top things to do in Wicklow with kids

12 Great Things To Do In Wicklow With Kids

Water sports, greenways, fairy trails and Ireland’s highest slide – there are many things to do in Wicklow with kids. Here are some of my favourites.

Living so close to the Garden of Ireland, I have been fortunate to visit Wicklow with my kids on many occasions. We have enjoyed many walks around Glendalough, visited the family attractions of Sea Life and Clara Lara, enjoyed many beach days in Brittas Bay as well as days out in Powerscourt.

More recently we were invited to explore West Wicklow with Wicklow Tourism and I was amazed at how many great family activities were available. We loved cycling the Blessington Greenway, exploring the grounds at Russborough House, and sliding down Ireland’s longest slide. We made sure to get our Wicklow Passports stamped along the way.

top things to do in Wicklow with kids

There are so many great things to do in Wicklow with kids, I have listed my favourites below to help you plan your next family trip to Wicklow.

1. Cycle the Blessington Greenway

cycling at blessington lakes, Wicklow

Despite being a mere 45 minutes drive from our house, I am almost ashamed to admit that we only cycled the Blessington Greenway for the first time recently. Unlike many of Ireland’s Greenways, it is relatively short. The trail is just under 6km and stretches from the Avon Lakeshore activity centre to the magnificent Russborough House.

However, I suggest you plan a full day to explore the surrounding area. You will want to stop and admire the gorgeous scenery along the Blessington Lakes, enjoy a coffee and stroll around the grounds at Russborough House, and enjoy some tasty food from the food trucks at Avon when you return.

Avon Activity centre, Wicklow
Avon Activity Centre on Blessington Lakes

The Blessington Greenway can be enjoyed on foot or bicycle. In fact you can expect to see many walkers and buggies on your route, so it is not a place for serious cyclists, but instead the perfect day out for all the family.

Read: 6 Greenways to cycle in Ireland this summer

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2. Slide down Ireland’s highest slide

Beyond the trees at Avondale (1)

Wicklow’s Avondale Forest Park just got a new addition! Journey through the forest at Avondale and you will discover a fabulous treetop walk, that culminates at a Viewing Tower 38m above the forest floor. As well as panoramic views of the Wicklow Mountains, you will get the opportunity to slide down Ireland’s highest slide – it is 90 metres tall.

top things to do in Wickow with kids

This is a fully accessible walk for wheelchair users as well as families with buggies. This unique experience is not only one of the top things to do in Wicklow with kids, but it is arguably one of Ireland’s top family attractions. Children under 6  years can ride with parents, so it is a great experience for all the family.

Child at Avondale Slide, Wicklow

We enjoyed a fabulous day out here recently, and I can highly recommend a visit. I suggest visiting before midday, or after 3pm to avoid the lengthy queues for the slide. There is more to Avondale than the slide though, there are plenty of forest trails as well as a playground and coffee shop fo you to enjoy.

Don’t worry if the thought of the slide scares you, you can enjoy the treetop walk and viewing tower without venturing doing the slide. Plan a full day here to get the best family experience.

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3. Find fairies at Russborough House

fairy trail at Russborough House

Many families choose to combine some time at Russborough House and Gardens while visiting the Blessington Lakes, but there is so much to enjoy here, that I suggest you allow plenty of time to explore the house and extensive grounds. There is a large playground and Maze, as well as a delightful fairy trail that kids will love.

There is also an adventure centre with ziplines, rope course and archery, as well as a birds of prey centre. Guided tours of the house are also available on the hour.

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4. Visit Glendalough

Glendalough is a place I have visited on many occasions. It is just a short drive from Dublin, yet feels worlds apart! This stunning part of Wicklow is home to Ireland’s oldest monastic site, that was founded in the 6th Century. This medieval city survived many attacks from the Vikings and is now one of the top attractions on Ireland’s Ancient East, and one of the top places to visit in Wicklow with kids.

There are many family friendly trails here, as well as lakes for kids to paddle in. The Spinc Walk is a firm favourite for more experienced hikers, but we walked the easy 5km Miners Road Walk last summer and loved it – it is an ideal family friendly walk.

5. Have fun in Clara Lara

visit Clara Lara funpark in Wicklow with kids

Clara Lara is a super outdoor fun park for children of all ages. Open from the beginning of May to the end of August, it is an ideal place to enjoy a summer family day out in Wicklow. Kids will love the Tarzan swings, rope bridges, rowing boats,  rafts, canoes and junior go-carts.

One of the big draws is the Aqua Shuttle – one of the biggest water slides in Ireland, but there are also plenty of easy pace activities too, including mini golf and forest walks.

Families can bring their own picnic and avail of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the park, or alternatively enjoy some sandwiches, burgers and chips from the onsite restaurant.

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6. Marvel at Powerscourt Waterfallfamily at Powerscourt Waterfall, Wicklow

Children and adults alike always enjoy a good waterfall, and Ireland’s highest waterfall at Powerscourt Estate will not disappoint. With 121m of cascading water, set in a picture perfect setting, it is an ideal spot for a short family walk and a picnic. This is an ideal day out for families with young children, as the scenic walking trail only takes about 30 minutes.

There is a playground and a kiosk on site, but there are also plenty of dining options close by in the nearby Powerscourt Hotel or Enniskerry Village.

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7. Be adventurous at Avon Activity Centre

Avon activity centre has lots of activities for families in Wicklow

We visited Avon Activity Centre recently and loved it. Not only is the setting breathtaking – it is set on the shores of Blessington Lakes, but there is a host of family friendly activities to choose from.

You can hire bikes to cycle the Blessington Greenway, enjoy SUPing or kayaking on the lakes, try your luck at archery, climbing walls and ziplines, or simply relax and enjoy a wide variety of cuisine from the many food trucks located here.

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8. Swim and play at Brittas Bay beach

Brittas Bay is one of my favourite beaches in Ireland. I am a regular visitor and love its wide golden sandy beach, as well as the sand dunes that lay behind it – these act as a natural shelter if you want to sunbathe on a windy day.

The beach stretches for 5km with rock pools at the top so it is the perfect choice for a beach day in Wicklow with kids.

Read: The best beaches in Ireland and where to stay nearby

9.  Get lost in the Greenanne Maze

Greenann Maze, Wicklow is one of the top things to do in Wicklow with kids

A place that I have yet to visit is one of Wicklow’s top family attractions. I’m told you could spend the day wandering around its extensive grounds and farm, and there is a choice of mazes to choose from.

The half acre hedge maze can be tricky and is ideal for older children, while the solstice maze is perfect for youngsters. There is also a fairy tree walk, treasure hunt, and farming exhibits, as well as a coffee shop showcasing local arts and crafts.

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10. Have lunch in Hollywood

Hollywood Cafe, Wicklow

Right in the heart of West Wicklow is the Hollywood Cafe, which specialises in fresh, seasonal local produce. Originally a post office, this cheerful cafe is now famous for its delicious sourdough toasties, wraps and pancakes. Don’t miss their delicious home made brownies with Rolos inside!

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11. Take a hike!

Wicklow is full of gorgeous walks, including many that I have mentioned above. The Bray to Greystones cliff walk was always a firm favourite, and although currently closed, an alternative loop walk is due to open this summer.

Lough Dan and Lough Tay – otherwise known as the Guinness lake, are also favourites of mine, as is climbing the Sugar Loaf. The Sugar Loaf  is generally considered more suitable for older children, but active children of 6+ should be able to climb it once supervised.

12. Become a Wicklow Ambassador

WIcklow passports

This latest initiative from Wicklow Tourism is one that kids will love. Kids are encouraged to fill their Wicklow Passport book with stamps to become a Wicklow ambassador. There are 23 stamps in total to collect, and each one represents a town, village, or tourism centre in Wicklow.

Baltinglass Abbey, Wicklow
Baltinglass Abbey, Wicklow

Once you collect 15 stamps you will be classified as a Wicklow Ambassador and receive a certificate and a small gift from Wicklow Tourism. We collected five on our recent tour of the West Wicklow Heritage trail.

We visited Blessington Lakes, Baltinglass Abbey, and the many medieval stone circles that can be found in the area, collecting stamps in various shops, bars and cultural centres along the way.

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I hope this post on things to do in Wicklow with kids will inspire you to get out and visit the Garden of Ireland soon. This post was sponsored by Visit Wicklow, but all views, as always, are my own.

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