As parents we know how expensive it can be to entertain the kids, so we thought we would put together a list of things to do for free with the children, yes, the things that are completely free of charge. Here’s our suggestions for the best free things to do in Offaly with kids:
Visit Clara Bog
Clara Bog is perhaps the best remaining example of midland raised bog in Western Europe. It has been said that you can experience ten thousand years of history in the ten square miles that accommodate Clara Bog.
Clara Bog Visitor Centre & Nature Reserve boardwalk, which meanders through Clara Bog Nature Reserve, is located a two minute drive from the Clara Bog Visitor Centre. The boardwalk is a 1 kilometre looped walk on Clara Bog. Admission to both Clara Bog Visitor Centre and the boardwalk are free to all. Visitors to the boardwalk are recommended to wear sturdy footwear.
Lloyd Town Park, Tullamore
We like Lloyd Town Park in Tullamore. There is a playground, walks and a skate park so plenty for kids of all ages.
Lough Boora Parklands
Lough Boora Parklands near Kilcormac is a wonderful amenity for walking, cycling or fishing. The Parklands also host some of the most innovative land and environmental sculptures in Ireland. The artists, inspired by the rich natural and industrial legacy of the bog lands, have created a series of large-scale sculptures that are now part of sculpture in the parklands permanent collection. Industrial materials of the bog, such as locomotives, rail line, timber and stone have been developed into magnificant sculptures.
Take a walk in Charleville Castle grounds on Birr Rd outside Tullamore. The Gothic-style castle is considered one of the finest of its type in the country and is reputed to be haunted!
Go and see a real pyramid in Kinnity
Kinnitty Pyramid, the only one of its kind in Ireland, is situated in the graveyard of the Church of Ireland in the village of Kinnity.
It stands 30 feet in height and was built as a crypt by Lt. Col Richard Wesley Bernard for his family on his return from Egypt in the mid 1800’s.
The Pyramid is an exact replica of the Pyramid of Cheop in Egypt.
Cycling in Offaly
Take out your bicycles and get active. Cycle by the canal. Take the bikes or hire bikes and explore Lough Boora.
Picnic Places in Offaly
Many walks in the Midlands are wooded so there is plenty of shelter. So pack a picnic, bring extra clothes (in case it suddenly turns wintery in the middle of summer) and it’s an activity that is both free and good fun!
Visit the website of the environmental organisation, ENFO, and you can download a huge variety of posters and leaflets that are both informative and interesting. Bring a relevant leaflet when you go to visit somewhere outdoors and have fun asking the kids to identify various flora and fauna! Wear sturdy footwear and bring drinking water and a picnic.
Clara Bog Visitor Centre
Visit Clara Bog Visitor Centre for free kids’ workshops on art and nature.
Make The Most of Libraries
Make sure to check out your local library and find out what classes and events that they run throughout the year. Your local library branch is a wonderful – and free – resource for families. Many of the branches in Offaly have children’s corner, host storytelling sessions, arts and crafts classes, book clubs, chess clubs, games and activities sessions and so on. Not to mention the fact that there is free computer access and the option to borrow books and DVDs! For a change of scenery, why not visit a different library to your local branch?