Mullingar is a town located in Westmeath at the heart of the Midlands. Surrounded by lake lands and green areas, the town is more than just the birthplace of former the Blizzards frontman Bressie and One Direction’s Niall Horan – it is also an area that boasts a huge range of activities for children of all ages. In this article, we outline the top five attractions for kids in Mullingar.
5. Rock n Bowl Bowling Alley
Mullingar is best enjoyed when the sun is shining, but Irish weather is harder to predict than the Lottery numbers so it never hurts to have a contingency plan involving shelter from the downpour! Rock n Bowl is a hive of activity which will keep the whole family entertained, from toddlers to teens. Each bowling lane caters for up to six team members so is ideal for larger families hoping to unleash their competitive sides. The centre is also home to a kid’s soft play area going by the name of “Jungle Joes” which boasts designated areas for toddlers (aged 3-5) and children (aged 6-12). The play area is an array of slides, mazes, and rope bridges and located beside a café where parents can relax whilst their kids tire themselves out!
4. Westmeath Royal Canal Greenway
Pick up a map at the tourist office in the town centre and get on your bikes! There are different routes clearly marked on the map with different distances and levels of difficulty. Cycle loop 2 poses the perfect challenge for outdoor adventure-loving families with older children – it is 42 km long and participants are rewarded for their efforts with picturesque views of the vibrant flora and fauna that thrive in the natural surroundings of the Midlands. Bikes are available to rent from Outdoor Escape Mullingar. Children’s bikes are €15 and adults are €20 – a small price to pay for a thoroughly enjoyable day.
3. Ladestown Riding Stables
Whether you are an experienced rider or a complete beginner the lovely and patient staff at Ladestown Stables will provide your family with a memorable horseback experience. The stables are a family run establishment owned by Bryan and Toni Peters who have made it their aim to share their passion for horses with locals and visitors alike. The grounds are breathtaking and include a terraced garden and classic stone courtyards. Trekking routes are designed so your family can trot along forest paths and the grassy shores overlooking the fabulous Lough Ennel. Ladestown is must for any family wishing to jump in the saddle, be it for the first time or the hundredth so give them a call and book yourselves in for an afternoon of equine fun! Bonus tip – pack a picnic to refuel whilst taking in the lakeside views after your trek.
2. Lilliput Adventure Centre
Located just ten minutes drive from the town centre Lilliput Adventure Centre is a dream come true for adrenaline junkie families, especially those with older children who will thoroughly enjoy and immerse themselves in the challenges that the activity centre boasts. The activity centre is situated right on the mesmerising shores of Lough Ennel which acts as the perfect backdrop to a day packed full of activities. A day of activities will set you back €28 for children and €40 for adults and is money well invested – exhilarating activities range from canoeing and kayaking to abseiling and archery. There are even options to stay on site, with their comfortable accommodation the ideal place to rest and recuperate after an adventurous day in the vast surroundings of Lilliput.
1. Belvedere House and Gardens
No family trip to Mullingar is complete without having the beautiful Belvedere House and Gardens at the top of the itinerary! The house itself was built in the 13th century and is drenched in history, with visitors having the chance to immerse themselves in the intriguing past of the Lords and Ladies from long ago. Whilst being educational and informative Belvedere is also the perfect area for children – there are four play areas including swings and a zip line, serene walkways spread across 160 acres of woodland, and a standout fairy garden which will truly engage the imaginations of your little ones. There are picnic areas dotted throughout the gardens overlooking the lake and there is also a café on site. Adults can enter the grounds for just €8 and the entry fee for children is €4, with kids under 3 being free of charge. This is a menial amount of money as families can enjoy the grounds for as long as they wish – and trust us, you will be in no rush to leave!