Best outdoor spots for families in Galway
Are you looking for outdoor activities for kids? With the vagaries of Irish weather we have to grab the opportunities to get outdoors whenever we can. Here's some of the best places in Galway to get outdoors with your kids and enjoy the best the county has to offer.
Only 15 minutes from Galway city and a short drive from the M6 motorway, Renville Park is a lovely place to spend time with your family. You can picnic near the car park, or head into the playground in the forest where there are benches. The playground itself is contained within the old walled garden so is beautifully sheltered even on a windy day. You can walk in the woods after your picnic, or explore the seashore!
Renville is a great place to fly kites. Other recommended kite flying spots are Glasilaun Beach in Connemara and South Park (AKA The Swamp!) next to Nimmo's Pier, Galway City.
Connemara National Park
In the heart of Connemara, the National Park is well worth the drive. There is an excellent playground, multiple walks for all ages and abilities, toilets, an indoor eating area and a coffee shop (seasonal). The park is free to visit and you can easily spend a day exploring and taking in the amazing views.
Located beside the beach front, and close to coffee shops and ice cream stops, Salthill Park is a great spot on a sunny day. There is lots to do: follow one of our Salthill family walking trails, go swimming in the sea/leisureland, visit the playground or take a trip the Atlantaquaria.
A walk through these woods will bring you out to Cappagh Playground. Plenty of parking at either end.
With multiple walks in the woods not to mention:
- a walled garden for picnics with its own sundial laid out that you can stand on (if lucky enough to get some sun!) to tell the time
- deer to spot in a special walled area
- the famous Autograph Tree where Yeats and other famous writers, playwrights and poets carved their initials
- a visitor centre where you can Hunt The Thimble and see some of the interesting items from Lady Gregory's.
- cafe and toilets in the park
"The Prom" is great for cycling with little ones, although you do have to watch out for peoples' ankles if it's busy!
If you start near the playground, they can easily cycle to Blackrock diving board and back.
River Cycle Path
There is a cycle path from Galway city centre up to Dangan sports grounds, which runs through NUIG and along by the river Corrib; you can find it easily by starting in the college and keeping the river on your right :-)
Portumna Forest Park
This fantastic forest park has a Coillte cycling trail, suitable for all levels of cyclist. You can hire bikes at the park too. If you don't fancy cycling, there are plenty of trails to walk on and wildlife to spot. We saw deer in the forest the day we were there.
For the serious cyclists among you, Derroura Mountain Bike Trail near Oughterard provides more of a challenge.
Galway City Corrib River Walk
We're spoilt for choice in Galway with so many beaches to choose from, and plenty of lakes too! For little ones, you can do a short city walk along by the river, and see some ducks and swans.
Galway Blue Flag Beaches
If it's sea and sand you're after, check out the Galway blue flag beaches. Or how about heading out past Carraroe to Coral Beach which has tiny corals instead of sand?
There is loads on offer here with tennis courts, playgrounds, a lakeside walk and a swimming area.
Doughiska (Merlin Woods) Playground and Park
Another excellent playground, this relatively new playground at Doughiska by Merlin Woods has something for all ages with loads of space to run around and different parts to explore.
Related: Playgrounds in Galway
Article written by Mary Kate, Mykidstime Galway
Do you have a favourite outdoor place to go with the kids in Galway? Tell us about it in the comments below.