Check out some of our favourite places for families. There’s a day out for every type of family – from tiny toddlers to active teenagers!
1. Knights and princesses
Explore the Norman ruins of Ogmore Castle, enjoy a picnic and cross the river (taking good care) via ancient stepping stones. For a magical experience, head to Fonmon Castle where the vast grounds include dinosaurs, a reconstructed medieval farm, interactive story-telling and play areas.
2. Traditional seaside fun
Barry Island – home of the now legendary ‘Gavin & Stacey’ sitcom – is a very popular day out. It’s got it all: two beautiful beaches, amusements, adventure golf, climbing wall, Barry Island Pleasure Park, beach wheelchairs, colourful beach huts, ice cream and fish & chips!
3. Down on the farm
Guinea pigs, donkeys, pig, ferrets and geckos are just some of the cute(!) animals you’ll see at Amelia Trust Farm. Play areas include a tractor, swings and climbing tower, and there are various themed trails.
4. Adventure seekers
Try your hand at Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) at Barry Island with expert tuition from IslandSUP - great for beginners or those looking to improve their skills. If you’d rather stay on dry land, go horse riding on the beach with Ogmore Farm Riding Centre.
5. Close to nature
Get your kids excited about the outdoor environment with a day at Cosmeston Lakes & Country Park. It has walking routes, a brand new play area and plenty of benches for older family members. When you arrive, remember to buy some seed to feed the ducks.
6. Fossils and rock pools
On Ogmoreby Sea Beach there’s no shortage of fertile rock pools, and the pebble areas are perfect for fossil hunting or trying your hand at some pebble art. Another great place for fossils is the smaller St Mary’s Well Bay, with views towards Flat Holm and Steep Holm islands in the Bristol Channel. Don’t miss our fossil hunting guide for families.
7. Wet Weather
Let the young ones let off steam in a soft play area, such as Adventure Island in Barry, or head for one of the Vale’s six leisure centres. Fontygary Leisure Park in Rhoose can keep the whole family entertained with Ten Pin Bowling and an indoor leisure pool, or pop on the waterproofs for the Dragons Quest adventure Golf course if its still raining.
8. Teenagers in tow
Challenge the family to a race at South Wales Karting Centre. There’s a range of karts, including some for kids as young as six. For a thrilling day of paintballing action, head to Taskforce Skirmish where the realistic setting includes a village, bridges and even a helicopter!
9. Horrible history fans
Explore the Medieval Village in Cosmeston Lakes & Country Park with an audio guide, and get a taste of nostalgia at Barry War Museum and Barry Tourist Railway. The Vale Tales storytelling app will keep the young ones interested in a family walk, as it brings to life the myths and legends dotted along the ten Vale Trails. Our selection of family guides includes activities to do at StIlltud’s Church, Ogmore Castle and the village of Monknash.
10. For all the family
When everyone wants to do something different, Porthkerry Country Park is your ideal destination! Use the digital AR app to explore the country park, collecting virtual plants and animals while spotting the real ones. There are woods, a pebble beach, spectacular cliffs, a railway viaduct and adventure playground – and you can all get together for a BBQ or picnic. On selected dates, UWC Atlantic Experience runs Campus Open Days at St Donat’s Castle, which include bookable activities such as archery, bush-craft and climbing. While the young ones are active, other family members can take a guided tour of the castle or relax in the Tudor gardens.
Looking for something else? Check out even more ideas for your family day out.