Family holidays are about making memories that last forever, and here in North Mayo, you’ll find ample opportunity to make memories with little ones.

Here are just eleven great things to do with children in Mayo North that will stay long in the minds of adults and children long after you’ve left this beautiful area. And there are some great ideas for locals here too!

1. Explore the trails in Belleek Forest Park

Belleek Woods Ballina, Mayo, Ireland. Photo: Paul Doran

Belleek Woods, or Belleek Forest Park is one of the largest urban woodland areas in Europe. Belleek Woods is a children’s paradise with thousands of trees to climb, ducks to feed (but be sure to not feed them bread!), trails to explore and rare red squirrels to spot.

Marvel at the ornate monuments and race up and down the hills, or cycle the track by the river and peek through the trees at the magnificent Belleek Castle – just like Hogwarts!


2. Surf the best waves in nearby Enniscrone with 7th Wave Surf School

7th Wave Surf School Enniscrone Surf Camp

This friendly, family-run school caters for all ages and abilities and lets children and adults alike enjoy a relaxed and fun atmosphere in a great learning location. – Enniscrone’s gentle waves make it perfect for beginners and it’s just a short 15 minute drive from Ballina.

All instructors are fully ISA qualified, full insurance is provided and all equipment is included.

Children can take part in a surf camp, take individual lessons, or the family can just hire gear and give it a go yourselves!


3. Saddle up for a pony trek at Iceford Stables

Make memories on horseback!

Iceford Stables, between Ballina and Enniscrone offers lessons, treks, parties and pony camps for riders of all ages and experience.

For people with additional needs: Shore Farm Pony Therapy overlooks Killala Bay & caters specifically for people with additional needs who enjoy horse riding.


4. SUP ( Stand Up Paddle) your way up the River Moy

girl on stand-up paddleboard in Ballina Co. Mayo taken from above
Photo: Harbour SUP

… or view majestic Enniscrone by sea with Harbour Sup N Sail. 

Mikee and his team offer group or individual SUP sessions from Enniscrone Pier and the Quay Ballina, and can cater for groups of up to 24  in a single session. Beginners welcome!

All instructors are ASI qualified and hold water rescue, first aid and child protection in sport certification.  HSS is a fully insured accredited school.

Mikee and team also run regular SUP camps.


5. Find your inner Harry Potter with falconry at Mount Falcon Estate

Children will love getting up close and personal with these magnificent birds of prey – barn owls, snowy owls, harris hawks, peregrine falcons – at Mount Falcon Estate, with the help of the resident Falconers.

Families can also take a Hawk Walk  through the magical woodlands Estate and see a Harris hawk in its natural environment.


6. Hire a bike and explore!

Mayo North is blessed with beautiful coastline and quiet roads, perfect for taking an adventure on two-wheels. Why not take in one of our cycling trails with the family?

Or cycle the scenic, off-road Monasteries of the Moy Greenway from Ballina to Killala. Guides available. Grown-ups can even hire an electric bike from Rachel’s Irish Adventures, which will enable you to cover much more ground with great comfort!


7. Take a swing for par at Enniscrone Pitch & Putt

Set in the natural valley of the Bellawaddy River, overlooking stunning Enniscrone Beach, the Enniscrone Pitch & Putt course has gained the reputation of being one of the very best in Ireland.

All ages are welcome, no booking necessary and everything is provided. Special group rates available.


8. Hit the swings and roundabouts at one of our fabulous playgrounds

Recently included as one of the best playgrounds in Ireland by the Irish Times. the playground at lovely Tom Ruane Park, Ballina is fully accessible and has some great equipment to test their physical limits. There are tennis and basketball courts alongside, and plenty of of parking.  The park is located on the Sligo Road, close to St. Muredach’s College. Admission is free.

Enniscrone Playground and Crazy Golf, newly upgraded, offers secure fun for children of all ages, along with crazy golf and go-carting on-site. There is a small admission fee.


9. Explore the water by kayak …

… with David in Paddle and Pedal. Kayaking is a great, fun way of seeing the area and is suitable for children. It’s a great family activity. With your experienced instructor and guide, you will be sure to have an amazing time on the water!  Tours can be tailored to suit each group or individual as well as the weather and tides.

David also runs regular children’s camps.


10. Family foraging is fun!

New_foraging_tour

Denis at Wild Atlantic Cultural Tours runs regular foraging tours from Killala, Co. Mayo.

It’s a perfect family staycation activity, with miles of beaches to explore, fish to be spotted in clear crystal pools, sea plans to learn about, flora and fauna to marvel at and cockles and mussels to be collected for dinner!

Suitable for all ages – bring wellies and suitable outdoor clothing.


11. Make a splash at Waterpoint Aqua Park, Enniscrone

Facilities at Waterpoint include a 65-metre flume water slide and a children’s pool, all of which make it the ideal fun destination for adults and children alike on a rainy day.

Waterpoint also includes:

  • Health suite comprising of a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room
  • State of the art gym and refreshment area
  • Professional Personal Trainers.
  • Comprehensive timetable of fitness classes
  • Water Inflatable for children and parties
  • new play area and climbing wall perfect for parties!

*Note 13th July 2020: not yet re-opened, please call +35396 36999 before travelling


12. Go wild in Ballina’s Tumble Jungle

… Ireland’s largest indoor play centre. Perfect for rainy days! This 13,500sq ft. play centre was designed specifically with both children and parents in mind, and contains a heap of safe amusements for little ones.

Parents can enjoy a relaxing cuppa in the café overlooking the play area. Tumble Jungle is also an ideal and safe location for children with special needs, with its soft play areas and brightly coloured environment. All Covid-19 safety standards in place.