Some of the greatest things in life are free, especially when it comes to seeing the huge smiles on our children’s faces. While there is a plethora of fantastic, magical and fascinating attractions across the country, some of the best things you can do with kids in Wales are completely free, and it’s these activities that will make some of the best childhood memories. From searching for fairies in a fairy glen in North Wales to spotting dolphins on the Pembrokeshire coast, here are 12 things to do in Wales with kids in that will make some of the best memories.
Go looking for fairies at Fairy Glen
So-called for the mythical creatures that are said to live here, this beautiful spot looks like something out of a children’s storybook and your little one’s minds are sure to be filled with excitement - it's one of our favourite things to do in Wales with kids. Known as ‘Tylwyth Teg’ in Welsh folklore, there are several secret spots in North Wales where fairies are believed to dance in rings. Spend hours searching for faeries, watching as the sunlight dapples the water and catches on the trees and allow your inner child to get caught up in the magic of fairy spotting.
You’ll love: Adding even more sparkle to your fairy adventures at the Llangollen Faery Festival!
Visit the magical island of Llanddwyn
Not quite an island, this magical place remains attached to the mainland at all but the very highest tides. It offers an enchanting backdrop for family adventures like no other. Amble through the nature reserve or across Newborough beach to reach the atmospheric lighthouse which sticks out on a long thin stretch of land, a favourite with photographers.
You’ll love: Picnicking here in the summer, but there is also something particularly magical about visiting out of season when the winds blow, and there are fewer people around.
Fall into step with the ‘real Alice in Wonderland’
Did you know that much of Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for the famous, imaginative Tale of Alice in Wonderland came from the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno? It was here that the real Alice in Wonderland, Alice Liddell, spent summer holidays and her family were close friends with Lewis Carroll himself, and why it's one of the best places to visit in Wales for families. The Alice Town Trails is a lovely thing to do in wales with kids, where you'll be sure to encounter some curious sights, find out about Alice, and allow little ones to daydream amongst the magic.
You’ll love: Following the Alice Town Trails, encountering curious sights and learning about the real Alice in Wonderland. You’ll stumble upon some weird and wonderful connections to the tale!
Collect shells at Shell island
As a child, the shells you dust off and pop in your pockets during days on the beach feel like real treasure and we bet it is a memory you can look back on from your own childhood with fondness. Known for having more than 200 varieties of shell, you know a visit to the beaches of Shell Island will result in a good haul. Not actually an island, you’ll find the long stretch of beach on the Snowdonia coastline near Harlech. Definitely one of our favourite family days out in Wales to add to your list of things to do in Wales with kids!
You’ll love: Visiting after the winter storms and high tides when the loot has washed up on the shore and you’ll have so many pretty shells to choose from, excited youngsters won’t know where to start.
Go chasing waterfalls
Blessed with spectacular waterfalls that cascade through some of the most incredible scenery, you don't have to look far to find one in Wales. Head to the Brecon Beacons, otherwise known as ‘waterfall country’ and discover an array of whimsical falls such as the tallest in South Wales, Henrhyd Falls or go north to Swallow Falls, one of the most photographed natural attractions in Snowdonia. Chasing waterfall is one of our favourite things to do in wales with kids because of the magic it creates.
You’ll love: Getting in behind some the curtain of water at some waterfalls like Henrhyd Falls and Sgwd Gwladys – imagine the family photos opportunities at this thing to do in Wales with kids.
Uncover some of our favourite waterfalls in Wales.
See the Puffins of Skomer
Protected by the Wildlife Trust, Skomer Island is well-known for its colony of Puffins, but that's by far not all you'll find here. Its rich waters are also home to a fascinating array of other wildlife such as Manx Shearwaters, dolphins, harbour porpoises and Atlantic grey seals. A popular day trip and family day out in Wales, the island is located less than a mile off the Pembrokeshire Coast, and to protect the landscape, daily visitor numbers are well managed.
You'll love: The excitement of being whisked away by boat on an island adventure. Three boats go a day from Tuesday to Sunday.
Discover more spectacular wildlife encounters in Wales.
Gaze up at the stars
Why are some stars brighter than others? A question small minds may ponder. The night’s sky is both mesmerising and fascinating, and there is nowhere better to admire it than within the boundaries of one of Wales’ Dark Sky Reserves. You may even spot a shooting star or make out one of the constellations that illuminate our skies. A simple but wonderful thing to do in Wales with kids to create special memories.
You'll love: Bending the bedtime rules and after dark, heading to the lawn with a flask of hot chocolate to lay in rows and gaze up at the starry night’s sky.
Read our guide to exploring Wales' night skies.
Marvel at the carpet of bluebells at Dinefwr
A seasonal highlight, a carpet of bluebells stretching as far as the eye can see will take your breath away and in Wales, there are plenty of places to see the beautiful blooms in all their spring glory including the woodlands, nature reserves and gardens of the National Trust. Our favourite family day out in Wales to see bluebells is the impressive display at Dinefwr Park which sees Castle Woods bathed in a sea of lilac.
You'll love: Encouraging that fairytale feeling for little ones by packing a teddy bears' picnic to enjoy in a bluebell wood.
Go rock pooling on the Wales coast
You don’t have to visit a magical island to discover some of Wales’ rich marine life – a day on the beach opens up all kinds of discoveries too. Swap the flip flops for sturdy shoes and scramble across the rocks, but don’t forget to pop your catch back in the water safely afterwards. Rock pooling is an activity and family day out in Wales you can enjoy all year round, but the warmer weather of spring to late autumn will encourage more activity close to the surface of the water.
You'll love: Hearing the squeals of delight as an enthusiastic toddler holds up a crab for you to see. Whether you'd rather be lying in the sun or scrambling across rocks, their excitement is contagious.
Spot dolphins in Cardigan Bay
You could book on to a dolphin-spotting boat tour, but for a unique and less crowded experience, we know where you can find them for yourself! Cardigan Bay is home to Britain’s biggest resident population of dolphins, and you while you're in with a chance of seeing dolphins at any time of the year, you’re almost guaranteed during the summer months. Head north along the coast path from Aberporth and pick a spot for a picnic and keep an eye on the water - this is a fantastic dolphin spotting area! Here are some more places where you are likely to see dolphins on a family day out in Wales.
You'll love: The look on your child's face the first time they see a dolphin in the wild. It will be one of those moments that they'll always remember from childhood holidays.
Discover more spectacular wildlife encounters in Wales.
Go on a treasure hunt
Have you ever been geocaching? This worldwide treasure hunt is a fun way to get out walking during a family day out in Wales if little legs are a bit reluctant. There are millions of ‘geocaches’ hidden all over the world, and with the app, you can follow hints and instructions to find ones near you! They come in all shapes and sizes and will have a logbook for you to record your discovery, but sometimes there are little items for you to swap for the next person! There are two geocache trails in Coed y Brenin Forest Park, near Dolgellau that take you on circular walks. Download the app to see all of Wales’ caches - there might even be one near your holiday cottage.
You'll love: Letting 10-year-old you out into the wilds of Wales to find what will feel like treasure, especially when you see how excited it makes the children.
Climb a mountain
Climbing a mountain can be hard work but don’t write off doing it with kids just yet! While it might not be something you would consider for really little legs, older children will get a real sense of achievement when they reach the top, and at the same time, they'll realise just how big the world is. To ensure the experience is as enjoyable as it should be, you just have to be prepared: plenty of time, snacks, and clothing for all weather! The question is, which mountain should you pick for a day out with the kids in Wales? How about one of Wales’ big three?
You’ll love: Sharing that sense of achievement when you all make it to the top, sit in silence and marvel at the view before someone says ‘wow, we climbed up here’!
Discover the majestic Brecon Beacons mountains.
Places to stay in Wales that will make the best memories
This large country house is perfect for family get-togethers and celebrations. Explore the 75 acres with a lake, river and woodland to discover. This is an ideal spot to discover the North Wales countryside, coast and culture.
Hidden away in the hills of the Brecon Beacons, this unique glamping experience will add an extra element to your family holiday. Three shepherds' huts each with a double bed are set around a campfire where you can toast marshmallows and read stories before bed.
Plan your family trip to Wales
Are you ready to capture the magic of these incredible experiences and things to do in Wales with kids? Wales is alive with places to go and things to see that will capture young imaginations and encourage your children to dream big. How do you make a family adventure better than that? There are also an array of incredible family days out in Wales at leading attractions across the country, and we’ve picked out some of our favourite family-friendly escapes too! Need more inspiration? Tap the button below to see our full collection of family-friendly escapes in Wales.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.