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If you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday destination in the UK, then you can’t go wrong with mid-Wales. This beautiful region of Wales is home to plenty of great attractions that will keep both kids and adults entertained.

From exploring ancient castles to learning about Welsh culture and history, there’s something for everyone in mid-Wales. Here are our top recommended things to do in Mid-Wales for families with kids, from young toddlers right up to teens.

1. The Centre for Alternative Technology

© Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2022) Cymru Wales

The Centre for Alternative Technology is a great place to learn about sustainable living and green technologies. There are interactive exhibits, a working waterwheel, and plenty of opportunities to explore the beautiful grounds.

Kids will love the chance to get hands-on with some of the activities on offer and adults will appreciate the insights into sustainability.

The centre is located just outside of Machynlleth and is open all year round including weekends (except Christmas). If you’re feeling peckish after visiting, there’s an onsite restaurant to grab a bite to eat.


2. Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

Mid-Wales offers one of the few opportunities to take your kids on a steam train in modern-day Wales. This heritage railway is a must-visit for any train lover in the family.

Originally built as the main mode of transport between the two market towns of Welshpool and Llanfair Caereinion, the railway is now a popular tourist attraction that gives you a glimpse at life in the past.

The steam trains take passengers on a journey through the stunning countryside of mid-Wales. Children will enjoy watching the world go by with some of the region’s most breathtaking scenery, whilst adults can enjoy some of the onboard comforts. There’s a fish and chips train as well as an afternoon tea train.

If you’re visiting around Christmas, look out for the Santa Special journey with the man himself all the way from the north pole.


3. Visit Elan Valley

The Elan Valley is home to some of Wales’ most stunning scenery. The valleys and mountains are a haven for wildlife and there are plenty of walking and cycling trails to explore.

The area is also home to the Elan Valley dams, which provide water to Birmingham. Visitors can take a tour of the dams or enjoy one of the many walks with views of the reservoirs.

There’s also a visitor centre which has interactive exhibits on the history and ecology of the area. Kids will love getting hands-on with some of the activities on offer.


4. Take a Treasure Trail

These self-guided walking treasure hunts are a great way to explore the towns of Mid-Wales whilst solving clues along the way. The trail takes you past some of the town’s most famous landmarks as you try to crack the case.

You can buy the trail online, print it off, and then complete it at your own pace. It’s a great way to explore the town whilst keeping the kids occupied along the way.

Treasure trails in Mid-Wales are available in Brecon, Builth-Wells, Machynlleth, Rhayader, Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, and New Quay. Check out their website to learn more and download them.


5. Quackers Indoor Play Centre

Quackers is an indoor play centre in Mid-Wales. The centre is perfect for a rainy day as it has plenty of activities to keep little ones entertained. It’s suitable for all ages from toddlers up to teenagers and, as someone that’s visited the centre myself, I can assure you that adults will have their fair share of fun too.

There’s a soft play area, climbing wall, ball pond, and a huge slide that’s not for the faint-hearted. Whilst the kids are playing, you can enjoy a hot drink and snacks from the cafe and there’s an onsite restaurant for larger meals.

On a warm day (yes, we have those in Wales occasionally), there’s also a great outdoor area with large sandpits and mini diggers.


6. Visit Lake Vyrnwy

Lake Vyrnwy is a man-made reservoir in Powys, Mid-Wales with a huge 44 metres (144 ft) high dam holding back the water. The lake was created in the late 19th century to provide water for Liverpool and the surrounding areas.

The area is a popular tourist attraction with plenty of activities on offer such as fishing, walking, cycling, horse-riding, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Find out more about the things to do at Lake Vyrnwy here.

The lake is a nature reserve and partly managed by the RSPB so there are plenty of animals to see. Families will especially enjoy birdwatching from the bird hide opposite the RSPB shop.

There’s also a hotel and spa if you fancy treating yourself to a bit of luxury or you can simply stop by for a drink or afternoon tea with a stunning view across the lake.


7. Red Kite Feeding Centre

© Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2022) Cymru Wales

The Red Kite Feeding Centre in Rhayader is the perfect place to see these beautiful birds up close. The centre runs daily feeding sessions where you can watch the kites being fed fresh meat. Expect anywhere between 12 and 300 birds to compete for the food on offer.

A remote camera gives an impressive aerial view of the feeding centre and visitors can control it to pan and zoom in on the birds.

As well as being a great photo opportunity, it’s also a chance for children and adults to learn more about these magnificent creatures via the centre’s small museum with exhibits on the history and ecology of red kites.


8. Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre

Bwlch Nant yr Arian is a forestry commission visitor centre in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains. The centre offers stunning views of the mountains and lakes as well as being a great place to spot wildlife.

From the visitor centre, you can take part in many different activities offered throughout the forest, including:

  • Walking and running trails
  • Mountain bike trails and a skills park
  • Horse riding trails (although you need your own horse)
  • Red kite feeding
  • Orienteering
  • Play areas

Visit the Visitor Centre website to find out more about each of these activities. They also offer a discover backpack which is perfect for families with young children. The backpack includes binoculars, a magnifying glass, a bug pot and nature identification cards to keep them entertained all day.

There’s also an onsite cafe with a choice of hot drinks and snacks. If your family also includes a four-legged friend, this is a great place to visit in Mid-Wales with dogs too.


9. Go Karting Rednal

Go Karting Rednal is a great activity for all the family, it’s not technically in Mid-Wales but it’s just across the border and can easily be visited from Newtown or Welshpool areas on a day trip.

They have karts to suit all ages from 8 years old and up (plus you must be 1.25m tall). The track is just under 1km with a mix of bends, straights, and flyovers making it exciting for both children and adults.

It’s an outdoor activity so keep an eye on the weather, although they do still run the activities even with light rain.


10. Visit King Arthur’s Labyrinth

© Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2022) Cymru Wales

King Arthur’s Labyrinth is a story-telling adventure that takes you through a maze made up of tunnels, caverns, and chambers all based on Welsh mythology.

The mythical world is filled with dragons, colossal giants, and fierce battles. Children will love exploring the dark passages and trying to find their way out again whilst learning about Welsh legends such as Gawain and the Green Knight, Merlin, and, of course, King Arthur.

You’ll sail through an underground river and see a waterfall too. Being an indoor activity means it’s also a great idea for rainy days out with the kids.

Make sure you read up on the essential information on their website before setting off to ensure you are fully prepared. There are also other activities nearby so you can make it into a full day out, these include Corris Craft Centre, a children’s play area, and another activity called ‘Lost Legends of The Stone Circle‘ which is a maze of mysteries and quizzes perfect for the family.


11. A Day Out in Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth is a great coastal town in Mid-Wales to take the family for a day out. There’s plenty to do including visiting the pier, walking along the beach, or exploring the many shops and cafes.

One of the best activities is visiting Constitution Hill, a small hill you can walk up for a picturesque view across the town and the sea. The walk is short but if the kids aren’t up to it, there’s also a funicular railway that runs to the top.

At the top, there’s a small games room where families can enjoy a mini-game of ten-pin bowling and air hockey as well as a cafe with outdoor seating. Another great activity for little ones in Aberystwyth is the pier where you’ll find a small amusement arcade. They’ll have hours of fun trying to win 2p coins or pick up soft toys with a claw.


12. Barmouth Beach

If you’re looking for a great beach destination in Mid-Wales that’s suitable for children, look no further than Barmouth beach.

The wide sandy beach is perfect for building sandcastles, paddling in the waves, or just relaxing in the sun. There are also donkey rides and trampolining on the beach when the kids get tired of digging endless holes in the sand.

There are also plenty of rock pools to explore and if you’re lucky you might even spot some dolphins offshore. If you get hungry, there’s a huge variety of cafes to choose from or you can enjoy an ice cream or freshly baked doughnuts on the beach.

Aside from the beach, there’s also an amusements arcade with lots of retro games and for the ‘bigger kids’ there’s also a waltzer that is sure to get you giddy.


13. Visit Waterfall Country in the Brecon Beacons

Waterfall Country is an area of the Brecon Beacons known for its high concentration of waterfalls. It’s slightly further south than most of the other activities shared here but makes a great day trip from your base in Mid-Wales.

I’d recommend you check out the Four Falls Trail which is a short walking loop that takes you past four amazing waterfalls. The paths are all well maintained and suitable for families. If it’s warm, don’t forget to take swimsuits as you can swim at the base of the largest waterfall on the loop.

On the way back home, don’t forget to stop in Brecon to wander around the historic town and try some food from one of the family-friendly pubs. There’s also a soft indoor play centre suitable for children up to age 11 called The Play Barn.

Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.