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Compare the new meerkats at Plantasia this half-term

THE chance to get up close to meerkats, spiders, snakes and a monster lizard are all on the menu for a half-term of fun things to do in Swansea.

Meerkats

This week, Plantasia, the city's tropical hothouse, is getting two new furry residents - meerkats Onsie and Joe, who will be settling into their new home in the Arid Zone over half term.

Plantasia will be open for the whole school holiday and between May 29 and 31 there will be four interactive animal shows a day in Animal Zone: Beast Creator, taking a look at nature's pest controllers including cockroaches, millipedes, scorpions, vinegaroons, tarantulas, geckos, skinks, snakes and a monitor lizard.

Also back on track is the famous prom Land Train and the re-opening of the Blackpill Lido that's always popular on a sunny day.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: "The late May Bank Holiday is what you might call the official start of summer and we are throwing open the doors of Swansea to families looking for a great time out.

"Once BBC Music's The Biggest Weekend is over there'll still be lots to see and do," he said.

"If the sun is shining then there is still time to catch Clyne in Bloom as the rhododendrons, azaleas and other colourful plants, trees and shrubs in Clyne Gardens are at their most magnificent at this time of year.

"The ever popular Swansea Bay Rider Land Train will be running daily from Saturday May 26 through to Sunday June 3 and is the perfect way to travel to Mumbles after first enjoying a few hours in the sun at Blackpill Lido."

If in Mumbles on May 28 then why stop off at Oystermouth Castle and browse a selection of locally crafted gifts including textiles, jewellery, glassware, ceramics and more at the Gower Artisans Craft Fayre?

The Castle will also be hosting a crafty workshop suitable for youngsters between the ages of 3 and 11 from 11.30am on May 30 and a Creepy Creatures animal show on June 2 between 11am and 4.30pm featuring snakes, tarantulas, tortoises, lizards, axolotls and more.

Swansea Council has arranged a packed programme of activities as part of its ParkLives series so there's everything from tai chi and beach yoga to football and short tennis at locations across the city.

Having put its feet up for a few years the Gower Walking Festival will be returning between June 2 and 10 with a range of walks on the coast and inland, catering for all abilities and tastes, from literary to wildlife, pub-to-pub and historical.

If the weather is not so good then there is also plenty more to do indoors.

There is a full programme of half-term activities at the Dylan Thomas Centre and as part of the council's Active Kids programme across all its Active Swansea leisure centres.

Pre-booking is essential for some activities mentioned above so please check in advance.

For more information, visit enjoyswanseabay.com

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