Places To Go, Things To Do

A dozen egg-cellent things to do in the Easter hols 2018 (part 1: the stuff that’s not Easter themed)

I’ve tried to herd together some stuff to do over the Easter school hols in the Vale of Glamorgan and beyond (within a reasonable drive time).

This is not a list of all of the stuff ever. There’s a mix of free stuff, cheap stuff, treat stuff, outdoors, indoors, puppets, castles, shows, workshops, all sorts. I’ll save the Easter themed stuff for another post.

The Vale of Glamorgan school holiday for the Easter break this year starts on 30th March (Good Friday) and they’re back to school on Monday 16th April. So here goes…

Stuff to do in the Easter holidays that’s not Easter themed (times and prices below so just keep on scrolling):

  1. Man Engine Cymru: Forging a Nation / 8 – 12 April
  2. Caerphilly Castle 750th Medieval Birthday Bash / 30 March – 2 April
  3. Amazing Beasts – Find them at Margam Park / 2 April
  4. Family Dance Festival 2018 / 4 April in Barry (more details below)
  5. RHS Flower Show Cardiff / 13 – 15 April
  6. Sherman Theatre for The Flying Bedroom / 6 – 7 April or Brainiac Live! / 10 April
  7. Wales Millennium Centre for The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair / 10 – 15 April or Almost Always Muddy / 1 – 4 & 7 April
  8. Memo Arts Centre for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly / 13 April or Welsh Wrestling Live / 7 April
  9. National Dance Company Wales: Dance Days / 9 – 10 April
  10. The Talent Shack Drama Workshops / 3 – 6 & 9 – 13 April
  11. Barry Library for Minecraft Club, crafting sessions and more / date details below
  12. Barry Island’s Eastern Shelter / 6 April

 

1. Man Engine Cymru: Forging a Nation 8th – 12th April

This looks truly awesome and I cannot wait to see it. A 11.2m tall puppet steams across some of the UK’s most significant mining heritage sites. Animated by a team of more than a dozen miners, the colossal puppet will begin his grand tour of Wales on 8th April with an opening ceremony at the Big Pit and a parade down to Blaenavon Ironworks. https://www.themanengine.co.uk/cymru There’s a lot of information to take in below but do follow the links to find out what’s happening at each place, there are choirs and all sorts.

8th April – Blaenavon: (Big Pit (gates open 11am, ceremony starts 12.30, event ends 1pm) – unticketed and FREE, Gilchrist Thomas Industrial Estate (procession starts 1pm, ends 2pm) – unticketed, 2pm Blaenavon Ironworks (ceremony starts at 3pm, event ends at 5pm) – tickets £3 https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/452961

9th April – Parc Bryn Bach (gates open 9am, ceremony starts 2pm, event ends 4pm) https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/460890

10th April – Cyfarthfa Park and Castle (gates open 12, ceremony starts 2pm, event ends 4pm) https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/450071

11th April – Ynysangharad War Memorial Park (gates open 12, ceremony starts 2pm, event ends 4pm) Tickets are FREE but you need to book: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/449950

12th April – National Waterfront Museum Swansea (gates open 11am, ceremony starts 12.30, event ends 4pm) – unticketed and free, a parade in Swansea City Centre (procession starts 2.15pm, procession ends at 3pm) – unticketed and free and an evening finale at the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks (gates re-open 6.30pm, ceremony starts 7.30pm, event ends 10pm) – tickets from £2.50. https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/448982

caerphilly castle

2. Caerphilly Castle

Medieval Birthday Bash 30th March – 2nd April (11am-4pm) Adult £8.50, Children £5.10, Family (2+3) £24.60, Seniors £6.80

Celebrate 750 years (!) of Caerphilly Castle with a monster medieval birthday bash! Join Historia Normannis for combat displays, stunt teams and all sorts. I went to the castle last year for the first time since I was a kid and we flipping loved it, even just touching the walls and imagining how much change they’ve seen over the years. Contrary to what a certain demoralising A level teacher would have me believe I bloody loves history I does.

http://cadw.gov.wales/events/allevents/medieval-birthday-bash-caerphilly-2018/?lang=en

margam

3. Margam Park

Amazing Beasts – Find them at Margam Park! Easter Monday Adults £7.70, Children £5.50, Family (2+2) £25.28, 3s and under free.

Head to Margam Park in your favourite animal costume for what sounds like an utterly barmy day of family entertainment in the sprawling grounds. I love Margam Park on an average day (the fairytale village, the massive wooden fort playground, the train thing, the sneaky farm at the end of the walk) but this day takes it to another level with giant puppet beasts. Click the link for all the details. https://npttheatres.co.uk/princessroyal/events/amazing-beasts/

 

family dance festival 14. Family Dance Festival 2018

I went on about last year’s version a fair bit but only because it was brilliant and I wanted more people to go see it and it’s FREE. It’s back. The hour is jam packed with short performances and a chance to dance with a workshop at the end. Bombastic is quirky and interactive. Gary and Pel mix dance and slapstick. Jukebox Collective brings world class Hip Hop. Local dance groups will be bringing something extra to the mix.

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March (12pm, 2pm, 4pm) https://www.chapter.org/cy/family-dance-festival-2018 

Memo Arts Centre, Barry Wednesday 4th April (12pm, 2pm, 4pm) free https://www.memoartscentre.co.uk/events/familydancefestival/

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay Wednesday 11th & Friday 13th April (10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm) & Thursday 12th & Saturday 14th April (10.30am, 12.30pm, 4pm) free

It’s also going to Galeri in Caernarfon, Hafren in Newtown, Ffwrnes in Llanelli, Torch Theatre in Milford Haven and Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon. There are Touch Tours and Audio Description at all venues but not at each showing. Full tour details including Audio Description information and a film trailer on Arts Scene in Wales: https://www.asiw.co.uk/news/family-dance-festival-fun-funky-and-fabulous-for-your-festive-feet

5. RHS Flower Show Cardiff

Friday 13th – Saturday 14th April (10am-5.30pm) & Sunday 15th April (10am-4.30pm) Children free (2 per paying adult. Adult tickets £11 advance and £14 on the day.)

Botanical family day out with glasshouse mini labs, a family trail, ferris wheel, flower arranging and headdress craft workshops and roaming entertainers. https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-flower-show-cardiff/news/2018/family-activities

6. Sherman Theatre

If you live in a Communities First area, I thoroughly recommend that you join Sherman 5. It’s a fab membership scheme. Details on the Sherman’s website.

The Flying Bedroom – Friday 6th (4.30pm) and Saturday 7th April (10.30am, 1.30pm and 4.30pm) £9

A lovely show with dance theatre and projection following Elinor and her bedroom on an adventure. There are dance workshops at the shows on 7th April at 11.30 and 2.30pm where you can learn to dance part of the show. http://www.shermantheatre.co.uk/performance/children/flying-bedroom/

Brainiac Live! – Tuesday 10th April (2pm) Adults: £16. Children: £8

Based on the telly show, this is a live Science show with plenty of experiments and explosions. http://www.shermantheatre.co.uk/performance/children/brainiac-live/

wales millennium centre (2)

7. Wales Millennium Centre

As well as the huge musicals like Shrek, the Centre have smaller and more affordable family shows, workshops and activities. Good toilets too.

Almost Always Muddy (outside the Centre) 1st – 4th April (11am & 3pm) & 7th April (11am) £7 age 7+

An outside interactive, improvised family show with you as the Story Builders. Perfect for imaginative and adventurous families. https://www.wmc.org.uk/Productions/2018-2019/WestonStudio/AlmostAlwaysMuddy/

Almost Always Muddy Workshop Saturday (in the David Morgan room at the Centre) 7th April (3pm) free

Games, chats and interrogation of the cast. https://www.wmc.org.uk/Productions/2018-2019/375204/AlmostAlwaysMuddy/

The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair Tuesday 10th April – Sunday 15th April (11am & 3pm) £7 age 4+

A delightful hour long play reimagines the Rapunzel story for our times in the Weston Studio at the Centre.   https://www.wmc.org.uk/Productions/2018-2019/WestonStudio/TheGirlWithIncrediblyLongHair/

8. Memo Arts Centre, Barry

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Friday 13th April (2.30pm) £8.50 (group of 4 only £30)

A feast of sing along songs, colourful animal characters and heart-warming family fun, this show brings one of my favourite nursery rhymes to life in celebration of Pam Adams’ bestselling book turning 45. https://www.memoartscentre.co.uk/events/there-was-an-old-lady-who-swallowed-a-fly/

Welsh Wrestling Live! Saturday 7th April (7pm) children £9, adults £12

Exactly what it says on the tin. Wrestling entertainment. Live. https://www.memoartscentre.co.uk/events/welsh-wrestling-live-2/

9. National Dance Company Wales

Dance Days 9th and 10th April (10am-1pm for ages 7-11 and 2pm-5pm for ages 12-18) £15 for one day or £25 for both

A chance for your kids to get involved and create some of the moves performed by NDCWales. They welcome complete beginners or regular dancers. My 9 year old has been to a few in the past and really enjoyed them even though he’d never think of himself as a dancer. His 11 year old sister did a few in the past and also had a good time. They get to do a warm up, learn about the themes of the show, learn and create their own moves and get to do it all in the Dance House in Wales Millennium Centre, the base of our national dance company. You need to book ahead, details in the link. http://www.ndcwales.co.uk/en/get-involved/dance/dance-days/ 

10. The Talent Shack

Easter Drama Workshops Week 1 3rd – 6th April £80 Week 2 9th – 13th April £100 or single days for £25 a day (10am-4pm) ages 4-7 and 8+

Open to everyone, you don’t have to be a regular at the Talent Shack. Sounds like a great chance for kids to do some Drama workshops in the holidays. Advanced bookings only.

https://www.facebook.com/events/594801730854616/

barry library11. Barry Library

Libraries often have great value holiday activities going on (as well as all those books you can borrow for free), here’s what’s on in Barry this Easter.

Flower Power Tuesday 3rd April (10.30am-12) age 3+ £1 / drop in to make some flowers

Create & Craft Theme Boxes Wednesday 4th April (10.30am-12) age 3+ 50p / book at library counter

Unicorns & Dragons Crafty Workshop / Monday 9th Wednesday (2.30pm-4pm) age 3+ £1 / book at library counter

Minute to Win It / Tuesday 10th April (2.30pm-3.30pm) age 7+ 50p / book at library counter

Minecraft Club / Thursday 12th April (2pm-4pm) £8 per session / book online www.milittlepad.com

barry island12. Barry Island

Whatever the weather, head to the beach. Blow away the cobwebs and grab a hot chocolate in a café or bask in the unlikely spring sunshine with an ice cream and chippies. There’s also this:

Easter Under the Eastern Shelter Friday 6th April (11am-3pm) FREE

Vale Family Information Service present a free fully inclusive event for the whole family featuring interactive performance by Almost Always Muddy, dance performance and warm up workshop by Motion Control Dance, V-Pod interactive bus by Vale Youth Service mini sports workshops by the Leisure Centre, pedal powered bubbles by Pedal Emporium, music by Bro Radio, arts, crafts, games, all sorts. Plus it’s at the seaside so you can make a real day of it.

 

As I said, I will post again with more ideas for places to go and things to do but this time with more of an Easter flavour. Think Easter trails and crafts.

Places To Go, Things To Do

February Half Term

Half Term is almost upon us. Oh joy. I’ll be working for most of it *gets out tiny violin* but if I weren’t singing for my supper and palming my kids off on grandparents we’d be spoilt for choice with things to do and places to go.

Barry

Memo Arts Centre, Barry / Cinememo / £3 – £3.50

The Memo have family screenings all week including Moana and Sing. They’ve got a Relaxed screening on Thursday 23rd February at 11am. “Relaxed” means these are designed to welcome people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, sensory or communication disorders or learning disabilities.

Memo Arts Centre

Barry Library / Code Club / Ages 9-11 / Free

Friday 24th February. 4pm – 5pm.

As usual, our Vale libraries have plenty of things going on including Code Club. Booking is essential so drop in or give them a call on 01446 422425. If your child has an idea for a game or an app but doesn’t know where to start then get them to go along and learn to code. While they’re in there you could browse the shelves or check out the Holocaust Memorial Day Exhibition in the Art Central Gallery. Or if you’re feeling less cultured, escape the building, pick up a few bargains at the shops and maybe a cheeky steak bake.

Barry Library on Facebook

Communities First, Barry / Free

If you live in a Communities First area in Barry take a peak at their facebook page for details of activities going on.

Barry Communities First on Facebook

Penarth

Penarth Pier Pavilion / Space Day / Ages 4-11

A day of fascinating facts, brilliant experiments and out of this world activities for future astronauts and their families. The Planetarium and Mad Science Show sound awesome.

Penarth Pavilion

 

Cardiff

National Dance Company Wales at the Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre / Dance Days / Ages 7-18 / £15

Monday 20th February. 10am – 1pm (age 7-11) and 2pm – 6pm (12+)

My 8 year old has joined in with a couple of these and had a whale of a time. It’s basically a taster day for any level of dance experience.

NDCWales Dance Days

If you have a child doing Dance Days but spare children left over you can either blow away the cobwebs with a stroll across the barrage or head around the corner to…

Wales Millennium Centre in the Glanfa Foyer / Create a Paper Garden / All ages / FREE! (just turn up on the day)

Monday 20th – Saturday 25th February. 11am – 4pm.

Sounds similar to days we’ve spent building model houses, gardens and shops in the huge foyer space in Wales Millennium Centre. Go along and help transform the Centre into a beautiful garden made from paper. It’s free (huzzah!) and indoors.

Wales Millennium Centre – Paper Garden

St Fagans National History Museum / Childhood themed Half Term Activities / Free – £2

Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th February. 12noon – 4pm.

An obligatory half term day out for me when I was growing up, I take my tribe for school holiday adventures. It’s free to get in, £5 for parking and we usually take a picnic and a flask to keep the costs down. Their extra activities (Make a Toy Craft Sessions, Playtime Toy Sessions and Victorian Childhood Guided Tours) this half term range from free to £2. Check their website for details of what’s on which day.

St Fagans Half Term Activities

Bute Park Education Centre / Frog Themed Sessions / Age 3+ / Free

Tuesday 21st and Thursday 23rd February. 10:30am, 11:30am and 1:30pm

Remember Barry the Frog? He was one of the unusual animals on the Castle walls during City of the Unexpected in the summer. You can take a selfie with him in Bute Park this half term and do some frog related model making, crafting, games and stories. You’ll need to accompany your child and all wear wellies. What’s not to love?! It’s free and froggy.

Bute Park Fun with Barry the Frog

 

There are many parks and beaches in the Vale and beyond to explore for free but that’s a whole other post!

Let me know about anything I’ve missed out and I’ll try to shoehorn it in somehow.

My young humans would quite happily while away the whole week playing minecraft, building lego masterpieces or “decorating” everything in washi tape but I will drag them out by hook or by crook (when I’m not bringing home the bacon).