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KILKENNY’S TOP FAMILY STAYCATION EXPERIENCES

Woodstock Family Walk

Now that your staycation is booked and the bags are almost packed, we have compiled a list of the top ten most popular family activities to enjoy during your visit. From tots to teens, outdoor adventure to fun on two wheels, Kilkenny has unmissable family experiences to explore before the school bell rings!

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Castlecomer Discovery Park

For families who love an adrenalin filled day followed by a picnic, then Castlecomer Discovery Park is the ideal place. The 80-acre activity park features a wide range of exhilarating activities for all ages, from the fun and challenging tree-top walk high amongst the sycamore trees to archery and zip lines. For the younger children, there’s a playground, an elf and fairy village, a giant bouncing net and a Junior Woodland Adventure Course where children navigate a series of low-risk challenges, balancing and steering their way through the obstacles.
Visit: www.discoverypark.ie

Kiltorcan Raceway

Kiltorcan Raceway

Kiltorcan Raceway is one of Ireland’s best karting circuits and is known to be challenging, exhilarating and fun, while still being an extremely safe track. Get your adrenaline pumping racing at seriously fast speeds. They offer a wide range of kart sessions to cater for any experience level, so you may walk in there an amateur but you’ll walk out thinking you’re Lewis Hamilton. It’s great craic going with a couple of your friends and seeing who comes out on top and earns the bragging rights until next time!

You can chill out afterwards in the clubhouse where there’s a pool table and other games to choose from. Kiltorcan Raceway provides a day full of competition.

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National Reptile Zoo

Meet some of the world’s rarest and most unusual animals at Ireland’s only reptile zoo! Situated in Kilkenny City, the National Reptile Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of these amazing creatures and their habitats. Open 10am to 6pm, seven days a week, year round, the zoo has over 50 exhibits, Animal Encounter Zone, Nocturnal Realm, Media Room, Education Rooms, Coffee Shop, Souvenir Shop and Play Area, we can keep the entire family entertained and educated all at once! When it comes to looking for things to do, the Reptile Zoo is the obvious answer!

Visit: www.nationalreptilezoo.ie

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Nore Valley Park

At Nore Valley Park, you will find everything from pet farms, archery, mini golf, go karts and tractor rides across the lush green lands of the farm! There is a packed timetable of events which includes interactions with animals like lambs, baby kids, chickens, ostriches and rabbits, some of which children get the opportunity to bottle feed!!

Set against the beautiful backdrop of this scenic valley, with acres of parkland and woodlands to explore, Nore Valley Park provides hours of amusement for the family. Walk the 3km nature trail or test your skills on their giant chess board! If the sun is shining don’t forget to pack a picnic or if the Irish weather fails you, there is an on-site café offering tea and coffee and home backed treats!

Visit: www.norevalleypark.com

Woodstock Family Walk

Woodstock Gardens

Explore the Kilkenny countryside with a visit to Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum, overlooking the River Nore Valley and the picturesque village of Inistigoue. Features include a walled garden, rose garden, rockery garden, a recreated Turner Conservatory, a collection of rare and exotic trees in the arboretum and much more including many tranquil woodland walks.  A relaxing and beautiful environment in which to spend a day with the family! 

Visit: www.woodstock.ie

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Kilkenny Cycling Tours

Spend a morning or afternoon cycling with Kilkenny City Cycling Tours and visiting all of the main tourist attractions as well as some hidden gems. If you’re just visiting Kilkenny for a short time, this cycling tour of medieval Kilkenny is the best way to discover all of the historical attractions in a fun, casual, yet educational way. They use river bank cycle paths along the River Nore and backstreets so there’s no need to worry about traffic. This tour covers about 10km in total. They also offer a ‘Sunset’ Cycling Tour that takes place every evening during the Summer!

Visit: www.kilkennycyclingtours.com

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Kilkenny Castle Parkland & Playground

Kilkenny Castle is one of Ireland’s most iconic and historic sites, year-round tours are available, and the parkland of the castle has 50 acres to explore. Kilkenny Castle Parkland provides the ideal spot for a picnic no matter how big the family are!!  The park also has one of Kilkenny’s only outdoor cinemas which runs throughout the summer; woodland walks & a superb children’s playground with swings, slides, bridges and benches for adults too and is open until 8.30pm during the summer.

Visit: www.kilkennycastle.ie

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Kilkenny Famine Experience

Visit Kilkenny Union Workhouse, adjacent to Kilkenny Train Station, now beautifully restored as MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre to take this FREE audio visual self-led tour. Hear the heartbreaking and poignant human stories recorded in local newspaper articles and minute books from the Board of Guardians, a true reflection of the Kilkenny Famine Experience from the perspective of the Workhouse inmates and staff. 

Visit: kilkennyfamineexperience.com

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Glamping at Butterfly Valley Glamping

Butterfly Valley Glamping is a small, intimate glamping site located in the countryside, just outside the town of Thomastown in County Kilkenny. The site consists of a mix of glamping accommodation including Bell tents and Eco Pods set on wooden decks. Facilities include a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, toilet and shower facilities (including wheelchair accessible shower and toilet), covered BBQ area and campfire area.

Set in a beautiful location overlooking the woods and River Nore, the area has a number of activities nearby such as walking, cycling, canoeing, horse riding and fishing.

Visit: www.butterlyvalleyglamping.ie

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Experience Ireland’s ancient sport of hurling

Hurling is the world’s fastest sport on grass and one of Ireland’s national sports. The Kilkenny ‘Cats‘, as the county hurling team is known, are particularly passionate about it! So, if you’re coming to Kilkenny for a real insight into our culture, look no further than Malzard’s Pub,  There’s a short video and a run-down of the skills and history of the ancient Gaelic game of hurling. In fact, you’ll be sent out onto the field to practice the game for yourself! If live, traditional Irish music and storytelling also floats your boat, then prepare to settle down here for the afternoon!

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Pure Adventure

Explore the Rivers Barrow, Nore and Suir and the Waterford coastline by kayak, canoe or stand up paddle board with Pure Adventure.

Based in the heart of the Barrow Valley in Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny and on the Beaches of The Copper Coast on the Waterford Coastline, Pure Adventure offers you the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the rivers and Coastline of the South East of Ireland. Visit: www.pureadventure.ie