Destinations,  Europe,  Ireland

Things to do in Co. Wicklow with kids

UPDATED 07/07/2021

There are lots of fun and interesting things to do in Wicklow with kids, despite the county measuring just 33 miles by 20 miles.

‘The garden of Ireland’ lies south of Dublin on the Leinster coastline and is packed with historical sites, fun attractions, sandy beaches and rugged mountain scenery.

So what are the best thing to do with kids in Wicklow?


*Please see relevant websites for Covid restrictions in advance of your visit.*




Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains National Park is a popular tourist destination and one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland.

Visitors come from all over the world to explore the ruins of the monastery that was founded here by St Kevin the 6th Century. 

Tour the excellent visitors centre before exploring the ruined churches, graveyard and priest’s house.

See the iconic 30 metre high round tower which features on many Irish souvenirs and challenge your kids to find its door  – there isn’t one!  

Don’t miss the ornately carved Celtic stone crosses in the graveyard but be aware the ground here is uneven with many trip hazards.

A more ideal place to exercise little legs is on the scenic circular walk that joins the Upper Lake to the Lower Lake. The flat path and wooden boardwalks are pushchair friendly and provide lovely views of the valley and lakes. You will want a fully charged camera for the views.

We also enjoyed the elevated woodland walk that started from the Upper Lakes car park and ran alongside the upper lake and found it was much quieter than other trails on site.

Don’t be put off visiting Glendalough with kids thinking it will be a boring historical site. I think it is one of the top things to do in Ireland.


Cost – Entry to Glendalough is free but there is a €4 fee for to park at the Upper Lake car park.

Toilets are available at the Upper Lake car park and the Monastic car park.

TIP – Arrive early – especially on summer weekends – as the carpark and site get very busy.


round tall stone tower against blue sky, Glendalough, Things to do in Wicklow
St. Kevin’s Tower, Glendalough


Brittas Bay


This is our favourite Wicklow beach. Brittas Bay is an unspoiled, five kilometre long, sandy beach backed by low sand dunes and has achieved Blue Flag status for five years.

There are no rocky headlands or outcrops so the sea is relatively calm and is ideal for swimming or paddling children. A lifeguard is on duty during the summer months. 

Several activities are available for those who don’t want to sunbathe or build sandcastles including stand up paddle boarding, surfing or kite surfing. 


Cost – The beachfront car park cost €4 for the day and is where the public toilets are situated.

TIP – There are few facilities on the beach so bring your own shade and plenty of snacks and drinks.



Glenroe Farm


A popular thing to do in Wicklow with kids with tourists and locals alike is Glenroe Farm.

Meet farm animals and domestic animals, enjoy the adventure playground, get lost in the maize maze or hunt for fairy doors on the fairy trail. Glenroe Farm also has an excellent undercover playground and a 400 year old thatched cottage to explore.

The farm runs special events throughout the year – check their website for details. There are toilets, parking and a cafe on site.


Cost – Adults €7.50, children (3 – 16 years) €7.50, family of four €27




There are several attractions in Bray suitable for families making it an ideal day trip destination. The town is easy to get to as the DART station (Bray Daly) is just metres from the seafront.


Sealife Centre Bray


The National Sealife Centre on Bray seafront is a popular place to visit in Wicklow, especially on a rainy day and is one of my favourite things to do in Wicklow with kids. 

This Bray aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine animals from Irish and foreign waters ranging from sharks to sea horses and is divided into different engaging zones such The Bay of Rays and Toxic Terrors (my daughters favourite).

Children will love the Touch Pool and there are keeper talks and feeding demonstrations daily. Check the Sealife Bray website for an up to date timetable. 


Cost – On the day walk in tickets are €14.50  for adults and €10.35  for children but it is significantly cheaper to book online in advance. Check ticket prices and availability here.


Bray Beach


Bray’s pebbly beach is lined by a one kilometre long promenade with an adjoining grass space for a good runaround and ball games.

There is a fully enclosed playground for younger children and outdoor gym equipment for older children and there are cafes and toilets on the promenade. 

A small sandy section of beach near the harbour is perfect for sandcastles and you can walk the along unenclosed, elevated harbour wall.

Bray beach hosts an outdoor festival in the summer months with a funfair and activity section for younger children, regular live music in the bandstand and free screenings at the outdoor movie theatre.

TIP – Avoid parking fees by travelling to Bray by train. The rail station is a one minute walk from the seafront.

Read our detailed guide for things to do in Bray here.

pebble beach Bray Wicklow Ireland
Bray beach and Bray Head


Climb Bray Head 


Hiking to the summit of Bray Head, 218 metres above the sea, is one of the most popular things to do in Wicklow and the short, steep climb takes around 1 hour from Bray promenade. 

The path is rocky and uneven (good footwear is a must) and is suitable for little legs but not for pushchairs. The summit itself is not enclosed and there are steep, sudden drops so keep children close.

Bray Head summit is windy and exposed but has fantastic 360 degree views encompassing Bray, the Wicklow mountains, the Wicklow coastline and, on a clear day, Dublin.  

Climbing Bray Head was one of the first walks I did in Co. Wicklow with kids and it remains one of my favourite things to do when I visit the area.


Bray to Greystones walk


Another family friendly walk in Bray is the 7 kilometre coastal walk from Bray to Greystones. Kids will love it because you can catch the DART train back to Bray rather than have to walk back.

The uneven, elevated coastal path is flat and doable with kids who have a head for heights. I don’t like heights and the path made my stomach churn in places.

There is fencing on exposed sections but the fence is flimsy in places so again, keep children close. You can manage this path with a pushchair (just) but it will be a bumpy ride.

This coastal path follows the Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed Dublin to Wicklow rail line and kids will love waving at the passing trains below.



Kilruddery House


Kilruddery House near Bray is the country house estate of the Earl of Meath. Old and young legs alike will get lots of exercise on the 800 acre estate exploring the walled garden, long ponds and woodland walks.

Children can search for fairy folk in the Faerie Woodland Village or get dirty in the Giant Sandpit in the Apple Orchard.

Older children will enjoy the challenging heights of the fee paying tree adventure park, Squirrel Scramble, which includes 12 exhilarating zip lines. 


Cost – A gardens only ticket costs €8.50 for adults and €3 for children. A combined house and garden ticket is €15.50 for adults and €5.50 for children.

TIP –  Kilruddery’s Farmers Market which takes place very Saturday in the summer season is well worth visiting.



Greenan Maze


A fun thing to do in Wicklow with kids is the popular Greenan Maze. The site consists of two mazes – a large, half an acre, 7 foot tall Celtic design maze and the easier, open Solstice Maze. 

Children can also meet a variety of farm animals on the on site farm, walk fairy trails, visit wildlife habitats and learn about Ireland’s farming history at Greenan’s three small museums.


Cost – Adults and children are €8 and a family of four costs €30.




Powerscourt Waterfall


Ireland’s highest waterfall (121 metres) lies in landscaped parkland 6 miles from the Powerscourt Estate near Enniskerry. 

There are woodland trails through Beech, Larch, Oak and Giant Redwoods and a playground and refreshment kiosk on site. Picnics and a good runaround are encouraged here. 


Cost – Powerscourt Waterfall price is €6.50 for adults, €3.50 for children or €16 for a family.


Powerscourt House and Gardens

The immaculate 18th century landscaped gardens are the main attraction at Powerscourt. The 47 acre garden is divided into different zones including The Walled Garden and The Italian Garden and was voted No 3 in National Geographic’s Top Ten Gardens in the World.

Don’t miss the cute Pepperpot Tower and the Pet Cemetery.

There is no longer a house to visit at Powerscourt  (it was destroyed by fire in 1974)  but its renovated shell ow houses an Avoca cafe, shop and a movie charting the history of the estate.


Cost – €11.50 for adults, €5 for children with children under 5 free.


large grey stately home in green parkland and a lake with fountain in middle
Powerscourt house and gardens                                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

Russborough House and Parklands


Russborough Park in Blessington is a good day out for all the family. If the kids groan at ‘yet another old house’ there is plenty in the parklands to keep them occupied.

There are woodland walks, a Fairy Trail to hunt for fairy homes (or to look for Faylinn, the resident fairy chief) and a challenging beech hedge maze. For an additional charge, families can visit the on site Birds Of Prey centre.  


Cost – House tour and gardens ticket costs €12 for adults and €6 for children or €30 for a family. A family garden only ticket costs €15.

TIP – You can visit the adventure playground at Russborough for free without having to buy a gardens ticket though there is a small fee for parking.  


Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens


These colourful botanic gardens were one of our surprise ‘hits’ when we visited Wicklow for the first time with our kids. We went initially because the gardens are free to enter but have since visited many times.

There are no ‘child friendly attractions’ at Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens but our kids always enjoy exploring the maze of pathways, looking at the unusual plants and trees and having a picnic on the lawn. It is a relaxing and chilled place to spend a few hours.

Free guided tours are available at 12pm and 3pm and there is a cafe and toilet on site. Check website for opening times in advance of your visit.


Cost – free



Clara Lara Fun Park


The Clara Lara Fun Park in Rathdrum provides fun, outdoor activities for all the family. 

There are rope bridges, assault courses, zip lines, go carts, rafts, rowing boats, canoes, mini golf and Ireland’s longest water slide. On a sunny day it is the ideal place to visit in Wicklow. 


Cost – €16.50 for adults, €22.50 for children. Admission is pricey for a family but includes unlimited access to the activities.





This coastal town has a Blue Flag beach, South Beach, which is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer. There is also an enclosed playground bordering the beach.

Greystones is a pleasant place to wander and has a growing reputation as a foodie destination.



Wicklow Town 


Explore Wicklow Town, its pretty harbour and walk to the eastern edge of town to view the Black Castle, a set of 14th Century cliff top ruins. 

Wicklow Town Gaol is an interesting and sobering attraction but is more suitable for families with older children. Our son was 6 when we visited and did not like it.

The real life stories of the jails unfortunate inhabitants are brought to life by an immersive audio visual tour including lifelike holograms. with the option to upgrade to a state of the art Virtual Reality Tour. Don’t miss the eerie, atmospheric cells in the basement guaranteed to give you goosebumps. 


Cost – Adults cost €9.50 and children €6.50. A family ticket (for five) costs €26 and a Virtual Reality Family Ticket costs €50.

TIP – Discounted tickets for Wicklow Town Gaol are often featured on



Hiking in Wicklow


The Sugar Loaf Mountains


Great Sugar Loaf (501 metres) and Little Sugar Loaf  (342 metres) are more hill height than mountain height but climbing them is not simple jaunt up a hill.

Both mountains have instantly recognisable conical shapes and are two of the most accessible peaks in Ireland. But don’t let the low elevations fool you; both hikes have challenging terrain for children. 

conical grey brown mountain against blue sky and green grass things to do in Wicklow
Great Sugar Loaf                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo by Laura Danova on Unsplash


Little Sugar Loaf is the easier of the two peaks and takes around 1 hour to summit.

The path cuts through grass and spiky gorse before heading steeply upwards over large quartzite boulders so good gripping shoes or boots are a must. I’m glad I packed plasters for grazed knees.

Way markers on the path change from wooden signposts to simple arrows painted onto the rocks.

Little Sugar Loaf summit has breathtaking 360 degree views but like most Co. Wicklow peaks, is very windy. 

Great Sugar Loaf can be summited in around two hours thanks to a handily located, free car park halfway up the mountain.

It is steep climb and you have to scramble over scree, loose rocks and cross rocky gullies to reach the summit. Coming down the mountain is equally hard on this type of terrain.

But the views from the top of Great Sugar Loaf are worth the slog though it is not a hike for the faint hearted or for younger children.



The Wicklow Mountains


If you are self driving to Glendalough, choose one of the scenic drives across the Wicklow Mountains. You will see many hiking trails along the route.

Drive through the winding Sally Gap and make a stop to look down at Lough Tay which is affectionately nicknamed ‘The Guinness Lake’ due to the lake’s shape and colour as it resembles a pint of the black stuff.

Visit Glenmacnass Waterfall, an 80 metre high, 3 drop cascading waterfall lying at the head of the Glenmacnass Valley. The waterfall is best viewed after heavy rainfall – easy in Ireland!

There is a car park at the top of the falls from where it is a short walk to the viewpoint.

For more hikes in Wicklow, check out this walking guide from Wicklow Mountains National Park.



Adventurous things to do in Wicklow with kids 


Why not try a new activity when visiting Wicklow with kids?

Hire a mountain bike or join a guided tour at based in Ballinstoe. The company run family friendly trips ranging from novice to experienced cyclists.

Or hire a Canadian canoe or kayak to explore Varty River (in Wicklow Town) or Broad Lough from Wicklow Kayaking.

Adventurous families can try rock climbing, surfing or coasteering with Bray Adventures.

Of for something completely different, take an alpaca for a walk.

K2Alpacas offer two hour guided walks (€38) with alpacas for children over 8 years. Children under 10 years cannot lead their own alpaca but can accompany an adult free of charge which makes an Alpaca trek an affordable option for a family.

TIP – don’t forget to check the latest discounted offers on activities at The site regularly has offers for outdoor activities such as kayaking and horse riding.


Co. Wicklow is a great location for a family holiday as it offers something for all ages and interests. It only takes one hour by car from Dublin to Wicklow so the county is an ideal day trip from the capital.

There are so many fun and interesting things to do with kids in Wicklow that you will have a difficult time fitting it all in!


Before you go, check out my post on things to do in Clare with kids. 





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