- Check out one of the most popular family leisure attractions in Wales at this plant-filled adventure.
- Meet crocodiles, piranhas and parrots as you explore the different areas of the tropical hothouse.
- Come face to face with meerkats at the pop up viewing stations in the Arid Climate area.
- See real fruit growing from the trees, including bananas, papayas, avocados and more.
While Swansea is well known for its seaside location, making it a popular tourist destination in the summer, if the weather isn't so great or you're looking for something to do away from the seaside, look no further. The magical world of Plantasia Swansea is a day out that you and the kids aren't likely to forget. Set in the heart of Swansea, this unusual attraction is essentially a hothouse that is home to tropical plants, wild animals and lots of places to play. If you have kids that love nature and adventures, make sure to add Plantasia to your list of places to visit.
This fantastic indoor zoo is set in a tropical 'rainforest', making you feel like you really are entering the tropics as you come face to face with monkeys, iguanas, and even crocodiles! There are 40 different species of animal to meet, some of which are especially important due to their conservation needs. Some of the rare species that you can meet at Plantasia include axolotl, Denisons barb fish and crested gecko. Plantasia is also home to the rare Egyptian Tortoise, a protected species that is critically endangered and requires careful care.
There are many different areas to visit on your trip to Plantasia, each with its own special theme and animals to meet. Plantasia is loosely grouped into five areas, the Canopy, the Arid Climate, the Watering Hole, the Forest Floor and Below Ground, that all form one jungle-like experience. In the Canopy keep your eyes peeled for the colourful parrots, who if you're lucky might start a conversation with you. The macaws you'll meet at Plantasia love to drop their waste on the ground when they eat, so watch out! The Arid Climate area is home to the meerkat population of Plantasia, who are always keen to say hello. Kids can even get up close to these little creatures in the special burrow underneath the meerkat enclosure, with clear spheres that pop up so they can get eye to eye with their meerkat pals. You can also meet marmoset monkeys here, who love to swing and jump from branch to branch.
There are also some slightly more slithery animals that call Plantasia home on the Forest Floor, including Clyde the Burmese python, whose home is usually in Southern and South-East Asia. Those with a fear of creepy-crawlies had better watch out too, as there is a big selection to see here. From Giant African land snails, to tarantulas, scorpions and cockroaches, you'll be glad there's a glass pane between you and these fearsome critters. And, for the truly brave, meet the caiman crocodile, who loves to hang out around the Watering Hole, as well as the flesh eating piranhas that swim beneath the surface in the Below Ground area. There are also lots of opportunities for kids to get a hands-on experience at Plantasia, and pet or even hold some of the animals. Whether you'd love to hold a tortoise or stroke a snake, children and parents alike can face their fears and make some new animal friends.
But, as its name suggests, there is much more for the family to enjoy at Plantasia than just animals and fish. The tropical climate means that it's a great place for plants to thrive that might not otherwise survive in the UK. The beautiful and dramatic weeping fig tree is a notable feature, as well as the colourful Bird of Paradise plant and aloe vera. There are also lots of food-producing plants in the Plantasia world, with fruit trees that include papaya, avocado, lemon and banana, as well as black pepper plants, and even coffee! For children who are learning about where food comes from, this is a great way to get some hands on knowledge while seeing the plants in their natural environment. Due to its exciting and unusual array of plants and animals, Plantasia has become a popular family attraction in Wales. There are also lots of great events on at Plantasia throughout the year, such as a spooky dinosaur hunt at Halloween, and virtual events where you can meet residents of the zoo that you might not be able to if you visit in person.
Once you've wandered through the Plantasia world at your leisure, head to the cafe for something to eat or drink. Here you'll find hot and cold food options, as well as snacks and teas and coffees. Alternatively, if you head to the other side of Parc Tawe Retail Park, you'll find lots more food options, that range from local cafes and restaurants to Five Guys, Nando's and Costa Coffee. Plantasia is located right in the heart of Swansea, so once you've enjoyed everything there is to see, there is still lots to explore in the city.
For some more educational fun and to learn more about the industrial history of Wales, head to the National Waterfront Museum, which is just a short walk away in the Maritime Quarter. Or, for a breath of fresh air and a walk, head to Singleton Park, which is just a 10-minute drive away in Sketty, and is the perfect place for children to run around.
What to know before you go
- Plantasia Swansea opening times are from 10am - 5pm daily.
- All area of Plantasia Swansea are accessible by wheelchair and buggy.
- There are accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities available on site.
- Since the inside of the glass house is kept at a tropical temperature, make sure you remain hydrated throughout your trip, and visit the cafe for a cold drink if needed.
- To get to Plantasia Swansea by car, head to the Parc Tawe shopping centre complex. If you are travelling from the M4, take Junction 42 and follow the A483 into Swansea. From here you can follow the signs all the way to Parc Tawe shopping centre. There is free parking for four hours at the short stay car park.
- If travelling by train, Swansea train station is just a 10-minute walk down the High Street. The bus station is in the opposite direction, and is a 15-minute walk through the city centre.