Festive Weekend at The Newpark

festive weekends

A Festive Weekend in Kilkenny

We recently stayed at The Newpark Hotel to enjoyed their festive weekend experience they have on offer for families. The Newpark hotel has always one of Ireland’s best family hotels as it caters brilliantly for families. Once we arrived at The Newpark Hotel we immediately felt relaxed as there is a great welcome for families and there was a real family vibe throughout our stay. It is little wonder that parents rave about this hotel with its family room for all your family needs including bottle making facilities and microwaves, kids playroom but of course the Pièce de résistance is the extensive outside play area. For Christmas this area has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland with Santa’s workshop, face painting, Christmas entertainment and Santa’s grotto.

However, all year round there is a Jurassic park, Jurassic bounce area for everyone to enjoy, playground, fairy walk and plenty of cute animals to meet. We walked around this park a few times over the stay and between the park and Jurassic bounce there was so much to do. Kids of all ages love the bounce area and it is perfect for when the weather is not on your side.


festive weekend

Family Rooms

Children are made feel like VIPs from the moment they arrive with steps at the reception so they can check in at ease. The family rooms are a great size. We had one room with two doubles and one single perfect for two adults staying with two teens and a one child.

Our family room had a view of many of the residents of Jurassic Park causing for fierce excitement and looking out over the parkland.


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Santa's Experience at The Newpark Hotel

You can visit the Santa Experience at The Newpark for the day or stay over night. I must say it was quite special to head away for the night and enjoy the Christmas magic amid the madness of the run up to the festivities. Included in the Santa experience is jurassic bounce, the park, faceprinting, Christmas entertainment, hot chocolate, build a bear in Santa’s workshop and of course a meeting with the man himself in his grotto. Lonán is the only believer in our house and loved the magic of it all and even though the other two are a bit too cool for school they had as much fun!

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Family Activities Nearby

The Newpark’s location is excellent for those wishing to explore Kilkenny. Art It is a walk in art studio in the MacDonagh Shopping Centre just 3 minutes from The Newpark Hotel. This is perfect if you have a little one that loves art to drop in and make something together or leave while you do a bit of shopping!


The famous Reptile Zoo is less than a five minute drive from The Newpark in its new home on Hebron road. We always make a trip here when in Kilkenny as my kids need tire of it. This was the first time we visited them in their new home and I love the new layout as well as the many new residents that have taken up residence. The crocodile enclosures were brilliant and the children had an excellent view of the crocodiles in hibernation. The Reptile zoo staff are also great to answer any questions and there are plenty of meet and greets to learn about the reptiles as well as get up close and personal. 


Reptile Zoo

Of course, no visit Kilkenny would be complete without checking out the castle, even if you just explore the grounds. It is great for a family walk and my children always loved the playground. It is one of the best playgrounds in Ireland and greatest of all  is the gorgeous coffee on site to accompany some amazing views.

Yulefest Christmas Market is magically set with the beautiful backdrop of Kilkenny Castle. Decorated wooden huts, and Santa hat marquees will be serving festive treats and selling creative local crafts right through December.  A beautiful and easy place to meander or to pick up the perfect Christmas gift. Each weekend the market will have family entertainment and feature live music on the Festival Bandstand.

Newark hotel

Family Dining at The Newpark

We dined at Scotts Bar and Brasserie and again there was a lovely family atmosphere here. The food was superb and they serve very good kids options. The desserts were devine so make sure to indulge yourself should you visit. We used the kids club once Lonán had finished eating so we could savour our main course. We dined in the dining room for breakfast and it was a gorgeous buffet with plenty of options for gluten and dairy free diets.


Scotts The Newpark
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Kilkenny is always a great spot for a family getaway no matter what time of the year with so much to do and The Newpark Hotel is the perfect base to explore from so why not check out their midterm breaks here if you cannot enjoy their festive weekends!

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