Spring loaded: 10 great things to do this Easter

There’s something about the Easter hols that suits Wales down to the ground. Something to do with spring lambs and daffodils, maybe.  Or that the Easter weather’s been cracking for several years in a row. Either way, the birds, beasts and flowers are at their busiest at this time of year, and so are we. 

  • Machinations is the UK’s only permanent exhibition of ‘contemporary automata’ – a collection of fascinating (and often funny) mechanical models. But at this time of year we’re drawn to their Rabbit Village, home to Wales’s most pampered Easter bunnies, who live in a village of rabbit-scale houses and barns built in the traditional local style using stone and slate. They’ve even got their own castle and railway station. Rabbits being, er, rabbits, there’ll also be plenty of cute baby bunnies bobbing around.

  • Georgian mansion and lawns at Dyffryn Gardens
    Dyffryn Gardens, Glamorgan by fillbee

    This was always a favourite place to go and romp with the children, but now that the National Trust has taken over the running of these splendid Edwardian gardens, it’s better than ever. The garden is designed as a series of ‘rooms’, and there’s a fabulous mix of formal and wild spaces, arboretum, water features, lawns, grass banks (good for rolling down) and secluded hidey-holes. When the spring bulbs are in full chorus, this’ll be a wonderful place to be.

  • A cyberman reaching towards the you at the Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff Bay
    Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff by CoasterMadMatt

    Dr Who was given a dazzling new lease of life by BBC Wales, who placed a creative rocket under the Timelord and propelled him to new heights. This interactive, multi-sensory centre is dedicated to His Timelordship and his Dalek foes, located next to the BBC studios where Dr Who is actually filmed. While you’re there, the Cardiff Bay Barrage is lovely place to walk along, and has a great adventure playground and outdoor gym at the half-way mark.

  • Group crossing a rope bridge at Bluestone Holiday Village
    Bluestone Holiday Village, Pembrokeshire by Dime Bar

    If the sea’s still a bit nippy at this time of year, the Blue Lagoon waterpark is always tropically warm at this five-star holiday village in Pembrokeshire. They specialise in family holidays, so there are tons of organised activities and events, indoors and out!

  • Family ride the 'Green Dragon' people powered rollercoaster at Greenwood Forest Park
    Greenwood Forest Park, Snowdonia by GreenWood Forest Park

    GreenWood began life as a nature and wildlife centre, and 20 years on it’s grown into a full-blown family adventure attraction, with plenty of action and activities that’ll appeal to everyone, but especially younger children. But the eco-message is still at the heart of everything they do: all the rides and activities require your energy to make them work, and even the rollercoaster is people-powered. They’re also well prepared for wet weather, with lots of indoor attractions. 

  • Talyllyn Railway's engine No. 3  'Sir Haydn' on tour at Maespoeth Junction, Corris, Cardigan Bay

    Talyllyn Railway's No. 3 'Sir Haydn' visiting Maespoeth Junction, Corris RailwayCardigan Bay

     by babs pix

    The Easter Bunny’s diary is pretty rammed at this time of the year, but he regularly finds time to visit Tywyn Wharf station where he greets children, waves off the trains, and organises an Easter Egg hunt. The narrow-gauge steam train chuffs for seven miles into the hills, where there’s a variety of lovely family walks, and also stops for refreshments at Abergynolwyn, home of the Railway Adventure Playground. 

  • Little girl cycling with her parents on a BikePark Wales trail
    BikePark Wales, South Wales Valleys by Cognation

    Wales has some of the best (and most challenging) mountain biking facilities in the world, but we want everyone to be able to have a bash, even total novices. Which is why Afan Forest has launched a Rookie trail, so that the whole family can hire bikes and get acquainted with this fabulous sport. And when you’ve mastered the basics, you can venture up into the 60+ miles of flowing trails that wind through a forest which, at this time of year, will be alive with spring flowers. 

  • Shoppers browsing through the food selections at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in Conwy
    Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, Conwy by Johnny3

    This new £6.5m centre, set in old farm buildings on the Bodnant Estate, showcases the very best artisan food that Wales has to offer. There’s a farm shop, tea room, restaurant, dairy, bakery and a cookery school which, during the Easter hols, is devoting almost its entire programme to family cooking courses. Everything you eat (or cook) uses cracking home-grown produce from the estate itself, local farms, and from around Wales. Elsewhere on the estate there are luxury cottages and farmsteads to rent, and a range of country pursuits to try.

  • Family playing with two piglets on farmstay

    Cwmcrwth Farm, Carmarthenshire

     by discover carmarthenshire

    With the spring lambs on the hills, and the young calves taking their first steps outdoors, it’s the perfect time to escape to the country, staying in a lovely old farmhouse or cosily converted cowshed. There are 110 members of Farm Stay Wales, who open their homes to provide top quality B&B with superb Welsh farmhouse breakfasts. They also have lots of self-catering options in barn conversions, bunkhouses, and camping and caravan sites.

  • Group preparing to slide down canyon

    Canyoning in Snowdonia

     by bristolsurfer

    Gorge walking, gorge scrambling, canyoning… whatever you call it, this is a fabulously fun way to explore our mountain rivers and waterfalls. Wearing a wetsuit and safety gear, you’ll be safely guided into the wildest bits of Wales, and you don’t have to do that lunatic 20ft jump into a plunge pool unless you really want to (or your children make you). It happens at various locations in Wales, notably in Snowdonia and the waterfall country around Neath.

    Find canyoning operators in Wales