Cheap Family Activities in North West Wales


Money Parenting & Family Advice Things To Do | by | 10th May 2016

It can be very expensive to entertain the children during weekends and school holidays but there are loads of low cost things to do. Guest blogger Tania shares her top cheap (or free) family activities in North West Wales.

I’m always looking for things to do with my two (girl, 7; boy, 3) and we’ve been on lots of budget friendly adventures. I’ve put a few of our favourite cheap family activities in North West Wales together here to give you some ideas of things you can do with your children that won’t break the bank.

If you’re looking for cheap and free things to do in North East Wales and South Walespicnic ideas, and splash pads and paddling pools in Wales, check out the links at the bottom of this article.

1. The National Slate Museum, Llanberis, Gwynedd

swing Cheap Family Activities in North West Wales

This is one of our favourites to visit to spend a few hours, and all for free! There are slate splitting demonstrations, an old steam engine called Una, a play area with a zip wire.

During school holidays they have special events with activities and trails that are great fun. Visit the old quarrymen houses and dress up in clothes from different eras. Take the steps up to see the huge water wheel that powers the machinery.

You can also take a 15-20 minute walk up to the old Quarry Hospital that is about 80 steps up behind the Llanberis Lake Railway.

Cost: Free (parking in the council car park does cost)

2. Bodafon Farm Park, Llandudno, Conwy

bodafon

Farm Parks can be expensive places to visit but lots of young children love to see the animals. Bodafon Farm Park in Llandudno is free and there are plenty of animals to see there such as pigs, goats and llamas and you can feed them with special feed bought from the cafe. There is also a great outside play area and ride on toy tractors in the yard. This is also home to The Owls Trust so you can meet the birds there too.

They do not allow picnics on site, which is fair enough as they do not charge an entry fee, but there is a cafe or you could go and sit in your car to eat.

Cost: Free

3. Betws y Coed, Conwy

13180955_10153465752191906_1418602851_n

We love to visit Betws y Coed. Head over to the train station with some milk bottle tops to feed the rhino on the platform. There’s also a miniature steam train that you can ride which costs £2 each and under 2’s can ride for free.

There are plenty of walks you can take in Betws y Coed, including a great one for kids taking the raised wooden walkway alongside the river through the trees, great for little explorers. Be sure to look for the bubble shop in the village as well, as the kids will have great fun playing with the bubbles which come out of the bubble machine outside.

Cost: Free

4. Piggery Pottery, Llanberis, Gwynedd

piggery pottery1

For those with a little artistic flair how about painting some pottery? There are loads of pottery painting places around Wales, but the closest to me is Piggery Pottery in Llanberis. The kids always have a great time here painting a piece to take home with them. A great way to spend a wet afternoon, and no cleaning up afterwards!

Cost: From £2.50 (depending on what you choose to paint)

5. Walks

13183069_10153465752126906_1067238158_n

If there’s one thing to do in abundance in North Wales, it’s walking. This is a great activity to do with your children as it encourages a healthy lifestyle and it can also be really great fun, free to run around and enjoy the fresh air. There are loads of cycle tracks across North Wales that you can walk or ride along but there are also lots of fun walks around too. Here are some suggestions:

  • Aber Falls, Gwynedd – An easy walk for kids, they’ll love to run along and try and be the first to spot the waterfall.
  • Beddgelert, Gwynedd – Walk along the riverside and hunt for Gelert’s grave. There are also some lovely little shops and cafes and some great ice cream to be had.
  • Holyhead Breakwater Park, Anglesey – Visit the information centre to learn more about the wildlife and heritage of the area and choose one of a number of walks suitable for all levels. There is also access to Holyhead Mountain and South Stack from here.
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Dolgellau, Gwynedd – Great for mini adventurers. There are walking trails including an animal puzzle trail, geocaches (see geocaching below), play areas and fantastic mountain bike trails amongst many other things.

Geocaching: How about turning your walks into treasure hunts by trying to find geocaches? Geocaching is when you follow coordinates posted on the internet using a GPS enabled device (your mobile phone) to try and find a hidden container. Geocaches can be found all around the world and you’ll be surprised how many are near to you. A real life treasure hunt, for free, which will excite the children and get them out in the open air. Read all about it here.

Cost: Free

6. Playgrounds and Parks

486813_10151384655176906_538499925_n

My children always nag about wanting to go to the park, wherever we go. There are some great ones around too, a great way to spend a few hours for free. As well as the usual things such as swings, slides and other new fangled park stuff some also have skating facilities; so take along bikes, skateboards, scooters or Heelys. Take a flask of tea or coffee for you and load yourself up with snacks or a picnic and the park can be a great place to spend a few hours. There are plenty of small parks in villages and towns across Wales but I’ll mention a couple of the larger ones:

  • Parc Dros yr Aber (Coed Helen), Caernarfon, Gwynedd – Children’s play area, skate park, field to play ball games, pitch and putt golfing green (cost to hire equipment)
  • Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay, Conwy – Children’s playground, boating lake, tennis courts and skate park. This is also the location of the Colwyn Leisure Centre that has a slide as well as other water features.

Cost: Free

7. Beaches

11695760_10152891871521906_7438680329821774050_n

We have miles and miles of coastline around North West Wales, so the beach can be a great place to visit and it doesn’t have to be a sunny day activity only as they can be great places to take walks and play.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Dinas Dinlle, Gwynedd – A long beach which is great to walk along the sand and rocks or ride a bike or scooter on the walkway. There is a park at one end of the beach as well as a cliff that is worth a walk for the views at the top. At the other end of the beach is Caernarfon airport, so if you have kids who are interested in aeroplanes then watching them taking off and landing will be great for them. The Wales Air Ambulance is also based at the airport and it can be exciting for the children to see the helicopters taking off.
  • Llandudno, Conwy: The promenade in Llandudno is usually a bustling place, for a bit of traditional seaside entertainment check out the Punch & Judy show which is free to watch, then take a walk along the pier with it’s arcades, shops and rides.
  • Llanddwyn, Anglesey: A stunning sandy beach with sand dunes and surrounded by Newborough Forest. The hidden treasure on this beach is Llanddwyn Island, where legend says that St Dwynwen fled to with a broken heart and set up a church, search for the well and take delight in the two lighthouses situated on this small island, just make sure you don’t get cut off from the mainland at high tide.

Cost: Free

8. Cinemas

10590686_10152221885776906_5791646117432890104_n

Cinemas are expensive days out, but if you’re happy not to watch the latest release then this can be done quite cheaply on weekend mornings as well as mornings during the holidays. Cineworld in Llandudno has Movies for Juniors from £2 (3D movies are slightly more expensive).

Cost: Check Movies for Juniors at cineworld.co.uk for times and prices

9. Libraries

library

Don’t forget the libraries! It’s never too early to introduce your children to books and it’s free to join! My two love to spend time choosing which books they want to take home with them, the children’s corners are usually very child friendly places.

If you’ve never heard of story sacks then ask about them, they are sacks you can loan with a story or two and toys and games that match with the story, these are very popular with my two.

Our local library has loads of extra things going on for children too. During term time they have story and singing sessions for babies and toddlers and they also hold special events for children throughout the year, usually for free – we’ve been to balloon modelling, magicians, dancing, story sessions as well as many other things. They usually advertise any events through their Facebook pages, so follow your local library.

Cost: Free

10. Free Swim

1173866_10151564960976906_754744569_n

In Wales we also benefit from the free swim scheme where children under 16 can swim for free in local authority swimming pools during specific slots on the weekend and during school holidays (and those over 60 years old at different times). Contact your local pool to find out the times of the sessions. Or check out our article to find splash pads and open air paddling pools near to you.

Cost: Free


FamilyPoint HelplineFamilyPoint Helpline graphic for family information

If you feel you need to talk to someone about any problems your family is having then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.


If you liked this article there are lots more in our Magazine section:

The 8 Best Picnic Spots In Wales… And What To Pack!

5 Free and Cheap Things To Do With The Kids In North East Wales

The 9 Best Splash Pads & Paddling Pools in Wales

5 Free and Cheap Things To Do In South Wales For Families


Share this