Top 10 things to do in Laois

Top 10 Things to Do in Laois

  1. 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 guided tours of the house in Summer. Catoca Café at Emotea rooms 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.  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.
  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!
  4. Try some outdoor adventure sports at Garryhinch in Portarlington, kayaking on the river Barrow, orienteering and archery in the woods, organised by True Fitness.
  5. 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. Visit Portlaoise Leisure Centre.  There is a toddler’s pool, a kid’s pool and a 25-metre swimming pool, steam room and sauna.  The outdoor playground is new, 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. If the weather is wet and miserable take the kids to an indoor Play Centre – Roll n’Bowl in Clonminam Business Park in Portlaoise, or Clown Around in Portarlington.
  8. Visit the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise.  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 guage railway on all Bank Holiday weekends through the grounds of Stradbally Hall estate.
  10. Visit the scenic village of Vicarstown and go on a barge cruise on the Grand Canal.

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This website was created by Jill Holtz and Michelle Davitt, both of whom are mothers of young children. Jill and Michelle decided to create this resource themselves, and launched in 2007.