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family day out; out&about.

THE Sims family, from Penarth, went to the Red Dragon Centre to visit the new updated Dr Who Up Close exhibition

Where did you go and when?

Our 10-year-old son, Tristan Goodway-Sims, won a festive day out for the family in the Red Dragon Centre's 'Graffiti the Grotto' competition. Our day began with a trip on the Cardiff Bay road train. We then went to see Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa at the ODEON and enjoyed a visit to the updated Doctor Who Up Close Exhibition.

Who went on the visit?

Myself, Mark Sims, a finance officer, my 13-year-old daughter Charlotte Goodway-Sims, a Stanwell School pupil, my son Tristan, who goes to All Saints Church in Wales School, Barry, and his best friend, Sam Phillips, who's nine.

How did you travel and how long did it take?

We travelled to the Red Dragon Centre by car. It took approximately 25 minutes. We were able to park free of charge at the Red Dragon Centre as we were using their facilities.

Tell us exactly what you did during your visit?

We arrived at the centre at about 11am, ready to take a trip on-board the Cardiff Bay road train. The train was festively decorated.

The boys in particular enjoyed this part of the day and once we started moving, we were glad that we had wrapped up warmly for the trip!

The film was great but visiting the Dr Who exhibition was the highlight of our day as we are all big fans. We have viewed the exhibition before but were looking forward to going again it has been updated to include Series 4. We took part in the family quiz as we went around and received a Dr Who poster for our efforts.

What were the highlights of the day?

The highlight for me was seeing how much the children enjoyed the day and watching them getting into the festive mood.

Charlotte and Sam enjoyed the Dr Who exhibition, particularly the talking Cybermen and the moving/talking Daleks.

Tristan really enjoyed the movie as it was centred on his favourite character in the Madagascar film, Alex, and his return to his native Africa.

What age do you think this attraction would be ideal for?

The Red Dragon Centre is suitable for all ages. The Doctor Who exhibition is suitable for all ages too and Madagascar 2 is very much a family film and it has something for everybody.

How much did you spend during the day and on what? Do you think it was good value for money for a family?

Tristan won the festive day out in an art competition, so it was free of charge for us. But usually the cost of the cinema would have been pounds 20.80 for the family, and pounds 13.70 for us all to visit the Doctor Who exhibition. The cost for the road train would have been pounds 2.50 per person (under 3's go free). Despite having a range of ages in our group we all had a lovely day, which put us all in the festive mood.

Would you go there again? And what advice would you have for other families planning to visit the attraction?

We are regular visitors to the Red Dragon Centre particularly for the Hollywood Bowl and the Odeon. Free on-site parking is one of its great advantages. We would recommend warm coats and woollies to travel on the Cardiff Bay Road Train.


A great day out for all the family whatever the weather.

Score out of 10: 10

Do you want a FREE day out for your family? If you'd like to take part in this feature, please ring Cathy Owen on 029 2024 3757 or e-mail


IN THE MOOD: Sam Phillips and Tristan sport their Red Dragon hats; FUN TIMES: Tristan, Sam and Charlotte at the exhibition
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 3, 2009
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