21 things to do with kids on a rainy day in Wales

Educational

Posted by Ed Roberts on 8th November 2019

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.

Rain doesn't stop play! Image credit Instagram @nttredegarhouse

 

Wales is a fabled land, jewelled with mighty castles, mountain ranges, unspoilt beaches, deep countryside, rugby, industry, poetry and song.

The great outdoors draws in extreme sports fans from across the world; those of you that lead a healthy life-style may pick Wales as a wonderful place to introduce your kids to trekking, cycling, climbing, kayaking and that’s just for starters. Even the best laid plans can come undone because of Mother Nature from time to time. When the weather just isn’t cooperating, you’ll find yourself asking what to do in Wales when it rains.

So where do you go when the weather puts the ‘mockers’ on your day? Well, the simple answer is, “Don’t let it!” Here’s a list of things to do in Wales in the rain; some are indoor activities, and some are outdoors where the rain showers just add to the fun.

For easy reference, we’ve split our rainy-day activities in Wales into two sections: things to do in North and South Wales on a rainy day.

Things to do in North Wales on a rainy day

The landscapes of North Wales suit an outdoor lifestyle, but when the heavens open, there’s still plenty to keep you occupied and active.

Zip World Caverns

Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3NB

For the ultimate all-weather adventure – why not venture underground to experience the steepest zip wire in the British Isles. The Zip World Caverns are home to a rope walk, and various obstacle courses to tackle. If you love a challenge and want to get your hands dirty, the caverns are a great choice on a bad weather day (or any time really).

Additional info:

  • Minimum age 10 years
  • 10 – 17 years require a participating adult
  • Petstop seasonal dog care is available, from £6

Stay nearby: Ffestiniog Cottage, Blaenau Ffestiniog (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

Bounce Below

Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3NB

Bounce Below: Image credit Instagram @culturetrip

 

This experience is at the same location as Zip World and it combines the experience of being underground with the unbridled joy of leaping up and down on a trampoline, just like at Jump Jam (above). Located in a former Victorian-era slate mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog, you can play and ‘boing’ up and down to your heart’s desire. An incredible and unusual adventure awaits you!

Additional info:

  • Minimum age 7 years
  • 7 – 12 years require a participating adult, 13 – 17 years require a spectating adult
  • Petstop seasonal dog care is available, from £6

Stay nearby: Ffestiniog Cottage, Blaenau Ffestiniog (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

On-board buffet on the Ffestiniog Railway

Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3HG

This is a novel way to spend a rainy day, enjoying a light dining experience quite like no other on the Ffestiniog Railway. As you ride through the Snowdon National Park you can enjoy a variety of meals from the on-board buffet. There are even the occasional ‘themed’ evenings – where the menu will be Indian, Chinese or Italian, for instance.

Additional info:

  • Ffestiniog Railway runs 14 miles from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog
  • Return journey is approximately 3 hours
  • Advance booking recommended, though not essential
  • Dogs are welcome on all trains in third class carriages only

Stay nearby: Ffestiniog Cottage, Blaenau Ffestiniog (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

Corris Craft Centre 

Corris SY20 9RF

Pottery painting at Corris Craft Centre
Corris Craft Centre

With its nine individual craft studios, award winning attractions and hands-on experiences, there really is something for everyone at the Corris Craft Centre whatever the weather. There are opportunities to have fun making your own crafts in many of the studios with pottery painting, candle dipping, chocolate making, furniture building workshops (ages 16+) and herbal crafting.

Additional info:

  • Entry to the craft studios where you can watch designer-makers and buy handmade wares is free
  • Hands on and fun sessions should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment

Stay nearby: Afon Dulas Valley Cottage, Corris (1.5mls S) (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

King Arthur's Labyrinth

Corris SY20 9RF

King Arthur's Labyrinth: Image credit Instagram @kingarthurslabyrinth

 

Starting from Corris Craft Centre is another one of our favourite indoor activities in Wales – King Arthur’s Labyrinth. The attraction was awarded the Best Visitor Attraction in Mid Wales award in 2018 and transports you magically through an underground waterfall and back into a time of myth and legend. Once inside the Labyrinth, a Dark Age Boatman guides you around the winding tunnels and vast underground caverns where ancient stories of King Arthur and other Welsh legends unfold.

Additional info:

  • Seasonal opening – check website for details
  • The underground temperature is about 10 degrees Celsius – dress appropriately
  • Babies and toddlers are welcome, but the underground experience may be scary for some

Stay nearby: Llwydiarth Hall, Corris (2.5mls NE) (sleeps 14 + 1 dog)

National Slate Museum

Llanberis, LL55 4TY

National Slate Museum: Image credit Instagram @gunnlin1952

 

Set in the Victorian workshops on the site of the disused Dinorwig Quarry, the National Slate Museum is one of the most interesting historical things to do in North Wales on a rainy day, or when the weather just can’t make up its mind! The workshops are set up as if the workmen have just downed their tools, and you’ll be able to watch the largest waterwheel on the British mainland in action. Step back in time in the Chief Engineer’s house and find Una the steam engine cosy inside the locomotive shed.

Additional info:

  • Dogs are welcome, but not allowed into the historic houses or the cafe (except for assistance dogs)
  • There are year-round demonstrations suitable for families, including slate splitting and quarrymen talks

Stay nearby: Daffodil House, Bethesda (sleeps 4 + 1 dog)

Pili Palas Nature World

Menai Bridge LL59 5RP

A butterfly at Pili Palas: Image credit Instagram @pili_palas

 

Rainy day activities in Wales don’t get much more fun for children than combining two of their greatest loves: playing and animals! Pili Palas’ tropical butterfly house is home to a myriad of butterflies, of all colours of the rainbow, and the riot of colour continues in the bird house where you’ll find Macaws, Cockatoos, African Grey Parrots and various small birds.

Explore Lizard Land, cringe your way around the Bug Zone, discover weird and wonderful creatures in the Tropical Hide, wander through the Snake House and watch the cheeky meerkats from Meerkat Tunnel. Children will love getting up close to the animals in pet’s corner and the farmyard and barn. After all that fun with your new-found animal friends, it’s time to head for the indoor soft play area which will keep children up to 12 years entertained for at least another hour or two.

Additional info:

  • Outdoor attractions include a nature trail, play barn and park – good for spells of sunshine between the showers!
  • Onsite café and shop with children’s meals and free WiFi

Stay nearby: On the Straits, Menai Straits (sleeps 4)

Penrhyn Castle

Bangor LL57 4HT

Penrhyn Castle: Image credit Instagram @ntpenrhyncastle

 

If your children are into fairy-tale castles, this is one of the best things to do in Wales in the rain! The history of this beautiful 19th century fantasy castle lies in exploitation in the Jamaican sugar industry and slate quarrying here in North Wales. It is a dark and fascinating past, which you can all learn about during your visit. To help children engage with the castle, there’s a children’s quiz, children’s guide and a model railway museum which is sure to delight mini locomotive enthusiasts.

Additional info:

  • Free parking
  • Onsite cafe
  • Front-carrying baby slings and hip-carrying infant seats for loan
  • Children’s outdoor play area for breaks in the rain

Stay nearby: Dinorwic View, Bangor (4.6mls NE) (sleeps 4)

For more family-friendly stately homes to visit on a rainy day in North Wales, see our blog ‘National Trust places in North Wales’.

Copper Kingdom Centre

Amlwch Port LL68 9DB

Looking at the mines at the Copper Kingdom Centre: Image credit Instagram @visitanglesey

 

Relaying the story of copper mining at Parys Mountain since the Bronze Age, the Copper Kingdom Centre holds an abundance of information, presented in an interesting way, with plenty to engage children. The self-guided audio tour involves tales from a wealth of Copper Kingdom characters, while brass rubbings and dressing up will be a hit with small children. A cinema, interactive touch table, children’s play area and fascinating artefacts give you lots to see and do.

Additional info:

Stay nearby: Morlais Anglesey, Red Wharf Bay (3.5mls N) (sleeps 4)

Anglesey Sea Zoo

Brynsiencyn LL61 6TQ

One of the residents of Anglesey Sea Zoo: Image credit Instagram @angleseyseazoo

 

When the heavens open and you’re wondering what to do in Wales when it rains, why not head underwater at the Anglesey Sea Zoo? There’s a whole world waiting down in the depths with over 40 tanks of British marine wildlife to discover. There are daily talks from marine biologists and you can find out about the Sea Zoo’s conservation work, including the British Seahorse Breeding Programme and the Lobster Hatchery of Wales.

Additional info:

  • Standard and family tickets are valid for 6 days after purchase, so you can return again on a dry day to take advantage of the outdoor adventure play area and bouncy castle
  • Onsite café
  • Outdoor dog pens with bowls of water provided

Stay nearby: Snowdon View Vineyard, Newborough (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon LL55 2AY

Caernarfon Castle: Image credit Instagram @welsh_girl_wandering

 

Caernarfon Castle is one of the most distinctive fortresses on the Welsh coast. It’s a massive stone structure, which is largely intact despite its age and the number of attackers it’s fought off during its lifetime. Whilst a fair amount of it is outdoors, amongst the courtyards and towers, there’s enough to see in shelter too. There’s a great museum and plenty of places to scramble around. There’s no café at the castle, but there’s no shortage of them in the town.

  • Open daily, except for 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
  • Opening hours dependent on season, please check website
  • Assistance dogs only

Stay nearby: Ocean House Sea View, Caernarfon (5mls SW) (sleeps 8 + 2 dogs)

Map of rainy days out in North Wales

Things to do in South Wales on a rainy day

National Museum Cardiff

Cardiff CF10 3NP

National Museum Cardiff
National Museum Cardiff: Image credit Instagram @decluttering_the_soul

 

One of the best indoor things to do in Wales, the National Museum Cardiff is an epic museum which houses the country’s national art, geology and natural history collections as well as changing temporary exhibitions. Children in particular will love the Evolution of Wales galleries where you’ll come face to face with life-size models and skeletons of some of the country’s most fearsome prehistoric creatures. You’ll discover how wind, water, ice, heat and gravity shaped the planet over 4,600 million years! The Natural History Galleries and Clore Discovery Centre offer yet more hands-on learning.

Additional info:

  • Free entry
  • Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
  • Oriel Restaurant situated on the ground floor

Stay nearby: The Coach House At Penarth, Penarth (sleeps 6)

National Showcaves Centre for Wales

Abercraf, SA9 1GJ

National Showcaves Centre for Wales: Image credit Instagram @muslimmamas.adventures

 

What does it matter if it’s raining outside when you’re many metres underground? Not a jot, that’s why the National Showcaves Centre for Wales has made it onto our list of things to do in Wales in the rain! There are three caves to explore during your visit – Dan yr Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave, as well as a museum where you can learn more about the caves and the dinosaurs. There are several outdoor attractions including the Dinosaur Park which is home to 200 dinosaur models, the Iron Age Farm and Mr Morgan’s Victorian Farm. The indoor play area on the farm is a must for energetic children up to 10 years old.

Additional info:

  • One entrance ticket covers all 10 of the attractions on site
  • It takes approximately 2.5 – 3 hours to see all the attractions
  • The caves are unsuitable for prams and wheelchairs
  • Dogs are permitted in the caves on a short lead
  • Onsite coffee shop

Stay nearby: Heol Giedd, Cwmgiedd (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Company

Havefordwest SA62 4BS

For all the sweet tooth’s out there, why not visit the Wicked Welsh Chocolate Factory to watch some yummy treats being created. There are also experiences that can be booked so you can witness Welsh chocolate in the making in their ‘Secret Kitchen’. You can have a go at being a chocolatier for the day too when you buy a ‘have a go kit’. There’s also an onsite shop and café to get even more of a taste! As indoor things to do in Wales go, this has to be the most appetising!

Additional info:

  • Advance booking for experiences is recommended to avoid disappointment

Stay nearby: Solbury Farm, Broadhaven (2.5mls SE) (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

Jump Jam Trampoline Park

Bridgend, CF31 3YN

Don’t eat before you go to the Jump Jam Trampoline Park! If you love jumping up and down like a maniac this is the all-weather activity choice for you. Bounce as if your life depends on it on a staggering range of trampolines, big and small, in a safe, dry environment. There are angled walls to careen off, stunt and parkour zones, dodgeball facilities, a cardio wall height challenge and a bunch more. If you and your kids love rock climbing, there’s also a 6-metre tall climbing wall too.

Additional info:

  • All ages are welcome, there is no lower age limit
  • Ages 5 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult
  • Spectator café with free wifi

Stay nearby: Somerset View, Ogmore-by-Sea (sleeps 6 + 1 dog)

Big Pit National Coal Museum

Blaenavon NP4 9XP

Big Pit is a former coal mine and is well worth a family visit to experience how miners lived. The tours, 300 feet below the surface, are about an hour long, and there’s plenty to engage children. Dress up warm, it’s very cold underground. Above ground you can explore the mining galleries (full of photography from the mining era), see the Pithead Baths, and other historic colliery buildings. There is also a programme of live events at the mine.

Additional info:

  • Free entry (parking is £5)
  • Children must be 1 metre tall to go underground and able to wear a helmet and carry a lamp weighing 5 kg
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied at all times

Stay nearby: Llansor Mill, Caerleon (4mls N) (sleeps 6 + 2 dogs)

Plantasia

Swansea SA1 2AL

Plantasia: Image credit Instagram @zowiesbabyjourney

 

Plantasia is the British Isles’ largest glasshouse in Wales and is found in the heart of Swansea. It is home to a veritable rainforest right in the city. There are climate zones, tropical animals and plants, a rainforest hut, and trees from the most exotic places on Earth. It’s a really exciting place for children to get a sense of the abundance of different living species on the planet. Plantasia is a great all-weather venue, particularly on a cold day.

  • Dedicated ‘quiet hours’ for visitors with autism
  • Open 10am – 5pm, 7 days a week, last admission 4.15pm

Stay nearby: Bwthyn Derw - Oak Cottage, Gower (6mls NE) (sleeps 4)

The Royal Mint Experience

Llantrisant, CF72 8YT

Gromit at the Royal Mint Experience: Image credit Instagram @royalmintexperience

 

We’re all a little bit fascinated by money, so a money factory makes for one of our more unique indoor activities in Wales! 1,100 years of history are laid out for visitors to explore through a variety of hands-on exhibits across six different zones. Learn about the special coins and medals the Royal Mint has produced, including medals for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Take a guided tour and watch money being made before your very eyes. Discover the meaning of coins and why people collect them. After your visit, you’ll never look at a coin in the same way again!

Additional info:

  • Open 7 days a week from 9.30am
  • Advance booking is strongly recommended
  • A visit lasts approximately 2 hours, including a 45-minute Factory Experience
  • Photography and filming are not permitted in the Factory Experience

Stay nearby: Flower Mill Bunkhouse, Cowbridge (4mls W) (sleeps 6 + 1)

The Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse

Laugharne SA33 4SD

As the famous Welsh poet’s work gains increasing popularity in the school’s curriculum, why not take a trip along to The Dylan Thomas Boathouse in South Wales. The museum is based at one of the poet’s former homes and remains virtually unchanged since his death in 1953. You can visit his writing shed too, a peaceful shack with views across a beautiful estuary. There is also a café onsite, as well as the Browns Hotel, an old Dylan Thomas favourite.

Additional info:

  • Dogs on a lead are welcome in the garden and on the terrace, but not inside the house
  • Free parking available in Laugharne town, 10-minute walk (no parking at the boathouse)

Stay nearby: Cwm Curyll, Laugharne (2.5mls SW) (sleeps 4 + 2 dogs)

Tudor Merchant’s House

Tenby SA70 7BX

Tudor Merchant's House: Image credit Instagram @laurasidestreet

 

Step back in time to 1500 when a successful merchant lived in this fine three-storey house with his family. Furnished and decorated how it would have been in the past, it is a fascinating insight into what life was like in Tenby at the time. There are children’s quizzes and trails, and seasonal activities to entertain the whole family.

Additional info:

  • Hip carrying infant seats for loan
  • Parking on town streets or pay and display carparks
  • Braille guide available, sensory experience and induction loop

Stay nearby: Goscar View, Tenby, West Wales (sleeps 6)

Tredegar House

Newport NP10 8YW

Tredegar House: Image credit Instagram @nttredegarhouse

 

Home to one of Wales’ greatest families, the Morgans, for over 500 years, this stunning red brick house offers plenty to entertain both adults and children alike on a rainy day in South Wales. Take part in the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ (you could definitely tick of welly walks here!), discover if you’ve got what it takes to become Tredegar’s housekeeper and pick up one of the spotter trails to make the most of your visit. The New Parlour is likely to be the highlight for children, with a whole host of dressing up outfits from different periods of the house’s history.

  • Pay and display car park
  • Onsite tearooms
  • Prams are not allowed in the house, pram storage is available
  • Assistance dogs only

Stay nearby: Llansor Mill, Caerleon (4mls N) (sleeps 6 + 2 dogs)

For more family-friendly stately homes to visit on a rainy day in North Wales, see our blog ‘National Trust places in South Wales’.

Map of rainy days out in South Wales

We hope our list of things to do in Wales when it’s raining has been useful. If you’re looking for more family-friendly places to visit in Wales, you might also be interested in the following blogs:

Planning a family holiday in Wales?

We have a fantastic variety of family-friendly holiday cottages throughout Wales, from large houses to accommodate families holidaying together, to cosy hideaways including glamping and shepherd’s huts for those looking for something a little different. Many of our family-friendly cottages have play areas and games, helping you all enjoy a fun and relaxing break.