If you’re planning a family trip to Galway, staying in our family-friendly hotel located just outside Galway city in Oranmore, is the ideal base for you and your family with so many family friendly activities on our doorstep or within a short drive.
No matter what age your children are, with so many things to do in Galway, come rain or shine, you can be sure there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained. We have compiled a list of family activities for all ages below to help you make some amazing memories and enjoy your time whilst staying in Galway!
Indoor Activities Galway
Busy Bees Oranmore
A two-minute stroll from our front door, this is a wonderful children’s activity centre for kids from 7 months to 12 years. It’s a hive of activity!
Babies and toddlers have their own soft play area. Older children have a huge choice of climbing and navigating, slides, ball pools, mazes and bouncing castles. There are indoor basketball and soccer courts for play and practice. Bees on Skates is a roller-skating disco for children from 7 years up. Teddy Mountain runs soft toy workshops where creative kids can make their own while after dark laser fun will appeal to the secret shooters in the family.
IMC Cinema Oranmore
Make it a night at the movies! Right beside the hotel, the cinema is a fabulous family option – and we’ve made it even easier with a family meal deal with discounted tickets included. Check with reception for details.
Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland
Bigger, brighter and better than any other aquarium in the country, Galway Atlantaquaria to over 170 species of fish. Overlooking the Atlantic in Salthill, it’s two floors of swimming, scuttling and squirming sea life. Check out the giant 60-foot Fin Whale skeleton (Grainne Whale), explore a model submarine, meet Moon Jellyfish, octopus and baby starfish! Try the touch tank where you can hold spider crabs if you dare. Find Nemo if you can.
Let your whole family jump for joy at Jump Lanes indoor trampoline park. It’s energetic, it’s exhilarating – and it’s pure fun for everyone. Between ten trampoline lanes, an artificial ice rink, two giant pool tables (kick soccer sized balls to score), regular pool tables and table tennis, you’ll be spoilt for choice. It’s strictly over 5s only, except for Saturday morning toddler sessions. Note that denims are not permitted.
Outdoor Activities Galway
Loughwell Farm Park
Take a trip to Moycullen in the Connemara countryside and visit Loughwell Farm Park with acres of indoor and outdoor fun for everyone. Get up close and personal with all sorts of birds and animals – ducks, geese, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, ponies, turkeys, donkeys, goats, horses, sheep, lambs, calves, rabbits and chickens. Take a nature walk, try a sand pit or test your skills on the timber obstacle course. There are go-karts, a zip wire, mini-golf, swings and the brilliant barrel train. If weather drives you indoors, you’ll find a large climbing structure, a four-lane wavy astra slide and the famous vertical drop slide as well as skittles lanes, ride-ons and giant Lego.
The Burren Nature Sanctuary
Head south along the Wild Atlantic Way and just outside the picturesque village of Kinvara you’ll find The Burren Nature Sanctuary on a 50-acre organic farm. It’s a slower paced way to discover the magic of the Burren. Explore the woodland trail and find fairies along the way; see the incredible karst “moonscape”; meet Cookie the donkey and Frisky the feral goat. Visit the botany bubble and have fun in the outdoor playground and indoor soft play area. Afterwards, take time to browse the Avoca shop and eat in the fantastic café which boasts a ‘no fizz – no fryer’ policy. This place has it all and we genuinely love it!
Turoe Pet Farm
An easy journey just 4km from Exit 16 (Loughrea) on the M6, Turoe Pet Farm is a great day out no matter what the weather brings. 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. Additionally, an all-weather, buggy-friendly nature trail means getting outside is always possible.
Just 5 minutes drive from the hotel is this hidden gem, a wonderful park created around an ancient castle and a historic demesne. The paved walkways are perfect for buggies, bike and scooters and boast spectacular views of Galway Bay. Discover the 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.
Galway City Karting
Adrenalin junkies – look no further! Galway City Karting is fast, frantic and fantastic fun! Everyone can try karting, from seven years and upwards. Believe us when we say it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Take up the challenge of a “friendly” family race to get the blood pumping through your veins. Or play it safe and watch from the designated spectator area. Either way, you can be sure you won’t miss out on the fun!
The iconic diving tower at Blackrock overlooks Salthill Prom and the family-friendly beach. The walk along the promenade and seafront is reminiscent of all that’s good in family seaside holidays. Stay on the ground and watch the fun unfold or if you’re feeling adventurous, take the plunge of those dramatic diving boards!
Salthill is located within walking distance of Galway city centre and is enormously popular during the summer season. While you are there check out the crazy golf at Leisureland – filled with fun activities for everyone.
Family Activities For All Ages
Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre
If you’re looking for family activities for all ages, the Ailwee Caves and Bird of Prey Centre is a great option for you. Located in the heart of the Burren in County Clare and only 40 minutes from both Galway and Shannon. Perched high on its Burren terraced mountainside. The Burren is a place full of wonder, beauty and discovery. Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre gives your family a chance to explore its weirdly shaped underworld and enjoy unexpected freedom with majestic Birds of Prey. The Birds of Prey Centre is home to one of the largest and most varied collection of birds of prey in Ireland – Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, Owls, and Vultures.
While there tour the farm, barns and farmyard or sign up for some traditional Irish baking with a scone making class. Make sure to visit the farmhouse with its original thatched roof and stone walls. Activities at the farm include bottle feeding the baby lambs, sheering some sheep and see a sheep dog demonstration. Dinner is available with traditional Irish music playing.
A Day at the Beach
As with all good things, Galway’s got them in abundance. From rocky shores to sloping strands, there’s just about every variety of beach for you to choose from dotted throughout the county. Here are some of our very favourite spots to get your feet wet… there are so many of them we had to give them their very own page – click here to discover the best beaches in Galway.
Curry’s Fun Park Salthill
Curry’s Fun Park is a great activity for a family to do on a sunny day with something for the whole family from young to old to do. At the park choose from the Ferris wheel, Merry go round, fun house, bumper cars, giant inflatables, Miami Surf, Caterpillar train, Waltzers, Zorbing balls, teacups, flying elephants and many games to win fun toys. The electric atmosphere will excite the kids and the big kids. Guaranteed to have a fun family day out. Curry’s Fun Park is opening daily during the summer from 12.00pm.
Get some sea legs on board the Corrib Princess and see the city of the tribes whilst navigating the Corrib. It is an all-weather activity with seating indoors and outdoors so perfect for the West of Ireland weather. It sets sail from Woodquay in the heart of Galway and there is parking alongside it. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib providing visitors with unsurpassed views and natural beauty making it a spectacular trip. Suitable for all ages.
Distance from the hotel : 9.7km/ 15 minutes
This is the place to visit if you want your little ones to fall in love with nature and the great outdoors. Explore a range of wildlife habitats in the woodland, lake, garden & meadows – all of which are home to a wide range of species. If you want to challenge yourselves along the way take part in the Earth Quest Trail which is solving science-based challenges as you explore the Garden. With a natural play area, sandpit, slide, see saw and climbing frame there is plenty to discover and explore!
Slieve Aughty Centre & The Enchanted Forest
Slieve Aughty Centre is the ultimate getaway from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. Activities on offer include horse trekking and lessons, cycling, walking with or without a donkey, crafting, the Enchanted Forest and more. The enchanted forest is where the fairies, gnomes and trolls live in harmony with the animals of the wood. It is a lovely trail and the children get welcomed with a forest map, wishing tree hanger and fairy dust for them to help them explore. For the wee ones, the toddler playground includes a playhouse, swing set and sand area. The craft room is a self-serve recycled room, a piece of art in itself, with tons of materials to make and do.
Connemara National Park
Located in west county Galway, Connemara National Park is 2,957 hectares of unspoiled natural scenery. The landscape varies between mountains, bogland, heaths and woodland making it an interesting and captivating setting for a scenic drive. The famous Twelve Bens mountain range provides a backdrop to the landscape anda wonderful place for hikes or mountain walks.
The wildlife of Connemara is very diverse with heather covering the bogland and purple moor grass which adds vibrant colour to the region. There is an abundance of birdlife in the area too with songbirds and birds of prey seen in the area frequently. The Connemara pony is the most famous animal in the park with a herd of purebred ponies offering the perfect photo opportunity during your visit.
The visitor centre is open daily from 9.00am to 5.30pm and guided nature walks are offered throughout the year.
Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden are located in the heart of Connemara and offer spectacular views of the wild landscape as well as the opulent building and grounds. Kylemore Castle was built in the late 1800’s by Mitchell Henry MP, an Irish advocate and landlord. He wanted to create an idyllic estate in the middle of Connemara with all the comforts of modern design. The building is now occupied and run by the Benedictine community.
There’s loads to see and do for all the family:
- Abbey tour – see the restored rooms
- Victorian Walled Garden walk – explore the six acre estate
- Woodland walks
- Children’s nature trails
- Gothic Church
- History talks
- Guided hikes
If you’re feeling a little peckish after your scenic walk, there’s plenty to choose from to feed your appetite. Kylemore Abbey has a strong tradition of delicious home cooking.
Family Attractions Suitable For Older Children In Galway
If you’re looking for kids activities in Galway but your children are on the older side, Wildlands is a great choice. Experience the thrill of adventure just outside Galway city. Wildlands is a new, state-of-the-art outdoor activity centre on the banks of Ballyquirke Lake, near Moycullen. Set in 20 acres of mature woodland, they’ve got a huge range of heart-pumping and adrenaline-racing ventures like Zip ‘n’ Trek, Fun Walls, Disc Golf, Bushcraft, Archery, Fairy Trails, a Sports Hall, Yoga & Wellness centre and much, much more.
Suitable for ages 7 and upwards
Distance from the hotel : 19.1 k/23 minutes
Astro bay is a bubble football facility located in Renmore, Galway. There are many different activities at Astrobay including, Bubble football, kids bubble party, astro turf hire, tag archery, bubble mayhem. It is the perfect activity for something a little different and everyone will have a great giggle.
Suitable for ages 8 and upwards
Distance from the hotel : 7.8 k/12 minutes
Pallas Go Karting
Pallas Go Karting and Paintballing is located in Tynagh, Loughrea County Galway and is the perfect option for a family activity suitable for older kids. Pallas go karting has 3 tracks which includes a 500m beginner’s track, 1500m advanced track and 2200m rally track. It is a perfect day out for a family aged 10 and over. It is an ideal destination for family members who have never go karted before.
Suitable for ages 10 and upwards
Distance from the hotel : 52 k/38 minutes
Rusheen Bay Watersports
Less than 5km from Galway City between Salthill and Barna, Rusheen Bay Watersports offers windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding 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 is essential.
Suitable from 8 years of age
Distance from the hotel: 15km/24 minutes
Baysports is a great option for a family activity for older kids with options for younger children too. On the shores of the majestic Lough Ree in Athlone, their fresh water adventure centre awaits. As well as sailing, stand up paddling (SUP), pedal boats, kayaking, pier jumping and even Chinese dragon boating there’s one unique must do experience your kids will love – the waterpark. Did you know Baysports is also home to the largest inflatable water slide in the world? Awarded by Guinness World Records for Baysports round tower slide.
Distance from the hotel: 80.3km/50 minutes
Pure Skill is a 25,000 square foot activity centre located in Knocknacarra Galway. It is the perfect fun family activity for a family aged 8 and over who enjoy competitive sports while also having fun.. The sports and leisure centre hosts a wide selection of different activities from all over the world for all to enjoy. These non-contact activities include Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Gaelic, Golf chipping, Golf putting, Hurling, Rugby, Soccer and Tennis.
Suitable for ages 8 and upwards
Distance from the hotel : 13.3km/17 minutes