• family holidays wexford

Your Guide to Planning the Perfect Family Holiday in Wexford

A holiday that’s actually fun for the whole family might seem like a tall order. 

But if anywhere in Ireland can deliver on that, it’s Wexford. 

eritage and abundant outdoor activities, Wexford has more than its fair share of attractions to satisfy kids big and small and adults alike. No matter where you venture in this beautiful county, the destinations below are all designed to offer an interactive and engaging experience for the entire family. 

Of course, families come in different shapes, sizes and budgets, so these are these just a few crowd-pleaser ideas for how your family can build memories over the course of your trip.

How to get there: You can fly direct into Dublin from many Eurorpean and North American cities. From there, Wexford is around a two-hour drive. If you live in Ireland, it’s also possible to get to Wexford via bus or train. 

Where to stay: Always have an indoor plan B at the ready, as the weather in Ireland at any time of the year can take a turn for the worse. Be sure to opt for child-friendly accommodation and easy access to fun – like our Maldron Family Hotel in Wexford – whether it’s organised activities or simply splashing about in the pool. (Yep, we’ve got crafts club, a pool, mini golf and playground for the kids and treatment rooms for you grown ups!) 

Ideally, you’ll also want a good base for exploring what Wexford has to offer. Handily, our hotel has a bus stop right outside the hotel so our guests can get into Wexford town quickly. 

Things to do with the family in Wexford

1. Castle Archers at Wells House & Gardens

wexford archery

Who: All ages.

Where: On the grounds of the Wells House in Gorthy, Co. Wexford.

Why: Perfect for any Katniss Everdeen/Hunger Games fans, archery is a great way to entice kids of all ages away from their phones and tablets. Participants will learn archery safety and basic shooting techniques in the idyllic setting of Wells House, a Victorian country house nestled in the Wexford countryside. 

With over 100 acres of woodland and a farm, playground and fairy walk to explore, Wells House is a joy to visit for active families with children of all ages.

What else you need to know: 

  • €15 per person or €50 for a family of four. 
  • You are required to book ahead of time. 

2. Wexford Beaches

family holidays wexford things to do

Who: All ages.

Where: 14 miles northeast of Wexford town. 

Why: When the sun is out and the skies are blue, there’s only one place that the whole family wants to enjoy the glorious weather – beside the seaside. And while there are a plethora of beaches dotting the coastline of Wexford, Curracloe Beach in Enniscorthy is our top pick for families. 

You might know Curracloe Beach as the Irish setting for the film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn. A vast, golden beach with great sand dunes, Curracloe Beach is perfect for a family picnic. What you might not know is that this particular beach isn’t Enniscorthy’s only claim to cinematic fame – Saving Private Ryan was also filmed on nearby Ballinesker Beach

Both beaches have great surf, making them popular with tourists of all ages, whilst the golden sand is a dream for sunbathers and little sandcastle-makers alike. If you’re looking for for surf lessons and rental equipment, we like the Surf Shack in Curracloe. 

What else you need to know: 

  • Free parking and toilet facilities are available for visitors. 
  • Curracloe Beach has a TripAdvisor rating of 5/5. 

3. Ballycross Apple Farm

cheap family holidays in wexford

Who: Small kids.

Where: Just outside Bridgetown village, close to Kilmore Quay.

Why: If you’re looking to get everyone back to nature, there’s nothing that can beat a family excursion to Ballycross Apple Farm

Activities at this real working farm geared towards younger visitors include a toddler play hut, fairy house workshops, an apple bin maze, an animal petting zoo, pony rides, a three-mile nature trail and a pedal go-kart track, so be sure to stick around and enjoy everything that this place has to offer. 

When the whole family has worked up an appetite, we recommend stopping for some fresh sandwiches, crepes and waffles at the farm cafe. Don’t forget to swing by the gift shop, where you can pick up apples and juices before the journey back to your hotel.

What else you need to know: 

  • Open Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. 
  • Admission is €4 per adult and €3 per child. 
  • Check the weather ahead of time and decide on appropriate clothing for the family – wellies are an absolute must in the rain! 
  • Ballycross Apple Farm has a TripAdvisor rating of 4/5 and a Google star rating of 4.5/5.

4. Wexford Lavender Farm 

wexford lavender farm

Who: Small kids.

Where: A 10-minute drive from Gorey, North County Wexford.

Why: Spanning more than two acres of lavender fields and featuring three varieties of organically certified lavender, you and your children are free to explore the beautiful grounds at Wexford Lavender Farm at your leisure. The farm features a distillery where they explain how the lavender is made into oil and used for a wide variety of medicinal and aesthetic purposes. 

They also run interactive baking and claymazing workshops for kids throughout the year, baking and claymazing classes. Later on, you can wind down by taking little ones on an enchanted fairy walk through the forest path that runs through the farm, before stopping for a quick afternoon bite at the Purple Haze Cafe. 

What else you need to know: 

  • Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30am to 5:00pm. No admission fees, €2 parking in the summer months. 
  • Wexford Lavender Farm has a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5/5 and a Google star rating of 4.2/5.

5. Irish National Heritage Park

                                                                                                                                               

irish national heritage park

Who: Older kids and teenagers.

Where: A 10-minute drive from Wexford town, in the town of Ferrycarrig. 

Why: Prepare for an exciting journey back in time – way back in time, that is! 

Sprawling over 35 acres of parkland and located in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East, the whole family can easily spend most of the day ambling around the picturesque Irish National Heritage Park, taking in almost 9,000 years of Irish history. The trail running through this open-air museum includes fascinating reconstructions of prehistoric campsites, cooking pits, ringforts, crannogs and much more. 

After you’re done, you can rest your weary feet and tuck into a wide selection of traditional Irish dishes at Fulacht Fiadh Restaurant, perched on the banks of the picturesque River Slaney. 

What else you need to know: 

  • Opening hours: May to August from 9.30am to 6.30pm, September to April from 9.30am to 5.30pm. 
  • Cost: €9 for adults, €4 for children aged between 5 to 12 years, €4.50 for teenagers from 14 to 16 years, €24 for a family pass for two adults and three children. Children under four years can enter for free.
  • Irish National Heritage Park has a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5/5 and a Google star rating of 4.6/5.

6. Kilmore Quay, the Saltee Islands and Hook Lighthouse

excursions to saltee islands

Who: Older kids and teenagers.

Where: A 30-minute drive from Wexford town.

Why: If you’d prefer to stick to the mainland, then Kilmore Quay is a hugely popular sea fishing spot among tourists and locals alike. The village itself is full of rustic charm, with its thatched and whitewashed seaside cottages overlooking the Irish Sea.

The Saltee Islands, which lie a three-mile ferry ride from Kilmore Quay, make for a perfect day trip for teenagers. The offshore rocks and sheltered inlets of both Little and Great Saltee are home to an incredible variety of marine life above and below the surface. Between its resident puffins and grey seal colonies, these islands are well worth the open-sea crossing for animal lovers of all persuasions. 

In the distance, the whole family can take in panoramic views of the Hook Head peninsula and Hook Lighthouse, the oldest left in operation in the world. 

What else you need to know: 

  • €25 per person, sailings are on a biweekly basis and weather-dependent. 
  • Kilmore Quay and the Saltee Islands have a TripAdvisor rating of 5/5 and a Google star rating of 5/5.

8. Dunbrody Famine Ship

dunbrody famine ship

Who: Older kids and teenagers.

Where: A 35-minute drive from Wexford town.

Why: Aside from almost all the walks and activities noted above, there are plenty of great family days to be had in Wexford that aren’t particularly reliant on favourable weather. The Dunbrody Famine Ship, a replica of one of the famine ships that transported starving Irish emigrants to the New World for what they hoped would be a better life, is one of those. 

On this tour, costumed performers will bring the stories of the Dunbrody Famine Ship passengers to life, giving you insight into the challenges they faced, what the conditions were like on the journey, how long it took and what awaited them upon their arrival in North America.

What else you need to know: 

  • Open seven days a week from 9:00am to 6:00pm. €11 per adult, €6 each for students and children, family passes available from €23. 
  • The Dunbrody Famine Ship, along with the Kennedy Homestead and the JFK Arboretum, form the Emigrant Trail in New Ross, Wexford. 
  • The Dunbrody Famine Ship has a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5/5.

9. Loftus Hall

loftus hall tours

Who: Adults only.

Where: Located on the Hook Peninsula, a 40-minute drive from Wexford town. 

Why: If your hotel offers good babysitting services, then we highly recommend experiencing some spine-chilling thrills on an adult-only nighttime tour of Loftus Hall, reputed to be the most haunted house in Ireland. 

The present house stands on the site of the former medieval Redmond Hall, and is said by locals to be haunted by the ghost of an unhappy young woman who resided in the house in the 1600s. The spooky goings-on aren’t suited for children (or less-than-brave adults).

What else you need to know: 

  • The Paranormal Lockdown experience will set you back €66 and ends at 2:30am. 
  • Loftus Hall also offers guided day tours for the whole family. 
  • Loftus Hall has a TripAdvisor rating of ⅘ and a Google star rating of 4.4/5.

As you’ll see from the list above, with stunning beaches, hands-on museums, thrilling activities and a landscape that’s ideal for hiking, biking and generally having a wander about, Wexford is truly the perfect place for an Irish getaway with the whole family.

So what are you waiting for? Kickstart your next family adventure in Ireland by booking your stay at the Maldron Hotel Wexford today!

 

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