Top Ten Family Friendly Activities In Wexford
Near The Riverside Park Hotel
Things to do in Wexford- Top Ten Family Friendly Activities
This Blog is written by Sara from Reception Team who has 2 beautiful little girls aged 8 and 3 and this is what her family loves to do in Wexford on her days off.
There is so much to see and do in County Wexford and the Riverside Park Hotel is the perfect base for families. There are plenty of family friendly activities nearby that are fantastic for young children; the whole family will have an incredible time.
Family time at Playground and river walk at the Riverside Park Hotel
Situated on the banks of the River Slaney there is a playground and a 5km walk. On first impressions, the playground looks new and has lots of bright colours and looks very welcoming and exciting for the children. The park itself is fully enclosed with only 2 entry/exits points and the gates swing closed after you enter which as a parent of a toddler is a great feature!
We were not disappointed once we entered the playground. The main attraction of the playground is the huge Play-Odyssey Senior Tower with “Gun Powder Store” at the top level, 2 tunnel double poly slides and many other fun features which offer children plenty of play value. This play unit is probably more suited for 5 years and upwards. My youngest is 3 and she struggled going up the ladders in the play unit which meant either mum or dad had to go to which is fine if you are able to squeeze up and down the enclosed ladders. She also didn’t like the slides as they are fully covered so it can be quite daunting for a pre-schooler to go down a dark tunnel. However, my other daughter who is 8 loves it she is well able to run up and down the ladders and slide down the slides.
They also have a wheelchair accessible roundabout and swings which includes a baby swing and a fully accessible wheelchair swing.
For the pre-schooler, they have the animal bouncers which my toddler loved and she also enjoyed playing with the eco tube chimes and running up and down the fake grass hill which has a tunnel undeath.
At the other end of the park which I would say is more suited for older kids they have a rope climbing frame and a zip wire which is always popular with all the kids.
All in all, I would say this park was a huge hit with my kids and as a parent, I was happy they were secure in the park and there was plenty to keep them entertained.
Afterwards, we went for a stroll along the river which is beautiful and peaceful and if you are lucky, you can see the swans and ducks which often come up to the river bank to say hello. The walk itself is on pavement and then if you cross over the bridge (which unfortunately has no ramp) there is a further 5k walk along and back beside the river and you can quite often see horses and cattle on the other side of the water. The walk itself is fairly easy as it is all flat however if it has been raining wellies would be recommended!
Family fun day with the kids at Wells House
Just 22 minutes from the Riverside Park Hotel, Wells House is a very popular destination for families. A whole day can be easily spent here as there is something for children of all ages and adults alike.
The Fairy Walk & Mogue’s Enchanted Walk – Discover the enchanted woodland creatures and Fairy folk at Wells House, two beautiful woodland walks full of magic and wonder. Children will be enthralled as they uncover hidden treasures within the spectacular landscape of magical plants and trees. Watch out for the wishing well, fairy doors and castles as well as the resident Gruffalo, bug hotels and Draco the Dragon! A great way to spend an afternoon in the outdoors, both of my little ladies loved this walk and perfect for both of them.
Living Victorian House Tour – Experience a walk-through time in a Victorian great house through the eyes of Lady Frances and the past residents and workers of Wells, this did go over my 3 years old head but the 8 year old really enjoyed the experience.
Victorian Terrace Gardens – Relax and take in the beautifully restored terrace gardens based on the original Daniel Robertson plans of the 1830s. Daniel Robertson was the famous architect responsible for the iconic Powerscourt House, Co. Wicklow and Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford.
Adventure Playground – Swings, slides, seesaws and climbing frames – ideal for kids with lots of energy to burn. Take this opportunity to sit back and relax in the adjacent picnic area while watching the little ones having the most fun on the playground!
If it is lunch, coffee or a tasty treat you’re after, you will be able to find what you’re looking for in the onsite Brambles Café known for their handmade delicious food or order a Go Bag from the Riverside Park Hotel, the kids loved getting their own little bag of goodies.
Craft Courtyard – The old stables at Wells House have been converted into a welcoming Craft Courtyard and provides the perfect showcase for contemporary arts and crafts. With Crafters displaying and selling their wares, this is the perfect place to come and buy a special gift for friends, family or yourself of course!
Animal Farm – Meet their resident animal friends at Wells House & Gardens’ including racoons, rabbits, pygmy goats and hens – they have something for everyone!
Meet the animals at Secret Valley Wildlife Park
Hop in the car and arrive at Secret Valley Wildlife Park, just 19 minutes away from the Riverside Park Hotel.
Secret Valley Wildlife Park & Zoo is fourteen acres of fun for all the family and the only fully licensed zoo in the southeast of Ireland.
You can easily spend a day here with a timetable of fun activities to keep everyone entertained from bottle feeding the kid goats, to holding guinea pigs, insects and lizards. The children can even go for a ride on one of the friendly ponies, Snowball, Elvis and Coco. All activities are supervised by fully trained staff, as we live on a farm ourselves I thought the girls wouldn’t get as much enjoyment out of this but they did, they loved the learning about the animals you can join in with the keeper talks to learn all about the Meerkats, Porcupines, Lemurs or even the Capuchin monkeys.
With over 40 species of animals, there is plenty to see. Watch the Asian small clawed otters play in their pond or say hello to the Llamas and Alpacas.
And to keep the kids entertained they have an indoor play area to explore or go crazy in the large outdoor play area and obstacle course. Not forgetting the Quad train for all the adventure seekers!
Enjoy lunch or a cup of coffee in The Valley Cafe and once you’ve finished there follow the clues on your adventure hunt to win a treat or again order a Riverside Go Bag., there are plentiful picnic benches situated around the park if you wish to bring your own picnic
Kia Ora Mini Farm
Kia Ora Mini Farm is less than 30 minutes away from the Riverside Park Hotel and a fun filled family day out is guaranteed at this wonderful farm.
The farm is a safe place for children to roam and learn about the animals and for adults to relax. They have an onsite coffee shop with mouth-watering home-baking but picnics are also welcome, even in the coffee shop and they have ample outdoor seating for those fine summer days.
The outdoor area covers many acres and is an ideal location for a family picnic and to unwind under the summer sun. Some activities include riding the fire engine, milking a cow, operating real mini diggers, giant buzz off, under 4 play area, go kart track, sandpits, football pitch, ride on tractors and many more!
At the heart of the farm is of course the animals and with a great selection to choose from, there is always a favourite for everyone. As well as the everyday farm animals such as cows, sheep, pigs etc they have some of the more exotic such as llamas, alpacas and emus. They have some amazing animal characters at the farm, from Geoffrey the Macaw, Charlie the Donkey to Posh & Becks the black swans & Missy & Mister the Polish Bantams.
There is always someone on hand to welcome visitors to the shed and to hand out small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Supervised handling is for the safety of the animals and our visitors. The kids particularly enjoy this experience.
Depending on the time of year they also offer feeding of the larger animals including bottle feeding of any goats or lambs occur at regular intervals at the farm depending on the time of year.
The farm is fully wheelchair accessible, has cement paths, toilets, baby changing facilities.
Kilmokea Gardens are less than an hour from the Riverside Park Hotel and are very family friendly!
As well as being a beautiful Heritage Garden of seven acres, Kilmokea is one of the most historic sites in the South East, and a small Viking settlement and a Norman Motte & Baily and a wooden boat telling the story of Cessair, daughter of Noah, & her followers who sailed to the western edge of the world in order to escape the Great Flood, the girls loved pretending to be Vikings, what amused me most was the fairy phone box, the girls didn’t know what it was, we had a great time explaining to them.
A large fruit and vegetable garden complements a host of winding paths which provide an exciting display of exotic plants. The formal walled garden with lawns & herbaceous planting is overlooked by the fine Georgian house. The woodland garden is also home to Ireland’s one-of-a-kind Tree Fairy Village. The ‘Myrtle Wood’ storybook truly comes to life with the characters of the book sitting in the trees and in log piles. I got fantastic ideas for my own gardening when I get home.
The Garden Café and Craft shop provide plenty of things to see and do on a long afternoon spent here.
Ballycross Apple Farm
Hop into the car and head off with the kids to the Ballycross Apple Farm, around 45 minutes from the Riverside Park Hotel, is the perfect destination for a fun family day out. Home to the award winning Ballycross Apple Juice, this REAL working apple farm is bursting with activities for big and small kids alike.
Kids will get the chance to meet and greet with all of their favourite farm animals in the Courtyard setting. They can enjoy pony rides (weather dependent) and may be lucky enough to help out with the animal feeding. There are pedal tractors and go-karts and an apple crate maze which is guaranteed to keep them entertained. I even had a go on the go-karts myself.
Boasting over 5 km of farm trails, you can trail the unspoilt beauty of the Irish countryside. Explore natural pathways which meander along canal banks and river banks, through wild vegetation’s, marshes and apple orchards.
A wide selection of delicious food and drink can be enjoyed too. Tuck into fresh waffles, crêpes and popcorn or pick up a glass of the award-winning Ballycross apple juice. We took a walk around the grounds and on a wet day I would recommend wellies, the girls really loved the wild and rugged paths.
At Halloween, the Ballycross pumpkin patch is full and ready for picking. Take a Tractor & Trailer ride to the Pumpkin Patch and handpick your own pumpkin to bring home for carving just in time for Halloween. Families can explore the Witches Village and enjoy the wonderful walk trails. A truly great day out for all the family! We had the pleasure of doing this last year and it was fantastic fun, really got us in the Halloween spirit, my 3 year old trying to carve the pumpkin when we got home, not so enjoyable 😊
Irish National Heritage Park
Located just outside Wexford Town and only 20 minutes from the Riverside Park Hotel.
The Irish National Heritage Park is a unique Heritage experience that brings to life over 9000 years of Irish History. Explore the 40 acres of woodland and see the historic buildings and settlements that show how the early Irish settlers lived. There are also some brilliant family activities that children aged 4 and above will love to get involved in such as panning for gold, making Viking coins and there is also archaeological dig site to explore!
There are many ways to experience the Irish National Heritage Park, but we suggest you begin with a tour for a unique Irish history experience! Guided tours with a costumed guide run daily and are suitable for families, groups, individuals and educational school tours. You can also explore the Park at your own pace on a self-guided tour. There are three themed heritage tours available – Pre-Historic Ireland, Early Christian Ireland and the Age of Invasion – which together cover over 9000 years of Irish history! Each tour takes you on an unforgettable journey through the past. Step in and explore replicas of historic sites, including a castle, crannóg, Viking house, monastery, and ringfort. Experience life among these ancient sites.
They also offer extra experiences which are not included in the admission price:-
Falconry Centre – Get up close and personal with the majestic, predatory hawks that live at the Park. Our Hawk Walks allow you to experience first-hand the agility, speed and precision of these ancient birds. Humans have been working closely with these birds for thousands of years. This is your opportunity to fly your own bird from your arm, call it back and observe the hawk’s amazing predatory skill. You will be accompanied by our resident falconer Jim. This activity is suitable for children and adults and is open to individuals and groups.
Daily Life in Viking Wexford – You will jump right into the life of Vikings, you’ll wear their clothing and armour, see some implements of war from the time and even get to strike Viking coins! Learn about their buildings, traditions and customs. This all takes place in a replica Crannóg within the grounds of The Irish National Heritage Park, Co. Wexford Ireland.
After all the fresh air we recommend a visit to the Fulacht Fiadh Restaurant at the Irish National Heritage Park. The restaurant serves food all day with seasonal menus based on showcasing the best of local, Irish produce. Named in honour of the Fulacht Fiadh, an ancient cooking pit, the restaurant serves a variety of light snacks, sandwiches, tea/coffee, lunches and hot food. A children’s menu is also available. Enjoy a glass of wine or a locally brewed beer with your meal or treat yourself to afternoon tea with a selection of our delicious treats and desserts.
The Park is a place you will want to visit again and again because there is just so much happening here all year round! over 40 acres of natural woodland, historic sites and trails, family activities, tours and demonstrations, two playgrounds, a visitor centre, restaurant, shop. A great day out for all the family guaranteed! I think this is our 6th time to go over the past few years and it never disappoints.
Situated South of Wexford town you will find Johnstown Castle & Gardens which is a must if you are in the area. From the ornamental garden walks with the picturesque lake to the intriguing Irish Agricultural Museum and the children’s play area there really is something for everyone here.
Johnstown Castle, Museum & Gardens have a long and colourful story stretching over 800 years. The 3 in 1 attraction has a range of activities for all ages. Enjoy a guided tour of the restored 19th-century Castle, we felt like we were in Downton Abbey which I love we got to go upstairs and downstairs, of course, my girls were the ladies upstairs and myself and my husband were the servants downstairs. The unique servants’ tunnel – the longest domestic servants’ tunnel in Ireland, now this is impressive, all lit up with green lights the girls and myself were amazed, a truly different experience.
Take a look at the fascinating Irish Agricultural Museum which displays one of the most comprehensive exhibits of farming and rural life in Ireland. There is plenty in this museum to keep the children interested from tractors, cars children’s toys there really is something for everyone!
Explore over 4km of the picturesque lake and ornamental garden walks – including a woodland children’s play area and the fully accessible new 1.5km lower lake walk – great for all members of the family, the girls were able to do everything in this playground, except the climbing frame my 3-year-old found this hard, as for my 8-year-old we couldn’t get her to leave.
There is also a cafe and retail area situated within the visitor centre. There is also plenty of outdoor space for picnics for a Riverside Go Bag.
A really enjoyable full day for all the family.
Pirates Cove is just 29 minutes from the Riverside Park Hotel and is a fantastic family friendly place to visit whatever the weather! From bowling to crazy golf to the pirate train, there is a lot to do here. The fun caves are a great choice for children aged 3-5 as there is a bouncy castle, ball pool, slides and tunnels! A safe and stimulating environment that the children will have a lot of fun in. My 8-year-old found the fun caves were a bit young for her, she absolutely loves adventure golf. Afterwards, we all enjoyed a round of bowling which was really fun for everyone.
JFK Park & Arboretum
Dedicated to the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the park is a wonderful place to visit with the family! The lake is a favourite with the children as there are lots of ducks to feed! Explore the beautiful park or relax in the café as the kids have great fun in the playground, there’s something for everyone here in this incredible Arboretum, just 42 minutes from us in the Riverside Park Hotel. This park is just wonderful for an outdoor picnic, bring a ball and play and enjoy the playground. The Park is full of trees, flowers, lakes such an enjoyable afternoon.