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My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Cardiff to host ‘Summer of Smiles’ festival on city lawn

Cardiff City Hall

Smiles are set to spread across faces in every corner of the city, as Cardiff’s Summer of Smiles announces a city-centre festival site is to open in July.

As part of the capital’s city-wide programme of events and activities running throughout the summer holidays, the three week festival will take place from Tuesday July 20, located on the lawn in front of Cardiff’s iconic City Hall.

The family friendly fiesta will provide Cardiff’s children and young people with something to smile about and visitors can expect to enjoy a range of exciting activities from trying a new sport in Olympic year to viewing exhibits on the lawn courtesy of the National Museum of Wales. The site will also host circus skills, table football tournaments, BMX displays, arts and craft activities, theatre performances and live music, to name but a few!

Tickets cost £2 per person for each 2.5hr session. The festivals is open Tuesday – Sunday and children under school age go free.

The‘Summer of Smiles’ programme of activitiesaims toput smilesback on the faces of Cardiff’s children, young people and families after a challenging year that has seen education disrupted, friends unable to meet and a normal life as we used to know it turned on its head.

With support from city partnersand as part of theCouncil’s Child Friendly pandemic recovery, the programme aims to encourage children and young people to play, move and actively enjoy themselves after the long periods of lockdowns and distance learning.

Festivities began last week with the first phase launch of ‘Roly Poly Hill’, a fun family-focussed city centre playscape located on Churchill Way. Phase two will provide a natural play area for children with landscaped areas and picnic tables and is to open on Monday July 19

The City Hall lawn site will operate six days a week for the first three weeks of the school summer holidays until Sunday August 8 but the fun won’t stop then.Alongside the main city centre festival, a jam-packed programme of activities will be delivered by Summer of Smiles partners in communities across the city for the full six-week duration of the school holidays.

Booking for the free community-based activities opens on Monday, July 5.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: “Children and young people have missed out considerably during the pandemic and we want to give something back to them, making sure they have something to smile about.

“A Summer of Smiles gives focus on wellbeing, re-engagement and making up for lost time by providing opportunities to play, have fun and simply be with friends and family.

“Our partner organisations are on board and will be providing a host of activities across a range of themes includingscience and tech, creative arts, sport and adventure, play and family fun – there really will be something on offer for every one of all ages.

“We’re keeping the entry fee for the main festival site low to ensure as many Cardiff families as possible can visit and to enable us to deliver the wide range of community-based Summer of Smiles activities that will be free for our children and young people throughout the holidays.”

Summer of Smilesis part of Cardiff’s Child Friendly Recovery and closely aligns with the city’s ambition to becoming an internationallyrecognised Child Friendly City,as recommended bythe UK Committee for UNICEFwhere the rightsand voices of children and young people at the heart of the city’s policies, strategies and services.