Let’s face it, when you have kids and start thinking about holidays it can all seem a little daunting. You want something easy, accessible by road (so you can bring the mountain of child-related bits and bobs) but with lots to keep those bundles of energy entertained. Kildare ticks all these boxes, promising a memorable, stress-free break for all the family.
You won’t find yourself short of ideas to keep your little ones entertained in Kildare. If your kids love everything of the four-legged variety, head to in Clonfert Pet Farm in Maynooth. Children can get hands on with the farm’s pigs, Peppa and George, the bunnies, puppies, goats and horses. The venue also has indoor and outdoor play areas and Go Karts for the more adventurous.
Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park is sure to be a big hit with kids of all ages. Little history buffs can take a heritage walk through the last 9,000 years with replica dwellings and interactive exhibitions.
The park also runs a road train through the stunning Bog of Allen, a pet farm and a Funky Forest indoor play area with rope bridges, a cable run and a giant pirate ship to get their imaginations firing.
Explore Kildare’s breathtaking scenery on horseback at the family run Pitfield Equestrian Centre. With horses to suit every ability, a qualified instructor will take you across verdant countryside and down peaceful, mossy lanes. The centre also offers one-to-one and group lessons for those just starting out.
Indulge your children’s adventurous spirit on a family river safari with Go With The Flow. Canoe down the enchanting waterways of the river Barrow, brave rapids and weirs and finish with a picnic near some secluded water pools ideal for a dip.
Other activities to tempt your gang include fly fishing at Nurney Lakes, archery lessons and clay pigeon shooting at Abbeyfield Farm, Indoor Mini Golf in Naas, bowling at K Bowl and paintballing at RapidFire Paintball Arena. With so much to do, your only problem will be finding the time to fit it all in.
Kildare has options to suit every budget from self-catering to hotels. If you want a little more privacy and space to call your own, self-catering might be more to your taste.
The four-star Belan Lodge in Athy is worth a look, steeped in Quaker history and with ties to Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, it has nature walks, indoor and outdoor children’s play areas, farm animals, fishing and donkey and cart rides to delight your kids. Robertstown Self Catering Cottages is also popular with families – it overlooks the beautiful Grand Canal and is a great base for all of Kildare’s attractions. If you have a bigger brood, the four-star Sandymount Lodge in Naas can accommodate up to eight people and is set in unspoiled countryside.
If you prefer having the little luxuries that come with hotel living, consider the K Club, Carton House, Osprey Hotel, Killashee House Hotel, Westgrove Hotel and the Keadeen Hotel to name but a few. These hotels pride themselves on being child friendly and offer activities such as fishing, horse riding and nature trails.