Looking for some fun things to do in Galway with kids? Galway is my home town so I have put together a mix of free and paid things to see and do for families to enjoy – perfect for visitors and natives alike!
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Galway has a compact city centre that is easy to navigate and is packed full of fun things to do and see. From poetry on the prom to crépes and hot chocolate, you will be spoiled for choice.
Here are a few hidden gems for family-friendly things to do in Galway you may not have considered before.
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Family-Friendly Things to Do in Galway
Galway has an abundance of playgrounds both in the city and county. We love the one by the Cathedral which has two parts, an area suitable for younger children and a skatepark suitable for slightly older children. Check out the poetry by the canal and the swans on the river while you are there – and the majestic Galway City Cathedral is also worth a visit.
Out of the city centre, there is a well equipped playground near to the Atlantaquaria in Salthill (another fun place to visit with the kids) and, heading further out again, Barna, Cappagh Park, Craughwell, Doughiska, and Renville Park in Oranmore all have great playgrounds.
Food & Drink
You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to food and drink! Galway offers a great variety of family-friendly restaurants and cafés to suit all tastes. In no particular order, here are our favourite picks in Galway:
- Java on Abbeygate Street, for authentic french crepés (the size of your head!) and the best hot chocolate in town.
- The Kitchen Café and Restaurant at the Museum for buttermilk pancakes and tasty, homemade salads and treats.
- Da Robertas in Salthill or Milano Galway on Middle Street for pizza and pasta.
- The Oslo Bar in Salthill for tasty, homemade food and craft beer
- Papa Rich Asian Street Food in Woodquay, Papa Rich at Born retail store in Newtownsmith, Papa Rich Salthill and take-away/casual dining option on the Headford Road.
- McDonaghs on Quay Street for the best fish and chips in the West!
- The Market on Saturday for an array of tasty treats.
Within the city centre, you can walk from Newtownsmith to Spanish Arch via a tow path along the river. Look out for kayakers, fishermen, waterfalls and birds along the way.
If you want a longer walk, begin in the Claddagh and walk the infamous Salthill Prom to Blackrock where it is tradition to kick the wall before your return journey. Look out for poetry on the prom as you go. And if you fancy a dip, there is no better place to jump into the wild Atlantic ocean than off the diving tower in Blackrock – a local rite of passage!
Further afield we enjoy walks in Barna Woods, Moycullen Woods, along the river from the NUI Galway to Dangan, Rinville Park in Oranmore, from Spiddal beach to the town along the sea path and a trip to Connemara National Park to climb Diamond Hill.
Play & Adventure Centres
From soft play for younger children to adrenalin-fuelled adventures both indoor and out, below are a list of some of our favourite places to visit in Galway with kids.
- Delphi Adventure Resort, Connemara
- Busy Bees Soft Play and Roller Disco, Oranmore
- Turoe Pet Farm and Indoor Adventure Centre, Loughrea
- Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack (Accommodation, Restaurant, Horse Riding and Enchanted Forest Walks)
- Fun Shack Activity Centre, Loughrea
- Kardio Kids at Tranquility Leisure, Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry
- Toodlelou Creativity Lab, Oranmore
- Kids Place Soft Play Centre, Briarhill Shopping Centre
- Treasure Island Kids Zone, Doughiska
- Jump Lanes trampolines and skate rink, Ballybane
- Galway City Karting, Liosban Industrial Estate
- The Planet Bowling, Laserquest and Soft Play, Galway Shopping Centre
- Corrib Canoe Kayaking Trips, Woodquay
- Galway Atlantaquaria, Salthill
- Leisureland Swimming Pool and Crazy Golf, Salthill
- Pure Skill Sports Centre, Knocknacarra
- Monkey Business Play Centre, Knocknacarra
- Rusheen Bay Watersports Centre, Barna Road
- Brigit’s Garden, Rosscahill
- Loughwell Farm Park, Moycullen
- Eile Mental Outdoor Adventure Centre, Furbo
- Killary Adventure Company, Leenane
- Petersburg Outdoor Education Centre, Clonbur
Galway has an abundant mix of visitor attractions, from historical sites to fairytale castles and everything in between! Here are few of our favourite visitor attractions to while away a few hours with the kids.
- Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch (free)
- Spanish Arch (free)
- Hall of the Red Earl, Druid Lane (free)
- Galway City Cathedral, City Centre (free)
- Galway Arts Centre, Dominic Street (free)
- The Galway Fisheries Museum, Wolfe Tone Bridge (free)
- Greyhound Racing, City Centre
- Galway City Market, Church Lane (free, takes place at weekends)
- The Legend of the Claddagh Ring Visitor Centre, Shop Street
- Corrib Princess Boat Tour, Woodquay
- James Mitchell Geology Museum, Main Quatrangle, NUIG (free)
- Dead Zoo, Ryan Mitchell Building, NUIG (free)
- Katie’s Claddagh Cottage and Design Studio, Fairhill Road Upper
- Galway Atlantaquaria, Salthill
- Circle of Life Commemorative Garden, Quincentennial Park, Salthill (free)
- Blackrock Diving Tower, Salthill (free)
- Brigit’s Garden, Roscahill
- Aughnanure Castle, Oughterard (OPW site)
- Glengowla Mines & Gold Panning, Oughterard
- Coole Park, Gort (free)
- St Coleman’s Leaning Tower of Galway, Kilmacduagh
- Athenry Castle & Heritage Centre, Athenry
- Portumna Castle, Portumna (OPW site)
- Dunguaire Castle, Kinvara
- Kylemore Abbey, Connemara
- Connemara National Park (free)
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There are hundreds of hotels in Galway to suit all budgets. Some of the most family-friendly options include:
- The Galway Bay Hotel & Leisure Centre, Salthill
- The Three Towers Eco House, Loughrea
- The Maldron Hotel & Leisure Centre, Oranmore
- The Salthill Hotel & Leisure Centre, Salthill
- The Ardilaun Hotel & Leisure Centre, Taylors Hill
- The Connacht Hotel & Leisure Centre, Renmore
- The Twelve Hotel, Barna
- The Harbour Hotel, Galway City Centre
- The Clybaun Hotel & Leisure Centre, Knocknacarra
- The Connemara Coast Hotel & Leisure Centre, Furbo
- Renvyle House Hotel, Connemara (outdoor pool in summer months)
- Station House Hotel, Clifden
- Jameson Court Apartments, Salthill
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What are your favourite things to do in Galway with kids? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!