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GO Kids & Families in Cardiff

Family Days Out in Cardiff If you’re planning a family holiday in Cardiff or have to take care of the kids during the school holidays, then you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty for the kids to do. To help you out we’ve put together a brief summary of the best child-friendly places to visit in and around the city centre.

If you're coming from out of town for starters you’ll want some decent accommodation that doesn’t cost the earth. How about booking your room at The Big Sleep Hotel [map], which is located opposite Cardiff International Arena. This imposing tower block is one of the tallest hotels in the city and offers light, spacious rooms with king-sized beds, 15 channel satellite TV, air-conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and fantastic views across the city. In addition, to make it even more appealing to families, the hotel allows children under 12 to sleep free in their parents' room.

The Ibis Hotel [map] is also good for families as it is only few minutes from the bus and train stations, St David's Hall, the New Theatre, Cardiff Castle and the Millennium Stadium. It also has modern en suite bedrooms and plenty of children’s facilities including childcare.

When it comes to eating out there are plenty of fast food places such as McDonalds and Burger King in Cardiff, which are always a hit with youngsters. But if you want to treat them to a more hearty meal then why not pay a visit to The Allensbank [map], a Brewer's Fayre pub that features a fun factory, large garden and special children's menu.

Or you could try the hugely popular Sskilletss [map], which is situated close to Hollywood Bowl in the Newport Road Retail Park. Here you can enjoy sizzling steaks or luscious seafood, while the kids tuck into a delicious meal from the children's menu, which includes a self-service ice cream machine, complete with jars of toppings.

TGI Fridays [map] is another hit with children as it has a fun and noisy atmosphere, and young and friendly staff dressed in very distinctive clothing with silly hats! The food is a mix of American, Italian, Oriental and Mexican so it should suit most diners and the desserts include enormous ice creams to keep the kids quiet for a good half-hour.

So once the little ones are fed, you’ll need somewhere to take them to keep them occupied for the rest of the afternoon.

There are plenty of places to choose from, and if your kids are fascinated by a bit of history then they won’t be disappointed by a trip to Cardiff Castle [map]. Here Roman ruins and a Norman keep sit next to the newer Tudor and 19th century towers, which have made this castle one of the best displays of architecture in Wales.

If that’s not enough then head four miles north of the castle to Castell Coch [map], which looks distinctly like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the Disney-style fairytale.

Another awe-inspiring castle, whether you’re young or old, is Caerphilly Castle [map], the largest castle in Britain and famous for its leaning tower.

If your kids love nothing more than a trip to a museum you’re in luck, because there are a fair few to choose from in Cardiff.

Budding scientists will probably enjoy a visit to National Techniquest [map], which has more than 150 exhibits to play with, including giant puzzles, computers and a mirror maze. The centre also has a planetarium, science theatre, cyber-library and a discovery room for young children.

Also worth checking out is the Museum of Welsh Life [map], which is set on an open-air site incorporating a small castle and the site of a Civil War battle. Buildings have been moved from all over Wales and carefully rebuilt here, including a medieval chapel, a row of miners' cottages and a wartime shopping centre.

Sports mad kids may prefer a tour of the Millennium Stadium [map], where you can see behind the scenes of Wales’ sporting crown jewel. Recognised as the best rugby stadium in the world, this place has already hosted a number of world-class events, and now you too can experience the drama before a big game, sit in the Royal Box and even lift a trophy.

For swimming, badminton or squash take the kids to one Cardiff’s many sports centres such as the Eastern Leisure Centre [map], which has an indoor heated pool and plenty of sports courts.

If the kids fancy a game of ten-pin bowling or want to catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster you can do both at the Atlantic Wharf Leisure Village [map] in Cardiff Bay. This modern, purpose-built centre houses Cardiff's largest cinema along with a bowling alley and restaurants, all set within the quirky surroundings of a glass-walled building. Alternatively there's another cinema in the city, the Odeon in the Capitol Shopping Centre.

Finally for a picnic and a kickabout with Dad, take the children to Cathays Park [map] on the north side of the city, where you can sit down and relax while marvelling at the impressive Edwardian buildings.

If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere, why not use our What you Recommend form to let us know.

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