Health and Wellbeing

Things to do in Cardiff over the holidays

English Literature and Philosophy student, Christabel, shares some things to do in Cardiff over the winter break.

Whether you want to make the most of some time off to get involved with some festive fun before you head home for Christmas or are staying here during the winter break, check out these 10 things to do in Cardiff.


 1. Make a gift bag for the homeless this Christmas

15 December at 21:00

Take part in one of the biggest Christmas events in Cardiff creating a Christmas gift bag for a homeless person in Cardiff. Not only is this a way to keep you occupied this Christmas but also a way of making someone’s year. You don’t even have to spend any money, just have a dig around for anything unused that could be given to someone who really needs it. Anything from a sleeping bag, body wash, blanket etc.

Give back this Christmas and feel good!

If you’re interested in helping, find out more here


2. Visit Winter Wonderland

7 December – 7 January

Take a trip to Winter Wonderland in Cardiff’s city centre. There’s so much to explore from the Alpine Village stocked with hot burgers, waffles and drinks to whizzing around the ice rink (which offers student discount). Also try out the fun fair activities and bag the chance to win a giant teddy and other prizes.

Find out more here


3. Treat yourself with a Festive Ballet experience in St David’s Hall:

Cinderella – 20 December, 17:30

The Nut Cracker – 21 December – 24 December, 14:00 and 19:00

Swan Lake – 27 December– 31 December, 14:00 and 19:00

Ticket prices from £16-£39

Click here to find out more and book


4. Visit Cardiff Christmas Market

Open from 10:00–19:00, Thursday 14, Friday 15, Saturday 16, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 December

One of the best places to visit if you’re feeling festive is Cardiff’s Christmas Markets. There are rows and rows of little wooden cabins so you’re bound to find something there for you. Even if you don’t want to splash out on expensive ornaments there are plenty of indulging food and drink stalls. Such as Casper’s Delight waffles with a selection of sauce sand gingerbread cookies and Nutty But Nice’s Hot roasted nuts. There are plenty of different things to try.

5. Experience Techniquest: After Hours Christmas silent disco

14 December, 18:00–22:00

Treat yourself to a crazy night out at Techniquest’s Christmas Silent Disco along with over 130 exhibits, a board games workshop, face painting from Bibs Glitter Hut, a fully licensed bar and amazing burgers from the Grazing Shed! All money raised on the evening goes towards supporting Techniquest and its aim to makes science accessible to everyone.

Click here for more information


6. Join in with Carols at the Museum for free

14 December, 15:30 

Enjoy a selection of festive songs in Cardiff’s National Museum and grab some mince pies and mulled wine from the restaurant.

Find out more here

7. Take a winter walk in Cardiff’s beautiful parks

It’s always good to keep yourself active over Christmas, even if it is freezing outside. One of the ways I like to do this is by wrapping up and going for a long walk along Bute park or around the Lake in Roath Park. If you have lots of time you could really make a day out of it packing some snacks and a flask of a hot drink.

8. Explore the Cardiff Arcades

If you feel like having a day of just shopping, Cardiff’s Arcades are definitely a great place to venture. Filled with so many small outlets, you can try to find original gifts for Christmas or just window shop in all the vintage and vinyl stores and try out some traditional Welsh food in the seasons café bar.

There are also quite a few vintage tea and coffee shops where you could relax and get ahead on some studying.


9. Visit Santa’s Grotto Victorian style in Castell Coch

16 December – 17 December, 11:00–16:00

Castell Coch is only a 10 minute train journey (from Cathays to Taffs Well) and short walk away, costing only £3.45 for travel. Spend time walking around the grounds of this beautiful castle and visit the beautifully decorated Victorian style drawing room.

Find out more here


10. Be an Angel for the Day

Spending Christmas away from home can sometimes be lonely. Why not sign up to Cardiff homeless charity Huggard’s Angel for a Day campaign as a volunteer, helping to feed around 100 homeless people in Huggard Centre kitchen? Or spend the day campaigning in fun, innovative ways to raise donations to ensure that there is enough food to go round – and that every homeless person in Cardiff gets a Christmas this year.

Click here for more information.


Check out our winter survival guide

Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or remaining in Cardiff, our guide provides tips on study, staying safe, things to do and more practical advice for the holidays.

Read the winter survival guide


Staying in Cardiff over the winter break?

All are welcome at the Cardiff Chaplaincy for Christmas Lunch, which will be held on Monday 25 December at 13:00. Please email if you would like to attend.

Some Cardiff University study spaces will be open for the entire winter recess. Find out more here.


Best wishes,

Christabel, English Literature and Philosophy student. 

Your Student Life, Supported. 

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and WellbeingDisability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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