Read on for some tips from our recent visit to Tayto Park in Co Meath.
My kids consider a trip to Tayto park the ultimate day out & always ask me can they go there. When they were 4 & 5, we had an annual pass and used it lots. We had so many great days out there, it was hard not renewing the pass. Why didn’t I? because they started to want wristbands every-time we went and it stopped being a cheap day out. When they were younger, we used to see the animals and maybe go on 1 or 2 rides, that changed after that ‘one time’ when I bought wristbands….. So the pass expired and we took a break.
We went last week. Our first visit in 2 years. The excitement was huge and I wanted to make the most of our day out. We were getting wristbands and going on as many rides as we could. Value for money and all that jazz. The entry fee this year is €17.50 and the same again for wristbands. €35 pp is a lot but if you go prepared you really can have the most amazing day.
Are they worth the money? I’d say yes. You take the hit at the door and then forget about the cost. You can pay to go on rides using tokens 1 token costs €1, but plenty of the rides cost 3 tokens or more, so you would fly through money fast.
I think if I was visiting with young kids (say all 5 ish or under), I wouldn’t bother with the wristbands. They could easily be entertained with walking around the seeing the animals, the crisp factory and the playgrounds. I did a survey on instagram and two thirds of people said they wouldn’t bother with wristbands for smallies.
However, if the ages are mixed and you just have one kid who is 4 or 5 (not a young toddler), with the rest being older, I’d recommend wristbands for everyone. There is a 5D cinema and a circus show that everyone would enjoy – I think they are 4 or 5 tokens each. There are also a few nice rides in the kiddy area that require tokens. The carousel (1.1m minimum height), is 3 tokens as far as I recall so the amount of money you spend on tokens would rack up fast.
I do think it’s a shame that Tayto Park don’t have a slightly cheaper wristband for younger kids, ones that can’t go on the bigger rides.
- Go early. We went for 9.30am as the park is nice and quiet for the first while
- Check the height of your kids and the height restrictions on the Tayto Park website. A lot of rides have a 1.1m or 1.2m min height restriction. If your kids is below either of these, plant the seed that they won’t be allowed on all rides.
- Avoid flip flops and opt for runners. I wore flip flops and they were a pain doing some of the rides. I have to go barefoot! It’s especially important for the kids as they may want to do the climbing wall or sky walk.
- Midweek will be quieter than weekends or Bank Holidays. I know that’s kinda obvious but may as well mention it. We went on a Tuesday and it was really pleasant, I’d say the longest queue was 20 mins but most of the time it was 5 mins or less.
- Bring lots of treats and drinks. I also brought a picnic. My bag was heavy but I took it for the team (and for my wallet)
- Throw in some extra sweets or treats to keep the energy levels up. It can be a long day!
- Pack a change of clothes and a towel to leave in the car. There are areas where they can run through water and you might need the dry clothes later! The Viking Voyage (min height 1.1m), involves a lot of water too….
- Walking around and seeing the animals is a nice break from the rides. There are plenty of unusual animals to see and there is normally free face paining too.
- The crisp factory tour is also enjoyable. Not majorly exciting but kids like to see the crisp production. The factory operates Mon-Fri so it’s best to do the tour if you are there during the week.
- You will see people carrying around fairground style toys at Tayto Park. There are a few stands that you can pay extra for to try win a prize. Of course my kids wanted to have a go. I made a deal with them, they could have a go at the end of the day – I didn’t fancy carrying around a massive ball or cuddly toy. Some stands guarantee a prize so that also avoids a melt down.
- If you book tickets online you get a small discount, emphaiss on small. €2 pp but you need to book 48 hours in advance of your visit. I learnt this 12 hours before our visit! I just bought tickets at the reception
How we spent our day at Tayto Park:
- My kids are 7 & 8, we headed to the Eagles Nest Adventure Zone (aka kiddy area) first and did some stuff there to keep the younger one happy. When we walked into that area it was empty, my kids did the climbing wall (min age 3), straight away and there was the added bonus of no queue.
- The Nissan driving school (min height 1.1m) is also well worth a visit early in the day. We went over there after the climbing wall. It wasn’t there on our last visit. The kids got to drive around in little cars, go around roundabouts and junctions. Before they were allowed in the cars, they watched a driving video explaining some basic rules. They went in one ear and out the other, but it was fun. A staff member told us that wait times can be 40 mins for this later in the day – so I’m glad we went over early. My kids had three goes back to back as there were no other kids waiting.
- We had heard that the newish ride the Viking Voyage (min height 1.1m) is good fun and can get busy, so we headed there after a quick play in the playground and by quick I mean 20 mins. You will have to drag your kids away from it….
- The Viking Voyage is really enjoyable but you will probably get wet and not just a few splashes of water! You can buy a poncho for €2 and it’s €2 well spent. I hated forking out extra for it, but was so glad I did. We ended up on this ride 3 times over the course of the day, as we all enjoyed it.
- We went to Tayto Park with a gang of friends and I’d really recommend this. It means different groups can split up and do rides that appeal to them. There is a lot in the adult section, that younger kids either can’t or won’t want to do. My daughter wouldn’t try any of the rides there, even though she was old enough, so she went off with some friends to the kiddy area again. The older kids had such fun going on the more grown up rides all day and felt all grown up.
- The rollercoaster deserves a mention! A lot of kids love it and show no fear. I was terrified but did it and when I say terrified, I mean it. There was no queue the day we went, so the kids went on it numerous times.
- The 5D cinema was our surprise hit. It’s a short movie but gets a good reaction. Smallies and adults enjoyed it
- We didn’t make it to the circus show. I had wanted to but we ran out of time. Next year eh.
I hope that the tips and summary are helpful. We had such a great day but we were wrecked after it. That said, we stayed ’til it closed at 7pm……