Side Street Style: 17 Family Friendly things to do in Cardiff when it rains

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog

06/03/2018

17 Family Friendly things to do in Cardiff when it rains

Cardiff indoors


If you are a regular reader you probably already know we love being outdoors but living in Wales does mean dealing with rain on a fairly regular basis and therefore we always have some sort of back up plan for those days when it's really coming down heavy. Luckily for both those visiting and living near the city there is plenty to do from education museum visits to hitting a wave pool or a round of putt putt we pretty much have it all in the Welsh Capital and I thought I would share a few of our favourites.

1.  National Museum

Our National Museum by many standards is not the biggest but it's housed in a beautiful building and offers something for all ages from modern art and touring gallery exhibitions to the permanent and popular dinosaur and wildlife display. It's easy to spend a couple of hours in this museum out of rain, there are also two different places to grab a bite to eat and on weekends The Core room is open giving the opportunity to get up close and personal with some fossils and artefacts. Best of all it's free and centrally located.


National Museum Cardiff


2. Cardiff Story, The Hayes

This small but perfectly formed museum all about the history of Cardiff and is one of our favourite places and provides a little haven in the city. Again perfect for all ages and has plenty of interactive displays plus downstairs there is a small play area and book nook as well as some costumes to dress up in which is always a hit with smaller children. Again this fantastic little museum is free and if you get a little peckish you can pop into Milk and Sugar on the top floor which has a fantastic brunch menu, is children friendly and has a small play area.

3, Techniquest, The Bay

If you or your children love science or discovering more about the body, space and world around us then Techniquest is a good bet. It's not cheap for at around £28 for a family of four but you can make a day of it with lots of hands on displays as well as live Science theatre and Planetarium shows it's easy to entertain kids (and adults) here on a rainy day and if you do have an hour or two to spare than you can always walk over to the Millennium centre which often has free performances or crafts on weekends.


Red Dragon
The Red Dragon at Techniquest, image via Teddybears and Cardigans Blog


4. Cardiff Castle

If your visiting Cardiff than the Castle will probably be high on your list of landmarks to visit in the City and its a good all-weather attraction as you can take in the Castle Apartments, walk through the wartime shelters and visit the Firing Line - The Museum of the Welsh Soldier which are all indoors, of course you can also make a dash for the mound if you don't mind a spot of rain but either way make sure to stop into the cafe and have a hot cuppa and a welsh cake or walk across the road to Natas for the best Portuguese tarts in Cardiff.

5. Parc Play

Personally we are not big on soft play, in fact the idea sends shivers down my spine but luckily there is an alternative in the form of Parc Play which is a more nature and wooden based play park which encourages you to bring your own picnic, although they do have a small food hut. It has a large indoor space with a big wooden fort to play in as well as slides and a small toddler area and undercover section with sand and swings which follows out to the open air area with a wooden ship. Even when it's pouring down kids can run all their energy out here while parents can watch on with a coffee in hand.


6. Theatre Shows

We are really lucky in Cardiff to have some fantastic Theatres from the inspiring Sherman Theatre which really helps to push local talent to the bigger stages at the Millennium Centre which hosts many touring productions as does the New Theatre and St Davids. You can also check out some more independent productions at Chapter Arts Centre which also houses an exhibition area, cinema and fantastic cafe and on the other side of town the The Gate Art theatre which offers different classes, music and stage productions and a cosy cafe.


The Sherman Theatre
Production at The Sherman Theatre 


7. Treetop Golf

Treetop Golf is a fairly new addition to Cardiff and I can honestly say is fun for all ages and is somewhere that makes for a fun family day out but also for a more unusual date night. If you like Crazy Golf then this is perfect as this place has gone full out to create a realistic Tropical Trail and Ancient Explorer course, both 18 hole. They also have a Tiki Style bar and Pizza Pronto serves up some of the best pizza in Cardiff.


8.  Go Bowling at the Red Dragon Centre

Last year I did a review of the Red Dragon Centre for the Visit Cardiff Blog, it was in fact pouring down with rain but we still managed to have a full day of fun and entertainment at the centre. The centre has a variety of options to keep you entertained and well fed from the Cinema complex to an Italian food, burgers or hitting the lanes at Hollywood Bowl. Bowling is always a great option as a family or with friends, in fact the more the merrier.


Red Dragon



9. Go Rock Climbing

There are two indoor climbing facilities in and around Cardiff, one being Boulders which offers wall climbing from ages 7yr+ with experienced instructors there is nothing to fear, there is also a soft play on site for younger children. The other is Spot Climbing Centre just outside of Cardiff in Treforest and is perfect for those just starting out as well as experienced climbers. This place is different to Boulders in the way it only offers bouldering (climbing without ropes, lower walls with crash mats) but has plenty of routes to and also allows children from 5yr+ and offers a kids club and a fantastic cafe on site.

10. Ride a Wave

Yes you can go surfing indoors at Cardiff International White Water centre which has a Flow Rider indoor wave which you can body surf or have a go at standing up and riding the wave. Each session lasts around 1.5hrs and will be an experience you wont forget. They do allow children from around 5yrs+ and you can have up to two people on the wave at one time so make it a family adventure or take a friend a long.

11. Breakout Rooms

If you like a bit of a challenge and team work than Breakout is Cardiffs live escape rooms experience is for you. You have 60 minutes to escape different themed rooms using clues and solving puzzles. These rooms are both suitable for families (with children around 8yrs+) or groups of friends. This is a great way to flex your brain on a rainy day.



Quiz buster
Solving a puzzle at Breakout Rooms, image via Kelly Allen Writer Blog


12. Go Trampolining

Over the past two years or so the Trampoline craze has hit Cardiff and a variety of trampoline centres have opened and prove to be very popular with both children and adults. I would just like to point out the it's advised not to take very young children such as toddlers due to health and safety but older children and families can have lots of fun getting some air and some exercise at the same time. The most popular three in Cardiff are Go AirInfinity and Supajump

13. Ice Skating

Cardiff is home to an impressive state of the art Ice Area Skating rink that offers both public skate sessions as well as age appropriate courses and lessons for those who want to improve on their skills. If you rather watch than get involved than why not support the local Ice hockey team - Cardiff Devils at one of their many games over the year.

14. International Swimming Pool

I have to say swimming is very much our go to activity when it rains and while we often visit smaller local pools our children's favourite one has to be Cardiff International Pool in the bay as it has a fantastic leisure pool with a variety of slides, inflatables and toys to keep them busy. The centre also has an Olympic swimming pool, full gym and health suite as well as a health based Cafe.

15. Explore the Arcades

If you rather have a spot of retail as well as sitting down for some artisan coffee or some delicious brunch than exploring the Old Arcades in Cardiff is perfect for a wet day in the City Centre. The arcades is a haven for independent retailers and where you will find some of the most unique and creative shops as well as some of the best coffee in town.


Cardiff Arcades
Pancakes for brunch in the arcades, image via Baby Holiday Blog


16.  Skateboarding and Scootering

Cardiff has two fantastic indoor skateparks which is great if you have some extreme enthusiastic in your family and plus its a great way to stay active even when the weather is terrible. Spit & Sawdust the smaller of the two is open most evenings and weekends and also had a really good cafe serving up a variety of burgers with plenty of vegan options. Ramp World which is the largest indoor skate and bike park in Wales is open everyday and has plenty for Box, skate, scooter and blading fans, they also have a cafe on site which is open at peak times and weekends.

17 Ikea

Yes it may sound strange but I love going to Ikea when it's raining as it offers some interior retail therapy for me, play time in the creche for the kids and reasonably priced food of which there is always great vegetarian options and I mean who doesn't love this Swedish company. It's easy to spend a few hours here and as long as you don't get caught up in all the cool home wares it's pretty easy on the wallet too.


Indoors Cardiff

18 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, i'll send this to my sister as she has two kids! xx

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    1. Thanks Pip, that would be great and hope she finds it useful

      Laura x

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  2. There are loads of good things to do. I went to the breakout rooms last week

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    1. Oh cool, how did you find the Breakout Rooms?

      Laura x

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  3. Aren't rainy day activities just a must in Wales? Haha. Thanks for sharing these ideas... We'll definitely be looking into trying Treetop Golf next time we're in Cardiff.

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    1. Haha I know right, it rains here....a lot :)

      Laura x

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  4. Ooooo the ride a wave sounds really intriguing. Not something I have tried before and I think it would be good fun

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    1. Yes it's super cool and I love that we have one in Cardiff

      Laura x

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  5. That's a great list of ideas Laura. We've visited a few during our time in Wales and some we didn't. It's a great excuse to pop back for a visit!

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  6. Lots of fab ideas! We went bowling for the first time as a family at Christmas and loved it!

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  7. We've never been to Cardiff before but we are planning to go this year to visit friends there. That's great to know there is so much to do!

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  8. Ive never been but there looks like there is so much to do i might have to plan a visit!

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  9. You National History Museum sounds great and we never realised how many fun activities there was to do in Cardiff!

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  10. I love the sound of Techniquest we love anything science related and that sounds like a really interesting day out!

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  11. I love Cardiff, I was at law school there and I often wish I'd never left. We adore Cardiff Castle, it's our boys' favourite!

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  12. Oh I didn't realise there was all of that in Cardiff. Fantastic ideas and lots to keep you busy

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  13. I am gutted we ran out for time to visit Techniquest when we went to Cardiff - it looks great

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  14. I've always wanted to go to Cardiff. It's on my UK list. The museums and Techiquest look awesome and Isla would love all that and the trampolining.

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Lovely comments