Fun Days Out in Wicklow For The Whole Family
For me, Wicklow is an outdoor paradise and I'm very lucky to have it right on my doorstep. With a collection of places to explore for families of all sizes and ages groups, you won't be disappointed. Here are some of our favourite things to see and do along
Clara Lara is one of Ireland's best and longest-running outdoor adventure parks, if you didn't go here on a school tour you missed out big time. Clara Lara Funpark is technically a waterpark but it is perfect for all ages. Situated on 30 acres of scenic countryside in the Avonmore River Valley has water slides, rope bridges, rafts, Tarzan swings, go-carts, mini golf and canoes just to name a few. For the younger ones, there is a small river to splash about, a playground, sandpit and life-sized ship to explore. A day at Clara Lara is always one that kids remember, however, it's not cheap. Both adults and children are charged €12 per person and under fours go free. Children will also need wristbands costing a further €10 which allows unlimited rides all day otherwise rides can cost €3 a pop each time.
There really is something magical about waterfalls, especially when it's Ireland's highest waterfall. Powerscourt makes the perfect day out for curious little explorers and won't break the bank either. Kids can cross the river, wander through the woods or hang out at the adventure playground complete climbing frames and a large slide. While we would recommend a picnic or even a barbeque, they do have a small kiosk on site selling hot drinks and sweet treats. Entry to the Waterfall area costs €16 for a family of two adults and up to three children. Spare clothes are highly advised, for obvious reason.
With a picnic in tow on a warmish spring or summers day, Glendalough is the perfect day out for the family and it is completely free. Set in a glaciated valley with two lakes, historical monastic remains including a round tower, graveyards, churches and decorated crosses it makes an educational day out for the kids and they won't even know it. The Visitor Centre is a must see with its fascinating exhibition and an audio-visual show, and just a short scenic walk away is an adventure playground for the kids to enjoy. Parking can be a little hectic as it's an extremely popular tourist site so arrive early to avoid any chaos.
Glenroe Farm is a family run business but it is more commonly known for the Glenroe series that once aired on RTE during 1983-200. The famous 350-year-old thatched cottage you may have once seen across your screen sits right inside the door, which is now a mini-museum. At Glenroe children can cuddle guinea pig, rabbits and if it's the right time of year they may get to hold a baby chick. Amongst many of your typical farm animals is a large adventure playground complete with wooden climbing frames, swings and slides including a state of the art maze and a 2km nature walk featuring a sensory garden and fairy garden. All is not lost if the heavens open up during your visit, they have an enclosed weatherproof play area for the kids to let off some steam with a large sandpit, climbing frames and swings. A family pass to Glenroe farm for two adults and two children costs €27 and you can stay and play as long as you want.
Sea Life Bray
Sea Life in Bray is a small aquarium located right on the Bray seafront with Ireland's largest selection of starfish, daily talks and interactive feeding times. Sea Life opens daily from 10am and makes a fun educational day out for all the family. You can enjoy the aquarium at your leisure or check out tour times ahead of your visit but make sure you stop by the numerous talks throughout the day and big fish feeding times. Aquarium staff are always on hand to assist and answer questions you or your kids may have. For discounted tickets book online in advance for 20% off and keep an eye on their website for upcoming events. For example, Jawsome Sharks is running until the end of May and if children complete all tasks they will get a small prize to take home with them. Outside there is a playground, a beach with both sand and stones depending where you enter and lots of restaurants to enjoy but really, no trip to Bray is complete with a bag of chips on the wall overlooking the sealine.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of 4 kids aged 2, 3, 4 and 8 (and she is expecting baby #5 in May). A self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee and she loves to travel and share every day true to life moments on Instagram of her expanding family. Follow her daily adventures on Instagram.