The school holidays at Easter are when Snowdonia’s tourism attractions start opening again after winter closure. If you’re taking your children to Snowdonia during the Easter break, here are a few ideas for keeping them entertained.
What to do with the kids during the Easter school holidays is a question that has perplexed many parents over the years. If you’re planning a visit to Snowdonia with your children during the holidays, you may wonder how to keep them entertained. But with so many things to see and do in Snowdonia that are just perfect for families, you’ll be spoiled for choice – here are just a few suggestions.
Meet some Easter bunnies…
…and puppies, llamas, donkeys and other furry friends. With farming playing such an important role in Snowdonia’s economy, no wonder so many of Snowdonia’s attractions involve our furry and feathered friends! Gypsy Wood, Children’s Farm Park and Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm are all great attractions for children wanting to pet baby animals. Black Rock Llamas offer the opportunity to take llamas for a walk around the beautiful countryside surrounding Porthmadog. Or if you’re more interested in feathered friends than furry ones, pop in at the Dyfi Osprey Project, just on the outskirts of the Snowdonia Mountains and Coast region – their new 360 degree observatory is a great place to study Monty, Glesni and the other ospreys that have just come back from their winter migration.
Combining play and education is the holy grail of keeping kids entertained during the school holidays. Luckily, in Snowdonia there are plenty of opportunities to do just that! Penrhyn Castle is usually a good bet; there are plenty of kids’ activities organised for school holidays, Easter included. The Lloyd George Museum is a great place to learn about Victorian life by dressing up in period costume, while there’s more to learn about the Victorian age at the National Slate Museum in Llanberis (children of a gory disposition will be fascinated by the quarry hospital). Snowdonia’s castles often have special events during school holidays – particularly Caernarfon Castle, Harlech Castle and Conwy Castle – while the Centre for Alternative Technology is a great place to learn about the science of sustainable living in a really fun way.
Full steam ahead
There are often special Easter events organised by Snowdonia’s steam railways – but even without specific Easter events, a trip on a steam train is a real treat for all the family. The Ffestinog and Welsh Highland Railways travel between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Caernarfon, while in Porthmadog there’s the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. In the southern end of the region there’s the Fairbourne Railway and the Talyllyn Railway, and for shorter rides there’s the Bala Lake Railway and the Llanberis Lake Railway. There’s even a train to the top of Snowdon – one of the most popular in the region, for obvious reasons!
Of course, the weather will influence your choice of activity during the Easter holidays. If it’s wet, don’t despair – there’s plenty of fun to be had below ground, where it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like. Corris Mine Explorers, Go Below, Llanfair Slate Caverns and Sygun Copper Mine are all lots of fun. At Llechwedd Slate Caverns you’ll take an underground train ride; at Electric Mountain an underground bus ride; and at King Arthur’s Labyrinth an underground boat ride – so if the kids are tired out from previous activities, they can take things a little easier at these attractions!
The coast with the most
Snowdonia’s 200 miles of coastline offer plenty of fun, even in spring when the weather’s that bit cooler. Swap swimsuits for wetsuits (or jumpers and wellies, as the case may be) and let the little ones poke around in rock pools, build sandcastles or just run around and tire themselves out – there’s plenty of space for that! Snowdonia’s beaches come in all shapes and sizes, but some of the beaches that families seem to enjoy most include Barmouth (where there’s also a small funfair); Pwllheli (likewise); Black Rock Sands (absolutely enormous sandy beach) and Dinas Dinlle (children’s playground and great ice cream shop). Shell Island is also very popular with families; it’s a great place to collect shells – there are hundreds of different varieties there, and Easter is one of the best times of year to find them.
Snowdonia is the UK’s top activities centre, and children are very much included in many of the region’s more active activities. Use the climbing walls at Beacon Climbing Centre, or zip through the trees at Tree Top Adventure. Try your hand at archery, bowling or go-karting at Glasfryn, or try out the giant slides and ball pools at The Fun Centre. Build dens at GreenWood Forest Park, or try paintballing with Dragon Raiders. Ride a horse or ride a bike… or try a RIB ride on the Menai Strait. If it’s an active break you’re after – no matter how young your family – Snowdonia’s the place to be!