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February 15th Today Show
Here are 5 things that we have picked out for families to do. The weather as we know at this time of year is a bit iffy, so we have focused on places that you can go indoors with the kids.
The Lifetime Lab in the Cork Waterworks has interactive exhibitions, a themed playground, and they also run open days and events for kids and families. What’s nice about this place is it’s a mix of history and engineering and science too, so educational but fun. You get to wander through their Victorian buildings, discover some of Cork’s industrial heritage, have a go at their interactive exhibits & enjoy a coffee in the playground & garden.
And for anyone with a bit of interest in steam engines, they also have a steam experience, where you can see original engines working away, so that’s kind of cool. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids costs €15.00 with kids’ tickets at €3 so it’s very reasonable too. They are open Mondays – Fridays during winter months and then also open at weekends and on Bank Holidays from May.
Cool Planet Experience
Cool Planet Experience is Ireland’s first interactive climate change experience. When you visit, you will discover what it is making our climate change, the science behind it & how you can help create a healthy future for you and the planet. But in case you think it’s going to be worthy and boring, the organisers assure us it’s totally fun and interactive and designed really to highlight climate change in a fun way.
Cool Planet Experience will be open from the 28th of February and promises to be a really interesting place for families and kids. Family tickets for 2 adults + 2 kids will cost 25 euro. And of course the good thing about Powerscourt Estate is there’s loads of other things to do while you visit, take in the Waterfall, visit the Pepperpot Tower etc
National Museum of Ireland Museums
Then for something completely free, I’d recommend the National Museum of Ireland museums, so in Dublin there’s the 3 Museums: Museum of Archaeology, Museum of Natural History aka the Dead Zoo and at Collins Barracks the Museum of Decorative Arts & History and then there’s the Museum of Country Life near Castlebar.
These are all free to visit, they are very child-friendly – you can pick up activity sheets at reception to find things in the museum and they also run regular events for kids, e.g. they have workshops around different themes. There is one on glass at the moment at Collins Barracks with an artist in residence Roisin de Buitlear. She will have a wide range of events for families to make them appreciate glass even more.
3 of the museums have cafés in them too so you can make a bit of a day out of it. And the grounds of the Museum of Country Life are lovely for a walk around the lake there too. Just don’t plan to visit on a Monday as they are all closed on Mondays.
Moving westwards, if you’re going to be in County Clare, then you should definitely stop by glór in Ennis. It’s maybe familiar to people for the events they put on. They run a lot of music, theatre, workshops, and they also have a St Patrick’s Day Family Festival with loads of fun for kids and families.
But the reason we have picked it is because it’s also a lovely place to stop by on a rainy day – there’s a really family friendly café, they have an art exhibition space upstairs, a reading corner and something quite unusual a fresh pizza vending machine! So somewhere a bit different to take the kids. It’s free to visit, aside from paying for any shows or workshops that you go to and it’s open every day apart from Sunday.
The Jackie Clarke Collection
Finally, we have picked out The Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina in Mayo, where you can discover 400 years of Irish history through self-guiding family friendly interactive touch screens. Jackie Clarke was a businessman and collector and his widow gifted the collection to Mayo County Council and to the people of Ireland.
The main exhibit space showcases the Collection’s treasures and you can see things like an original 1916 Proclamation, objects belonging to Wolfe Tone and letters from Michael Collins. He was a big map fan as well, so the collection collection contains maps that date from the 1600s up to the late 1900s.
Also very cool is their Memory Pod which is a space where you can record and share your stories and memories, if you’ve been inspired by the collection. There’s also a Walled Garden and a café, so you can visit the exhibition then go for a stroll in the garden then grab a bite to eat. Admission to the collection is free and it’s open Tuesday – Saturday.
More ideas for things to do with kids:
- What’s on for Kids every month – we update this every month