Share magical times with all the family, with a staycation to Kilkenny! With welcoming, family-friendly accommodation to suit all budgets and preferences, Kilkenny offers the perfect mix of exploration, adventure activities and cultural experiences. Whether you’re looking for a stress-free break, an easy to organise adventure, or to try something completely new, you’re bound to find it all in this 3-day family itinerary. With so much to discover, explore and learn, it’ll be a blast for the whole family.
Rise early to make the most of a fun day out at Castlecomer Discovery Park where you can expect to find yourself swinging from the trees and ziplining over water! The wide range of activities on offer here, such as the tree top activity course, climbing, canoeing and orienteering keeps everyone active, and are mentally and physically challenging in equal measures. The Park features a Junior Woodland Course, Playground and Elf Village for younger kids, and lunch can be enjoyed at the Canopy Café; a beautiful al fresco dining area in the shade of the trees, serving kids’ meals, paninis, light lunches and delicious coffee to suit all sorts of taste buds.
After lunch, a half hour drive south, Nore Valley Park offers a host of entertainment rain or shine. Cuddle a rabbit, feed the baby lambs, or create comical family memories with lawn games like giant chess, crazy golf, an indoor maze, tractor trailer rides, and much more. For those that prefer the conservation of slightly more rare animals visit the Irish National Reptile Zoo in the city, where you can expect to find snakes, lizards and crocodiles amongst many.
Dinner can be enjoyed in any number of family friendly restaurants right across Kilkenny, but one of our top picks is Zuni, where the melting chocolate ball dessert is a must try, or La Rivista, right in the heart of the city, which is a casual Italian restaurant with a superb customer experience, featuring a great value early bird menu, and an extensive kiddie’s menu.
After a jam-packed day of adventure, today we suggest some cultural experiences for the family, by exploring Kilkenny’s infamous Medieval Mile. The beauty of its central location and compactness means you can visit all the key sites by bicycle with Kilkenny Cycling Tours. Those who prefer a more leisurely pace can take to the narrow streetscapes by foot – it’s all within walking distance.
Make sure to explore our top highlights – Kilkenny’s iconic Castle and Parklands, where you can explore the stunning 21 hectares of parklands and the fantastic children’s playground in your own leisurely time; the idyllic Design Centre, renowned for its best in class craft, where you can pick up a souvenir or two; and Rothe House and Gardens, historically home to the Mayor of Kilkenny City, where you can explore the 17th century urban garden.
Lunch can be enjoyed in any number of cafés and restaurants, nestled deep within the city walls, such as Café la Coco or Arán Bakery & Bistro. Try CakeFace, one of Kilkenny’s favourite hidden gems, where you can indulge in unexpected, quirky and delicious desserts, cakes, pastries and sweet treats. If time permits, work off your treats by taking a walk to explore site of St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower and soak up it’s 1000 year old history!
Matt The Millers is a popular bar & restaurant, with a great atmosphere and makes a great pit stop for those who want to soak up its vibe, and those who need to rest their feet with a refreshing drink. For dinner, we recommend feasting on a basket of wings, juicy ribs and burgers at casual, family-friendly Paris Texas, who also feature a special kid’s menu and regular music and entertainment.
After a day spent on your feet, we recommend brunch in the charming Mocha Vintage Tea Room. The décor, charm, nooks and crannies, will have you believing you’ve stepped into a doll’s house, and you’ll be going back time and time again! Once you’ve refuelled, hop in the car and take a drive out to the picturesque village of Inistioge where you’ll find the beautiful Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum. Here children can run to their hearts’ content amongst the walled garden, enjoy the playground and meander through one of the many woodland walks, playing hide and seek amongst the trees. The tea rooms in the wonderfully restored conservatory are well worth a visit for an afternoon break.
Kells Priory is another hidden gem off the beaten track. Here, you can explore the medieval ruins at your own pace, take a little walking loop along the river to an old water mill, taking in the last of the surrounding nature, and kids will love discovering the history of this breath-taking ruin. Come evening, you’ll just have enough energy for the drive home, as you recount stories, share your photos and recollect an all-inclusive family adventure in this medieval city and county.