Pop-up playtimes at Cadw castles — you won’t believe what your kids can do at historic sites this summer

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Picture of a pop-up playtime event at Cadw sites

Pop-up playtime event at Cadw sites

Bouncy castles, giant snakes and ladders and Minecraft workshops are just some of the quirky kids’ activities open to visitors to Wales’s castles for the first time this summer, as part of our Pack Your Imagination campaign.

Castles including Caerphilly, Conwy, Laugharne and Caernarfon are hosting the series of fun pop-up events at various dates throughout the summer holidays, in a bid to help families to see Wales’s historic sites as they’d never before imagined.

Conwy Castle and Caerphilly Castle will welcome giant inflatable fortresses into the grounds for one week only to host free bouncy castle sessions (10-14 August & 17-21 August respectively) for the sites’ most energetic visitors.

Meanwhile, visitors to coastal castles Harlech and Laugharne will have the unique opportunity to build a sandcastle within the walls of a real castle, as arts group Sculpture by the Sea work with guests to create an impressive replica of the sites out of sand (7 & 12 August).

And back by popular demand, Cadw is replicating this spring’s sell-out season of Lego workshops with added dates at Caernarfon and Caerphilly castles available to book via Eventbrite.

These overwhelmingly popular sessions saw children work with Lego experts from the Welsh Lego Education Innovation Studios to construct replicas of Cadw’s iconic castles, brick by brick, before trying their hand at MinecraftEdu exercises and animation activities.

Oversized versions of classic family games including Connect 4 and Jenga have also been shipped to five Cadw castles — Caerphilly, Raglan, Coch, Denbigh and Harlech — to allow visiting families make old-fashioned playtime a part of their next day out.

Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “This campaign is focussed on inspiring people to look at our historic sites in a new light, with the aim of encouraging even more families to explore Wales’s past.

“Children love castles and we hope families have fun making lasting memories at one of our many events or pop-up activities this summer.”

To support the campaign, Cadw has also developed a bucket-and-spade list of ideas to maximise a family day out at a Welsh historic site, which includes picking up one of Cadw’s 9,000 limited edition Pack Your Imagination comics designed by cult comic artist Pete Fowler, famed for his album artwork with Welsh rock band, the Super Furry Animals.

A billboard campaign is also running throughout Wales to help promote Pack Your Imagination to a family audience.

Pop-up events: What, Where, When?

Create your own Lego castle
After sell-out events during the Easter holidays, the Lego workshops are back. Booking is essential via Eventbrite. Tickets cost £4.
Caernarfon Castle - Tuesday 28 July, Wednesday 29 July, Friday 21 August, Monday 24 August, Tuesday 25 August, Thursday 27 August and Friday 28 August.
Caerphilly Castle - Thursday 30 July, Thursday 6 August, Tuesday 11 August, Thursday 13 August, Tuesday 18 August, Thursday 20 August and Thursday 27 August.

Build a sandcastle... at a castle
Who needs the beach? Bring your bucket and spade to Harlech Castle at 7 August or Laugharne Castle on 12 August and you can build a sandcastle within a castle. Normal admission charges apply.

Bounce around the battlements
Kids can jump for joy at Conwy and Caerphilly and this summer as the magnificent castles host fun inflatable fortresses between the 10 – 14 August and the 17 – 21 August. Normal admission charges apply. Please check website for details.  

Giant games
Classic family-friendly games like Connect 4 and Jenga are a staple of the school summer holidays. But have you ever played a version that’s outdoors — and out of a giant’s toybox? Don’t miss your chance to do so, as the oversized games come to Caerphilly, Raglan, Coch, Denbigh, and Harlech this summer.