WITH THE summer holidays finally upon us, there are plenty of parents wondering how to keep the kids entertained for the next six weeks.

But we are lucky to live in an area packed full of wonderful attractions right on our doorstep.

While your holiday activity list might already be packed to the brim with activities and adventures, make sure you also pay a visit to the local ‘social enterprises’ across the country this summer - of which there are a number in North Wales.

Social enterprises operate like private businesses, but with one big difference - all profits are invested back into good causes and the local community.

So when you take your kids to visit a social enterprise, not only will you have a brilliant day out, but your money will be going towards projects that benefit local people and the environment. Your trip to the zoo could help save animals, the bikes you hire could help disabled people join in the family cycling trip and the coffee you drink to get you through the day could help somebody get back into the world of work.

So, if you are looking for activities and places to visit will give you lasting memories and benefit your community, consider visiting these family-friendly social enterprises in the region.

1. Welsh Mountain Zoo (Colwyn Bay) - welshmountainzoo.org

Have you ever fancied feeding fish to a penguin, making mischief with a meerkat or having lunch with a big cat? Then make your way to the Welsh Mountain Zoo this summer. This social enterprise is the oldest zoo in Wales and attracts over 160,000 visitors each year.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy, including a children’s adventure play area, a ‘summer birds of prey’ display, a sea lion pool with aquatic displays, and you can also go hang out with the lemurs in their walkthrough enclosure.

By visiting the Welsh Mountain Zoo you’ll be helping to support local nature projects and animal conservation and breeding programmes, which protect endangered animal species, around the world.

If you’re looking to add some wildlife to your summer, make sure the Welsh Mountain Zoo is on your summer holiday bucket list.

North Wales Pioneer:

2. Colwyn Bay Watersports (Colwyn Bay) - colwynbaywatersports.co.uk

From sailing to windsurfing, from power boating to kayaking, take the plunge this summer and head to Colwyn Bay Watersports’ exciting new facilities at Porth Eirias.

Whether you are looking for an adrenaline rush or a relaxed evening sail in calm conditions, Colwyn Bay Watersports has something to offer everyone.

Opening in 2012, Colwyn Bay Watersports is a social enterprise that encourages people to get out in the water safely and enjoy the benefit of watersports.

The multi-activity ‘summer holidays club’ is the perfect way for young people to get involved in watersports for the first time and make new friends in a fun and safe environment. There are also taster sessions if you’re looking to get on the water for the first time or try a new sport, and most equipment can be hired without any previous experience.

Whether you are an experienced watersport enthusiast, looking for a different activity to get up to, or just keen to enjoy the beautiful north Wales coastline, Colwyn Bay Watersports is a great summer day out for the family.

North Wales Pioneer:

3. Antur Stiniog (Snowdonia) - anturstiniog.com

If you’re looking for guaranteed excitement with family this summer, why not give mountain biking a go? Based in the heart of the Snowdonia national park, Antur Stiniog, offers eight fantastic mountain bike trails.

With trails for all abilities, anyone who can ride a bike can get involved and give it a try. They also offer bike hire services, where you can pick up all of the equipment you need to enjoy the experience safely.

Because Antur Stiniog is a social enterprise, all profits are invested back into developing the outdoor sector in the Ffestiniog area.

Antur Stiniog also has a centre in the middle of Blaenau Ffestiniog which houses a café (making the best coffee in town), shop, and provides tourist information and the local historical society exhibition.

The centre’s goal is to develop a healthy kind of tourism which at the same time encourages confidence and pride in the local community.

4. Aura Leisure and Libraries (Flintshire) - aura.wales

Aura manages leisure centres and libraries in the Flintshire area. Employing 260 people, Aura’s goal is to benefit the community by providing culture, sport and leisure opportunities that improve mental health and physical well-being.

Aura has a whole host of family activities on offer over the summer holidays through its four leisure centres in Buckley, Deeside, Flint and Mold. Each of them cater to all ages, abilities and fitness levels, including disabled customers.

Deeside Leisure Centre is also a national centre for ice sports and boasts an Olympic-sized ice pad, catering for a variety of sports and activities such as ice hockey, curling and disco nights. If you’re looking to stay cool in the summer heat, this is a great way to do it.

In addition to the ice rink, Deeside also has a skate park that was the first indoor extreme sports arena in Wales, and one of the largest of its type in Europe.

If you’re a parent wishing to restore some calm to your holiday break, Deeside Leisure Centre’s Spa provides the perfect destination for you to escape stress and discover tranquillity. Aura also manages seven libraries across Flintshire, which together provide reading resources, learning spaces and heritage displays. So, if you’re looking for peace and quiet or a space to read and learn, why not visit your nearest Aura library this summer?

There are a whole host of activities available through Aura Leisure and Libraries and by visiting their facilities across Flintshire you’ll be supporting a wide community network that helps people of all ages and backgrounds.

North Wales Pioneer:

5. Antur Waunfawr (Caernarfon) - anturwaunfawr.org/en

What could be better this summer than hiring a bike and exploring the spectacular countryside and coasts of north Wales? Beics Antur Bikes is part of the social enterprise Antur Waunfawr and offers the perfect opportunity for families to combine cycling, nature and exploration together.

They offer a wide selection of bikes to hire alongside a fleet of adaptive bikes, to ensure an inclusive experience for everyone to enjoy. Conveniently located close to Caernarfon Castle, there are plenty of picturesque sites to discover for families visiting the area.

Families can follow the Lôn Las Menai cycle path which takes you along the idyllic Menai Straits and you can also explore the countryside around Caernarfon using the Lôn Gwyrfai cycle routes.

With so much natural beauty surrounding Caernarfon, there’s no better way to explore the sights than by bicycle.

Antur Waunfawr is a leading social enterprise providing employment and training opportunities for adults with learning disabilities in the community. The social enterprise now employs more than 100 staff and supports 67 adults with learning difficulties and intertwines its community projects with a sustainable focus to protect the natural environment.

If you want to see Caernarfon in style, pay a visit to Antur Waunfawr and hire yourself a bike.

6. Karma Wellbeing (Denbigh, Mold, Wrexham) - karma-wellbeing.co.uk

Karma Wellbeing is a social enterprise with sensory rooms based in Denbigh, Mold and Wrexham, that caters perfectly to those looking for a little relaxation over the summer holidays. Founded in 2017, Karma Wellbeing delivers accessible and affordable alternative therapy within the community to assist in improving health and wellbeing. Their dedicated team is also dementia, autism and disability aware.

For parents wanting to unwind and teenagers who have just finished their exams, Karma Wellbeing is a great place to remove stress, anxiety and fatigue.

With their vibro-acoustic soundwave therapy, is a natural, energy-based approach that uses sound to produce vibrations that flow directly through the body, resulting in a wide variety of physical and mental benefits for people.

Soundwave therapy, is an ancient natural, energy-based approach that uses sound to produce vibrations that flow directly through the body, massaging every cell, resulting in a wide variety of physical and mental benefits for people.

Trained in sound, sleep and relaxation therapies and members of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists, the Karma Wellbeing team also work with children and adults of all ages.

If you’re looking for something a little different to do this summer, make sure you add Karma Wellbeing to your summer holiday activity list.

7. Canolfan Beaumaris (Anglesey) - canolfanbeaumaris.org.uk

Situated in the beautiful town of Beaumaris on Anglesey, Canolfan Beaumaris is a community centre that has plenty to offer families over the summer holiday.

The centre includes a 370-seat theatre and concert hall, sports facilities and a fantastic bike hire service, where you can explore the surrounding areas and take in the breathtaking views of the Anglesey coast.

The social enterprise was saved by the community in 2013 following local council cutbacks, with a group of staff, volunteers and businesspeople stepping forward to manage the centre.

Families can be entertained with a number of events running across the summer holidays, from regular film night screenings to live music and a food festival at the end of August.

If you’re visiting Anglesey over the summer holiday, make sure you pay a visit to Canolfan Beaumaris.

8. Porter’s Coffee Shops (Rhyl and Colwyn Bay) - cais.co.uk/socent/porters

Porter’s Coffee Shops serves tasty treats and freshly made coffee at its five locations across Wales, and each order comes with a generous side of social benefit. Porter’s Coffee Shops are part of the award-winning CAIS social enterprises and are one of the few organisations across the country that have been recognised by Social Enterprise UK for commitments to community work.

Any profit generated by the five coffee shops is reinvested in the valuable work of CAIS; a registered charity and third sector service provider which helps people with addiction, adverse mental health, unemployment, offending and other life challenges to make positive lifestyle changes.

Porter’s five branches span across the whole of Wales, from the Station Road and Parc Eirias cafés in Colwyn Bay, to the Rhyl Library and One Stop Shop café, all the way to the Ely and Caerau and Llandaff North and Gabalfa cafés in Cardiff. So, wherever you are in Wales this summer, why not pop into a Porter’s and grab a drink or have a tasty bite to eat!

The cafés serve sumptuous cakes, speciality teas, and a range of home cooked meals, using locally sourced ingredients and suppliers wherever possible.

They regularly pick up five-star reviews for their outstanding food and service, so don’t just take our word for it - head to a Porter’s Coffee Shop this summer and try it for yourself.

North Wales Pioneer:

9. Holywell Leisure Centre (Flintshire) - holywellleisurecentre.com

Holywell Leisure Centre is a social enterprise that has one simple goal - to provide affordable health and leisure facilities for the local community.

If you’re a parent looking to keep the kids entertained, there are swimming pools, a sports hall, gym, community studio, a soft play area, squash courts, a café and even a library on site.

Over the summer, the centre also has a programme of events planned and will be extending its opening times to offer more public swimming across its three different pools.

Alongside activities for the kids, parents can also keep themselves active, whether they decide to visit the gym or enjoy a slightly more relaxed session in the sauna.

Holywell Leisure Centre was run by the local council until 2017, when it was marked for closure. A group of volunteers worked together to take over the centre and now all profits are reinvested to ensure facilities are not just maintained, but also improved.

By visiting the centre over the summer holidays, not only will you be able to stay active and keep fit, you will also be supporting a wider community project that brings local people together.