Whether you are planning a trip to Athlone or are a native of Athlone at a loss with what to do with the kids, we have collected 10 of the best activities, attractions and fun ideas suitable for all ages.
5. The Planet, Athlone
Sunshine is always ideal, but there is plenty to do in Athlone even when the weather doesn’t work out in your favour! The Planet is a hive of activity sure to keep the family entertained for hours. Facilities at The Planet include ten pin bowling with special rates for families, and a soft play area for children incorporating slides, ball pits, and rope bridges. The Planet is also an excellent venue for older kids, as there is an extensive games arcade and a pool room. Perhaps the highlight of The Planet is their quasar zone, where a minimum of six can battle it out in an intense game of laser tag. The game is made all the more exciting with fog machines and pounding music to really bring out the competitive side in your family! Both bowling and quasar should be booked in advance, so call ahead of time to plan your family day out!
Address: The Planet Athlone, Diskin Centre, Grace Road, Athlone
4. The Old Rail Trail Greenway
The Old Rail Trail Greenway is a challenging but rewarding experience for older kids and teens who are confident cyclists. Cyclists are given the option to either start or end in Athlone, with Mullingar Town at the other end of the trail. The trail is best experienced on a Spring or Summer day, as it allows you to take in the natural beauty of your surroundings. The path consists of arched bridges and tunnels, and cyclists are surrounded by the lush green tones of the plants and grasses either side of the trail. To indeed make the most of your cycle, why not stop off at some of the towns along the route? Our top choice is the small town of Moate, which boasts the stunning Dun Na Si Amenity and Heritage Park, with a lovely playground, sensory garden, and the always delicious Catoca restaurant to help you refuel. No bikes? No worries. Bikes are available to rent from Buckley Cycles, with their mountain bikes costing just €15 for the day, including helmets and bike locks.
Address: Buckley Cycles, Kenna Centre, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
3. Athlone Castle
Acting as a unique centrepiece for the town, Athlone Castle is one of its most popular tourist sites, giving visitors an insight into Athlone’s fascinating medieval history. Originally erected in the 12th Century, Athlone Castle has been at the centre of several sieges and battles but has now been fully refurbished and expanded upon to become an impressive visitor centre. The centre will entertain both children and parents for hours and is the perfect way to whittle away a grey, rainy day. Visitors will be immersed in the castle’s 5000-year history through a combination of modern exhibitions, authentic ancient artefacts, and interactive sections. The highlight of a trip to Athlone Castle is undoubtedly the 3D cinematic experience of the infamous Siege of Athlone. This unique feature will transport your family back in time to the ferocious Williamite attack on Athlone Castle. Tickets for the castle are just €4 for kids and €8 for adults. Thus a trip to Athlone Castle is a cheap and enjoyable day out for the whole family. Opening hours are seasonal, so make sure to give their site a quick visit before you plan your trip!
Address: Athlone Castle, St Peters Square, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
2. Athlone Equestrian Centre
Located just outside Athlone Town, Athlone Equestrian Centre offers treks through the beautiful Moydrum forest for riders of all abilities. The centre was established in 2006 and has since become one of the best equestrian centres in the Midlands region, with an excellent cross country course and regular competitions such as show jumping tournaments and hunter trials. Their trekking experience is nothing short of idyllic, mainly consisting of woodland paths beneath the canopy of trees and passing by the historical remains of Moydrum Castle. Horses and ponies are carefully chosen by the instructors to meet the needs of your family, with staff taking into account factors such as ability, age and confidence levels. At Athlone Equestrian Centre you can rest assured you are safe in your saddle. Treks cost €25 per child and €30 per adult, which includes the use of helmets, boots, and body protectors. Treks must be booked in advance, so give the centre a quick buzz, and they will take care of the rest!
Address: Athlone Equestrian Centre, Moydrum Road, Moydrum, Athlone, Co.Westmeath
When the sun is shining, there is only one place to be in Athlone – Baysports! Located beside the luxurious Hodson Bay hotel, Baysports is a collection of inflatable slides and obstacles based on the River Shannon. Baysports currently holds a Guinness World Record for the highest inflatable slide – are you and the kids brave enough to try it? The Bay also offers kayaking, stand up paddling and pedal boats as well as a smaller collection of water obstacles for younger children. Admission prices for the main water park are a very reasonable €12 for children and €17 per adults, with 4-6 year-olds being allowed to use the junior water park for just €4. Baysports also offers fantastic deals which will enable your family to make the most of your day out – combination deals entail one hour in the water park and one activity such as kayaking and will set you back €24 for children and €27 for adults. Round off your day with dinner in the hotel, or better yet enjoy a picnic on the river bank as you watch the sunset on a perfect family day out.
Address: Baysports, Hodson Bay, Athlone, Co. Westmeath