by Tomas Jones
Things to do with the kids to get them off that Xbox and out of the house.
So the summer is over and the kids are back to school, filling their weekdays with learning and a good bit of laughter. This is all well and good, until the weekend comes along and all they want to do for countless hours is sit in front of the TV or play on their video games. This is an issue that often comes up in the news, with us being told over and over again that our children are spending too much time in front of screens, and not enough being active. Sometimes it can be all too easy to leave them to it, in their own content worlds, knowing they are being entertained and amused. However, it’s important to remember the wonder with which children see the world and to make the most of it whilst their still young! In and around Cardiff there are some great activities for children to do and places for them to go; great ways to get them off their Xbox and out and about.
Surely the most convenient and cheapest way to get the kids out is to have a visit to the local park. We, in Whitchurch and Llandaff, are lucky that it is so accessible to get to a green space. Those in Whitchurch have Caedelyn and the Library Park within easy walking distance. The residents of Llandaff have Hailey Park and Llandaff fields. All these areas are great open spaces that allow the kids a good run around. Whether they just want to have a kick about with their mates, play Cops and Robbers or have a go on the swings, a trip to the park will no doubt give your children a good dose of fun and excitement.
A personal favourite place of mine from when I was a child is Cosmeston Lakes Country Park. Although it’s a bit more of an effort to get to, being in Penarth, it’s definitely well-worth the trip. Some of my best childhood memories are of spending Saturday afternoons wandering around those lakes and being amazed at the natural world on display. With autumn in full swing, it’s a great area to go for a stroll and see the brown leaves tumble to the ground. There is also a big play park and plenty of green space for a kick about. As well as this, there is a Medieval Village attached to the park that offers really interesting tours that will fascinate you and your children.
For when our unpredictable weather makes a trip outdoors unfavourable, there are loads of great indoor places for kids to visit in Cardiff. Down the Bay there are some great options, whether that be scientific investigation at Techniquest, going for a swim at the Olympic pool or an exploration of the Dr Who experience. In town there is the National Museum, where you and the family can easily lose a couple of hours by taking an interesting look back in time at the history of Wales. For those children with an adventurous streak, Boulders Indoor Climbing centre is an ideal place not only to burn off some of that excess energy, but also somewhere to find a new hobby and maybe even meet some new friends along the way.
These are only a fraction of the many places Cardiff offers to get your children out and about. We are very fortunate to live in a city with so much to do; a quick Google search will provide a plethora of suggestions. Although getting them off their backsides every weekend might not be an option, having the occasional day out, even if it is only for a couple of hours, is a fantastic way to keep your kids engaged and stimulated in the world around them.