If you’re visiting County Mayo with the family and are on the look out for fun things to do, then here’s our Mykidstime Top 10 things to do with kids in Mayo, in no particular order.
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#1. Great Western Greenway
Escape the bustle of urban life on the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland. The Great Western Greenway is 42 km long and follows a traffic-free route of the renowned Westport to Achill railway which closed in 1937.
There are plenty of things to see along the Greenway with Achill, Newport, Mulranny & Westport being the four towns along the route. There are picnic benches along the way and informational signage. You can hire bikes in any of the four towns along the Greenway or bring your own!
#2. National Museum of Country Life
The National Museum of Ireland Museum of Country Life shows the traditional way of life in Ireland since 1850.
Family events run throughout the year and entry is free. They have lots of stuff going on over the summer months for all the family to enjoy.
You can have lunch at the museum cafe, why not explore the grounds afterwards. There are woodland walks, an ancient Round Tower and a lake in the grounds of Turlough Park.
#3. Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park
Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park has something for everyone and lots to keep you going all day! With a range of activities for young and old:
- Enjoy fun rides such as the Cannonball Slide and the Pirates Swinging Ship
- Take a Swan Pedalo boat out on the lake
- Enjoy the playground and a soft indoor play area for the little ones
- Take a ride on the Westport House Express, around the grounds and into Westport town
- In Westport House there are the Dungeons to see as well as a tour of Westport House to learn all about famous Pirate Grace O’Malley and her history.
#4. Graune Pet Farm & Playcentre
Graune Pet Farm & Playcentre is located just outside Ballyhaunis on the Galway Road, with over 24 acres filled with fun and activities for all the family.
Outdoors there is a playground with lots of fun things like swings and slides. There are picnic tables and great farm walks.
Inside there is a sand pit with tractors, diggers and buckets, a small go-kart track with mini tractors. The play centre are has bouncy castles, snooker tables and a play area for the small ones.
There are also of course lots and lots of animals to see such as, Cows, Pigs, Dogs, Cats, Alpacas, Llamas, Emus, Wallaby and many many more.
#5. Ballycroy National Park
Ballycroy National Park is an amazing place to visit with the kids. It is Ireland’s sixth National Park and is located in North West Mayo. It covers a huge expanse of land including bog, mountains and wilderness. All around the Nephin Beg mountain range is visible.
Follow the nature trail up to the viewing point and have fun looking for various flora and fauna along the way.
The visitor centre is open March – October with lots of free events throughout the season. And best of all it’s free! There are tearooms located on the first floor of the visitors centre and they are open. Both the visitor centre & tearooms are open from 10am – 5pm until September 30th.
#6. Belleek Woods
You will find Belleek Woods just north of Ballina on the road to Killala. This is very historic area of Co. Mayo with lots of forest walks and trails. The trails move through mixed woodland with trees such as Norway Spruce, Scots Pine together with Beech, Oak and Ash. There are ample picnic areas and viewing points on the scenic trails.
There are lots of historic spots to be seen also including a hermitage, ice house and a wall built during the famine (1845) as a relief scheme. There may also be opportunity see some of the many animals in the area such as badgers, foxes, rabbits and herons, kingfishers and cormorants.
#7. Clare Island
Clare Island lies about 4km off the Mayo coast. It is accessible by ferry and the journey takes about 20 minutes. It is famous as being the burial ground of pirate Grace O’Malley.
There is lots to do on Clare Island such as cycling, walking, and the landscape is ideal for hill-walking.
You can rent bikes on the Island and there are some coffee shops and a hotel – so lots of options in the summer season.
#8. Mayo Beaches
The beaches of Mayo are world famous offering watersports such as surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking and more.
Mulranny Beach (pictured)
Mulranny has a number of spectacular coves with beautiful soft golden sand backed by machair dunes, with breathtaking views across Clew Bay and out towards Clare Island. Mulranny’s Blue Flag beach is directly accessible via the causeway and has lifeguards on duty from June to August every summer as well as toilet facilities.
Old Head Blue Flag Beach
Old Head is a personal favorite. The beach is sheltered and is great for swimming. There are lifeguards on duty in the summer months. When the tide is out there are great rock pools for exploring! There is a pier and a little cafe. It gets busy in the summertime so get out there early!
Carrowniskey Green Coast Beach
This beach is probably one of the best beaches for surfing in Mayo. It’s just south of Louisburgh. The beach is wide and sandy and great for walking when the tide is out. There is a surfing school that offers lessons and rents surfboards and wetsuits. It has lifeguards on duty during the summer.
Note that foot protection is advised, due to the presence unusually of weaver fish.
Related: Mayo Beaches
#9. Achill Island
On Achill Island there are so many things to keep you occupied. From hillwalking and other outdoor activities from golf, painting or horseriding to surfing or scuba diving. It has some spectacular beaches many with blue flags.
Achill has over a dozen restaurants and many pubs and bars. Its history is visible all over the island with megalithic tombs to ancient forts and deserted villages.
The deserted village at Slievemore is worth a visit. It has the remains of nearly 100 houses which were occupied during different periods of history.
#10. Ceide Fields
The Ceide Fields are the oldest known field systems in the world, over five and a half millenia old. So this is a great spot for the history buff in the family! The remains of stone field walls, house and megalithic tombs were preserved by peat over thousands of years.
The Visitor Centre has exhibitions, audio-visual show and tearooms. You can take a guided tour and explore the site. It’s open from 10am – 6pm from June to September and till 5pm other months.
Related: Free things to do in Mayo with Kids
Do you have a favourite place to go in Mayo with kids? Share it in the comments below.