If you’re the parent, or carer of a toddler in Cardiff (or even if you’re just looking after one for the day), there is a wealth of things for you to do, no matter what the weather is like or how much you want to spend.
Here are my top five.
Perhaps I’m stating the obvious, but Cardiff has some amazing Parks. Roath Park, Roath Rec and Llandaff Fields are all gorgeous parks with great play areas and plenty of scenery for the person pushing the pram. The Taff Trail is also a great place to explore and depending on where you join it takes in parks, various cafes, a farm and even a Castle or two. Take a picnic and make the day of it.
Museum of Welsh Life
The Museum of Welsh Life in St Fagans is fantastic. Free to enter (but £3.50 to park for the day) the open air museum has a working farm with plenty of animals, old buildings to explore, picnic areas, gardens with ponds and plenty of space to run around. The terrain is great for buggies too with lots of pathways to walk along. There is a play park but it’s really for older children (age 6+). The toddler park was demolished in 2012 and is being redesigned, but I’m told it won’t be open until 2016.
A Cardiff institution since 1986, Techniquest is the place that makes science fun. There are loads of hands-on experiments and games to play and interact with. It’s a bit more expensive – £7 for adults and £5 for 4-6 year olds but they hold monthly Toddler days especially for under fours, where adult admission is the reduced price of £4.50. If you’re a bit of a science geek yourself, they also do after hours events, just for adults!
Indoor play centres
If it’s raining, you might want to consider one of Cardiff’s indoor play centres. Parc Play in Cardiff Bay is my favourite as it’s only £1.50 for under twos and it has a little area for toddlers which is overlooked by the cafe. It also has outside swings and sand play, if the weather is good.
Jump is rather more pricey (2 to 3-year olds cost £6.25 on weekdays during term time and 4 to 12-year olds £7.25!), but the toddler area is much better equipped, it’s even got a bouncy castle and trampoline, which parents can go on too. A word of warning though, I avoid these types of places on the weekend and school holidays if I can help it. They are mayhem, and also Jump puts it’s prices up at these peak times too.
Cafe Junior and Bambeans are also worth a mention. Both cafes with play areas, which mean you can catch up with the other Mums and have a coffee, while your kids run around in a safe environment. A life-saver during those dreary winter months!
Cardiff’s libraries are wonderful resources. Each branch runs story time and rhyme time classes on various days, all of which are completely free. Contact your local branch to see what they offer.
I have been shopping in town and popped into Central library to give the toddler half an hour’s respite from the shops. The story corner is great and the children’s area has loads of toys and of course books! The library isn’t like it was when I was a child, they never say, “Shhhh!” these days….
And further afield……
We’ve loved Cefn Mably farm park and Walnut Tree Farm, both petting zoos on the outskirts of Cardiff at Newport. Lovely days out and a great chance for children to see animals including pigs, goats, horses, sheep, even Llamas – up close.
In the past I’ve written a post about things to do in Cardiff with a baby. You can find that here.