Here in Clare, we are a bit spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor places to take the kids. Here are some of the best outdoor places in Clare, so pack up a picnic and head outdoors with kids and enjoy the fine scenery in the county!
Clare has lakes, rivers and beaches as well as playgrounds and parks. So there’s plenty of opportunities to get outdoors with the family. Here are a few of our favourite spots to help with your planning.
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Best Outdoor Places in Clare for Families
Lisdoonvarna playground is one of our favourite destinations for picnics simply for the variety of activities for the kids to play and take a short walk.
It is one of the largest playgrounds with springer seesaws, nest swing, roundabouts of various kinds, slides and climbing structures for all ages, a log playhouse, large rope pyramid, balance beams, bars, etc. There are pitches and short walking paths nearby.
Lees Road Sports and Amenity Park
Lees Road Sports & Amenity Park has pitches, wooded walks, skateboard park, track and playground. There’s a playground for the toddlers and play equipment for older kids. You’ll find a variety of equipment including junior and senior swings, ladder slide, pony and elephant springers. The needs of children with disabilities have also been incorporated into the design.
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Ballyalla and Lissycasey
For smaller children, Ballyalla and Lissycasey have short walks with ducks to feed. The paths are well maintained and suitable for pushchairs. There are picnic tables and/or benches to sit on. Don’t forget to bring the bread for the ducks!
Dromore, Cratloe and Kilrush
Our favourite walks in the woods would be at Dromore, Cratloe, and Kilrush. The kids can run free amongst the paths in the trees. Dromore has a castle ruin and Cratloe is quite scenic. Kilrush Woods has the Vandeleur Walled Garden right there so you can pop in for tea and scones.
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Fanore Beach, in the heart of the Burren and near Ballyvaughan, is one of the best beaches in Clare. The vast expanse of beach is ideal for races, running, walking and making sandcastles.
The sea lends itself to small kiddies paddling and also to bigger kids who are have recently learned to swim. There are sand dunes for hiding in and a little stream to paddle in and maybe spot a little fish or two. My kids would stay there in all weathers and I have to say there is something really special about it for me too.
Other beaches we like:
- Lahinch Beach: Lahinch is a pretty seaside town on the coast of Clare, well known for its golden sandy beach which stretches for a mile. Popular with surfers, if you’ve a learner surfer in the family this would be a great beach for them. And the rest of the family will enjoy paddling or even a dip in the sea.
- Kilkee Beach: a stretch of golden sand gently sloping toward the sea with interesting pools and good cliff walks. This beach is lifeguard patrolled during the bathing season.
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Shannon Dolphin Trail
Kilrush town has a Shannon Dolphin Trail which starts at the Shannon Dolphin Information Board in the town’s Market Square.
Follow the trail markers and it will take you to the Shannon Dolphin & Wildlife Centre where you can listen to sounds from the bottlenose dolphins, see real skeletons of whales and dolphins, and many more dol-fun educational activities for children.
Moher Hill Open Farm
Moher Hill Open Farm has lots of fun animals, both exotic and more traditional to see and feed and pet. They have a daily bottle feeding and animal holding experience. The farm also has other fun activities including bouncing castle, ball pool, all weather out-door play area and miniature golf course.
Kilkee Habitat Trail
The Kilkee Habitat Trail follows the beach and cliffs. It’s a scenic walk with six panels, each one themed to its location illustrating the diverse wildlife habitats of Kilkee.
While you’re in Kilkee, take the nets and try to catch fish in the rock pools, or play the unique local game of Racquets (a form of outdoor squash) against the West End wall on the beach.
Mount Shannon Playground
This playground caters well for both small kids and big kids. The little kids can enjoy their own slide, seesaw and rockers, the bigger kids have the spider climbing frame, spinning wheel, swings and there are a few benches and tables for picnics.
The beauty of this one is that is beside Aistear Iniscealtra, with its amazing Labyrinth, outdoor “Wee Library” and you can also take a walk to the harbour to enjoy the stunning views across the Lough Derg.
Visit the Burren and The Flaggy Shore
One of the most unique things to do in Clare – and definitely one not to be missed is visiting the amazing landscape of The Burren. The kids will love to spot the unique flora and fauna!
The Flaggy Shore, Clare has a fabulous coastal family walk. Head to New Quay, just off the N67 Kinvara/Ballyvaughan road where you walk with the wild Atlantic ocean to one side and the limestone rocks of the Burren to the other.
This looped walk brings you from New Quay to Finavarra Point and is suitable for all members of the family. You can choose to walk along the beach or stroll along the quiet road. Be sure to visit the well preserved Martello tower at Finavarra Point and check out the rocks to see if you can find any fossils.
A state of the art playground with a clearly defined Junior and Senior area and various playsurfaces. Best of all it has a Net-Scape and Cableway which are a major attraction.
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Have your say! Do you have any favourite outdoor places in Clare to go with the kids? Tell us in the comments below.