You might find that some of your family are not interested in kayaking and it makes life easier if they can enjoy themselves while the paddlers go off and do their thing. Alternatively, make a holiday out of it and arrive with time to spare, make the most of your stay in the South East and take a few days to do a little bit more. Everything mentioned below is in within five or ten minutes drive from the beaches we paddle from.
Families with young children (approximate ages 0 – 7 years)
- Go to the beach: On a sunny day the kids can play on the beaches we paddle from. Kilfarrasy, Garrarus, Kilmurrin and Tramore all offer wonderful beaches where kids can swim, play and splash around. If the weather is going to be fine bring a picnic (otherwise you’ll have to go in to Tramore for supplies) and the buckets and spades. Those with an adventurous streak and a net can catch crabs or little fish in the rock pools. Pack a beach umbrella, sun cream, sun hats and beach shoes because when it’s hot it’s really hot and there are no trees under which to shade (the beach umbrella also comes in handy when it’s raining!).
- Explore Ballyscanlon Woods: This is a lovely place to go on a sunny, windy or overcast day if you and the kids like exploring. It is not suitable for the very young as the terrain needs a little bit of coordination with roots and hills and hollows and buggies are a hazard and a hindrance there. However, if your family is aged three and upwards and likes exploring and being in a jungle of bracken and trees then this can be a place of great adventure and also – but don’t tell anyone –a great place for blackberries in August and September. While there is no entry fee there is a car park on what is locally known as the “Low Road” as you head away from Fenor and towards Waterford on the RXXX. Hide away all your valuables in the boot of the car though as the car park is hidden from the road and you’ll be out of sight of the car in minutes.
- Visit Fenor Bog: Fenor has a quiet and beautiful treasure in the form of Fenor Bog which is a simple walkway through a small piece of bog land just adjacent to the village church. There is no entry fee and you can park in the church car park and spend as long as you like wandering through the bog. Brisk walkers will take ten minutes to do the circuit but our family tends to take about an hour each visit lying down on the walkway to look for tadpoles or frogs, dragon flies, lizards (if you are lucky and quiet enough), standing on the carved stones and singing songs and then taking turns to jump off the various things there that can be jumped off! You can extend your visit with a walk up to the church which is beautiful on any given day. Suitable for buggies but not for wheelchairs.
- Take time out in Tramore Public Library: If it is raining and you are looking for something to do that’s free of charge you could always go to the public library in Tramore which has a lovely upstairs section for children complete with computers which can be booked to use during your visit. You can easily spend an hour there reading stories and relaxing on the bean bags and sofas and the kids can do bit of colouring if they feel like it. It’s also a good place to find out what’s going on in terms of local entertainments and activities. While you are there have a quick look at the Entertainment section of the Munster Express which will also advise you of what’s going on in the region.
- Visit Copper Coast Mini Farm: Copper Coast Mini Farm is only up the road from Garrarus and Kilfarrasy beaches in the village of Fenor. The mini farm has farm animals with a few exotic exceptions and also birds and bunnies that the kids can look at up close. There’s a café there too and toy tractors that the kids can tear around on and a small farm museum in a barn which means that there are places to get out of the rain if it arrives. The entry fee is reasonable and the place is always full of local kids which means that they must be doing something right!
Families with slightly older children (approximate ages 5 – 16 years)
- Swim in Splash World Swimming Pool and Gym: Tramore offers one of the best equipped and designed family swimming pools in the South East. From the family changing rooms to the baby pool complete with swan slide and friendly crocodile to the wave machine and big tunnel slides for bigger children Splash World has it all on offer for water babies and children. Adults can join in and have rest in the jacuzzi or simply watch from the family viewing area. The super fit and healthy can go to the gym and spy down on the kids from the running machine…try to remember that you’re supposed to be on holidays!
- Play in Run Amok: Run Amuck is a purpose built indoor children's activity centre with play facilities and a café. The centre has a 3-level main play frame for 5-12 year olds, a toddler area for 2-5 year olds and a baby area. It is open every day during the summer and once in you and the kids can stay for up to 2 hours.
- Explore Pirate Cove: If it’s raining you could take the kids to Pirate Cove which is an indoor activity centre in Tramore. It’s noisy and there are always kids having a brilliant time roaring and shouting and milling about– it’s what you would expect from these things – not a place to go to with a headache but your kids will love it if they love milling about in a piratey fashion!
- Visit Tramore Fun Fair: The fun fair in Tramore is all that you would imagine it would be. There are lots of rides for younger kids and ice creams and noise and junk to buy and eat. It’s a great treat and exciting day for the kids if you don’t get to visit to such places often. It is well worth a visit before having a bag of chips in Dooley’s and then taking a walk up Tramore beach. Finish up with an ice-cream on the way back from the cafés up by the T-Bay Surf School. Treat yourself and take your time and watch the world (and a few stray dogs) go by.
- Cycle with Tramore Bike Tours: If you are feeling energetic you can book a bike tour in and around Tramore with Tramore Bike Tours. Tours cater for the moderately fit and experienced cyclist and all equipment is provided, all you need is a little bit of energy in the legs!
- Go Surfing: If it’s too windy to kayak you can go surfing and there are a number of surf operators to chose from in Tramore including T-Bay Surf School, Oceanic Manoeuvres and Freedom. All offer family rates and are tried and tested operators in offering a quality and safe experience when it comes to surfing.
- Pony Trek with Lake Tour Stables: If you have a pony fanatic in the family you could bring her (it’s usually a her!) to Lake Tour Stables which offers pony treks for families.
- Play Golf: Tramore Golf Club is an 18 hole course with shop and restaurant set in the beautiful outskirts of Tramore town and well worth a visit if golf is your thing.
Shopping & Leisure
- Shopping for clothes: Ladies can take a trip to Red Lane in Queen Street in Tramore which is a small boutique which stocks affordable labels such as Desigual, Great Plains, Fire Trap and French Connection. Selling both ladies and children’s fashion if you’re a bit of a fashionista you’ll happily spend an hour browsing and trying on. After an exhausting hour of this you’ll need to go across the road to the Vee Bistro and have a latte and a bun to replenish your energy!
- Shopping for food: Tramore has a Supervalu, a Tesco and a Lidl for all your grocery needs and, if you are self-catering, it’s handy to know that there’s a new cake shop called Caca Millis and that Pat Hartley’s fishmongers sells fabulously fresh fish caught the same day.
- Shopping for the kids: Cahill’s is a fabulous shop that sells everything from holy statues to High School Musical handbags. If its not in Cahill’s then you don’t need it!
- Be beautiful: Get your hair cut in Colm Morrissey’s and upstairs Edel will make you even more beautiful - not that this is necessary – you’re perfect as you are!
- Nightlife: Tramore, like any town in Ireland hosts a wealth of bars and restaurants with many offering food, drink and music. Obviously to get an authentic and complete experience of Tramore you should try them all! Start in the Raglan Road for a bit of Irishy kitsch.