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Explore nature and history on a family break to Kildare
Explore nature in Kildare with the family.
Kildare is the perfect place to bring the kids to show them some of Ireland’s best attractions, take a deep dive into Irish mythology or give them an insight into our unique landscapes and waterways. Whether they’re animal lovers, bookworms or fans of outdoor activities, there’s lots of family-friendly things to do.

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 

A red bridge over the water at the Japanese Gardens, County Kildare
Visit the enchanting gardens at The National Stud.

The world-famous Irish National Stud and Gardens is a fantastic place to visit in Kildare 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 

Two goats beside a fence at Lullymore Heritage Park in County Kildare
The kids will love seeing the goats at Lullymore Heritage 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.   

Kildare Maze

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 in Maynooth. Among the more exotic residents of the farm are the ring-tailed lemurs, African eagle spotted owls, emus, llamas and the impossibly cute marmosets.

On top of this spectacular collection of animals, kids will enjoy the outdoor and indoor play areas as well as the mini golf course while the adults savour a moment of respite at the on-site coffee shop.

A barge tour on The Grand Canal

People sailing on a blue boat with Sallins Grand Canal barge trip in County Kildare
Set sail on The Grand Canal when you're in Kildare.

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…

Pollardstown Fen

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. 

Explore more things to do and places to visit in Kildare

From fascinating fairy trails to wonderful wildlife, our things to do in Kildare guide features excellent family-friendly experiences in the Thoroughbred County. Start planning your trip now.

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