Free Things to do in Sligo with Kids


They say the best things in life are free and now more than ever parents are on the look out for inexpensive ways to entertain the family. Here are some ideas for free things to do in Sligo with the kids.

Outdoor Activities

Sligo Playgrounds

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. 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. Download the free Enniscrone app too for lots more information, available for iOS and Android.

Related : Sligo Tourism has more details

Walking Tour of Sligo

There’s a free guided walk around Sligo Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Summerstarting from the Tourist Information Office, Temple Street at 11 a.m. which takes 2 hoursThe Tour includes places of Historical, Musical, Sporting and Cultural Interest

Hit the trails 

Another great idea is to get suited and booted and head out for a hike with a picnic.

There are several Forest trails to chose 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.

Related Article: Nature Walks in Sligo 

Indoor Activities

Sometimes it’s not possible to get oudoors so it’s always useful to have some indoor options.

Sligo Libraries

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: Sligo County Libraries

Galleries & Museums

Visit a museum or gallery and find out what inspires your child. 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!

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.

Other ideas

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.

If you know of other free activities for the family to enjoy in Sligo, then let us know in the comments below!

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