April Instagram highlights 

Amazing vegan burger at the Grazing Shed / the best sushi in Cardiff at Sushi Life / breakfast calzone at Porro, Wellfield Road / People watching from Benugo Cafe at John Lewis / another amazing brunch at Porro, this time Eggs Royale at their Llandaff branch / getting pampered at Enerchi in Radyr / loving Coffi in Cardiff Bay / running the Cardiff 5k in Whitchurch / lazy pigs at Cefn Mably Farm / amazing breakfast from Brod in Pontcanna. 

Follow me on Instagram at @CardiffGirlBlog

Summer 2015

I’m finding it hard to believe that this summer is pretty much over. But the nights are definitely drawing in, there’s an Autumnal feel in the air, the little man starts school this week and I haven’t blogged about any of the things we did this summer. So here’s a quick round up of what I’ve been up to.   Cefn Mably Farm

We had a lovely day here at the start of the summer, visiting all the farm animals (the four-year-old was brave enough to hold and pet a guinea pig for the first time), having a picnic and being pushed around in this mini tractor. I spent most of the day washing my hands (pregnancy paranoia that I’d catch something from the animals!) but we had a great time, as always. 

www.cefnmablyfarmpark.com

 Dinner at Porro, Llandaff

I tried the new Welsh/Italian restaurant Porro in Llandaff this summer. The restaurant is run by the same people at The Potted Pig in town, which I love. Here’s my linguine vongole, with fresh Gower cockles. It was delicious. The place is lovely, but I did find it a little pricey for a neighbourhood restaurant.   

www.porrocardiff.com

The Gruffalo Trail at Mountain View ranch, Caerphilly 

Until I read this post from Cardiff Mummy, I had no idea of the amazing activities on offer at Caerphilly Mountain View Ranch. Embarrassingly I thought it was part of the snack bar at the top of the mountain! We had a lovely day doing the Gruffalo trail, looking for fairies in the fairy wood, picnicking at the Indian village and playing at the adventure playground. Can’t wait to go back again soon.

www.mountainviewranch.co.uk

  Cardiff Museum

Rainy summer days are the perfect opportunity to visit Cardiff Museum. The little man was all excited about seeing the dinosaurs, but when it came down to it he was too scared to go in and look at them! He’s been before so knew it would be dark and noisy. Still, we had plenty of fun looking at all the other exhibits, and doing some posing of course!

www.museumwales.ac.uk/cardiff/

 

Outdoor cinema at Motley Movies

We loved seeing The Goonies at Motley Movies last year and were even more excited about seeing one of our all time favourite films, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off this year. The food wasn’t as good as last time, which was disappointing (last time we were very spoiled by HangFire BBQ) but the weather stayed dry and we had an awesome night. We’re planning to go and see Back to the Future at the outdoor cinema in the castle next month, so fingers crossed for the weather!

http://motleymovies.fatsoma.com 

  

  

  

 

  A week in West Wales

We had a week in St David’s at the end of August where we visited Folly Farm (this place was amazing, we saw lions, giraffes, meerkats, zebras and loads more – can’t believe I’d never been before), spent a sunny day on Whitesands beach, mooched around St David’s (including eating ice cream at Giannis – amazing), visited the Dinosaur Park in Tenby, which at the same cost as Folly Farm we found a little overpriced, but the four-year-old has raved about ever since! We also visited a little village called Porthgain which has some stunning walks, a working harbour and a gorgeous pub called The Sloop Inn, where we ate fresh fish pie and awesome fish and chips. Yum. 

It’s been a great summer, hope yours was too! 

Five best things to do in Cardiff with a toddler

 

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.

Parks

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.

St Fagans
Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans – photo from website http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/stfagans/

Techniquest

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!

Libraries

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.

CardiffCentrallibrary
Story time corner at Cardiff Central library

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.