9 Not to Be Missed Family Activities at The Irish National Stud

Michelle

March 29, 2023

Irish National Stud & Gardens

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The Irish National Stud and Gardens in Kildare has long been a firm favourite with families from all around Ireland and visitors from abroad too, with good reason.

It is the only stud open to the general public in Ireland and is the birthplace of many of our top racing legends and home to pretty special retired living legends too.

Whether you are mad about horses or just want a fun day out with activities to suit all ages, check out these family activities that should not be missed on your next day out to this stunning location in Kildare.

Family Activities at The Irish National Stud

The Irish Racehorse Experience

Family activities at The Irish National Stud

We begin with the newest family activity, The Irish Racehorse Experience. It is suitable for all members of the family aged 8+.

This award winning experience brings you on a journey of discovery, from the first ever steeplechase held in Cork, to learning about the breeding and training of thoroughbred horses to racing today in Ireland and further afield.

The experience includes an opportunity for you to be a virtual racehorse trainer and to take part in a virtual race against the other members of your family! Who will be victorious?

The Playground

Family activities at The Irish National Stud

For younger members of the family the play area at The Irish National Stud and Gardens offers a great variety of play equipment including swings, slides and climbing frames, sure to keep the little ones entertained!

Fairy Trails

Family activities at The Irish national stud

Take a stroll through the woodlands and gardens to see if you can spot some of the 20 fairies who call The Irish National Stud home!

You can collect a fairy trail map when you arrive. It will lead you on an enchanting journey alongside the lake in St Fiachra’s garden and through the woodlands to the stable yards, where you might spot Hattie taking good care of the newborn foals and other horses.

Once you’ve spotted all the fairies, head to the playground to make your wish on the special wishing seat!

The Japanese Gardens

The Japanese Gardens have been cultivated for over 100 years. They offer a magical experience with running water, bridges, a traditional tea house and unique statues, sculptures, plants and trees that are a feast for the senses.

Enter through the ‘Gates of Oblivion’ and follow the path of of your choice from the path of life, to the easy path or the rugged path. There are 15 steps to follow which depict the journey of life and you can find out what each step represents in your guide provided when you arrive.

Plan Your Visit

Get the most from your family day out at The Irish National Stud by planning and booking your visit in advance.

St Fiachra’s Garden

Irish National Stud and Gardens Family days out ideas

St Fiachra’s Garden was created to celebrate the Millennium at The Irish National Stud. St Fiachra is the patron saint of gardeners and believed in helping those in need.

The 4 acre garden combines woodland, water and a natural habitat to explore. Along the way you can enter caves, cross stepping stones, enter a traditional Beehive hut and see wildlife.

Be sure to stop for a moment on the Forget Me Not bench to remember things that make you happy.

Check Out The Buglington Hotel

Family activities at The Irish National Stud

Don’t miss checking out the Buglington Hotel! The perfect spot for all those bugs and insects who help pollinate the plants all around that look so pretty but also provide food for us humans and all the horses too! Your little one will love this special spot.

Take a Guided Tour

You can take a self guided tour when you visit or for those who want to learn more, there are regular guided tours.

These are included as part of the cost of entry and are the ideal way to learn more about the living legends and have an opportunity to meet some of the horses in the main paddock and the mares and foals who are in a separate paddock. You can also meet the ponies that are in residence too.

Don’t miss checking out the Buglington Hotel! The perfect spot for all those bugs and insects who help pollinate the plants all around that look so pretty but also provide food for us humans and all the horses too! Your little one will love this special spot.

Family Friendly Dining

Family activities at The Irish National Stud

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy dining at The Japanese Gardens Restaurant and the Pavilion café when you visit. Local ingredients are used where possible and the homemade style of the food is perfect to keep everyone happy.

With everything from hot meals to sandwiches and wraps, home baked goods and delicious tea and coffee you are sure to find something to suit everyone in the family. Kids size portions are available on request and there are high chairs and bottle heating facilities too.

If a picnic is more your thing, there are plenty of picnic benches dotted throughout the grounds and you can always pick up drinks and some treats to enjoy outdoors from the Pavilion Café.

Seasonal Family Friendly Events

The Irish National Stud and Gardens run regular seasonal events and classes. With everything from foaling season in February, the Easter Eggstravaganza through to outdoor theatre, workshops and much more.

During school holidays visitors are invited to enjoy the Summer Fun Series which takes place during July & August annually.

Be sure to keep up-to-date for the latest events on their Facebook page and the website.

For those who want to visit more than once in the year, the Annual Pass is a good value option which gives you unlimited day visitor admission, priority booking on ticketed events and regular mailings with updates and seasonal events.

Amazing For Children with Extra Needs

INS family days out with dining options

One of our parents recommended The Irish National Stud and Gardens as the perfect place to visit with children who have sensory or additional needs.

You are surrounded by nature and tranquility. Their child especially loved the opportunity to meet and stroke the horses and there was plenty of space to move about without anywhere getting too crowded.

The Gift Shop

Don’t forget to pay a visit to the gift shop which has a kids corner for little people to enjoy! Here you can pick up unique gifts for family and friends or a memento of your special day out.

From foaling in February right though to Christmas, you can follow the journey of the horses as they grow, enjoy every season in the gardens and discover 850 acres of pure magic when you have a family day out at The Irish National Stud and Gardens.

Book your visit today.

Family activities at The Irish National Stud and Gardens

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