If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Ireland make sure to head out west!
Ireland’s west is known for its stunning countryside, farmland and rugged landscapes.
A kids life is complete with all this space to get out and play and one thing that the west does well is outdoor activities for kids. From adventure centers, to open farms or even featured kids walks it leaves no stone unturned.
With two kids ourselves, we have been out and tried and tested a few of these spots time and time again and here are our top five things to do with kids in Ireland in the west.
Here are a few things to do with kids in Ireland in the west
1. Lough Key Forest Park
Situated in County Roscommon lies Lough Key Forest Park, a 800 hectare forest park based around the beautiful Lough. This is where you can see the impressive McDermots castle out on a island in the lough.
Along with access to the park, which is free to roam, the ‘Lough Key Experience’ is available with an audio journey through the history of the park. It even uses the 19th century underground tunnels, a newly refurbished Moylurg viewing tower the Zipit tree climb and Tree Canopy Walk. The tree walk at 300m long is an impressive timber and steel construction, rising 9m above the ground offering a ‘birds eye’ view of nature through the treetops and offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. The Zipit is an adventure climb and activity course through the trees, using harnesses to navigate your way round.
A huge children’s play area with slides and things like climbing frames and many other obstacles are also available.
Down on the Lough, you will find ducks and swans to feed and great views out to McDermots castle. Its at this point where you can take the kids and hire row boats around the lough and get up close to castle itself. The castle is in ruins but is worth seeing.
Food and drink are available on site from food truck vendors with seating provided with kids food catered for. Also, a great selection of allergy-friendly food is available which is great in this world of ever growing food intolerances.
2. Glendeer Pet Farm
Situated in county Galway just five minutes outside Atlone is Glendeer Petting Farm.
On entrance to the farm, kids get a free bag of feed to give the animals (beware the ostrich darts in). They all have ample space to move around and are certainly well looked after and very happy.
The selection of animals available to view at Glendeer include donkeys, cows, ostrich, hens, goats, monkeys, turtles, lizards and pigs. Feed them, pet them or just enjoy them, the choice is yours. The farm moves in one direction and continues round making it easy to navigate.
Other activities for kids include an indoor play area with slides, a huge outdoor playground with numerus amount of equipment and finally a lovely nature walk and fairy garden.
The Glendeer Pet Farm also features a beautifully restored 1850s cottage. With original features all in place from the kitchen to the bedrooms see it just as it once was.
Don’t worry about having to feed the kids as there is an on-site café serving sandwiches and snacks. With that said you are allowed to bring your own.
3. Bunratty Castle And Folk Park
Just north of Limerick city lies the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. With 26 acres of exploring to do, you’ll never get bored.
Bunratty Folk Park features an amazing 30 buildings in a village based on the early 19th century living within this rural setting.
Throughout the Folk Park you will find some of these activities to enjoy:
Petting farm which consists of many animals like red deer, indigenous breeds of sheep, goats, cows, pigs, ponies, and poultry.Fairy trail leading round the back of the folk park and back around. Great for kids imagination and interaction. Viking playground which consists of A Viking Playship, four tower play castles, rope walks, belt bridges, vast variety of swings suitable for all ages (even dad), a sandpit and a 25m zipline.
And finally, a visit to Bunratty wouldn’t be complete without a walk around the two story castle.
The kids will likely be hungry after this adventure. Our number one tip would be to take them to Durty Nellys, a restaurant set on the rivers edge just 200 meters from the castle. With a great kids menu to choose from, it will be enough to fuel them up for an afternoon of action.
4. Baysports Inflatable Water Park
Located moments outside Athlone by the Hudson Bay hotel and run by Baysports.
The water which is an outside floatable water park is Ireland’s Largest Inflatable Waterpark and has the largest collection of floating slides, rockers and challenges – entertaining people of all ages and abilities.
The round tower slide coming in at a whopping 6 meters is probably the largest draw, landing you straight into the river.
The park sounds adventurous but don’t fear, a mini water park closer to the shore is available for younger children, where childen must be accompanied by an adult.
Hudson Bay is located right besides Baysports, offering kids menus and bistro food available. Small scale snacks are also availble from the site itself.
5. Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park
Located on the outskirts of Westport is Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park. The park was the winner of Best Family Visitor Attraction in Ireland and is one of the best and most adventurous days out in the west.
Rides at the adventure park include the Cannonball Run slide, Pirate Queen Swinging Ship and Pirates Plunge Flume RideExperience some great outdoors in this beautiful parkland and lakeside settingSwan Pedalo Boats on the lakeWestport House Express train ride the miniature railwayTable-tennisMini ZipLine
It’s also worth noting with its close proximity to Westport House, the grounds are great to walk and let the kids run around.
Food is available from the on site catering facilities with great range of products to choose from.
There are plenty more fun indoor and outdoor things to do with kids in Ireland out in the west! Just don’t let the weather stop you from exploring.