I’m always surprised at the amount of people who tell me they still haven’t been to Lido Ponty. If your kids like the pool then you must go, it’s one of our favourite things to do in the summer. Compared to some other activities it still pretty cheap, and on sunny days there’s no better way to spend a few hours. Here are my top tips to making the most out of Lido Ponty.
1. The Basics
The Lido Ponty is situated in Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, abetter known as Ponty Park. Tickets are £2 for adults and free for children under 16.
An activities pass costs £2.50 and gives you access to the inflatable slide, boats and water walker.
You can book online up to 7 days in advance, or get your tickets at the Lido on the day. You need a ticket for children too, even though they are free.
There are 3 pools in the Lido, a main swimming pool, a children’s paddling pool with fountain and the activities pool with inflatables. There are also plenty of sunbeds, a cafe, and indoor and outdoor changing rooms.
There are plenty of lockers, you need a pound coin to use them, this is returned.
Each session is 90 minutes long, you actually get the whole 90 minutes in the pool, and then there is half an hour to get changed before the next session arrives.
Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult, child-adult ratios are:
- Children under 5 – 1 adult to 1 child
- 5-8 – 1 adult to 2 children
- 8 to 15 – No adult supervision as long as child is a competent swimmer.
2. Getting a Slot
A lot of people have told me that they haven’t been because they can’t get tickets. If the weather is hot tickets can sell out fast, especially during the summer holidays. Online tickets go on sale 7 days before the date, so plan which day and time you want to go and set an alarm for 7 days before, so you will be the first in the queue for that slot.
Alternatively, Ponty Lido keeps tickets for on the day purchases, they can be purchased from 9am. I’m told during the school holidays these go fast, so make sure you are there by 9 or earlier to nab yours.
If you don’t fancy queuing for tickets, don’t worry, there are plenty of times when the Lido is not so busy and you can book tickets the day before or even on the day. If the weather is not so great it’s much easier to get tickets.
After May half term, the Lido is open every day, so if you haven’t been able to get weekend tickets, try booking an after school slot instead, it’s much easier to get tickets during the week.
3. What to do if there’s bad weather
This is another major concern. What if you book your ticket a week in advance and then it’s chilly/wet when the day arrives?
I never book activities in advance, I only book our tickets, and I buy the activities on the day. That way if the weather is bad and we decide not to go, we’ve only lost the cost of an adult ticket.
We’ve been before when it’s a little colder and wet and it’s really not that bad. A little shower doesn’t matter when you’re in the pool already, so unless it’s pouring it down all day, don’t worry about a little rain.
When it’s colder, the water is still lovely and warm (I’ve been told that they heat the pool more when it’s colder, but I don’t know if that’s true). There are also indoor changing rooms for getting ready in colder weather.
If you have little ones that want to use the activities, it can get a little cold queueing for them, so it’s worth bringing a hooded towel to wear whilst they wait.
Also beware, it it looks cloudy when you get in the pool, make sure you still wear suncream. There’s no shade when you’re in the water and the weather can change quickly.
4. Bring Your Own Snacks
I love the Lido, but the cafe is way overpriced. A bottle of diet coke will set you back £2.60, whilst a kids sandwich meal is £5.60! Take a picnic instead or head to The Princes in Pontypridd town, it’s an amazing retro cafe with the best cakes in town.
5. Enjoy the Park
There’s a great playground next to the pool, plus plenty of areas for picnics and running around. If you head to the park from Pontypridd town, once you go over the bridge, head right, instead of left. This area of the park is quieter. There is a spot by the river for skimming stones and a wild zone with logs to climb on and little paths through the trees, great for a game on hide and seek. This is my favourite spot for photographs in the park. There’s also a Victorian bandstand which is always a hit with the little ones.
6. Keep an Eye on Events
Throughout the summer, there are a number of events held in Ponty park, plus during school holidays there is sometimes a funfair on the green next to the Lido. Check the events calendar before you go.
7. Get Some Lengths In
Part of the main pool is roped off for swimmers, but honestly when the pool is full of kids, it doesn’t make for a relaxing swim. If you want to go to Lido Ponty for a nice, relaxing swim, the 7.30 session is just for swimmers, as the children’s and activity pools are closed then. It’s a great way to start the day and get some exercise.
If you’re little one is lucky enough to have a summer birthday, there is a function room above the Lido which is great for children’s parties.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your swimming cossie and head to Lido Ponty!