Centre is definitely a great family day out.

    Everyone knows that swimming is one of the best ways that the whole family can have fun together, whatever the ages of the kids, and the amazing beach-style pool at this leisure centre has got to be perfect for this. The leisure pool offers so many hours of entertainment with plenty of water features, including a wave machine and water play features during peak periods and at the weekend.

    Recently completely renovated, this leisure centres offers more than just the swimming pool though. There’s also a flume and soft play facility on site as well as a gym, squash courts and more. It’s really the perfect place to go if you’ve got a larger family as there’s certainly something for everyone to do. And with adult tickets coming in at just £6 and kids tickets at £4 for anytime access, it’s not one of the family days out in Wales that will break the bank.

    Find out more about Llanishen Leisure Centre and book your entry tickets for this year here

    16. Judge’s Lodging, Presteigne

    For the history-lovers, this is another fantastic cheap day out in Wales. Judge’s Lodging in Presteigne is an award-winning historic house that helps you explore the fascinating world of the gloomy Victorian justice system. Visitors, with only a oil and gas lamp to light their path, make their way through the judge’s private apartments. During the trip, you can sit in the judge’s armchair and even pretend to have a meal at his dining room table. Down below, you can pump water into the kitchen and take a trip through the servants’ sleep quarters and workrooms.

    Luxurious apartments house the attraction’s judges whereas by stark contrast, the dingy cells are host to the prisoners. The ‘eavesdropping audio tour’ adds an edge of realism to your day, as you hear voices from the past tell their stories. While in the huge echoing courtroom, kids’ imaginations can run wild they experience the dramatic court trial of local duck thief, William Morgan.

    The near total ‘hands-on’ policy is a kids’ dream and the total interactive experience will ensure that everyone is entertained the whole way though. And once you’re done there, you’ll find beautiful countryside just on your doorstep, if you fancy finishing your day with a scenic stroll.

    Find out more about Judge’s Lodging and book your tickets for this year here

    17. Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly

    Caerphilly’s floating castle, as it’s often referred to, surrounded by moats and watery islands. It’s a truly stunning location to visit even if you don’t care for castle too much, as the surrounding area is packed full of scenic beauty.

    Once inside the castle, head straight for the ‘Dragon’s Lair’ which is home to a host of Welsh dragons, brought to life with an audio-visual display. Complete with smoke and snarls, fantasy-lovers will enjoy the completely immersive experience as they learn all about Wales’ deep mythical history. Look out for other child-friendly activities like the ‘Castle Quest’ too, as this happens across many castles in Wales and helps kids to truly explore the history of the site.

    Adults and kids alike can also explore the history of the castle with the incredible display of mangonel and the terrifying trebuchet, both weapons of warfare that were stored in the castle. These truly come to life during the castle’s adventure-packed seasonal events programme. So if you’re looking for fun for the whole family, be sure to book a trip here on your family day out to Wales!

    And any fans of the popular TV series Merlin will certainly recognise this castle as it was used for many filming shoots across many episodes!

    Find out more about Caerphilly Castle and book tickets for this year here

    18. Tudor Merchant’s House, Tenby

    Turn the clocks back 500 years with a visit to this historical National Trust site and see how the typical Tudor merchant and his family would have lived during the period. This captivating three-storey house is in incredible condition and the whole family can get wrapped up in the lives of those who lived there with a tour around the house and local area.

    On the ground floor, you’ll find the merchant’s shop and working kitchen. Here’s where the whole family can learn about how the merchant would have made his living in Tenby during the Tudor times, as this is where he would have sold everything from wool to pots and spices after trading through the port. You’ll also be able to see a fine ‘Flemish’ round chimney and the original scarfed roof trusses.

    As this house is a real deep-dive into Tudor history, those working at the house are dressed in costume and will interact with guests in the traditional Tudor style! So for something both educational and truly different on your family days out in Wales, add this Merchant House to the bucket list.

    This is a cheap, educational day out and definitely worth considering for Wales family days out.

    Find out more about Tudor Merchant’s House and book tickets for this year here

    19. National Showcaves Centre, South Wales

    You will be spoiled for choice with 10 attractions included for the price of one ticket! The three different caves Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave each offer a unique underground experience, while the Iron Age farm and a plethora of other attractions will help keep your little ones entertained fully throughout the day.

    Dan yr Ogof Cave

    Dan yr Ogof Cave is one of three in the area. Credit: Getty.

    The must-see part of the site for kids though has got to be the over 200 life-sized dinosaurs that sit in their own park! These model monsters let kids get close and personal with beasts from millions of years ago. Meet all the creatures kids see in their favourite films and books at the park, from the terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex to the Brachiosaurus – an underrated dinosaur that’s as big as 15 elephants.

    After kids have escaped the clutches of these ancient beasts, the whole family can sit back and relax in the cafe with all the food and drinks on offer. Alternatively, take a spin around the Rock and Dinosaur shop.

    Find out more about National Showcaves Centre and book your tickets for this year here.

    20. Mountain View Ranch, Cardiff

    Fresh air fuelled fun for all the family, there’s something new to discover around every corner, whether it’s a tree house, a magical fairy forest, a campfire with marshmallow toasting or a hobbit house. The Ranch also hosts Wales’ only officially licensed Gruffalo Trail!

    Whether you follow the trail on your own or join one of the guided tours, your children will be enchanted as they follow the Gruffalo’s footprints along the trail, discovering all the characters from this hugely popular story.     

    Find out more about Mountain View Ranch and book tickets for this year here

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