Top 10 Things to do in Laois With Kids


Visiting Laois with kids? We’ve picked out some fun things to do in Laois with kids, from gardens to getting outdoors! Here is our Top 10 Things to Do in Laois with Kids, in no particular order:

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#1. Emo Court House and Gardens

Emo Court Spring walks for families in Ireland

Visit Emo Court House and Gardens. The house and estate is owned by the Office of Public Works and as well as the Gandon designed historic house, there are beautiful gardens, parkland, wooded walks and a lake with lots of swans and ducks. There are also guided tours of the house in Summer. The Café at Emo is child friendly and has wheelchair and buggy access.

#2. Visit the Slieve Bloom Mountains

There are lovely walks and views in many parts of the mountains. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Glen Monicknew is very popular – short walks, picnic benches and a stream for paddling.
  • Enjoy the view over Offaly from the Cut.
  • Visit the waterfalls on the Barrow in Glenbarrow.
  • Take a walk around Brittas Lake in Clonaslee. You might be lucky enough to see deer or wild goats.

You might also enjoy reading: Free Things to do in Laois with Kids

#3. Climb the Rock of Dunamase

This is a historic site and the views from the top make the climb very worthwhile. While it is not suitable for buggies, children love checking out the views through the various parts of the ruin. Be warned, the children will want to run up and you might be slightly out of breath as a result!

You might also enjoy reading: Take an Enchanting Fairytale Road Trip Around Ireland

#4. Outdoor Adventure Sports

Try some outdoor adventure sports! Go canoeing or kayaking on the river Barrow. True Fitness have a range of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, hiking, biking, archery and orienteering available.

#5. Swim Outdoors at Ballinakill

ballinakill pool

Laois is one of few counties that has an outdoor heated swimming pool. This is in Ballinakill, near Abbeyleix. It is open from June to September and is fully supervised, has changing rooms, a kids pool and an adult pool.

#6. Swim Indoors at Portlaoise Leisure Centre

Portlaoise Leisure Centre has a toddler’s pool, a kid’s pool and a 25-metre swimming pool, steam room and sauna. There’s also an outdoor playground which is always busy and has good equipment as well as an area for toddlers. The centre has many attractions such as family swim time, camps during holiday times and inflatable play times at weekends.

There is a Leisure Centre in Portarlington also.

#7. Indoor Soft Play

If the weather is wet and miserable take the kids to an indoor Play Centre.

At Roll n’Bowl in Clonminam Business Park in Portlaoise, they have a multi-level soft play area for €8 per child for 90 mins of play. They also have ten-pin bowling, laser quest and teddy bear making!

Clown Around in Portarlington has two multi level play areas with an additional sports zone and a large toddler play area. Parents can sit and watch from the comfort of the café!

#8. Enjoy Some Culture at Dunamaise Arts Centre

At the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise, they have many events in cinema, comedy, dance, music and theatre. There is an art gallery, art workshops for kids, theatre performances and a café.

#9. Ride a Steam Train and Visit Stradbally Steam Museum

The Steam Train runs on a narrow gauge railway on all Bank Holiday weekends through the grounds of Stradbally Hall estate. Stradbally Steam Museum allows visitors to see a variety of steam-driven engines and learn more about Laois’ history.

You might also enjoy reading: All Aboard! Steam Trains and Fun Train Rides in Ireland

#10. Take a Barge Ride on the Grand Canal

Visit the scenic village of Vicarstown and go on a barge cruise with Barrowline Cruisers on the Grand Canal. You could pack a picnic and have a family lunch while enjoying the lovely views. There are some great walks along the canal too.

Over to you now. What’s your favourite thing to do in Laois with kids? Share it with us in the comments below. 

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