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

Cardiff’s ‘City of Arcades’ week is returning with over 35 events

Cardiff’s famous night market will return, along with spooky walking tours, live music, poetry readings, and so much more…

City of Arcades. Credit: FOR Cardiff

Cardiff’s celebration of the iconic arcades returns to in-person events for the first time since 2019, with a full week of events, experiences, exclusive offers, and celebrations across the city centre.

Opening with City of Arcades day on Saturday 29 October, the week will include over 35 events across the seven arcades, and various other city-centre locations; including Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff Story Museum, and Cardiff Central Market.

City of Arcades. Credit: FOR Cardiff

Starting the week with a packed line-up, Saturday’s events include live music performances, walking tours, an Autumn Harvest Pudding Club, food tasting, jewellery-making, a Halloween themed drag show, and a poetry reading with the National Poet of Wales.

Hanan Issa, who earlier this year was named the fifth National Poet of Wales and will be hosting the reading on City of Arcades Day at Waterloo Tea, added:

“Live performances help people from all different demographics see this art form and think ‘That’s a thing that’s achievable for me.’” I’m happy to be involved in this event, which I hope will inspire more people to get involved with, and try poetry.”

Throughout the week, the excitement continues with a packed line-up of free events and performances for everyone to enjoy – from a Halloween family event at Cardiff Arms Park for the Cardiff vs Edinburgh rugby match, a walking tour to discover The Dark Side of Cardiff, and a Spa and Wellness evening at LUSH Spa.

City of Arcades. Credit: FOR Cardiff

Other events taking place across the week include a family-friendly city centre animal sculpture  trail, that will bring local author of Jack Skivens’ Night of the Animal Wall book and Cardiff Castle’s famous animal wall to life. For the adults, The Libertine has designed an exclusive Seven Monkey Sins’ cocktail menu inspired by the Night of the Animal Wall.

City of Arcades Week will also see the long-awaiting return of Cardiff’s night market and a city-centre-wide photography journey, celebrating the capital’s rich history and stories of the people who have owned – and loved – Cardiff’s historic businesses.

Ieuan Harry, who runs and co-owns Ffwrnes Pizza, a Pizzeria in Cardiff Central Market that featured in the recent BBC series Pizza Boys/Bois y Pizza S4C, and will take part in the night market, said:

“Whenever you go on holiday, you always go to the market because that’s where you get a true feel of the city you’re visiting. It’s a privilege almost that we’re allowed to make pizzas here in one of Cardiff’s most historic buildings. Everybody just gets along, everyone is just helping each other. It’s just trying to showcase our skills and showcase the fantastic things that Wales has to offer.”

Cardiff has become renowned for its seven Victorian and Edwardian arcades, which house over 100 independent cafes, bars, and shops right in the heart of the city. From long-standing businesses to new ventures, the city has never been a more exciting place to visit.

Following the success of the inaugural event – which attracted over 200,000 visitors and generated a 60 percent boost in sales for some retailers – businesses in the arcades hope this year’s celebration will be bigger than ever. First developed in 2019, City of Arcades is now a multi-award-winning initiative which has been recognised nationally and internationally for its impact on the city.

Visit www.thecityofarcades.com to view the event programme and plan your visit.