It feels a long time since Christmas, with weeks of rushed commutes, rainy school runs and homework every night. So maybe it’s time to spot the first signs of spring on a coastal walk, get muddy on a farm together, or burn off some energy in an adrenaline-packed all-weather adventure zone. Here are five unique activities guaranteed to keep the kids – and the adults – happy in Wales this half-term.
A breath of fresh air at Bluestone
In the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Bluestone is a luxury family resort with every opportunity to blow away the winter cobwebs with some Welsh fresh air. ON site you’ll find cycle paths, high ropes strung through the trees, play areas and acres of forest for den-building and bug hunts galore. You’re also just moments away from some of the world’s best beaches on the Wales Coast Path, so wrap up warm and get out and explore in our Year of Discovery
If it does get a little on the chilly side, the Bluestone Blue Lagoon water park is mercifully subtropical all year round and the cabins are cosy, luxurious and well-appointed. There’s also a giant indoor soft play zone for little kids, under-cover climbing for older ones and resort restaurants, pubs and a spa for some grown-up rejuvenation. February half-term includes the Bluestone Winter Lights Show, a magical way to brighten up the dark evenings and keep the kids entertained before bed.
A steam train ride in the Brecon Beacons
February half-term might be peak family ski season, but you don’t need to go to the Alps to get a fix of spectacular mountain scenery. If you’ve got young children, ditch the crowds and the expense and spend a couple of nights in Mid Wales, where the Brecon Mountain Railway winds through the beautiful Brecon Beacons. Kids will love taking this steam-powered ride in the vintage train carriage (and you may spot snow-capped peaks if the weather is cold enough). The train stops at Pontsticill, where you can go for a winter ramble along the banks of the reservoir. Then the kids can tackle the play area while you refuel in the café before your return journey.
Bounce in a huge underground cave in North Wales
'What did you do during half-term?'
'We went trampolining in an underground cave the size of a cathedral!'
As brags for children over seven go, Bounce Below is unique. A historic former Victorian slate mine in Blaenau Ffestiniog is now a huge underground playground, with slides the height of two double decker buses and a jaw-dropping subterranean network of net jumping over six levels. It’s an all-weather, year-round attraction and an ideal way to stop the kids bouncing off the walls at home this holiday.
Stay in a cosy eco-cabin on a Welsh farm
It may be the tail-end of winter, but you’ll get a warm Welsh welcome at Treberfedd Farm’s two octagonal eco-cabins, Saffir and Aerona. Powered by green energy and built from local timber, each stylish cabin also has a wood burning stove and underfloor heating; heaven-sent after a cheek-glowing trip around the farm’s organic trail and ‘welly walk’. Kids will delight in getting as muddy as possible in the surrounding swamps; finding Dragon Creek and a Welsh ‘rainforest’ on the map, as well as taking the chance to spot rare red kites and meet the farm’s animals. Treberfedd Farm is also dog-friendly if you want to bring four-legged family members along and little guests at the eco-cabins will also enjoy the play area which includes an indoor games barn.
Dare to meet the Cadw Dragons in Caerphilly
Fuel the kids’ imagination with a trip to meet a legendary family of dragons at an ancient Welsh castle. It’s believed that a love of castles is ingrained within the very nature of dragons; they like having towers to climb and dungeons to hide in. Honest. Caerphilly Castle – the second largest castle in Europe – is the perfect home for this fire-breathing family of Cadw dragons, with its huge moat, drawbridge and an iconic tilting tower, which leans further than the one in Pisa.
After swooping around Wales for the past year, Dewi, Dwynwen and babies Dylan and Cariad have migrated back to their epic Caerphilly homeland and half-term is an ideal time to say hello. Brave little visitors will love getting up as close as they can to the big dragons and playing hide and seek with the babies, who are located just out of reach, but still visible to keen-eyed dragon hunters.