Unbelievably half term is on its way and we wanted to find ways to entertain the kids, as we always do. This time however, we set ourselves a challenge to find as much FREE stuff as we can. If it’s not free, then we have ensured the kids can do it for under a fiver.

Also, we have a fantastic page listing and linking all the school term dates for every council in South Wales for 2024/25. It’s really easy to follow and a useful one to bookmark. You can find it here……

Enjoy the list and come back soon as the guide expands over the next few days. Just click on the areas below to get to the place that interests you.



A little trail for a little month! Keep your eyes peeled for wooden tiles across the garden – they will help you find all the small things as you explore Dyffryn.

There’s no extra cost (normal admission applies), simply pick-up your bingo sheet from the Welcome Centre when you arrive and learn all about what lovely little things happen in the gardens during winter.

They’ve also thrown in a few fun games in there for good measure so you can learn about nature in the winter and have a lovely family day out too.

The LITTLE TRAIL – Y MIS BACH BINGO at Dyffryn House & Gardens runs to the 18th February between 10am and 3pm. The event is FREE but normal admission charges will apply. Who knows, the kids could end up doing your garden when you get home. For more details, go here – TRAIL



This is more of a reminder than anything else. If you are a Cardiff residents (or work in Cardiff) you get to have unlimited free days out at Cardiff Castle. The Castle Key, as they call it, gives you free entry to the castle grounds, Norman Keep, the Firing Line exhibition, the wartime tunnels and the Interpretation Centre as many times as you like.

Apply at the Castle Ticket Office, make sure to take proof that you live or work in Cardiff (a council tax bill or a letter from the boss is fine). The key used to be free but does have an admin charge, worth every penny though. Trust us, the kids love a castle and they will have a brilliant time this half term. For details, go here. CASTLE

  • Enjoy free entry to Cardiff Castle for 3 years.
  • A number of other special discounts.
  • One off admin charge of £6.75 per adult card issued.
  • No charge for Keys issued to children (under 16s).


Long before the days when we started walking round with our smartphones surgically attached to our hands – yes boys and girls, there was a time before You Tube, Instagram, Snapchat and the like. What people used to do for fun was either, talk (I know, how crazy), or get very excited when the fairground came to town.

This half-term holidays, St Fagans are bringing back their very successful TRADITIONAL FAIRGROUND with a chance to experience the magic of a bygone era – and maybe for your little ones to leave the digital age behind.

It runs at St Fagans National Museum of History till 17th February and the cost starts at only £1. They say it’s suitable for kids aged 2 – 11 but we reckon a few big kids will get a kick out of the seeing the old Penny Pusher too. For more details, go here. TRADITIONAL 


Sometimes it’s the things which are there everyday and we kind of take for granted that turn out to be the most fun for the kids. A day out at the barrage is one of those. It’s exciting, a brilliant way of getting some exercise (for all of us kids) and most of all, it’s cheap as chips.

Just seeing the pictures reminds us that maybe it’s something we’ve not seen in action for a while, or maybe even never. The kids can watch as the barrage’s lock system allows boats and yachts to go in and out of Cardiff Bay. Then walk along to the fantastic pirate playground or if you feel really energetic walk all the way round to Mermaid Quay. Parking at the Penarth end costs 50 pence an hour, but it is free to walk along the barrage and to play at the playground. Take some sandwiches and a drink and you’ve got a great day out for next to nothing.



Once upon a time, in a faraway swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. They were all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Determined to save their home — not to mention his — Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to be Farquaad’s bride. Rescuing the Princess may be small compared to her deep, dark secret.

The screenings at Chapter are on Saturday 10th at 11:30am and Wednesday 14th February at 11am. They are completely FREE but filling up fast. More details HERE.


Remy, a rat about town Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to become a chef so he can create and enjoy culinary masterpieces to his heart’s delight. When he winds up in the sewer beneath one of Paris’ finest restaurants, the rodent gourmet finds himself ideally placed to realize his dream.

A rat with sophisticated tastes forms an alliance with a hapless chef.

Charter is the venue on Saturday 17th February at 11:20am. Again, it’s FREE with details HERE.




They bring the bricks, you bring the ideas! Free event for children aged 7-11.

It’s at Cwmbran Library on Tuesday 13th February. Just turn up and have fun. Details HERE.



The parkland at Tredegar House is the perfect place for you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Sweeping lawns, a serpentine lake and woodland are all waiting for you to explore and enjoy everything from a picnic, a run or a spot of hide and seek with the family.

Things to see in the parkland

Oak avenue

Once there were seven oak avenues, splaying out from the mansion like the spokes of a wheel. The last remaining one stretches out from the 17th-century gates and over the crest of a hill towards Ruperra Castle – once a summer home of the Morgan family.


Bring your bird books and binoculars; our parkland is teeming with wildlife. The lake is a favourite spot for grebes, swans, moorhens and a whole community of ducks.

Keep an eye out for swans, coots and herons as well as a whole host of slippery underwater creatures in the lake. Swan watching is a popular pastime with locals who track the progress of the cygnets every year.

The parkland is ever changing as the seasons come and go throughout the year. Follow the lakeside path and immerse yourself in nature with our seasonal sensory trail.

Sequoia redwoods

Towering over the parkland, the redwoods are a regal reminder of a bygone majestic age. Don’t forget to touch the bark; its spongy feel is a favourite with little ones and adults alike.

The parkland is ever changing as the seasons come and go throughout the year. Follow the lakeside path and immerse yourself in nature with our seasonal sensory trail.

Booking isn’t needed apart from the Veg Printing Workshop. For details of what’s going on at Tredegar, which is worth a visit anytime, go here. TREDEGAR


The Fourteen Locks Canal Centre on the Crumlin Arm of the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal is a fantastic place to visit.

The Fourteen Locks Canal Centre and Cafe is a popular family attraction that is positioned on top of the Cefn lock flight, an engineering wonder of the industrial revolution that is located in the picturesque area of Newport. As a result of the support of the Heritage Lottery Funding two pairs of locks have been restored.

Find out more on the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre page HERE.

The Canal Centre craft shop offers unique hand made gifts, created by local and talented artisans. They also hire out gallery display boards for artists to sell their work.

The cafe offers a delicious range of mouthwatering food. Produce is sourced locally and prepared fresh to order. Meals are perfectly accompanied by speciality coffees and fair-trade teas. The friendly staff can cater for any dietary requirement including gluten free, vegan and vegetarian.

The family and dog friendly centre holds events throughout the year including activity trails, forest school, fayres, family fun days, music festivals, BBQ’s, history talks and walks. The canal towpath is part of national cycle route 47 and the beautiful Sirhowy valley walk.


Come and join us this half-term to find out more about festivals and feasts in the Roman world.

Become a wealthy Roman – put on a toga and clap for your slave to bring you your favourite dish of dormice* or find out more about entertainment at a feast.

You could make a paper flower garland to wear to the feast or have a go at the trail around the museum about festivals and feasts. 

And while you’re there, download a QR code to give you access to a booklet about Roman recipes so you can continue your Roman adventure at home.

FESTIVALS AND FEASTS is at the National Roman Legion Museum from the 12th to 16th February, with a variety of sessions. For more details go HERE.

Incidentally – they don’t use real dormice.



It may be the half term but there’s never a better time to get out and enjoy what the countryside has to off and the park here is fantastic.

Pontypool Park is locally known as the People’s Park, covering some 64 hectares with several historical features – including Italian Gardens, Ice Houses and Shell Grotto – which have been restored with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and funding from Torfaen County Borough Council. There is also a link from the Park, through adjacent farm land to the Folly Tower, via a public footpath.

Facilities include a children’s play area, rugby pitch (home to Pontypool RFC), tennis courts, pitch and putt, bowls and a dry ski slope. There are footpath links into the Brecon Beacons National Park on the most northern boundary.

There are a few things to bear in mind when you visit………

  • Feel free to have a picnic, play games or even hug a tree!
  • Dogs should be kept under control and responsible owners are welcome, but please clear up after your dog and dispose of the waste in the bins provided.
  • Use the litter bins – it helps to keep the Park looking good.
  • No cycling allowed.
  • No horses allowed.
  • No motorised vehicles allowed.
  • No fishing unless you have purchased the appropriate licence.

The park is just to the East of Pontypool Town Centre. To find out more, go here – PARK


Pop over this half term and meet Butty Bear – Big Pit’s best friend and special guide. 

Say hello and have a selfie with the coolest bear in town! Full details HERE.

A chance for Mini Miners to let off some steam in the Play Lab for FREE soft play.

Suitable for under 5s only.

Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. For details of that, go HERE.



Margam country Park is incredible and while a lot of what you can do will cost money, the best thing of all, a walk in the park, will cost you no more than the cost of travelling and parking. They have four walks ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 miles. The 800 acres of the Park provides a perfect backdrop for a walk in the countryside, whether half term stroll with the kids, or an adventure hike along the Coed Morgannwg Way to Afan Forest Park Country Park, our sister country park in the Afan Valley.

If you prefer to follow a self guided trail we have four way marked routes for you to follow. ‘Walk packs’ giving full details of the routes and what to look out for along them are available to purchase from entrance cabin and Gift Shop.

Each walk is colour coded, they all begin just up the track from the Castle Visitor Centre. Entrance to the park is free and car parking is £6, but will all of you packed in that’s really good value. Below is a list of everything they offer with appropriate links to find out more.


You can check their event calendar right HERE.



Join them to celebrate Chinese New Year as they welcome in the year of the DRAGON!

A packed day of music, performance, crafts, and a superb Chinese dragon dance display. 


  • Crafts and cultural activities including paper cutting, tea ceremony and calligraphy.
  • Lion Dance
  • Dragon Dance
  • Traditional Beijing Opera
  • Chinese Fan Dancing
  • Lucky Draw
  • Money God
  • Selection of Chinese New Year gift stalls

…and don’t forget to visit the Marina Market in Dylan Thomas Square for a delicious themed offer.

In partnership with Chinese in Wales Association.

It’s at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea an again, this is FREE on the 11th February. For more details go HERE.


Our family friendly Learning Space will be open for free self-led play. Activities include creative writing, puppets, games, reading corner, crafts and dressing up costumes, all inspired by the animals featured in Dylan Thomas’ work.

Great for families with children of all ages, just drop in, they are FREE.  They are held through to the 24th February. For more details go HERE.


A lot of our cinema offer deals over the holiday periods and certainly at weekends kids get to see recent films for just a couple of pounds. For example…..

  • ODEON – Grown ups pay kids prices with their Family Saver of 4 ticket at ODEON. Whether you are 2 Adults 2 Children, or 1 Adult 3 Children, simply select the family ticket option when you book online.
  • CINEWORLD – Offer family tickets deals and reductions on food & drinks.
  • VUE – Have a range of deals and run Mini-Morning screenings too


If you want to stay home during the holiday and want to keep the kids off the tablets, phones or TV then here’s a few (old-school) ideas which we guarantee will entertain them and make more memories than watching them stare at a screen all day long.


With the Bake Off series at an an end and the kids version bringing in great audiences, there really isn’t a better time to get into the kitchen with the children. Baking is a great way to keep them happy and entertained on a rainy half term. As far as killing time goes, it’s brilliant for that too.

Involve them in the whole process. Choosing the recipe. Shopping for ingredients. Preparing the kitchen and then the actual baking itself. It’s a fantastic way to kill time too. Choose recipes that include lots of time for decorating, as kids find this to be the most fun part. Don’t be afraid of getting messy, kids love to help but might be a bit messy in the process.



  • 100g butter, roughly chopped
  • 300g dark chocolate, broken into squares
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 140g rich tea biscuits, roughly crushed
  • 12 pink marshmallows, quartered using scissors
  • 2 x 55g of Maltesers (my favourite), Milky Way or Crunchie


  • Gently melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a large pan over a low heat, stirring frequently until smooth, then cool for about 15mins.
  • Stir the crushed biscuits and sweets into the pan until well mixed, pour into a 17cm/6 ½ inch square tin lined with non-stick baking paper and spread the mixture to roughly level it.
  • Chill until hard and then take out of tin and remove paper. Cut into squares. Store in an air-tight container.



  • 125g plain flour
  • 250g Carnation Condensed Milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g buttery spread
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • For the icing
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 55g buttery spread
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp Carnation Condensed Milk
  • Sugar sprinkles or cake decorations


  • Preheat oven to 180°C, (160°C for fan ovens), Gas Mark 4.
  • Beat flour, condensed milk, egg, vanilla, buttery spread and baking powder until pale and fluffy.
  • Spoon mixture into 12 muffin cases. Bake for 15-18 minutes until springy and golden. Allow to cool.
  • Beat icing sugar, buttery spread and vanilla with enough condensed milk to make a smooth creamy icing. Spread onto cakes and top with sprinkles and decorations.



  • 80g rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 160g wholemeal flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 135g light-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 115g milk chocolate, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 175°C. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a food processor and pulse until the oats are finely ground. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and agave nectar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth and glossy. Reduce mixer speed to the lowest setting and gradually add the flour mixture until just incorporated; stir in the chocolate.
  • Drop level tablespoons of the dough onto silicone mat lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart (12 cookies per sheet). Transfer the sheets to the refrigerator and chill the cookies until solid, about 30 minutes. Bake until lightly golden around edges, about 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool on the sheets for 1 minute; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Be aware, these cookies like to spread. If you are bothered by them touching, bake on 3 trays.


There really isn’t anything better than watching the kids learn a new, or get re-aquainted with an old favourite board game. I don’t know what it is but the effect is far better than watching some character drive aimlessly around a track on some console game. Now don’t get us wrong, we play the kart games as much as the next person, but once the board game is out, the real fun begins.


The simplest of things can often be the best. I used to love settling down with a good book, having the kids squash up on the sofa and read away with my terrible voices and corny impressions. You know what? They hung on my every word and they will with you.

Encourage your children to read along if they’re old enough. Make a hot chocolate and snuggle together on the sofa and get stuck into a classic.

Young man with two kids reading a story book


It’s amazing what you can do with a few bed sheets, towels, cushions, chairs and a great imagination. This is the perfect way for the kids to get creative. Then when you’ve got it all put together you can get inside, eat what you’ve baked. Play one of the board games. Read your book to together. Or if they really insist, grab the tablet and watch a bit of TV.

A small girl and grandmother reading book at home.