Big Blue Barn | Dublin Road, Carlow

Big Blue Barn adventure play centre is 10 minutes’ drive, just the other side of Carlow town centre and fantastic fun for kids aged 0 – 12 years. The enormous play area is across 4 floors with rope bridges, ball pools and slides – including a 7m spiral slide! While your little ones are running around having a brilliant time, take time out and relax in their café.

Castlecomer Discovery Park | Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny

Only 30 minutes drive, Castlecomer offers a day of adventures. Facilities include walking trails, boating and fishing on the lake, high-ropes and other adrenaline inducing activities, a fascinating multi-media coal mining museum, craft workshops, Elf & Fairy village and café.

Rathwood | Tullow

Uniquely combining retail and leisure, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained. Take a trip through the woods on the Rathwood Express Train. Venture into the maze, when you’ve safely found your way out discover the playgrounds swings and slides. Rathdown also has a Deer Park and magical walks through the forest.

Chocolate Garden | Tullow

One of our favourite places to visit, Chocolate Garden is adjacent to Rathwood for a great day out. 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.

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

Rancho Reilly | Springhill Rd, Carlow town

See animals including deer, pot-bellied pigs, ponies, donkeys, ducks, sheep and cows in the Pet Farm. Make friends with rabbits, hamsters, bearded dragons and snakes (if you’re feeling brave) in the Petting Zoo.

The Outdoor Activity Centre includes swings, slides, roundabout and trampolines galore. Play in the sandpit, a round of crazy golf, tackle the obstacle course or hold the fort. Ride a donkey or take to the race tracks. The Barrel Train rides across the fields are always a firm favourite.

With separate soft play areas for toddlers up to 3 years and kids age 4 – 11, the Indoor Area is packed full of slides, chutes, climbing frames and ball pools.

If you need a break there are plenty of picnic benches and a café.

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art & Theatre | Old Dublin Road, Carlow

As well as welcoming many children’s and family friendly performances, especially during the school holidays, VISUAL’s Parent and Toddler classes are mornings of fun, art and play with your little ones. Tea and coffee is provided.

Spend a few hours exploring the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art and pickup kids activity sheets at reception. They’re packed with facts about the artists, interesting questions to think about and a space to sketch ideas. Activity Sheets for ages 3+, 6+ or 10+ are available for free at reception.

For more information and list of events please visit

IMC Cinema | Carlow town centre

Always a popular choice (especially if the weather isn’t great), the IMC Cinema Carlow has free parking, Kids Club and special midweek offers.

Graiguecullen Swimming Pool | Carlow town

Open to the public (please visit website or call 059 914 0330 for times and prices), facilities include 25m swimming pool, toddler pool and viewing area for parents. For adults there is also a sauna, steam room and coffee dock.

Saturday Storytime | Tullow St, Carlow town centre

Every Saturday at 11am Carlow Central Library hosts a storytelling session for children up to 6 years.