Create memories to treasure with some great family-favourites around Carrick-on-Shannon and the North Shannon.
Scamper through wild meadows, cycle along waterside trails, paddleboard down glassy canals – there’s an amazing array of adventures to embark on with your family around Carrick-on-Shannon. But if you’re looking for family-specific activities, this area has you covered too. Spend the day exploring the 350 acres of natural beauty at Lough Key Forest Park and Activity Centre, walk the immersive Acres Lake Floating Boardwalk surrounded by water, lilypads and butterflies, or try a horseback ride at the Moorlands Equestrian Centre. One of the best offerings for families in the area is the Shannon Blueway, a family-friendly series of off-road walking and cycling trails, as well as paddling trails that can be explored independently or with a guide. The relatively flat landscape in this part of the island makes it ideal for exploring with kids, whether you’re walking or cycling, or getting out on the water in kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and pedalos…
Lough Key Forest & Activity Park
You could spend the whole day at Lough key Forest Park and STILL not get to see all of it. This is somewhere to come back to again and again, with a range of outdoor adventures that will make kids almost forget that the digital world even exists. Amp up the excitement with adrenaline-pumping ziplines, take to the trees on Ireland's only tree-canopy walk, race around the vast meadows and head off on two wheels on a Segway tour through the woodland. On top of all that, you can take off on walking or cycling trails, enjoy tranquil picnics by the water, or journey around the lake on a rowing boat. There's even something for rainy days with the Boda Borg challenge – a team-work based adventure through 47 rooms with tasks, activities and challenges.
Carrick Indoor Karting
The roar of engines, the smell of oil and rubber, the thrill of the race – go karting is in a league of its own when it comes to fun, and this great go karting centre certainly delivers. Specially designed Cadet Karts for the kids aged over eight mean that families can enjoy a session around a track that is thought to be one of Ireland's fastest. Perfect rainy-day fun…
For kids who fancy a taste for rural farm life, Tullyboy is the place to go. This family-run farm is set around a Georgian farmhouse on the Roscommon/Leitrim border and the setting is second-to-none. The owners here have forged an authentic farm experience for children with lots of farm animals to interact with, as well as fun activities such as tractor trailer rides, straw dives for goodies, a playground and pony rides. The farm is open daily from May to the end of August from 10:30 to 6pm.
Moorlands Equestrian Centre
Brilliant for riders of all standards, from beginners to experienced, the scenic treks offered by Moorlands will bring you into the heart of the beautiful scenery around Curraghill with a stop at the waters of Lough Allen. If you don't fancy a trek, lessons for both adults and kids, ride outs and pony camps are on offer at the centre, which is just beside Lough Allen Hotel and Spa.
An Tóstal Festival
There's tons to keep kids entertained in this fun local festival. Young ones will love the super-creative Stylish Silage competition (where silage bales are dressed up as cartoon characters), and the haunted house (which isn't as scary as it sounds) is always a hit. The week-long event in the scenic village of Drumshanbo is part of a festival tradition that was started in the 1950s to celebrate aspects of Irish life. There are bouncy castles and fishing workshops, cinema by the lake and bingo, art classes and table quizzes. What's not to love? An Tóstal takes place over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Electric Bikes in Leitrim Village is ideal if you want to have a day out on two wheels. They can meet you with bicycles at Acres Lake, but also boast two bases – one in Leitrim Village and one in Lough Key Forest Park. There are both regular and electric bikes, tandem bikes and child carts meaning that you can go whatever way suits you. And the perfect cycling day out? You don't have to look far. The Acres Lake Boardwalk Trail is part of the Shannon Blueway and is ideal for a family cycle with a linear distance of about 6.5km. it's quiet, scenic and off-road all the way.