Take a ride on the world’s fastest zip wires at Zip World Penrhyn Quarry on Velocity - soar for a mile (1.6km) over the quarry and reaching speeds over 100mph (160km/h). Over at Llechwedd, Titan is Europe’s biggest zip zone, while Bounce Below is a bouncy net adventure deep inside a slate cavern. There are lots of treetop adventures at their Fforest site, which includes the 1km-long Fforest Coaster. In Aberdare, South Wales Zip World Tower is home to Phoenix, the fastest seated zip wire in the world. The Zip World people, led by an ex-Royal Marine commando, have pioneered a whole new range of adventure sports. Whatever will they think of next?
Adventure Parc Snowdonia
There's a range of activities at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, with Adrenaline Indoors, where you can brave The Caves, climbing walls, an aerial assault course and extreme slides. Back outside, twin zip wires span the lagoon and it's the perfect surfing waves of the inland surf lagoon. They’re also good on seasonal events – summer gin and prosecco festival, anyone?
GreenWood Forest Park, North Wales
As the name suggests, GreenWood is an adventure park with solidly green credentials, featuring the people-powered Green Dragon rollercoaster and the UK’s first solar-powered ride, Solar Splash. It’s especially good for younger children, with lots of imaginative outdoor activities like the BareFoot Trail and Giant Jumper, while the Enchanted WoodBarn is an ideal if-wet-indoors option. No surprise, then, that GreenWood has won the award for North Wales’ best family attraction for seven years in a row.
Oakwood Theme Park, Pembrokeshire
This biggest theme park in Wales, Oakwood, has our best collection of fast ‘n’ furious rides. Megafobia is the UK’s favourite wooden rollercoaster, while Speed is even faster – and features a beyond-vertical drop. Then there’s the tidal-wave-inducing Drenched, and Vertigo’s extreme flight experience. There are plenty of gentler rides for younger visitors, and it’s all wrapped up in an idyllic countryside setting.
Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire
It began life as a traditional Welsh dairy farm, but Folly Farm has expanded its herd to include 500 animals of 90 different types, including lions, rhinos, penguins and Wales’ only giraffes – it’s a full-blown zoo, in other words. There are also lots of farm and domestic animals – Cwtch Corner is the place for hands-on encounters – as well as plenty of outdoor and indoor play, including a vintage funfair.
Heatherton World of Activities, Pembrokeshire
With paintball, go-karting, bumper boats, body zorbs and laser clays among the exhaustive list of attractions across four activity zones – Family Fun, Adrenaline, Play, and Golf & Bowls - Heatherton aims to excite everyone in the family, including your pet (there’s a dog agility course, too). It’s located a few minutes from one of our best seaside resorts, Tenby.
The Jurassic Park film series revealed a major flaw in the dinosaur park concept when several visitors were eaten. Life-sized models are far safer, in our view. So we can absolutely guarantee your personal safety and enjoyment at The Dinosaur Park in Tenby, where the dinosaur trail is one of several indoor and outdoor activities.
Dan yr Ogof National Showcases of Wales has 220 full-scale dinosaurs – one of the world’s biggest collections – along with a shire horse centre, and of course the magnificent caves themselves.
Seaside funfairs, various locations
Funfairs are an essential part of the traditional seaside holiday. You know the drill: mildly scary rides, amusement arcades, candyfloss, and boundless opportunities to win a giant fluffy toy. Try Barry Island or Porthcawl's Coney Beach if you’re in South Wales, or head to Towyn on the north coast, where funfair connoisseurs can choose between Knightly's or Tir Prince. Or ideally, both, with fish and chips to follow.