Family Fun

Keeping Everyone Entertained

Family Activities

Staycation Ideas In Carlow

Family Staycations in Carlow are a lot of fun! Pack your day with excitement using the guide linked below.

Castlecomer Discovery Park and visitor centre

Only a 30 minutes drive from our hotel, Castlecomer offers a day of adventures.

Castlecomer Discovery Park and Visitor Centre consists of a wonderful 80 acre discovery park in the Castlecomer Demesne, which was once part of the estate farmyard, gardens, stable yard and leisure grounds of the Wandesforde family. Castlecomer Visitor Centre houses the reception, Coal-Mining Exhibition, and Jarrow Café open daily.

The park itself is FREE to visit and perfect for a family day out, with its walking trails, woodland sculptures and many things to see and do throughout the year.

Facilities also includes boating, and fishing on the lake, high-ropes and other adrenaline-inducing activities, a fascinating multi-media coal mining museum, craft workshops and Elf & Fairy village. 

Pre-booking is essential for all Tree Top Walk and Boating activities.

Castlecomer Discovery Park Facebook

More information and contact details

Graiguecullen Swimming Pool

Open to the public all year round, facilities include a 25m swimming pool, toddler pool and viewing area for parents. For adults, there is also a sauna, steam room, and a coffee dock.

The swimming pool is just a 10 minute drive from our hotel and is currently open during June.

See the Facebook page for the swimming times programme

The Chocolate Garden of Ireland

One of guests favourite places to visit, for a great day out. The Chocolate Garden of Ireland is adjacent to Rathwood, and a 30 minute drive from our hotel. This destination is Fáilte Ireland Covid Safety Charter approved.

Learn all about cocoa, chocolate making and have a go at being a chocolatier yourself! The Chocolate Workshops are very popular and we recommend booking in advance online. Book in for a chocolate moulding session and bring home your lovely chocolate creation for €12 pp, minimum age is 3 years old. 

Booking & events at The Chocolate Garden of Ireland

The Chocolate Garden also has a play area, trim trail, Wendy house, ice cream parlour and sandpit for kids to play in while you relax over a coffee. 

Opening hours

June 2021: Saturday – Sunday 12.30 noon – 4.30pm. July – August: Monday – Friday 11am – 5pm & Saturday – Sunday 12 noon – 5pm.


Experience Rathwood the Multi-Award winning exclusive centre within just a 30 minute drive from our hotel.

Uniquely combining retail, fashion, garden centre and leisure, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained here. Rathwood is adjacent to The Chocolate Garden of Ireland and Open daily from 11am – 4pm.

Take a trip through the woods on the Rathwood Express Train. Venture into the Maze of Ireland, when you’ve safely found your way out discover the playgrounds swings and slides. Rathwood also has a Deer Park, kids events, magical walks through the forest and the newly open The Ark Indoor Playcentre.

Why not visit the Woodshed Cafe? Grab yourself and the family a takeaway tea, coffee or scones. 

More information from the Rathwood website

Visual Carlow

With a mission to enrich, inspire and improve the everyday through art, the VISUAL is a must-see on any visit to Carlow.

VISUAL is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary art spaces situated in the heart of Carlow town, with four world class gallery spaces and a 335 seat performance space.  VISUAL Carlow receives national, international and regional touring productions as well as presenting locally produced work.

A ten minute drive from the hotel, all galleries have FREE admission. Explore thought-provoking and inspiring exhibitions from Tuesday to Sunday weekly, open 11am to 5.30pm.

VISUAL Carlow website

The National Reptile Zoo

Are you planning a day trip to Kilkenny City while staying in Carlow?

Stop in to meet meet some of the world’s rarest and most unusual animals! At the National Reptile Zoo, which is dedicated to the conservation of these amazing creatures and their habitats, and want you to experience why they are so passionate about them!

Within a less the 30 minute drive, you can meet these amazing animals. Open Monday to Sunday & Bank Holidays 10am – 6pm. Admission for a family of 3 starts at €34. 

Book online in advance to allow from the limiting number of visitors in the zoo due to social distancing. And don’t forget to bring your mask for this visit.

Purchase a ticket online to The National Reptile Zoo

IMC Cinema Carlow

Always a popular choice of our guests. Within a 10 minute drive from our hotel arrive at IMC Cinema Carlow,

The IMC Cinema Carlow has FREE parking, Kids Club and special midweek offers, perfect for relaxing rainy days. 

Make sure to pre-book your tickets to remain safe with social bubble seat allocation while being entertained.

Check out the times and what’s on at the IMC Cinema website

Family Breaks in Carlow

Make Woodford Dolmen Hotel your accommodation hub as you explore Carlow together! We’re surrounded by neighbouring counties with many more wonderful attractions and experiences waiting for you to uncover. 

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