Have you got a budding scientist in the house? Is your child interested in science or marine biology or astronomy? Science for kids can be made incredibly fun, so we’ve rounded up all the best places around Ireland for kids to discover, learn, create and experience some hands-on excitement!
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Take a trip around the country with a visit to these brilliant places that offer a fun science experience for kids. With venues in counties near to home and further away, you can plan a day trip or arrange activities when you’re on a staycation. There’s lots to choose from!
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Science for Kids in Dublin
Science Gallery Dublin
Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin is a free-entry space with an ever-changing programme of exhibitions that encourages young people to learn through their interests. Since its opening, more than three million visitors to the gallery have experienced over forty unique exhibitions, ranging from design and violence to light and love, and from contagion and biomimicry to the futures of the human species and play.
Unlike most galleries, they don’t have a permanent collection so between exhibitions only the shop and café remain open.
Junior Einsteins Science Club
Junior Einsteins Science Club provides exciting, engaging, experimental practical, interactive STEM experiences, professionally delivered in a structured, safe, supervised, educational and fun environment.
Through a bespoke science-based programme, they develop children’s personal confidence and self-esteem. They promote creative thinking, teamwork, imagination and problem-solving abilities, teaching children “how to think…. not what to think”, best preparing them for the unpredictability of the future challenges they will face in our constantly changing world.
Choose from Junior Einsteins science parties, after-school science clubs, super whole school science shows, science camps, and family events and festivals. To find out more, visit www.junioreinsteinsscienceclub.com
Created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, MAKESHOP is a collaborative space where everyone can explore and experiment with design, science, art and technology through hands-on workshops.
MAKESHOP is a place where you can learn to solder, make, code, create, invent and fix. They cater to all experience and skill levels, welcoming makers aged 4 to 104 to walk-in workshops and after-school courses.
Dunsink Observatory, part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and integral to the Irish Astronomy Trail, has a long history in the service of science.
They hold public open nights during the winter months and from time to time Dunsink Observatory holds a special evening for parents and children who want to learn more about astronomy and space.
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Science for Kids in Cork
Schull Planetarium, located in the seaside village of Schull in West Cork, holds Starshows during summer months with special Bank Holiday programmes. The show consists of three elements beginning with a short video presentation, then a guided tour of the constellations to be seen at a given time. The night sky projected is an accurate representation of the starscape visible at the time of year. The final section of the Starshow is the Questions and Answers session.
Audiences are actively encouraged to participate. Each Starshow lasts for approximately 45 minutes. It is recommended for over 7s.
Crawford Observatory UCC
The UCC Walking tour is a full family friendly historical and cultural walking tour that includes a visit to Crawford Observatory as well as key places in the University and their unique Ogam Stone collection which is the largest display of Ogam Stones in Ireland.
Children are welcome to wear replica robes during the tours and are encouraged to participate along the way. Tours which are led by guides last 70 mins and run Monday to Friday at 3pm and 12 Noon on Saturdays (except Bank Holidays). Booking is not required. Each Participant will receive an Ogam bookmark at the conclusion of the tour.
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Science for Kids in Galway
Sea Science – the Wild Atlantic at Galway City Museum
Sea Science – the Wild Atlantic exhibition explores marine life along Galway’s coastline through fun and informative displays for all the family to enjoy. It is a must-see for visitors of all ages but designed primarily for children and young people.
Originally developed and commissioned by the Marine Institute Galway for SeaFest 2016, this interactive exhibition is the first gallery of its kind in Ireland and presents fascinating facts about marine life.
Planet Science Kidz, Co Galway
Planet Science Kidz are based in Galway and help children aged 5 to 12 years to discover and explore science through hands on experiments.
They offer fun science based seasonal workshops and camps and can come to your classroom, event or party to ignite the curiosity in children and empower and inspire a future generation of young scientists.
Toodlelou Creativity Lab
Toodlelou Creativity Lab in Oranmore is the place to bring your curious and creative kids. They give youngsters from toddlers to teens a place to create, tinker, experiment, explore and make. From free play classes for toddlers, to mini-maker sessions for preschoolers, STEM and Art classes for school-goers and weekend Open Studio when families can get creative together, they have something for everyone.
All of their classes, workshops and camps value process over product and believe wholeheartedly that creativity is an essential component of learning.
Marine Science Fun at Galway Atlantaquaria
Galway Atlantaquaria, Ireland’s largest native species aquarium, in Salthill offers visitors a family-friendly day by the sea. There are over 100 native species and a wide array of exhibits over two floors at the aquarium.
With regular tours and interactive feeding times there is always something new to learn about the marine life of Ireland.
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Other Places for Science for Kids in Ireland
Science Centre at Birr Castle Demesne, Offaly
Some of the amazing engineering feats at Birr Castle Demesne include the Great Telescope built in 1845 which was the largest in the world for over 70 years, the Steam turbine invented by the son of the 4th Earl, Charles Parsons, the new I-LOFAR radio telescope and so much more.
The interactive Science Centre at the Castle 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. One of the major discoveries with the telescope was the spiral nature of the nebulae.
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. Also on display is electrical and engineering equipment originally belonging to Charles Parsons and used in his experiments as well as a large area devoted to the botanical work carried out in the Demesne.
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Sea Synergy, Kerry
Award-winning Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre is nestled in the colourful coastal village Waterville, on the Ring of Kerry and perfect for families looking for fun adventure and discovery along our beautiful Wild Atlantic Way!
The awareness centre houses a unique interactive exhibition on Ireland’s sea life where marine biologists will give you a tour without having to get wet!
Hold some of the largest animals on earth’s bones and see some of the ocean’s smallest and extremely important animals in the exhibition.
Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium, Donegal
At the Inishowen Maritime Museum you can visit the Planetarium which gives audiences of all ages an opportunity to view various shows about astronomy and science, there are also shows on prehistoric sea monsters, global climate and the ‘Enchanted Reef’.
The dome theatre runs four shows each day with set times during summer; during winter hours, planetarium shows are not presented at pre-set times. As long as a staff member is present to run the shows, they are available anytime on a walk-in basis. (min 6 persons for unscheduled shows during winter opening hours).
W5 is an award-winning interactive science and discovery centre in Belfast. Located at the Odyssey Arena, it has over 250 interactive exhibits in six themed exhibition areas, including Spacebase, Climbit and Discovery, with different exhibits for different ages.
In addition to permanent exhibits, W5 also presents a changing programme of large and small scale temporary exhibitions and events.
At Armagh Planetarium you can enjoy a visitor experience which includes:
- Interactive exhibition areas to learn more about the cosmos
- Digital Theatre with shows allowing you to experience our planet and beyond; take a tour of the night sky, or even discover some of the myths behind the star constellations.
- The Mars room where you can touch the largest meteorite on display in Ireland which at an amazing 4.6 billion years old, is the oldest thing you’ll ever touch.
- See scale models of probes such as Viking and Satellites such as the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope.
- Stroll around the Astropark, which displays a scale model of the Universe where visitors can walk through the Solar System into the Milky Way and beyond
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Science Week runs every November across Ireland and provides people with the opportunity to explore and discover how science is a part of their everyday lives – from the science of the food and drink you consume, the role technology plays in fashion to the science of sleep. Science Foundation Ireland encourages people to get involved with the nationwide celebrations of Irish science and technology during Science Week.
During Science Week, regional science festivals and events are held across the country highlighting the exciting world of science and how it shapes the world around us. There are lots of family-friendly events to enjoy, and we always share our pick of some not-to-be-missed Science Week events here!
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Science Camps and Classes for Kids
Planet Science Kidz Camps & Workshops
Planet Science Kidz STEAM Science Camps are for ages 5-12 during school holidays. Children attending a Planet Science Kidz Camp get to explore different topics in science. They gain hands on scientific experience exploring topics that include but are not limited to, Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Geology.
Topics Covered Include:
- Physics (Magnetic Fields, Liquid Density, Electric circuits, conductors, insulators)
- Chemistry (Test tube Science, Acid Base Reactions, Rocket Launch, Slimy Polymers, Water filtration)
- Biology (Microscopes, plant & animal cells, Insect Structure, Biology of Blood, Capillary action)
- Geology ( Volcanoes, Tornadoes)
Planet Science Kidz can also bring everything needed to your venue, classroom or event and will entertain the kids for 90 minutes with a range of interactive, fun science based experiments.
Although primarily located in the West of Ireland and the Midlands, Planet Science brings science at your door step nationwide.
Junior Einsteins Science Club
Junior Einsteins Science Club offer after-school science clubs, school science shows as well as science camps. Their science classes, camps and events are something different, all about encouraging your ‘Junior Einstein’ to explore and be curious about the world around them.
- Science Camps cater for primary school aged children starting from 6 years, with a hands-on approach to help children to find their own level within an activity keeping them engaged and challenged.
- After School Interactive Science Labs are the perfect mix of fast and furious demonstrations in addition to hands-on make & do experiments and activities. It is mess and hassle free and the children will have lots of fun!
- Whole School Science Shows are very interactive and children get to make slime and electrocute a Barbie doll!
Trinity Walton Club
The Trinity Walton Club gives secondary school students a unique hub to connect with others who share a liking and talent for STEM. Students who sign up for the club or camps participate in a range of challenging (yet enjoyable!) STEM sessions and activities. The Club takes place Saturdays from September through June.
They also offer Easter and Summer camps for secondary students.
Marine Science Camps at Galway Atlantaquaria
Discover the wonders of science at the Science 4 Summer Camp at the Aquarium in Galway. At the camps for ages 5-7 and 8-12, kids discover the wonders of science at this years Science 4 Summer Camps. They undertake experiences, design technology and lots more.
If your teen aged 15-18 is interested in pursuing a career in Natural Sciences, working in an aquarium then they also have a new Aquarium Academy Course which is a custom-made programme exploring topics including animal enrichment and animal husbandry, learn by gaining first-hand experience in these areas throughout the week.
Anyone 4 Science
Anyone 4 Science provides hands-on educational Science Engineering & Maths activities for 5-15 year olds, with After School Science clubs in schools and community centres.
They run science camps for primary school kids, as well as summer camps for teenagers with hands-on problem solving and investigative science combined with team and individual experiments and make projects.
Science Magic Shows at Learning Hub Limerick
The Science Hub at Learning Hub Limerick offers afterschool workshops, workshops during school time for primary schools and Science Magic Shows for younger children. The Science Magic Shows are aimed at 5 to 9 year olds and the general public.
During the show the audience are presented with a range of chemical and physical demonstrations designed to foster an excitement for science. Where possible audience involvement is encouraged. While it is presented as a “magic” show the session is very education focused as participants will learn about various chemical reactions and scientific phenomena. This is definitely one that the audience will remember for a long time!
Toodlelou Creativity Lab
Toodlelou Creativity Lab in Oranmore, Galway offers a weekly creative STEM class that explores scientific concepts and topics through a mix of science experiments and art projects and a combination of the two.
They explore themes such as rockets, volcanoes, sea creatures, chemical reactions, rainbows and fossils. Their hands-on projects use art to explore the theme of science, as well as science experiments to create art.
Sea Synergy offers lots of fun outdoor activities during holidays to get close to nature like seashore safaris, snorkeling, sea camps and nature camps for kids and families.
All activities are suitable for beginners, child and family friendly and have high safety standards with experienced leaders.
Marine Dimensions Sea Science Camps
Marine Dimensions’ Ocean School offers popular Kids Sea Camps which are based in Bray and North Bull Island Nature Reserve. These courses are full of hands on activities that are bound to thrill and amaze any child interested in our marine world. Children are introduced to a whole host of sea creatures, including sharks, rays, starfish, crabs and lots more!
Kids also get a chance to discover nature outdoors with an enthusiastic and experienced team of marine biologists. Outdoor activities include tide pooling, sand castle competitions, shark eggcase hunts and even seal watching!
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Science Birthday Parties for Kids
Junior Einsteins Science Parties
At Junior Einstein’s Science Parties, children get to make and take home their own slime! They wear lab coats and goggles and are enthralled by two types of slime, as well as:
- Electrocuting a Barbie doll on a Van Der Graff generator
- Lighting lightbulbs by just touching a plasma ball!
- Shoot giants smoke rings at each other with fabulous smoke cannons
- Watch the bubbling, foaming Elephant Toothpaste reaction
- Simple, but mesmerising Walking Water, hand boilers and to top off the fun their FAMOUS Mentos and Coke Geysers shooting 4m into the air!
Planet Science Kidz Parties, Workshops & Events
Planet Science Kidz will bring everything needed to your venue, classroom or event and will entertain the kids for 90 minutes with a range of interactive, fun science based experiments.
At a Planet Science party, workshop or event children get to explore life on earth in a fun environment through different scientific mediums including:
- Biology (microscopes, cells, animals, plants, bacteria, moulds and fungus!)
- Chemistry (fun ‘messy’ experiments including 3 types of slime, polymers, the art of separating colours!)
- Physics (electricity, heat, and what goes up must come down with a gravity lesson!)
- Geology (learn about volcanoes or fossils, the science behind tornadoes and the unique opportunity to make a tornado in a bottle!)
Anyone 4 Science
Anyone 4 Science Birthday Parties offer CSI, a make party, cosmetic science, bubbles or just a range of mad science experiments to make their science parties unforgettable.
Science Birthday Parties at Galway Atlantaquaria
Galway Atlantaquaria parties are a fun and hassle free way to celebrate birthdays in a safe controlled environment and will provide an unforgettable experience for youngsters of all age groups.
Your 2 hour party package includes a dedicated Party Host & Guided Tour of the aquarium where children will get an opportunity to feed the fish, hold starfish and spider crabs, Birthday Tea & Treasure Hunt, a present for each child and a family day pass for the birthday child to use on a future visit.
Toodlelou Creativity Lab
There’s nothing quite like a birthday party Toodlelou Creativity Lab. A creative exploration studio for young people aged two to teen located in Oranmore, Galway, the Lab is designed to inspire. They design each party around the child’s interests, from unicorns to fairies, knights to dinosaurs and everything in between. Guests are treated to two hours of creating art and/or experimenting with science, and bring home everything they’ve made at the end of the party. Catering for groups of up to 20 children, all materials are included – including a special collaborative piece created at the start for the birthday girl or boy to bring home.
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Science Websites for Kids
Dr How’s Science Wows
Dr. How’s Science Wows was set up by Dr. Naomi Lavelle as a resource for parents, children, teachers and educators. The award winning website and blog offers all things science from experiments, to facts, videos, graphics and quizzes.
As a mother herself, Naomi has been driven by the questions and curiosities of her own children and now she receives lots of questions from other curious children too. She works as a science consultant and writer and in a hands-on capacity, designing and presenting workshops all around the country.
Nasa Kids Club
The Nasa Kids’ Club website offers a safe place for children to play as they learn about NASA and its missions. You will find STEM games of various skill levels for children pre-K through grade 4, and the NASA Kids’ Club Picture Show shows off some of NASA’s coolest and most interesting pictures.
On the Primary Science website you can look up Discover Science Centres around Ireland which you can visit and discover science together with your child.
The Smart Futures website aims to provide STEM career resources to students, teachers, guidance counsellors and parents in Ireland and stimulate an interest in STEM subjects.
Explore your future in STEM is an online brochure for students, teachers and parents alike to make it easier to get to grips with careers in Science Technology Engineering and Maths.
Smart Futures is coordinated and managed by Science Foundation Ireland, in partnership with Ireland, BioPharma Ireland, the Royal Society of Chemistry, ICT Ireland, the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), the Institute of Physics, the American Chamber of Commerce and many other stakeholder groups.
Other Science Websites for Kids & Resources
- The Build a Squid site is a fun way of looking at biology
- Some fun car and vehicle science experiments
- Brainpop.com has some cool science resources for kids
- Check out the Paige & Paxton website
- The beach can be good place to get kids interested with hands on marine science
- Resources For Science Classes from Education Online
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