#1. Coole Park
Entry to Coole Park is free and it is a lovely day out for all the family.
There are nature walks through the forest on marked trails of different lengths, a walled garden that is perfect for picnics, deer in an enclosure and lots of literary references – be sure to visit the Autograph Tree in the walled garden to spot some very famous autographs.
There is a tea room and information centre; kids will enjoy playing Hunt The Thimble and learning about Lady Gregory’s grandchildren.
Related: OPW Free Days on Wednesdays
#2. River Bank Walk & City Museum
Visit the Galway City Museum which is free. There are great views of the Claddagh from the upper floors.
Getting to and from the museum, there is a river bank walk which takes you from the Museum all the way along by the river Corrib (keep the river on your left) and up to the Cathedral Church which is pretty impressive inside and worth a look.
Even if you’re not religious, the kids will be wowed by the height of the vaulted ceiling, the massive stained glass windows and the huge organ which is over the main door.
#3. Corrib Princess
Hop on the Corrib Princess, which departs from Woodquay in the city centre and tour the Corrib river and lake.
See what Galway looks like from the water as you pass by the university on the left and go up towards the ruin at Menlo on the right.
Watch out for swans nesting or salmon swimming or just watch the world go by!
#4. Galway Playgrounds
Galway has dozens of great playgrounds for children of all ages.
If you’re in the city centre you can pay a visit to the Millennium Park near the Cathedral.
There is a skateboarding area for the older kids and two playground areas for younger kids.
For the littlest ones the train is a big hit for climbing into and on top of and we love the speakers where you can talk to each other from different sides of the playground 🙂
Related: Galway Playgrounds
Spend the day in Portumna where you can take in a visit to the Castle, a trip to the Playground and explore the forest park.
Portumna Castle and Gardens have a small entry fee. The Castle doesn’t have a whole load in it but the gardens are nice for kids to run around in. The Playground is located near the Castle.
Then head out of Portumna to Portumna Forest Park, a fantastic park with trails and walks, toilets and bike hire (seasonal). There is access to the lake where you can walk by the water’s edge. We have seen deer in the forest when we have visited!
Related: Coillte Forest Parks for Families
#6. Salthill Promenade
Join visitors and locals alike and take a stroll along the Promenade at Salthill. You can find your own way or follow our three fun Family Trails.
There are several beaches to visit, the diving board at Blackrock, views across to Clare and of course you can ‘kick the wall’ at the end of the prom in a time honoured tradition!
You can also take in a trip to Galway Atlantaquaria and get some hands on experience with the fish, followed by a trip to the nearby playground which has good equipment for different ages.
#7. Renville Park
Fly a kite at Renville Park in Oranmore and stop by the great playground in the old castle orchard.
This lovely park has a path from the carpark through the woods that is great for bikes and buggies. Hidden in the woods is the walled garden that is home to a great playground which is sheltered even on the windiest of days. There’s often a coffee/ice cream vendor there if you need a little refreshment.
A walk in the woods can incorporate a nature trail and some exploring. Afterwards you can also do some beachcombing along the rocky shore.
#8. Connemara National Park
Located in the heart of Connemara, the Connemara National Park is well worth the drive.
Admission to the Park is free. There’s lots to see and explore. Exhibition on the Connemara Landscape (multi-lingual), Audio Visual Show (multi-lingual), Connemara Ponies, Picnic Areas (indoor and outdoor), Nature Trails, Diamond Hill Walks, tea rooms and there is an excellent playground on the grounds too!
Special Events including children’s activities, guided walks and evening talks are organised throughout the year.
With a restored castle, a playground and a ruined monastery all within 100 yards of each other, you should make the quick trip on the motorway to Athenry.
This lovely old market town has loads of history and the castle is well worth a visit – the ‘toilet’ inside the castle is a source of great amusement for kids of all ages.
After tiring themselves out in the playground, they can dress up in medieval costume and try archery at the Athenry Heritage Centre.
#10. Galway Beaches
As a coastal county, Galway has no shortage of beautiful beaches.
Whether it’s a city beach like the one in Salthill, or somewhere remote and quiet like Connemara, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Find a road that runs along by the sea and keep driving – it won’t be long until you find a beach you like!
Related: Top Galway Beaches
Do you have a favourite place to go in Galway with kids? Share it in the comments below.