Summer holidays can seem never-ending when you are trying to come up with new fun things to do with the kids, week after week. Well fear not, we’ve got you sorted! Here are 25 Fun Things To Do In Ireland With Kids For Summer 2017. Check out our 21 Free Things to Do with Kids in Ireland this Summer too.
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#1. Enjoy Free Museum Events in Dublin & Mayo
From Sun Discs to Artefact Detectives to Donkeys, there are heaps of free family events at the National Museum of Ireland museums this summer that are sure to entertain. Learn to write like an Egyptian, become a hands on historian, hold real dinosaur fossils, plus lots more.
#2. Take a Pony Ride at the Irish National Stud, Kildare
Summer fun events at the Irish National Stud & Gardens in Kildare Town include complimentary pony rides and face painting every Wednesday and Sunday in July & August for all younger visitors!
Just off the M7 motorway and only 30 minutes by car from Dublin and the M50, the Irish National Stud offers an unforgettable experience in 800 acres of beautiful Kildare countryside that can be enjoyed by all the family, with some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world, including the beautiful Japanese Gardens and St Fiachra’s Garden.
Tour the Horse Museum, explore the magical ‘fairy trail’ in the woodland area, and let the kids run off some steam at the playground.
#3. Visit The Ark, Dublin
The Ark Dublin in Temple Bar, Dublin is a unique, purpose built, cultural centre where children aged 2-12 and their families can explore theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. And each summer, The Ark has a special theme.
#4. Go to a Children’s Festival at Brigit’s Garden, Galway
Brigit’s Garden is hosting their ‘Sunrise Children’s Festival’, a unique weekend festival with camping, dedicated solely to children and their families. ‘Sunrise’ is a celebration of music, creativity, nature and all things magical in the beautiful Celtic gardens and surrounding woodlands. This summer festival takes place from Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th July 2017. The festival has a full two-day programme of Live Music & Theatre, Circus, Puppet shows, Story-telling, Yoga, Fire Spectacular and more, in three tented areas. There will also be lots of delicious artisan food, café and bar,
When: 29th & 30th July
#5. Enjoy Outdoor Theatre with a Picnic
Chapterhouse Theatre Company will be bringing six different theatre productions to venues across Ireland this summer:
- Peter Pan
- Pride and Prejudice
- Great Expectations
- The Wind in the Willows
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Jane Eyre
When: various dates this summer
#6. Bounce and Slide on Lough Ree
Bounce, slide, thrill, splash and repeat at Baysports, Hodson Bay. Ireland’s largest inflatable water park on Lough Ree on the River Shannon! Whatever the weather, with a wetsuit on, you’re guaranteed an experience like no other.
#7. Find Fairies in Erica’s Fairy Forest, Cootehill
Erica’s Fairy Forest was created by her parents Natasha and Ciaran to honour Erica’s memory and her unshakable belief in fairies and magical kingdoms. It is also a thank you to the people of Cootehill and surrounding areas whose love and support was never ending throughout Erica’s journey.
Come along and see how many fairies you can find!
When: all summer
#8. View the Kerry Countryside from 20 Metres High!
Visit the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre and Nature Reserve and enjoy guided nature boat tours, bird hides, watersports and activities as well as scenic views from their 20 metre Viewing and Observation Tower.
#9. Go on an Epic Adventure in Dublin
EPIC Ireland tells the story of the Irish diaspora. Using the latest impressive interactive technology, you can follow the story of 78 million people and 10 million journeys, through the themes of migration, influence, motivation and connection.
This is an epic way to learn about great Irish influencers, from authors to scientists, and business people to sports men and women. Don’t miss getting your passport stamped throughout the tour and sending it as a virtual postcard.
#10. Discover Art at National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
The National Gallery of Ireland, located in the heart of Dublin, holds the national collection of European and Irish fine art, and offers plenty for children and adults alike. Pick up a free Family Pack with paper, pencils, discovery trails and activity sheets at the Information Desk in the Millennium Wing. They also have free audio guides, suitable for children aged 6-10.
Take part in the Family Workshops at weekends, as well as lots of other events. And if you’re a new parent, they do New Parents’ Tours for parents, guardians and carers of infants from 2pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from July to November.
11. Visit Comic Con, Dublin
Dublin Comic Con takes place in the Convention Centre, Dublin on August 12th & 13th. Highlights include Interactive sets, prop and costume displays, panel discussions and guest signings, crafts tables, games, stalls and much more. A must for all comic fans.
When: 12th & 13th August
#12. Make Artworks at IMMA, Dublin
The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), home to the national collection of modern and contemporary art, is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the finest 17th-century building in Ireland, and admission is free.
IMMA has a broad range of family programmes to engage audiences of all ages with drop in Family Workshops where children and grown-ups can enjoy visiting an exhibition and making artworks together in the gallery. The Family workshop is on Thursday and Friday mornings in the summer months – just drop into the main IMMA reception at 10 am to join.
#13. Spot Whales Around Ireland
All Island Whale Watch Day is on Sunday, August 26th. Members of the public are invited to join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on one of 20 land-based whale watches being held at headlands around the Irish coast between 2:00-5:00 pm.
When: 26th August
#14. Go Retro in Birr, Offaly
Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival runs from August 4th to 11th 2017 with free entertainment for children including music, markets, fairs, arts and craft activities a parade and much more.
When: 4th to 11th August
#15. Have Fun at the Castlegregory Summer Festival in Kerry
Held the second weekend in July there is lots of family fun at the Castlegregory Summer Festival in Kerry including
- Children and Adult Fancy Dress Parades
- Sand Castle Competitions
- Children’s side shows
- Summer Festival Queen
- Tennis Competition
- Dances/ Discos
- Pet Show
- Treasure Hunts
- Family Fun Day.
When: 5th – 9th July 2017
#16. Go back in Time at Loughrea Medieval Festival, Galway
The 3 day Loughrea Medieval Festival runs from 25th – 27th August during National Heritage Week, and comprises scenes of everyday life in Medieval Loughrea, as well as being jam-packed with fun events and performances that will entertain the whole family.
Celebrate Walled Towns Day with re-enactments, craft demonstrations, medieval music, food and craft market, boat trips, traditional ‘have-a-go’ craft workshops, children’s traditional games, grand parade and lots more.
When: 25th – 27th August
#17. Hunt for the Gruffalo
Take the kids to follow The Gruffalo Trail at Colin Glen Forest. (Wait… there’s no such thing…)
The Mouse took a stroll through the deep dark woods…. Follow in the Mouse’s footsteps and meet the silly old fox, owl and snake on the way to an amazing 8 foot tall Gruffalo, complete with knobbly knees, turned out toes and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose.
The experience is completely free so bring the family and enjoy one of Belfast’s most beautiful parks.
#18. Find Fairies at Lough Boora Discovery Park, Offaly
For something unique, visit Lough Boora Discovery Park and follow the Fairy Trail walking down Fairy Avenue, home to 14 fairies, each of them bringing something special to the park
You can also enjoy walking trails, hire bikes to cycle around the Park, bring a picnic and see art sculptures all around the Park.
When: all summer
#19. Explore the Waterworks at Lifetime Lab, Cork
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 will Journey through Victorian architecture and explore the age of steam, investigate the interactive exhibits and transform into environmental detectives discovering how daily choices impact our world. New for 2016 is the multi sensory 360 experience charting the development of the former Victorian waterworks in tandem with the development of Cork City, which is worth a visit.
#20. Swim in the Outdoor Heated Lido,Tipperary
The towns of Killaloe, Co Clare and Ballina, Co Tipperary are nestled on the banks of Lough Derg and are separated by a bridge spanning the river Shannon, which both cars and pedestrians can cross, so one minute you are in Co Tipperary and the next in Co Clare!
Along the banks of the Shannon in Riverside Park on the Ballina side of the town, there is a hidden gem which opens to the public during the summer months – an outdoor heated swimming pool. Right beside there is plenty of parking, picnic benches, a well equipped playground and outdoor exercise equipment for all the family to enjoy.
#21. See Vintage Radios at Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum in Howth
Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio is located in the Martello Tower in Howth and houses a fine collection of exhibits chronicling the history of telecommunications from the 1840s to date. There are many examples of early Morse equipment, gramophones, crystal sets, valve radios and other pieces of equipment.
Pat Herbert, the curator is always happy to demonstrate some of the many working exhibits.
When: open daily during Summer
#22. See a Leaning Tower in Galway
Did you know there’s a Leaning Tower of Galway? Saint Colman’s Tower at Kilmacduagh monastery, is notable not only as a good example of an Irish round tower but also because of its noticeable lean, over 2 feet from the vertical.
Stop by the Burren Nature Sanctuary near Kinvara afterwards for a cup of tea and fun at their adventure playground, nature trail and soft play.
When: all Summer
#23. See Tiny Things at Tara’s Palace
Tara’s Palace, Museum of Childhood is a small registered charity dedicated to helping the children of Ireland. The centre piece of the Museum is Tara’s Palace, one of the greatest doll’s palaces in the world which is displayed together with a collection of historic doll’s houses, toys and childhood memorabilia.
When: all Summer
#24. Enjoy Wild Words Carrick On Shannon, Leitrim
The Carrick On Shannon Children’s Book Festival – Wild Words runs on August 11-13th 2017.
With authors and illustrators from far and wide running workshops, hosting readings and loads of fun activities planned, it is sure to be a great event for all the family with plenty for every age group, including doodle, illustration and writing workshops for kids.
When: 11-13th August
# 25. Discover your Heritage at National Heritage Week
National Heritage Week runs from August 19th – 27th 2017 with free events for all ages across the country. Events take place across the country, including opportunities for free guided tours of many of our heritage attractions. The perfect way to finish off the school holidays!
When: 19th – 27th August
Over to you! Are there any other events that we should include? Let us know in the comments below.