If you’re planning a family visit to the south and west of Ireland, then this guide to the best family things to do in Munster is here to help!
We have rounded up our pick of great outings and family things to do in Munster!
Family Things to Do in Munster
You’ll find a mixture of paid for and free places to visit, indoors and outdoors places, old historical places and brand new attractions. We hope you have fun visiting them all and be sure to let us know how you got on and what you thought of them, we always welcome feedback!
Fota Wildlife Park, Cork
See a Kangaroo hop in front of you or get close to a Ring-tailed Lemur! Fota Wildlife Park is only 20 mins from Cork and is a great day out for all the family. For a fun Family Day Out in Cork, there is no better place to visit than Fota Wildlife Park.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities for children in the summer, holiday camps for Easter or you simply want to take advantage of some sunny weekend weather, the Park has a variety of Things to Do for children and parents alike.
Fota House & Gardens
Fota House and Gardens in Cork offers visitors a look at how life was lived in the past, whether as a servant or as a member of the gentry. When you tour the house you get to see behind the scenes to the bedrooms and a Victorian nursery. Then visit the service wing, where you can see the working conditions of all the servants.
“Where is Mrs Kevin’s Cat?!” is a family tour through the House with a dedicated guide, solving the mystery of where the housekeeper’s cat has got to. It’s a great way for children to enjoy learning about the house and the people who lived here.
Enjoy trails and tours in the Gardens, and stop by the Cafe for refreshments. Check their website before you go as they run lots of family friendly events throughout the year.
Craggaunowen is off the beaten track and will give you a real sense of stepping back in time. The many paths of Craggaunowen have something of interest to adults and children alike. Explore the grounds and you may even meet some Bronze Age animals, our wild boar and soay sheep!
Be sure to visit the ‘Brendan Boat’ – a leather hulled boat built by Tim Severin who sailed across the Atlantic re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan.
Then for refreshments stop into Tea Room and enjoy a fresh scone and other home made fare on offer.
Titanic Experience Cobh, Cork
The Titanic Experience, Cobh tells the story of a legend and her connection to Cobh. Situated in the original offices of The White Star Line, retrace the footsteps of the 123 Queenstown Passengers who boarded Titanic from Cobh.
Check in at the White Star Line Ticket Office, experience life on board through the innovative audio visual technology, and replica set designs and discover the facts surrounding the tragic sinking of Titanic. And finally find out if you were one of the passengers that survived!
Ballyhass Lakes and Activity Centre, Cork
Ballyhass Lakes, outside of Mallow, Co Cork, consists of an Activity Centre, Fishery and Holiday Homes.
The Activity Centre makes full use of the natural environs with kayaking, raft building, rock climbing and abseiling on the limestone rock faces, a 160 metre zipline, a gladiator course, a low ropes courses, archery, and new for this year, Cable Wake Boarding in their Wake Park.
The fishery has two separate lakes – the main lake is 12 acres of spring water some 35 feet deep and is reserved for fly fishing only. Fly fishing tuition available. Summer Camps available to book also. Plenty to do whether you visit for a day or a week!
Lifetime Lab at Old Cork Waterworks
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 journey through Victorian architecture and explore the age of steam, investigate our interactive exhibits and transform into environmental detectives discovering how daily choices impact our world.
Lifetime Lab is suitable for all ages. Allow time for a visit to playground and garden overlooking the river Lee. There are regular family events also, so check their website before you go.
King John’s Castle, Limerick
King John’s Castle delivers a modern visitor experience with a dramatic history of over 800 years of stories, all brought to life in a stunning new exhibition.
Touch-screen technology connect you to tales of siege and warfare. A dazzling array of computer generated imagery, animations and ghostly projections are all part of the experience. Try on historic costumes including 18th century dresses or chainmail tunics. 3D models, discovery drawers and audio visuals help you to delve into the Castle’s history.
The busy Castle courtyard is home to a medieval campaign tent, a blacksmith’s forge and scenes from a 17th century siege. An array of colourful characters reveal the secrets and scandals of castle life. Don’t miss the Siege Tunnel which kids can crawl through.
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Clare
At Bunratty Castle & Folk Park everywhere is open for you to explore! You will be charmed as you visit the farm houses and cottages and watch the tasks of rural Irish life.
Make sure you see the baking of the griddle bread next to the fire and tasting it hot with fresh creamery butter. You won’t find a living museum like this anywhere else in Ireland.
Just unwind and take in the scents from the home baking and the turf fires, the sights of the Irish Wolfhounds out around with the resident farmer, the hens and cockerels as they annoy the Falabella pony. Don’t miss the wonderful Castle playground and fairy trail.
Cahir Castle & Swiss Cottage, Tipperary
Kids will love the medieval splendour of Cahir Castle. One of Ireland’s biggest castles, it rises up from an island in the middle of the River Suir and was used as a location for the film Excalibur.
Get the kids to count the cannons scattered around the grounds, see the working portcullis which would have been lowered to protect the castle when it was under attack. The sword in the stone at the front of the castle is a nod to the Castle’s appearance in Excalibur. It won’t budge, but you can have fun trying!
Then take the popular Coronation Walk, from the Castle to the delightful ornamental Swiss Cottage, built by the powerful Butler family. If you follow the walk along the tarmac path beside the river to the cottage and back, it’s just under 4km so not too much of a strain on little legs.
Viking Triangle, Waterford
In the Viking Triangle in Waterford, there are three museums within a few paces of each other which tell the fascinating story of Ireland’s oldest city.
- Step inside Viking Waterford at the massive stone fortress Reginald’s Tower, which houses Waterford’s Viking Treasures and gives the history of viking involvement in Waterford.
- The second museum is Ireland’s only Medieval Museum and showcases beautiful treasures and artefacts from the middle ages.
- At the 1743 Bishop’s Palace, you can follow the story of Waterford city and its people from 1700 up to 1970.
Take a breather and relax in the stunning gardens surrounding the Bishop’s Palace, which are based on a design by celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin. Take a break for lunch in the café. Guided tours are also available.
Get set for a real treat with tiers of delicious bite-sized goodies to enjoy at these fantastic places for kids’ afternoon tea in Ireland – they are definitely worth a visit!
Atlantic Air Adventures, Clare
At Atlantic Air Adventures in Shannon you can “check in” for one of their exciting Family Flying Museum Experiences.
Learn how aircraft fly from a licensed pilot during your pre flight lesson and then take to the sky’s for a virtual Air Race around New York, putting that theory and skill to the test! After landing, take a tour of Shannon Aviation Museum to see aircraft, vintage cockpits, jet engines and lots more. Don’t Miss: their annual Aviation Show in August of each year.
Killarney National Park
A visit to the Killarney National Park is a must, if you’re in Killarney, with the focal point of the National Park for visitors being Muckross House and Gardens. Tour the house, or explore the beautiful gardens, step back into the past on Muckross Traditional Farms, stop off at the petting farm, or picnic and play in the Woodland Play Area. Torc waterfall is nearby.
Tralee Bay Wetlands, Kerry
Enjoy the spectacular views from the viewing tower at Tralee Bay Wetlands. You can also sit in a bird hide, visit the state of the art interactive wildlife exhibits, take a guided nature boat tour and go on the nature board walk, where you can get up close with plants, insects and small mammals!
There’s also an activity zone and lake offering you the chance to rent a pedalo or a rowing boat, go water zorbing, or scale the climbing wall.
Relax afterwards in the visitor centre, which houses a café/bistro and gift shop.
West Cork Model Railway Village
At the Model Railway Village in Clonakilty, West Cork, kids will have a great time checking out the miniaturised old West Cork Railway Line as it was in the 1940s. Walking into the model village, you really step back in time and you can see how life was for the people of Cork long ago.
Relax and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in their cafe or visit their unique gift shop, which is located in an authentic train carriage. Children under 2 go free.