Bored kids? No problem. We’ve got the antidote.

“I’m booooored!” Ahh, the dreaded mantra of children during the long school holidays.  There are only so many times parents can respond with a prim, “Only boring people are bored, dear. Go and read a book.” So we’ve come up with some ideas that are a guaranteed cure for boredom.

  • Rocky outcrop at Carn Menyn, Preseli Hills
    Rocky outcrop at Carn Menyn, Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire
    Nobody’s quite sure how 60 Pembrokeshire bluestones, weighing up to four tons each, found their way into Stonehenge’s inner circle. Some believe that they were dragged more than 150 miles from the Preseli Hills to the Wiltshire plains by our ancestors, who believed that stones had magical healing properties. Others think they were dumped there by glaciation. Some believe it was the work of Irish giants, or Merlin the wizard. Perhaps if your family can find the rocky outcrops from which the stones originally came, at Carn Menyn and Craig Rhosyfelin, then you could come up with your own theory?
  • The abandoned slate mines of Snowdonia present the greatest Underground Challenge in Wales: a hair-raising series of subterranean zip-wires, lakes, waterfalls and abseils down to the deepest point in Snowdonia. It’s suitable for everyone from aged ten up – if you’ve got the bottle, they’ll supply all the equipment and expert guidance.

    More underground attractions

  • Lady giving a talk to a group of young visitors at the Centre for Alternative Technology
    Centre for Alternative Technology, Powys, Mid Wales

    That’s what they’re doing at the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth, where an abandoned slate mine, half-way up a forested hill, is now the base for some ground-breaking research into ways of living in harmony with the planet. CAT manages to be worthwhile without seeming at all worthy: it’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon, and it’s great fun, too (we did a guided tour of the greenhouses in which children were positively encouraged to eat the flowers).

  • Chef preparing wild mushrooms
    Chef preparing wild mushrooms

    No trip to the Australian jungle required. Instead, the Bishop’s Palace in the gorgeous little city of St David’s is the venue for this annual celebration of real country life. It’s a fantastic showcase for local food and wild ingredients foraged from the hedgerows, coast, beach and river, together with plenty of home-grown music and an epic welly-wanging contest. The bushtucker on offer is a lot less gruesome than the Aussie stuff, we promise. This year’s Really Wild Festival takes place on May 25-26, the first weekend of half-term.

    More Bushcraft ideas 

  • An airborne male skier at Llandudno Ski Slope
    Llandudno Ski Slope, North Wales

    If the quickest way up Great Orme is by cable car, then the quickest way down – well, part of the way – is on the huge stretch of ‘perma-snow’ matting that is Llandudno Ski Slope. You can descend on skis, snowboard or sno-tubes – big inflatable rings that can be ridden individually or joined together in one big, screaming family group.  They’ve also got a 750m toboggan run, the longest in Britain.

  • High-speed Rib Ride speedboat on the Menai Strait
    High-speed Rib Ride, Menai Strait, Anglesey

    When the tide rips through the narrow Menai Strait that separates Anglesey from the Welsh mainland, it creates the perfect playground for a high-speed rib ride through the infamous Swellies, a hair-raising stretch whose reefs, white water and – yes – whirlpools have been the graveyard of many ships. You’ll also pass stately homes, historic bridges and the opulent homes of Millionaires’ Row. The hour-long trip is suitable from anyone aged four up.

  • The Welsh Open Stoneskimming Championships on May 26 is yet another addition to the calendar of cheerfully daft events held in Llanwrtyd Wells (Bog Snorkelling and Man v Horse racing, anyone?). There’s a whole day of amusing family activities – including your own chance to have a bash – including a head-to-head contest between Ron Long, the current British ‘Old Tosser’ Champion, and Dougie Isaacs, the current World Champion. 
  • Task Force Paintballing
    Task Force Paintballing, Vale Of Glamorgan

    Your president has been kidnapped by hostile forces and is being held in a woodland fort. You must rescue him, using skill, courage – and a lot of firepower. This is one of the many challenges at Taskforce Skirmish, a 30-acre paintball site in the Vale of Glamorgan that’s littered with old military hardware, forts and bunkers. There’s special low-impact kids’ paintball for younger warriors, and laser tag for those who’d rather not get splatted at all.

  • Woman riding pony in Brecon Beacons
    Pony Trekking in the Brecon Beacons by Richard Crockett

    Or cowgirl, obviously. In fact, anyone from the age of six will feel at home on the Black Mountain range, riding a Welsh pony or cob through the glorious heather-covered mountain tops, through forests, past waterfalls, visiting reservoirs and beauty spots. You don’t need any previous riding experience, because the Grange Trekking Centre have got plenty – they’ve been doing this for more than 50 years at their base near the English border between Abergavenny and Hay-on-Wye.

    More horse riding operators in Wales

  • Two people ziplining at Zip World, Penrhyn Quarry, Snowdonia
    Zip World, Snowdonia by ianto39

    Zip World has the longest and fastest zip wire in Europe, soaring 700ft (215m) above a mountain lake at speeds of up to 75 mph. It’s happening at Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda, once the world’s biggest slate mine. There are two wires: the ‘small’ one, a mere (!) 500 metres, takes you down to the bottom of the quarry, where an all-terrain vehicle takes up for a magnificent quarry tour. Then you take the biggie – a mile-long zip wire all the way back to the start. It’s suitable for anyone from seven years up, and especially for children who say, “I’m booooored….”

    More adventure sports operators

  • Night sky filled with stars above the Brecon Beacons
    Night sky above the Brecon Beacons by Rhys Bowley
    For the greatest free show on earth, all you have to do is look up at the night sky. Sadly, most of Britain is blighted by light pollution, so the best bits are hidden by the orange glow of street lighting. Not in the Brecon Beacons though, whose inky-black skies are perfect for star-spotting – so much so, it’s now Wales’ first and only the fifth destination in the world to be granted the status of an international dark sky reserve. The National Park holds regular stargazing events, at which you can see the stars, planets, galaxies and meteor showers in all their glory.