Are you looking for fun things to do with kids in Roscommon? Strokestown Park, House and Gardens and the Irish Famine Museum offer an amazing day out with activities for all ages. We have rounded up 9 super fun things to do with the kids when you next visit.
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In addition to the fun activities mentioned below, Strokestown Park House, Gardens & the National Famine Museum run regular cultural events for all ages and interests throughout the year. These include family events, concerts, workshops, talks and more.
#1. Check Out the School Room
In bygone days children of wealthy merchants were schooled at home until they were 10 years old, when they were then sent to boarding school.
The school room at Strokestown Park House has been preserved with the original desks and wall colours. The bright yellow and blue was thought to keep children more alert for their lessons!
And do you notice anything strange about the seats attached to the desks? They are slightly off centre, to encourage children to write with their right hand! Writing with your left hand was frowned upon until very recently!
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#2. Unearth Horrible Histories!
The National Famine Museum is a historical archive of this time in Ireland’s history and is situated in the grounds of Strokestown House.
Strokestown was home to Denis Mahon, the first landlord to be assassinated during the height of the Great Famine of Ireland in the 1840’s for forcing his tenants to emigrate on some of the worst coffin ships of the time. See if you can spot the gun that shot him, which is on display at the museum.
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#3. Step Back In Time
When children were not in the school room, they would have passed much of their days in the nursery. It looks like the children who grew up in Strokestown Park House had an abundance of toys to play with. And it is interesting to see the books and musical instruments on show here too.
The house has many beautiful pieces of original furniture, paintings, sculptures and works of art on display throughout. It almost feels like the family still lives here.
#4. Find Out More About Sleeping Arrangements!
This beautiful bed chamber was only for the lady of the house. The man of the house had his own chamber on the opposite end of the hall, and the children slept on the floor above their parents.
The reason for this arrangement is thought to be for security. I wonder who was closest to the stairs!
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#5. Discover Exotic Plants
Strokestown Park has an amazing working walled garden which has been restored over time and offers visitors an insight into the horticultural design and architecture from the 1740’s to the present day.
Former owner of the house, Henry Pakenham, was an avid gardener and travelled extensively gathering plants and seeds from around the world to grow at Strokestown Park. Many of these exotic plants can still be seen today. See how many different varieties you can find!
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#6. See Where Food Was Prepared
How would you like to cook in these ovens? The fires would need to remain burning at all times in these enormous hearths to ensure meals could be prepared in a timely fashion for the family and their distinguished guests.
And look at those chains, they would have been used to lift the super sized pots in which food was prepared. These kitchens offer a fascinating insight into life in a big country house.
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#7. Go For A Ramble In the Walled Garden
Strokestown Park has a stunning walled garden which is 6 acres and has been fully restored to its original splendour. It was originally built in 1740 as a vegetable garden, providing fruit and vegetables to feed the family, their guests and up to 50 staff.
When Henry Pakenham moved to the house, he converted 4 acres from the walled garden into a pleasure garden for his family. Today the walled gardens include features such as the herbaceous border, the fernery, the lily pond, the Victorian rose garden, pergola, peach house, vinery, fruit and vegetable garden and herb garden to name but a few. Plenty to keep everyone in the family busy discovering.
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#8. Count The Antlers!
Strokestown House is packed with antiques and artifacts from around the world. The walls are adorned with antlers and other animal memorabilia which hang alongside portraits and paintings.
Even in this image alone I can spot 4 sets of antlers! See how many more you can find on your next visit.
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#9. Admire The Water Lilies
The lily pond is a beautiful feature in the walled garden. Be sure to stop by and admire the beautiful lilies growing here and see if you can spot any wildlife too.
Why not pack a picnic to enjoy in these beautiful surroundings?
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Over to you now. Have you visited Strokestown Park House & Gardens and the Irish Famine Museum? Maybe you have some other suggestions of fun things to do there? Please share them with us in the comments box below.