With lots of bank holidays coming up it’s time to make the most of your days off and plan some fun-filled family days out.
National Roman Legion Museum
Close your eyes and imagine Wales in AD 75, it’s the furthermost outpost of the Roman Empire with a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Experience it for yourself when you visit The National Roman Legion Museum, of international importance, it researches, preserves and displays half a million objects that tell the story of why the Romans were such a formidable force and how life in Wales wouldn’t have been the same without them. This is a unique opportunity to see how they lived, fought, worshipped and died through fascinating artefacts that bring history to life.
You can also enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the beautiful Roman Garden. At weekends and school holidays, children can step back in time in a full-sized barrack room, try on replica armour and experience the life of a Roman soldier.
Caerleon was one of only three permanent fortresses in Roman Britain. The museum lies inside what remains of the fortress. The Ruins include the most complete amphitheatre in Britain and the only remains of a Roman Legionary barracks on view anywhere in Europe.
If you’re a history buff or just want to inspire young minds this is the day out for you.
Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo
Go West for a fun-filled day out the whole family will love. With four big attractions in one place, zoo, barn, fairground and play areas, there’s something for everyone at Folly Farm, one of the best days out in South Wales.
The main attraction at Folly Farm is the zoo which is world class with over 90 different species in purpose-built, award-winning enclosures.
Lions, penguins and rhinos are just a few of the animals you’ll see and they have the only giraffes in Wales.
If you want to get hands-on head for the Jolly Barn where you can get up close to lots of furry and feathery farm animals, a firm favourite with families.
Experience all the fun of the fair with a lovingly restored vintage fairground including Dodgems, Golden Gallopers and the Cakewalk.
There’s also eight different adventure play experiences for kids of all ages including indoor and outdoor play, Follystone race track, the Big Dig with several CAT mini-diggers, Pirate Adventure and Carousel Woods.
Whatever the weather you’re guaranteed a good day at Folly Farm and the kids will absolutely love it.
Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park
Follow in the footsteps of the miners who once worked at the Lewis Merthyr Colliery with a visit to the Welsh Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park. The exclusive Black Gold Experience takes you through the recently developed Trefor & Bertie Engine Houses and into the original lamp room where you will collect your miner’s helmet for your journey underground. You can almost hear the banter between the miners at the start and the end of their shifts.
You can take a tour with guides who are all retired miners so they have lots of insight about life underground and the importance of coal to South Wales.
Marvel at the historic Chimney Stack, which dominates our skyline, along with the original Pit-head Wheel and Winding Gear. Visit our Fan House and our two Engine Houses, both built in the late 1800s.
There’s also a children’s play area and no tour would be complete without stopping off at the Welsh Gift Shop.
Brecon Mountain Railway
Pant Station, Merthyr Tydfil
Want to slow things down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the great Welsh countryside from the window of a vintage narrow gauge steam train. Get a ticket to ride and The Brecon Mountain Railway will depart from Pant station, 3 miles North of Merthyr Tydfil, and take you into the Brecon Beacons National Park, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservior before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons.
The full return journey takes 1 hour 40 minutes including a 35minute stop at Pontsticill.
At the main station in Pant you can visit the Licensed Tearooms for refreshments, gifts and souvenirs. You can also visit the Workshop where the Steam Locomotives and Carriages are repaired.
Llanelli Wetland Centre
All kids (and grown-ups) love animals and would relish a Welsh wildlife adventure at Llanelli Wetland Centre. You can hand feed the rarest goose in the world, see the colourful flamingos, go bug hunting or pond dipping, enjoy bird watching from the hides and explore the reserve to see butterflies, dragonflies and more!
There’s something for all the family to enjoy, 363 days a year including family activities and events every weekend and during the school holidays. Your close up encounter with wildlife could include; grabbing a net and finding out what lies beneath the waters, finding creepy crawlies at the mini beast hunts and using telescopes and binoculars to discover more with wildlife guides at family bird watching sessions.
There’s also a flamingo themed outdoor play area, Flamingo Bay, located close to the Centre making the most of fabulous views of the ducks and geese on the top pond. Don’t forget to head out to the wild wetland nature reserve and take on the challenge of the Swan’s Nest Maze to discover four giant eggs and have endless fun crawling through the winding tunnels of Water Vole City. There’s also an indoor soft play area for little ones to enjoy while grown-ups chill out and relax.
The Royal Mint Experience
A new must-visit attraction in South Wales, The Royal Mint has invested £9m in the Royal Mint Experience giving you the chance to go behind the scenes and discover how money is made and what it takes to strike 5 billion coins a year.
Along with an interactive exhibition visitors get a guided tour of the Royal Mint in Llantrisant with unprecedented access to this iconic institution.
You’ll see the real striking hall where blanks are turned into precious coins and even have the option of striking your own coin to take home as a very special memento. Seeing the factory is a unique experience and you’ll never look at the change in your pocket in the same way again.
If all that wasn’t enough as you leave you can take a once in a lifetime selfie in front of one million pound. Now that’s an Instagram moment!
The attraction has been a huge hit since it launched last year and as the popularity of coin collecting increases the gift shop has become a big draw with a wide range of Royal Mint coins and merchandise available.
Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall
The perfect bank holiday retreat, take a trip to Aberdulais to see the wonderful Aberdulais falls and ooh and aah at the torrent of water running through the Dulais Valley which helped power 400 years of industrial innovation.
Formed over 20,000 years ago, the waterfall at Aberdulais is a Welsh wonder and draws visitors from across the UK. The Dulais is a flash flood river, which means it rises and falls very quickly. In wet weather, and in winter, when the river is in full spate, it’s a truly awesome and noisy spectacle.
There’s plenty of family fun to be had at Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall
from dressing like a Victorian and dancing round the maypole, to hunting for bugs and spotting wildlife in the river. There’s a packed programme of activities throughout the year, check the website for a list of events.
There’s also a delightful Old School House Tea Room where you can soak up the atmosphere with a cup of tea and slice of cake before visiting the gift shop for some treats to take home.
The Big Pit
We all love the Big Pit having visited as children, so this Easter why not take your own little ones along for a slice of Welsh history and for an extra treat visit on April 8th to see the Man Engine as he begins his tour of South Wales. Animated by a team of more than a dozen ‘miners’, the giant puppet will begin its grand tour of Wales on 8th April, with an opening ceremony at Big Pit National Coal Museum and a parade down to Blaenavon Ironworks, where visitors can ‘meet’ 19th-century industrial hero, Sidney Gilchrist Thomas.
The Big Pit is an award-winning national museum that still retains many features of its former life as a coal mine, standing high on the heather-clad moors of Blaenafon, the tunnels and buildings that once echoed to the sound of the miners now enjoy the sound of the footsteps and chatter of visitors from all over the world.
There’s a world famous underground tour so you can see what life was like at the coal face.
With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, exhibitions in the Pithead Baths and Historic colliery buildings.
Wiggleys Fun Farm
Whatever the weather you’re guaranteed a fun-filled day down on the farm at Wiggleys in Bridgend. A great way for little ones to get hands on with farmyard animals, you can feed the ponies, goats, sheep and pigs in the animal paddocks. There’s also a Woodland Walk to be explored with duck ponds along the way.
If the weather takes a turn there’s also lots to do indoors with a large adventure play area with a 4 lane wavy slide, tube slide, rope bridges, crawl tower, toddlers play and babies barnyard. The didi car race track is also popular with younger children.
There’s a café for lunch or an outside picnic area if you want to eat al-fresco.