Galway City Museum
The section of particular interest here would be the medieval section, proudly displaying Galway’s medieval heritage. Included are various examples of stonework, showing the coat-of-arms of important city families of the day.
Also on view is a collection of military paraphernalia, farming tools, old rush lights and early candles. This is a good find as kids are always interested in how things looked in olden times.
Parks and playgrounds
In Galway city at the moment there are 16 parks and playgrounds. The usual mix of children’s play facilities can be found in the playgrounds, for example: trains, space ships, flat swings, spring mounted rockers, climbing frames, timber mazes etc.
As for parks, there’s roughly 1500 acres of parkland throughout the city. Offering pedestrian walkways, woodland, Gaelic pitches, picnic areas, playgrounds, running tracks and basically a slice of heaven away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Galway city is an excellent location for beach access. Although our summer days are well and truly over now, it’s still nice to stroll along the beach. Salthill and Silverstrand are Galway’s two most notable beaches, both having attained “blue flag” status. Other beaches in the area worth a visit are Grattan Beach and Ballyloughane Beach.
The Leisureland complex in Salthill is an ideal solution for those rainy days. On site there’s a 25-metre 6-lane competitive deck level pool, a warm up pool, themed kiddies leisure pool and a 65-metre water slide. Moms and Dads can avail of the Fitness Centre, which includes a gym, sauna, steam room and a massage parlour.
I don’t know what it is about children and fish, but anything to do with our watery friends is always a sure fire hit! At Atlantaquaria the kids will be nearly bursting with excitement going through the different areas of the attraction.
Here you’ll find a splash pool, ray pool, touch pool, submarines, wrecks and boats. There’s also an audio-visual room where wildlife films are played throughout the day. Species on view include brown trout, carp, pike, dog fish, star fish and sea horses to name but a few. There’s a section solely dedicated to raring and growing fish, a must for those inquisitive young minds.
After all that there are sure to be rumbling tummies! Why not visit the coffee shop or Schooners on the Bay restaurant to fill that gap? On the way out don’t forget to have a look in the Lighthouse Gift Shop for your oceanic themed souvenir.
Another rainy day solution, why not take the kids to the cinema? Galway Omniplex boasts 11 screens. It’s located at Galway Retail Park, Headford Road, Galway.
Moycullen Riding School
Moycullen Riding School is located just 5 miles from Galway city. This riding school caters for both learners and more experienced riders. It’s ideally located with the stunning Connemara countryside as a backdrop and there’s also an indoor arena. Lessons and trekking sessions are available, and Moycullen Riding School is open all year round.
Lynch’s Castle and Blake’s Castle
Lynch’s Castle is a fine example of a medieval limestone building and is built in Gothic style. Looking at the features of the castle it’s thought that it dates back to the 15th century.
The Bank of Ireland took ownership of the castle in 1930 and has completed essential restoration work. Visitors are welcome to the ground floor of the castle. Here you can expand your knowledge of the history and architecture of the building. You may also note the Lynch family coat of arms.
Blakes Castle is located in the heart of Galway. This 15th century building was once used as a jail and after restoration its new role is part of a hotel. A bit similar in style to Lynch’s castle, this is a nice building to view, as it really conveys that “old world” appearance of medieval Galway.
Galway has no shortage of castles and these are a great source of wonder and imagination for kids (of all ages!). The usual scenario when visiting a castle is to find the witch or the ghost and then to escape their clutches. After that, it’s pretending to be king and queen of the castle. All in all a wonderful source of entertainment!
If you haven’t got much time in Galway city, maybe a good way to get to know the city quickly is by bus tour. Anyhow kids love going on buses, so this will be a winner, as it will give those “little leggies” a break as well. On the tour, look out for Spanish Arch, Galway Bay, The Cathedral, Eyre Square, and Wolfe Tone Bridge to name but a few of the sights.
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