1. Tube the River Inny (Co. Longford):
The Outdoor Adventure Company in Ballymahon will cater for all your outdoor activity needs – be it on land or on water! Just one of the exciting activities that this company offers is tubing down the River Inny in Co. Longford. This activity offers people a taste of tubing in a whitewater environment. Professional instructors will accompany you at all times whilst teaching you new tricks and playing fun games on each of the 7 rapids. This water experience is suited for everyone and no experience is necessary, but it is important to remember that there is an age limit of 8 years and up. Children who are aged between 8 and 9 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Best of all? This is just one of the huge range of fun activities that they offer. Not feeling tubing? Why not book in for kayaking, canoeing, zorbing or aqua Spheres? Or for those of you who prefer to remain on dry land they also offer activities such as: archery, orienteering, treasure hunting, land zorbing and much more. Check out their website here for more info and to book in – www.outdoordiscovery.ie
2. Connemara National Park Buggy-Friendly Trail (Co. Galway):
Bring your family to enjoy the outdoors, no matter what their age is. Often younger children are not able to handle longer hikes. However, the buggy-friendly 3km-trail of Lower Diamond Hill gives you the perfect length of hike for little ones! Each of the Diamond Hill Trails Each of them can be accessed from the Visitor Centre situated close to Letterfrack Village. See a copy of the maps here. There’s more than just amazing views and fantastic walks here, there is also a great playground, exhibitions and a café for well deserved rest.
Situated in the West of Ireland in County Galway, Connemara National Park covers some 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980. Check out there website here – http://www.connemaranationalpark.ie/
3. Strandhill Surf School (Co. Sligo):
Learn how to surf with the Strandhill Surf School. Book in the kids or even the whole family! Located in the watersports hub of the North West, Strandhill beach is a great place to learn how to surf or improve your surfing skills. Highly qualified instructors with expert knowledge of the local waves will guide you through your experience. This amazing surf school is perfectly located on the beachfront, offering easy access to the best waves for your lesson! They currently offer a range of lessons that cater for individuals, small and large groups, and special occasions.
If you want more than just a lesson, they also run summer camps for children during the summer that are focused on teaching your child the basics of surfing, how to read tides, water safety and surf etiquette! Surfing not your thing? Strandhill Surf School also offer stand up paddle boarding which involves standing on a large, buoyant surfboard and using a paddle to move through the water. See their website here – http://www.strandhillsurfschool.com/.
Finished surfing? Why not stop for a bite to eat in one of the many great cafes or restaurants surrounding the beach front, or take a stroll on the sand?
4. The Arigna Mining Experience (Co. Roscommon):
Looking for something different for your family day out? The Arigna Mining Experience will offer you just that. This visitor centre is located in the Arigna mountains, offering fantastic scenic views overlooking Lough Allen. The centre was developed to preserve the energy heritage of the Arigna Valley and to offer a unique insight to visitors of what life was like for miners from its opening in the 1700s until its closure in 1990.
You and your family will have an ex-miner as your tour guide offering interesting educational information about Ireland’s last working coal mine. The visit to the museum includes access to an exhibition area where there is a DVD presentation and an authentic photographic exhibition. This will then be followed by the highlight of the visit, which involves an exciting underground tour with your ex-miner tour guide. This tour brings you to the mine’s coal face where realistic lighting and sound effects add to the reality of the experience.
The tour lasts approx. 45 minutes and there is both a gift shop and cafe that you can enjoy at the end, or before your tour. The visitors centre is all-weather accessible and are fully wheelchair accessible. See more information on the website – www.arignaminingexperience.ie.
5. Stand Up Paddlling (Co. Leitrim):
What could be more fun than Stand Up Paddlling (SUP) on the Shannon Blueway with your family among some of the most scenic areas in Co. Leitrim? The Leitrim Surf Company offer SUP and Surf activities to all ages across a variety of routes. They design tailored Blueway Safari routes to suit individual groups needs, wind direction on the day, preferred locations etc. Check out some of their favourite routes here or you can contact them with a specific location that you had in mind. An example of one of their exciting safaris is like this one, perfect for getting away:
“The Battle Bridge BBQ Safari – Join us on an early evening Safari starting at Lough Allen and paddling down the Shannon across flat and moving water. The safari will conclude with a BBQ at Biernes of Battlebridge.”
If you are interested in surfing, they also provide beginner surfing lessons at Tullaghan on the Wild Atlantic Way. They are fully mobile and also provide tasters, board rentals and tailor-made excursions on any river, lake, canal or sea; Leitrim and beyond. Get booking now! See their website here – www.leitrimsurf.ie