Keeping older children entertained on holiday can be tricky. They may find cultural attractions like museums, galleries and stately homes a little too grown-up and dull; on the other hand, they’re a bit too old for sandcastles and petting farms. On holiday in Snowdonia, you’ll find there are plenty of attractions and activities that are perfect for older children… here’s our top ten.
Snowdonia is a great place to visit if you’re travelling with children. The region boasts dozens of family-friendly attractions including petting farms, craft workshops, castles and museums.
But if your children are a little older, they may want to visit attractions that are a little ‘cooler’, where they can safely take part in exciting activities that are more suitable for teenagers than for younger children.
So, for all those families visiting Snowdonia with older children, we’ve put together a list of ten Snowdonia attractions that are ideal for children aged 12-16 years.
1. Greenwood Forest Park
An attraction that’s popular with children of all ages, Greenwood Forest Park is a unique eco-attraction that brings adventure and entertainment together with eco-awareness, teaching children about the environment through play. Top attraction is the world’s first people-powered rollercoaster. Older children will love the 70-metre sledge run (Wales’ largest), den building, stilt walking and archery. They’ll also enjoy a lot of the rides, though they may not want to admit it!
2. Centre for Alternative Technology
With its interactive and hands-on exhibits about sustainable living, children’s play areas, information centre and water-powered cliff railway, the Centre for Alternative Technology is a fun and fascinating attraction for all the family. Learn about composting, solar energy, organic gardening and water conservation, and look around an eco-home to find out more about creating a sustainable household.
3. Dragon Raiders Paintball Park
Suitable for ages 11-80, Dragon Raiders Paintball Park is a fun and exciting attraction for families with older children. Set in 30 acres of prime forest on the Llyn Peninsula, Dragon Raiders Paintball Park has four game zones, each with its own individual objectives. There’s also a walk-on shooting gallery where you can get a bit of practice in before starting your battle.
4. Glasfryn Parc
Glasfryn Parc offers a packed roster of activities for older children and adults, although there’s also a dedicated play area with ball pool for smaller children. At Glasfryn your teenagers can try go-karting, archery, quad biking and bowling; and if you don’t feel like joining in you can grab a coffee and home cooked meal at the on-site restaurant or visit Glasfryn’s farm shop and stock up on locally reared meat and other produce.
5. Surfing lessons at Abersoch
If your kids are a bit too cool for building sandcastles and a bit too young to enjoy sunbathing, sign them up for surfing lessons provided by West Coast Surf Shop on the beach at Abersoch. This is one of Snowdonia’s top watersports destinations, and very popular with surfers. West Coast Surf Shop’s qualified instructors will teach your children (8 years and older) how to surf during a two-hour lesson which includes board and wetsuit hire.
6. Ty Siamas
Ty Siamas – the National Centre for Welsh Folk Music – is a fascinating attraction for all ages. As well as an interactive exhibition where you can try out a number of musical instruments, there’s a fantastic shop where your budding Beethoven can buy instruments, CDs and souvenirs.
7. Redline Karting
Redline Karting in Caernarfon is a go-karting attraction with a difference… it’s indoors, so it’s ideal whatever the weather. There are a number of different circuit layouts, and special karts for children aged 8 and upwards. Redline also offer a number of different pricing options, ranging from “arrive and drive” to grand prix – so you can pop in for a quick spin or make a day of it.
8. Go Ape
Give your little monkeys an outlet for their excess energy at the Go Ape high wire forest adventure at Coed y Brenin, just outside Dolgellau. Climb, zip and dangle through the trees (don’t worry – it’s perfectly safe) and get a monkey’s-eye view of the forest. Not keen on heights? Not to worry – you can have plenty of fun walking through the forest, too. Suitable for ages 10 and upwards.
9. Beddgelert Bikes
Beddgelert Bikes provide mountain bike hire and sales so you can cycle through the beautiful and peaceful Beddgelert Forest at the foot of Snowdon. Totally traffic-free, so it’s safe for all members of the family. All trails are clearly marked, so you’ll be able to find your way around easily. All sorts of bikes can be hired – even a tandem – and hire costs include use of a cycling helmet.
10. Snowdonia Riding Stables
One of the nicest ways to see Snowdonia is from horseback. Whatever your level of expertise, you’ll be able to enjoy a trek at Snowdonia Riding Stables. So even if you’re a total novice, you’ll be able to join in the fun. Different lengths of trek are available, and if you’re inexperienced you’ll be given a beginners’ lesson before setting out on your accompanied trek.