We are always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to entertain the family, so here are some great ideas for free things to do in Sligo with the kids:
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There are plenty of free things to do in Sligo that make for a wonderful family-friendly day out. Take a look at some of the best picks below and don’t forget to let us know your favourite!
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Free Things to Do in Sligo With the Family
Family Walks in Sligo
Get suited and booted and head out for a hike with a picnic. There are several forest trails to choose from, such as those in Union Wood near Collooney.
Alternatively, try hiking up Knocknarea to bring a stone to Queen Maeve’s Grave. This mountain may be lesser known than Ben Bulben but is still an amazing sight as you arrive in Sligo, and is certainly a do-able climb for those active kids.
There’s always Ben Bulben or to the Carrowkeel tombs at Castlebaldwin which all have family friendly way-marked trails. It’s fun trying to identify landmarks and locations from the summit and is a wonderful opportunity to admire our beautiful County.
For the more adventurous among you, or for older kids you might like to consider The Sligo Way, perhaps taking a different section each week over the summer as a special family challenge.
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Free Walking Tour of Sligo
There’s a free guided walk around Sligo during the months of June to September.
Tours take place Monday to Saturday and start from the Tourist Information Office, Temple Street at 11am (subject to change).
The tours include places of historical, musical, sporting and cultural interest in Sligo and lasts approximately two hours.
You can join when you wish and leave when you wish, which is handy if the kids aren’t into it.
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There are some wonderful playgrounds in Sligo, dotted throughout the county. Why not head for one you haven’t visited before? The kids will love the novelty factor.
Tip: You might consider Calry, Ballinafad or Grange if you haven’t visited before.
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See the Devil’s Chimney
Sruth in Aghaidh An Aird, also known as the Devil’s Chimney, is Ireland’s tallest waterfall at 492 feet (150m). It lies on the Sligo/Leitrim border, near its more famous neighbour, Glencar Waterfall.
The waterfall’s Irish name means ‘stream against the height’, based on the folklore that during certain weather conditions (when the wind blows from the south) the waterfall is blown upward and back over the cliff from which it falls. Due to this, it has become known as the devil’s chimney.
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Visit the Library
Make sure to check out your local library and find out what classes and events that they run throughout the year. Your local library branch is a wonderful – and free – resource for families.
Many of the branches run or host parent and toddler groups, storytelling sessions, arts and crafts classes, book clubs, chess clubs, games and activities sessions and so on.
Not to mention the fact that there is free computer access and the option to borrow books and DVDs! For a change of scenery, why not visit a different library to your local branch?
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Festivals and Events
Keep an eye on our monthly round-up of what’s on around the country to find free family events worth visiting. From festivals to family fun days, you never know what will pop up in your area!
Beaches in Sligo
Beaches aren’t just for summer you know, they are not even just for summer weather! There are some world-class beaches in Sligo, particularly for surfers, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
A walk on the shore can work up appetites and help run off steam. In rough seas, all sorts of treasures get washed up on the shore and if you bring a bucket you can collect pebbles, shells and driftwood to contribute to some wonderful beach craft projects to keep little hands busy on another day.
For older children, why not tie in their visit with the science or geography they are studying by identifying coastal land forms or the flora and fauna of the seashore?
Enniscrone is one of our favourite beaches in Sligo with 5km of dunes and plenty of space to run about and play football. There are also lots of water sports taking place there and fun events throughout the year.
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Galleries & Museums
Visit a museum or gallery and find out what inspires your child. The Model in Sligo runs a family programme, as well as an education programme, and often has free events or children’s worksheets to help engage little ones as they visit.
Exhibitions change regularly so you can enjoy a different experience even if you’ve visited previously. To engage your kids, ask them to find their very favourite piece while you’re there. If mine are unimpressed I get them to choose their least favourite piece and to explain why they chose it. That generally gets them talking!
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Go for a nature walk at the Gleniff Horseshoe, a hidden valley with totally stunning scenery. At the base of the Horseshoe route there is a renovated Millsite, with a lovely nature walk and sculpture trail.
This is also where you’ll find the ‘Magic Road’ in Sligo, where your car will roll back up the hill…!
What are your favourite free things to do in Sligo with kids? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!