Are you parent to a toddler? Whether you live in Donegal or are just visiting, finding things to do with children before they start school can be difficult, or if you are new to an area. So we have put together some suggestions of Things To Do with Preschoolers in Donegal.
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The handy thing about when you have a toddler and are not tied to school times is you have a bit more flexibility to visit places during the day and at less busy times. If you’re looking for ideas for things to do with preschoolers in Donegal, we’ve got a few suggestions for you:
Things To Do With Preschoolers In Donegal
Soft Play Centres in Donegal
Play centres offer dedicated soft play areas for preschoolers, this is a great way to spend a couple of hours and burn off some energy!
- Wains World in Buncrana has Parent & Toddler mornings on Fridays 10am-12.30pm
- Smartypants in Letterkenny offers preschoolers role play
- Waynes World at Arena 7
Visit Donegal Libraries
Visit one of the 13 libraries in Donegal. You can enjoy Rhyme Time for Parent and Toddlers at Buncrana Library on Fridays at 10am.
The junior section of the Library is also a fun way to spend an hour or two reading and choosing books. Your preschooler can join the library and choose their own books to borrow.
Parent Toddler Swimming in Donegal
- Aura Leisure in Letterkenny has a learner pool and offers Baby Swim and Tots Swim classes.
- Turtle Tots run baby swim classes at Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey.
- Finn Valley Leisure Centre in Stranorlar runs Aqua Babies and Toddler Water Confidence classes.
- Waterworld Bundoran has a warm toddler pool.
Music and Other Fun Classes
Sign up for a class. Music, movement, dance, drama, play labs, swimming or football! Check out preschool classes, it’s a great way to meet people and make friends too.
Playgrounds in Donegal
Visit the playground! Several of the playgrounds in Donegal have dedicated sections for smaller children. Why not pick a different playground that you don’t usually visit to go to each week or month? Here are a few of our own favourites:
- Ballybofey & Stranorlar Playground has fun wooden play equipment and is suitable for toddlers (up to 12) with seats available for parents.
- Ballyliffin playground is a fantastic playground, complete with wooden climbing walls, play-house and other toys.
- Buncrana has a large, modern playground with parent seating, bright colourful equipment and is suitable for toddlers.
- Gweedore Playground has a toddler and pre-school area. Parent Seating available.
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Parent and Toddler Groups
Join a local Parent and Toddler Group. There are many local groups throughout Donegal that meet weekly. Parent and Toddler groups are a lovely way for young children to mix with children their own age and for parents to meet other local parents.
Attractions in Donegal
If you have a free day mid week a big advantage with getting out and about with preschoolers is that you can visit places at “off peak” times when older children are at school and popular places aren’t as busy!
Some places to visit in Donegal with preschoolers:
- Lurgybrack Open Farm, just outside of Letterkenny, is a family-run farm. Although there is a cafe on site, most families seem to pack a picnic and enjoy the picnic benches all around the place. It’s not just all about the animals either. There are also bouncy castles, barrel rides, ground-level trampolines and lots more to enjoy.
- Oakfield Park in Raphoe has parkland, woodlands and gardens open between May and August. There’s a wonderful miniature railway, with over 4km of track. Train rides are available on Saturday and Sundays.
- Waterworld, located on the seafront in Bundoran, is a fun Aqua Adventure playground. As well as slides for older kids, there are also splash features and small waterslides for toddlers.
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Events for Preschoolers in Donegal
Keep an eye on our events pages as there are regular workshops and events for younger children.
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Go For A Walk
There are many lovely places for a walk in Donegal – perfect for preschoolers to run, collect leaves, stones, etc. and play hide and seek. Here are a couple of favourite walks of ours:
- Ards Forest Park, located approx 5km north of Cresslough on the N56, has lots of fun walking trails as well as a playground, public toilets, picnic and bbq spaces. The car park is open from 9am-7pm and costs €5 per car.
- We like heading for a walk at Woodquarter, located 5km from Milford. There’s also a picnic area and boat launch.
Donegal beaches are some of the best beaches in the world, not just in Ireland! Bring a kite to fly, wellies to splash about in and a bucket and spade to collect those all important shells and stones.
One of our favourites is Murvagh Beach, a large beach just outside of Donegal town with a lifeguard service during the summer season. There is a car park but access to the beach is via a sandy path. The 2km beach has plenty of space for families to play beach games, while little explorers will enjoy the network of sand dunes, which are a designated Special Area of conservation.
You might also enjoy reading our ideas for entertaining preschoolers at home.