I am finally writing a blog post on our trip to Center Parcs in Longford. I had been dying to go for ages and we finally went this February 2022. It was, as is often the way with an Irish holiday, a rainy and blustery week. It is a testimony to Center Parcs that we still had an absolutely amazing week.
A very nice friend had given me lots of tips before we went so I am going to compile hers and mine here.
When we went there were still some Covid restrictions in place and you had to book pool times. This is still in place but honestly, it just forced me to be a bit more organised. We still had plenty of time in the pool. The pool was great. It is famously warm and it was great fun. There was a wave machine, outdoor pool, rapids, a lazy river, waterslides (not all of these were open when we were there) and essentially water playgrounds. The kids loved it and there was enough to do that the adults never got bored either. You can also go back after 6.30 pm and you don’t have to book that.
You can book activities before you go and take my advice DO! I left it a few weeks after Center Parcs emailed me and some of the activities that I looked at were already booked out. I also could not get a booking for either the Indian or Italian restaurants. So do book when you get the email reminder from them. You only have to pay a small deposit and it will make your life easier. We did order Indian takeaway that night and it was lovely. We also ate in the Sports Café, Hucks American Bar and Grill and the Sports Café. The Sports café has the most limited menu but the kids enjoyed it. It was fine but definitely the weakest of all the places we ate. The staff were lovely and friendly there and actually, they were great everywhere. The Sports Café does have an outdoor playground attached as well as a small arcade. There is also an attached soft play which was unfortunately closed due to Covid reasons.
Food-wise there is a fully equipped kitchen (under counter fridge with freezer section) and a Tassimo machine so bring pods. Although the onsite supermarket is actually surprisingly reasonable. There is also a BBQ on your terrace but the weather was so miserable when we were there that we never actually used it.
Activities wise we booked pottery painting and bowling in advance and then booked the electric boats when we were down there. Friends of mine have also enjoyed the family squash wall, pool football and tree-trekking. They all loved the laser combat.
So top tips:
Book your meals and activities as soon as they tell you that you can.
Bring chalk so you can write your timetable on your blackboard in the house.
Definitely bring your bikes. Beg, borrow or steal a bike rack if you have to but it will make everything so much easier and more fun if you have bikes. It is the most bike-friendly place that I have ever been to.
To finish I asked Alex (8) and Imogen (3) what they thought about it. Alex said it was “fun, cool, nice and awesome”. Imogen said “Very good, my favourite was the swimming pool. I loved the cafes”.
I also asked my husband what the negatives were and we really couldn’t come up with any. The lodges were lovely, staff were amazing and it was just so easy to have a holiday with young children there. They seemed to have thought about everything. Highly recommend and we will definitely be back.