Top 10 Things to Do in Carlow With Kids


June 21, 2014

Huntington Castle Carlow

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There’s no shortage of things to do in Carlow, so we’ve narrowed it down for you! Here’s our Mykidstime Top 10 things to do with kids in Carlow, in no particular order!

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Family-Friendly Things To Do in Carlow

#1. Visual Centre for Contemporary Art

Spend a few hours exploring the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art in Graigue, Carlow. It is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary art spaces. They are very child friendly with brilliant activity sheets for kids available free at reception, with facts on the artists and interesting questions for them to have a think about.

There are always lots of seasonal activities for families, so keep an eye out for their family workshops, for example Parent and Toddler art classes every Tuesday and regular plays for under 12’s. They also have a drop-in Make and Do table where children can draw and make to their heart’s content.

#2. Carlow Gardens & Parks

Enjoy exploring some of the wonderful gardens & parks in Carlow!

Oak Park

Situated on the outskirts of town, Oak Park forest park is the perfect place for a family day out. There are colour-coded walkways of varying lengths for relaxing walks around the park. You can go and see the swans and ducks in the lake! The park also has an outdoor picnic area, a bird watching area and toilets.

Altamont Gardens

Altamont Gardens in Carlow - Mykidstime

Altamont Gardens, recognised as one of the most beautiful gardens of Ireland, has some beautiful riverside walks. There’s an Arboretum, a Bog Garden and an Ice Age Glen. The walled garden is a must-see, and there is also a little tea garden. The gardens have toilets and outdoor picnic tables. Guided tours are also available.

Duckett’s Grove

At Duckett’s Grove, you can see the stunning ruins of the surviving towers and turrets of the house and walled garden while enjoying a walk around the grounds. The walled gardens have been restored and there is a small craft shop with local products. There is also a tea room on site, a large carpark and toilets.

Delta Sensory Gardens

Located on the outskirts of Carlow Town, the Delta Sensory Gardens is a 2.5 acre site with 16 beautiful, interconnecting gardens. Make sure to check out the famous Kugal – a tonne of pink marble floating on water. They also have a garden centre, restaurant and café on site, as well as a craft shop. Kids will be sure to love the Games Garden, which has a giant chess board on the ground, massive jenga and some picnic benches.

#3. Rancho Reilly’s Farm & Activity Centre

At Rancho Reilly’s Farm & Activity Centre in Graiguecullen, kids will have an amazing time with the wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. Say hello to the animals at their Pet Farm where you can hold a bunny or hamster, or even a snake or bearded dragon if you’re brave enough!

Their Outdoor Play Areas have swings, slides, a roundabout, sandpits and much more. They have an obstacle course and forts, and children can enjoy a donkey or pony ride. Take a short, bumpy trip on the Barrel Train around the farm. There are lots of picnic tables also.

#4. Brownshill Dolmen

To experience some prehistoric history, visit Brownshill Dolmen, a large granite megalithic portal tomb, which is located to the east of Carlow town.

It’s capstone weighs an estimated 100 tonnes, and is said to be the heaviest in Europe. Its date of construction has been estimated at between 4,900 and 5,500 years ago and experts believe religious rites were performed at the site. Located on Hacketstown Road and surrounded by quiet meadows, it’s a brilliant option for a family day out.

#5. Chocolate Garden & Rathwood

Pretend you are Willie Wonka by making chocolate at the Chocolate Garden in Tullow. Their chocolate workshops are fun, interactive and educational. Kids can try samples, see how different chocolate products are made, see and smell what a cocoa bean is actually like, and make and decorate a chocolate figure to take home. They also have a free Play Area with a slide tower, Wendy House and sandpit, and a covered outdoor picnic area.

Afterwards, pop next door to Rathwood. They run regular seasonal kids activities, for example Movies in the Woods or Teddy Bear Picnics. Take a trip on Rathwood’s Express Train through the woods and stop at the pond to feed the ducks, or go from Donegal to Cork in under an hour with the Maze of Ireland! They also have a great playground and a deer park with miniature ponies, goats, deer, geese and more.

#6. Huntington Castle & Dungeon

Huntington Castle Carlow

Take a guided tour of Huntington Castle & Dungeon in Huntington. It is the ancient seat of the Esmonde family and today is one of Ireland’s historical treasures. You can get a guided tour of the fascinating old house, tour the beautiful gardens and see the famous yew walk. They have a fantastic woodland adventure playground with swings, slides, play huts, monkey bars, balance beams, and much more. The castle also has a working farm, and kids will love to see the potbellied pigs Boris and Hamlet who wander freely around the castle grounds. Admission is free for children under 7.

#7. Family Entertainment Centres

G2 Adventure Centre

G2 is a large indoor activity centre located in the Strawhall Industrial Estate with a huge variety of activities. They are home to Ireland’s fastest in-door go karting track. Other facilities include an indoor astroturf pitch where teams can compete in a game of bubble soccer, a roller skating disco rink, tag archery, indoor wall climbing and a zipline.

The Dome Family Entertainment Centre

The Dome, Graiguecullen, located in the Talbot Hotel, is a great idea for kids activities. Their ‘Congo Quest’ is 8,000 square feet of jungle themed soft play area. Facilities include Ball Pools, Crawl Tubes, Slides and a Soccer Court. Parents can enjoy a coffee or a light snack in the Congo Café upstairs. They also have a 10 Pin Bowling Alley, state of the art Laser Zone and Electronic Go Karts.

#8. Bagenalstown Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool

Bagenalstown Carlow outdoor swimming pool - Mykidstime

Go for a splash outdoors at Bagnelstown Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool in Dunleckney, Carlow. It is open daily from early June until late August. There is a 25m pool and paddling pool. They offer swimming lessons, summer camps and water safety lessons throughout the season along with many other events such as river races, swimming galas, fun days and a water safety festival.

#9. Carlow County Museum

Carlow County Museum, located on College Street in the Cultural Quarter of Carlow Town, is open all year round and admission is free. Spanning four galleries, the museum has a wide collection of items and artefacts from Carlow county. Make sure to check out the original gallows trapdoor from Carlow Gaol, the 340 million year old fossilised squid and even the the last cigarette smoked by Kevin Barry, an 18 year old medical student who was executed for his role in the Irish War of Independence. You can also book a free guided tour. They have a Carlow County Museum Detective Quiz for kids to do while exploring the museum.

#10. County Carlow Military Museum

Located in a 19th century Church in Carlow Town, the County Carlow Military Museum has many fascinating artefacts detailing the history of the World War 1, the War of Independence and much more. They have a military vehicle display on outside, a WW1 trench and 1916 memorabilia. It is open every Sunday from 2-5pm. Adults cost €2.50 and children are €1.30.

Do you have a favourite place to go in Carlow with kids? Share it in the comments below.

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