Limerick in the Mid West of Ireland, home of world famous Munster Rugby, offers heaps of history, fun places to take the kids, and more. Enjoy nature, culture, delicious food, and a whole host of unique family-friendly activities and places to visit to keep you busy.
In our Guide to Limerick for Families, we’ve picked some of our favourite things to do with the family around Limerick city and county, 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 Limerick for Families
Family-Friendly Things to Do in Limerick
Horrible Histories fans will love King John’s Castle, a 13th century castle on ‘King’s Island’ in the heart of medieval Limerick City overlooking the majestic River Shannon. Explore 800 years of history brought to life in the imaginative historical exhibition, excavated pre-Norman houses, fortifications, siege mines, and the battlement walks. Kids can dress up, open drawers, crawl through tunnels and more.
Enjoy a browse around Limerick Milk Market and sample the culinary delights of Ireland with Irish cheeses, fish, seaweeds, sausages, jams, chutneys, breads and juice. On Fridays and Sundays you’ll find Outdoor Cáfe with eight shops open 11am – 3pm with live music and brunch, with Monthly Fairs for art, antiques, vinyl and garden. Saturdays sees the world famous food market open 8am to 1.30pm.
Make your way to the countryside and visit Adare, said to be Ireland’s prettiest village. Stop by Adare Heritage Centre where you’ll find a reconstruction of Adare’s unique past from the arrival of the Normans to the ancient Abbeys of the Middle Ages told through realistic imagery and storyboards. You can take guided tours of Desmond Castle throughout the high season. Browse crafts and enjoy food at cafes and restaurants.
Lough Gur is a magical, mysterious place rich in folklore along with a wealth of archaeology and history dating back to the Stone Age. The Heritage Centre provides a fascinating interpretation of the sites associated with Lough Gur, with interactive exhibitions with touch screens. There’s also a guided tour and audio guides as well as outdoor acoustic guides to help you enjoy your visit. For children there’s an activity sheet, dressing up, Archaeology Dig, and a neolithic pot building section.
Free Things to Do in Limerick
With dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, goats, pot-bellied black pigs, donkeys, ponies, chickens, and rabbits to see, the Limerick Animal Welfare Field of Dreams Sanctuary in Kilfinane is as good as any pet farm! You are welcome to walk a dog, pet a cat, or take a stroll through the beautiful gravel walkways which wind through the fields and you will experience the extraordinary views of the surrounding countryside and the Ballyhoura Hills. Open to the public 7 days per week from 11am to 3pm. You are welcome to bring treats, but please drop them to the reception for staff to distribute to the animals as some are on special food/diet.
Head to the People’s Park in Limerick City, the main park in the city which houses a children’s playground, the Limerick City Gallery of Art, bandstand and plenty of flowers and trees to enjoy.
Bring the kids to one of these libraries in Limerick. 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.
Here are some fun playgrounds in Limerick that we can recommend, including at People’s Park, Mungret and Loughill.
The Great Southern Greenway Limerick is a 39km off-road walking and cycling route along an old railway line that connects the three market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastlewest and Abbeyfeale in West Limerick. You’ll find plenty to spot along the Greenway from Norman castles, medieval ruins, workhouses, famine graveyards, deserted railway stations, a viaduct and of course, some breathtaking scenery.
Outdoor Activities in Limerick
Clancy’s Strand is situated on the banks of the River Shannon, near Thomond Bridge. You’ll find a long board walk with great views of King John’s Castle and the Curragour falls. You can also see the historic Limerick Treaty Stone, where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691, marking the surrender of the city to William of Orange. On this walk along you will see where the Abbey River diverges off from the Shannon River creating the island called King’s Island that King John’s Castle sits on. Legends say that the Abbey River was created by Viking invaders whose ships could not cross the Curraghgower falls on the Shannon River.
Curragh Chase is a fantastic outdoor amenity with two kids playgrounds to enjoy, as well as walking or cycling on flat trails into the forest. There’s a lake with swans and plenty of outdoor space and activities to please all age groups. A permanent orienteering course has been laid out in Curragh Chase throughout the park which can be fun to follow. There are plenty of picnic tables and BBQ stands to use at the main car parking area. Don’t miss the Pet Cemetary when you visit. NB The car park costs €5.
Twenty miles west of Limerick City, along the south bank of the Shannon Estuary, you can discover a unique nature walk and Ireland’s first designated sanctuary for butterflies, the Butterfly Sanctuary at Aughinish. Grasses, herbs and wild flowers grow in abundance giving a colourful display during the summer, but this area is worth a visit all year round.
There are several fairy trails to visit in Limerick, each with their own local fairies! In the village of Athea, behind the Giant’s Garden, find the fairy trail which is home to 10 fairies each with their own fairy door. At the end of the trail you will find a Fairy Post Box where you can post your own message to the fairies. There is also a worry-tree called ‘Croga’ which promises to take away any worries you might have if you place your hand on the plaque attached to it. There are also Fairy Woods in Castleconnell, a Fairy Trail at Woodlands House Hotel in Adare (ask at reception for a map and fairy dust), an enchanted Fairy Garden at Mill Road in Corbally, and a Fairy Trail at Lough Gur which is home to Fer Fí King of the Fairies!
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!
Family-Friendly Museums & Galleries in Limerick
At The Hunt Museum you can discover a diverse collection of antiquities and art. See ancient artefacts from around the world, Irish prehistoric, Bronze Age and medieval collections, and decorative art. Don’t miss works from Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore in the collection. There is a regular schedule of child-friendly activities and events. Young visitors can explore the collection through one of the age-appropriate Discovery Trails, or explore their creative side in an Arts & Crafts class. Ask at reception for details.
Discover the history of Limerick and its people with a visit to the Limerick Museum. The story of the city and county is presented through the varied collections, from Stone Age axes, medieval coins and the civic sword of Queen Elizabeth I to medals presented to veterans of the 1916 Rising. Among the more unusual items, you’ll find Ireton’s Cat, a mummified cat found on Nicholas Street in the 1890’s; a fragment of the largest meteorite that ever fall in Ireland in 1813; and two World War II gas-masks, that fortunately never had to be used. Located in the Old Franciscan Monastery on Henry Street, Limerick Museum is open to visitors Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm.
The Limerick City Gallery of Art, housed in the Carnegie Building on the grounds of the People’s Park, is open daily and free to visit. The Gallery is one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Ireland and home to an important collection of Irish 18th to 21st century art. Also within the building is a café looking onto the People’s Park at the rear of Gallery.
The People’s Museum is housed in a beautifully restored Georgian townhouse at No. 2 Pery Square and showcases an eclectic and fascinating collection of items in the care of Limerick Civic Trust, as well as artefacts visiting from elsewhere. There are tours and special seasonal events that take place so check before you plan to visit.
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum is the only aviation museum in Ireland and the only dedicated flying boat museum in the world. This unique attraction preserves the rich history of aviation and the development of passenger travel. It takes you back to that nostalgic era when Foynes became the centre of the aviation world between 1937 and 1945. Try flying the B314 on the flight simulators with amazing visuals during your visit!
Rainy Day Activities in Limerick
Enjoy some swimming and splashing time at Coral Leisure at Askeaton, with fully heated 25m pool and kids pool. Aura Leisure Grove Island also offers pay as you go swimming at public swim times, check their timetable before you go, with a 25m pool, learner pool and kids pool.
For some bookshop time, head to O’Mahonys Booksellers or stop by Quay Books, described as “Ireland’s most amazing small bookstore”. Branches of Eason can be found in O’Connell Street and also Crescent Shopping Centre
For indoor soft play:
- Tons of Fun at Eastway Business Park
- Kids Town at Corbally
- Soft Play Ireland, Ballysimon Road
- Funworld, Ennis Road
Jumplanes Indoor Trampoline Centre at Delta Retail Park offers plenty of indoor bouncy fun.
You can go bowling at Funworld and Arena 5 or enjoy karting at Delta Karting or NKC Karting.
Puzzle your way out of the 3 escape rooms at Limerick Escape Rooms.
Catch a movie at ODEON or Omniplex or Vue Cinema. The Belltable Arts Centre also shows the occasional family film.
Family-Friendly Hotels & Accommodation in Limerick
Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel offers comfortable family rooms, Woody’s Fun Club for kids 4-12, the Woodlands Mini Pet Farm and a magical Fairy Trail, outdoor pitch.
At Maldron Hotel Limerick you’ll find large family rooms, kid-friendly Club Vitae Leisure Centre with toddler pool, dedicated kids menu, and a handy location for local attractions and activities.
Spacious family rooms are available at Limerick Strand Hotel with double, single and roll away bed on request. Enjoy a movie on the 40-inch flatscreen TV, and enjoy some urban luxury including Egyptian cotton linen, pillow yop extra comfort beds, and goosedown duvets and pillows.
With family rooms, delicious kids menus, and a swimming pool (top of any family’s list for a hotel stay), kids are welcomed to Clayton Hotel Limerick with a free sweet treat on arrival and their family-friendly team is always on hand to give you recommendations or assist you with any extra requirements you may have.
At Castletroy Park Hotel you can enjoy spacious family rooms or suites with kitchenette facilities and a variety of bedding arrangements depending on your needs. Smart TVs with Netflix access are included. As well as children’s menus they offer Prince and Princess Afternoon Tea, served in the Garden Room for wee ones celebrating a birthday or special occasion (book in advance for the tea).
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 Limerick
There are many good restaurants in Limerick to choose from, here are just a few recommended by parents
- Brew Bros. is a family-run Gourmet Burger Restaurant in Castletroy. They also have a ‘kids corner’ including a ‘Wall-Blackboard’ to keep the smaller ones occupied whilst the grown ups unwind and relax. At time of writing they are closed for a few weeks for refurbishment.
- At La Cucina Castletroy, and La Cucina Centro in Henry Street, you will find “real food cooked the real Italian way” by husband and wife team Bruno and Lorraine. Their restaurant provides authentic good Italian food with an excellent children’s menu – guaranteed fresh pizza dough and sauce daily, and there is a great choice of pizza and pasta. Good choice and value for all the family. They also offer a takeout service.
- The Cornstore in Thomas Street has a very nice children’s menu with dishes including mini hake fillet and mini steak.
- You can find Milano at Harvey’s Quay or at The Crescent, their Piccolo kids menu includes Dough Balls, pizza, pasta or salad, dessert and Bambinoccino.
- Copper & Spice located at Mill Bar, Annacotty is a favourite with parents for its unusual combination of Indian and Thai cuisine. Children are welcome, toilets, wheelchair accessible.
- Timmy Macs Bistro at Fitzgeralds Woodlands Hotel boasts a Cottage Garden, waterwheel, gazebo and thatched games area. Their Children’s Menu has some nice options such as fruit skewers and chicken served with mash, veg and gravy.
- At Hamptons at The Savoy Hotel in Limerick City, there is a great “young adults” menu with dishes such as duck spring rolls, BBQ ribs and “Chicken-Free” Bang Bang.
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!
Things to Do in Limerick for Older Kids and Teens
Enjoy UV bowling at Arena 5 or regular bowling at Funworld, or for some escape room fun, try Limerick Escape Rooms.
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 Rathbane Golf Course or Corbally Road.
Kilfinane Outdoor Education Centre offers Teen Adventure Programmes suitable for 13-17 years old with activities such as Canoeing River Trip, Hillwalking and Mountaineering, Rockclimbing & Abseiling and Raftbuilding.
Enjoy karting fun at KNC Karting or Delta Karting or head to Roller Jam Limerick for roller skating fun including Munster’s only Roller Disco.
You’ll find a great skate park at Castletroy Park as well as many other amenities including 1.2 km of pedestrian pathways with a circular cycle route while at Steamboat Quay, overlooking the River Shannon, Mount Kennett Skate Park is an outdoor, concrete skate park.
Need a retail blitz? There are lots of shops to choose from in Limerick city centre including Brown Thomas, Penney’s, River Island and Sostrene Grene, or find plenty more shopping at Crescent Shopping Centre including Zara and H&M.
The Munster Experience at Thomond Park Museum is the place to discover the history of Munster Rugby and Thomond Park Stadium, from the Junior and Senior clubs within the 6 counties of Munster to the Heineken cup trophies and medals won. See the visitors’ signatures including the New Zealand All Blacks and Australian Wallabies and head to the interactive game zone to try your hand at throwing a line-out with authentic Munster match balls and test your reactions.
The Full Stadium Tour takes you to places usually only accessible to players and officials, including a seat in the home dressing room and a walk down the tunnel, giving you the unique opportunity to experience how Munster players feel on big match days!