Our Top 5 Playgrounds in Galway
Poster: Cecilia Broomé Sullivan
I could swear that if I asked my kids on any given day, at any given time, in any given weather, what they would like to do or where they would like to spend the day that the answer would always be the same: The Playground.
As a parent I can see the attraction for them and I know that they are getting some great exercise, it’s also a great alternative to the beach on the colder days of our Irish Summer.
Exploring a new playground is a great treat for any kids, so while in Galway, why not try one or two of our favourites?
This playground is only a five minute walk from The Galway Bay Hotel, along the famous Salthill Promenade and it is always full of life.
The bigger kids will enjoy the “crazy swing”. It’s like a seesaw in the fact it goes up and down, but it also spins around and around. Hold on to your little ones on this, and try not to get dizzy watching. Those looking for a more thrilling experience can be spun by friends or parents which only adds to the laughter of the kids.
As well as that there is a great big climbing bridge here. Children aged 5 and over for this one. Also needed, a child’s curiosity and bravery to reach the top.
Moycullen Village Playground
This playground has a great “baby” section (0-3 years) with swings, rocking horses and a house structure featuring a slide. There’s loads for the bigger kids as well including a zip wire, swings and balance walks.
What makes this playground so special is the enormous spider web structure in the middle of the park. There are lots of different routes to the top where you squeeze through a hole to the very top. What goes up must come down, and down they come a lot faster than they went up, as at the very top is the rewarding welcome of a slide back down to earth.
Depending on their climbing experience, a 4 year old would need a bit of assistance on this one, while a 5 year old or older can master it themselves. This is a great place to use strength and coordination and a chance for the children to use some thought to work out the best route to victory! I have seen many a proud Spiderman on the top.
Barna Woods/Cappagh Park
There are two entrances to this park. If you park on the coast road side (as opposed to Cappagh Road), you will enter through a magical forest. The trees are amazing here in any season and create a huge playground in their own right!
Even small feet, will make it through the woods in about 15 to 20 minutes. Follow the cycle path to the playground where your kids will find lot’s of climbing opportunities.
The highlight of this playground is Galway’s longest slide! It has recently been refitted with new steps up the hill, so there is no stopping the little ones now. This slide is for over 5’s only… and a few brave parents.
Barna Village Playground
Only a few months old, this playground is amazing. It is designed around a ship wreck with the stern and rudder on one end, and the watch tower and mast in the other end of the park.
I have two pirates who absolutely LOVE this playground and insist on bringing their wooden swords when we go. My little one climbs up to the rudder, sings his pirate song, and steers the ship through the imaginary waves. The older one is climbing, jumping and hanging up side down in all the climbing structures. Lot’s of opportunity for creative play here!
This playground is a little bit off the beaten path, but is a great stop on your journey out west. As opposed to the newest playground in Barna, this is the oldest playground on our top 5 list – and my personal favourite.
The setting is stunning, and it usually gets very warm as the park is sheltered.
On a little hill, you will find steps to a wide slide. While the slide itself mightn’t be too exciting, it’s how you get there that’s the challenge: over the stones, around the tall trees, up the steep sides or through the secret tunnel!
Bring a football or a few hurley’s and a sliotar along as this has got to be the most beautiful pitch in Galway.
I hope you will enjoy our favourite spots, and should the sun come out, you are literary five minutes away from lots of amazing beaches along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Cecilia Broomé Sullivan is the Housekeeping Manager at Galway Bay Hotel.