Top Ten Things to do with Kids in Offaly


June 27, 2014

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Are you looking for things to do with kids in Offaly. Here’s the Mykidstime Top 10 things to do with kids in Offaly, in no particular order!!

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#1.  Birr Castle Demesne and Science Centre

birr castle

Birr Castle Demesne is an experience of discovery for the whole family – home to extensive gardens and parkland, as well as the Historic Science Centre and the great telescope of the 1840s.

Kids will adore Ireland’s largest tree house, and the play area, picnic areas, sandpits – in fact you may find it hard to pry them away! There is also a lovely cafe on site.

Don’t Miss: The Family Quest, pick up your quest sheet when you arrive and follow the clues!

#2. Slieve Bloom Mountains

Pack a picnic and take a scenic drive around the Slieve Bloom Mountains National Park in Forelacka, Kinnitty. You can choose between the Kinnity/Mountrath route or the Clonaslee/Mountrath route. There are lovely walks, short and long, waymarked by Coillte. They also have 16 looped walks to suit all levels of fitness across a variety of landscapes. Make sure to visit the beautiful waterfalls on the Barrow in Glenbarrow, near Rosenallis! You can also go horse riding or mountain biking.

Related: Coillte Outdoors

#3. Lough Boora Parklands

Lough Boora Parklands is a unique area consisting of acres of reclaimed bogland, ponds, a number of walks and a sculpture park. Hire a bike, take a guided tour or walk and explore and take a picnic. There’s a variety of family-friendly activities perfect for all ages and things to see and do here. There are picnic and play areas and a fairy trail which are all accessible for buggies and wheelchair users.

There is also visitors pavilion that is sheltered and other structures that provide shelter on a rainy day. There is also a bird hide and birding groups are regular visitors to view the many bird varieties resident in the park.

#4. Clonmacnoise Monastic Site

Clonmacnoise in Shannonbridge, Athlone, is one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. The site, founded in the 6th century, has the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches, two round towers, three high crosses as well as the largest collection of Early Christian grave slabs in Western Europe. It has an interactive visitor’s centre where you should check out the original high crosses and their collection of fascinating artefacts. As it a historic site it will appeal to older children rather than toddlers and it can be really busy in summer. Bear in mind that entry fees apply – it costs €8.00 for adults and €4.00 for children.

#5. Cruise the Shannon

For a family day out, why not take a cruise on Ireland’s longest river at 386km? The Shannon is a world-famous tourist destination and it has some beautiful scenery and wildlife. Experience it from a different perspective on a boat cruise! There are cruises from Banagher on the River Queen in July and August. Enjoy a one hour river cruise from Shannonbridge to Clonmacnoise.

Or why not hire a canoe or two and explore the Shannon from Banagher? Hourly, daily and weekly camping options are available.

#6. Saoirse ar an Uisce

Get together a group of family or friends and take a trip on “Saoirse ar an Uisce”, or “Freedom on the Water.” This is an inland waterways passenger boat that departs from Tullamore Harbour. The boat has open air viewing at the front and rear of the boat which is perfect for passengers to enjoy the breathtaking views and scenery. Inside it has a galley which is equipped with drinks and snacks. There are games and colouring books for children to keep them occupied! The whole boat is buggy and wheelchair friendly, with a boarding ramp. The booking office is located in Monasterevin, County Kildare.

#7.  Belmont Mill Water Mill

Belmont Mill is an operating electricity generating water mill located in Ballingowan Glebe, Birr. The water mill complex, which dates back to the 18th Century, has been recently restored and is now an inspiring venue for creativity. Experience the Mill’s unique and fascinating history. The venue also runs art talks and events throughout the year, so keep an eye out!

#8. Jumpin’ Jacks, Tullamore

If the weather is wet and miserable go to an indoor play centre, Jumping Jacks in Tullamore. They have four separate soft play areas and there is a Toddler area for kids up to two years. They have great facilities including slides, swings, bridges and obstacle courses, as well as a large ball pool. The venue features the Cosmic Cafe where parents can relax while the kids play. Admission costs €8 per child. They also run Mother and Toddler Coffee Mornings.

#9. Birr Outdoor Adventure Centre

Kids looking to do something a little more exciting? Try some outdoor adventure sports and get the adrenaline pumping for the whole family at this Outdoor Education Centre in Seefin, Birr. Using the River Shannon as its base, they have a great range of activities to try out including archery in the woods, body surfing, gorge walking, hill walking, kayaking, orienteering, raft building, rock climbing and even more. The adventure centre is open all year round.

#10. Cosmic Bowl

A classic activity for a family day out is bowling, and there’s no place better in County Offaly than Cosmic Bowl in Tullamore. They have 10 fully computerised Bowling lanes. They also provide bowling balls in different sizes to suit both the kids and adults of the family. They have specially designed bowling rails which allow all abilities to aim and bowl. The cost is €6 per game. Their other facilities include Air hockey, Pool, Shooting and Racing games and more. Make sure to check out Michael Jackson’s bowling shoes!


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