Emerald Park: a place for thrill-seekers and animal lovers

Both a theme park and zoo, Emerald Park promises a day filled with activities and fun for everyone. Whether you are looking for an exciting day out for all the family, or searching for an educational and engaging place for a school tour, Emerald Park is sure not to disappoint. 

As Ireland’s only theme park and zoo, Emerald Park offers rides for thrill-seekers, a junior area for younger kids, playgrounds, entertainment shows, and an amazing zoo with over 250 animals.

Emerald Park

Although you may not have heard the name ‘Emerald Park’ before, this is not a new theme park. Opened in 2010, the amusement park that now holds the name Emerald Park was once known as Tayto Park. 

At the end of last year, the theme park announced that its partnership with the famous Irish crisp brand would be coming to a close, and in January of this year (2023), the new name came into effect. Founder Raymond Coyle said that this name change would give the park the opportunity to “better reflect the exciting rides, attractions and zoo that are coming over the next few years.”

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Image via rollercoaster.ie

Ride the Rollercoasters and Rides at Emerald Park

Since the theme park opened in 2010, a number of rollercoasters and rides have been added every year to increase visitor entertainment. Below are some of the rides available in the park. For the full list check out the Emerald Park website.

When it first opened, Tayto Park only had one rollercoaster. Today, there are four different rollercoasters that can be enjoyed by visitors of Emerald Park. The Cú Chulainn Coaster (named after the warrior and demigod in Irish mythology) is a thrilling ride inspired by Ireland’s greatest mythological hero. 

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The Cú Chulainn rollercoaster, the first rollercoaster to open at the theme park. Image via Emerald Park website.

If dinosaurs are more your thing, the Dino Dash offers an out of this world adventure with t-rexes, triceratopses and more. Future pilots also have a rollercoaster for themselves. Why not hop on the Flight School ride and learn how to take off and land on this state-of-the-art rollercoaster. Alternatively, why not try out the Windstar ride and fly through the skies with your very own paraglider.

For younger visitors, the Ladybird Loop takes visitors on an exciting tour around a mushroom forest. Why not hop on the Rockin’ Tug and get ready to twist and turn while you set sail like a pirate? For a trip to the Wild Wild West, jump on the Sheriff’s Shuffle and enjoy the ride.

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Flight School ride at Emerald Park. Image via Emerald Park website.

There’s always loads more to see

Why not check out the animals that live at Emerald Park? Lemur Woods lets visitors walk among the endangered ring-tailed lemurs. Guests should take into consideration that Lemur Woods may be closed during inclement weather.

Selfie with a Lemur. Image via instagram.

Why not take a walk through the petting farm where guests can meet a variety of friendly farmyard animals? Or if birds are of more interest to you, visit the World of Raptors where you can see the spectacular bird of prey flying demonstration and discover some of the world’s most impressive birds of prey.

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World of Raptors at Emerald Park. Image via Emerald Park website.

Christmas at Emerald Park

Families are invited to celebrate Christmas at Emerald Park. Tickets for the Christmas Experience are on sale now. Prices are as follows: for children ages 0-1 €11 for general and €9 for members, for children ages 2-4 €25.50 for general and €21 for members, for children ages 5-12 €33.50 for general and €27 for members, and for adults €16.50 for general and free for members.

Pre-booking for the Christmas Experience is essential and tickets will not be available on the day.

Tickets for the Christmas Experience include a stop at the post office to drop off your letter to Santa, a trip through Elf-land to meet Santa’s elves, a magical visit with Santa Clause, and a special present. Also included are all-day park and zoo entry with an unlimited access to the Junior Zone attractions.

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Christmas at Emerald Park. Image via instagram.

Opening Hours

As opening hours for the park are regularly subject to change, check out the park’s website to make sure it is open on the day you would like to visit. 

Between July 1 and August 31 this year (2023), the park will be open from 9.30am to 7pm. Visitors are advised to note that the last entry to the park will be two hours before the park’s closing time.


There are a number of different ticket options for visiting Emerald Park. Visitors are advised to book their tickets online and at least 24 hours before their planned visit as they will be able to get up to 20%off when they do so.

Kids under 3 go free and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over.

  • All Access Tickets: The online price for these tickets is €39 (vs €47 on the day). With these tickets, visitors are granted:
    • Park entry
    • Access to all attractions
    • Access to the zoo and zoo experience
    • Entry to shows
  • Junior Zone: The online price for this option is €35 (vs €43 on the day). These tickets guarantee:
    • Park entry
    • Access to Junior Zone attractions and playgrounds*
    • Access to the zoo and zoo experience
    • Entry to shows 
  • Senior Citizens: These tickets cost €27 both online and if purchased on the day. With the purchase of these tickets, guests get:
    • Park entry
    • Access to all attractions
    • Access to the zoo and zoo experience
    • Entry to shows
  • Additional needs and Carers: Emerald Park offers reduced ticket prices for any visitors who have additional needs, and free entry for an accompanying carer. These tickets cost €22 on the day and online. These tickets include:
    • Park entry
    • Access to all attractions
    • Access to the zoo and zoo experience
    • Entry to shows

Emerald Parks also offers memberships for unlimited access to all the attractions for 12 months. With this plan, members are offered 20% off in the  Emerald Park food and beverage outlets, discounts on special events throughout the year and on birthday parties, and a cheaper renewal rate within 14 days of its expiry (get €10 off).

To become a member, fill out this form and bring it with you the next time you visit the park. Prices for memberships are as follows:

  • €110 for one person
  • €220 for two people
  • €320 for three people
  • €420 for four people
  • €520 for five people
  • €610 for six people

*The Junior Zone tickets give access to every ride and attraction except the twelve rides in the Adventure Zone. These rides have a minimum height requirement of between 1.1m and 1.3m, so if your child does not reach these requirements, the Junior Zone tickets may be a good choice.
So if you’re looking for a fun adventurous day out, why not head over to Emerald Park in Ashbourne, Co. Meath.

Fern Mendoza
Fern Mendoza

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