This October half-term, Cardiff – the City of Arcades – will come alive with special performances, exclusive offers, family activities, and the famous night market, to celebrate the city’s amazing independent business community.
Between Saturday 29 October and Friday 4 November, Cardiff’s celebration of the iconic arcades and historic market returns to in-person events for the first time since 2019, with a full week of events, experiences, exclusive offers, in celebration of the lively and vibrant city-centre business community.
Opening with City of Arcades Day on Saturday 29 October, the week will include 100 offers and events across the seven arcades, and various other city-centre locations; including Cardiff Arms Park, the Library, and Cardiff Central Market.
City of Arcades Week will also see the long-awaiting return of Cardiff’s night market and a city-centre-wide photography journey, celebrating the capital’s rich history and stories of the people who have owned – and loved – Cardiff’s historic businesses.
Ieuan Harry, who runs and co-owns Ffwrnes Pizza, a Pizzeria in the iconic Cardiff Central Market that featured in the recent BBC series Pizza Boys/Bois y Pizza S4C, and will take part in the night market, says,
“Whenever you go on holiday, you always go to the market because that’s where you get a true feel of the city you’re visiting. It’s a privilege almost that we’re allowed to make pizzas here in one of Cardiff’s most historic buildings.”
Cardiff has become renowned for its seven Victorian and Edwardian arcades, and central market, which house over 100 independent cafes, bars, and shops right in the heart of the city. From long-standing businesses to new ventures, the city has never been a more exciting place to visit.
Throughout the week, there will be a packed line-up of free events and performances for everyone to enjoy – from a Halloween family rugby event at Cardiff Arms Park, live music, childrens arts and crafts, and a special behind the scenes tour of the Morgan Quarter alongside a family-friendly animal sculpture trail, that will bring local author of Jack Skivens’ Night of the Animal Wall book and Cardiff Castle’s famous animal wall to life.
Following the success of the inaugural event – which attracted over 200,000 visitors to the city – this year’s event, which for the first time, will span a whole week, and be the biggest celebration yet. First developed in 2019, City of Arcades is now a multi-award-winning initiative that has been recognised nationally and internationally for its impact on the city.
Carolyn Brownell, Associate Director at FOR Cardiff, says,
“Cardiff is known locally, nationally and internationally as the City of Arcades. Post-pandemic, we want to bring residents, employees, and visitors back into the heart of the city to celebrate what makes our city great, through art and culture.
“We want to continue to build Cardiff’s national reputation as a unique destination for a high-quality independent retail experience alongside the bigger national stores and popular attractions.”
Rory Fleming, Centre Manager of the Morgan Quarter, says,
“It’s great to see the City of Arcades celebrations returning to full scale. In the Morgan Quarter, there will be lots of events ranging from food tastings at Wally’s Delicatessen, a Halloween Drag show at Queer Emporium, walking tours exploring the history of the arcades – and we’ll even be hosting two animals from the animal trail!
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors back to explore the amazing businesses housed in the arcades.”