Kilkenny is beautiful in the sunshine, but we all know that Ireland gets a fair share of rain – having some entertaining weather-proof ideas is always a good plan! Here are 10 fun rainy day activities for kids in Kilkenny that may come in useful.
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Kilkenny offers a whole host of family-friendly activities, from woodland walks and medieval history to world-class craft and design. And when it comes to rainy day activities in Kilkenny, there is no shortage of ways to entertain the kids!
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Raining in Kilkenny? Don’t Worry!
Visit the National Reptile Zoo
Check out the snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles and more at the National Reptile Zoo in Gowran. Open year-round from 10am to 6pm, seven days a week, the Reptile Zoo has over 50 exhibits, as well as an Animal Encounter Zone and Tropical Walk-Through Habitat.
If you need a break from the excitement on offer, choose from a soft play area, snack bar, souvenir shop, and indoor and outdoor picnic areas.
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Take in a Show
Located in the heart of Kilkenny City, the Watergate Theatre has been keeping audiences entertained since 1993 with local, national and international theatre productions, live music, dance, comedy and much more. Check out their listings for family shows before you visit.
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Visit your local library and find out what classes and events they run throughout the year. Your local library branch is a wonderful, free, resource for families.
All libraries host very popular, annual summer reading programmes while many of the branches run or host parent and toddler groups, storytelling sessions, arts and crafts classes, book clubs, games and activities sessions, exhibitions and so on.
Not to mention the fact that there is free computer access and the option to borrow books, music and DVDs! For a change of scenery, why not visit a different branch?
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Indoor activities that the family can do all together are a great way to spend a rainy day. Try your hand at family bowling at the K-Bowl Family Entertainment Centre at MacDonagh Junction, which is open every day until 10pm.
Visit an Indoor Play Centre
Getting the kids to burn off some energy in a safe, supervised place is a great rainy day activity, and Kilkenny has several options, including:
- Jellietots Playcentre, Loughboy Industrial Estate
- The Playstation, Hebron Business Park
While not strictly a play centre, there is a free soft play area for young children at MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre. You can also get a bite to eat at one of the cafés in Workhouse Square, while being entertained by free live music on weekend afternoons.
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Make a Splash
Go for a splash in the Watershed which offers something for all the family, including a 25m lane pool, a 5m learner pool, and a Fun Pool for the kids.
You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the facilities, as there are peak and off-peak “Pay As You Go” options.
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Indulge Your Creative Side
If your kids love getting crafty, you’ll definitely want to try drop-in art studio Art It at Priory House, MacDonagh Junction.
Children aged 5-12 can enjoy an hour or two while parents go shopping and take part in the studio’s weekly suggestions, ranging from getting your hands stuck into clay, painting glass, printing a t-shirt or gluing, drawing and painting all manner of imaginative works.
The Butler Gallery at Kilkenny Castle
Inspiring culture seekers since 1943, the Butler Gallery is located in the former kitchens of Kilkenny Castle, which is situated in the heart of Kilkenny City.
The gallery is free of charge and open to the public seven days a week, all year round. They run a Children’s Programme and a Youth Programme with monthly events, so check before you visit.
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National Design & Craft Gallery
The National Design & Craft Gallery is located in the former stable yard of Kilkenny Castle, in the centre of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The Gallery is free to visit and they run workshops so check their website before you go to see what’s on. There are a number of craft-based shops to browse or watch work being made. There’s also a Restaurant, Cafe and Food Court.
The gallery is situated in the Castle Yard, across the road from Kilkenny Castle. It is wheelchair accessible and close to the heart of Kilkenny City, within minutes of Kilkenny’s coach parking bays. There are also specific disabled parking bays. Pay and Display parking is found along the Castle Road, or in the nearby Ormonde Street Car Park.
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Sometimes, you have got to just get out and get wet! There are lots of fun rainy day games that the kids will enjoy, from mud-building to rain races.
Alternatively, put on the rain gear and wellies and go for a walk. Most kids love splashing in puddles, and sometimes it’s a great way to release pent-up energy from being cooped up inside. There are lots of great family walks in Kilkenny that would fit the bill, rain or shine.
Warm up afterwards with a warm bath, dry clothes and a hot chocolate. Then, why not pull out a board game or snuggle up on the couch with a movie – the perfect end to a wet day!
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Do you have any other suggestions for rainy day activities for kids in Kilkenny? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!