Kilkenny – A Family Friendly City

With the summer months finally upon us, parents now have the mammoth task of finding fun things to do and places to visit to keep the little ones occupied over the school holidays! Kilkenny is an ideal place for a family trip with so much to do and see, a lot of which is free. Here are our top five family activities in Kilkenny.

Kilkenny Castle & Grounds

Not only is the castle one of the most beautiful places in Kilkenny, it also has a fascinating and diverse history of occupation and invasion. You could spend hours walking around, telling or listening to stories and learning about the Norman invasion. They might not believe it, but your children will be learning as they explore, just don’t tell them! The grounds are free to enter, as is the play area and a family tour of the castle costs just €20.00

Nowlan Park

Have you or your family ever tried your hand at hurling? If not, it’s one of those uniquely Irish sports that needs to be experienced to be believed. Schedule your visit to Kilkenny to coincide with a match in Nowlan Park to witness our multi All Ireland winning hurling team in action. This exciting sport is one the backbones of Kilkenny’s culture and history, something we are immensely proud of and we wear the black and amber proudly. Hon the Cats!


Castlecomer Discovery Park is about 20-minutes outside of the city but it’s definitely worth the drive when you see the array of fantastic activities available. This old coal-mining town now contains one of Kilkenny’s finest outdoor adventure playgrounds. The park contains the longest zip line in Ireland, a dizzying treetop walk, a climbing wall, as well as archery, fishing and kayaking so you certainly won’t be bored!

Dunmore Caves

Dunmore Caves are a fantastic family adventure, exciting for both young and old alike. You are guided through this maze of limestone caves, in near darkness by a knowledgeable and experienced guide who is on hand to answer any questions your little explorers may come up with. The caves are just 10-minutes outside of the city and can be explored by families for as little as €13.00, a small price to pay for an afternoon of history and fun. Watch out for the bats!


Kilkenny Arts Festival

Once a year, the city hosts an exciting arts festival with plenty of events and activities suitable for families. This year the Kilkenny Arts Festival takes place from 8-18th August and has a huge array of events scattered around the city. Family-friendly events include crafts, music, animation, theatre, puppetry and many more, many of which are free but do require tickets. Keep an eye on their website for the full programme and to book tickets.

Before you plan your ideal break, make sure you choose a hotel that can comfortably accommodate your family without paying inflated city centre prices. The newly refurbished Hoban Hotel offers great value, delicious all-day food and our team are always available to help make your family holiday run smoothly

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