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19 Best Things To Do in Wicklow for Families Visiting Ireland

19 Best Things To Do in Wicklow for Families Visiting Ireland

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Are you planning a trip to Ireland and looking for fun Wicklow activities? Keep scrolling to check out the coolest things to do in Wicklow for families!
This list of things to do in Wicklow for families was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Just an hour’s drive south of Dublin, County Wicklow is the perfect place for a side trip or day trip from the capital with kids.

It sits on Ireland’s scenic eastern coast and is home to the lush and green Wicklow Mountains National Park.

This county isn’t called the ‘Garden of Ireland’ for nothing!

Because of its natural beauty, there are plenty of things to do in Wicklow for families. There are lakes, forests, and outdoor activities galore. There are fun, historic attractions, castles, and manor houses too.

Here are all the best things to do in Wicklow with kids to make the most of your time in the beautiful Irish countryside.

19 Best Things To Do in Wicklow for Families

Glendalough Green Road Hike

Hiking is a great family activity that you can do with kids of all ages! One of the best hikes in Wicklow is the Glendalough Green Road Hike.

Glendalough (meaning ‘two lakes’ in Irish) is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country (probably). 

The Green Road Hike is only a 3 km-long loop walk and is mostly flat. It follows well-paved paths and boardwalks around the Lower Lake. Park at the Glendalough Visitor Center and you’ll already be right on the trailhead.

Powerscourt House & Gardens

One of the top attractions in Wicklow, Ireland is Powerscourt House & Gardens. It boasts over 47 acres of golf courses, formal gardens (their Japanese Garden is the best), and an 18th-century manor house.

Image of Marcie Cheung at the Japanese Garden at Powerscourt in Wicklow, Ireland
The Japanese Garden is stunning! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

There’s nothing better on a sunny day than strolling around the extravagant water features and statues. Don’t leave without checking out the Pepperpot Tower, an old defense tower with a winding staircase and beautiful views.

They also have an on-site whiskey and gin distillery that offers tours—but that’s not the most family-friendly activity!

Powerscourt Waterfall

Also in the town of Powerscourt is a namesake waterfall. Standing at 398 ft/121 m, it is Ireland’s tallest waterfall.

Image of Marcie Cheung in front of Powerscourt Waterfall in County Wicklow, Ireland
Powerscourt Waterfall is an easy walk. Photo credit: Keryn Means

Visiting this waterfall is one of the top free things to do in Wicklow, Ireland for two reasons. 

First, it’s an impressive waterfall during the rainy season (which is every season in Ireland) and surrounded by beautiful scenery. The surrounding woodland features ancient trees like beech, oak, larch, and pine including non-native redwoods and sequoias from California.

Keep your eyes peeled for deer and birds too!

And second, it’s a super easy place for families to visit. There’s a parking lot close by with a large, fenced playground and bathroom facilities. 

Mount Usher Gardens

Powerscourt Gardens aren’t the only gardens to visit in Wicklow. True to its nickname, there are a lot! Another option is the Mount Usher Gardens in Ashford on the banks of the River Vartry.

It’s a much more natural garden than the manicured flowerbeds at Powerscourt. You can cross the river via suspension bridges and watch the water cascade down the hill.

There are tons of cafés by Mount Usher Gardens so it’s an ideal lunch stop on a road trip. 

Check out Avoca Cafe, Deli & Bakery, or The Green Bean.

Black Castle

If you’re looking for tourist attractions in Wicklow Town, head to Black Castle. Granted, there’s not much left of this 12th-century Norman stronghold.

Image of Black Castle (ruins) in County Wicklow in Ireland
Black Castle makes a great road trip stop! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

But it is free to visit and there’s a lot to see in the area. Black Castle is located right on Wicklow’s harbor so you can walk along the East Pier to the cute red and white lighthouse.

There’s also a small beach next to the castle called Travelahawk Beach where local families flock to in summer.

National Botanic Gardens

As long as you have a streak of good weather during your family trip to Wicklow, nothing is stopping you from visiting even more gardens. Another of the top things to do in Wicklow for families is to visit the National Botanic Gardens in Kilmacurragh.

These gardens are on the site of a ruined 18th-century stately home. They are home to over 15,000 native and non-native plant species from around the world. 

Plus, there’s always something in season so there’s never a bad time to visit!

Avon Resort Activity Center

While sailing on Glendalough is forbidden to protect the sealife, the Blessington Lakes in Wicklow are a great place for water activities.

Spend a night at The Avon Resort, a fantastic family-friendly accommodation, and take advantage of their equipment and guides.

You can kayak, canoe, or SUP on the lake either independently or as part of a group. 

Cycle the Blessington Greenway

You can also rent bikes while staying at the Avon Resort and cycle along the Blessington Greenway. 

This bike and pedestrian-only trail is only 7.4 miles/12 km long so it’s not too taxing for kids. It follows the lakeside from the town of Blessington, past Burgage Castle ruins, and offers panoramic views of the lake.

Russborough House & Park

While you’re in the Blessington area of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, you can check out Russborough House & Park. It’s home to Ireland’s National Bird of Prey Center and lots of fairy trails through its woodland estate.

Image of Russborough House & Park in Ireland
Russborough House is a great stop for families.

The fairy trails are no joke! They are some of the most elaborate and magical in Ireland. You can also meet owls, hawks, and eagles or take a tour of the 18th-century Palladian villa.

Lough Tay (Guinness Lake)

Glendalough isn’t the only picturesque lake in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Lough Tay is beautiful and one of the best places to visit in Wicklow, Ireland too!

Drone view on the Lake Guiness (Lake Lough Tay)
Don’t miss Guinness Lake!

It’s known by locals as the ‘Guinness Lake’. From the viewpoint just off Wicklow Way, this dark body of water surrounded by a sliver of white sand on one side genuinely looks like a pint of Guinness!

It makes for a great road trip stop when driving with kids through this area.

Fun fact: ‘Lough’ is the Irish Gaelic word for ‘lake’. It’s pronounced ‘lock’, exactly like the Scottish word ‘loch’ which also means ‘lake’.

Clara Lara Fun Park

If you’re visiting during summer, you’ll find tons of activities in Wicklow for families at the Clara Lara Fun Park.

It’s a mix of both outdoor and water sports as well as fun rides in a forest setting. You can go canoeing and rafting on the River Avonmore, try mini-golf, go zip-lining, or try the assault courses.

Wicklow Gaol

Ireland has lots of closed-down jails which make for fascinating attractions. One of the most fun things to do in Wicklow Town is to visit the old Wicklow Gaol.

This 19th-century prison has been transformed into a visitor center. You can take tours of the cells and learn more about the Great Irish Famine and much more.

If you have older kids, they host paranormal and ghost tours here too!

Beyond the Trees at Avondale Forest Park

Avondale Forest Park is not just another forest in Ireland where you can hike. It’s Treetop Walk and Viewpoint needs to be seen to be believed!

Resembling the Vessel building in NYC, the Treetop Walk is a wooden building with a spiral walkway around the outside. It offers incredible views of the countryside. 

Plus, you can ride a tunnel slide to the bottom! It’s absolutely one of the most fun things to do in Ireland for families.

Glendalough Monastic Settlement

Okay, so visiting the ruins of the Glendalough Monastic Settlement isn’t going to kill a lot of time. But if you’re already visiting Glendalough, you should visit with your kids.

Image of a church in Glendalough Ireland
We enjoyed walking around Glendalough. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

It’s one of the oldest monastic sites in Ireland, founded by St. Kevin in the 7th century. You can explore the ruins of Glendalough Cathedral, Glendalough Round Tower, St. Kevin’s Church, The Priest’s House, and more.

Bray Head Cliff Walk

Ireland has family-friendly hikes around lakes, in woodland, and even on the coast! The coastal walk between Gray and Greystones in Wicklow is super accessible for even the littlest of legs.

Bray Head in county Wicklow Ireland
You can decide how much of it you’d like to walk.

It’s a 7 km/4.5-mile walking path but you can easily just walk part of it and head back. Or, walk the entire route and take the train back! It’s up to you, but either way, this path has great views for 100% of the distance.

Brittas Bay Beach

Having maintained its pristine Blue Flag status for many years, Brittas Bay Beach is one of the best in County Wicklow.

Image of Brittas Bay Beach in Ireland
It’s great for summer trips!

Its powdery white sand spans 5 km/3 miles of coastline backed by grassy dunes and a beautiful seaside town with lots of parking. It’s great for families in summer because they have a great surf school, lifeguards, and horse trekking. 

Hollywood Horse and Pony Trekking

Speaking of horse trekking, it’s a great option if you’re looking for family activities in Wicklow, Ireland! Located right on the county border in Bishopsland, beginner pony riders and experts alike can enjoy a guided horse ride.

You can trek over the hills overlooking the Blessington Lakes for one of the best views in Wicklow!

Killruddery House & Gardens

Located on a sprawling 800-acre estate, Killruddery House & Gardens is a grand, 19th-century stately home. It has a huge conservatory, pristine flower gardens, and even a bio-diverse farm. 

It’s also where they filmed the Lindsay Lohan movie “Irish Wish.” I watched it right before my Ireland trip and it was so cool to recognize a bunch of places from the movie!

Image of Marcie Cheung in front of Killruddery House in Wicklow Ireland
I geeked out seeing Killruddery House! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

There might not be tons of kid-friendly activities here (besides farm animals), but it’s a great place to stop for lunch. You can enjoy a walk around the gardens and then head to their gorgeous Tea Room, Pizza Shed with a woodfired oven, or Carrot & Coffee Corner.

Greenan Maze

Open from March to September every year, the Greenan Maze is a fantastic family-friendly activity in Wicklow. 

Their main attraction is the unique Celtic hedge maze but they also have a petting zoo, nature walks, and a coffee shop. 

Things To Do in Wicklow for Families FAQs

Is Wicklow Town worth visiting?

Wicklow Town is definitely worth visiting! It’s a great base if you’re staying overnight in County Wicklow and there are plenty of cool galleries, museums, attractions, restaurants, and shops in Wicklow Town too.

Does Wicklow have beaches?

County Wicklow is on the eastern coast of Ireland just south of Dublin, so there are lots of beaches. Some of the best beaches in Wicklow are Greystones South Beach, Silver Strand, Brittas Bay North Beach, and Brittas South Beach.

Is Wicklow expensive?

County Wicklow is known as an expensive part of Ireland because the house prices are the highest in the country. But that won’t affect your trip! 

For accommodation, Dublin is much more expensive than County Wicklow and general day-to-day expenses (food, activities, etc.) are cheaper than in North America.

Things To Do in Wicklow for Families Wrap-Up

Whether you’re taking the Dublin to Wicklow train for an easy day trip or driving down for a fun weekend, there are lots of things to do in Wicklow for families.

Enjoy a day at the beach, a hike in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, or visit one of the old manor houses and gardens here.

You won’t regret adding a slice of the Irish countryside to your family vacation itinerary!

Looking for more Ireland travel resources? Check out 10 Best Dublin Hotels for Families Worth Booking, 12 Best Day Trips From Dublin by Train, 13 Important Ireland Travel Tips for First-Timers, How To Plan a Trip to Ireland: Step-by-Step Guide, Ireland in Summer: Tips  + Things to Do, 17 Wonderful Things To Do in Wexford With Kids on Your Trip to Ireland, and 21 Most Spectacular Hidden Gems in Ireland.

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