The best days out for kids in Wales

Days out, Family, Activity

Posted by Kate Atkin on 10th January 2022

Children playing in the dunes

Wales is one of the UK’s most popular family holiday destinations, with the spectacular mountains and craggy peaks of the Snowdonia National Park to the north, the long sandy beaches perfect for building sandcastles to the west, and the magnificent mountains, moorland and lakes of the Brecon Beacons National Park to the south. Wherever you choose to go, there are plenty of things to do with kids to keep them interested and engaged.

We have rounded up some of the best family days out in Wales to suit all ages, so whether you’re already booked up and ready to go, or in need of some last-minute inspiration, these suggestions will help you make the most of your holiday together. Take a look below at some of the best days out for kids, from toddler days out in Wales, to places to visit with teens – they’re are all within close proximity of our holiday cottages in Wales.

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Days out with kids in North Wales

Zip lining at Zip World

Zip World Blaenau, Blaenau Ffestiniog

Young thrill-seekers will be in their element at Zip World Blaenau Ffestiniog, home to some of the craziest adrenaline-fuelled activities in Wales for families to enjoy together. Take on Titan, the largest zip zone in Europe and scream to your heart's content as this ultimate group zipping experience sees your whole family racing over the spectacular landscape at speeds of up to 70mph!

Adrenaline junkies aged seven and up can head below ground into a former slate mine and enter the subterranean playground of Bounce Below; play, slide, roll, jump and bounce from net to net in a cavern the size of a cathedral and, if you’re brave enough, slide down industrial slides the height of two double-decker buses! If that’s not enough, take a journey through underground caverns on zip lines and rope bridges on the Zip World Caverns adventure, an exciting day out that will never be forgotten.

  • Suitable for: The minimum age for some of the activities is three years, restrictions apply to all the adventures so please check the website first
  • Prices: Zip Line from £50, Bounce Below from £25, Caverns from £65
  • Opening Times: See website for details, the attraction is weather dependent and may close in bad weather
  • Similar to this:Zip World Forest, Zip World Penrhyn Quarry, Go Ape Margam
  • Stay nearby: Llenfa, Blaenau Ffestiniog | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Outdoor play, water slides and Cyril the SquirrelPhoto credits: @greenwood_f_p

GreenWood Forest Park, Y Felinheli

Set in 27 magical acres, GreenWood Forest Park has been voted the best family attraction in North Wales for six years running. This action-packed family adventure park has a wide range of unique and quirky rides such as the UK’s only solar-powered water ride boasting a huge water slide with two wave chutes, each approximately 60 metres long, and the world’s first people-powered roller coaster with its exhilarating 360-degree horizontal loop.

Race each other down Wales' longest sledge run, discover the super bouncy Giant Jumper or take off your shoes and socks and delight in the BareFoot Trail. There are plenty of indoor activities too, including The Enchanted WoodBarn, full of indoor soft play toys and during the school holidays, kids can participate in a hilarious pirate show and see fabulous entertainers in the Forest Theatre.

Smaller tots will love the Little Green Run, a smaller version of the sledge run, and the Tunnel Warren full of tunnels, slides and rope bridges. When it’s time to take a break, head to the GreenOak cafe, serving delicious hot and cold meals as well as a great selection of locally sourced products. As kids days out in Wales go, this is one of the most magical!

Snowdon Mountain Railway, Llanberis

Let Snowdon Mountain Railway take you on the journey of a lifetime to the rooftop of Wales. Snowdon, at 1,085m, dominates the landscape of the Snowdonia National Park. From the first views of the waterfall plunging into the gorge below at the start of the journey, to the breathtaking sights over the sheer edge of Rocky Valley, every moment is memorable. On a clear day, the views stretch as far as Ireland from Hafod Eryri, Snowdon summit's visitor centre.

Two services are available, the Heritage Steam Experience and Traditional Diesel Service. A true mountain and place of legend, book for the Snowdon Mountain Railway to see why it has been described as one of the most unique and wonderful railway journeys in the world. With stunning scenery and awe-inspiring views, it’s all part of a great day out for you and your family in North Wales.

  • Suitable for: All ages
  • Prices: Fares vary depending on the service chosen and time of year, please check the website. Kids under two go free providing they sit on the accompanying adult's lap
  • Opening Times: Open from April until the last weekend in October, the summit service runs every 30 minutes from 9am, subject to passenger demand and weather conditions. In the early season (April), trains are expected to run to Clogwyn, three-quarters of the way up the mountain
  • Similar to this:Brecon Mountain Railway, The Llanberis Lake Railway, Llangollen Railway
  • Stay nearby: Maesincla Isaf, Caernarfon | Sleeps 10 + 1 dog

Fun in the water at Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre

Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre, Caernarfon

For an action-packed family day out in Wales, grab your towel and head over to Plas Menai Outdoor Centre. Kids aged eight and above can look forward to the ultimate outdoor adventure experiences, trying their hands at sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and more, all under the careful guidance of their fully qualified instructors. 

Located on the banks of the beautiful Menai Strait on the North Wales coast, there is something here for everyone, whether you are looking to spend a few hours or a day having some water-based fun. Once you’ve burned off some energy, there is a cafe on site to grab a drink and something to eat. Whether you're getting stuck in or watching from dry land, this is a good fun family day out in Wales.

A white tiger and a red pandaPhoto credits: @welsh_mountain_zoo

Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay

Unleash your kids’ wild side on a family day out in North Wales at the Welsh Mountain Zoo. Home to a wide range of rare and endangered animals, from snow leopards to brown bears, and red pandas to Sumatran tigers, families can spend a lovely day learning more about the zoo's conservation work and get up close to their favourite animals from around the world.

Children will be in their element swinging like Tarzan in the Jungle Adventureland or the Tarzan Trail, watching their flippered friends in the Penguin Parade or enjoying a snack on the Safari Restaurant balcony, overlooking the tiger enclosure. Be sure to check the website before your visit as there are daily and seasonal events, feedings and talks throughout the year, making for a truly wild day out!

Traversing the walls at Llechwedd Slate CavernsPhoto credit: @2bejonny

Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog

History comes alive at the atmospheric Llechwedd Slate Caverns which are sure to captivate everyone in the family. Delve underground to experience what life was like within the slate mines, with a guided tour to help you get the most out of your visit. At 150 metres deep, you’ll feel like you’re heading towards the centre of the earth as you descend on the steepest cable railway in Britain down to the aptly named Deep Mine. Light projections and enhanced reality technology add to the magic as you learn about the mine and the people who worked there 160 years ago.

Also at Llechwedd is the Slate Mountain adventure – a tour above ground in an open-sided four-by-four truck to the furthest reaches of the site to visit some of the other mines and take in the amazing scenery, including Harlech Castle and the Snowdon Horseshoe. There are also slate splitting demonstrations to help better understand the work required of the miners of the past.

Stop for refreshment at the on-site cafe and enjoy a day as a family doing something a little different.

Inside and outside of the walls of Penrhyn CastlePhoto credits: @ntpenrhyncastle

Penrhyn Castle, Bangor

If your children are into fairy tales and you enjoy a mooch around a stately home, Penrhyn Castle and Gardens is the perfect choice for your family. The 19th-century fantasy castle is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside, bursting with opulent interiors and a fascinating fine art collection. There’s plenty to keep curious little minds engaged, not least the children’s trail which will have them looking out for things to spot. The model railway museum is sure to delight miniature train enthusiasts, while on the grounds there’s so much for kids with a thirst for adventure.

The gardens are extensive and perfect for running around, expending some of that youthful energy! They can run wild in the adventure playground and find their own ways to enjoy nature, from building dens to climbing trees – good old-fashioned fun!

Being a National Trust property, Penrhyn has a programme of family-friendly events throughout the year, so be sure to check whether there’s anything on during your stay.

  • Suitable for: All ages. Front-carrying baby slings and hip-carrying infant seats are available for loan
  • Prices: Prices vary depending on the time of year and what features are currently open. It's best to check here
  • Opening times: Opening times vary, please see the website for details
  • Similar to this: Powis Castle and Garden, Plas Newydd, Dinefwr, Tredegar House 
  • Stay nearby: Hen Gapel, Bangor | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

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Days out with kids in South Wales

Child with butterfly on her nose

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthney

Kids will love exploring the 568-acre parkland of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, set in the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside. The fascinating blend of modern and historic attractions will keep little ones busy for hours. From marvelling at dazzling displays of colour in the Tropical Butterfly House to discovering a treasure chest of natural wonders and fun activities in the Aqualab, to whizzing down a zip wire in the crazy adventure play park, there is so much to see and do, making this one of the great things to do in Wales for families.

The inspiring range of themed gardens house a variety of secrets and surprises for children to delight in, and with so many exciting family activities running throughout the year, there are plenty of opportunities to have an exciting educational day out.

Scary fun inside and out at National Showcaves Centre for WalesPhoto credits: @bethmarston90 (left) and @bringingtheworldtob (right)

National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Abercrave

Enjoy an action-packed family day out in the Brecon Beacons at the National Showcaves Centre for Wales. There are ten attractions included on the one entry ticket and a wealth of sights and activities for all ages. Delve underground into three different atmospheric caves: Dan-yr-Ogof with its beautifully decorated passageways, Cathedral Cave with 40-foot high waterfalls that cascade around you, and the wondrous Bone Cave where 42 human skeletons were once buried, which now houses some interesting exhibits illustrating the use of the caves in the past.

Get up close and personal to over 220 life-sized dinosaur models ranging from the terrifying Tyrannosaurus rex to the gigantic Brachiosaurus in the award-winning dinosaur parks. Make friends with shire horses, alpacas, and chipmunks in the Shire Horse Centre and Mr Morgan’s Victorian Farm, then take a peek at the Iron Age village, museum and stone circles. Enjoy a drink and a variety of hot and cold snacks in the coffee shop and don’t forget to stop by the Rock and Dinosaur Shop for some fun souvenirs.

Mind your head on low ceilings at Dolaucothi Gold MinesPhoto credits: @peter_britton_photography (left) and @carucymru_ (right)

Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Llanwrda

Step back in time at Dolaucothi Gold Mines, the only known Roman Gold Mine in Britain, and enjoy a legendary day out in South West Wales. Take advantage of an expertly guided tour underground to experience the conditions of the Roman, Victorian and 1930s mine workings. Kids’ imaginations will run wild as they pop on their hard hats, see the old mining machinery, and learn how to search for real gold; there is even the opportunity to have a go at gold panning!

Above ground, there is a tearoom to relax in and enjoy a delicious homemade lunch. Set amid deeply wooded hillsides with spectacular views over the Cothi Valley, there are a wealth of colour-coded trails through rolling countryside and woodland, perfect for a post-gold rush walk.

A child feeds the ducks

Llanelli WWT National Wetland Centre, Llanelli

Come rain or shine, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained at the Llanelli WWT National Wetland Centre. A haven for wildlife and some of the world’s most spectacular birds, many of which are rare or endangered, this attraction is perfect for families who love nature and fancy getting up close in hides and even on canoes.

Many of the resident ducks, geese and colourful flamingos are so tame that they feed from the hand. There are a variety of seasonal activities throughout the year including pond dipping, den building, indoor crafts, bike hire and the chance to hire a Canadian canoe, gliding through the reeds on a water safari and spotting a water vole or two.

Children will love swinging like monkeys in Flamingo Bay, the fabulous flamingo-themed outdoor play area, taking on the challenge of Swan’s Nest Maze or crawling through the winding tunnels of Water Vole City. There’s also an indoor soft play area for little ones to enjoy whilst grown-ups relax with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, taking in wonderful panoramic views over the Gower Peninsula. It’s one of the best toddler days out in Wales because little ones can engage with the wildlife and enjoy the outdoors.

  • Suitable for: All ages, although the canoes are suitable for kids over five only
  • Prices: Adults £9.18, children (4-16) £5.81, concessions £7.86, family (2 adults, 2 kids) £25.45, kids under four and carers/disabled go free
  • Opening Times: Open daily 9.30am-5pm; only closed on 24th and 25th December
  • Similar to this:The Welsh Wildlife Centre, Coed Y Brenin Forest Park
  • Stay nearby: Machynys Bay - Bay View, Llanelli | Sleeps 4

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle, Pembroke

Visiting a castle is one of our top ten things to do in Wales and the mighty fortress of Pembroke Castle is the ideal historical day out in Pembrokeshire for children of all ages. Spend a day exploring its endless passages, tunnels and stairways and learn more about its medieval past in fascinating exhibitions. One of the finest castles in Britain, it was the birthplace of Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and has often had a leading role in shaping Britain’s history.

Make the most of the sunshine and enjoy a picnic in the beautifully kept grounds whilst admiring breathtaking views along the estuary. Be sure to visit the Brass Rubbing Centre where kids can create an attractive wall hanging to take home as a memento and we always recommend checking ahead to see if there are any fun family events scheduled such as battle re-enactments, falconry displays, dragon days and story-telling.

For inspiration on more castles to visit, check out our blog ‘Top ten castles in Wales’.

Incredible ambience through a tree tunnelPhoto credit: @jonalogue_oo

St Fagan’s National Museum of History, Cardiff

St Fagans National Museum of History is a wonderful, immersive day out, learning about this history and heritage of Wales – one of the best Wales attractions for families. The open-air attraction tells the stories of the people of Wales through over 50 reconstructions of historic buildings, including a Victorian School, Tudor Merchant’s House, a church and even a castle!

History is brought to life through demonstrations from craftsmen and women in character, and there are even live animals in the fields and farmyards. It's an excellent way for children to understand more about the past by engaging with the exhibits as if it were real life.

The museum has a whole host of events throughout the year, including traditional festivals, music and dance. As if that weren’t enough, the woodland offers yet more opportunity for exploration, with trails to follow and nature to spot along the way.

Some beautiful Pembrokeshire beaches

A beach day on the Gower

When it comes to days out with kids in Wales, one of the cheapest and arguably most enjoyable is a day at the beach. The Gower Peninsula presents some of Wales’ most magnificent beaches, and if the children aren’t happy here with a bucket, spade and ice cream in hand, then there’s something wrong!

There is a selection of stunning beaches to choose from, depending on what your idea of the perfect beach day is. Iconic Rhossili offers awe-inspiring views and fantastic surf, but requires a short 10-minute walk down (15-20 minutes back up!) so is better for older children.

One of the most accessible beaches on the Gower is Caswell Bay, with its beautiful golden sand and car park right next to the beach – the surf is good for beginners here too. Langland Bay is another family favourite but can get busy, so head elsewhere if you’re looking for the beach to yourself. Pwll Du is a good one for peace and quiet; surrounded by high cliffs, it’s protected from the wind so it's nice and sheltered for picnics and sunbathing.

Other beautiful beaches on the Gower are Three Cliffs, Llangennith and Swansea Bay, and even then, we’ve only covered a handful of the options for a fantastic beach day! What a great free option for you and the kids.

  • Suitable for: All ages
  • Prices: Parking charges vary
  • Opening times: Open all year! Swansea Bay, Mumbles, Pwll Du, Pobbles, Three Cliffs Bay, Tor Bay, Crawley, Oxwich Bay, Horton, Port Eynon, Mewslade, Rhossili, Llangennith, Broughton Bay and Whiteford Sands are dog friendly all year
  • Similar to this: The beaches of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire
  • Stay nearby: Hills Farmhouse, Gower | Sleeps 7

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Map of days out for kids in Wales

Planning a family holiday in Wales?

We have a wonderful range of family-friendly holiday cottages dotted across the whole of Wales, so whether you’re looking to take your teenagers for an action-packed adventure in Snowdonia or are searching for a sedate beach holiday with your tots, we’ve got the cottage for you.

Our self-catering holiday cottages in Wales are well equipped for a family stay, with everything from highchairs and travel cots to games and outdoor play areas at some properties. Of course, the holiday wouldn’t be a holiday without your four-legged friend along for the fun too, and that’s no problem in our dog-friendly holiday cottages, many of which have enclosed gardens and special extras for the special canine in your life.

If you’re looking to stay close by and explore these exciting attractions in Wales, take a look at our full collection of cottages in Wales for some inspiration on where to base your next holiday.

Browse our family cottages in Wales

*Prices and opening hours are correct at the time of publishing, however, they are subject to change.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.