Guide to Kerry for Families: Where to Eat, Stay, Play and Explore

Jill Holtz

February 13, 2023

Guide to Kerry for Families

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County Kerry is one of the most popular counties for both Irish and overseas visitors, and it’s easy to see why when you get there. With its stunning scenery, history, delicious food,  fun places to take the kids, and more. You’ll enjoy a whole host of unique family-friendly activities and places to visit to keep you busy.

In our Guide to Kerry for Families, we’ve picked some of our favourite things to do with the family around County Kerry, whether you’re planning a weekend break, looking to fill a rainy day, explore in the sunshine, or just try something new.

Our Guide to Kerry for Families

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Kerry

dingle oceanworld

Boasting Ireland’s largest collection of sharks, a polar penguin display featuring Gentoo Penguins, Amazonian displays, a touch tank and a nine-metre underwater tunnel, Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle also hold daily talks, feeds and encounters.

Enjoy splashing fun at The Aqua Dome in Tralee where you’ll find waves, rapids, rivers and slides in tropical temperatures. After your swim session, you can also enjoy mini golf, Bungee Trampoline, Giant Slide and Bouncing Castle.

Crag Cave in Castleisland is renowned as one of the finest examples of a limestone cave in Ireland with stalagmites, stalactites, and underground water channels. You’ll also find Crazy Cave, a three tiered indoor adventure centre suitable for children complete with a mega astra slide, cannon guns, a soccer pitch, spiral slides and separate areas for babies and under 5’s. The visitor centre also has a restaurant and a gift shop.

Meet and cuddle animals galore at Kennedy’s All-Weather Pet Farm & Playgrounds near Killarney, as well as indoor and outdoor paygrounds, you can enjoy pony rides and fishing.

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Free Things to Do in Kerry

Staigue Fort County Kerry

Step back in time at Staigue Fort, just off the Sneem Waterville road, one of the largest and finest ring forts in Ireland. It consists of a large circular rampart surrounded by a bank, situated on a low hill with great views of Kenmare Bay. There are ten flights of steps built in an X shape, giving you access to the top of the rampart.

Bring the kids to one of these libraries in Kerry. Most have children’s sections where the kids can sit down and entertain themselves with the great selection of books, games and puzzles. Some also offer weekly story times.

See prehistoric tetrapod footprints predating dinosaurs at the Tetrapod Trackway on Valentia Island. Here is one of only 4 sets of prehistoric footprints in the world! The footprints give an invaluable view of the transition of life from water onto land.

Stop by and see Charlie Chaplin’s statue at Waterville. The actor became so beloved by the community during his family holidays there, that they erected a permanent bronze statue of Charlie Chaplin and there’s an annual Chaplin film festival each year in the town.

Outdoor Activities in Kerry

tralee bay wetlands family days out ideas Ireland

Glentennassig Woods, located just off the Tralee to Dingle road at Castlegregory, offers spectacular walking along wooden trails surrounded by a lake and Annascaul mountain.

Gleninchaquin Park in Kenmare is a fabulous outdoor facility with a spectacular 140 metre high waterfall, lots of accessible walking routes, woodlands and lakes. It is surrounded by the McGillicuddy Reeks. Parking on-site and admission charge but you can bring a picnic and dogs are welcome on lead.

At Tralee Bay Wetlands Eco and Activity Park explore the Nature Reserve, try nature activities including pond dipping, and enjoy pedalo boats on the Lake. There is also a fun outdoor playground.

There are several fairy trails to visit in Kerry, each with their own local fairies! Glenbeigh Fairy Forest has 50 fairy houses along the way to spot; at the Fairy Trails at Derrynane House can you spot the one shaped like a boot? For a lovely fairy walk with lots of hidden fairies in the trees, head to Bonane Fairy Trail, Kenmare.

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Are you searching for what’s on for families in Ireland? Enjoy hours of family fun with our monthly round up of exciting events and things to do!

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Family-Friendly Museums & Galleries in Kerry

kerry county museum

At Kerry County Museum you can explore various exhibits including one on local Kerryman and Antarctic explorer Tom Crean as well as their Medieval Experience where you can find out how people lived in medieval times. For kids there’s a Pangur Bán trail exploring the museum’s displays and learning about all sorts of interesting things from Stone Age survival kits to St Brendan’s travels. They also run family events throughout the year so check before you visit. Small admission fee.

The Celtic & Prehistoric Museum, 4km southwest of Ventry houses an interesting collection of Celtic and prehistoric artefacts, including the world’s largest woolly mammoth skull and tusks, as well as a 40,000-year-old cave bear skeleton, Viking ice skates, stone battle-axes, flint daggers and jewellery.

The Lartigue Monorail and Museum in Listowel offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to experience a unique form of rail travel. The original steam-powered monorail ran for nine miles between Listowel and the seaside resort of Ballybunion. Nowadays, your visit includes a short demonstration journey on a full-scale diesel-powered replica of the original monorail. Before or after your journey, you can visit the Lartigue Museum to watch film of the original Lartigue and see models, displays and memorabilia of the Lartigue and main-line railways.

The Cill Rialaig Arts Centre in Dun Geagan, Ballinskelligs off the N70 between Waterville and Cahersiveen features a wide range of exhibitions, programs and workshops for adults and children year round.

Rainy Day Activities in Kerry

kids swimming

Enjoy some swimming and splashing time at Aqua Dome in Tralee, with flumes, waves and more. Coral Leisure in Killarney, the Tralee Sports Centre and Ballybunion Health & Leisure Centre all offer pay as you go swimming at public swim times, check their timetables before you go.

For some bookshop time, head to O’Mahonys in Tralee or stop by Kenmare Bookshop or Dingle Bookshop. You’ll find Eason branches in Killarney and Tralee.

For indoor soft play:

  • The Playdium in Tralee
  • Bowling Buddies in Tralee
  • Crazy Cave at Crag Cave

You can go bowling at Bowling Buddies in Tralee or puzzle your way out of 2 escape rooms at Escape Killarney.

Catch a movie at The Omniplex, Tralee and Killarney, or at Cinema Killarney.

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Plan a whole range of family days out with this brilliant checklist of 99 fantastic places to visit around Ireland!

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Family-Friendly Hotels & Accommodation in Kerry

Parknasilla Resort & Spa is a firm favourite with families with its picturesque walks and beautiful setting. They offer both self-catering lodges and hotel rooms for families with suites and some rooms with bunk beds. Swimming pool, archery, tennis courts, fun golf, and a Fairy Trail to explore, along with kids club in holidays. Don’t miss meeting Parknasilla’s resident Falconer Andy and his owls and falcons.

Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort is fantastic for families, they offer a range of family-friendly accommodation including hotel rooms and luxury lodges and holiday houses. There is a fabulous pool, playground, Kids Area in the restaurant, and Kids Club during school holidays. It’s a short walk along a pedestrian-only path into Kenmare itself so you don’t need to fret about walking on the main road. One of the self-catering houses is allocated for dog owners.

The Derrynane Hotel & Oceanfront Cottages sits beside a blue flag beach and has many family friendly activities on-site and nearby including a heated outdoor pool and gardens with fairies in residence.

Situated adjacent to the INEC in the centre of Killarney, the Gleneagle Hotel caters for families large and small with a variety of room options, suites and apartments. It also has a host of on-site activities to amuse kids including leisure centre with pool, snooker and activity centre and more.

Check out more of our favourite family-friendly hotels and accommodation in Ireland – from luxury breaks and hotels with kids clubs to self-catering choices and family camping and glamping.

Family-Friendly Restaurants in Kerry

There are many good restaurants in Kerry to choose from, here are just a few recommended by parents

  • The Dingle Diner serves burgers, pizzas and seaside favourites like scampi or fish and chips. Kids will love the milkshakes!
  • Sforno in Kenmare serves delicious Italian food, and kids can choose their own pizza toppings or from a variety of pastas.
  • Jack’s Coastguard Restaurant, Cromane near Killorglin and the seaside resort of Glenbeigh, is family run and encompasses a traditional pub with a luxury dining restaurant. They serve award-winning seafood and have a family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Il Pomo Doro is an Italian Restaurant located in the heart of Tralee offering home made pastas, fish, beef and lamb on the menu. Their kids menu has different pasta and chicken options.
  • In Kenmare, Rookery Lane and Kenmare Brew House are very family friendly. Rookery Lane offers Irish dishes with a Californian twist while Brew House offers breakfast and then lunch/dinner options.
  • The Ross Hotel in Killarney has one of the best VIK (Very Important Kids) menus around at their café at the back. They also decorate really nicely for Halloween/Christmas etc

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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!

Kids Afternoon Tea in Ireland

Things to Do in Kerry for Older Kids and Teens

Enjoy bowling at Bowling Buddies in Tralee or for some escape room fun, try Escape Killarney.

Ever played Footgolf? Yes it is as it is described, a game played on a golf course with a football. A game of Foot Golf takes around an hour, and is suitable for all ages and all levels of fitness. Enjoy Footgolf at Cúrsa Pháirc & Phoill an Daingin in Dingle,

The Dingle Sea Safari Rib Experience has been voted the number one activity to do while visiting the Dingle Peninsula. Take this unique boat tour to see the breathtaking coastline of Dingle Bay, get an up close view of the Great Blasket Island, see the rock formations, seals and caves. Keep an eye out for puffins, whales and dolphins during this 2.5-3 hour tour.

Try surfing at one of Kerry’s fantastic beaches. There are plenty of surf lessons on offer at places such as Banna Beach, Inch Beach and Rosbeigh.

Take part in the Pottery Experience at Louis Mulcahy’s Pottery and have a go at making your own pot.

Need a retail blitz? There are lots of shops to choose from at Manor West Shopping Centre in Tralee or at Killarney Outlet Centre. Penneys can be found in both Tralee and Killarney.

Don’t Miss!

blennerville windmill kerry

Blennerville Windmill is located in Tralee Bay, where Tralee meets the Dingle Peninsula. At the Visitor Centre you can view the working Windmill – you can climb to the top – and watch audio-visual presentation as well as a model of the Tralee Dingle railway, an exhibition gallery, gift and coffee shop.

There’s also a Bird Watching platform with a telescope overlooking Slí na nÉan (The Way of the Birds).

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