20 Things to do in Galway with Kids

Things to do in Galway with Kids

GALWAY WITH KIDS

With the summer holidays on the horizon and the sun cream and sandals still out from the recent warm spell, we’re gearing up, once again, to reprise our roles as entertainment managers for our little, expectant adventurers. If you live in Galway or you’ve been to Galway then you know that over here in The West, we like to hedge our bets on indoor and outdoor activities for kids. We like to ensure that if the skies open – which they inevitably do – we’ll be covered, quite literally.  As a result, there’s a wealth of family-friendly entertainment in close proximity to the city. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a day out or places to escape a rainy afternoon, this list has it all. From toddlers to teens, here’s 2o things to do in Galway with kids. I’ve even categorised them for you too. You’re welcome.

  • Outdoor Activities 
  • Indoor Fun
  • Soft Play 
  • Free Activities

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

1. Loughwell Farm Park

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Loughwell Farm Park

Whatever the weather, Loughwell Farm Park – situated a 20-minute drive outside the city in Moycullen – will keep kids entertained. Nature walks, sand pits, timber obstacle courses, go karts, zip wire, mini golf, swings, nature walks and the barrel train can all be enjoyed on a dry day. Get up close and personal with ducks, geese, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, ponies, turkeys, donkeys, goats, horses, sheep, lambs, calves, rabbits and chickens.

An indoor shed also houses a large climbing structure, a four lane wavy astra slide and their renowned vertical drop slide, while a second barn has indoor skittles lanes, ride-ons and giant Lego. www.loughwellfarmpark.ie

2. Brigit’s Garden

Galway with KidsBrigit’s Garden, a not-for-profit organisation, is located between Moycullen and Oughterard. Its gardens and woodland trails provide the perfect place for kids to run, explore and connect with nature. A natural playground with sandpit, pond, basket swings, a climbing frame and a slide will entertain the energetic while the Fairy Forest and Celtic gardens provide a relaxing environment for a family day out. The newly relaunched cafe serves quality food and good coffee and the gift shop stocks local crafts, artisan food items, books and nature-based toys.  www.brigitsgarden.ie

3. The Burren Nature Sanctuary 

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Burren Nature Sanctuary.

Located just outside the picturesque village of Kinvara, a half-hour drive from Galway city along the Wild Atlantic Way, The Burren Nature Sanctuary is another of our favourites. Explore the fairy woodland trail; enjoy the Burren’s unique geological features; meet and feed goats, rabbits and guinea pigs; have fun in the outdoor playground and indoor soft play area; browse the Avoca shop and eat in their fantastic onsite cafe which boasts a ‘no fizz – no fryer’ policy. This place has it all and we genuinely love it!  www.bns.ie

4. Turoe Pet Farm

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Turoe Pet Farm

Located 4km from Exit 16 (Loughrea) on the M6, Turoe has an all-weather, buggy-friendly nature trail around the perimeter of the 14-acre farm. Kids can feed pigs, ponies, cows, donkeys, goats and sheep (animal feed is provided). Visit the aviary, cuddle rabbits in pet corner, meet Larry the Llama, Curly the Alpaca and Dundee the crocodile or make a wish in the wishing well.

As well as supervised indoor play areas and two outdoor playgrounds, Turoe also boasts Europe’s largest bouncing castle – ‘Inflatable City’, an astroturf pitch, a football pitch and a pool room. Whether your kids are adventurers or animal lovers, they’re sure to be entertained here. www.turoepetfarm.com

5. Slieve Aughty Centre

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Slieve Aughty Centre

With a craft room, a toddler playground, pony rides, donkey walks, a nature trail and an enchanted forest, Slieve Aughty Centre provides the perfect setting for a outdoorsy family day out. This eco-friendly equestrian and activity leisure centre is located a 45 minutes drive from Galway City and 15 minutes drive from Loughrea.  There’s a 9 bedroom guest house on site along with eco lodges, a full service certified organic restaurant and a gift shop selling local   crafts. www.slieveaughtycentre.com

6. Rusheen Bay Watersports

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: RBW

Less than 5km from Galway City between Salthill and Barna, Rusheen Bay Watersports offers windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding lessons. Catering for both kids and adults, RBW is open all year round. The calm waters of the enclosed bay are ideal for beginners. Pre-booking essential. www.rusheenbay.com

 

7. Eile Mental Activity Park

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Eile Mental

Situated 12 Kms from Galway city and on the Wild Atlantic Way, Eile Mental Activity Park in Connemara has activities for kids aged 10+ including  Laser Tag, Paintball, Archery, Orienteering and Disc Golf. http://eilemental.com. If a day of adventure and some healthy competition is what you’re after, this is the spot for you. Booking essential.

INDOOR FUN

8. Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland

Galway with Kids
Photo: Atlantaquaria

Overlooking the Atlantic in Salthill, Ireland’s largest aquarium is home to over 170 species of fish. Over two floors you can expect to encounter all kinds of aquatic life ranging from the largest and only captive white skate in Ireland to baby starfish. Join in at a feeding time and hold spider craps and starfish at the touch pool. Check out the 60 foot Fin Whale Skeleton, the largest skeleton on display in Ireland and explore the model submarine. http://www.nationalaquarium.ie

9. Leisureland

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Leisureland

With three swimming pools to choose from including a 25 metre pool, a warm-up pool and a kids’ leisure pool with interactive water features, Leisureland in Salthill caters for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Kids love the 65 metre water slide and the giant Commando Run Inflatable Obstacle Course. Check out the website for pool opening times and scheduling. http://www.leisureland.ie. Curry’s fun fair also operates on the premises during summer months.

10. Jump Lanes 

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Jump Lanes

Relatively new to Galway, Jump Lanes does exactly what it says on the tin and lots more besides. As well as ten trampoline lanes, you’ll also find an ice-rink, two human-sized soccer pool tables, regular pool tables and table tennis. Strict over 5s policy. Booking advised. Toddler session available on Saturday mornings. http://www.galway.jumplanes.com

 

11. Pure Skill 

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Pure Skill

For the sports enthusiasts, Pure Skill in as indoor sports’ arena offering an interactive sports room and a sports’ circuit with a wide selection of games including Gaelic football, soccer, hurling, rugby, tennis, cricket, baseball, basketball and golf. Using fully automated technology in it’s weatherproof facility, the activities on offer are suitable for adults and kids over 8. It’s located next door to Monkey Business soft play in Knocknacarra. Booking essential. http://www.pureskill.ie

12. The Planet 

Galway with Kids
Photo: The Planet, Galway.

Located within walking distance of the city in the Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road, The Planet offers ten pin bowling (bumpers and lighter balls are available for little ones), LaserQuest, a soft play area, arcade games and pool all under one roof.  http://www.planetgalway.ie

 

Soft Day? Soft Play.  

13. Monkey Business

Located on the west side of the city in Knocknacarra, this large activity centre caters for toddlers and older kids with climbing frames, ball pools, basketball/soccer area, slides, a bouncy castle, a reading corner, giant Lego and a toddler zone.

14. Kidsplace

Situated over Dunnes in Briarhill on the East of the city, Kidsplace is perfect for younger kids, in particular the under 7s. It’s smaller than the others but its toddler area is the best in town.

15. Treasure Island

This pirate-themed play centre is Galway’s newest kids’ activity centre and caters for toddler to pre-teens. You’ll find it in Doughiska on the East side of the city, around the corner from Kidsplace. Facilities include several slides, climbing frames, ball pools, a practice football pitch and a racing car track. http://tikz.ie

16. Busy Bees 

Situated in Oranmore (a ten-minute drive from the city) Busy Bees features a large soft play structure, a toddler zone, a practice soccer pitch, a roller disco and Teddy Mountain – a teddy bear stuffing workshop. http://busybeesgalway.com/

BACK TO BASICS: FREE AND FABULOUS

17. A Day by the Sea – Salthill 

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Less than two kilometres outside of the city en route to Connemara is the seaside village of Salthill. Famous for its promenade and blue flag beaches, it provides the perfect location to escape the bustle of the city. Directly across the bay  is The Burren and on a clear day you can see all three of the Aran Islands.
Favorite pastimes of locals and tourists alike include walking the prom (and kicking the wall at the end) and jumping off the diving boards at Blackrock. If you want to extend your walk, venture beyond the wall along a quiet seaside path – perfect for little ones on scooters or bikes.  On a warm day, enjoy a shady break in the Circle of Life Garden, situated in Quincentennial Park, between the Galway Bay Hotel and the Salthill Hotel.  This national organ donor commemorative garden was opened in 2014 and is a place of calm and sanctuary, often welcome on a busy summer’s day.

18. Storytelling

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Photo: Charlie Byrne’s Book Shop.

Story time in Galway City Library on St Augustine Street takes place on Friday mornings at 11.15 featuring stories, songs and toys for younger children. Children’s Story time takes place in Westside Library every Friday from 3.00-3.45pm. Charlie Byrne’s bookshop, a Galway institution and one of Ireland’s best loved independent book stores hosts Story time on Saturday mornings at 11am.

 

19. Explore Barna Woods 

Things to do in Galway with Kids
Barna Woods, Galway.

Kids love Barna Woods. Accessible from the main Barna road, this small wooded area provides nature’s own playground with trees to climb and pathways to explore. It gets muddy. Bring wellies! At the end of the woods, follow the cycle path through Cappagh Park. Bring a football or a hurl to play in the pitches or enjoy Cappagh playground, complete with zip-wire, climbing frames and one of the largest playground slides around. The playground and pitches are accessible from Cappagh Road  with ample parking at the community centre.  Parking is limited on the Barna Road side.

20. Renville Park

Things to do in Galway with kids Renville Park is situated about 20 minutes outside of the city outside the village of Oranmore. It’s a little off the beaten track but well worth the trip. With spectacular views of Galway Bay, the paved walkways – perfect for buggies, bike and scooters – will bring you through a wooded area to an old castle ruin, a large playground and a walled garden. Picnic tables, BBQ areas, nearby toilets and a coffee/ice-cream van in high season make it a great place to spend an afternoon outdoors.


Note: Not sponsored. No affiliates. Nothing like that. I’m not being paid to promote any of these businesses. I’ve merely chosen places we and our Galway friends love to visit. If you find the list helpful, please share it around. If you think we’ve left something out that should have featured, we’d love to hear about it too! Have you visited any places on the list?
From toddlers to teens, whatever the weather, there's something for everyone. Here's 20 Things to do in Galway with Kids.

37 comments on “20 Things to do in Galway with Kids

    1. Thanks so much, Sinead! I think it’s the kind of list I’d like to find if I was visiting a new city with the posse.

  1. Love this too. Husband is from Galway and always love visiting. Loughwell is the business and I love a stroll in Barna Woods. We also love a wander round Dangan playing fields. Kids love flying around the running track!

  2. Some great ideas here Sinead.

    We’ve been to Truro Peter Farm before its a brilliant day out.

    Also done the beach and Aquarium. Next time I’m out that way we’ll have some other options.
    Alan Herbert recently posted…Over The Hill

  3. I have never been to Galway or to Ireland, but it is on my bucket list, I will keep this post for future reference as I may bring my grandchildren along too ( yes I am really old!) When I was a child minder I took the children on a day trip to a farm everyone had a great time #honestmum@_karendennis

    1. Oh do! And Karen, you’ve gotta come to Ireland! But in summer (though you’re never guaranteed the weather, even in summer!)

  4. I have never been to Galway but have heard so many lovely things about this. I’m going to pin this on my travel board for when we eventually get there! Thanks for linking this up o #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

  5. Great post Sinead thank you! So much on our door step.. good few I didn’t know about .. must check out the toddler jump lanes!

    1. We haven’t been to the toddler session either – I think I will wait a bit for the little one to get a big steadier. My older lad had all sorts of craic in the place though! Gotta love Galway really, don’t you!

    1. It really is one of the nicest wee spots and I love it when a place puts a bit of effort into the cafe and provides healthier options!

  6. What a fab list – you’re spoilt for choice! I love being outdoors and often struggle on the rainy days, so a list of indoor activities is perfect. Almost makes me want to move!! That inflatable obstacle course looks amazing, I’d love to have a go! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. I’ve had a go on it myself, Katy. Not very gracefully might I add. Once was enough! Lol. The six-year-old loves it though!

  7. I’d love to visit Ireland, maybe one day. This is defiantly a jam packed list of things to do. I think you can’t beat a day at the seaside.

    1. Thanks Kris! Agreed re the seaside too! A bucket, a space and a sand sarnie… Ahhhh! All the memories! 😉

  8. I have never been to Galway but would like to go. I love posts like this as it always gives me some good ideas on how to keep my little ones happy!! Will bookmark this page as I am sure we will get to Galway one day!!

    1. Good plan, Natalie! It’s genuinely one of the nicest (if not THE nicest) cities in the country! Definitley woth a visit.

  9. Wow, what a lot of fun stuff to do. I love doing these lists like these, not only is it great for your readers but it gives you a fab idea of what’s going on to fill your days. #sharingthebloglove

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