Tempting the teens

Sat, May 12, 2012, 01:00

1. NO HARD STATION

The Clifden Station House hotel in Clifden, Co Galway, is great for older kids simply because there’s so much going on. It has its own theatre, which doubles as a music venue and cinema. There are shops, a museum and cafe and, if you are keeping costs down, self-catering apartments are from €770 a week. Because it’s right in the town, you can let them wander without worrying, too. Tel: 095-21699, clifdenstationhouse.com

2. KELLY’S HIGH ON AMENITIES

Kelly’s Hotel in Rosslare, Co Wexford, hasn’t survived more than a century without knowing how to look after kids of all ages. These days that means computer games, crazy golf, games room and indoor tennis courts, not to mention an off-site activity list including paintballing, kite-surfing, laser tagging and quad biking. A five-day stay, all-in, costs €638 per adult in June, with under-14s getting a 25 per cent discount. Tel: 053-913 2114, kellys.ie

3. MOUNTAINS OF THINGS TO DO

Delphi Mountain Resort in Co Mayo is just about the perfect place for older kids, the kind who get endless mirth watching their parents struggle to get into safety harnesses, or overturning kayaks while trying to get in. Two-night BB action adventure breaks, including a full day of outdoor activities, start from €159 per person sharing. Or just leave the kids to it while you rest up in the spa (see page 38). Tel: 095-42223, delphimountainresort.com

4. LOG IN FOR HI-JINKS

For a great self-catering option, check out the Burke family’s log cabins in Knockvicar, near Boyle, Co Roscommon, one of which is so cute you’d expect to find Hansel and Gretel inside. Situated on the shores of Lough Key you have all the high-wire hi-jinks of the forest park next door, plus the indoor brain buster, the Bodaborg, if the weather acts up. Tel: 086-817 0996, unabhan.net

5. SAIL AWAY IN WICKLOW

If it’s watery fun you’re after, Avon Rí on the shores of Blessington Lakes runs sailing camps all summer from €200 and you can get self-catering accommodation on site from €450 a week, including access to the pool and leisure facilities. Good for kids of all ages, it’s full of teens in summer, all of them moving with purpose from one activity to the next. Perfect. Tel: 045-900 670, avonri.com

6. WALK ON WATER AT TRABOLGAN

New at Trabolgan this year are Water Walkerz, giant inflatable balls that will have them walking on water like you always thought they could. It also has a new orienteering course using GPS coordinates, and that’s on top of older attractions such as the wave pool and the combat laser course. A three-night stay, in accommodation sleeping five, costs €450 in June.

Tel: 021-466 1551, trabolgan.com

7. FUN OF THE FAIR IN KILLARNEY

Killarney has something for all ages and when the summer funfair is in town, there are enough thrills and spills to keep even the sniffiest teen engaged. The Brehon Hotel has good family packages, including a three-night break for two adults and two under-15s, taking in Muckross Traditional Farms and Crag Caves, plus the run of the leisure centre next door, from €198 a night. Tel: 064-663 0700, thebrehon.com

8. GO LARGE IN LOUTH

There’s more family fun at Carlingford Adventure Centre, where a range of outdoor activities is available, from pier jumping and kayaking to laser combat and high ropes courses. A five-night break at a choice of holiday homes from Carlingford Accommodation, comes in at around €689 in high summer for a family of four. Tel: 042-937 3100, carlingfordadventure.com

9. CULTURE CUBS

City breaks are great for teens, with scope to slip culture into their shopping sprees just as you used to hide veggies in their spag bol. Set the tone with an Irish Landmark Trust heritage property. Merrion Mews overlooks the stables where the Garda mounted unit rest horses while No 25 Eustace St is in the thick of things in Temple Bar. Short breaks from €800.

Tel: 01-670 4733, irishlandmark.com

9. SPRINGS BREAK IN WEXFORD

Amber Springs in Gorey has a large, airy games room with pool tables, air hockey and table tennis, evening movies and discos, a giant outdoor chess set and mini-zoo. The pool facilities are good and it’s just a zip-wire away from Gravity outdoor adventure centre nearby. Three nights’ BB and one dinner costs €219 per adult sharing in July, with teens €20 extra per night. Tel: 053-948 4000, amberspringshotel.ie

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