Things to Do with Preschoolers in Laois

Jill Holtz

October 20, 2019

emo court laois family playing

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Welcome parents of toddlers! Whether you live in Laois 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 Laois.

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The nice 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 Laois, we’ve got a few suggestions for you:

Things To Do With Preschoolers In Laois

Soft Play Centres in Laois

Many 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! There’s usually tea and coffee options for Mum and Dad and some play centres run parent & toddler activities too.

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Visit Laois Libraries

Carlow libraries

Visit one of the libraries in Laois. Portarlington Library has Children’s Storytime on Wednesdays at 12:15pm. You can also find out other upcoming events and news here for other Laois libraries.

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.

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Parent Toddler Swimming in Laois

baby swim

Go swimming! Portlaoise Leisure Centre has a separate toddlers pool with fun features and they offer swimming lessons to smallies from six months and onwards. Portarlington Leisure Centre has Parent & Baby Swimming Lessons on Thursdays.

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 Laois

Playground climbing frame playgrounds in Ireland

Visit the playground! Several of the playgrounds in Laois 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:

  • Dún Spraoi playground at the Portlaoise Leisure Centre is very colourful and has lots of swinging and climbing equipment to keep kids of all ages busy. It has an area with sand especially for the little ones. There are plenty of benches too for the adults. It can get quite busy at times but children of all ages love it! It is right beside the swimming pool which also has a cafe and baby changing facilities.
  • Solas na Gréine at The People’s Park in Timahoe Road caters for children up to age 8. This is well equipped and also has a sand pit. The People’s Park also has a pond with lots of ducks and wildlife.
  • Sult na Mara, located at People’s Park in Abbeyleix is a good playground situated to the rear of Heritage House which has a cafe and toilet facilities. It is in a lovely setting and has good equipment and an area for little ones.

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Parent and Toddler Groups

Join a local Parent and Toddler Group. There are many local groups throughout Laois 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 Laois

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 Laois with preschoolers:

  • Emo Court, Park, Gardens and Tearooms is a great place to take preschoolers.  There is acres of space to run around, swans, “ugly ducklings”, and ducks to see. The tearooms adjoin a walled area so there is a safe place to run around while you enjoy a “cuppa” with friends.
  • For your train-made preschooler a trip to see The Steam Train and Stradbally Steam Museum is a must. The Train runs on a narrow gauge railway on all Bank Holiday weekends through the grounds of Stradbally Hall estate.
  • Go for a picnic and to see how many barges you can spot on the Grand Canal.
  • Heywood Gardens in Ballinakill near Abbeyleix. Free admission and open all the year round. It is a heritage site with formal gardens, designed by Lutyens, an artificial lake and walks.

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Events for Preschoolers in Laois

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 (or A Toddle!)

mum playing with child

In Laois there are many woodland and park walks close at hand, it’s great fun to run, collect leaves, stones and play hide and seek. Here are some of our favourite places for a toddle:

  • The People’s Park, Timahoe Road, Portlaoise. Perfect for toddlers and the playground caters for 1 – 8 yr olds.
  • Glen Monicknew has short walks, picnic benches and a stream for paddling.
  • Take a walk around Brittas Lake in Clonaslee. You might be lucky enough to see deer or wild goats.

You might also enjoy reading our ideas for entertaining preschoolers at home.

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