I have three children, 11, 13 and 16 and they are all very active. They like sports and outdoors and doing things. Have you any ideas for a family holiday in Ireland where they could be kept busy? AD, Meath.
In recent years there has been an increase in outdoor activities, particularly water-based ones around the country. If they do not have wetsuits, I suggest getting some. Wetsuits are ideal for the unpredictability of our weather.
The Hidden Heartlands of Ireland is the place to find some fun activities for the children. In the Athlone area, Baysports is a big inflatable water playground, where the children can spend hours getting wet. In this area they can also try out canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and a Viking tour of Lough Ree.
Further north the Lough Key Forest Park is a place for great exploring. There you will find treetop canopy walk, forest walks and zip-lines. Test the family’s ingenuity in the Boda Borg, a Swedish concept of puzzles and tasks with no instructions, Lough Key Forest Park.
Lough Boora Discovery Park
The Lough Boora Discovery Park in Co Offaly between Tullamore and Clonmacnoise has lots of walking and cycling routes. There is also fishing and a sculpture park. The children can learn about nature and how bogs work, loughboora.com.
Star Adventures is a recent addition to Kenmare in Kerry and is a huge water and activity park on Kenmare Bay, called the Wild Atlantic Waterpark. Your family could pit themselves on The Gauntlet and try to be Ireland’s Fittest Family. There is also Paintball, Crazy Golf, Archery and cruises, Staroutdoors.
The Delphi Adventure Resort near Leenane is Co. Galway has packages for the adventurous family. There is a variety of land and water activities, film nights and even a spa for the adults. Accommodation can be in the hotel or the hostel, Delphi Resort.
A boating holiday on the Shannon can be fun for families. It is a great way to explore the country, stopping off at places of interest. The children are old enough to enjoy helping out on the boat, doing navigation, sailing and mooring. You can rent boats from Emerald Star, and Cruise Ireland.