ARE you ready for your half term adventure with National Trust Cymru?
There are Welsh castles to explore, parks and woodlands with wildlife to spot and hours of fun in wild play areas. May half-term is perfect for getting close to nature with the family and having a go at some of the ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. Discover all sorts of half term events and activities at places we care for in Wales for your kids to let their imaginations run wild.
For more information, or to plan your visit, head to; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wales
Chirk Castle, Wrexham
This May half-term, young explorers can run off some steam in two play areas at Home Farm or pick from a variety of family-friendly walks through the woodlands – it’s the ideal spot to tick off some ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities. Explore the parkland at your own pace, spot wildlife from the quiet bird hides along the way with benches to rest weary feet at Home Farm, Kitchen Garden and in the meadow.
June 2 to 5
From Thursday to Sunday, step back in time to the 1950’s to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Chirk Castle. Dress up for a royal family photo under the Jubilee Arbour, play traditional games and enjoy Punch and Judy shows in the garden on Thursday and Friday.
Pack a picnic, round up friends and family and enjoy a celebratory lunch outdoors, or indulge in a traditional afternoon tea on the lawn. A tea tent in the garden will be serving refreshments, Victoria sponge and Jubilee cake pops throughout the Bank Holiday weekend.
Children of all ages will enjoy hours of fun in the Wolf’s Den, Erddig’s natural play area. Let your little explorer’s run wild as they wobble over balance beams, let loose on rope swings or have a go at building a den out of sticks.
Spot spring lambs playing in the fields, look out for ducklings and Coot chicks around the garden Fishpond and Swans on the lake in French Meadow. Take the family-friendly waymarked red trail into Big Wood to spot Kingfishers along the Black Brook. Listen out for the colourful Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, or you may even be treated to a glimpse of its timid relative, the Green Woodpecker.
June 2 to 5
Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Erddig with Punch and Judy shows throughout the four-day Bank Holiday weekend with a tea tent serving up traditional cream teas.
On Thursday and Friday there will also be live music in the garden.
Penrhyn Castle and Garden, Bangor
At Penrhyn Castle you will find lots to keep the whole family entertained in May half-term. From Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, June 5 , follow the sensory trail or pick up a spotter sheet to learn about the wildlife supported by meadows. Learn about the value of wildlife, spot some honeybees, swoop like swallows and discover more about meadows.
For families who prefer a longer walk, head to Cwt Ogwen hide and the natural woodland play area at Rook Wood. From there, you can also stroll along the boardwalk that runs along Afon Ogwen, with views towards Bethesda and Y Carneddau mountains.
Plas Newydd House and Garden, Anglesey
Be inspired by stories and history at Plas Newydd this May half term. In the house discover the hidden secrets in Rex Whistler’s famous 17.5-meter-long mural. Talks take place on Thursday and Friday mornings, 11am-11.30am and are suitable for all ages. Booking essential.
The Adventure playground in Dairy Wood is perfect for a wild time with the family and great for ticking off some of the ’50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. Go exploring in Dairy Wood and find a secluded spot to create your den tucked away amongst the trees in the Arboretum. See how many kinds of trees you can see?
Bring a Frisbee from home or purchase one from the shop and see if you can master the Frisbee golf course that is open every day.
Throw your Frisbee and try to land it in the basket – it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Come out and play this May half-term at Llanercheron, there is nothing quite like playing outdoors.
You will find a messy play area by the old stable block. Mix some imagination with a sprinkle of sand and a dash of water to cook up mud pies in the children’s outdoor kitchen.
Make your visit extra special by helping your child ride a bike. Children can borrow a balance bike and practice cycling skills on the soft surface of the front lawn (in partnership with British Cycling).
Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool
Throughout May half-term, follow the self-led Crown Trail to discover five nature-inspired crowns hidden in the castle paintings and plasterwork and secret places in the garden.
How many will you find?
Make some regal memories of your own, with a picnic in the garden amongst the fragrant azaleas in the Wilderness and wonderful wisteria on the Aviary Terrace.
June 2 to 5
Powis Castle will be lit up for the whole town to see from afar to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Over the four-day Bank Holiday weekend, see the Medieval castle shining bright over Welshpool. Share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #PowisCastle.
This May half-term, discover some of the interesting items left behind and the odds and ends found beneath the floorboards in the ‘Archaeology of Home’ exhibition.
Pick up an activity sheet and follow the family trail through the house to uncover some of the interesting objects.
On a sunny day, you’ll find garden games on the lawn or head to the playroom indoors for wet weather activities to keep little ones entertained.
June 2 to 5
Throughout the four-day Bank Holiday weekend, enjoy ‘Pimms on The Parterre’, which will be royally decorated for the Jubilee celebrations. Raise a glass with friends and tuck into Jubilee cakes served from the Billiard tearoom, while overlooking the Deer Park and ancient woodland dedicated to the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) in celebration of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Dyffryn Gardens, Cardiff
From Saturday, May 28 to Saturday, June 4, discover the outdoors at Dyffryn Gardens from new perspectives. Discover the top five nature activities to do at Dyffryn Gardens with ‘50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾’. Head to the log stack to build a den, go cloud watching, discover what is in a pond, and get to know a tree.
On Monday, May 30 and Thursday, June 2, 11am-12pm, join children’s book author Lucy Owen to hear her read ‘Flower Girl’ in Dyffryn’s theatre garden. The interactive reading will include book signings afterwards. The event is free, but spaces are limited on a first come first served basis, no need to book.
Tredegar House, Newport
To celebrate small but mighty pollinators, May half term kicks off with crafts in The Orangery on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, to create paper pollinators or decorate your own plant pot to plant seeds in to take home on Monday, May 30 and Friday, June 3, 11am-3pm.
Get buzzy in the gardens ticking off more of your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ activities. Collect your activity sheet from Visitor Reception before you begin your wild adventure.
Explorer and sensory backpacks are available to borrow from Visitor Reception. Young explorers will love getting closer to the natural world with useful tools to use around the gardens at Tredegar House. The sensory backpacks have been carefully developed following guidance from sensory-focussed organisations, containing sensory items, including fidget toys, ear defenders, a magnifying glass, a storybook, and soft toys.
June 4 and 5
On Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm, head to The Orangery to make your own Jubilee-themed crafts (Free but donations towards craft materials welcome).