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

Things to do in Mid Wales during February half term

The Centre for Alternative Technology Machynlleth, Powys, Wales UK.

Looking for places to visit and things to do this February half-term? We’ve put together a round-up of ideas in Mid Wales to inspire you.

1. Half term dolphin spotting trips in New Quay

New Quay Boat Trips, run by Winston Evans and his son Jonathan, will be welcoming passengers onboard its Dreamcatcher boat for one-hour trips from New Quay pier, starting from February 11.

New Quay dolphins. Credit: Jonathan Evans

The company usually begins its trips on April 1 but has brought them forward this year due, weather permitting, to the high demand from customers.

As the Dreamcatcher only carries 12 passengers, passengers are advised to book in advance online at https://newquayboattrips.co.uk/ or by calling 01545 560 800.

A Dolphin Spotting Boat Trip offers a fun, educational experience for all ages. Boats sail exclusively within the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, home to hundreds of bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals. ‘Sea Watch Foundation’s Recommended Boat Operator’, and their skippers are all ‘WISE’ qualified, ensuring your boat trip will be conducted in accordance with the marine code of conduct.’

2. Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth

Show the love for your planet at the Centre for Alternative Technology this February half term.

In partnership with the Climate Coalition’s ‘Show the Love’ campaign CAT’s expert team will be running green heart willow weaving activities and helping families think about and discuss what they love the most about planet earth.

CAT is offering half priced entry all winter, and free visitor tours run every morning through half term with activities taking place in the afternoon.

CAT is situated just three miles north of Machynlleth in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere Reserve, Mid Wales.

Between February 21-27, free tours take place every morning from 11:30am to 1pm and the green heart willow weaving craft activity runs from 2pm to 4pm. Activities are free with an entry ticket, and there’s free entry for locals. Enjoy interactive displays, the adventure playground, and hearty vegetarian meals. Dogs are welcome too!

3. The Silver Mountain Experience, near Aberystwyth

A silver-lead mine in Mid Wales which dates back more than 250 years is launching a new attraction in time for the February half term school holiday.

Welcome to the Dragon’s Tale.

The brand-new Kindling’s Treasure Trail at The Silver Mountain Experience, near Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth challenges children to find all the treasure with the chance of winning a treat.

Steeped in mining history, The Silver Mountain Experience is open throughout the winter season, offering unique tours that explore the history of the site, both above and below ground.

Families with young explorers will love the adventurous ‘A Dragon’s Tale’ guided tour where they join a quest to find the friendly resident dragon hidden within the mines.

Alongside the tours, there are a variety of different surface attractions which are included within the price of the tickets. Children can run wild in Woo Hoo Woods, go gem panning, den building and dig for fossils.

4. Pottery at Alex Allpress Pottery School & Studio, Builth Wells

Visit a Welsh pottery in a stunning stone chapel in the heart of Builth Wells in Mid Wales. Alex Allpress, a potter with 25 years’ experience, runs a versatile ceramic studio, exhibition gallery and pottery school for individuals, families and groups of up to 20.

Alex Allpress with customers at his pottery school.

Flexible tasters for hand building, throwing on the wheel, half and full day experience with materials and clay included. Open seven days a week, booking essential – open by appointment. https://alexallpress.co.uk/

A perfect experience for family days, parties, craft groups and special occasions. Call 07443875016 or email alexallpresscerami[email protected]

5. The Rhiannon Gallery Exhibition, Tregaron

The Rhiannon Gallery Exhibition is running until February 28, showing a collection of paintings and ceramics by the gallery’s artists. Visit the Craft Centre and enjoy a meal or a cuppa at Café Hafan to complete the experience.

This special attraction has been extended to include even more facilities. You can watch Rhiannon’s jewellery being handcrafted by Welsh speaking goldsmiths in the Exhibition Workshops. Special jewellery is created in silver and gold, including rare and precious Welsh Gold, mined a few miles away in North Wales. https://oriel.rhiannon.co.uk/en

6. Beyond Breakout in Newtown

Beyond Breakout has fun at the centre of everything it does and is totally family friendly. Choose from in-person games, digital games and outdoor games.

What are breakout rooms? They are real life games where you and a group of friends or family will be shut in a room and given an hour to escape. Solve the puzzles, find the clues and work out the solutions in your bid for freedom. Laugh together whilst you work as a team to escape as fast as you can.

Beyond Breakout is now running Outdoor escape games which are the perfect way to see Newtown through new eyes. You have two hours to save the world from Trolls and Goblins by closing the Magic Portal, or unleash your inner Super Spy with Operation Mindfall which launches this month.

The games use all the best bits of Geocaching, treasure hunting and escape rooms with the latest augmented reality.

All games are designed for between two and six players and anyone and everyone can play. Children under 13 years of age must have an adult in the room with them. Under 16s must have an adult with them for outdoor games. https://www.beyondbreakout.co.uk/

7. Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool

The popular National Trust activity trail, ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, is returning to Powis Castle from February 19 to 27.

February half term fun at Powis Castle and Garden

Exciting activities on the trail include getting to know a tree, making friends with a bug, welly wandering and wintry adventures.

No pre-booking is required, as trail activity sheets can be collected from the welcome cabin in the car park. The trail is free to take part in and standard admission prices apply. Guaranteed fun for all the family.

Powis Castle and Garden is open from 10am to 4pm (last entry 3.30pm). The courtyard café is open for drinks, cakes, light bites and sandwiches. For further information, visit: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden

8. Llanerchaeron, near Aberaeron

As this National Trust park begins to wake up for spring, February half-term is the perfect time to find out what their conservation team has been up to over winter!

Llanerchaeron has plenty of activities for all the family including ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities. Booking not required. Free event but normal admission fees apply. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/llanerchaeron

9. Talyllyn Railway, Tywyn

From February 19-27, Talyllyn Railway, the world’s first preserved railway which inspired the Thomas the Tank Engine character, will be running steam services daily.

The complete original Victorian train hauled by locomotive No.1 ‘Talyllyn’.
Photo by David Mitchell.

Three departures a day leave from Wharf in Tywyn, providing plenty of opportunity to explore the surrounding countryside or to  just sit back and enjoy! Advance booking recommended.