We have put together some of our favourite outdoor places to take the kids around Ireland:
#1. Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park in Letterfrack, County Galway is just over an hour’s drive from Galway city – the park is a great day out for the family. There is a fantastic playground and several different walks for all ages and abilities. Open all year, free entry. Just a few minutes walk away in Letterfrack village, there are some nice local pubs you can get drinks or some food to reward yourself for all your activity! You can also visit Clifden, or one of many beautiful local beaches.
#2. Castlecomer Discovery Park
Castlecomer Discovery Park in Kilkenny is home to 80 acres of mixed woodland with 6 km of walking trails, sculptures, picnic areas, adventure playground, craft yard, nature trails and activities, visitor centre, giftshop and café.
#3. Ballycroy National Park
Ballycroy National Park, Mayo is a fantastic place to visit, with walks and plenty of nature and wildlife to spot.
#4. Carlow Town Park
Carlow Town Park is a marvellous 12 acre amenity for all the family along the banks of the River Barrow. It opens during daylight hours and contains a wonderful children’s playground.
#5. Loughcrew Cairns
Loughcrew Cairns, Co. Meath – this is suitable for older children as it’s a fair hike up to the top of the hills, but it is worth it for the amazing views.
Related article: 10 Great Family Walks around Ireland
Check out the Millsite and Nature Trail at Gleniff Horseshoe, North Co. Sligo, with hidden sculptures along the way. Then carry on walking/driving/cycling (it’s approx a 10km loop) this incredibly scenic hidden valley.
If you are driving check out the spot where you car will ‘roll up the hill’ too ;) and keep an eye out for Diarmuid and Grainne’s Cave too.
#7. Wicklow Mountains National Park
Wicklow Mountains National Park, one of our favourite places to take the kids! Wicklow Mountains National Park covers part of a mountain range that extends over most of County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. The upper slopes and rounded peaks are blanketed with heath and bog. The open vistas are interrupted only by forestry plantations and the winding mountain roads. Fast-flowing streams descend into the deep lakes of the wooded valleys and continue their course into the surrounding lowlands. Amenities include extensive walking trails suitable for children and buggies as well as picnic areas, BBQ facilities and the Education Centre.
#8. Millstreet Country Park
Millstreet Country Park, Co. Cork is a leading educational, cultural and eco-tourism destination. It is equipped with not only scenic views but also with full visitor facilities, beautiful themed gardens and water features, a deer farm, native flora and fauna, archaeological sites and a network of signed walking trails.
#9. Coole Park Galway
Coole Park in Galway is a great place to head for family walks & to see The Autograph Tree. There’s also a deer enclosure, and if the Visitor Centre is open, be sure to stop by for a game of Hunt The Thimble and to find out more about Lady Gregory and her granddaughters.
If you have any other favourite outdoor places to take the kids in your local area that you’d like us to share with other parents, let us know in the comments below