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Family Trip Ideas: Galway

Family Trip Ideas: Galway

It's time to get the holiday plans firmly in focus, as we wonder how to keep the little ones entertained; and make the most of (what can sometimes seem) the endless summer holidays! Having a break gives us time to really enjoy together; but where to go…. well, the bohemian city of Galway is one option that should always be on the cards.

What could be better than a vibrant city that has both the seaside and countryside nearby for easy day trips …. it's the perfect all-round location!There's nothing quite like a trip to Galway, where even a casual stroll through town can reveal a whole host of excitements for parents and children alike.

Where to Stay

If you are looking for an affordable family-friendly hotel, the Maldron Hotel Oranmore Galway is the perfect base for your break. It's a firm family favourite; recently ranked 'One of the top 10 family hotels to visit in Ireland' by TripAdvisor. Enjoy the extensive leisure centre facilities with 20metre pool, kiddies pool, sauna, steam room, and gym; and encourage your little VIPs to join the fun happening in Crafty Kids Club, explore the games room, and check out the great playground just outside. 

Good fun whatever the weather:

Turoe Pet Farm has everything you need for a fun-filled day out; no matter what our Irish summer greets you with! Enjoy exploring the 14-acre park, taking in the various animals such as pigs, ponies, cows, donkeys and sheep. Meet a host of feathery friends in the Aviary; and explore Pet’s Corner, which is always a firm favourite. Indoors, children of all ages can experience the incredible Jungle Town, and bounce their way around the “Inflatable City”: One of Europe’s largest bouncing castles.

The Galway Atlantaquaria houses the country’s largest display of sea and fresh water life. You can see young and freshly hatched fish in the Aquaculture rearing centre, and learn about the huge variety of life in the Estuary, Harbour, Lighthouse, and Mill Pond. For hands on learning, visit the Touch Pools for a unique chance to hold starfish, crabs or even sea scorpions! Then wonder at the star attraction: The 120 tonne Ocean Tank showcasing over 200 species including cod, pollack and small sharks.

Busy Bees is a fun-filled activity centre for kids of all ages. The bright, clean activity areas include a baby and toddler play area; Busy Bees activity zone, complete with slides, ball-pits, and mazes; ‘Bees on Skates’ kids roller disco; and even Teddy Mountain, where you can make your own cuddly toy!

Jump Lanes is a fun activity for all a family (aged 5 and up). It provides a large trampoline area, year-round indoor ice skating rink, and 'soccer pool' tables. The new activity centre is a great opportunity for you all to do something out of the ordinary, while having lots of fun along the way. As the name suggests, it's most popular for its famous trampolining: A unique way to have a great laugh with the family, and bounce out some excess energy.

Explore The Great Outdoors

Burren Nature Sanctuary is situated in the beautiful and unique Burren region of south Galway. Visitors can spend time exploring the winding fairy woodland trails (with kids activities along the way), while learning about the natural history of the Burren. Along the way you’ll meet a variety of friendly animals: Goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, Shetland ponies, and even alpaca!

There’s also an Adventure Playground with excellent equipment; including a fantastic sand pit, and a great indoor play area, in case the weather turns. Adults can enjoy the indoor exhibition, or relax by the waterfall in the Rock Garden; and there’s delicious homemade food in the café if you get peckish. 

At Slieve Aughty Riding & Activity Centre, you could go horse riding with your family, or maybe bring a donkey for a walk! Little ones can be lead on an adorable, quiet pony, and treks are designed to the rider’s abilities; so don’t worry if you don’t have any experience at all. The only danger is, you might want to keep one!

Brigit's Garden is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. This beautifully crafted garden is themed around Celtic seasonal festivities, with 11 acres of native woodland and wildflower meadows to explore. There is a nature trail, ogham tree, children’s discovery trail, living willow play area and an ancient ring fort which all the family can enjoy. There is also a well-stocked café, and plenty of seasonal events and activities on offer.

Loughwell Farm Park is the ideal day out for animal lovers. There is a host of animals to pet such as pigs, ponies, cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens, donkeys, rabbits, reindeer and much more. There are also lots of activities to enjoy; such as a play-barn with bouncy castles, bouncy slide, and obstacle course; timber play villages; sand dunes with slides and play diggers; straw-bale maze, toddler swings, zip wire, and pedal go karts!

Free Family Adventures

Galway is a great place to explore, with its abundance of beautiful beaches close to the city, and an array of live music and street performers around the town; so days out don't have to include an entry fee.

The closest beaches to Galway are in Salthill, a short walk from the city centre along the promenade. There are three separate beaches in Salthill which are very popular with visitors and residents during the summer, so grab your bucket and spade, and start exploring! Even in the rain, it can be great fun chasing waves in your wellies.

Galway City Museum is a spacious, modern building, situated in the heart of Galway city, overlooking the famous Spanish Arch. It houses a variety of permanent and touring exhibitions representing Galway's rich archaeology, history, science and arts; and has plenty for kids to see.

The grounds of Rinville Park are set around an ancient castle, which dates from the 16th century. Explore the trails through woodland and open farmland, and admire the sea views; which show of Galway's outstanding natural beauty to great effect, looking out over Galway Bay, Galway City and the Burren of County Clare. Keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife, including ravens, herons and otters; as you wander through the cultivated and wild flowers, shrubs and trees. The Park also has picnic areas and a children's playground, so is a great place to let loose and explore.

This article was kindly sponsored by The Maldron Hotel, Oranmore, Galway; a favourite holiday spot for the eumom team. For more information, and to book your holiday, go to maldronhotelgalway.com or call them on (091) 792 244.

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