25 things to do in Cardiff Bay with toddlers

Cardiff Bay is one of our favourite places to go for a few hours out with our toddler boys…. and there’s sooo much to do there…..

  1. Catch a train down there! The Bay has good road links and plenty of parking but if your little one hasn’t been on a train yet this is the perfect first train ride as it only takes a few minutes to get there from Cardiff Queen Street station
  2. Breakfast/brunch in Bill’s or Wetherspoon’s – both are fab and have colouring sets for the kids!
  3. Grab a coffee in Coffee Co – this is opposite the (now closed) Dr Who centre… they make a lovely take-away coffee for me, and W LOVES playing on the deckchairs outside!
  4. Walk down the barrage – coffee in hand, head down the barrage for a walk and see if their little legs can make it as far as the barrage itself to spot the boats coming through
  5. The Roald Dahl crocodile and bench – these are both on the barrage walk and the crocodile is a great photo opportunity!
  6. Sandy play area – still on the barrage walk, there’s a fab sand pit/play area which includes some boats to clamber over etc. It’s got to be the best play area in Cardiff for views – the Bristol Channel one side and Mermaid quay on the other
  7. World of Boats – heading back from the barrage to Mermaid quay this is a lovely pit stop for food/drinks, again – glorious views overlooking the bay. If it tickles your fancy there’s a boat museum/exhibition you can pay to visit.
  8. Throw stones in the water – walking back past Coffi Co towards the Norwegian water we always throw stones in the water… free fun that keeps them entertained for ages!
  9. Park outside waterguard – there’s a little play area tucked away by the Waterguard pub. It’s seen better days but still has a couple of things to play with
  10. Animal structures – just past this play area there’s some red brick animals to climb over and sit on – fun and great photo opportunity!
  11. Lunch – now you’ve built up an appetite for lunch how about family-friendly Wagamamas or the all-you-can-eat JRC buffet?!
  12. Pierhead centre – this beautiful red brick building in the centre of the bay is worth a visit in itself. But the last time we ducked in here during a rain shower, we found a kids activity table with toys and crayons which entertained W while I watched a video about the history of the bay on the big screen
  13. Picnic – stop for a pit stop on the grassy spot by the Norwegian church – a beautiful place to spot and watch the world go by the way with snacks from Greggs or even better… the Portuguese bakery (Nata & co)
  14. Wales millennium centre – one of the the great cultural centres of Wales. For our boys… a huge great space to run around! Another handy place to pop into when it’s raining! As well as the space… it has cafes and gift shops inside plus check their website as they host monthly toddler days, theatre events for kids and seasonal events for tots too
  15. Water feature – probably the boys favourite part of the bay is the water feature outside the Millennium centre. Endless fun trying not to get too wet!
  16. Techniquest – talking of wet, a perfect place for a rainy day is interactive kids science centre, Techniquest. It has so many things for them to play with like mist, a 4-way mirror and everyone’s favourite… the piano that you can run across! A brilliant day out and bonus points they have a room where you can eat your own picnic! Check out their website for a list of toddler days which are themed and cheaper than usual admission but they do get busy! Handy review here from Welshcakes and wellies!
  17. Ice cream at Cadwadalers – enough said!
  18. Cadillac – while in mermaid quay be sure to visit the red Cadillac outside the American diner!
  19. Wetland reserve – I’ve not actually been here with the kids but down past St David’s hotel is a free wetland nature reserve which sounds great for exploring nature!
  20. Play area – if you’re down by the nature reserve, there’s another play area near St David’s hotel which is much bigger and better than the one at the Waterguard pub
  21. Octavio book shop – a hidden gem – this independent book shop includes a cafe (and wine bar!!) and comfy kids corner so a great place to stop for a snack and a read! It’s just off mount Stuart square… Cardiff mummy said blogger about it here.
  22. Red dragon centre – another handy place when it’s raining if you just need somewhere to run about!! For kids there’s a cinema, bowling, games arcade and lots of family-friendly places to eat… it’s a real family venue! Cardiff mummy says blogged about glow in the dark bowling… sounds fab!
  23. Seasonal events – there’s always something on down the bay whether it be the Lego animals, Cardiff bay beach on every summer, the annual food and drink festival, boat races and Santa’s grotto every Christmas… so check before you plan your visit!
  24. Welshcake shop – before we leave the bay we stock up on welsh cakes from Fabulous shop in Mermaid Quay, they make different flavours every day!
  25. Boat trip – and finally, once you’re all done, take a boat ride like getting the waterbus taxi into Cardiff city centre (drops off near the castle) – what an adventure!

What’s your favourite place in Cardiff Bay? Did I miss any?! I’d love to hear from you!


One thought on “25 things to do in Cardiff Bay with toddlers”

  1. Hi, How about The Crêpe Escape in Cardiff Bay. We have Fablas Artisan Ice Cream made in Cowbridge with flavours such as Unicorn,Jaffa Cake, Jammy Dodger, Cherry Bakewell as well as all the classics. We have a great children’s menu and a children’s afternoon tea. We have colouring too. We also often do fun days such as The Greatest Showman fun days. Will be doing a Halloween one and a Singalong with Santa too.

    Thanks, Alison


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