Tag Archives: cardiff

On Silly Kings at Cardiff Castle


One of the things that I am loving about this stage of our life is that that there are so many things opening up to us that we can enjoy all together. Now the littlest is nearly 4, we are way past the nappies and pushchairs, and mostly past the tantrums too, so that things that were out of our reach a year ago, are opening up as possibilities.

I am really, really excited this year about our first theatre trip as a family. We’ve been to a fair few shows with the kids over the years, but because of their ages it’s always been one of us taking one or two of them while the other one entertains whoever is left. But this year I have found a show that I reckon will be a hit for all of us – even the Husband who doesn’t know he is going yet and will probably mutter a bit about it when he finds out, until I pacify him with the fact that we are practically going to see Monty Python.

Well, sort of. I am not sure my kids are quite ready for dead parrots, the Spanish Inquisition and Mr Creosote. But the National Theatre Wales production of Silly Kings – adapted from Fairy Tales by Terry Jones (yes, that Terry Jones) looks all kinds of ace for all kinds of ages, even grumpy 45 year olds. Not that I know any of those of course. *innocent face*

The show is based around the story of Herbert XII, a wise old King who is unfortunately becoming somewhat silly as he grows older. And we’re talking clothes-off-sitting-in-the-fountain-and-shouting-RADISHES!-silly…but despite this, his subjects throughout the kingdom love him so much that they pretend to him that he is still the wise and competent king that he was. This leads to all sorts of shenanigans acted out by ‘extraordinary characters and madcap musicians telling tall tales from a Kingdom East of the moon and West of the sun’. Sounds a lot of fun, and dare I say it, a refreshing change from the panto….

Silly Kings is on at Cardiff Castle – surely the perfect place for magical tales – but don’t worry, you won’t freeze – the production takes place in a Spiegeltent – which promises to be warm and cosy, with practicalities like buggy/wheelchair access, baby change, toilets etc. And there is also mention of festive food and drink on sale. That’s got to mean a bar, right? Excited as I am about our first theatre trip I am realistic enough to know that herding 3 kids around during the peak pre-Christmas excitement phase may have its stressful moments, so a wee glass of mulled wine will certainly be welcome!

Silly Kings is on 19th December – 4th January, – you can watch the trailer here and you can find more details on the National Theatre Wales website.

**Disclaimer – we’ve been kindly invited to Silly Kings by the National Theatre Wales**

On Cardiff’s Best Kept Secret – Cefn Onn

Today was the first day this half term that I’ve not been in work, so I was really looking forward to spending some time with the kids. And as the folk at Lazy Jacks  have recently sent the kids some lovely warm tops to review, it seemed a good plan to get out and about and put the tops through their paces!

We decided to head to Cefn Onn, a Cardiff park I had never heard of until recently – and I’ve been here 14 years! The kids were really excited to be discovering a new place and couldn’t wait to go exploring.

First stop – pooh sticks!



The colours were absolutely amazing – this picture does not do them justice by any means:



But then I was distracted from looking at the colours by the sound of disaster up ahead – my littlest boy was being thrown into the stream!



Then the big ones found an abandoned Summerhouse –  the littlest was absolutely not going to be left out of this discovery as you can see!



There followed Gruffalo hunting…



Stream un-damming (to make waterfalls, Mum!)


Stream jumping…


Chestnut hunting…


And acorn counting!



It was through a Coombe Mill #countrykids post from The Boy and Me a couple of weeks ago that I heard of Cefn Onn, so it seems only fitting that I’m linking this post up too…if you’ve not discovered #countrykids yet, go and have a browse through, it’s a great reminder that the best playgound is the great outdoors (a fact I find too easy to forget, sometimes!)

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Things to do in Canton when you’re dead…..bored

**This article first appeared in Pontcanna & Canton Matters**

Oh, those words that bring joy to every parent’s heart….Mam, I’m Booooorrrreeed! I’m going to pretend, for the purposes of this article, that I never, EVER, respond with the words ‘well, go and play with one of the thousands of toys that appear to be cluttering up every inch of floor space’.  So what exactly DO I do with the little sweethearts?

One hour: Thompsons Park is our fallback. There’s no play equipment, but the climbing tree, Death Valley, duck feeding and manic scooting can easily take up 60 minutes, with the added bonus that there are always other bored and freezing grownups to moan to. AND you can pick up freshly cooked pakora from Mandy and Bharat’s shop on the way, which goes some way towards making up for the the being bored and freezing bit.

Two hours: Victoria Park will probably keep the kids entertained for a bit longer due to the play equipment and the extra potential for fleecing parents at the snack bar. In the Summer the paddling pool is a lot of fun, though since we’ve had, like, seven years worth of sunshine this year, it’ll probably be about 2020 before it gets warm enough to enjoy it again. Alternatively, there’s Bambeans on Cowbridge Road East, but be warned – though billed as suitable for kids up to 10, I think much above 5 is pushing it. However they do a decent coffee and also meals for kids which don’t cost the earth.

Three hours: Chapter Arts Centre have kids’ films at 11am and 3pm on a Saturday, and with pre-and-post film wee stops and a coffee afterwards, you’ve almost killed A QUARTER OF THEIR WAKING DAY! It’s worth checking what’s on as sometimes the film will be a 12 or PG; they also sell out very quickly in the winter or on rainy weekends, so be warned!

Four hours plus: Not a great deal to do in Canton itself, but with this sort of window you could walk along the Ely Trail to the Bay. Or,  pick up the clipper from the Castle (departs on the hour) and get off at the barrage, then walk across with a stop at the sandy Pirate park. Once in the Bay there’s ice cream for them, coffee for you, and a direct bus (no 1) back to Canton.

Or the little darlings could JUST play with the THOUSANDS of toys…oh, sorry, done that already.

This article was brought to you by Michelle Davis – say hi @michelledavis or read more pearls of parenting wisdom* at learnermother.co.uk

*not a true and accurate representation