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Family fun

21st Oct 2022

6 outdoor activities and experiences to keep kids busy during the Mid-Term Break


Brought to you by DiscoverIreland

It’s almost time for the Mid-Term Break. That came around quickly, didn’t it?

But don’t panic; there is still time to plan something fun for the whole family. Whether you want to celebrate the spooky season or embrace the great outdoors and the glorious autumnal colours, here are six places to visit in Ireland’s Ancient East to make the most of this vibrant season.

Halloween events – Co. Meath and Cork City

From spooky tours to ghostly trails and haunted tales, there are loads of Halloween experiences across Ireland’s Ancient East over the next few weeks.

To get the kids into the spooky spirit, check out the terrifyingly terrific events at this year’s Púca Festival (28 – 31 October) in Trim and Athboy, Co. Meath. The Púca Festival celebrates Ireland as the original birthplace of Halloween with plenty of family friendly things to do, including treasure hunts, exciting circus performances, and the bonkers Banshee Bingo!

The Dragon of Shandon Parade in Cork City is a delightfully creative spectacle celebrating Samhain. The friendly and carnival atmosphere within the entire city on Halloween night makes for a fun night out for the whole family.

Top tip: Many events are free, but you must pre-book online.


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Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park – Co. Kildare

Bogs are brilliant and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. At the Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park, as you stroll the boardwalks, you’ll learn about the unique biodiversity of the Bog of Allen. Then, as you ride the peatland railway, you’ll discover the remarkable heritage and archaeology of the largest raised peat bog in Ireland.

You can also play a game of crazy golf on the bog and feel the peat squelch beneath your feet as you take to the tracks, trails, and outdoor areas and run wild and free. Prepare to spend the day here; there’s so much to do.

Top tip: Unwind in the sheltered picnic area with delicious food and drink from The Purple Heather Café.

Emo Court Parklands – Co. Laois

Just an hour from Dublin, in the shadow of the Slieve Blooms, lies Emo Court, once the largest country estate in Ireland. At this time of year, the lofty giant sequoia and yew trees are radiant as the foliage turns from green to shimmering gold. As the leaves yield to autumn and fall to the ground, they crunch underfoot, adding romance to the wildly picturesque walks around the lake, gardens and parklands. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Top tip: Keep an eye out for rare birds, including buzzards and egrets, and Irish red squirrels, which are native to the estate.

Delta Sensory Gardens – Co. Carlow 

The delightful Delta Sensory Gardens beckon you with their bright, beautiful blooms shimmering in breathtaking autumnal colours. As you stroll around, there is plenty to admire, including a sculpture park and water features — wait till you see the one-tonne pink marble sphere floating on a cushion of water.

In addition to the 20 different areas to explore, there is a cafe, a garden centre and a gift shop. There are also some special Halloween events taking place too. Check the website for details.

Top tip: This oasis of peace and tranquillity is fully accessible for buggies and wheelchair users.

Beyond the Trees AvondaleCo. Wicklow

Located at the end of a splendid walled garden in Avondale Forest Park is Beyond the Trees, the longest treetop walk in Ireland. This architecturally stunning structure features an elevated boardwalk that towering yew and giant redwoods surround. As you gently wind your way around the path, you end up 38 metres above the forest floor at a viewing platform. From here, you can bask in the sweeping panoramic views over Wicklow, which, at this time of year, is a riot of colour.

Finished leaf-peeping? Take the fast way down via the giant spiral slide, then enjoy a wander in the forest and relax in the walled and autism-friendly sensory garden.

Top tip: Make this day out fun and educational by popping into the Coillte Pavilion to learn about the essential role forests play in all our futures.

Glen of Aherlow – Co. Tipperary

The Glen of Aherlow is a lush valley where the River Aherlow runs between the Galtee Mountains and the wooded ridge of Slievenamuck. It is a very scenic area and a great place to embrace the outdoors. Around the Glen are plenty of family friendly looped cycles and forestry tracks for mountain bikers. Many small villages are dotted around too, which make perfect pitstops to try the local produce celebrated in shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs.

Besides cycling, you can find plenty of picturesque places to enjoy walking, rambling, horseback riding, and fishing. An active break here will leave the whole family full of energy and enthusiasm, recharged by nature.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to plan fun activities that embrace autumn across Ireland’s Ancient East.

The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this summer and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place; leave no trace.

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland