Open farms offer the ideal way for children to watch farm animals in action, and with many offering pony rides and access to more exotic creatures, a trip to an open farm can be a memorable day out for the whole family. Below you will find details of some of Ireland’s favourite open farms.
Kia Ora Mini Farm
The Kia Ora Mini Farm houses a wide range of native and foreign animals, including guinea pigs, donkeys, deers, pigs, and ponies. Fun amenities include a track for ride-on toy tractors and abundant picnic areas.
Children can ride in a genuine fire engine at no extra cost and sing along as the engine brings them on a pleasant tour of the farm. The farm is fully wheelchair accessible. Santa Claus visits at Christmas, the Easter Bunny appears at Easter, and there are other special events throughout the year.
National Co-Operative Dairy Centre
The National Co-operative Dairy Centre is based in the country’s first co-op creamery. The Creamery has been restored to recreate a Co-operative dairy in Ireland at the turn of the century, featuring working equipment of that time, including a steam engine, boiler, and milk vats.
Barradrum, Streete, Rathowen, Westmeath
Barradrum Farm is a farm-based actvity centre situated on the Westmeath/Longford border, just three miles off the N4. It caters for school tour groups, summer camps, birthday parties, and seasonal family days. Santa and the Easter Bunny make visits. The farm covers around 100 acres, including several acres of forest, where children can build dens and follow trails. There is a shallow stream to paddle in, dam, or bridge. A straw-filled barn is available for play, as well as pedal go-karts and other outdoor play equipment. The farm specializes in ecological Art and Craft workshops, including many curriculum-linked activities, provided by Enchanted Fairy Workshops.
Parsons Green Park and Pet Farm
Parsons Green, the “Jewel of South Tipperary,” offers a very wide range of attractions including garden and river walks, pet field, farm museum, Viking sweat house, pony and trap rides, boat rides, 18-hole crazy golf course, tennis and basketball courts, picnic area, caravan and camping park, and self-catering apartments. Wheelchair friendly, showers and toilets, guided tours on request.
Lusmagh Pet Farm
Lusmagh Pet farm recalls the peace and tranquillity of traditional rural Ireland. Visitors can view the large variety of farm animals and pets on a farm nature walk and then relax with tea and scones in a 250-year-old farmhouse. Lusmagh Pet Farm houses many breeds of ducks, geese, turkeys, pheasants, rabbits, donkeys, and goats. One key recent attraction is a pair of Breeding Ostriches, with other attractions including donkey rides, feeding pet lambs, egg collecting, and seeing chicks hatching in an incubator. Large indoor and outdoor picnic areas are available, and a Tuck Shop sells snacks.
Fairy Fort Farm
Curraghgraigue, Summerhill, Borrisoleigh, Tipperary
This old-fashioned farm is named after the fairy fort on the grounds and caters for
many different types of animal and poultry. A fully working farm,
with goats, donkey, pigs, and other animals, it offers interesting walks around
30 acres of countryside.
Woodville, Sligo, Sligo
Woodville Farm has a special atmosphere that has much to do with its strong connection to old traditions. There is an obvious love for the land and its domestic animals. Farming remains a family affair, with a lifestyle that respects old courtesies and the habit of kindness to strangers.
Glendeer Open Farm
Drum, Athlone, Westmeath
Take a break at Glendeer Open Farm, signposted on the N6, just west of Athlone. Stretch your legs on the nature walk, where old horse drawn farm machinery can be viewed. Feed the pet animals which include deer, Vietnamese pot belly pigs, ponies, donkeys, Jersey cows, sheep, goats, peacocks, and other rare birds and domestic fowl.
The children can play on the slide, swings, seasaws and very popular glider swing, while adults enjoy a refreshing cup of tea or coffee with freshly made sandwiches and homemade cakes. A tuck shop, picnic area and toilet facilities are also provided. Groups catered for with guided tour, by arrangement.