FREE Family Things To Do in Galway with Kids


June 1, 2014

Portnmna Castle

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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, we do mean things that are completely free of charge! Here’s our suggestions for the best free family things to do in Galway with kids:

Take a Walk

Renville Park

Only 15 minutes from Galway city and a short drive from the M6 motorway, Renville Park is a lovely place to spend time with your family.  You can walk in the woods, visit the playground, have a picnic or explore the seashore!


Located beside the beach front, and close to coffee shops and ice cream stops, Salthill is a great spot on a sunny day.  There is lots to do: follow one of our Salthill family walking trails, go swimming in the sea/Leisureland, make sand castles on the beach, visit the playground or take a trip the Atlantaquaria

Related: Great Family Walks in Galway and The Leaning Tower of Galway

On Your Bike

Take out your bicycles and get active. Follow an established cycle trail or find an off-road route.

River Cycle Path – There is a cycle path from Galway city centre up to Dangan sports grounds, which runs through NUIG and along by the river Corrib; you can find it easily by starting at the Salmon Weir bridge and keeping the river on your right :-)

Portumna Forest Park has a Coillte cycling trail, suitable for all levels of cyclist.  You can hire bikes at the park too.  For the serious cyclists among you, Derroura Mountain Bike Trail near Oughterard provides more of a challenge and you can find other “off road” places to go on the Coillte Outdoors Website

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, free, resource for families.

All libraries host very popular, annual summer reading programmes while many of the branches run or host parent and toddler groups, storytelling sessions, arts and crafts classes, book clubs, games and activities sessions, exhibitions 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?

Related: Libraries in Galway

Visit a Playground

There are some great playgrounds throughout the city and county.  Why not print the list and aim to visit them all over time? It’s an activity that is both free and good fun!

Make sure to bring some snacks and drinks or a picnic lunch.

Our current favourite is Doughiska (Merlin Woods) Playground and Park which has something for all ages with loads of space to run around and different parts to explore.  There is also a skating section, a place to kick a football and a fitness trail around the edge of the park.

Related: Playgrounds in Galway

History & Heritage

Galway has lots of places to visit for a look at the past.  Galway County Council lists loads of places to visit from the Spanish Arch to the Aran Island, from Portumna Castle to Clifden Castle

Also, on the first Wednesday of every month a number of Heritage Ireland Sites have FREE admission, why not take advantage and visit

National Heritage Week is on at the end of August, and there is always lots of free family events taking place throughout the county.

Related: OPW Free Days

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