Here are our top tips for what to do on a 48-hour family break in Kildare.
From battle gear to boglands
On your family break to Kildare, you’ll discover the county’s fascinating mythological past as well as the important role that the local area played in Irish horse racing and the history of the state.
The Irish National Stud and Gardens
The world-famous Irish National Stud and Gardens is a fantastic place to visit on a family break. The children will love seeing the magnificent horses up close, while the rest of the family can discover all about Ireland’s love affair with horse racing. Just brace yourself for any requests for a pony from the kids.
Light up the kid’s imagination as you bring them on a search for fairies along the Fairy Trail, there’s 14 to find in total and lots of colourful plants along the way - perfect for making memories. Make sure you take a walk around the fantastical Japanese Garden and its exotic plants before you leave.
The Curragh Military Museum
From a car that formed part of Michael Collins’ convoy when he was ambushed and killed to some fascinating photos from turbulent times, the Curragh Military Museum will bring the past to life for your little ones. It looks at everything from the Curragh’s military history to the local wildlife to what life in the area was like in times gone by. Entry is free so it’s a wallet-friendly way to spend a morning.
Legends of Kildare VR Experience
Journey into myth and bygone days with the Legends of Kildare VR Experience at the Kildare Town Heritage Centre, just 10 minutes away. The VR technology takes you on an immersive journey where you’ll encounter the brave warriors of Na Fianna, discover ancient goddesses and see the Norman invasion through your own eyes. This magical experience, suitable for kids aged ten and up, will totally transport your family to another time and place.
Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park
Make your way 20 minutes north to Kildare’s rich boglands and discover Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park in the stunning surrounds of the Bog of Allen. This award-winning park combines peatland trails with activities and multimedia exhibitions.
The new Biodiversity Boardwalk takes you through a land of lakes, peatland and heather. You can delve into the history of the landscape with a guided tour and finish up with some fun at the park’s crazy golf course, train trips or the pet farm.
Bog of Allen Nature Centre
The aim of the nearby Bog of Allen Nature Centre is to preserve the peatlands for future generations and give the current generation a greater understanding of the important role played by boglands in Irish life. The peatland museum is an eye-opening look at our boglands’ contribution to Ireland and the little ones will be fascinated by the greenhouse of carnivorous plants.
With connections to Fionn MacCumhaill and Na Fianna, St Patrick and St Brigid, it’s also an important place in Irish myth and religion.
From farm to barge
Making your way to the north of the county, you’ll find the town of Maynooth, forest walks and a chance to test your sense of direction in some tricky mazes. You won’t get lost but you might lose track of time as you try to fit it all in.
Donadea Forest Park
Let the young one’s imagination run wild with a visit to the enchanting Donadea Forest Park, just 10 minutes away, is a chance to explore stunning woodlands. With 243 hectares of mixed forestry and countless enchanting woodland walks, there’s always a new part of the park to see. The remains of the castle, walled gardens and tower only add to this beautiful park’s sense of mystery. A hot chocolate in the cute Donadea Coffee House is the perfect treat after a day spent exploring the forest.
What child doesn’t love a maze? The Kildare Maze at Prosperous has two to choose from – a massive hedge maze and the wooden maze – so they’ll have twice the fun. The adventure doesn’t end there as there’s a whole activity park to challenge them. The adventure trail and zip wire will test bigger kids’ skills, little ones will love the toddler play area, and everyone will have a blast with the crazy golf.
Clonfert Pet Farm
From farmyard favourites to unusual imports, your little ones will find plenty of furry and feathered friends at Clonfert Pet Farm. Among the more exotic residents of the farm are the ring-tailed lemurs, African eagle spotted owls, emus, llamas and the impossibly cute marmosets. Each child will probably have their personal favourite but it’s a spectacular collection to choose from.
A barge tour on The Grand Canal
For a relaxing option that the whole family will love to take a barge trip down the Grand Canal with the aptly named Barge Trip. Set sail from Sallins during March and October, with the option to do a 2.5 hour morning cruise, a one hour cruise in the afternoons and an evening cruise between 7pm and 9pm.
Sit back, soak up the comfort of the barge and watch the world slide by. The kids will love the adventure of exploring the waterways and watching as the boat magically makes its way up and down the locks. You can also combine the cruise with a meal in the town on your return to round off a wonderful family day out in North Kildare.
If you have time in Kildare…
Just outside Newbridge, Pollardstown Fen is a vast fen landscape that is full of unique and endangered plants and wildlife. A boardwalk cuts through this raised peatland and makes it easy for even the smallest children to get up close to its wonderful flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for otters, hares or even newts on your walk. It takes about 30 minutes to complete and entry is free.
No matter what you’re looking for on your family break to The Thoroughbred County, you can be sure that you’ll find it here. Start planning your trip now and experience it for yourself.