If you’re visiting County Mayo with the family and are on the lookout 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. Stop off at Westport House, the Céide Fields, Croagh Patrick or one of the beautiful beaches along the way. 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, located in Turlough Park, Castlebar, shows the traditional way of life that existed in Ireland since 1850. Hear unique stories and experience the rich heritage and fascinating cultural traditions of our rural ancestors!
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, and 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! They have a range of activities for young and old, such as:
- 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 the history of famous Pirate Grace O’Malley.
Admission prices can be lower if you book tickets online.
#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 facilities, such as swings, slides, a two lane zipwire and sandpits. There are also picnic tables and some great farm walks if the weather is nice.
At their Kidzone Indoor Play Centre, they have a large climbing frame which includes rope bridges, three large slides and many more surprises! You can also walk on water and try out their paddle boats.
There are also of course lots and lots of animals to see such as, cows, pigs, dogs, cats, alpacas, llamas, emus, wallabies 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 beautiful 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 open daily from 10:00am – 5.30pm from 16th March to 3rd November. They have an interactive exhibition, experienced guides and a tearooms located the first floor of the visitors centre. They run special events throughout the year and regular guided walks and Kids Clubs during the summer months. And best of all it’s free!
#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. The forest has very diverse wildlife and there may also be opportunity see some of the many animals in the area such as badgers, foxes, rabbits, 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. Go horse riding with Macalla Horse Farm, or go on a boat trip to see the coast!
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 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, located approx. 3.5km east of Louisburgh village, is a personal favourite. 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 such as golf, painting or horseriding to surfing, kayaking or scuba diving. It has some spectacular beaches many with blue flags. After your activities, the island has over a dozen restaurants and many traditional 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 a fascinating and haunting reminder of times past. It is an abandoned settlement consisting of about 100 stone cottages on the Slievemore mountain, and has many archaeological artefacts and tombs from 5,000 years ago.
#10. Céide Fields
The Céide Fields are the oldest known field systems and the most extensive stone age monument in the world – over five and a half millenia old. Located an hour and a half’s drive from Mulranny, 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 wild flora of the bog is also incredibly beautiful and of international importance.
The Visitor Centre has exhibitions, audio-visual show and tearooms. You can take a guided tour and explore the site, and discover a buried wall for yourself using a centuries old method of probing. It’s open from 10am – 6pm from June to September and till 5pm other months.
#11. Mayo Dark Sky Park
Pay a visit to Ireland’s first Dark Sky Park! Extending across 150 square kilometres between Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin, you can look up at the beautiful night skies and see over 4,500 stars along with other planets, the Milky Way and even meteor showers. The visitor centre, open March to November from 10.00 to 17.30 at Ballycroy has great educational exhibitions and information, and they also have a cafe.
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.