Throughout the summer we traveled across the country visiting some of the best farm experiences Ireland has to offer. My kids thrive when we are outdoors and whatever the weather, we made the most of our day. Here are my top picks for the best farm experiences in Ireland as voted by me and my seven-year-old.
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Each morning I’d load my one, two, three and seven-year old into the mammy van, picnic in tow and well I just drove. Today I list our favourite farm experiences in Ireland, a couple listed we never made it to but they come highly recommended by other parents.
#1. Clonfert Pet Farm, Kildare
Clonfert Pet Farm located in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, has so much to offer at a very reasonable price of €15 for a family ticket and under two’s go free. With a host of attractions including:
- Go karts
- 3 playgrounds
- Sheltered sand pit
- Zip wire
- Permanent large bouncy castle
- Indoor soft play area
They also have crazy golf at a small charge of €2 per person.
Along with these amenities are the usual farm animals like donkeys, ducks, cows, pigs, and sheep and you will also find more exotic animals like wallabies, llamas, and alpacas too. There is an onsite cafe and plenty of picnic benches dotted around the farm to enjoy too.
#2. Loughwell Farm Park, Galway
Whatever the weather Loughwell Farm Park in Moycullen, Co. Galway, is worth a visit. At just €12 per child and €5 per adult, it has something for all the family whatever the weather.
At Loughwell you will find super indoor facilities including:
- Enormous climbing frame
- Vertical drop slide (parents may need to look away!)
- Four way Astra slide
- Soft play for younger children
- A barn yard theatre and a play barn with 2 indoor skittle lanes and a cycle track
If that’s not enough outside they also have:
- Barrel train rides
- Mini golf
- Zip wires
- Timber adventure obstacle course and a sandpit
- Secret natural tunnels and wooden structures to climb and play in
They have a schedule of daily animal activities and a large selection of farm animals including the pigs, goats, rabbits, and Pinny the smallest miniature pony in the West of Ireland. They run themed events during the holidays and have an onsite cafe and picnic benches both indoors and out.
#3. Airfield Estate, Dublin
Airfield Estate in Dundrum, Dublin, is a charitable organisation offering families a fun, educational day out to experience an urban farm and food gardens. Their aim is to teach families about food and the land it comes from.
The 38-acre estate includes:
- A working farm including a dairy herd
- Food gardens and food production tunnels
- Ornamental gardens
- Interactive heritage centre, and educational facilities
- Soft play area
- Imaginative play areas for younger and older kids
- Woodland walk
- Zip wire
- Balance beams, climbing structure and willow tunnel.
If you arrive early children can experience egg collecting and cow milking. And in the imaginative play area little ones are encouraged to take on the role of being a farmer, a gardener or chef at Airfield. Adults are €10, children are €5 and under 3’s go free. They also have discounted family packages available. And host special events for Easter, Halloween and Christmas annually.
#4. Kia Ora Mini Farm, Wexford
Located on the Courtown road, in Wexford, this little gem of a place has a host of attractions as long as my arm. Activities include:
- The mini farm with lots of animals
- Petting area supervised by staff
- A maze
- Real working diggers & go karts
- Sand pits,
- Fire engine
- Rough-rider track with ride on tractors and cars.
Picnics are welcome and a day out at Kia Ora Mini Farm costs €7.50 per head.
#5. Turoe Pet Farm & Leisure Park, Galway
Turoe Pet Farm is located close to Loughrea, County Galway and can be easily accessed from the M6 Dublin/Galway motorway.
Home to a wide variety of animals including pigs, cockerels, ponies, rabbits, donkeys, goats, ducks, Scottish Highland cows and lamas it is also home to the Turoe Stone.
Onsite kids can enjoy indoor and outdoor activities including:
- An indoor inflatable City with a massive 8000 square foot bouncing castle complete with three different sized slides and play areas for younger and older children.
- There’s also a state of the art heated two story activity centre with an area for toddlers.
- And outdoors families can enjoy the Hawthorn nature walk and two playgrounds along with visiting the animals and famous Turoe Stone.
Entry is charged at €12 per child and €6 per adult and they do offer discounted family rates. There is a great café on-site or you can pack a picnic to enjoy. And they host special Easter, Halloween and Christmas events.
#6. Leahy’s Open Farm, Cork
Located in Middleton, Co Cork, Leahy’s Open Farm is home to hundreds of indoor and outdoor animals. Families can enjoy a host of outdoor activities including
- An adventure trail
- Farm museum
- Climbing towers
- Digger park
- Barrel train ride
- Crazy golf
- Mystery maze
- Go-karts and a big drop slide.
You can also hunt for fairies in the fairy forts, Crannog area, and gardens – these are not to be missed.
A day out at Leahy’s will cost €9.50 per person, under-2’s are free and diggers & crazy golf is an additional €2 per person. They host special events for Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
#7. Rancho Reilly Pet Farm & Activity Centre, Carlow
Set on five acres Rancho Reillys in Co. Carlow has everything from:
- Farm animals
- Pony rides
- Barrel train rides,
- Obstacle course
- Sunken trampolines
- Go karts
- Miniature golf & a basketball court
- Tractors, scooters, and bikes
Animals include reindeer, pigs, birds, lamb/sheep, calves & cows and miniature goats. You can bring a picnic or enjoy a homemade treat from their onsite cafe. The farm itself is fully wheelchair accessible and costs €3 per adult and €7 per child. And to add to the experience you can even camp there for €25 a night per family.
#8. Blackwater Open Farm, Wexford
Located in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, Blackwater is the perfect day out regardless of the weather. Here you will find:
- A life-sized milking cow
- Indoor bouncy castle
- Indoor pedal go-kart & tractor tracks
- Climbing frame
- Zip line and of course all the usual farm animals.
Blackwater has a huge variety including rabbits, llamas, various birds, donkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, cows and more. A day out at Blackwater will cost you €6 p/p or a family pass for two adults and four kids are €30.
#9. Kildare Farm Foods, Kildare
A third generation family farm situated in Rathmuck, Co. Kildare. Kildare Farm Foods Open Farm & Shop is the only farm listed here that is FREE to visit, yep, you read that right, there is no charge to visit all the farm animals.
Unlike other farm experiences in Ireland, there’s not a huge amount of additional attractions but there are lots of animals to enjoy including:
- Black swans along with your usual farm animal finds.
For an small charge, children can have a round of Indian Creek Crazy Golf (€5 p/p) or take a ride on the Adventure Railroad train (€2.50 p/p) or stop by the for some homemade treats in the glass walled Farm Café. Kildare Farm Foods is also wheelchair accessible.
#10. Tearaways Pet Farm & Activity Centre, Tipperary
With an indoor 6000 square foot activity centre including slides, ball pit, crawling tunnels and a separate area for toddlers, Tearaway Pet Farm is a huge attraction and a favourite in Co. Tipperary.
- An outdoor playground
- Sports area
- Go cart track
At the petting farm, you’ll find goats, sheep, emu, pigs, ponies, calves, and a Scottish Highlander. Entry costs €10 per child, adults and under 1’s go free.
#11. Lurgybrack Open Farm, Donegal
Lurgybrack Open Farm is located in Letterkenny is the perfect place to visit on a dry day. They have a host of animals including, goats, deer, horses & ponies, cows, pigs, rabbits, ducks, hens and other more exotic birds.
In addition to all the animals there is a large, well equipped play area with a large climbing frame and slide, recessed trampolines, zip lines, a climbing wall, large outdoor inflatables, sit on tractors, barrel train ride, giant slide, indoor soft play area, basketball court and plenty of picnic benches.
Children (and adults) can have a turn at milking the life sized cow. The farm is wheelchair accessible and has an ability swing. There is an on-site café where you can enjoy homemade treats too and a host of farm buildings to explore. Admission is €7 per person and they offer discounted family rates of €25.
#12. Graune Pet Farm & Activity Centre, Mayo
Graune Pet Farm is run by the Brady family and is set in 14 acres in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo. It is perfect for a family visit come rain or shine as some of the animals are housed in indoor stables. Along with the usual farm animals you can find emu, deer, turtles and birds.
You can also:
- Walk on water
- Paddle your own boat
- Play with sand
- Climb and slide on the indoor play structure
- Play indoors or outdoors in 2 playgrounds with zip wires and other play equipment.
There is an onsite café and plenty of picnic benches to enjoy your own food and loads of farm walks to enjoy. Admission costs €6 for adults, €12 for children and discounted family rates are offered too. Graune is open year round and runs special events during holiday seasons.
Please note prices are correct at time of going to print (October 2017) but are subject to change. And while some of the farm experiences are open year round, do check before you travel.
Do you and your family have a favourite farm experience in Ireland? Please share it with us in the comments box below.