Are you looking for a family challenge that you can do indoors? These engaging indoor family activity trails around Ireland are intriguing and exciting and many are also free to visit. From museums to castles and round towers to an Irish horse racing experience, there are indoor trails and activities here for all ages.
Indoor Family Activity Trails at National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Mayo
The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life offers a chance to immerse yourself in objects, rare archive photography and films that explore Ireland’s rural past and an almost vanished but recent way of life.
It is free to visit and there is a range of free activity sheets and museum trails available from reception. One trail challenges children (and grown-ups!) to find Peadar the Pygmy Shrew who is hiding at various locations in the galleries.
Find out more here.
Strokestown Park, National Famine Museum, Roscommon
The National Famine Museum offer family activity guides to make your visit fascinating and immersive no mater what your age. You can enjoy self guided family tours where history is brought to life through interactive audio and visual displays and learn about the great famine of Ireland and much more.
Afterwards you could take a guided house tour or enjoy outdoor family trails from woodland trails to fairy trails! A visit to the recently open Woodland Café is a must!
Plan your visit here.
The Irish Racehorse Experience at The Irish National Stud and Gardens, Kildare
Journey through the history of horse racing. Brought to life like never before. The Irish Racehorse Experience takes visitors for a behind-the-scenes look at top trainer Jessica Harrington’s yard.
Train your racehorse and choose your unique racing colours. Moving onto the buzz of the race track, admire the fashion before testing your skills in the commentary box. Then it’s onto the thrilling big race, where every decision the visitor has taken affects their performance and result in the race.
Create their story and guide them to glory. Will you ride your colours to victory?
Book your racehorse experience here.
Find Milly the Mouse at The Round Tower Clondalkin, Dublin
The Round Tower Clondalkin education and interpretation centre is an ideal venue for an indoor family adventure, combining fun with education! And it is free to visit.
There is lots to see and do when you visit, with two floors of interactive activities for kids to enjoy. You can meet exciting characters, build your own round tower, or dress up in costume and imagine what Clondalkin was like in days gone by.
In advance of your visit you can also download some fun colouring sheets and of course while you are visiting, be sure to look out for Milly the mouse who is hiding in every room of the exhibition! You can also download the tour as an audio guide on your phone.
Find out more here.
National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin
The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History has a number of family activity trails which can also be done by groups.
From trails to discover your favourite object in the museum to symbols of Ireland, soldiers and chiefs of all ages will find one they can enjoy.
Download the trails here.
Johnstown Castle and The Irish Agricultural Museum Family Trails, Wexford
Discover all about Irish life in days gone by when you visit Johnstown Castle and the Irish Agricultural Museum. Both the castle and the museum offer quiz and trail sheets for children and families to follow when they visit.
Be sure to get yours and learn more about the history, inhabitants, plants, wildlife, statutes, waterways and fun places to discover at this amazing location.
Plan your visit here.
Dublin Castle Family Trail
Follow the route of kings, queens, aristocrats, presidents and heads of state through Dublin Castle’s famous State Apartments. This clever family trail will keep children engaged during a tour around the Castle, looking for symbols, signs and specific items, with riddles, pictures to draw and puzzles to solve along the way.
You can download the family trail on the Dublin Castle website.
National Museum of Ireland, Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin
From ancient Egypt to bog bodies, the Stone Age to Vikings, and everything in between your family can download trails in advance of your visit to the National Museum of Ireland, Archaeology or join in one of the many events and classes that take place throughout the year.
You can download the trails here.
Titanic Belfast, Family Activity Trail
Make the most of your trip to Titanic Belfast with a handheld multimedia guide. Choose from a handheld device with single-use disposable earphones or a mobile version to use with your own smartphone and personal earphones.
Multimedia guides offer a verbal and visual ‘feel’ to the experience and offer additional information that is not displayed within the galleries, giving the experience a more personal touch.
For children, there is a specially designed multimedia guide to engage and delight throughout their visit.
National Museum of Ireland, Natural History Museum, Merrion Square, Dublin
Always a firm favourite with families the Natural History Museum or the Dead Zoo as it is sometimes known offers a number of family trails for you to enjoy during your visit.
Family activity sheets and trails can be downloaded here.
Please note: This museum is closed for upgrade works due to reopen late Summer 2022.
Birr Castle Demesne, Offaly
Take the Science Gallery Challenge when you next visit the 7 Gallery Science Centre situated in the grounds of Birr Castle Demesne.
The science centre reveals the wonders of early photography, engineering and astronomy with a special emphasis on the brilliant design and assembly of the world famous Great Telescope.
Discover astronomical instruments, cameras, photographs and photographic equipment used by the Third and Fourth Earls and Mary, Countess of Rosse, in the middle and late 1800s.
Find out more here.
Athlone Castle Family Trails, Westmeath
During your visit to Athlone Castle you will discover tales of bitter battles fought, territories won and lost and hear stories of bravery. Prepare to walk in the steps of monks, kings, soldiers and generals.
You hear these stories and the story of Athlone Castle through a series of modern exhibitions, authentic museum artefacts, interactive games and an intense 360º cinematic experience of the Great Siege of Athlone.
Save the Planet at Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork
Can you save the earth? Challenge to the family to try by playing The Comet Chaser at Blackrock Castle Observatory. Afterwards meet Cosmo the virtual astronaut, send an email to space and track its navigation and do some hands-on experiments in the SFI Discovery Zone.