Places To Go, Things To Do

A dozen eggs-ellent things to do in the Easter hols 2018 (part 2: the stuff that is Easter themed)

Easter trails, Easter egg hunts and Easter crafts are plentiful. Here are some egg-cellent places hosting their own Easter themed stuff:

  1. National Museum Cardiff
  2. Bute Park and Arboretum
  3. Dyffryn Gardens
  4. St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life
  5. Cardiff Castle
  6. Mountain View Ranch
  7. Amelia Trust Farm
  8. Cosmeston Lakes
  9. Porthkerry Park
  10. Techniquest
  11. Victoria Park, Cadoxton
  12. Barry Tourist Railway

 

1. St Fagans National Museum of History

 

St Fagans Easter Hunt 30th March – 2nd April (10am-3pm) £3.50 (age 4+)

Easter Holidays: Family Craft Activities 3rd – 6th and 9th – 13th April (12-4pm)

Always a favourite with us. If you’ve not checked out their new playground, go have a peak. Free to get in but £5 for parking and you have to pay for some of the extra activities. There’s so much to explore there. They’ve got some special Easter things going on. Animal Mask Making is £2 per child and Pop up wildlife scene making is free.

 

2. National Museum Cardiff

 

National Museum Cardiff Easter Hunt – 30th March – 2nd April (10am-3pm) £3.50 (age 4+)

Or as we call it “The Museum” is a go to free day out for us and my 6 year old’s favourite place in the world. He wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up so he might be biased. He’s also oddly obsessed with a guy who works in the gift shop who shares his name.

Wriggle! The wonderful world of worms – now – 3rd June – free

We’ve been to this a fair few times and it’s well worth checking out. As you’d expect there are lots of worm related things to do, see and explore. Perfect for curious kids.

Who decides? Now – 2nd September – free

This exhibition isn’t designed specifically for kids but it’s really family friendly. Expect weird and wonderful paintings, sculptures etc curated by people who have experienced homelessness in Wales. We filled out some bits of paper asking who picks what art we see and what art can do for the world. Big questions but great conversation starter with my kids. Plus it’s free.

 

3. Cardiff Castle

 

Easter Trail 30th March – 15th April £1 (on top of admission price)

http://www.cardiffcastle.com/whats-on/2018/03/30/easter-trail/

Easter Fun 31st March – 2nd April (included in admission price)

A weekend of traditional Easter japes including storytelling with Dylan Adams, egg rolling, The Warwick Warriors with their witty bants and dramatic fight sequences and egg and spoon races. http://www.cardiffcastle.com/whats-on/2018/03/31/easter-fun/

 

4. Bute Park and Arboretum           

Easter Egg Hunt 1st April (1pm-3pm) £2 age 3+

Egg-citing art and craft activities and an Easter egg hunt. Meet at the Bute Park Education Centre. http://bute-park.com/tribe_events/helfa-wyau-pasgeaster-egg-hunt-2/

Spring Stories 5th & 10th April (10.30am-12pm) free

http://bute-park.com/tribe_events/storiaur-gwanwynspring-stories/

If you don’t drive, this is a nice one to get to on the train or bus.

 

5. Dyffryn Gardens

 

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt 30th March – 2nd April (11am-3.30pm) £3 and normal admission

Lovely National Trust place in the Vale with a massive mansion and 55 acres of gardens to explore. You have to pay to get in at £4.95 for children and £9.90 for adults (or slightly more with gift aid) and from £25 for a family. Or you could join the National Trust and really get your money’s worth by returning regularly and heading to other sites like Tredegar House in Newport. We had a really special day at Dyffryn Gardens in the Christmas holidays on the 12 Days of Christmas trail so I’m sure the Easter activities will be great. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyffryn-gardens

Plant Hunter Expedition 24th March – 15th April (during opening hours) free but normal admission price applies

 

6. Mountain View Ranch

Easter Fun at The Ranch Friday 30th March – Sunday 15th April (9.30am-5pm) last entry & café closes at 4pm.

Under 2s free, family of 4 £23, family of 5 £28 or £6 per person.

A fresh air fuelled family fun day out. On top of all the usual things to do at Mountain View Ranch there will also be a an Easter Egg Trail, Funny Goat Walks, Campfire & Marshmallows, Archery and the Gruffalo Trail. The High Ropes course will also be open but you’re advised to book in advance.

We’ve had some really lovely days out here.

 

7. Amelia Trust Farm

30th March- 15th April (10am-4pm) Entrance free for under 2s, children £1.50, £3 adults, £5 family. Tractor Rides £1, Lamb Feeding £5 per person, Easter Egg Eggstraveganza Hunt £2.50 each with pencil and prize)

Have a go at feeding the farm’s adorable baby lambs, take a ride on a tractor and cart and have a go at their Easter Egg Eggstraveganza Hunt with a prize at the end!

Lamb feeding is very popular so book ahead.

https://www.ameliatrust.org.uk/

 

8. Cosmeston Lakes

Easter Egg Trail 30th March-1st April (10am-3.30pm) £3 per person

Collect your map from reception, find the Easter egg posts and answer the 10 questions. Once you’ve completed the Easter egg trail return to check your answers and claim your bag of goodies. All kids need an adult with them. Obvs.

 

9. Porthkerry Park

Easter Egg Trail 30th March-1st April (10am-3.30pm) £3 per person

Pretty much the same as above but at Porthkerry!

Collect your map from the Golf Hut, find the Easter egg posts and answer the 10 questions. Once you’ve completed the Easter egg trail return to check your answers and claim your bag of goodies. All kids need an adult with them. Obvs.

 

10. Techniquest

Amazing Eggsperiments 28th March-15th April (10am-5pm)

Families £28, under 4s free, child £6.50, adult £8. (did you know there’s a special £3.30 price if you go in after 3pm?)

Who doesn’t love a bit of Techniquest? This Easter hols one of their Science Theatre Shows is dedicated to the egg.

How strong is an egg? Why do they turn solid when heated? Go and check out this eggsciting show created especially for Easter, full of science and bad yolks!

https://www.techniquest.org/events/amazing-eggsperiments-2-2018-03-28/

 

11. Victoria Park, Barry

Free Easter Family Fun Day Friday 30th March (11am-2pm)

There’ll be a colouring competition, cake decorating, face painting and lots more. Free Easter Egg for each child who takes part.

Children under 16 must be with an adult. Raffle tickets with a draw at 2pm and proceeds going to charity.

 

12. Barry Tourist Railway

Vintage Train Rides 30th March-2nd April (11.35am, 1.10pm, 2.10pm and 3.10pm)

£25 family of 2 adults & up to 3 children, under 3s are free. Adult £9.50, child £5.50.

Vintage Train Rides at Barry Island over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Friday 30th March-Monday 2nd April. Every child travelling on the vintage train gets a free Lindt chocolate Easter bunny or a soft toy. The military museum and café will be open too.

Barry Tourist Railway will be running a 40 minute out-and-back journey from Barry Island Station at 11.35am, 1.10pm, 2.10pm and 3.10pm each day including a guided tour of the railway depot where the vintage trains live. They’re dog friendly. No steam over Easter, but the diesel railcar’s lovely.

https://www.facebook.com/Barry-Tourist-Railway-196540117115590/?hc_ref=ARROoB-d8X0yET3RBFTGk9EntzbdBq6H6c-_jVJvUpQ2fsKkjVY1na9OV547IBjV8Lg&fref=nf

 

I know, I know it’s a lot to take in. It’s been a tad overwhelming just typing it all up.

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.

theatre, Things To Do

Jason and the Argonauts – the ultimate hero quest comes to Cardiff

If your children are anything like mine they’ll be superhero obsessed. Superhero birthday parties, superhero bedroom and errant superhero figures down the side of the sofa.

Centuries before the Marvel universe was even a glint in Stan Lee’s eye, the ancient Greeks were telling stories of heroes with superpowers that would make Iron Man turn as green as the Hulk with envy.

Remember the iconic 1963 film of Jason and the Argonauts? No, I’m not old enough to have seen it then but my dad was a fan so I’ve seen it a good few times. Jason is an ordinary man in an extraordinary world of gods and monsters. He and his mighty Argonauts set off on an epic quest for the Golden Fleece. Adventures follow.

A family friendly stage version of Jason and the Argonauts has been touring Wales and is in Cardiff at Wales Millennium Centre (in the Weston Studio) this Easter weekend on Friday 14th April 7:30pm and Saturday 15th April 2:30pm and 7:30pm. Book online: Jason and the Argonauts tickets

From what the writer of this production, Mark Williams says, it sounds right up my son’s (and my brothers’) street: “We’ve drawn together a range of influences, from 1980s animation theme tunes and the soundtracks of Wes Anderson, to the fantasy films of Jim Henson, by way of the deck of the USS Enterprise and the Doctor’s TARDIS.”

The Argo could as easily be a spaceship as a seafaring ship. Is it a long time ago? Is it a galaxy far, far away? Is this production based on all of my dad’s favourite things (I lie, it’s missing cowboys)?

There’s only one way to find out. I’ve booked my tickets, get a shifty on and book yours. To the quest!

Jason and the Argonauts is a Blackwood Miners’ Institute/RCT Theatres Co-Production on tour across Wales throughout April. A full tour schedule can be found at www.jasonandtheargonauts.co.uk.

Argo Image 006 portrait text

Things To Do

You’ve Got Dragons by Taking Flight Theatre Company: a theatre show for everyone

You’ve Got Dragons has been touring Wales for a while now and still has a fair few left so if you haven’t caught it yet, do take your kids (and the grandparents and some friends and anyone else you can work your charms or magic on) along.

You’ve Got Dragons is based on the book by Kathryn Cave and is a delightful tale about a child’s journey to come to terms with inner dragons. Worries, fears, anxieties… they’re all dragons and they sneak up on most of us at one time or another. Lots of people get them. Even really good people get them. And sometimes they are hard to get rid of. So what can a young girl with a bad case of the dragons do?

One of my children has anxiety and I know what an impact it can have. This show is an ideal way to look at the issue with a creative eye. It’s also a lovely, Wales made family friendly show. I’ll be taking my brood along this Easter holidays, having been lucky enough to catch it with my working-in-theatre hat on.

The show is fully accessible and intergenerational featuring creative captioning, BSL and audio description at every performance. Taking Flight Theatre Company have been at the forefront of making theatre more accessible for everyone in Wales and You’ve Got Dragons is no exception. Taking Flight have been brilliant at working with blind, visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing people on developing theatre that includes everyone. They’ve got a captioned BSL flyer and an audio flyer all about the show over on their website: Taking Flight.

All of the remaining Wales theatres are members of the hynt scheme so if any of your family need a carer when they go to the theatre they can apply for membership and get a ticket free of charge for their carer, companion or Personal Assistant. More info on hynt on their website: hynt

With toe tapping music, this highly visual, sensitive production is a humorous and touching exploration of the dragons we all face.

“Dragons come when you least expect it. You turn round… and they’re there.”

TOUR DATES (if you click on the venue name you’ll be taken to their website where you can book tickets ’cause I’m nice like that!)

The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven – Wednesday 12th April 1pm and 3pm

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff – Thursday 13th April 6:30pm / Friday 14th April 6:30pm / Saturday 15th April 2pm and 5pm

Wise Words Festival, Canterbury – Monday 1st May

Newbridge Memo – Saturday 20th May 2pm (Relaxed Performance)

Park & Dare, Treorchy – Wednesday 24th May 1pm

Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon – Saturday 27th May 11am and 2pm

The Mission Theatre, Bath – Sunday 28th May 1:30pm and 3:30pm

also…

FREE WORKSHOPS at Chapter Arts Centre before the show – Thursday 13th April 5pm, Saturday 15th April 12.30pm & 3.30pm

Join them before the show in the theatre foyer to make tactile model houses which even light up! Or you can make a shadow puppet and test it out on their mini shadow screens. All for free with your ticket to the performance.

Accessible to all- this activity will be BSL supported and audio described. 

 

You’ve Got Dragons is a co-production with Abertillery Met and Creu Cymru.