There’s no shortage of things for families to do in Kilkenny, so we’ve narrowed it down for you! Here’s our pick of the top 10 things to do in Kilkenny with kids, in no particular order.
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Kilkenny is a great destination for both days out and family breaks – particularly with all these amazing activities on offer. You won’t be stuck for things to do in Kilkenny, but here are some of our favourites to get your started.
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Family-Friendly Things to Do in Kilkenny
#1. Kilkenny Castle
Spend a few hours in the lovely grounds of Kilkenny Castle. Families with older children can take a tour of the castle (while it is a great tour, it might not appeal so much to the younger ones).
Kilkenny Castle also has orienteering with three distances: short (1.8km), medium (2.4km) and long (3.5km), available for FREE to download.
The orienteering course is open to all and is a great way to explore the flora and fauna of Kilkenny Castle Park, whilst enjoying the beautiful surroundings. There is also a small area of the Canal Walk involved in the courses.
Outside the Castle, there is plenty of space for picnics, playing ball and walking. You can also visit and feed the ducks in the wildlife sanctuary, and play in the colourful playground. NB: Bicycles are not allowed, and dogs must be kept on a leash.
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#2. Nore Valley Park Farm
Nore Valley Park in Kilkenny offers everything you need for a family day out, a celebration or a break away from it all. From interactive encounters with the animals, to attractive camping facilities, to fun activities suited to all ages, Nore Valley Park is ideal for occupying an afternoon, or for spending a week or more.
Owned and run by the Harper family since 1989 and with the tagline ‘where memories are made’ find out why Nore Valley Park is a family destination with a difference.
#3. Castlecomer Discovery Park
Spend a day at Castlecomer Discovery Park where you can follow the nature trails through the woodlands, do some fishing in the lakes, have a picnic or eat at the cafe in the visitor centre, do some fun tree top activities and spend some time in the adventure playground.
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#4. Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum
Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum, just outside Inistioge provides a mixture of formal and informal gardens to stroll around, with something for all the family – the arboretum containing many specimen trees, the walled garden abundant with flowers and vegetables, the yew walk, rose garden, Monkey Puzzle Avenue and Noble Fir Avenue.
Refreshments are available in the tea rooms. There are also picnic tables, a playground and toilet facilities. There is a €4 admission fee per car, payable on exit.
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#5. The National Reptile Zoo
Check out the snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles and more at the National Reptile Zoo in Gowran. Open year-round from 10am to 6pm, seven days a week, the Reptile Zoo has over 50 exhibits, as well as an Animal Encounter Zone and Tropical Walk-Through Habitat.
If you need a break from the excitement on offer, choose from a soft play area, snack bar, souvenir shop, and indoor and outdoor picnic areas.
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#6. Kells Priory
Explore the ruins of Kells Priory which date from the 12th century. The site is fully enclosed by the monastic wall, incorporating 7 towers and many defensive features.
#7. Dunmore Cave
Take a tour of the fascinating limestone Dunmore Cave. Consisting of a series of chambers formed over millions of years, the cave contains some of the finest calcite formations found in any Irish cave.
#8. Kilkenny City Road Train
Why not take a spin on the Kilkenny City Road Train, which departs adjacent the Design Centre, The Parade, Kilkenny. It’s a great way to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of this bustling City.
The fully narrated tour is a fun way to experience Kilkenny – plus the kids will love singing along to many favourite traditional songs and music played onboard!
#9. The Watershed
Go for a splash in the Watershed which offers something for all the family, including a 25m lane pool, a 5m learner pool, and a Fun Pool for the kids.
You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the facilities, as there are peak and off-peak “Pay As You Go” options.
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#10. Jenkinstown Park
Visit Jenkinstown Park and follow one of the marked walking trails, have a picnic and enjoy the views. There is a herd of deer in the walled garden area off the main car park, and don’t miss the unusual round threshing mill building in the green.
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What are your favourite places to go and things to do in Kilkenny with kids? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!