Nothing beats the excitement of leaving the routine behind and getting away for a few days. Are you looking for some winter staycation ideas for the family to enjoy this year in Ireland? We have rounded up some of the most family friendly staycation ideas and tips, all road-tested by our parent audience!
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While travel abroad (or even out of your county!) may not be possible at the moment, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a family staycation here in Ireland. Even during winter months, our beaches, coastline, inland waterways and soaring mountains offer opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and get away from it all for a few nights or longer.
Here we have some tips on making the most of your family break this winter and also look at some family friendly accommodation choices from our partners.
Winter Staycation Ideas In Ireland
Tips For Booking Your Winter Staycation
#1. Do Your Research
Before you travel, be sure to look up information on the area you are travelling too, even if you are not going far! From local parks and forest trails to playgrounds and activity centres, you’ll be able to plan your days to ensure everyone in the family enjoys the break.
Remember, not everything has to cost money. If you are on a budget, planning ahead can help to keep the costs in check.
#2. Consider Staying Close To Home
Have you ever considered checking into a hotel or self catering location locally? Now might be just the time to do it (or indeed the only option for a break!). I find if I have time off at home, I usually fill it with all the things I don’t get to do normally, like extra house work, decluttering etc.
By checking out of home but staying local you will have the opportunity to see your city or town like a tourist does! Plan your staycation just like you would plan going to a location you don’t know and you may be surprised to find new and interesting places to visit on the doorstep.
#3. Book Some Fun Adventures In Advance
Be sure to book some fun things to do in advance of your staycation. If your location has a spa, golf course, activity centre, restaurant or other amenity that you want to try, book it in advance to ensure you get the time and date you want.
#4. Call Your Preferred Venue To Ask About Deals
Booking sites are great when you are planning in advance, but in the current situation, you will often find the best deals are available direct from the hotel. I am a fan of researching online but calling up before I book.
Have a budget in mind and a list of your criteria, e.g. how many rooms, beds, nights, eating arrangements etc. and ask for the best deal they can offer you. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you can get.
#5. Read The Small Print
Check cancellation policies, just as you would for a break further afield. Many family friendly accommodation providers will allow cancellations up to a few days before you travel. That way you know if things change, you can always rearrange.
#6. Pets May Be Welcome
If you have a family pet, check whether they would be welcome too. Many places are happy to have pets along, or offer some specific accommodation specially to pet owners, you just need to tell them in advance.
Family Friendly Accommodation Options
Diamond Coast Hotel, Ennsicrone, Co Sligo
“The Diamond Coast Hotel in Enniscrone sits above a stunning 5km long beach perfect for winter dips and walks with the family. The hotel prides itself on being truly family friendly and have won awards in the family category on Trip Advisor.
Best of all their recently refurbished family rooms can comfortably accommodate up to 8 people! The restaurant and bistro have a children’s menu with imaginative options that include dairy and gluten free meals.
During school holidays you can relax while your little ones are entertained at the Little Diamond Kids Club. For older kids and teens, alongside the beach and water sports, the hotel has a tennis court, playground, astro pitch and basketball court with all the equipment needed to enjoy them, at reception.
Close to the hotel you will find Water Point Aqua Park, pitch and putt, surfing and boat trips. With some of the largest family rooms in Ireland, you are guaranteed a family friendly welcome at the Diamond Coast Hotel, Sligo, including special festive family offers with dining and entertainment and a visit from Santa on Christmas Day included!
The Connacht Hotel, Galway
The Connacht Hotel is one of the most family friendly hotels in Ireland, welcoming families to Galway for over 50 years and it has just undergone an extensive refurbishment. They are operating comprehensive safety procedures in line with government guidelines to ensure the wellbeing of guests and their team.
With a wide range of family accommodation there is the perfect option for you and your family. The Connacht Hotel is the perfect option for families who require that little extra space and comfort.
- Classic Family Rooms (Double & Single Bed with room for a Rollaway or Cot)
- Family Room with a 3 Sleeper Bunk Bed
- Family Suites with 2 Bedrooms & Kitchenette
- Inter-Connecting Bedrooms
- Self-Catering Apartments
- Connacht Cruiser Motorhome
Family friendly dining is available in the newly refurbished Rueben’s Restaurant offering a selection of Authentic Italian Pizzas which can be enjoyed in the restaurant or as part of the in-room dining options.
Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, Carlow
With an award winning spa and championship golf course, The Mount Wolseley Hotel is the perfect hotel for families or those wishing to have a break away with relatives or friends. There’s a wide choice of accommodation from family rooms to resort houses.
All family rooms offer a double bed with 2 single beds or another double bed or double sofa bed. The rooms are large so a travel cot or foldaway bed can be added. And the hotel offers interconnecting rooms for those who have larger families staying. Resort houses are close to the main entrance of the hotel and offer guests a perfect home from home experience. These self-catering resort houses sleep up to 7 people. And you can enjoy the use of all hotel facilities.
Mount Wolseley offers lots of on-site activities to enjoy including the Woolie Bear Kids Club,(subject to guidelines) which operates during school holidays, a fun woodland playground with a zip-line, the Wolseley Walkway, a one mile walking trail in the hotel grounds, golf course that offer children’s (and adult) lessons, an award winning spa with thermal suite and, of course, a leisure centre with a large pool and a children’s pool along with many local activities and attractions in the surrounding area.
Clonakilty Park Hotel, Cork
Clonakilty, West Cork has always been a popular holiday destination for families and the award winning Clonakilty Park Hotel provides a safe environment for children that is bursting with unique kids facilities.
These include a three screen cinema, adventure centre with high ropes, zip wiring and climbing walls, Adventure Golf, Indoor Playzone, Kids Camp, Outdoor Playground and Swimming/Toddler Pool. The best bit is all activities are onsite, less than a 3 minute walk from your accommodation and with holiday homes, apartments, large family rooms and interconnecting rooms, (all with free wifi) there is an option to suit every requirement.
Clonakilty is the perfect base for touring the West Cork region, be sure to take a ride on the train at the West Cork Model Railway Village, bring your bucket & spade or take a walk on Inchydoney Beach, get lost in the wooden maze at Smugglers Cove or rent a paddle boat at the Lagoon Adventure Centre in Rosscarbery. Family packages are available throughout with year with additional activities scheduled during the Summer and October breaks.
More family friendly accommodation ideas:
- Recommended Hotels in Ireland for Families with More than 2 Kids
- Super Self Catering Accommodation in Ireland Perfect for Family Holidays
- Best Self Catering Options for Families at Hotels in Ireland
Have your say! Are you planning a winter staycation in Ireland this year? Tell us in the comments below.