1. Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, Roscommon
Located in Boyle, Co. Roscommon and set in the grounds of the old King-Harman Estate on the shores of island studded Lough Key, the Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, offers hours of entertainment for all the family. A wonderful enclosed Adventure Play Kingdom will entertain the smallest visitors, while the Boda Borg Challenge will test the mental skills and physical agility of everybody over seven!
Be guided back in time through 19th Century tunnels and stroll Ireland’s only Tree Canopy trail on the Lough Key Experience. Take a well-earned break and enjoy the vista of Lough Key in the Lakeside Café. You can even stay over in the landscaped Caravan and Campsite.
Other Fun activities in the park include:
- Woodland Segway offering fun glides and historical tours.
- Electric Bike trails with traditional and electric bikes.
- Zipit Forest Adventures.
- Lough Key boat tours.
- Orienteering trails.
2. Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park
Winner of Best Leisure Tourism Innovation at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2017, a family visit to the West is not complete without a trip to the home of family fun at Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park set on a 480 acre estate. Explore the House and Gardens, or have some fun in the Pirate Adventure Park – a treasure trove of family fun with its Grace O’Malley-themed amusement park with rides and activities. Or take a trip on the Westport Train Tour which runs right through the grounds. Or visit the Birds of Prey Centre.
You also have a choice of milder to wilder adventure activities including zorbing, zip wire, archery, combat games, high ropes frame as well as tree climbing and archery tag. Be sure to arrive early for a full day’s fun – and dress for the weather!
3. Irish National Stud & Gardens, Kildare
Enjoy a great day out for all the family at the Irish National Stud & Gardens in Kildare Town. Just off the M7 motorway, the Irish National Stud is home to both wonderful horses and great gardens.
The Irish National Stud offers an unforgettable experience in 800 acres of beautiful Kildare countryside that can be enjoyed by all the family. Enjoy the beautiful Japanese Gardens, St Fiachras Garden, see the magnificent horses, and tour the Horse Museum. Afterwards let the kids run off some steam at the playground. There are free pony rides for kids during school holidays on selected days.
4. Delphi Adventure Centre, Galway
Onsite Delphi Adventure Centre with over 20 water and land based adventure activities (for all ages and abilities) such as kayaking on Killary Fjord, archery, climbing and surfing on Cross Beach
- Delicious, wholesome food served daily in the hotel restaurant and bar with mountain views (with children’s menus and seasonal options)
- Variety of 4*, cosy family room types such as family rooms and two bedroom suites
- FREE morning Kids Club for the little ones
- FREE movies daily in the movie room during holiday season
Access to Delphi Spa’s Thermal Suite for the adults – sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and relaxation area with mountain views
- 20 minutes drive from several stunning beaches
- Perfect base for exploring Connemara and South Mayo regions
– Westport, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park and more
5. glór, Clare
More than just a theatre, glór sits in the heart of Ennis town in Co. Clare and offers ample parking for visitors. They attract the best of local, national and International entertainment for all ages. And have a full line up of family fun and regular events including films, music, dance and theatre performances, classes and workshops. They also boast an art gallery and an on-site café with freshly cooked food. an amazing Italian inspired kids menu and seating indoors and outdoors so you can enjoy your visit whatever the weather.
And we love their BYOK (Bring Your Own Kids) and Leath/Leath nights, where well behaved kids can avail of discounted tickets and come along to shows with their parents! Saving you money on a babysitter.
6. The Ark, Dublin
The Ark Dublin, based on Eustace Street in Temple Bar, is a unique, purpose built, cultural centre where children aged 2-12 and their families can explore theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. Expect a different experience every visit!
The Ark’s event programme is always a big hit with families looking for creative and fun activities, so be sure to check their website for what’s on during your visit.
7. Croke Park Stadium Tour & GAA Museum, Dublin
The Croke Park Stadium Tour offers you the chance to explore the home of Gaelic sport and take a behind-the-scenes journey through this 82,300 capacity stadium. Enjoy an access-all-areas experience on the guided Stadium Tour, as you walk in the footsteps of legends and visit the team dressing rooms, before going pitch-side via the players’ tunnel and taking a seat in the VIP area.
Explore the GAA Museum with its exhibition galleries that vividly illustrate the story of Gaelic games, from ancient times to present day. Exhibitions include the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups, the official GAA Hall of Fame, and lots more. Test your hurling and football skills in the interactive games zone – a must for museum visitors of all ages!
8. Belvedere House, Westmeath
Belvedere House, attracting over 160,000 visitors a year, sits on a magnificent 160 acre lakeside estate with restored Georgian Villa, Victorian Walled Garden, naturalistic designed 18th century parkland, punctuated with Romantic follies including the largest in Ireland; “The Jealous Wall”. A day visitor to Belvedere can explore the restored Belvedere House, Victorian Walled Garden and rolling parkland with its numerous follies.
An excellent day out with a difference, Belvedere House Gardens & Park offers something for young and old. Open daily, all year round, visitors can enjoy 8km of safe and serene walks, a Georgian Villa, a Victorian Walled Garden, Fairy Garden, & 4 Children’s Areas. There is also a Gift Shop, picnic areas and licensed café.
Annual Membership available. Belvedere also has a year round calendar of events – check outwww.belvedere-house for more details.
9. Brigit’s Garden, Galway
Brigit’s Garden in West Galway, located between Moycullen and Oughterard, is a magical place for families to explore. With family-friendly Celtic gardens, children’s discovery trail, willow play area and sandpit, Nature trail, ring-fort and crannog, gift shop and the award-winning, family friendly Garden Café.
10. Gallarus Oratory, Kerry
The Gallarus Oratory in Dingle, Co Kerry is run by Heritage Ireland. It is one of the most famous landmarks on the Dingle Peninsula, made completely from stone. It resembles an upturned boat and has many well preserved archeologic artefacts on-site. In addition to the Oratory you should also pay a visit to the nearby Gallarus Castle.
11. Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow
Powerscourt Estate, just 20km south of Dublin, offers a fantastic day out for families with a choice of attractions to visit – Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall, and the children’s museum, Tara’s Palace, in Powerscourt House. There are some great value options for family dining also. Enjoy the year-round events programme of treasure hunts, enchanted walks and lots more.
12. Imaginosity, Dublin
Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum is a child-centred creative, educational & interactive space, suitable for children up to the age of 9 years & their families. The 3 floors of exhibits are educationally designed to inspire life-long learning through play, celebrating children’s imaginations, on the journey from curiosity to discovery.
Booking is essential, and there are regular workshops and camps so check before you visit.
13. Galway Atlantaquaria, Galway
The first time you venture through the entrance to Galway Atlantaquaria, Ireland’s largest aquarium, we guarantee you’ll jump! That’s because their first exhibit is Ireland’s largest “Splash” tank! You’ll also enjoy the ray pool, ocean tank, fin whale skeleton, touch pools and heaps of activities and fun things to do while you visit, such as feeding the fish and touching starfish and crabs.
14. Ardgillan Castle, Co Dublin
Ardgillan Castle and demesne in Balbriggan, Co Dublin offers 194 acres of parkland overlooking the Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea. It has a well equipped playground, a rose garden, castle tours, theatre and music events and art gallery, classes and workshops and you may even spot a fairy on the fairy tree trail! You can pack your own picnic and find a spot to enjoy it or have afternoon tea at the on-site tea rooms.
15. Cork City Gaol
Get behind bars for a few hours with a visit to Cork City Gaol. The amazing castle like building gives visitors an insight into prison life with an array of exhibitions bringing it all to life.
As a bonus your entry ticket also gives you access to the radio museum where you can learn more about the birth of Marconi.
Explore all Cork has to offer from the 4 star Carrigaline Court Hotel with special family rates in July & August of just €169 pps (2 adults and 2 kids U12) for 1 night B&B and Dinner. Price includes complimentary access to the leisure centre and Camp Rock Kids Club and supervised kids dining while parents enjoy the restaurant. Carrigaline Court Hotel have teamed up with many nearby family attractions such as the long established and much loved Fota Wildlife Park, Rumley͛s Pet Farm and Kool Kidz Korner, to offer the families discounted admission rates. With so much fun to be had both within and surrounding our hotel, the Carrigaline Court is the ideal choice for midweek or weekend family breaks in Cork.Book your family stay today!
16. Lifetime Lab Cork
Lifetime Lab is a multi award winning visitor centre located at the Old Cork Waterworks offering a fascinating insight into industrial heritage and environmental issues. Visitors will journey through Victorian architecture and explore the age of steam, investigate the interactive exhibits, and transform into environmental detectives discovering how daily choices impact our world.
Lifetime Lab is suitable for all ages and they run regular family-friendly events and workshop. Make sure to allow time for the playground and garden overlooking the River Lee.
17. The Dunfanaghy Workhouse , Donegal
Visit the Dunfanaghy Workhouse to see a traditional workhouse from famine times. Meet Wee Hannah and hear her story, visit the exhibitions and learn about the history of the workhouse and the surrounding Sheephaven Bay.
The kids can play in the community playground or visit the library or take part in a workshop or class. And you can enjoy tasty homemade treats at the on-site café.
18. Corralea Activity Centre, Fermanagh
At the family run Corralea Activity Centre in Fermanagh your family can enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, archery, caving, climbing and the thrills and spills of the floating waterpark!
19. W5, Belfast
whowhatwherewhenwhy – W5 is Ireland’s award winning science and discovery centre at Odyssey in Belfast. With over 250 interactive exhibits and a changing programme of events, shows and exhibitions, W5 is a great value day out for all the family. Allow at least 2 hours for your visit.
20. Waterford & Suir Valley Railway
The magic of rail’s golden age has been brought to life in Kilmeadan on the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway. Experience the beauty of the Suir Valley from a partially opened carriage as you take in the panoramic views of the river and rolling farmland of Waterford and across the river to County Kilkenny on return trips on Saturdays.
The track runs mostly along the picturesque banks of the River Suir offering a glimpse into the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens (which you can also visit), and across the river to County Kilkenny. You will also see The Magic Wood, a magical Fairy glade – sometimes the fairies can be seen among the trees but you have to look carefully!