Unforgettable Family Fun in Roscommon this Christmas 2023

As the Christmas season draws near, it’s the perfect time to plan your family’s festive getaway. This year, consider making your Christmas extra special by visiting Roscommon. With its charming atmosphere, delightful activities, and heart-warming traditions, Roscommon promises an unforgettable experience for you and your loved ones. Let’s delve into the festive fun that awaits you in Roscommon this Christmas!

Enchanted Lights and Performances at Loughnaneane Park

Loughnaneane Park is set to dazzle with a captivating display of lights and Christmas characters, complemented by special performances from the renowned Enchanted Croí Theatre. Here, you can explore a picturesque pond surrounded by a sculpture trail that offers breathtaking views of the historic landscape. The park will undergo a magical transformation into a mesmerising winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights and enchanting Christmas scenes. Don’t miss the two nightly performances of the theatre production “The Night the Toys Sparkled” by Enchanted Croí Theatre. The park welcomes visitors from 5pm to 7.30pm on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December.  The two live performances take place at 5.30pm and 6.30pm each evening.

Festive Delights at Roscommon Christmas Markets

The heart of the Roscommon Christmas Festival (9th-10th December) beats in Roscommon Town Square, where over 40 market stalls will showcase a delightful array of goods and products. From beautifully crafted items to locally sourced produce and tempting festive treats, there’s something to satisfy every visitor’s holiday cravings.

Roscommon Christmas Festival

Local Attractions Transformed for the Holidays

Step into the transformed Strokestown House and embark on a magical festive adventure through the Palladian Mansion. The meticulously decorated mansion sets the stage for a truly immersive experience, celebrating the wonder and joy of Christmas. Let Strokestown House ignite your imagination and create cherished memories for you and your family, on selected dates from Saturday, 25th November. Prepare for a unique and unforgettable journey as Arigna Mining Experience is transformed into a festive wonderland from Saturday, 2nd December. Santa’s visit to the mining experience provides an exciting and fun-filled event for the whole family. Immerse yourself in the joyful atmosphere as you make lasting memories underground.

 

Roscommon Christmas

Roscommon offers a delightful array of festive experiences that are perfect for families seeking to create lasting memories during the holiday season. From enchanting light displays and captivating performances to immersive experiences at local attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Embrace the magic of Christmas in Roscommon and make this holiday season one to remember. Start planning your visit today and prepare to be enchanted by the warmth and joy of the holidays in this charming destination.

Embracing the Magic of Roscommon: Top 5 Festive Activities and Local Attractions for 2023

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting holiday spirit of Roscommon? This year, the county is set to captivate visitors of all ages with a lineup of festive activities and heartwarming traditions that promise an unforgettable experience. Join us as we delve into the top five festive activities and local attractions that await you in Roscommon this holiday season!

1. Enchanting Light Displays at Loughnaneane Park

Step into a mesmerizing winter wonderland at Loughnaneane Park on 9th and 10th December, where a captivating display of lights and Christmas characters, accompanied by special performances from the acclaimed Enchanted Croí Theatre, will transport you to a magical realm. The park will be transformed into a space adorned with twinkling lights and enchanting Christmas scenes, creating an ambiance that is sure to spark joy and wonder.

2. Explore the Christmas Markets in Roscommon Town Square

Roscommon Christmas Festival

The heart of the Roscommon Christmas Festival (9th – 10th December) beats in Roscommon Town Square, where over 40 market stalls will showcase a delightful array of goods and products. From beautifully crafted items to locally sourced produce and tempting festive treats, there’s something to satisfy every visitor’s desires. The market exudes a festive atmosphere, making it the perfect place to find unique gifts and immerse yourself in the holiday cheer.

3. Indulge in Festive Treats and Culinary Delights

Chef Sham

Savour the flavours of the season as you indulge in a wide array of festive treats and culinary delights. Roscommon’s local restaurants, cafes, and bakeries are ready to delight your taste buds with their seasonal offerings. Whether it’s a steaming cup of mulled wine, artisanal chocolates, or a hearty Christmas dinner, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to experience the best of holiday dining in Roscommon.

4. Santa’s Grotto and Festive Workshops at Strokestown Park

Experience the magic of Christmas at Strokestown Park, where Santa’s Grotto awaits young visitors with its enchanting displays and joyful atmosphere. Children can meet Santa Claus himself and take part in festive workshops, where they can create their own holiday crafts and decorations to take home as cherished mementos. It’s a magical experience that will leave the whole family with treasured memories of the holiday season.

5. Winter Walks and Outdoor Adventures

Embrace the beauty of the season with invigorating winter walks and outdoor adventures in the picturesque surroundings of Roscommon. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll through woodland trails, a brisk hike along the shores of Lough Key, or a family-friendly activity at the Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, there are endless opportunities to reconnect with nature and create lasting holiday memories.

With these top five festive activities and local attractions, Roscommon is poised to offer a memorable experience filled with magic, warmth, and joy for visitors seeking to celebrate the festive season in a truly special way.

Whether you’re exploring enchanting light displays, savouring delicious holiday treats, or immersing yourself in the spirit of Christmas at Santa’s Grotto, Roscommon invites you to embrace the magic of the holidays in a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere.

Explore the outdoors in Roscommon

Visit Roscommon has launched its new look Roscommon Walks & Cycleways Booklet for Autumn 2023, packed with information and maps for 25 trails across the county. 

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Going Underground

There’s more to Roscommon that meets the eye and we’ve got a whole host of underground attractions you’d never suspect. Caves, mines and tunnels – who knew. Here’s a whirlwind tour of going underground in Roscommon.

Start by delving deep into a real coal mine on a tour led by a real former miner bringing history to life right where it happened. Arigna Mining Experience in north Roscommon is a rare chance to explore one of Ireland’s coal mines. Put on your hard hat and wrap up warm to descend into the dark, damp underworld. You’ll get a remarkable glimpse of the cramped conditions miners worked in to extract the precious coal on the 45 minute tour. You’ll find a treasure trove of mining equipment, documents, photographs and videos in the visitor centre exploring 400 years of mining history. Arigna is suitable for all ages and an entertaining day out for adults and children alike.

Back in the real world, the Miners Way Historical Trail beginning and ending at Arigna is a way marked 118km figure-of-eight walking route. The trail passes three lovely lakes including Lough Key and scenic Lough Key Forest Park near Boyle where a different underground experience awaits.

The forest park was originally a demesne called Rockingham with one of the finest houses in Ireland owned by the King family and designed by famous architect John Nash. Unfortunately, an accidental fire destroyed it in the 1950s. Today you can rediscover Rockingham in the Rockingham Remembered Tour, an engaging self-guided tour which includes an unusual underground element. You’ll see two 19th century servants’ tunnels which survived the blaze. They were built so the gentry wouldn’t see the servants carrying supplies bringing supplies to the house from the lake or going to the stables. These 300m long barrel-vaulted underground passageways were lit by lightwells and have mainly flagstone floors.

During Rockingham Remembered you’ll also go to the top of the refurbished 5-storey Moylurg viewing tower and along a contemporary Tree Canopy Walk, the first of its kind in Ireland and the same length as the servants’ tunnels at 300m. It gently rises 9m above the woodland floor and gives wonderful panoramic birds’ eye views of the treetops, the park, the shimmering island studded lake and McDermott’s Castle. Rockingham Remembered uses an audio guide and lasts around 45 minutes.

 

Another servants’ tunnel can be found at the newly opened National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park House whcih presents local and national famine history in a new light. The tour will soon include the house itself, currently being refurbished, and it also has a servants’ tunnel created for the same purpose as those at Rockingham though shorter in length. You won’t be able to walk through this tunnel but you’ll hear all about it when on the tour. The National Famine Way starts in front of Strokestown Park House. It’s a 165km way marked walking trail which could be called a trail of tears. It follows the route of forced emigration from Strokestown to the Dublin docklands which 1490 tenant farmers and their families walked in Black ’47. A free downloadable app tells their stories at each of around 30 bronze cast children’s shoes marking the way. Most of it is off road along the Royal Canal.

Down the N5 in Tulsk the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre is a journey back to a time before the pyramids, to the world of Queen Medb and the epic tale of the Táin Bó Cuailnge. Nearby is a mystical cave called Oweynagat (Cave of the Cats), known as “Gate to Hell” and the entrance to the Otherworld. It is part of the complex of about 50 archaeological monuments making up the ancient pre-Christian royal site of Cruachán. The impressive underground construction includes two ogham stones incorporated as lintel stones in the roof. It is a protected National Monument which is accessible and open to the public but is not part of an official tour.

So now you know there really is a lot more to Roscommon than you think. It’s only 90 minutes from either coast and well worth the trip. Take a peek at what’s beneath your feet on your next visit.

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A perfect Staycation in County Roscommon

A very warm welcome back!

Roscommon is delighted to be able to welcome back visitors after this very challenging time. We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, who are exploring this beautiful county for the first time.

Staycation is certainly the buzzword of the season and we are spoilt for choice here in Ireland, with so many wonderful places to visit. County Roscommon may not be the first place that springs to mind when planning an Irish Staycation, but that is one of the reasons this beautiful county is so special.

There is space for you to breath here in Roscommon, as you explore the spectacular landscapes, the castles that tell stories of ancient kings and the tracks and trails that take you along the banks of the mighty River Shannon and through ancient woodlands.

Whether you are looking for a romantic weekend break or a holiday that all the family will love, Roscommon is a true getaway that gives you the chance to really relax and recharge the batteries.

Magnificent unspoilt Landscapes

The West of Ireland is well known for stunning, unspoilt landscapes. With the River Suck to the west and a shoreline of 140km of the mighty River Shannon to the east, Roscommon invites visitors to meander through inspiring countryside at their own pace.

Not only a tranquil setting for boating holidays, the area also has some of the best Trout and Pike fishing lakes and rivers in the region, including Lough Ree, River Suck, Lough O’Flynn, Kilglass Lakes, River Lung and the Boyle River.

Take a glimpse of ages past

Visitor centres, museums and stately homes tell the changing story of Roscommon throughout history.

The legendary Warrior Queen of Connacht, Queen Maeve (Medb) is said to have resided at Rathcroghan (one of the four major Royal sites of Ireland). The archaeological sites in Tulsk date back to 4500 BC and a visit to the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre gives you an insight to this fascinating period of Irish history, bringing these myths and secrets of ancient Ireland to life.

The 12th Century Cistercian Monastery of Boyle Abbey; Roscommon Castle (an amazing example of a 13th Century Norman Castle); Roscommon Abbey and Rindoon and St. John’s Castle invite visitors to enjoy a quiet moment and reflect on past times.

One very unique visitor attraction in Roscommon is the Arigna Mining Experience. The centre pays tribute to coal mining life, which has played a fundamental role in Arigna since the 1700s. Ex-miners guide you through the mines, where visitors discover what it was like to work in some of the narrowest coal seams in the western world.

Roscommon has a number of magnificent period homes that have been restored to their former glory. Strokestown Park House, Gardens & National Famine Museum is a stunning Georgian Palladian mansion, surrounded by glorious walled pleasure gardens. In stark contrast, the house is also home to the National Famine Museum and hosts a number of engaging events, which commemorate the history of the Great Irish Famine.

King House in Boyle was built in 1730 by the powerful landowning dynasty, the King family. The house later became a military barracks for the Irish regiment of the British army, the Connaught Rangers. The house contains absorbing exhibitions of its history, the Boyle Art collection and the Mary McAleese collection. The first President of Ireland, Dr. Douglas Hyde, was born in Castlerea in 1860.

Dr. Hyde’s contribution to modern Ireland is highlighted in the exhibition at the Douglas Hyde Interpretative Centre in Frenchpark.

Read more about all the Heritage attractions in Roscommon.

Explore our Walking & Cycling Trails

Roscommon is a sanctuary of wildflower meadows, native woodlands, peat bogs, turloughs, rivers and lakes. It is the perfect place to escape into nature.

Roscommon’s many miles of walks and trails are a wonderful way to experience the county. There are more than 20 walks of varying length and difficulty to explore amidst the wild beauty of native flora and fauna – and the Green Heartlands and the newly constructed Boyle to Lough Key Cycleway offer you the opportunity to cycle through this breathtaking landscape.

Our Trails section has full details of the lovely walks here to enjoy during your Roscommon Staycation!

Invigorating activities

The Roscommon landscape certainly lends itself to a variety of outdoor activities. Adventure centres like Shannon River Adventure in Rooskey and Baysports Water Sports Centre in Hodson Bay offer many land and water activities for individuals and groups. Baysports is also home to the world’s tallest floating slide – and its thrilling watercourse of interlinking walkways, slides, towers and obstacles covers almost an acre.

Lough Key Forest and Activity Park in Boyle is the complete family adventure. The award-winning park features Ireland’s only tree canopy walk, an outdoor adventure playground, a high wire aerial adventure centre ‘Zip-It’, Woodland Segways and the weather-independent Boda Borg puzzle house. With 800 acres of forest and parkland to explore and the Lakeside Café serving delicious homemade food, it is a fun-filled family day out.

Visit the Activities section to plan your family’s Roscommon Staycation adventure!

Relaxing places to stay

A choice of quality accommodation welcomes visitors to cosy self-catering cottages, camping and glamping sites in stunning locations and grand country hotels with beautiful grounds and gardens.

A set of magnificent medieval gates welcomes guests to the Kilronan Castle resort through an ancient forest, next to a beautiful lough. Arriving at the castle feels like something straight out of a fairytale.

To experience the relaxation of a real country escape you will find the most beautiful self-catering Scandinavian Pine Lodges that adjoin Lough Key, the Boyle River and Clarendon Lough at the Riverhaven eco-tourism development. And Willowbrook Glamping and Hideaways invite guests into the heart of the countryside with camping and glamping on 21 pristine acres.

With welcoming hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs waiting to extend a friendly Roscommon welcome, there is a place to stay to suit everyone.

Visit our Accommodation section for a full list of Fáilte Ireland approved accommodation in Roscommon.

However you choose to explore County Roscommon on your Staycation, you can rest assured that a very warm welcome awaits you.

Things to do this mid-term with the kids in Roscommon!

Next week brings the first of the school breaks for 2020 and whether you want to entertain National or Secondary School aged children, Roscommon has something to offer you.

Roscommon Art Centre

Broadway Razzle/Dazzle Camp – A 2-day singing, dancing jazz hands, etc. workshop.

Thursday 20th – Friday 21st February

Absolute Legends: Lords of Strut

Friday 21st Feb

For further details visit https://roscommonartscentre.ie/

Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

Open from Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm & Sunday 12pm-4pm.

Café on site

For further details visit https://www.rathcroghan.ie/

Lough Key Activity & Forest Park

  • Boda Borg: 7+ Years of Age. You need a minimum of 3 people and a maximum of 5 people per team. Open for February Midterm 17th-21st 10am-5pm & Saturday & Sunday 10am-6pm.
  • Zipit: 7+ Years of Age. Recommended to pre-book to enjoy up to 4 hours of fun. Open for February Midterm 20th-21st,10am-5pm.
  • Electric bike hire – open from Thursday to Sunday (20th to 23rd)
  • Café on site

For further details visit https://loughkey.ie/

Arigna Mining Experience

  • Suitable for all ages – children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Café on site.
  • Prices available on their website.

For further details visit https://www.arignaminingexperience.ie/

Strokestown Park & Irish Famine Museum

  • Suitable for all ages – children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Café on site.
  • Prices available on their website.

For further details visit https://www.strokestownpark.ie/

Roscommon Trails

Don’t forget we have a full listing of all the county walks, where you are free to explore nature. Trails

And don’t forget to check out our listing of all our wonderful accommodation and eateries to complement your visit.