The Red dragon centre is a fun filled family day out and the perfect venue for half-term adventures

Bringing up kids in Wales is an absolute privilege as it’s such a fantastic place with mountains to climb, dragons to find, countryside to explore, breathtaking coastlines and a vibrant Capital city. The only downfall I can think of is the downpours, then again why else do we have such beautiful green Valleys?

However should your weekend be rained off there are plenty of family friendly places to go that allows kids to let off steam, adults to grab a coffee and to enjoy some quality family time together. One of these places is The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay which has everything you need for an action packed family day out.

Odeon IMAX Cinema

We headed to the centre with two very excited boys looking forward to watching the new Emoji’s movie at the State of the Art Odeon cinema complex in the centre, which also offers the Imax experience. After picking up some popcorn and drinks we headed into the film, unlike some cinemas you can have your seats allocated and they also have a few rows of premier seating. Luckily we had the chance to try these out and they are extremely comfortable for both adults and kids and made for very easy viewing throughout this feel good film.

Hollywood Bowl

Once the film was over both boys ran through the doors eager to see what else they could discover at The Red Dragon and after more than an hour sitting we knew it was time to get a little bit more active so of course ten pin bowling at The Hollywood Bowl was on the cards. We have been bowling once before and it was a big hit with both boys so this was something we were all looking forward too. The Hollywood bowl is modern and colourful with a fun party atmosphere and is suitable from toddlers upwards as you can place the sides up, use a roller frame which kids can place the balls on top of, take aim and roll them down the alley as well as use of different weighted bowling balls, this meant that both my 7yr old and near 3yr old could enjoy this activity.

Harry’s Diner

After my eldest was crowned king of the alley, we were all on an adrenaline high we thought we would head over the Harrys Diner which is right next to the bowling alley and perfect for those looking to avoid any hangry meltdowns. They have a fun American style menu with lots of child friendly options and large booths to sit in which is great for families and larger groups. We opted for the family meal deal which comes with a huge jug of squash, four burgers of which I had the delicious vegetarian one and of course American fries. While we waited for food the boys had the chance to run around the arcade and play some air hockey and a few games before tucking into their meal.


As the evening was coming to a close and we had had such a fantastic time we decided to opt for the traditional seaside must (as the Red Dragon Centre is in Cardiff bay and technically that is by the sea) which is of course Ice-Cream! The homegrown Welsh ice-cream company Cadwalders sits right in the middle of the centre, offering up an amazing selection of flavours including two vegan sorbets, indulgent sundaes, milkshakes, smoothies and hot drinks. While the boys opted for the classic mint and choice chip I decided to try one of the new flavours Pistachio which was amazing and I recommend giving it a go.

One major bonus about the centre is that parking is free for customers, all you need to do is get your ticket validated and it’s that simple. The centre is also perfectly located within Cardiff bay and makes for a fantastic base if your looking to spend the day in the area. There is also plenty going on within the centre with different events throughout the year and currently there is a golden Snowdog waiting to be found inside as part of the Snowdog trail happening throughout Cardiff.

Laura Side Street is a Cardiff blogger. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram