With more hot weather to come, you’re going to want to go somewhere both you and the kids can cool down and have fun – without breaking the bank. After months of lockdown, there’s nothing better than escaping the pandemic blues, than a visit to one of our local splash parks.
Just be aware there will be restrictions in place, and not all parks are open, we did however want to include them so you know what’s around.
Let’s be honest, nothing yells summer sun more than a visit to a Splash Park. Pack a picnic, get your bather and swimming shorts on and head off for a day of splashing. Sprinklers, water jets, fountains and so much more. These are the best places to visit when it’s hot and you don’t have to clear up the mess in your own back garden either.
So here is the SOUTH WALES LIFE quick guide to a few of the best Splash Park’s around town. Most of them incidentally are completely free.
BLACKPILL LIDO – SWANSEA
BLACKPILL LIDO in Swansea is in such a lovely setting It’s between Clyne Gardens and the sea. It’s not only the water you can splash around in. There’s also a picnic area, a playground, and a cafe. The Lido is open till the end of August.
With plenty of attractions nearby including the award winning Clyne Gardens, the Bay Rider and Swansea Bay there is plenty to do to ensure a great family day out.
To check out the Lido, just go here. BLACKPILL LIDO
AMMANFORD PARK SPLASH PAD
AMMANFORD PARK SPLASH PAD in Llanelli has been around for a while and the locals absolutely love it. The nice thing is, it’s minutes away from the train station so you don’t have to worry about parking or driving. The Splash Pad is well worth a visit. If you want something a little more sedate you can head down to the paddling pool at Crown Park and Parc Howard, just a few minutes away.
To see what is going on in the park, and when, visit here. AMMANFORD PARK SPLASH PAD
LIDO PONTY in Pontypridd is the National Lido for Wales and really is must visit.
COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS mean session capacity is reduced to 48 people in early morning swims and 74 in family sessions.
Bookings should be made only for people in your bubble. Separate bookings for separate bubbles. Phones open 6.30am-9am then 5pm-8pm weekdays and 7.30am-7pm weekends. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The swimming pool is heated and has specific swimming lanes if you’re pretty serious about the water. Most of all though, it’s great fun. With a splash pool, water umbrella and a play area for the kids. If you need to take a break from the excitement they have a visitor centre and cafe.
To keep a check on things at the Lido, go here. LIDO PONTY
MORGAN JONES PARK – CAERPHILLY
MORGAN JONES PARK in Caerphilly is in the Green Flag Award winning park, the aqua splash pad is a perfect summer play experience and certainly lives up to its name of the ‘Wetter The Better.’ Away from the water they have, a maze (leave plenty of time to get out), and a wildflower meadow.
The splash pad at Morgan Jones Park will get a £15,000 upgrade before it reopens to the public.
The splash pad was closed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and will be resurfaced before it reopens.
However, councillors Jamie Pritchard and Shayne Cook, who represent the Morgan Jones ward, are pressing Caerphilly County Borough Council for more funding.
For more information and times, just head to their site here. MORGAN JONES PARK
PENCOEDTRE SPLASH PARK
PENCOEDTRE SPLASH PARK in Barry is one of so many attractions in the town and on the island. Plenty of water, of course but also a play area for the toddlers, a basketball court and skate park.
To find out more about the park, go here. PENCOEDTRE SPLASH PARK
VICTORIA PARK SPLASH PAD – CARDIFF
VICTORIA PARK SPLASH PAD in Cardiff is in a perfect setting and in the Canton area of the City. They have something for everyone here, spread over 3 zones, Toddlers – Juniors – Families. With a host of sprays, jets, a tunnel and a tipping water bucket (which is so much fun) this is again a must visit if you can.
The park itself is steeped in history.
- Grade 2 listed historic park: Listed on the Cadw Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales.
- Cast iron bandstand: Original installed February 1897, recast replica installed in 1996.
- Cast iron fountain canopy: Presented by I. Samuel Esq. in memory of his parents and brother, Louis Samuel, MP in 1908, this is one of several presented for parks between 1907 and 1915. The canopy was restored and relocated to its current position in 1996.
- Billy the seal sculpture: Bronze sculpture created in 1997 by artist David Petersen, recalling the Victoria Park Zoo and the park’s most famous resident.
Due to Covid-19 a socially-distanced queueing system is in place, and the number of children allowed to use the facility is limited to a maximum of 50 at any one time. During peak and busy times, twenty-five minute time slots will be in operation.
For more details just head to their site here. VICTORIA PARK SPLASH PAD
MONKEY ISLAND – CWMBRAN
Cheeky Monkey Soft Play, Cwmbran is a safe, fun and stimulating play centre for children under 12 years of age.
Monkey Island is open for Summer and is inside Cheeky Monkeys Children’s Soft Play Centre. It’s the perfect way to spend a hot summers day, having some fun with the family, splashing around outside.
They have an outdoor pool, sandpit, palm trees and benches and ideal place to visit with the kids. This is like going on holiday, but right here at home.
Monkey Island is open until around September/October but we reckon you should give them a call before you head off to visit, to make sure the pool is open.
They have lots of deals on offer. Monthly passes, loyalty cards and the like. Head over to their site MONKEY
CYFARTHFA SPLASHPAD – MERTHYR TYDFIL
Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil is one of those ‘spend a full day’ places. The Active Zone is a real treat offering a Splash Pad and Playground for younger visitors to enjoy.
The pad is usually open seasonally: April to August from 11:00am to 6:30pm. Currently the Splash Pad is CLOSED, but we wait excitedly for its return.
This ‘Splash Pad’ is real a state-of-the-art interactive play facility within the Park which is sure to provide hours of fun for the family. Ideally situated within sight of the Canolfan Cyfarthfa’s café, the ‘Splash Pad’ promotes safe water play for children of all ages and abilities. Just remember the seasonal opening times are in play here (when it reopens).
On the subject of play, the adjoining Playground offers year round fun and includes swings, climbing frames and slides.
The Miniature Railway Engineering Society and Miniature Railway Company’s steam train rides provide brilliant family entertainment in Cyfarthfa Park. Right next to the beautiful Cyfarthfa Lake picturesque fun-filled trips are available throughout the year with themed rides regularly advertised.
As for the Grade II* Park itself, it’s actually one of the most frequently visited free tourist attractions in Wales.
Covering 65 hectares it occupies a prominent position overlooking the town of Merthyr Tydfil and the historic site of the Cyfarthfa Ironworks. The Park also provides a beautiful backdrop to the Grade I listed Cyfarthfa Castle, former home to the illustrious Crawshay family, and is recognised as being the best example of a 19th century Ironmaster’s residence to have survived in South Wales.
Please telephone (01685) 727371 to check if the facility is open.
See what we mean about spending the whole day there? Take a look at their website here, they really do have so much on offer. CYFARTHFA and to find out if the Splash Pad is open, give them a call on 01685-727371.
The Playground includes swings, climbing frames and slides; perfect for children of all ages and abilities. The Playground is open year-round.
ABERCYNON PADDLING POOL
The paddling pool at Abercynon War Memorial isn’t open right now but we wanted to mention it as they have a campaign running to put that right.
Their committee is called Action for Abercynon War Memorial Paddling Pool. The aim is to reopen the pool to ensure it is FREE for the children to enjoy.
Not much else to say about this, other than the best of luck to the committee, supporters and everything they are trying to achieve with their campaign. You can follow that they are doing on their Facebook page here. ABERCYNON
CROWN PARK & PARC HOWARD – LLANELLI
Not so much a splash, but nevertheless a fantastic paddle in stunning grounds of Parc Howard. As for the pool in Crown Park, we haven’t been able to get any information, as yet. We are on the case and will update when we do.
Parc Howard is stunning and really is a magnificent jewel in Llanelli’s crown. It was gifted to Llanelli by the Howard family in 1912, and is very much the towns’ park. To this day continues to be embraced and enjoyed by the tens of thousands who visit the parkland every year.
From family fun days to fascinating reminders of its past, Parc Howard has it all and for FREE.
- Informal lawn of some 24 acres to the north-west of the house
- A small, slightly formal grassed terrace to the front of the house
- Duck pond
- Bowling greens
- Tennis courts
- Children’s play area.
Usually open during school holidays, the paddling pool is FREE. For more details, go here. HOWARD
ABERAVON AQUA SPLASH
Unfortunately, the Aquasplash is not yet open. The latest we hear is this….
Work to complete the new Splash Pad attraction for children and families at the Aberavon Seafront is progressing well and it is due to open in a Covid compliant way when restrictions allow.
The team there would love to see you, and thank you for your ongoing support. They say they look forward to seeing you when they repopen! Take a look at what they’re doing on the Facebook page here. ABERAVON
SPLASH CENTRAL – CARDIFF
This is not quite the same as the others but the team have put so much hard work in, we wanted to tell you about them.
Splash Central is a culmination of 7 years hard work. Splash Swim School started first, providing over 3’s lessons in Barry, a few years later, Baby Splash started its Parent and Baby swimming programme in Penarth.
The overwhelming success of Splash, led to the team looking for an opportunity to have their own pool, purely for the provision of water based classes. A few attempts of achieving this, over the last 2 years, were always met by stumbling blocks. Happily, they are now open on Ocean Way in Cardiff.
They will be offering the same high standard of lessons that have become accustomed with Baby Splash, with fully qualified Parent and Baby instructors who are full of compassion, energy and knowledge. A 10 week course costs £90. Coupled with this, they will be offering the same high standard lessons that are synonymous with the Over 3’s lessons – a ratio of 6 children to 1 instructor (usually 6:2 for our beginner classes).
All of the water based instructors are qualified to the Swimming Teachers Association standard, insured and DBS checked. Lessons are £7 per week, per half an hour lessons, usually payable in blocks of 10 weeks (£70).
We think anything that gets our kids into the water, swimming and having fun, has to be a good thing, so the best of luck to them all. For more details, go here. SPLASH
We have so many more ideas on our other pages. Take a look at the links below.
Here’s a few more of the OUR SOUTH WALES features which will give you some idea of what is right on our door step.