Visiting Ireland With Kids

Each year, millions of visitors come to Ireland to experience music, pubs, stunning landscapes, culture and rich history.  But what about visiting Ireland with kids?  Children can quickly become bored and nothing can ruin a family vacation faster than unhappy kids.  Ireland truly has attractions suitable for everyone in the family, and the kids will enjoy their visit more when they are involved in the trip planning and decision making.  Here are a few ideas to discuss with the entire family to help make your family vacation to Ireland an experience worth remembering.

Visiting Ireland With Kids

Courtesy Trustees of Muckross House

Killarney

Killarney is a popular tourist destination and the best accommodations fill up early.  If you are planning a summer vacation which includes a stay in Killarney, it is best to reserve no later than February for the upcoming summer.  Killarney also makes a great home base to stay for several days while making day trips in the surrounding area.  Activities are accessible either by car, or organized day tours departing Killarney daily.

Kissane Sheep Farm

Visiting ireland With Kids

Kissane Sheep Farm is located in Moll's Gap, the heart of the Ring of Kerry and just a short drive from Killarney. The farm offers guided tours where you can learn about sheep farming and watch trained sheepdogs in action. The farm offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors, including:

  • Sheepdog Demonstrations: Visitors can watch highly skilled sheepdogs in action as they work to round up and herd sheep around the farm. The demonstrations are led by experienced farmers who explain the training and techniques involved in working with these intelligent animals.
  • Farm Tours: Guided tours of the farm are available, providing visitors with an insight into the day-to-day workings of a traditional Irish sheep farm. The tours include a visit to the sheep pens, where visitors can see the various breeds of sheep that are raised on the farm.
  • Nature Walks: The farm is situated in a beautiful rural area, with nature walks through the surrounding hills and fields. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or hike, enjoying the fresh air and stunning scenery.
  • Tea Room: After a busy day on the farm, visitors can relax and refuel in the on-site tea room, which serves a range of hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals.
  • Gift Shop: A small gift shop on the farm offers a range of locally made souvenirs and gifts, including woolen products, pottery, and jewelry.

Killarney Falconry

Killarney Falconry is a falconry and bird of prey center located in the stunning surroundings of Killarney National Park in County Kerry, Ireland. The center offers a range of experiences and activities for visitors, including:

  • Hawk Walks: A unique experience where visitors can walk with a trained Harris hawk through the forest and fields of Killarney National Park, and watch as the hawk swoops down to catch food.
  • Falconry Demonstrations: Daily demonstrations where visitors can see trained birds of prey in action, with expert handlers showing off their skills and answering questions about the birds.
  • Private Experiences: Private falconry experiences can be arranged for individuals, couples, or small groups, providing a more personalized and in-depth experience.
  • Educational Programs: Killarney Falconry also offers educational programs for schools and other groups, where visitors can learn about the different species of birds of prey, their behavior, and the importance of conservation efforts.

Kennedy's Pet Farm

Kennedy's Pet Farm is located in Glenflesk, about a 15-minute drive from Killarney. The family owned farm has a variety of animals, including sheep, cows, pigs, goats, and horses. Kids can pet and feed the animals, and there's also a play area with bouncy castles and a range of other activities including

  • Animal Encounters: Visitors can get up close and personal with a variety of farm animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ponies, and more. There are also opportunities to feed and pet the animals.
  • Play Areas: The farm features several play areas for children, including a giant slide, a sand pit, a bouncy castle, and a pedal go-kart track.
  • Nature Trails: The farm is situated in a beautiful rural area, with nature trails winding through the surrounding fields and woods. Visitors can take a leisurely walk or cycle along the trails, enjoying the fresh air and stunning scenery.
  • Pony Rides: Children can take a ride on one of the farm's friendly ponies, guided by experienced handlers.
  • Tea Room: After a busy day on the farm, visitors can relax and refuel in the on-site tea room, which serves a range of hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals.

Coolwood Wildlife Park

Coolwood Wildlife Park is located in Killarney, and while it doesn't have sheep, it does have a variety of animals that kids will love. The park has over 50 different species of animals, including tigers, monkeys, and birds of prey. There's also a petting farm where kids can interact with goats, rabbits, and other small animals.  Visitors to Coolwood Wildlife Park can explore a range of animal exhibits, including:

  • African Safari Trail: Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the African Safari Trail, where they can see zebras, camels, llamas, and a variety of antelope species.
  • Big Cat Enclosures: The park is home to a range of big cats, including lions, tigers, and leopards. Visitors can watch these majestic animals as they roam around their spacious enclosures.
  • Birds of Prey: Coolwood Wildlife Park has a dedicated Birds of Prey area, where visitors can see eagles, owls, falcons, and other raptors up close.
  • Reptile House: The park has a reptile house with a variety of snakes, lizards, and other reptiles from around the world.
  • Petting Farm: Children can get up close and personal with a range of farm animals, including goats, sheep, pigs, and donkeys, in the park's petting farm.
  • Playground: There is a playground area for children, featuring swings, slides, and other play equipment.

Muckross Traditional Farms

Visiting Ireland With Kids

Courtesy Trustees of Muckross House

Muckross Traditional Farms is a living museum located in Killarney, where you can see how rural life was in Ireland in the 1930s and 1940s. Visitors to Muckross Traditional Farms can explore a range of buildings and exhibits, including:

  • A Working Farmhouse: The centerpiece of the museum is a fully furnished farmhouse, where visitors can see how families lived and worked in the early 1900s. The farmhouse features authentic furnishings, tools, and equipment from the period, and guides are on hand to provide explanations and answer questions.
  • A Carpenter's Workshop: Visitors can watch skilled craftsmen at work in a traditional carpenter's workshop, using hand tools and techniques that have been passed down through generations.
  • A Blacksmith's Forge: A working blacksmith's forge offers visitors the chance to see how iron was worked and shaped in the past, with demonstrations and explanations from knowledgeable guides.
  • A Dairy and Mill: Visitors can see how milk was processed and butter was churned in the past, as well as how grain was milled and flour was made.
  • Gardens and Fields: Surrounding the farmhouses are working gardens and fields, where visitors can see how crops were grown and harvested, and how livestock was raised.

Dublin

Dublin is a great place to visit with kids, as there are many activities and attractions that are suitable for all ages. Here are just a few of the best activities for kids near Dublin. There are many more options, including beaches, adventure parks, and historic sites, so you're sure to find something that your family will enjoy!

Visiting Ireland with Kids - Dublin

Courtesy Dylan Vaughan

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo is one of the most popular attractions for families in Dublin. Located in Phoenix Park, the zoo has over 400 animals, including tigers, elephants, and gorillas. Kids can also enjoy the playground and petting zoo.

National Aquatic Center

The National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown is a great place for kids who love swimming. It has a wave pool, a lazy river, and water slides. There's also a diving pool and a 50-meter pool for serious swimmers.  The National Aquatic Centre is a great place for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy swimming, diving, and other aquatic activities, as well as to relax and unwind in the spa area. The center offers something for everyone, from serious athletes to families and tourists looking for a fun day out.

Phoenix Park

Visiting Ireland with Kids

Courtesy Dylan Vaughan

Phoenix Park is one of the largest city parks in Europe and a great place for a family day out. It has a playground, a zoo, and the official residence of the President of Ireland. Kids can also rent bikes and cycle around the park. Covering an area of over 1,750 acres, it is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, as well as several notable monuments and attractions. Visitors to Phoenix Park can enjoy a range of activities, including:

  • Walking and Cycling: The park features numerous walking and cycling paths, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It is also home to several lakes and ponds, which attract a variety of waterfowl.
  • Dublin Zoo: The park is home to Dublin Zoo, which is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in Europe. The zoo features a wide range of animals, including tigers, lions, elephants, and giraffes.
  • Aras an Uachtarain: The official residence of the President of Ireland, Aras an Uachtarain is located within Phoenix Park. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house and its gardens, which offer stunning views of the city.
  • Victorian Walled Garden: The Victorian Walled Garden is a popular attraction within the park, featuring a wide range of flowers, herbs, and vegetables.
  • Sports and Recreation: The park is also home to a range of sports facilities, including football and cricket pitches, tennis courts, and a running track.
  • Monuments and Statues: Phoenix Park is home to several notable monuments and statues, including the Wellington Testimonial, the Papal Cross, and the Phoenix Monument.

Dublinia

Visiting Ireland with Kids - Dublin

Courtesy Dublinia

Dublinia is a great place to visit for those interested in the history and culture of Dublin and Ireland during the Viking and medieval periods. The museum's interactive exhibits and displays provide a unique and engaging way to learn about this fascinating period in Irish history.  Kids can explore a range of exhibits and interactive displays, including:

  • Viking Dublin: An exhibit that explores the history and culture of the Viking settlers who arrived in Dublin in the 9th century. Learn about Viking life, see replica Viking ships, and explore a reconstructed Viking house.
  • Medieval Dublin: An exhibit that focuses on the medieval period of Dublin's history, with interactive displays that allow visitors to experience what life was like in Dublin during this time. The exhibit includes a reconstruction of a medieval street, complete with shops and houses, as well as displays on trade, medicine, and religion.
  • St. Michael's Tower: A climb up the tower provides visitors with a stunning panoramic view of Dublin city.
  • Christchurch Cathedral: Dublinia is located next to Christchurch Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century. Explore the cathedral and learn about its history and significance.
  • Viking Adventure: A fun and interactive ride that takes visitors on a virtual journey back in time to Viking Dublin.

Galway

From beaches, castles and historic sites, Galway has many great activities and attractions that are suitable for the entire family. Here are a few suggested activities the kids will enjoy near Galway:

Visiting Ireland with kids - Galway

Courtesy Valerie O' Sullivan

Galway Atlanticaquaria

Galway Atlantaquaria is Ireland's largest aquarium and a great place to learn about marine life. Kids can see sharks, rays, and other sea creatures up close and participate in interactive exhibits.

The aquarium features a range of exhibits that allow visitors to learn about the marine life found in the Atlantic, including interactive touch pools, displays of seahorses, rays, and sharks, and a re-creation of a rocky shore habitat. Visitors can also see a wide range of species native to the Irish coast, including lobsters, crabs, and flatfish.

One of the highlights of the aquarium is the Ocean Tank, which is a 120,000-litre tank that is home to a variety of marine life including giant conger eels, sea bass, and rays. Visitors can watch as the divers feed the animals and learn about the different species that call the Atlantic Ocean their home. The aquarium also offers a range of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, workshops, and talks on topics such as marine conservation and sustainability.

Brigit's Garden

Brigit's Garden is a Celtic-themed garden located in Rosscahill, about 20 minutes from Galway. The garden covers 11 acres and is designed to reflect the ancient Celtic festivals and traditions.

The garden is divided into four main sections, each representing a different season of the year. Visitors can explore the gardens at their own pace and learn about the plants, trees, and wildlife that are native to the area. In addition to the gardens, Brigit's Garden also features a range of cultural activities and events that allow visitors to learn more about Celtic traditions and mythology. These include workshops on traditional crafts, storytelling sessions, and seasonal festivals and celebrations.

One of the highlights of Brigit's Garden is the Celtic calendar, which is an outdoor exhibit that showcases the 8 festivals of the Celtic year, including Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasa. Visitors can learn about the traditions and customs associated with each festival and how they were celebrated in ancient times.

Brigit's Garden also features a lovely cafe that serves organic, locally-sourced food, as well as a gift shop that sells handmade crafts and other items inspired by Celtic culture.

Leisureland

Leisureland is an indoor entertainment center in Salthill, Galway. It has a swimming pool, water slides, and a gym. Kids can also enjoy the arcade games and the indoor climbing wall.

Glengowla Mines and Family Farm

Visiting Ireland with Kids - Galway

Courtesy Susan Connell

Glengowla Mines and Family Farm offers a unique and educational experience that combines history, culture, and nature. It is a great destination for families and anyone interested in learning about Ireland's past and present.

The mine offers guided tours that take visitors through the underground tunnels and chambers, showcasing the tools, equipment, and techniques used by miners during the time. Visitors can learn about the harsh conditions that miners faced and the history of the mining industry in the area.In addition to the mine, the attraction also features a family farm that allows visitors to interact with a variety of farm animals, including horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. Visitors can also participate in activities such as milking cows, sheep herding, and traditional turf cutting.

Burren Nature Sanctuary

The Burren

Courtesy Brian Morrison

The Burren Nature Sanctuary is located in Kinvara, about 30 minutes from Galway. It has a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including a nature trail, a fairy village, and a storytelling room.  Set in 50 acres of woodlands and meadows, it is dedicated to preserving and promoting the natural environment of the Burren region. The sanctuary features a range of exhibits and activities designed to educate visitors about the local flora and fauna, geology, and cultural history of the area. Visitors can explore the sanctuary's nature trail, which winds through woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, and offers views of the surrounding hills and countryside.

The sanctuary also features a range of interactive exhibits, including a pollinator garden, a butterfly house, and an interactive farm exhibit that showcases traditional farming practices in the region. Visitors can learn about the unique flora and fauna of the Burren, including its wildflowers, orchids, and rare species such as the pine marten and the otter. In addition to its exhibits and trails, the Burren Nature Sanctuary offers a range of educational programs and workshops for children and adults. These include guided nature walks, craft workshops, and educational talks on topics such as beekeeping, bird watching, and sustainable living.


Cobh

Located in County Cork, Cobh  is a great place to visit with kids and the area has many activities that every member of the family can enjoy. Some recommendations on activities the kids might enjoy include:

Visiting Ireland with kids - Cobh

Courtesy Catherine Crowley

Titanic Experience Cobh

Visiting Ireland with Kids - Titanic

Courtesy Liam Murphy

The Titanic Experience Cobh is a museum dedicated to telling the story of the RMS Titanic, the famous ship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. The museum is housed in the original White Star Line Ticket Office, which was used to process tickets for the Titanic's passengers. The building has been restored to its original condition, and visitors can explore the various exhibits and displays that tell the story of the ship's ill-fated voyage.

The museum offers a range of interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what life was like aboard the Titanic. These include a replica of a first-class cabin, a replica of the ship's grand staircase, and an exhibit on the ship's construction and engineering. Visitors can also learn about the passengers and crew of the Titanic, including their personal stories and experiences. The museum features a database of all the passengers and crew members who were aboard the ship, and visitors can search for their own ancestors who may have been on board.

One of the highlights of the Titanic Experience Cobh is the guided tour, which takes visitors on a walk through Cobh to see the various sites associated with the Titanic, including the pier where the ship docked before setting sail on its fateful voyage.

Fota Wildlife Park

Visiting Ireland with kids

© Tourism Ireland

Fota Wildlife Park is a popular zoological park located on Fota Island near Cork City in Ireland. It is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of wildlife species from around the world. The park spans over 100 acres and is home to a diverse range of animals from various regions including Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Visitors can see many exotic and endangered species such as giraffes, cheetahs, kangaroos, zebras, meerkats, and many more.

One of the unique features of Fota Wildlife Park is its open habitats. Instead of traditional enclosures, the animals roam freely in large open spaces that are designed to mimic their natural habitats. This provides visitors with an immersive experience and allows them to get up close and personal with the animals. The park also features a number of educational programs and activities, including guided tours, animal encounters, and keeper talks. These programs are designed to educate visitors about the importance of conservation and the role that zoos play in preserving endangered species.

In addition to its animal exhibits, Fota Wildlife Park also offers beautiful gardens, playgrounds, and picnic areas, making it an ideal destination for families and visitors of all ages.

Cobh Heritage Center

The Cobh Heritage Centre is a museum that explores the history of Cobh, from its early settlers to its role as a major transatlantic port. Kids can participate in interactive exhibits and learn about the town's maritime history. The center is housed in the former Victorian railway station building, which was once the departure point for many of the millions of Irish emigrants who left for America and other parts of the world from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. Visitors can explore the various exhibits and displays that tell the story of Cobh's maritime history, including the role it played in the Titanic and Lusitania disasters.

The museum features interactive displays, audio-visual presentations, and artifacts from the town's history. Visitors can learn about the lives of the people who lived and worked in Cobh, including the sailors, fishermen, emigrants, and soldiers who passed through the town over the years. One of the highlights of the Cobh Heritage Centre is the Queenstown Story, a multimedia exhibition that tells the story of emigration from Ireland to America and Canada. Visitors can explore the various stages of the emigration process, from leaving home to arriving in a new country.

The center also features a genealogy service, where visitors can research their family history and find out more about their ancestors who may have left from Cobh.

Spike Island

Visiting Ireland with kids - Spike Island

Courtesy Spike Island Management

Spike Island is a historic fortress located in Cork Harbour, just a short ferry ride from Cobh. The island has a long and fascinating history, and has been used for various purposes over the centuries, including as a monastery, a fortress, a prison, and a military base. Today, Spike Island is a popular tourist attraction and is home to a number of historical and cultural attractions. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and explore its many features, including:

  • Spike Island Fortress: The island was once home to a massive fortress, which was built in the 18th century to protect the port of Cork. Visitors can explore the various buildings and structures that remain from this era, including the star-shaped fort and the impressive artillery.
  • Spike Island Prison: In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Spike Island was used as a prison, and was known as "Ireland's Alcatraz". Visitors can take a guided tour of the prison and learn about its history and the lives of the prisoners who were incarcerated there.
  • Spike Island Museum: The island is also home to a fascinating museum, which tells the story of the island and its many uses over the centuries. The museum features exhibits on the island's military history, its role in the Irish War of Independence, and its use as a prison.
  • Walking Trails: Spike Island offers a number of walking trails that allow visitors to explore the island's natural beauty and enjoy stunning views of Cork Harbour. The island is home to a variety of wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and seabirds.

Trabolgan Holiday Village

Trabolgan Holiday Village is a popular family holiday resort located near Whitegate. The resort is situated on over 140 acres of woodland and offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Accommodation options at Trabolgan Holiday Village include self-catering apartments, holiday homes, and mobile homes. The resort also features a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as a swimming pool complex, a spa, and a fitness center. Highlights of Trabolgan Holiday Village include its range of family-friendly activities:

  • Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas: The resort features a large indoor play area with soft play equipment, slides, and climbing frames, as well as a range of outdoor play areas with swings, slides, and other attractions.
  • Adventure Sports: Trabolgan Holiday Village offers a range of adventure sports, including archery, zip lining, and abseiling.
  • Water Sports: The resort is located on the coast and offers a range of water sports activities, including kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding.
  • Entertainment: The resort features a full schedule of entertainment, including live shows, music performances, and movie screenings.
  • Wildlife Park: Trabolgan Holiday Village is home to a wildlife park, where visitors can see a range of animals, including birds of prey, owls, and reptiles.

Ireland's Midlands

By far, most visitors to Ireland spend time in Dublin, and head to the coasts.  While Ireland's capital city and the Wild Atlantic Way are all must see destinations, there is even more to explore and discover in Ireland's hidden heartlands.

Visiting Ireland with kids - Offaly

Courtesy Failte Ireland

Belvedere House and Gardens

Tour of Ireland Belvedere Gardens

Visit the historic estate,  Belvedere House and Gardens in County Westmeath, where kids can explore the extensive parkland, gardens, and woodland trails. There's also a children's playground and a fairy garden.  The estate dates back to the 18th century and is famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and rich history. The centerpiece of Belvedere House is a magnificent Georgian mansion, which was built in the 1740s by Robert Rochfort, the first Earl of Belvedere. The mansion is surrounded by extensive gardens and parkland, which cover over 160 acres and include a range of features and attractions, such as:

  • Victorian Walled Garden: The estate features a beautifully restored Victorian walled garden, which contains a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees, as well as a herb garden and a maze.
  • The Jealous Wall: This is a huge stone wall that was built by the first Earl of Belvedere to block the view of his brother's nearby estate. The wall is over 30 feet high and is one of the largest follies in Ireland.
  • The Parkland: Belvedere House is set in a picturesque parkland setting, with walking trails, a lake, and various picnic spots.
  • Fairy Trail: Children will love exploring the Fairy Trail, a magical woodland walk that leads through the forest and features a range of fairy houses and other enchanting surprises.
  • Adventure Playground: The estate has a large adventure playground, which includes a zip line, climbing frames, swings, and slides.

Luan Gallery - Athlone

Luan Gallery

Courtesy Sonder Visuals

Go to the Luan Gallery in Athlone, County Westmeath, where kids can take part in art workshops and activities.  The gallery is situated in a beautiful location overlooking the River Shannon and showcases a range of contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery was opened in 2012 and is housed in a modern, purpose-built building that is designed to complement its surroundings. The exhibitions on display at the Luan Gallery are curated to showcase the work of both established and emerging Irish artists, as well as international artists.

The gallery's collection includes a wide range of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and installations. The exhibitions change regularly, so visitors can always expect something new and exciting to see. The Luan Gallery also runs a range of workshops, talks, and events throughout the year, aimed at promoting art education and engagement. These events are suitable for people of all ages and abilities, and provide opportunities to learn more about art, meet other like-minded people, and get hands-on with creative activities.

Birr Castle Defense

Rising Ireland with Kids - Birr Castle

Courtesy Failte Ireland

At Birr Castle Demesne in County Offaly, kids can explore the beautiful gardens, go on a tree trail, and visit the Science Centre, which has interactive exhibits on astronomy and other scientific topics.  The castle dates back to the 1620s and has been home to the Parsons family for over 400 years. The castle and its extensive gardens are now open to the public and attract visitors from all over Ireland and beyond.

One of the highlights of Birr Castle is its beautiful gardens, which cover over 120 acres and feature a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees. The gardens are divided into several sections, including the formal gardens, the wildflower meadow, and the arboretum. There are also several features and attractions within the gardens, including:

  • The Great Telescope: This is a historic telescope that was built in the 1840s by the third Earl of Rosse. At the time, it was the largest telescope in the world and allowed astronomers to make significant discoveries about the universe.
  • The River Garden: This is a beautiful garden area that is located along the banks of the River Camcor. It features a range of water features, including a waterfall and a fountain, as well as a variety of plants and trees.
  • The Hornbeam Walk: This is a shaded walkway that is lined with tall hornbeam trees. It is a popular spot for visitors looking to escape the sun on a hot day.
  • The Formal Gardens: These are the main gardens at Birr Castle and feature a range of features and attractions, including a box parterre, a sunken garden, and a rose garden.

In addition to the gardens, Birr Castle also has a range of indoor attractions, including the castle itself, which is filled with historic furniture, artwork, and artifacts. There is also a science center, which explores the history of scientific discovery at Birr Castle, as well as a cafe, gift shop, and playground.

Shannon River Boating

Take a boat tour on the River Shannon, which runs through the midlands. Kids can enjoy the scenery and wildlife, and learn about the history and geography of the region.

Visiting Ireland with kids - Shannon Boats

Courtesy Failte Ireland

Clara Bog Visitor Center

Visiting Ireland with Kids

Gareth McCormack/garethmccormack.com

The Clara Bog Visitor Center is located in County Offaly, Ireland, and is a great destination for anyone interested in nature, history, and ecology. The center is situated on the edge of the Clara Bog Nature Reserve, which covers over 400 hectares of raised bogland and is one of the most important and best-preserved raised bogs in Europe.

The visitor center features a range of exhibitions, interactive displays, and guided tours that provide visitors with an insight into the unique ecology of raised bogs, as well as the cultural and historical significance of these landscapes. Some of the highlights of the center include:

  • Interactive Displays: The visitor center features a range of interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about the flora, fauna, and ecology of raised bogs. These displays include a virtual bog exploration exhibit, which takes visitors on a journey through the different layers of the bog, and a wildlife exhibit, which showcases some of the plants and animals that live in the bog.
  • Guided Tours: Visitors can take guided tours of the Clara Bog Nature Reserve with experienced guides who can provide insights into the history and ecology of the bog. The tours take visitors along boardwalk trails that wind through the bog, offering stunning views of the landscape.
  • Education Programs: The center also runs a range of educational programs for schools and other groups, aimed at promoting awareness and understanding of raised bogs and their ecological importance.
  • Gift Shop: The visitor center has a gift shop that sells a range of souvenirs and products, including books, maps, and locally-made crafts.

Athlone Castle

Visiting Ireland with Kids - Athlete Castle

Courtesy Joanna Grobosz

Athlone Castle was built in the 13th century and has played an important role in Irish history for centuries. Today, it is open to the public and is a popular tourist destination in the midlands of Ireland. Visitors to Athlone Castle can explore the castle's many features and attractions, including:

  • Exhibitions: The castle features a range of exhibitions that tell the story of the castle's history and its role in Irish history. These exhibitions use multimedia displays, artifacts, and interactive exhibits to bring the castle's history to life.
  • Medieval Battlements: Visitors can climb to the top of the castle's medieval battlements, which offer stunning views of the town of Athlone and the River Shannon.
  • Audio Tours: Visitors can take an audio tour of the castle, which provides additional information and context about the castle's history and features.
  • Gift Shop: The castle has a gift shop that sells a range of souvenirs and products, including books, maps, and locally-made crafts.

In addition to the castle itself, there are also a number of other attractions in the town of Athlone that visitors may want to explore, including the Athlone Town Walls, St. Peter and Paul's Church, and the River Shannon itself.

Lough Boora Discovery Park

Visiting Ireland with kids

Courtesy of Yourstoryphotography

A unique and beautiful destination, Lough Boora Discovery Park is County Offaly andcovers over 2,000 hectares of former peatlands that have been restored and transformed into a beautiful nature reserve with a range of outdoor activities and attractions. Visitors to Lough Boora Discovery Park can explore the park's many features and attractions, including:

  • Sculpture Park: The park features an extensive sculpture park with over 20 large-scale sculptures by artists from around the world. The sculptures are located throughout the park and are integrated into the landscape.
  • Walking and Cycling Trails: There are over 50 kilometers of walking and cycling trails in the park, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. The trails take visitors through a range of habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, and woodland areas.
  • Bird Watching: The park is home to a wide variety of bird species, including waders, wildfowl, and birds of prey. The bird hides and observation points located throughout the park provide visitors with excellent opportunities for bird watching.
  • Fishing: Lough Boora Discovery Park has several fishing lakes stocked with brown and rainbow trout. Fishing permits are available at the park's visitor center.
  • Nature Conservation: The park is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, many of which are rare or endangered. The park's nature conservation programs aim to protect and enhance these important habitats.
  • Visitor Center: The park's visitor center provides information on the park's history, ecology, and attractions. The center also has a café and gift shop selling a range of souvenirs and products.

Dingle

The charming town of Dingle and the stunning landscapes in the surrounding area draw thousands of visitors each year.  But kids can sometimes lose interest with driving and seeing the amazing scenery.  Here are a few options to keep the kids interested while visiting Dingle.

Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium

Located in Dingle the aquarium features a variety of marine life exhibits, including sharks, rays, turtles, and a range of fish species. Visitors can also see penguins, otters, and reptiles in the aquarium's exhibits. One of the main attractions is the Ocean Tunnel, where visitors can walk through a tunnel surrounded by a 360-degree view of an underwater environment.

Dingle Oceanworld also offers educational programs and activities for children, including guided tours and interactive exhibits. The aquarium is open year-round, with daily opening hours varying depending on the season.

Blasket Islands Visitor Center

Great Blaskets - Visit Ireland with kids

Courtesy Failte Ireland

An interpretive center located on the mainland in Dunquin, the Blasket Center is dedicated to telling the story of the Blasket Islands, a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland that were inhabited until the mid-20th century. The center features exhibits that showcase the unique way of life of the islanders, including their language, literature, and daily activities. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits and displays that illustrate the history and culture of the Blasket Islands.

One of the main attractions of the center is a 20-minute audio-visual presentation that tells the story of the Blasket Islanders and their way of life. Visitors can also enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the nearby Blasket Islands from the center's observation deck. The Blasket Centre also offers a variety of guided tours and activities, including hiking and walking tours that explore the history and culture of the area. The center is open year-round, with daily opening hours varying depending on the season.

Dunquin Pier - Visiting Ireland with kids

Courtesy Chaosheng Zhang

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