Get a head start on your holiday plans with our family guide to Cardiff

Get a head start on your holiday plans with our family guide to Cardiff

Activities and events
"There's loads to do in Cardiff to keep you and your family busy – from science centres to powerboat tours. If you're looking for something active, there's TeamSport Cardiff, an indoor go-karting track in the city centre, with both kids' karts (ages 8-12) and adult karts (13+). Watch out for their Family Madness events, which include timed family races, as well as food and drink. Or there's Superbowl UK, a 12-lane bowling alley that also has a Laser Quest experience for those aged 7 and over. For something a little less intense, try the Doctor Who Experience, which includes an interactive adventure, an exhibition of Doctor Who props, sets and costumes, or a walking tour of filming locations around Cardiff Bay. Kids under 5 get in free, and you can book a family ticket in advance. You can also try Techniquest, the UK's longest established science centre, where kids can learn and play at the same time. Family tickets are quite reasonable, and those aged 3 and under get in free. And if you really just need to relax after a hard day's sightseeing, you can sit down to watch a film at The Red Dragon Centre, home of the only digital IMAX screen in Wales. Alternatively, just let the kids loose at one of the many play centres around the city, such as Parc Play, Zone Play Centre or Cardiff Jump. Most play centres cater for kids of all ages, and there's usually a café where you can get some peace and quiet with a cup of tea. When the weather's good, you can choose from a number of boat tours operating around Cardiff Bay. Bay Island Voyages welcomes passengers of all ages, and kids over 1.2m tall can go on a thrilling powerboat experience with Sea Safaris. Back on dry land, there are several walking tours of the city, including a Spy Mission Treasure Trail, where kids can solve clues while you take in the sights."
Eating out
"If you're not sure where to begin, you'll find reliable favourites at the big entertainment and shopping complexes in the city centre and the Bay. The Red Dragon Centre has a Bella Italia and a Chiquito, while in Mermaid Quay you'll find Pizza Express, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Nando's. For families looking to try new places – especially ones that are child-friendly – take a look at Restaurant Minuet for Italian pizzas (close to Cardiff Castle and not far from Hotel ibis Cardiff), Riverside for Chinese cuisine (near the Millennium Stadium), or Café Brava for a British bistro (close to the National Cricket Centre). And if you've already planned an action-packed day without much time for lunch, remember that places like Superbowl UK and TeamSport go-karting offer deals that include food and drink along with their activities."
Getting around
"Like most cities, Cardiff has an extensive and reliable bus system – and they also offer discounted travel for families. One adult with up to four young travellers (aged 5-18) or two adults with up to 3 young travellers can buy a family day ticket that costs between £5 and £16.50, depending on which day and through which zones you're planning to travel. Or if you've just arrived and you want to get a feel of the city, you can get a family ticket with City Sightseeing, a ‘hop-on, hop-off’, open-top bus tour. One ticket gives up to two adults and up to three children (aged 5-15) unlimited 24-hour travel along the sightseeing route. Whatever you get up to with the kids during the day, you'll need a comfortable place to relax where they can finally wind down. Take a look at our Cardiff hotels if you want a peaceful rest in a top location."
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