Our wonderful friend at Baby Toddler Foods has collated a list of things you can do for free with your family on the Isle of Man.

Isle of Man FREE activities

I was so excited to collate a list of things you can do for free on the Isle of Man by Visit Isle of Man because there are SO MANY!! All over the Island, what ever the season there are so many activities to suit all the family without spending a penny!!  

  • PARKS

Mooragh Park 
 

I’ll start with my most favourite place in the world - Mooragh Park in Ramsey. I pretty much lived in the park when I was growing up. It’s a stunning place to see. The commissioners really take a pride in keeping it looking beautiful all year round. There’s a large boating lake that you can take a walk around and stop along the way using the free exercise equipment that has been placed at various intervals during the walk. The splash park is open in the summer months and is the perfect place to laze  away a day. Bring a picnic and splash until your heart’s content. There’s also a bmx track and skateboard park - perfect. 

Noble's Park

We often spend our summer days playing in Noble's Park. There is the ‘tot lot’, a brilliant enclosed park area for younger kids and a little further down the path is an older kids park as well as a skatepark! Last summer a new splash park opened up with a TT theme. It’s free to access and open for the summer months. In TT and MGP the grandstand at the top of the park is a hive of activity and you can walk around the stalls and maybe see a famous TT rider or two! 

Onchan Park

Another one of the girls' favourite play areas is Onchan Park. Although you need to pay admission to go on the boating lake, indoor soft play and trampoline park, play golf or go karts, access to the park is free of charge. 

  • GLENS

Elfin Glen and Claghbane Woods

My girls love to visit here. If you park at the hairpin on the outskirts of Ramsey and walk to your right, a short distance down the path are some lovely tree houses and climbing activities. If you’re in search of a longer walk go up the paths to the left from the car park and visit the Albert Tower. At the top is the most stunning view of Ramsey and the North and areas to enjoy a picnic.

Tynwald National Park and Arboretum 

The girls love going for a wander in the Arboretum in St. John’s. There’s a gruffalo trail, large duck pond and another lovely park. We collect conkers in the autumn here too.

Summer Hill Glen 

The illuminations are only seasonal but walking through in the daytime is just as magical! Lots of fairy doors and art using old plastic bottles keep little imaginations lit. There is a beautiful wizard sculpture at the top of the glen which was carved from an old tree. Check out the illumination times here.

Laxey Glen Gardens

Take a walk down through the newly covered paths, down past the river and see if you can spot the wooden crocodile! The glen is beautiful and there’s a small enclosed park with swings and slides for the kids too!

Groudle Glen

Groudle Glen is another stunning walk that we like to undertake with the girls. They like to play on the stony beach at the bottom and are always excited to see the beautiful wheel house and water wheel in the glen itself.

Glen Helen

Take in the stunning waterfall or just go for a play in the kid's play park - either way you’re sure to have a lovely day. 

Archallagan Plantation

There are many different plantations on the Island with different things to offer but for us Archallagan is our favourite! Enjoy the lovely play area for the kids with stepping stones and wobble boards, or venture further to the playground made from natural materials - including a wooden spider, log swing or willow tents which are perfect for hide and seek! There are picnic tables to enjoy a packed lunch or hot chocolate from your flask! Throughout the plantation there are cycling paths for every ability and although we haven’t been involved in geocaching ourselves as yet I am reliably informed there are some hot spots here! 

Silverdale Glen

You have to visit Silverdale Glen just so you can see the Victorian water driven roundabout with horses and boats the children will love to ride on!

  • NATURE & WILDLIFE

Seal Spotting 

There are many places on the Island where you can spot a cheeky seal for free. I have never not spotted a seal bobbing about at the Point of Ayre. This is another perfect place for letting the kids run free, either on the sandy walks towards the Ayres or the beautiful stony beach.

The Sound is another lovely place for spotting seals. Not as easy to let the kids run free due to the cliffs but there are guided walks suitable for older children around the headlands and the most stunning views. You will often see some cheeky seals either sunbathing on the rocks of the Calf of Man or at the bottom of the cliffs of the Sound. 

Home Of Rest For Old Horses

The girls love going to see the old tram horses, donkeys and Shetland ponies at the Home Of Rest For Old Horses. Admission to see the horses is free but you need to pay for the horses' feed provided but you can take your own carrots and apples to feed them as long as you cut them up. 

Wallaby Watching at Ballaugh Curraghs

At dusk you will be sure to spot some of the wild wallabies that have now inhabited the Ballaugh Curraghs. It’s a beautiful and easy walk (bring your wellies) and the kids will love spotting a wild wallaby hopping around in the undergrowth.

  • BEACHES & WALKS

Laxey Beach

We LOVE Laxey Beach! The girls love playing on the stones, building towers when the tide is in, building sandcastles or paddling in the cool water when the tide is out. If you’re lucky you may spot a pod of dolphins in the bay! There’s also a lovely little enclosed park off the prom.

IOM Rocks

We have a brilliant group in the Isle of Man called ‘IOM Rocks’ - you decorate a rock, write ‘IOM Rocks FB keep me or hide me’ on the back and hide it in one of the glens, parks, beaches or anywhere on the Isle of Man. Don’t forget to post a pic of any you find too.

Port Erin Beach

Our favourite beach to go to in the summer, on a hot day you could be in Spain! Go for a paddle or build sandcastles - there’s nothing like it!! 

Peel Hill

Take a walk up Peel Hill to see some stunning views over Peel. You can walk all the way to Corrin's Folly but you don’t need to go that far to enjoy the view.

Bradda Head

Another walk with stunning views is the walk up to Bradda Head. There’s easy to negotiate foot paths and my 6 and 4 year old find it no problem. The views across Port Erin Bay are stunning! We have spotted basking sharks in the water below before and there have also been sightings of dolphins. I hear the fairies may have built themselves a house at the top by the tower which is worth hunting out...

Balley Cashtal Beg Fairy Doors

Why not take a stroll around Castletown's ancient streets and see if you can spot a ‘little fellow’ hiding behind a door. Collect a trail leaflet from the Town Hall, Railway Station, Bowling Green Cafe, Craftworks Studio or many other local businesses, look for the stars on the maps and keep your eyes peeled.

Douglas Promenade

My girls love getting their scooters or bikes and having a ride down Douglas Prom and they love spotting a passing Horse Tram and waving at its passengers! They also love playing in the park on the promenade in one of the sunken gardens, seeing the fountains and trying to find an IOM Rock in one of the beautiful flower gardens (just make sure you stay to the path!) 

School Holiday 'Out To Play' Scheme

In the school holidays ‘Isle of Play’ offer kids of all ages some amazing opportunities to play outside. The trained playworkers help thousands of children every year enjoy the outdoors and build swings, waterslides, ziplines and dens… the only limit is the child’s imagination! Although not technically ‘free’ the charity only request a donation to allow them to keep the service going. Check out their website for dates and details.

  • MUSEUMS

Manx Museum

Weather not so good? Head to the Manx Museum! There is something for everyone here. And it’s all free. There are often treasure hunts for the children to keep them entertained, searching for clues around the displays. There are interactive displays where the kids can dress up, play with olden day toys and let their imagination run wild!

Jurby Transport Museum

A must-see for your budding vehicle enthusiast! Open from April - October and packed with old buses, fire engines and a model railway track - free admission but donations are welcome to aid the upkeep of the museum. There is a transport trail kids can undertake to help them learn whilst having fun. 

I could go on for days and days describing all the free and amazing activities the Isle of Man has to offer! Beyond anything else we are lucky to have a beach no more than 15 minutes away from us at any one time. Stunning walks and scenery and more play parks than I can mention. There are glens and plantations, mountains and valleys to be explored. Many of the places I’ve mentioned have cafes where you can buy food and drinks if you don’t want to take your own. 

Geocaching is massive on the Isle of Man - download an app and get all your information there. If cycling is your thing then there is no end of opportunity for different rides for you to undertake. Whether you live on the Island permanently or are just visiting, there is so much to see and do without spending a penny here on our wonderful isle! 

Have fun exploring!! 

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