We are always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to entertain the family. Here are some ideas for free things to do in Sligo with the kids:
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Outdoor Activities in Sligo
Sligo has some wonderful new playgrounds dotted throughout the county, why not head for one you haven’t visited before. The kids will be thrilled with the novelty factor.
Tip: You might consider Calry, Ballinafad or Grange if you haven’t visited before.
Beaches in Sligo
Beaches aren’t just for summer you know, they are not even just for summer weather!! In Sligo we are lucky to have some of the finest beaches in Ireland.
A walk on the shore can work up appetites and 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 a wonderful craft project 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 5 km 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.
Recommended reading: Best Outdoor Spots for Families in Sligo
Free Walking Tour of Sligo
There’s a free guided walk around Sligo during June to September.
Tours take place Monday – Saturday and start from the Tourist Information Office, Temple Street at 11 a.m.
The tours include places of Historical, Musical, Sporting and Cultural Interest in Sligo and last about 2 hours.
You can join when you wish and leave when you wish, which is handy if the kids aren’t into it.
Family Walks in Sligo
Another great idea is to 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.
Indoor Activities in Sligo
Sometimes it’s not possible to get outdoors so it’s always useful to have some indoor options.
As well as using your local library it’s a good idea to get to know the other libraries around Sligo. Opening times, events and exhibitions vary from library to library but there is a full programme run by the library service throughout the year. For further information visit the Sligo County Libraries website.
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 even returning to the same gallery you can enjoy a different experience and it doesn’t matter if it’s a short or a long visit, everyone is bound to enjoy something out of it.
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!
Recommended reading: Rainy Day Activities for Kids in Sligo
Get to know Sligo
Pick another town in Sligo that you’ve never visited. Make a list of interesting things to do there and pack a picnic. You may be surprised at how much fun you’ll have discovering a new place and one that’s close by too!
Festivals & Events
Check out our What’s On section regularly. Frequently, there are free events and festivals happening around the county.
Over to you now. Do you have a favourite free thing to do in Sligo with kids? Let us know in the comments below.