Best Mazes in Ireland for Kids – Will You Find Your Way Out?

Are you looking for a fun family day out in Ireland and do the kids love puzzles? Then this list of the best mazes in Ireland for kids will help you start planning your fun day out. With ideas for both maize mazes in Ireland and hedge mazes, the whole family will soon be getting lost together!

If the sun is shining on a summer’s day, then visiting a maize maze can make for a fun family day out. A maize maze is cut from a large field of living maize to provide a tourist attraction and can be enjoyed between the months of July to September during maize season, after which time the maize is typically cut to provide animal feed.

Maize mazes can either be a farmer’s field or part of a larger tourist attraction such as a farm park, country park, or leisure park. Often you will find other activities at the same location and visitor facilities, making it a great place to visit with kids for a day out.

Hedge mazes are outdoor mazes or labyrinths made from vertical walls of hedge plants. These are typically formed from evergreen hedge plants, meaning they can be enjoyed all year round.

So, if you have been wondering “is there a maize maze near me?” or even “is there a hedge maze near me?”, then this list should answer those questions for you.

A picture of a young boy in dark shorts and a yellow t-shirt walking through a maize maze

Tips for visiting mazes with kids

  • Before visiting, contact the maze location by phone, website, or on their Facebook page to ensure they are open. This will avoid disappointment.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing suitable footwear. Good walking shoes should be the minimum and if there has been rain, it is worth making sure your shoes are waterproof or that you bring a spare pair for everyone to change into afterward.
  • Make sure you have layers in case the weather turns hot/cold as you puzzle your way out of the maze.
  • Before entering the maze make sure to grab the map if there is one (to help you in case kids are starting to get bored or frustrated).
  • Also, make sure everyone visits the bathroom before entering the maze!
  • Bring water, especially if it is a warm day. Sunscreen too.
  • Layering everyone with bug spray before you go in might be a good idea too.
  • Two-way radios might be a good idea if you plan on splitting up your group.
  • Pack a small adventure bag for kids to make it even more fun. Put their radios in, a magnifying glass, notebook, pen, and their drink to make a real adventure out of it.
  • Remember to respect the maze and the plants to have created it. Don’t stamp on the plants or bend/break them.
  • And most importantly, prepare to get lost! But remember to have fun.

Tips for finding your way out of a hedge or maize maze with kids

  • Pay attention to the map if you got one before entering the maze. There may be waypoints or hints to help you get your bearings again if you become completely lost.
  • Listen for noisy areas, it could be a clue. And don’t feel guilty about following a fellow puzzler.
  • Look for landmarks or take note of things you see along the way like a dropped bottle of water or funny-looking junction. It will remind you if you have already passed it.
  • Keep the group together if you did not bring radios.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help, especially if the kids are starting to get frustrated.
  • Take note of escape routes. Some mazes will have a hidden escape route for emergencies, so take note. If there is no map, ask at the ticket office or reception what to do in an emergency, and I am sure they will be able to advise you.
A picture overlooking a maize maze with some paths visible

Best mazes in Northern Ireland for kids and their families

If you are based in Northern Ireland, or are visiting with kids, and are wondering if there are any family-friendly mazes near me, this section is for you.

Carrowmena, Derry

At the Carrowmena Activity Centre in Limavady in County Derry/Londonderry, you’ll find an amazing maize maze to visit with kids. The maze typically opens in July and is comprised of tall maize to get lost in. There are visitor facilities at Carrowmena including a coffee pod for refreshments. There are other activities to enjoy at Carrowmena including an inflatable assault course, kayaking, archery, and more. Find more information here.

Address: 100 Carrowclare Rd, Limavady BT49 9EB, Derry/Londonderry (UK)

The Peace Maze, Down

One of the best mazes for kids in Northern Ireland is the Castlewellan maze, known as The Peace Maze. Located at Castlewellan Forest Park, this hedge maze is one of the largest permanent mazes in the world. Planted in 2000 with community involvement with a view to representing the path to peace for Northern Ireland, it is a great place to visit with kids who want to see if they can escape a maze. Kids can ring a bell at the centre of the maze if they reach it. There are visitor facilities including parking, toilets, baby-changing facilities, and a tearoom. The grounds, including the maze and forest park, are wheelchair and buggy-friendly. You can find out more here.

Address: 6-8 Burren Walk, Castlewellan BT31 9AF, Down (UK)

A picture of the Peace Maze in Northern Ireland with the Mourne Mountains in the background

Seaforde Gardens & Tropical Butterfly House, Down

A fun maze to visit with kids in Ireland is the one at Seaforde Gardens & Tropical Butterfly House. A low hedge maze, it is the oldest living maze in Ireland and is found in the centre of the walled garden. There is also a butterfly house and other gardens to explore. On-site you’ll find toilets and a café/shop. For more information, click here.

Address: Seaforde Gardens, Seaforde, Downpatrick BT30 8PG, Down (UK)

Carnfunnock Maze, Antrim

A cool hedge maze to visit in Northern Ireland with kids is the Carnfunnock Maze. Located in the Carnfunnock Country Park near Larne in County Antrim, it was planted in 1986 in the shape of Northern Ireland and over 1500 hornbeam plants were used to create it. Kids will enjoy following paths, coming up against dead ends, or finding one of the seven central areas that represent the six counties of Northern Ireland and Lough Neagh. There are special educational worksheets that can be used with kids that can be downloaded prior to your visit. Get them here. And for more information about visiting the maze, country park, and other activities at the Carnfunnock Country Park visit the website.

Address: Coast Rd, Ballygalley, Larne BT40 2QZ, Antrim (UK)

Laganvale Farm, Antrim

Laganvale Farm is a family-run farm just outside Lisburn and Belfast and combines indoor play and outdoor family fun all in one location. One of the best things about Laganvale Farm is its maize maze. Planted in April, the maize is usually ready by mid/end-July and each year the maze has a new design, meaning you can visit year-on-year and try out each new design. This site is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs and wellies are recommended. There are plenty of other activities on-site so you can spend a fun family day out there. You can find out more on their website.

Address: 55a Sandy Ln, Lisburn BT27 5TL, Antrim (UK)

An aerial view of the Laganvale Maze in Northern Ireland

Funny Farm Maize Maze, Down

A great maize maze Castlewellan has to offer visitors to the area is the one found at Funny Farm Adventures. Standing 8ft tall and covering an area of 6 acres, this maize maze has a different design each year. The maize maze stands at the foot of the Mourne Mountains and families love visiting it and the other activities on-site including go-karts, crazy golf, play area, and more. There are guest facilities on-site including toilets, parking, and a café. To find out more, click here.

Address: 80 Ballybannan Rd, Castlewellan BT31 9ER, Down (UK)

Best mazes in Southern Ireland for kids and their families

If you have been wondering are there any corn mazes near me in the Republic of Ireland, then this section is just for you. This section lists all the hedge and maize mazes in Ireland in the Republic so you can see whether there is one close to you to visit with the kids.

The Kildare Maze, Kildare

Near Prosperous in County Kildare is a huge hedge maze that kids absolutely love. The Kildare Maze, formerly known as the Millennium Maze, is the largest maze in Leinster. As well as the 2-acre hedge maze, there is a smaller wooden maze, a pet’s corner, and other activities, making this an ideal place for a family day out near Dublin. Visitor facilities include ample parking, toilets, and a café for refreshments. Visit the website for more details.

Address: Prosperous, Naas, Co. Kildare

A view from above of the Kildare Maze, one of the best hedge mazes in Ireland for kids

Celtic Maze & Wildflower Meadow, Cork

A fun place to visit with kids in Cork is the Ballymaloe Cookery School, Organic Farm and Gardens, and as well as all things food, there is an amazing hedge maze to visit. Planted in 1996, the Celtic Maze spans an area of one acre and was planted with yew trees, although some have been replaced by beech and hornbeam over the years. If you and the kids manage to find your way out, then make sure to see what sort of butterflies you can spot in the nearby wildflower meadow, also on the Ballymaloe estate. To find out more about visiting the maze at the Ballymaloe Estate, visit here.

Address: Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, P25 R274

Glenroe Farm, Wicklow

Located near Kilcoole in County Wicklow is the Glenroe Farm. This fun farm has a pet farm, playground, a fairy garden, nature walks, and a maize maze. Available between July and October, the Glenroe Farm is a fun place to take the kids if you are looking for a maize maze near Dublin (45 minutes from Dublin City Centre). Kids are given a mission to find 10 escaped pigs in the maze, making it even more fun for them. Check the website for more information.

Address: Ballygannon, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow

Grennan Maze, Wicklow

If the kids fancy trying their hand at two mazes, then take them to the Grennan Maze in County Wicklow. Located in the Wicklow Mountains, this open farm has two mazes, a Celtic hedge maze standing 7ft tall and a Solstice Maze which is a stone pathway for families to follow and solve. Other activities include farm museums, farm animals, and there are also nature walks to enjoy. There is a coffee shop, gift shop, free parking, and toilets on-site. To learn more, click here.

Address: Ballinanty, Greenan, Co. Wicklow, A67 D789

A picture of the hedge Grennan Maze in Ireland

Smuggler’s Cove, Cork

A fantastic day out in County Cork involves heading to Smuggler’s Cove. Smuggler’s Cove is a complete day out for families with an adventure golf range, tubing park, and 2 mazes to puzzle your way through. The first is a huge wooden structure with bridges, cut-off points, and more to challenge kids and their families. There is hidden treasure for younger kids to find and puzzles for older kids to solve. The second maze is Ireland’s largest maize maze, which is open in July for the maize season. You might want to allow extra time to find your way out of this one. There is an on-site café with toilets and ample parking. For more information about Smuggler’s Cove, click here.

Address: Curraheen, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork

Aistear Labyrinth, Clare

An unusual maze to visit in the Aistear Labyrinth in the park of the same name in Mountshannon. Bringing you through a journey of 9000 years, the labyrinth is a great place to bring kids. As well as the maze, in the centre of which you will find a café and toilets, there is an outdoor library, children’s playground, and numerous events are held there throughout the year. Get more information here.

Address: Main Street, Dooros, Mountshannon, Co. Clare

Russborough House & Parklands, Wicklow

An amazing maze near Dublin to visit is the one at Russborough House. Russborough House is an 18th-century Palladian villa located close to Blessington Lakes. As well as a beech maze constructed from 2000 beech trees, and a Greek goddess statue in the centre, there are plenty of other family-friendly activities at Russborough House to make a visit there a great family day out. If you take a tour of the house you can get great views of the maze from the bedroom windows. Kids will love getting lost in the maze before having fun in the playground, fairy trail, or walking trails. There is parking, toilets and a café on-site. For more information about visiting Russborough House, click here.

Address: Russborough, Blessington, Co. Wicklow, W91 W284

An aerial view of the hedge maze at Russborough House in County Wicklow, Ireland

Leahy’s Open Farm, Cork

If you are based in or are visiting County Cork with kids, then you simply have to take them to Leahy’s Open Farm. This amazing family-oriented farm has a box hedge maze. At 4 feet tall, it is the perfect height for even younger kids to work their way through. If you get lost, there is a viewing platform to help you find your way out, but Leahy’s say

the kids usually find their way easier than the adults!

As well as the maze, there are lots of other great activities on-site including climbing towers, a digger park, lots of different trails, a barrel train, and more including plenty of animals to meet. There are also plenty of facilities including toilets, parking, and food outlets and the site is both wheelchair and buggy friendly. Find out more about this great family day out in County Cork here.

Address: Leahys Open Farm Ltd Dungourney, Midleton, Co. Cork, P25 KW14

Doneraile Wildlife Park, Cork

A lovely maze to visit if you are in County Cork is the low hedge maze at Doneraile Wildlife Park. Since it is not very tall, this maze is ideal for visiting with toddlers and young children, and it is located within a walled garden. As well as the maze there are lovely woodland trails to enjoy and there are tearooms for some cake and a drink behind the main house. Find out more on the Facebook page or website.

Address: Turnpike Road, Doneraile, Cork

The Maze of Ireland

At Rathwood in County Wicklow, you will find a huge maze in the shape of Ireland. Each county is marked in the maze and made to scale and the kids can learn more about their Irish geography with the county town and river flowing through it denoted on a plaque within the county. As well as the maze you will also find other activities to enjoy with the kids including a playground, deer park, and woodland train. Currently, Rathwood is only open during the summer and closed for the winter months. To find out the latest opening hours, visit the website.

Address: R725, Rath East, Co. Wicklow

An aerial view of the Maze of Ireland at Rathwood, County Wicklow

Iveagh Gardens, Dublin

If you are looking for a maze in Dublin, the Iveagh Gardens have a small yew maze containing a sundial in the centre. Kids will enjoy this small maze as well as the rose garden and fountains. If you are looking for a small maze in the centre of Dublin, head for this one. More information can be found here.

Address: Clonmell St. (Off Harcourt St.), Dublin 2

Dunbrody Abbey Visitor Centre, Wexford

One of the best hedge mazes in Ireland for kids is the full-sized maze located at Dunbrody Castle which is part of the Dunbrody Abbey Visitor Centre in County Wexford. Made with 1500 intricate yew trees, the maze has gravel paths and a plinth in the centre. If you manage to escape the maze, there is also a pitch and putt course at the site, and visitor facilities include toilets, a tearoom, and a craft shop. More information can be found here.

Address: Dunbrody, Campile, Co. Wexford

Crystal Maze, Meath

Looking for a fun and challenging day out for the whole family or group of friends? Then head to the Crystal Maze near Kells in County Meath. A huge hedge maze awaits you with over 100 challenges to solve to help you find your way out of the maze. Challenges are skill, physical, mental, or water-based challenges and is an ideal place to visit with older kids who can work together as a team to solve the problems. Find out more about the Crystal Maze here.

Address: Lisnagew, Kilmainhamwood, Kells, Co. Meath A82 Y6R6

Cool indoors mazes for kids in Ireland

In this section you’ll find some indoor mazes and puzzles for kids to enjoy, perfect if the weather is rubbish outside and one is located near you.

Nore Valley Park, Kilkenny

Nore Valley Park is a Pet Farm and Camping site, but it also has a huge indoor 3D maze for kids to enjoy. Perfect for all weather conditions and age groups, the timber structure has lots of trapdoors, ladders and dead ends over 10 levels to keep the kids guessing. Check here on the website to see if it is open before you visit.

Address: Nore Valley Park, Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny, R95 RXR4

Boda Borg Puzzle Rooms, Roscommon

While not a traditional maze, Borda Borg is an indoor activity and a Swedish concept unique to Ireland. Suitable for adults and children alike, visitors enter a two-story Boda Borg and teamwork is a must in order to progress (and escape) the 47 rooms! There are fun-filled challenges, imaginative puzzles, and more, but no instructions! Will you and the kids be one of the few to crack the Boda Borg? To discover more about this indoor maze (and to check if it is open or not), click here.

Address: Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Fun things to know about mazes for kids

  • Mazes are usually made from plants such as trees, hedges, or plant material. Labyrinths are usually made from other materials such as wood or stone.
  • Mazes have a history that is thousands of years old and one of the oldest mazes in the world is on the island of Sardinia in Italy. It is over 4000 years old!
  • One of the most famous mazes in the world is the one at Hampton Court Place in the UK. It is one of the best mazes in the UK and has featured in several books and films.
  • Hedge mazes were originally created to entertain royalty from the 16th century.
  • Labyrinths were the first types of maze and originate from Greek mythology in which the Minotaur lived.
  • Want to know the difference between a maze and a labyrinth? A labyrinth is usually a complicated winding path without choices, while a maze involves making decisions between paths and often includes dead-ends.
  • A “maize maze” is also referred to as a corn maze as it is made from a field of corn that is then ‘cut’ into a maze pattern after it has grown and reached a certain height. After a few more months, the crop is cut and often turned into animal feed.
  • The largest temporary corn maze, or maize maze, ever recorded spanned 60 acres and was located in California.
  • The world’s largest hedge maze contains 2.5 miles of paths, is made from tropical plants, and is located in Hawaii.

Whether you have been looking for the best hedge maze Northern Ireland has to offer, a maze near Dublin, or further afield, I hope this list has helped you identify a maze near you to visit with the kids.

Cath x

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