Check out our recommendations for a great family holiday in Galway. From the best restaurants to sightseeing trips, we’ve handpicked the best places for your family.
Galway Family Guide
Maldron Hotel Oranmore
Carrowmoneash, Oranmore, H91 K7FA
The Maldron Hotel Oranmore is one of the best family friendly hotels in Galway, named in the top 10 on TripAdvisor for 2017. With a swimming pool available for all of our guests, Crafty Kids Club running throughout the holidays and an outdoor playground, there’s something to suit all the family. Our spacious family rooms are perfect for families of up to two adults and three children. These feature two double beds and a single bed. Cots are also available on request, please mention this at time of booking.
With our grain & grill restaurant, we are also the perfect choice for celebrating your family’s special occasions. From christenings to birthday party packages, communions and confirmations, we have it all covered. Our experienced staff will take care of all the details to ensure you have a memorable day.
All of our family rooms are spacious and comfortable featuring crisp white duvets, cable television and high-speed WiFi as standard. Perfect for couples looking for a romantic night away.
Check out our Galway Family Hotel Offers.
Newcastle Road, H91 DE7C
Another city-based option, but one that’s worth the drive. Mr. Waffle is found on the Newcastle Road and serves a variety of sandwiches, salads, quesadillas and, of course, their famous Belgian waffles.
A visit to the cafe is the perfect reward for yourself, and the kids, after a day’s sightseeing. If you really want treat yourself, order the American Ice Dream Waffle, which is served with maple syrup, melted butter, pecans and vanilla ice cream, yum!
1 Quay Lane, Latin Quarter
The BurgerStory is situated in Galway City and serves up some of the best burgers in the west. The restaurant started life out as a food truck but has moved to a more permanent address on Quay Lane.
Serving ‘Burgers, Birds and Shakes’ the eatery offers patron’s casual dining, tasty burgers, fries and creamy milkshakes. We guarantee there’ll be no complaints from the little ones if they get to eat here!
Péarla na Mara
Unit 10, Howley Square, Dublin Road, Oranmore, H91 HX28
Another must-visit restaurant in Oranmore is Péarla na Mara. The concept restaurant serves Irish cuisine with a Mediterranean-inspired twist. The blend of the two cultures ensures that the food is always made with locally-sourced, fresh ingredients.
Péarla na Mara’s Super Dinner Saver menu is ideal for parents looking to enjoy a romantic evening meal and includes two pasta dishes and a bottle of wine for €39. The restaurant also has an extensive children’s menu and is a great spot for lunch.
Main Street, Oranmore, H91 PC8A
Basilico is an award-winning Italian restaurant in the heart of Oranmore, which offers patrons contemporary Italian cooking in welcoming and elegant surroundings.
Aside from serving all your favourite Italian dishes, Basilico’s lunch menu boasts an array of dishes from other cuisines. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your lunch option. The restaurant also has two kiddies menus, with one dedicated to a selection of delicious pizzas.
Dublin Road, Oranmore, H91 PK73
Glynn’s bar is a heritage pub situated on the Dublin Road just across the road from Pearl na Mara. The pub is proud of its tradition and regularly hosts Irish music nights with local musicians in attendance.
If you fancy listening to some traditional tunes or simply want to enjoy a sing-song, pop along to Glynn’s.
Keanes Bar & Restaurant
Main Street, Oranmore, H91 E6RH
Located on the Main Street of Oranmore, Keanes is a charming local pub which welcomes patrons of all ages, making it ideal for Sunday lunch with the family.
In addition to serving excellent food, craft beers and a variety of wines, the bar regularly hosts live music nights, meaning there’s always a great atmosphere.
Main Street, Oranmore, H91 WV91
The Porterhouse is a family-friendly bar and restaurant which serves both excellent food and top-notch craft beers. The bar is the perfect option for a family meal or afternoon refresher.
If you manage to secure a babysitter for the night, the Porterhouse regularly hosts live music events at the weekends. Why not take the opportunity to dance the night away, while the kids are tucked up in bed?
McDonagh's Thatch Bar
Main Street, Oranmore, H91 N6C1
For those who want to enjoy a quiet evening drink, you’ll be happy to know that Oranmore boasts a number of charming pubs. The Thatch Bar epitomises the traditional Irish pub.
Full of character, the bar’s thatched roof, square windows and narrow door frame only add to its quaintness. The Thatch Bar is known to serve an excellent pint of porter and is also renowned for its tasty fish and chips – the perfect combination!
Boat Cruise on Lough Corrib
Maybe not the first thing you’d think of when it comes to things to do in Galway, but a cruise on Lake Corrib is a really enjoyable and unique activity for all the family.
There are lots of boat companies offering lake tours, but the Corrib Princess departs from Wood Quay in the heart of Galway city centre and is child-friendly, making it the ideal choice. The crew of the Corrib Princess regularly undertake school and youth tours and are experienced in dealing with passengers of all ages.
Toft Park, Salthill Promenade, H91 T2FD
Home to maritime creatures big and small, Galway’s Atlantaquaria is a joy for adults and kids alike.
The aquarium is open all year round and offers a range of different tours for families to enjoy, including a Big Fish Feeding tour. Kids will love this tour as they can get up close and personal with some of the aquarium’s biggest fish. There’s also the option of joining the Touch Pool tour, or the Fresh Water Fish Feeding tour.
A Day at the Beach
Dog’s Bay & Gurteen Bay
Sunny days are made for family days out at the beach, and thankfully there’s an endless list of picturesque beaches to be found across Galway.
Dog’s Bay or Gurteen Bay beaches are two great options for families. Both beaches are well sheltered and don’t have any strong currents, while the waters are crystal clear and safe for swimming.
The Enchanted Forest
Kylebrack, Loughrea, H62 DX77
A holiday in Galway means a never-ending list of things to see and do, but the one of the first things we’d recommend for younger children is The Enchanted Forest.
Slieve Aughty Centre has its very own enchanted forest and it’s just waiting to be explored. Little ones can discover the native trees which fairies, gnomes and trolls call home and even search for wild animals in the forest.
Children over the age of 5 can also enjoy a pony ride after they’ve finished exploring the forest. The Enchanted Forest is only a short 10 minute walk from The Slieve Aughty Centre and is well worth a visit.
Briarhill Shopping Centre, Level 2, Ballybrit, H91 FEK2
The best thing about Kidsplace is that it’s located in a shopping centre, meaning adults can take it in turns between watching the kids and enjoying some retail therapy.
The centre’s facilities are modern, clean and super fun. The soft play area is especially enjoyable for children under four. If the weather’s bad, there’s no better place to bring toddlers or young children in Galway.
Loughwell Farm Park
Loughwell, Moycullen, H91 H568
Situated in the heart of Connemara, Loughwell Farm Park is one of the most popular attractions in the west of Ireland and offers families aces of indoor and outdoor fun.
The farm has been carefully designed to fit naturally into the rugged landscape and boasts beech lined walkways, hand-crafted timber play villages, a duck pond and sand pit.
Indoors, kids will love the 12,000 square foot play structure, which includes slides, climbing walls, ball pens and much more!
Galway City Karting
Liosban Industrial Estate, Tuam Road, H91 PC81
Test your driving skills on the racetrack of Galway City Karting and see if you have what it takes to move up the ranks to Formula 1. Parents and siblings can compete against each other to beat the clock and earn the top position.
The centre is open everyday until late, but children must be at least 7 years old to be eligible to drive.
Burren Nature Sanctuary
Cloonasee, Kinvara, H91 PTK7
The Burren Nature Sanctuary is another great family activity. The centre is set on 50 acres of organic farmland and has its own nature trails, wildflower meadows and botanic gardens. The centre even has its own pet farm and magical fairy woodland village for kids to enjoy.
While the kids are enjoying the great outdoors, parents can relax and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the sanctuary’s cafe.