The Killarney playground for children is located within the much larger ‘playground’ known as Killarney National Park. Killarney has numerous attractions and things to do to keep you occupied. If you have young children with you, it can sometimes be a challenge to keep them entertained and stimulated. Depending on the age, inclination and mood of kids, it’s not always a guarantee that the wonders of Killarney National Park will keep them engaged. Sometimes what you need is a good old-fashioned playground to burn off some of that youthful energy.
It is appropriate then that the children’s playground is located within the boundaries of Killarney National Park, close to the town centre. This makes it possible to combine some activities around the park with a visit to the playground as well. The playground is open all year round and has something to interest all young children – from toddlers through to pre-teens.
How to Get There
The Killarney playground is located just off Port Road, close to St. Mary’s Cathedral. On the banks of the Deenagh River that flows into Killarney National Park, the playground is quite close to the Deenagh Lodge at one of the entrance gates to the Park. The distinctive, thatch-roofed lodge is home to a lovely coffee shop which provides refreshments during the summer months. The Deenagh Lodge is the natural start/finish point for many walks, runs or cycles within the Park.
The playground is about a ten minute walk from Killarney town centre. A cycle path and footpath along Mission Road will take you directly there. Within the playground there is plenty of space to safely leave your bike. Roadside parking is available on Port Road directly outside the entrance but this can be quite busy during the summer months or when services are underway in the nearby St Mary’s Cathedral. You can access the playground via one of two bridges – a footbridge on Port Road directly at the playground or over the larger bridge at the gates near the Deenagh Lodge, just a few hundred metres away.
Opened in 2004, Killarney playground is situated in a sheltered corner of the Knockreer area of Killarney National Park. The location offers some welcome shade during the summer months. It can also make the area quite cool during the colder months so bear that in mind. Within the playground, there is a clean and modern building with toilet and changing areas. With almost an acre of ground, the playground has ample room to store buggies, scooters, bicycles and any other accessories you may have. A basic rule is prominent at the entrance: “No unaccompanied children, no unaccompanied adults”. There is a heavy safety gate that automatically closes which helps to inhibit any escape plans of the smaller visitors.
There are plenty of attractions in the playground to keep everyone entertained:
|Basket Swing||Slides||Springer Seats||Spinning Carousel|
|Monkey bars||See-Saw||Benches||Picnic Area|
|Zip Wire||Climbing Frame||Swings||Toy train|
The layout makes it reasonably easy to keep track of where they are at any time. If you do manage to get a few minutes downtime, there are a few benches and seating areas located within the perimeter of the playground. No dogs or other pets are allowed within the playground but there are a number of locations just outside where a dog can be safely tied up while you visit.
Options near Killarney Playground
The nearby Deenagh Lodge is a good place to grab a coffee or a snack before or after your visit. You can use the prospect of a reward/bribe to extract the kids from the playground when it’s time to go. Or depending on your tactics and confidence levels, you could bring a coffee with you to enjoy while the kids play. Please note that the Deenagh Lodge is not open all year round, it typically operates from March through to October.
The adjoining playing fields of Knockreer are a great place to have a run around, kick a ball, catch a frisbee etc. on a nice day. Along the pathway adjacent to the playing fields is a series of outdoor exercise machines. So if you’re feeling energetic, you can fit in a mini workout! A simple stroll along the riverbank on the way to Deenagh Lodge is also a nice way to start or finish your visit to the playground. Keep an eye out for some of the resident wildlife and you might see a heron fishing for his lunch or a dipper bobbing up and down on the rocks. If you are really lucky, you might spot an otter swimming along by the river bank.
If you have a couple of adults in your group, consider a divide and conquer strategy- take turns with the kids and go off for a stroll, walk or a run nearby. As Killarney playground is located within the National Park, a visit to the playground can be combined with a number of walks, cycles or rambles through the Park. In particular, the playground is ideally located near the Circular Walk of Knockreer. The path that runs alongside the playground is also part of the Knockreer Castlerosse Hotel loop route. The Knockreer area is a great place in general to set off towards Ross Castle and other attractions so consider these when visiting the playground.
A Playground within a Playground
The playing fields of Knockreer have always been a home for play. For years it was the unofficial home of many local football teams. It hosted athletic meets and school sports days. Long before running tracks were around, a lap of Knockreer was a good way to measure progress. It is fitting therefore that the Killarney playground ended up nestled in a quiet corner of this natural playground. One of the special things about Killarney National Park is that so much of it is situated right next to and even within the town of Killarney. This makes it accessible to all and transforms parts of the Park into a playground for young and old alike. The Killarney playground at Knockreer is just one more reason to make it your business to have some fun in Killarney National Park.
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