Wexford on the East coast of Ireland offers stunning scenery with beaches, historical attractions, fun places to take the kids, and more. Enjoy nature, culture, delicious food, and a whole host of unique family-friendly activities and places to visit to keep you busy.
In our Guide to Wexford for Families, we’ve picked some of our favourite things to do with the family around Wexford, whether you’re planning a weekend break, looking to fill a rainy day, explore in the sunshine, or just try something new.
Our Guide to Wexford for Families
Family-Friendly Things to Do in Wexford
Johnstown Castle is a spectacular gothic Castle in Wexford and offers a historical day out for all ages. You can visit eight restored rooms in the Castle along with the servants tunnel. The Castle is surrounded by beautiful ornamental gardens designed by Daniel Robertson. Within the grounds you will see gothic statues, a Victorian Walled Garden, turrets and much more.
Discover the chequered past of Johnstown Castle at the Irish Agricultural Museum housed within the grounds of Johnstown Castle. With one of the most comprehensive collections showcasing farming and rural life in Ireland with everything from tractors to kitchens! You will also learn more about how the Great Famine of Ireland affected those living in the area.
Wells House and Gardens has a state of the art playground, picnic area, a 3D Archery Course, animal farm, falconry and woods with fairies and sculptures. In addition you may come face to face with trolls, fairies and a few bugs who have checked into the Bug Hotel. Take a stroll through the deep, dark woods where you will come face to face with the elusive Gruffalo!
Secret Valley Wildlife Park offers fourteen acres of fun-filled adventures from bottle-feeding the hungry kid goats, and meeting the resident animals including lemurs, insects and snakes, to riding Snowball the pony. Hop on board the quad train, or try your luck at the welly-throwing and obstacle course – you’re sure of a fun family day out here.
Hook Lighthouse is the oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world. Take the guided tour, and climb the 115 winding steps where the monks heaved sacks of coal upwards for panoramic sea views. Explore the surrounding rock pools outside, relax in the cafe, or have a picnic outside and enjoy the outdoor games.
At Pirates Cove near Gorey, there’s oodles for families to do, between pirate themed crazy golf, ‘Funcaves’ soft play area and bubble rollers where you can walk on water, and a range of other activities such as 10 pin bowling, go-karts, and a games arcade.
Also near Gorey is Kia Ora Mini Farm, where children can interact with, hold and feed, animals of the usual farmyard variety. There are also more exotic animals too, like llamas, emus, alpacas, pot bellied pigs, chinchillas and more. There’s plenty of other entertainment too including sandpits, maze, football pitch, a rough rider track, and a convoy of ride on tractors, amongst other things. Bring a picnic or enjoy delicious home-baked goodies at the coffee shop.
Free Things to Do in Wexford
Wexford Lavender Farm is a wonderful place to take the kids. More than four acres of lavender is a stunning sight to behold, while you relax surrounded by the most divine scent, let the children loose at the play area, before trying out a quad barrel train ride and enchanted woodland walks. At the entrance there is a visitor information centre, a café with a takeaway menu with seating and picnic benches available, and a small gift shop. NB while visiting is free, parking is €5 per car and that is the only fee incurred during your visit (unless you opt to buy some lavender goodies and/or sweet treats!)
Bring the kids to one of these great local libraries in Wexford. Most have children’s sections where the kids can sit down and entertain themselves with the great selection of books, games and puzzles. There are also weekly story time sessions in the Bunclody, Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross and Wexford town branches.
Most of the towns in Wexford have playgrounds, but here are some great playgrounds in Wicklow that we can recommend, including South Shore Playground in Greystones which is accessible and offers a variety of facilities, including a sensory path and musical play area, toddler play areas, wheelchair swing and wheelchair-accessible sand factory.
Outdoor Activities in Wexford
The John F. Kennedy Arboretum in Ballysop, New Ross has lovely walks, great trees, feed ducks by the pond and watch the fish dart about. There’s also a miniature railway. The playground has plenty of picnic tables, a cafe, a small maze, a great slide and a house grown out of hedging! Drop into the centre and take a look at the exhibitions. This is also good place to bring the bikes – small legs will get around more easily!
There are 6 blue flag beaches in Wexford: Ballinesker, Ballymoney North Beach, Carne, Curracloe, Morriscastle, Rosslare Strand.
- Curracloe Beach featured in the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’, is one of the most popular beaches in Ireland. It always has some great gusts for kites. Curracloe Nature Trail is a delightful 800 metres nature trail through seashore and sand dunes.
- Rosslare Strand is a lovely sandy beach and has a Blue Flag. There is parking and lifeguards during the bathing season.
At the North Slob, Ardcavan, the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve is a lovely place to visit with the whole family. It has a small but perfect exhibition in their Visitor Centre and great bird watching activities. Learn about the over 250 bird species that the reserve has hosted over the years. The venue has a carpark, but no café.
Carrigbyrne Hill is a 5km trail through a forest of mainly coniferous trees good for family walking and cycling while The Three Rocks Trail is is a great spot for a picnic. There is an 8km long trail across Fort Mountain and Shelmalier, and there are plenty of shorter loops for families with picnic areas and fabulous viewing points.
Are you searching for what’s on for families in Ireland? Enjoy hours of family fun with our monthly round up of exciting events and things to do!
Family-Friendly Museums & Galleries in Wexford
The Irish Agricultural Museum has one of the most comprehensive displays of farming and rural life in the country and makes a wonderful day out for all the family – whatever the weather. View their dairy equipment, see recreated workshops of traditional trades including blacksmith, cooper and wheelwright. Learn about ‘The Great Famine’ through an exhibition which vividly reveals what life was like before, during and after the famine. Compare farmhouse kitchens through the ages and take part in quizzes and trails (suitable for children).
Step off the Quays at New Ross and take a trip straight back in time to the days of the Famine on The Dunbrody Famine Ship, an authentic reproduction of a 19th Century three masted sailing ship. This is definitely one of Wexford’s most popular visitor attractions. You can do a guided tour and see the costumed performers and themed exhibitions that the ship features. Get a unique insight into the bravery and suffering that the Irish people faced during this time.
The Irish National Heritage Park in Ferrycarig, has a unique insight into visual history with buildings that are fun to explore. The guided tours are interesting for older kids while younger kids will enjoy running onto the next thing. There are plenty of places to picnic if the weather is on your side; one of our favourite spots is past the Viking boats on the way up to the Norman and round towers, it offers a great view.
Visit Duncannon Fort to experience the fascinating history of the area. It has one of the oldest lighthouses of its kind in Ireland, a moat and the famous ‘Croppy Boy Cell’ which played a part in the 1798 rebellion. Make sure to check out the Maritime and Military Museum which charts the maritime history of one of the most dangerous coastlines in Ireland, the Wexford coast.
The Wexford Arts Centre in Cornmarket in Wexford Town has a small gallery space, so it is perfect for kids to introduce them to art. They also run a lot of regular events for families such as artist led education programmes, theatre events, art house cinema and music events. The Arts Centre runs children’s workshops such as their ‘Little Artists’ Club’ every Saturday morning. There is also a café at the venue.
Rainy Day Activities in Wexford
Enjoy some swimming and splashing time at Wexford Swimming Pool & Leisure Centre at Ferrybank which has a 25m pool and separate learner pool. The The Waterfront Pool & Leisure also offers a 25m pool and learner pool.
For some bookshop time, head to The Book Centre in Wexford, which has a kids’ books section and you can relax, browse a book and adults can enjoy a coffee. Eason can also be found in Wexford, along with Reader’s Paradise which stocks a wide range of both new and second hand books, while Bookstation in Gorey promises great value and carries a good selection of children’s books.
For indoor soft play:
- New Ross Play Barn offers a range of fun activities and facilities, including a soft play area, bouncy castles, slides and multi activity structures.
- Kidzone in Gorey has soft play areas divided into age appropriate sections, with three tier climbing frame, a triple slide, ballpool areas, and more.
- Playzone in Wexford Town has an indoor adventure playground with a 3 tier climbing frame, 4 lane slide, disco room and infant play area.
For older kids, Leisure Max in Wexford Town is an indoor entertainment complex offering 10 pin bowling, Indoor Adventure Playground, Laser Tag, Make a Bear
Escape Rooms @ Leisuremax offers 3 different escape room experiences for ages 10 and up.
Catch a movie at The Arc Cinema or Omniplex in Wexford Town or at Movies @ Gorey.
Family-Friendly Hotels & Accommodation in Wexford
Situated in the picturesque town of Gorey, the Amber Springs Hotel comes highly recommended by parents with kids of all ages. On-site you can enjoy a variety of activities from crazy golf to go-karting to swimming, table tennis and more. If you have a mix of teens, tweens and younger children, you are guaranteed to find something to amuse them all.
The 4 star Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy is set in a scenic location on the banks of the River Slaney. Considered one of the friendliest hotels in Wexford offers family friendly rooms as well as a fantastic playground located directly adjacent to the hotel.
Talbot Suites at Stonebridge, part of The Talbot Collection, offer high quality self-catering in the heart of Wexford Town, 100 metres from the Talbot Hotel Wexford. There’s a mixture of one, two and three bedroom apartments with a choice of sea views over the stunning River Slaney.
Seafield Hotel & Spa in Wexford has spacious 2 and 3 bedroom apartments available to rent and self catering guests have access to acres of parkland, a nature trail, children’s playground, games room, kids club (during school holidays), Ballymoney Beach, Oceo Spa and a selection of golf courses.
Check out more of our favourite family-friendly hotels and accommodation in Ireland – from luxury breaks and hotels with kids clubs to self-catering choices and family camping and glamping.
Family-Friendly Restaurants in Wexford
There are many good restaurants in Wexford to choose from, here are some recommended by parents
- Meyler’s Milhouse Bar and Restaurant, Tacumshane, Co Wexford next to one of the last remaining intact windmills in Ireland has brilliant food and kids menu. They have very creative kids deserts too, such as “Dirt and Worms” (cookies and ice cream).
- Roches Bar & Restaurant on Quay Road in Duncannon is a traditional Irish pub that have a fantastic kids menu with lots of healthy choices from home-made chicken goujons to kids’ chicken curry.
- The Purple Haze Cafe at Wexford Lavender Farm has a good value kids menu, and a playroom for toddlers with soft toys, books and chalkboard so you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your lunch too.
- Kilcannon Restaurant, Garden Centre, Old Dublin Road does great food at good prices. Ample parking and an ideal stop off if you’re en-route to Wexford Town or New Ross from Dublin. The restaurant is accessed through the Garden Centre.
- Templars Inn Seafood Bar & Restaurant, Hook Peninsula has beautiful panoramic views across Templetown Bay to Dunmore East, Waterford. Specialises in seafood but has an excellent varied menu which caters for all tastes. Nice kids menu and baby bowls are also available.
- Katie Dalys, Main St, Gorey has a nice children’s menu with pasta, burgers, baby bowls and kids margarita flatbreads.
Get set for a real treat with tiers of delicious bite-sized goodies to enjoy at these fantastic places for kids’ afternoon tea in Ireland – they are definitely worth a visit!
Things to Do in Wexford for Older Kids and Teens
Leisure Max offers ten pin bowling, laser tag and for some escape room fun, try Escape Rooms at Leisure Max.
Ever played Footgolf? Yes it is as it is described, a game played on a golf course with a football. Enjoy Footgolf at Blackwater Golf Course. A game of Foot Golf takes around an hour, and is suitable for all ages and all levels of fitness.
At Active Tribe Courtown you can try Archery, Laser Tag, Kayaking, Zip Line, Climbing Wall and Higher and Lower Aerial Trekking.
Sew Fun Studios teaches the principles of fashion design and the art of sewing to adults, teens and kids in a contemporary styled sewing studio on the quay in Wexford town.
Need a retail blitz? There are lots of shops to choose from in Wexford town including Penneys, Flying Tiger and Lifestyle Sports, or find a few more at Gorey Shopping Centre.
Edenvale-Crossabeg-Castlebridge is a lovely river walk with several waterfalls and ruins of an old house to explore that will give the children a sense of adventure!
It has some steep steps in parts, and can sometimes be muddy so sturdy boots/wellies recommended. See if you can spot the carved face in the tree on your way. Car parking at the entrance.