Free Things to do in Cardiff

Written by Claire


Are you looking for a fun day out in Cardiff that doesn’t cost a lot?
Here’s our handy guide with some super lovely spots!
From galleries, museums and lots more to do and see,
The best part is these activities are all completely free!

Bute Park & Arboretum

Behind Cardiff Castle and just a short walk from the city’s main high streets, you will find the green heart of the city… Bute Park!  Little ones will have a brilliant time exploring here, as the park has a range of attractions to enjoy and lots of wildlife and plants to look out for, including otters, herons, damselflies and woodpeckers! There is a Woodland Play Trail near the Summer House Cafe for children to enjoy and a fitness trail for the adults too! If you want to find out more about the park’s features there is an interactive QR code trail to follow which takes you to 14 points across the park. – You need to download an app for this.  Find out more.

National Museum Cardiff

This museum has free entry for all and is home to a range of interesting exhibitions and collections!  This includes a history of Wales’s national archaeology, art, geology and natural history. There are also regular touring exhibitions and displays that little historians will love, our favourite is the fantastic ‘Evolution of Wales’ gallery which will have children going on a 4,600 million-year journey bringing them face to face with dinosaurs and woolly mammoths along the way.  Find out more here!

Roath Park, Lake Road West

Roath Park is located in the centre of the city and is one of Cardiff’s most popular parks! Its 30-acre lake is a huge hit with visitors and is frequently used for fishing and boating. Each section of the park was designed for a specific purpose providing a whole range of horticultural interests, nature conservations and plenty of fun activities! Enjoy a beautiful walk around the lake, perhaps stop for a picnic too! There is a Victorian glasshouse that features tropical plants and some terrapins. Entrance to wander the park is free but there are some fees for additional attractions such as the lake pedalos, water walkerz and tennis courts ~ these make a fun afternoon activity! Find out more here. 

St Fagan’s National History Museum

Voted as one of the top free attractions to visit, this museum is set within beautiful gardens and woodland. Children will learn how Welsh families lived, worked and played through time! The grounds are home to cows, sheep, ducks and hens too and there’s lots of open space for children to run and play. They can even take a tractor ride on the grounds! There is a cafe on-site as well as many areas perfect for a picnic if you prefer to bring your own yummy food. Plus, enjoy a fun exhibition this summer, ‘The Future Has a Past’! Find out more.

Cardiff Bay

This fantastic waterfront docklands area, with its shops, restaurants, and more, is the perfect family day out. There are fees for the majority of the ‘attractions’ such as the boat tours around the quay and Techniquest Science Discovery Centre, however, the area itself is vibrant and a great place to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere and the amazing views! Stop by the Visitors Centre where you can get detailed information about attractions and events in the Cardiff Bay area. Find out more.

Fforest Fawr

The beautiful woodland, Fforest Fawr is a short walk from the centre of Tongwynlais and is close to Castell Coch too. It makes a really lovely walk for all ages particularly as it is the woodland backdrop to the famous Castell Coch castle. There are an abundance of trails – a firm favourite with the kids being the Gruffalo Trail which will take them on a magical journey through the forest passing hidden sculputures. Plus, with many more trails suitable for both walking and cycling this is a place you can visit for a morning or afternoon time and time again throughout summer. If you want to take a break, there is a Forest Tea Room and Castell Coch Tea Room too. Find out more.

Cardiff Central Library

This stunning modern building is more than just a home to books, it is a modern cultural venue and a community centrepiece with open-plan floors and views of the city! There is a fantastic children’s area on a secure level with computers available, DVDs, CD’s and more. There are regular Rhyme Time and Story Time sessions available for under 5’s. Within the library itself, there is a grand piano to rent so you may hear an accomplished pianist practising when you visit! Find out more.

The Cardiff Story

cardiff-story on #daysoutwithkids
This fun and free museum is set within a beautiful historic old library building. Through interactive galleries, discover the history of Cardiff through the eyes of the people who created it. See how Cardiff was transformed from a small market town to one of the worlds largest ports by the 1900’s. With Cardiff in Context, City Lab, City Show Case and temporary exhibitions there’s plenty to see. Find out more.


Do you know any more fab and free activities? We’d really love to know! Someone else might love it, and really want to go! If you’ve got ideas, suggestions or reviews, you can shout all about it on whatever channel you choose!

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