Adventures in ‘Kid-kenny’

If you're looking for adventure and quality time with your crew, or just want to pry them away from screens for a bit, ‘Kid-Kenny’ has an abundance of different adventurous and interesting activities.

The number one rule of family outings - if the kids are happy, everyone is happy. There’s no need to worry about breaking that rule in Kilkenny.

Art It @ MacDonagh Junction

For many years, professional artist DiDi Dobree-Wilson has taught children from her home in Kilkenny. She now manages Art It, located in MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre.

Parents and children can spend time together working on joint or individual artworks. Glitter, paint, gems and feathers fly as young artists create unique craftworks to take home. The best bit – you don’t have to worry about the clean up!

There’s even a drop-in service if you want to sneak out for an hours’ peace in the shops.

  • Opening hours are 11am to 6pm every day during school breaks. Closed Monday and Tuesday during term time.
  • Psst! It’s not just for the kids… A couple of hours taking a life drawing class or throwing paint-filled balloons at a canvas makes for a creative and different hen party or girls’ get-together activity.


Art It also caters for birthday parties! Bring your own party food or let them cater for you.

Castlecomer Discovery Park

If the weather is on your side and the outdoors is more your style, Castlecomer Discovery Park is a must!

For the younger children, there’s a playground and a junior woodland course. The kids can play in the elf fairy village and cute café, only a 7-10 minute walk from reception.

For the unimpressed teenagers, the tree-top walk, archery and canoeing are all challenges to try. For the adrenaline junkies, the zipline, outdoor climbing wall and leap of faith will do the trick.

It doesn’t all have to be high-octane activity. The park itself is 80 acres of stunning natural woodland and lakes and the walks are dotted with wooden sculptures – the perfect escape to nature.

  • The first hour of parking is free, with a small charge thereafter to help with the upkeep of the park.
  • Just a 25min drive from Kilkenny city centre.

There’s a cafe on-site for a lunch break, if you can pry the kids away from the fun.

Kilkenny Activity Centre

For something completely different and a good laugh, Kilkenny Activity Centre holds regular bubble soccer sessions. Bubble soccer is a team game played on a football pitch with the object of the game to score more goals than the opposing team.

This is where the similarities to actual soccer end! In this game, the participants are protected by a big bubble which covers them from head to waist with only their legs free to move. Any efforts to actually play soccer bring hilarious results.  You can take part or just watch as players crash into and knock each other over like human bumper cars while trying to show off their football skills.

Young adults might also enjoy paintball, splatball and the military assault course, Hell’s Kitchen! Definitely bring a change of clothes for everyone.

  • Located to the rear of the Orchard House Bar and Restaurant off the M9 motorway.
  • Only 5min drive from Kilkenny City.

Of course, you can always stay clean and dry in the coffee dock and enjoy a coffee while your family gets stuck in. But that's no fun!

The National Reptile Zoo

Located in Gowran, the National Reptile Zoo houses some of the world’s rarest and most unusual animals. The zoo is dedicated to the conservation of these amazing creatures and their habitats, and they want you to share their passion for all the exotic residents.

By visiting the zoo, you are supporting its conservation work. The zoo gathers data on the animals for research purposes, while educating people on the importance of these unusual species to our ecosystem in the hope of contributing to their preservation for future generations.

The zoo has 50 exhibits, an animal-encounter zone, a tropical walk-through habitat, indoor and outdoor picnic areas, a snack bar, souvenir shop and even a soft play area.

  • Get up close and personal in an animal encounter – a chance to touch and hold one of our scaly friends!
  • Just a 15min drive from Kilkenny City.

There’s something to keep the entire family entertained and educated all at once.

In this article

Art It

Castlecomer Discovery Park

Kilkenny Activity Centre

National Reptile Zoo

Recommended Experiences

3 Adventures for Young Historians

Five great things to do in Kilkenny this Autumn

Outdoor Experiences in Kilkenny

Racing at Gowran Park

Taking to the High Ropes at Castlecomer

Art It

Priory House, MacDonagh Junction, Kilkenny

086 3085270

[email protected]

From life drawing to action-packed paintballing on canvas, Art it offers something to suit everyone. Children can join art and craft classes on weekends, art camps in summer, and they can take advantage of the popular “drop in “ service where parents can leave children in a safe, creative environment to get crafty for an hour or two, painting, decorating and decopatching paper macce' pieces, glassware, pottery, T-Shirts and jewellery, while parents tour Kilkenny or shop. Art It is for all ages, so parents can have great fun here too spending family time together!

Castlecomer Discovery Park

The Estate Yard, Castlecomer, Kilkenny

056 4440707

[email protected]

Castlecomer Discovery Park offers an exciting range of activities around the estate including tree top walks, climbing walls, boating, adventure playgrounds, orienteering and most recently Ireland’s longest zip wire and high ropes challenge. At the hub of the site, there is the Irish Mining Museum, a purpose-built cafe, craft village, and spaces for educational activities. Castlecomer Discovery Park comprises 80 acres of natural woodland and lakes. It opened to the public in 2007 to commemorate the coal-mining heritage following the closure of the local mines in 1969. It aims to develop rural tourism, generate local employment and regenerate the town.

Kilkenny Activity Centre

New Orchard Road, Kilkenny

086 2611567

[email protected]

Kilkenny Activity Centre, as seen on TV3, BBC, RTE and Irish TV, is a purpose built activity centre which caters for groups from age 7+. Our activities include bubble soccer, splatball, paintball, giant darts, an outdoor assault course and loads of fun! We are located to the rear of the Orchard House Bar and Restaurant and our grounds, which cover five acres include two bubble soccer fields, four paintball arenas and of course our "Hells Kitchen" assault course. Located just a short distance from the city centre we offer packages to suit individuals and groups alike, be it birthday parties, school tours, hens, stags, corporate groups or families looking for a fun day out.

National Reptile Zoo

Demesne Rd, Gowran, Co.Kilkenny

056 7726757

[email protected]

The National Reptile Zoo is Ireland’s only dedicated reptile zoo! We give you the unique opportunity to come face to face with some of the world’s most amazing animals – including giant pythons, monitor lizards, snapping turtles, tortoise, alligators, tarantulas and more! We pride ourselves on providing a hands-on, interactive experience for every visitor through our hourly Animal Encounters and Tropical Walk-Through Dome, it’s an experience not to be missed!