25 Fun Things To Do In Ireland With Kids For Summer 2020

25 fun things to do in ireland with kids summer 2020

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 2020. Check out our 21 Free Things to Do with Kids in Ireland this Summer too.

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With school holidays lasting a minimum of 8 weeks (longer if you’ve got teens not doing exams) it can be a long time to amuse the kids. Here are some ideas to help inspire you when you’re planning for things to do this summer with your child.

25 Fun Things to Do In Ireland With Kids For Summer 2020

#1. Enjoy Free Museum Events in Dublin & Mayo

NMI Natural History Museum Tour and Talk

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 fossils, plus lots more!

Each of the four museums (3 in Dublin, 1 in Mayo) is free to visit, and you can pick up activity sheets to enjoy while you are going round the museum too.

When: all summer

You Might Also Enjoy 10 Unusual and Awesome Activities to Discover at NMI Country Life

#2. Take a Pony Ride at the Irish National Stud, Kildare

Irish National Stud Easter Events

Summer fun events at the Irish National Stud & Gardens in Kildare Town include complimentary pony rides and face painting with regular entry ticket every Tuesday, Friday 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.

When: July & August 

#3. Visit a Castle

johnstown castle

Ireland has many fabulous castles from medieval tower houses to palladian style mansions to ruins perched by the sea or rivers. For example, Johnstown Castle, a spectacular gothic Castle in Wexford has recently been restored and reopened. It was built in the 1170’s and gifted to the nation in 1945. Now run by The Irish Heritage Trust, Teagasc and the Irish Agricultural Museum, you can have a family day out and enjoy these fun things to do with the kids while you are there.

Why not pick a different castle to visit every week with the kids?

When: Throughout the Summer 

#4. Go on a Family Quest at Birr Castle Gardens

birr castle Easter events

The Birr Castle team have created a fun and educational Family Quest which will take young explorers on a journey of discovery, adventure, science and nature. The quest is included in the admission price and is available to all families visiting the demesne, pick your quest up from reception when you arrive.

Kids will love the Treehouse and Adventure Play area with sandpits and more. Then stop by the Science Centre to learn about some of the amazing scientific discoveries that took place here.

When: all summer

#5. Enjoy Outdoor Theatre with a Picnic

The Secret Garden Chapterhouse things to do in Ireland

Chapterhouse Theatre Company will be at some stunning venues in Ireland this summer as they present the classic tales for families to enjoy. Be sure to pack a rug or low seating and bring a picnic to enjoy while you watch.

2020 is their 21st Anniversary Tour and they’ll be bringing Little Women, Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles, Jane Eyre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Jane Austin’s Emma to various outdoor venues in Ireland.

When: various dates this summer

You May Also Enjoy – Where To Enjoy Outdoor Theatre & Cinema Events In Ireland 

#6. Splash At An Aqua Park

West Coast Aqua Park Water parks in Ireland

Climb, bounce and slide your way around inflatable obstacle courses on the water at an aqua park near you. Children, teens and parents can enjoy the water fun under the watchful eye of experienced lifeguards. Wetsuits can be hired or you can bring your own if you have them.

When: all summer

You May Also Enjoy – Top Spots In Ireland For Swimming & Splashing Fun With The Family 

#7. Find Fairies in Erica’s Fairy Forest, Cootehill

erica's fairy forest

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.

When: all summer

#9. Go on an Epic Adventure in Dublin

epic dublin

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum 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.

When: all summer

#10. Discover Art at National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

national gallery ireland

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.

When: all summer

11. Enjoy Interactive Eco Fun at Cool Planet Experience

cool planet experience

Based in the picturesque Powerscourt Estate, the Cool Planet Experience is Ireland’s interactive experience aimed at inspiring the next generation to take positive climate action.

Cool Planet Experience aims to inspire visitors to make sustainability so cool it becomes the norm! This is achieved through a series of interactive and engaging exhibitions, games and competitions.

Visitors to the Cool Planet Experience will see for themselves the highs and lows of our changing climate while discovering new and exciting innovations and how they can put them in place, not just during their visit, but through their everyday life to make a change.

When: all summer

#12. Have a Family Adventure at Castlecomer Discovery Park

Located 18 km North of Kilkenny City, Castlecomer Discovery Park is a multi-activity family friendly Park. There is a full day out of activity at Castlecomer Discovery Park, with activities for all ages from toddler playgrounds to Ireland’s longest zip wire. Go screen free for a day of outdoor activity that promises lots of smiles!

Castlecomer Discover ParkIt offers a range of adventure activities including tree top walks, Ireland’s longest zip wire and high ropes challenge, climbing walls, boating, archery, adventure playgrounds, woodland café and orienteering. At the hub of the site there is the Irish Mining Museum, a purpose-built cafe, Elf & Fairy Village, craft village and spaces for educational activities.

Castlecomer Discovery Park is a Social Community Enterprise operating on a not-for-profit basis. It’s supported by volunteers from the local community, and governed by a board of voluntary directors. Any profit is re-directed to developing the park.

They provide 3 woodland trails suitable for all ages which circle in and around 70 acres of stunning natural woodland and lakes. The trails vary from 1.5km, 2km, and 5km, where you can cycle, run, jog, walk at your own pace. There’s scenic picnic areas dotted around the park along with 3 permanent orienteering trails in the woods, 1km, 2km, and 3km in distance.

When: all summer

#13. Enjoy Free Street Entertainment at Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, Dublin & Cork

Laya City Spectacular street performers

Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular takes place every July in Dublin’s Merrion Square & Cork’s Fitzgerald Park, Cork city this July.

Featuring some of the best street theatre performers around, and with a host of exciting events, fantastic exhibitions and absorbing interactive workshops, there will be plenty to entertain the whole family.

When: Dublin and Cork July 2020

#14. Find Mrs Kevin’s Cat at Fota House

fota house

Fota House and Gardens in Cork offers visitors a look at how life was lived in the past, whether as a servant or as a member of the gentry. When you tour the house you get to see behind the scenes to the bedrooms and a Victorian nursery. Then visit the service wing, where you can see the working conditions of all the servants.

“Where is Mrs Kevin’s Cat?!” is a families tour through the House with a dedicated guide, solving the mystery of where the house keeper’s cat has got to. It’s a great way for children to enjoy learning about the House and the people who lived here.

Kids can also go Digging for History in their award winning Victorian Working Garden, with a tour through the Victorian glasshouses with fun facts for kids, finishing off with a chance to pot up their own plant to take home and cherish. Both the Mrs Kevin’s Cat tour and Digging for History are suitable from 4 to about 11.

They also have fantastic trails for kids to follow in the gardens they have some really fun ones e.g. Junior Plant Hunters Activity Trail, Little Explorers Trail, and a Tree Trail.

When: All Summer long

#15. Find Fairies and Folklore at Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Waterford

The Lafcadio Hearn Gardens reflect the life and extensive wanderings of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo), who grew up in Ireland, and whose life journey embraced several parts of the world. Learn about the life of Lafcadio Hearn through the Victorian, American, Greek and Japanese gardens. Children have their very own discovery trail with secret pathways through the woodlands with fairytales and folklore along the way.

The gardens are open 7 days per week, weather permitting, 11am-5pm. Adult entry is €5 and children under 12 go free.

When: All Summer

#16. See Scarecrows of All Shapes and Sizes at Durrow Scarecrow Festival, Laois

durrow scarecrow festival

The Durrow Scarecrow Festival is a fun family event for young and old, with over 300 scarecrows to see around the village, in many different designs and themes. There’s plenty more on offer too including live music, craft workshops, country market, adult, teen and children’s entertainment, and scarecrow treasure hunt.

When: July 27th – August 3rd 2020

#17. Hunt For The Gruffalo

the gruffalo trail

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.

When: all summer

Recommended Reading: More Fun Where to Take the Kids on a Gruffalo Trail 

#18. Find Fairies at Lough Boora Discovery Park, Offaly

lough boora fairy trail

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

You Might Also Enjoy Places to Find Magical Fairy Trails in Ireland

#19. Explore an Amazing Maze

Mazes in Ireland Russborough House Maze

Ireland has some fantastic mazes that you can visit and enjoy with the kids. Take your pick from our list of Amazing Mazes in Ireland which include:
  • a 2000m beech maze at Russborough House, Wicklow with a statue of Cupid in the middle of the maze
  • an indoor wooden maze with trapdoors and 10 different levels getting harder and harder at Nore Valley Park in Kilkenny
  • or how about the unique indoor Swedish puzzle Boda Borg at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, that needs teamwork to solve your way through the rooms.
  • And there’s even a maze in the shape of Ireland at Rathwood in Carlow!

#20. Swim in the Outdoor Heated Lido,Tipperary

ballina riverside pool

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.

When: all summer

You might also enjoy reading Some of our Favourite Spots for Outdoor Swimming in Ireland

#21. See Vintage Radios at Ye Olde Hurdy-Gurdy Museum in Howth

things to do in Dublin for teens hurdy gurdy museum

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

st colman's tower

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. Summer at Strokestown Park,House & Gardens and The National Famine Museum, Roscommon

Strokestown Park House Gardens flowers fun things to do with kids in Roscommon

Strokestown Park, House & Gardens and the National Famine Museum are open to the public throughout the summer months. Enjoy a fun family day out and learn more about the history of Ireland. Look out for events taking place during June, July and August.

When: Open throughout the summer 

#24. Go on a Giant’s Walk in Mayo

land of giantsWhen you take the Giant’s Walk around Clare Lake in Claremorris, County Mayo you will see a towering yellow door, a red chair that belongs in the world of Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant and an enormous set of keys that can never be lost, dangling from a random tree.

“Clare and Morris live here, but nobody has ever seen them, let us know if you see them”.

The Land of the Giants is a first for Ireland, its handcrafted wood features will guide you around the 4.5 km route. It is family-, buggy-, bike- and wheelchair- friendly and with a total distance of 5km and a flat terrain, it’s a great walk for all.

When: all summer

You might also enjoy reading Fun Family Walks in Mayo

#25. Discover Your Heritage at National Heritage Week

heritage week

National Heritage Week 2020 has fun free events for families and children nationwide from August 15th to 23rd 2020.

When: August 15th to 23rd 2020

Over to you! Are there any other ideas that we should include? Let us know in the comments below.

25 fun things to do in ireland with kids summer 2020

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