As parents, we are always on the lookout for great places that are child-friendly and fun to visit. We have picked 50 Outstanding Places to Take Your Child This Summer in Ireland! You’ll find a mixture of paid for and free places to visit, indoors and outdoors venues, old historical places and fun modern attractions. And if you need more inspiration, here are 99 Fantastic Places To Go In Ireland with Kids.
We hope you have fun visiting them all and be sure to let us know how you got on and what you thought of them, we always welcome feedback!
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#1. National Museum of Ireland – Dublin
The National Museum of Ireland in Dublin are all free to visit and have great collections as well as a wide range of ongoing events for families. The National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History is home to a wide range of objects, which include weaponry, furniture, silver, ceramics and glassware; as well as examples of Folk life and costume.
The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History has galleries of animals from Ireland and overseas, also geological exhibits form a total collection of about 2 million scientific specimens with a Discovery Zone.
Opened in 1890, the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology is the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland and displays artefacts dating from 7000 BC to the 20th century. The Irish archaeology collections include The Treasury, featuring outstanding examples of Celtic and Medieval art.
In both the Decorative Arts & History and Archaeology brances of the National Museum of Ireland there is a Museum shop selling gifts, books, jewellery and replica items and also a café offering snacks and hot and cold beverages.
Don’t Miss: Free child friendly detective sheets from reception.
#2. Irish National Stud, Kildare
Enjoy a great day out for all the family at the Irish National Stud & Gardens in Kildare Town, Co. Kildare. Just off the M7 motorway and only 30 minutes by car from Dublin and the M50, the Irish National Stud is home to both wonderful horses and great gardens.
The Irish National Stud offers an unforgettable experience in 800 acres of beautiful Kildare countryside that can be enjoyed by all the family. It is a unique attraction of outstanding natural beauty with some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world.
Don’t Miss: Complimentary pony rides and face painting in July & August for all our younger visitors!
#3. The Ark, Dublin
The Ark’s summer programme is always a big hit with families looking for creative and fun activities during the school holidays.
Don’t Miss: There will be a different workshop option each week, so check out the website to find out more.
#4. Croke Park Stadium Tour & GAA Museum, Dublin
The Croke Park Stadium Tour offers you the chance to explore the home of Gaelic sport and take a behind-the-scenes journey through this 82,300 capacity stadium. Enjoy an unrivalled state-of-the-art interactive visitor experience and find out more about Ireland’s unique national games of Gaelic football and hurling, the fastest field team sport in the world. The guided Stadium Tour offers an access-all-areas experience as you walk in the footsteps of legends and visit the team dressing rooms before going pitch-side via the players’ tunnel and taking a seat in the VIP area. Enjoy panoramic views from the top tier of the stand – 30 meters above the famous pitch!
The whole family can explore the GAA Museum with its exhibition galleries that vividly illustrate the story of Gaelic games from ancient times to present day. Featured exhibitions include the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups, the official GAA Hall of Fame, temporary exhibitions and many other exhibits.
Don’t Miss: Test your hurling and football skills in the interactive games zone – a must for museum visitors of all ages!
#5. Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow
Experience one of the best views in Ireland at Powerscourt Gardens, just 20km south of Dublin City Centre. Featuring ornate Italian and Japanese Gardens where mum and dad can enjoy a romantic stroll to rambling, wooded walks where little ones can play hide and seek, Powerscourt offers a fantastic family day out.
Children love climbing the Pepper Pot Tower and posing for a picture with the cannons nearby. Enjoy the year-round events programme of treasure hunts, enchanted walks and lots more.
Don’t miss: Powerscourt, the highest waterfall in Ireland, located 5 km from the main Estate where you can discover trees that are hundreds of years old such as the Giant Redwoods which grow up to 80m high!
#6. Imaginosity, Dublin
Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum is a child-centred creative, educational & interactive space, suitable for children up to the age of 9 years & their families.
It is a space for adults & children to engage in creative play, emphasizing learning through hands-on experience and engagement. Imaginosity’s 3 floors of exhibits are educationally designed to inspire life-long learning through play, celebrating children’s imaginations, on the journey from curiosity to discovery. Booking is essential to guarantee entry.
Don’t Miss: Imaginosity’s Summer Camps, running weekly in July and August. Check out www.imaginosity.ie for more info.
#7. Belvedere House, Westmeath
Belvedere House is set on an elevated site overlooking Lough Ennell with spectacular views of the 160 acre estate, complete with Victorian walled Garden, exotic trees and numerous follies including the infamous Jealous Wall. The House is fully restored and offers an interpretative ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ experience and an Owner’s Gallery.
The Walled Garden is 1.5 acre sloped garden with formal lawns, old rose beds, tumbling herbaceous borders, alpines, climbers, a fragrant potager and a Victorian style glass house with exotic plants. Café, gift shop, interpretative centre and exhibition galleries.
Don’t Miss: the Narnia Trail and the Fairy Garden!
#8. Malahide Castle, Dublin
Take a guided tour of one of Ireland’s oldest castles dating back to the 12th Century and learn the fascinating & colourful history behind the Talbot Family who owned Malahide Castle for nearly 800 years! Don’t get spooked in Puck’s corner!
Explore Malahide Walled Botanical Garden & Exhibition, perfect for little exploreres with 7 glasshouses, 5000 species of plants, a grass parterre and lots of wild life roaming happily. Visit the West Lawn and take your picture beside some of the oldest trees on the Malahide Castle demesne – including the contorted branches of the old oak tree and the ornamental ‘Cedar of Lebanon’ tree believed to be nearly 400 years old!
With 22 acres to explore it might be worth bringing your picnic and a flask!
Don’t Miss: The state of the art playground at Malahide Castle is located just 2 minutes from the Visitor Centre and has plenty of apparatus for the very little ones and the not so little ones to enjoy!
#9. Wexford Lavender Farm, Wexford
Wexford Lavender Farm is Ireland’s first Lavender Farm, with 2 acres of Lavender and woodland walks with 3 routes to suit all abilities. Kids will love riding through the lavender field on Billy the friendly Bull quad train, and playing in their outdoor playground.
And of course you can take home some Lavender plants for your own garden.
Don’t Miss: a homemade treat or lunch in The Purple Haze Cafe
#10. Epic CHQ, Dublin
EPIC Ireland opened in May 2016 and tells the story of the Irish diaspora. Using the latest interactive technology, you can follow the story of 78 million people and 10 million journeys, through the themes of migration, influence, motivation and connection.
Children and adults alike, will be wowed by the interactive nature of the displays. 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.
#11. Spire of Lloyd, Meath
The Spire of Lloyd in Kells is an inland lighthouse designed by Henry Aaron Baker (designer of the King’s Inn, Dublin) for the First Earl of Bective in memory of his father Sir Thomas Taylor in 1791. At 30m high, one can see magnificent views of the surrounding countryside as far as the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland on a clear day. The Spire was used to view horse racing and the hunt in the 19th century. It is open on selected dates during the summer.
Don’t Miss: the “Paupers Graveyard” in the community park (The People’s Park) in which many victims of the mid-19th century famine lie buried.
#12. Lough Boora Discovery Park, Offaly
The Discovery Park consists of a magnificent collection of natural & manmade lakes, wetlands, woodland areas, 50km of walkways. Picnic benches and a bike hire facility, as well as guided tours are also available.
Don’t Miss: the sculptures throughout the parklands!
#13. Emo Court House & Gardens, Laois
Emo Court, near Emo village, Laois, was designed by the architect James Gandon in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington and is a magnificent example of this neo-classical style. The house, which is accessible by guided tour only, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland which were first laid out in the 18th century and contain formal lawns, a lake and woodland walks with many very fine trees and shrubs.
The gardens are open all year and entry to the gardens is free. The tearooms in the walled garden are worth a visit.
Don’t Miss: Take the 2.2km walking loop of the 20 acre man made lake, which includes foot bridges and pathways.
#14. Castletown House, Kildare
Castletown House, Celbridge, is Ireland’s largest and earliest Palladian style house, with 120 acres of parkland. Guided tours of house from March to October daily, with Self Guide/Audio Guide option on Sundays. The beautiful restored parklands and river walks are open every day throughout the year and there is no charge to explore the parklands.
There are free children’s workshops on Sundays, and a regular programme of events throughout the summer months, including free music recitals, monthly markets and children’s tours of the house during school holidays.
Don’t Miss: the Summer Sunday Series free music recitals on Sunday afternoons in June, July and August between 2pm and 4pm.
#15. Altamont Gardens, Carlow
Known as the most romantic garden in Ireland, Altamont, near Tullow, is an enchanting blend of formal and informal gardens located on a 100 acre estate. Whilst still little known, it ranks in the top ten of Irish gardens and is often referred to as ‘the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown’. The formal lawns slope down to a romantic lake, and there’s a fascinating walk, which kids love, through the Arboretum and Bog Garden. There’s a garden centre, tea-rooms during summer months, and picnic areas.
Don’t Miss: the Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks leading to the River Slaney
#16. Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny
Located 18 km North of Kilkenny City, Castlecomer Discovery Park has a range of exciting recreational, cultural and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Attractions include pedal boats and Canadian canoes on one of the picturesque lakes, a Tree Top Adventure Walk course nestled 10m high in the great Sycamore and Lime trees, a ‘Leap of Faith’ and Climbing Wall.
This ‘young park’ opened in 1997 and has 80 acres of natural woodland with 6km of trails throughout, a fishing lake, an interactive coal mining museum, design craft workshops and award winning Jarrow café (Bridgestone listed).
Don’t Miss: 3 permanent orienteering trails, perfect for a bit of trail practice with a compass!
#17. National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Dublin
Experienced guides will bring you on a voyage of discovery at the National Maritime Museum, enthralling you with stories of discovery, heroism, war and disasters at sea. You will learn about maritime history, exploration, navigation, radio, deep-sea cable technology, nature, wildlife and view art inspired by the sea.
See the 10-tonne revolving Baily Optic, try the electrified steam engine, and pause to reflect at the Titanic exhibit, the re-created radio room, the Royal Navy prisoners docks and the war memorial. Try your hand at sailor’s knots, or learn how they lift heavy weights. Afterwards visit the shop and café for a treat.
Don’t Miss: Being photographed with the pirate!
#18. Corkagh Park Fairy Trails, Dublin
Corkagh Park is a wonderful place to visit with children. Attractions include sports fields, nature walks, playgrounds, pet farm, fishing lake, arboretum and a duck pond but the real highlight is the Fairy Trail through the magical Fairy Wood.
Don’t Miss: Making a wish in the wishing seat beside the wishing tree.
#19. Sea Life Bray, Wicklow
For something to do with all the family, you need go no further than Bray’s Seafront, where you will find the National SEA LIFE Centre. SEA LIFE Bray is home to over 1000 fresh water and marine creatures from Ireland and all over the world in 29 amazing displays: from Perch to Piranhas, from Starfish to Sharks! Discover Ireland’s largest collection of sharks, and marvel at these amazing creatures up close!
Don’t Miss: the Interactive Rockpool where you can hold a crab & touch a starfish
#20. Dublinia, Dublin
At Dublinia, travel back to Viking and Medieval Dublin, witness the sights, sounds and smells and unearth the city’s archaeology in the History Hunters exhibition! With a full programme of events taking place at weekends during the summer, including Family First Saturdays which includes medieval pot making workshops, puppet shows and much more, and there’s Viking Dublin Tours, Medieval Dublin tours and lots more, there’s heaps for families to do at Dublinia.
Don’t Miss: Family First Saturdays with fun workshops and more.
#21. Jump Zone, Dublin
Jump Zone is Ireland’s first indoor trampoline park, located in Stillorgan and Santry, Dublin. Jump Zone offers a number of trampoline activities including open jumping, Trampoline Dodge ball, and trampoline Aerobics on its wall to wall trampolines.
Adults as well as kids can enjoy!
#22. Viking Splash Tours, Dublin
Viking Splash Tours is Ireland’s only tour company that shows you the sights of Dublin on both land and water, without having to leave the vehicle! Take a trip on their World War II amphibious DUKWS as they bring you on a fun filled tour through the streets of the capital with engaging Viking captains, before splashing down in Grand Canal Dock! Please note children must be aged 3 or over to travel on the water section of the tour.
#23. Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, Roscommon
Located in Boyle, Co. Roscommon and set in the grounds of the old King-Harman Estate on the shores of island studded Lough Key, the Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, offers hours of entertainment for all the family.
A wonderful Adventure Play Kingdom will entertain the smallest visitors while the weather independent Boda Borg Challenge will test the mental skills and physical agility of everybody over seven! Take a boat trip on the lake or out to the islands, try the Zipit courses and you can even stay over in the campsite.
There are miles of biking trails and orienteering courses and loads of picnic spots as well as the Lakeside Café.
Don’t Miss: The Treecanopy walk and climb to the top of the Moylurg Viewing Tower
#24. National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Mayo
The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Castlebar, brings to life the traditions of rural life in Ireland. Exhibitions are full of wonderful objects from long ago. See what schools were like, the toys children played with and how they marked special events like Halloween & Christmas.
Learn about how people lived in the towns and countryside, cut turf, caught fish and worked in the home. Workshops, exhibitions and family programmes for all ages and entry is free.
Don’t Miss: a stroll around the lake and lunch in the courtyard cafe.
#25. Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park
A visit to the West is not complete without a trip to the home of family fun at Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park.
Set on the 480 acre estate, explore the House and Gardens, or have some fun in the Pirate Adventure Park – a treasure trove of family fun with its Grace O’Malley-themed amusement park with rides and activities. Or take a trip of the newest attraction the Westport Train Tour which runs right through the grounds.
You also have a choice of milder to wilder adventure activities including zorbing, zip wire, archery, combat games, high ropes frame as well as tree climbing and archery tag. Be sure to arrive early for a full day’s fun – and dress for the weather!
Don’t Miss: The Swan boats!
#26. Galway Atlantaquaria, Galway
The first time you venture through the entrance to Galway Atlantaquaria, Ireland’s largest aquarium, we guarantee you’ll jump! That’s because their first exhibit is Ireland’s largest “Splash” tank!
You’ll also enjoy the ray pool, ocean tank, fin whale skeleton, touch pools and heaps of activities and fun things to do while you visit such as feeding the fish and touching starfish and crabs.
Don’t Miss: the Eel tank – see if you can spot them sliding in and out of the pipes!
#27. Brigit’s Garden, Galway
Brigit’s Garden in West Galway, located between Moycullen and Oughterard, is a magical place for families to explore.
With family-friendly Celtic gardens, children’s discovery trail, willow play area and sandpit, Nature trail, ring-fort and crannog, gift shop and the award-winning, family friendly Garden Café.
Don’t Miss: The fun nature trail that takes you around the Garden
#28. Delphi Adventure Centre, Galway
Located in the heart of the breathtaking Delphi Valley near Leenane in Connemara, Delphi Resort is one of Ireland’s leading family holiday destinations – be prepared for fun, adventure and creating unforgettable memories on your family holiday to Delphi Resort.
The resort welcomes families back every year, with everything you need for the whole family to enjoy the perfect holiday:
- Onsite Delphi Adventure Centre with over 20 water and land based adventure activities (for all ages and abilities) such as kayaking on Killary Fjord, archery, climbing and surfing on Cross Beach
- Delicious, wholesome food served daily in the hotel restaurant and bar with mountain views (with children’s menus and seasonal options)
- Variety of 4*, cosy family room types such as family rooms and two bedroom suites
- FREE morning Kids Club for the little ones
- FREE movies daily in the movie room during holiday season
- Access to Delphi Spa’s Thermal Suite for the adults – sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and relaxation area with mountain views
- 20 minutes drive from several stunning beaches
- Perfect base for exploring Connemara and South Mayo regions – Westport, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park and more!
Enjoy all of this with your family, all while surrounded by the mountains of the Delphi Valley and the stunning Connemara scenery on the Wild Atlantic Way!
Don’t Miss: Go Zip! activity: 3 rounds of the all new 220m zipwire!
#29. Portumna Forest Park, Galway
Portumna Forest Park makes a great day out for kids, situated 1 km from Portumna town in Co. Galway. Pack up a picnic, outdoor gear and kids bikes/scooters for lots of outdoor fun, including leisure and mountain cycling, the Arboretum, Forest Park, Walking Trails,and Orienteering with access for all. Picnic facilities available on-site.
There are 4 looped trails in the park, ranging from a multi-access trail suitable for all visitors of approx 1km length, to a long multi-use trail of over 10km for walkers and cyclists.
One of our favourite walks takes you near the edge of Lough Derg and back to the picnic area. We have seen deer and red squirrels, as well as birds amd shyer species including foxes and badgers. Dogs allowed, just keep them on lead at all times.
Don’t Miss: A visit to Portumna Castle in the heart of the town. It is an OPW site and visitors get access to the house and a lovely walled garden.
#30. Diamond Hill, Galway
Diamond Hill located in Connemara National Park in Co. Galway has several looped walks including a Nature Trail walk of 0.5 km, a buggy-friendly 3 km-trail of Lower Diamond Hill, and the Upper Diamond Hill loop is a further 3.7 km with great views when you get to the top.
There is a fun kids playground and also the Connemara ponies to see.
Admission and parking are free, the park is open year-round with the Visitor Centre open from March to November. There are Tea Rooms by the Visitor Centre for light snacks and refreshments.
Don’t Miss: The view of Kylemore Abbey from the top of Diamond Hill.
#31. The Burren Nature Sanctuary, Galway
Burren Nature Sanctuary is on a 50 acre organic farm featuring Burren habitats of shattered limestone, ancient woodland, a disappearing lake and wildflower meadow.
Along the nature trail are goats, pigs and donkeys and other friendly farm animals. Discover the fairy doors hidden in the ancient hazel woodland. Play in the soft indoor play area or the outdoor adventure playground.
The Burren Botany Bubble houses the national collection of Burren flora in season. At Burren Nature Sanctuary Cafe the emphasis is on fresh, local, healthy ingredients. The children’s menu has no fizzy drinks and no fried food and all vegetables are hidden! See our Family Trip to the Burren.
Don’t Miss: Animal handling daily, guided fairy woodland walk every Friday, nature walk with Emilia the micro pig every Sunday.
#32. Jackie Clarke Collection, Mayo
Located in Ballina, the Jackie Clarke Collection showcases one of the world’s leading collections of historical Irish material. Discover 400 years of Irish history through the self-guiding family friendly interactive touch screens.
Discover something new about your family history by searching the in-house census and eviction records. Learn about Irish Native trees, organic vegetable gardening and the importance of our hedgerows in the Urban Walled Garden. Admission is FREE and you can enjoy lunch in cafe after your visit.
Don’t Miss: The Memory Pod where you can record and share your stories and memories.
#33. glór, Clare
More than just a theatre, glór sits in the heart of Ennis town in Co. Clare and offers ample parking for visitors. They attract the best of local, national and International entertainment for all ages. And have a full line up of family fun and regular events including films, music, dance and theatre performances, classes and workshops. They also boast an art gallery and an on-site café with freshly cooked food. an amazing Italian inspired kids menu and seating indoors and outdoors so you can enjoy your visit whatever the weather.
And we love their BYOK (Bring Your Own Kids) and Leath/Leath nights, where well behaved kids can avail of discounted tickets and come along to shows with their parents! Saving you money on a babysitter.
Don’t Miss: The Specks on August 19th.
#34. Fota Wildlife Park, Cork
See a Kangaroo hop in front of you or get close to a Ring-tailed Lemur! Fota Wildlife Park is only 20 mins from Cork and is a great day out for all the family. For a fun Family Day Out in Cork, there is no better place to visit than Fota Wildlife Park.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities for children in the summer, holiday camps or you simply want to take advantage of some sunny weekend weather, the Park has a variety of things to do for children and parents alike.
Don’t Miss: the 2-tonne Indian Rhinos!
#35. King John’s Castle, Limerick
King John’s Castle delivers a modern visitor experience with a dramatic history of over 800 years of stories, all brought to life in a stunning exhibition. Touch-screen technology connects you to tales of siege and warfare, and a dazzling array of computer generated imagery, animations and ghostly projections are all part of the experience. Try on historic costumes including 18th century dresses or chainmail tunics. 3D models, discovery drawers and audio visuals help you to delve into the Castle’s history.
The busy Castle courtyard is home to a medieval campaign tent, a blacksmith’s forge and scenes from a 17th century siege. An array of colourful characters, reveal the secrets and scandals of castle life. Not to be missed!!! Read what Jill and her family thought of King John’s Castle.
Don’t Miss: The Audio Visual Characters from the past that talk to you!
#36. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Clare
At Bunratty Castle & Folk Park everywhere is open for you to explore! The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times.
Wander through the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country which brings to life a vital part of our medieval past. Visit the farm houses and cottages and watch the tasks of rural Irish life. Make sure you see the baking of the griddle bread next to the fire and tasting it hot with fresh creamery butter.
Don’t Miss: the playground full of fantastic play equipment!
#37. Craggaunowen, Clare
A highlight of any visit to Ireland is the Living Past Experience at Craggaunowen. It is off the beaten track and will give you a real sense of stepping back in time. The many paths of Craggaunowen have something of interest to adults and children alike. Explore the grounds and you may even meet some Bronze Age animals, our wild boar and soay sheep!
Don’t forget to visit the ‘Brendan Boat’ – a leather hulled boat built by Tim Severin who sailed across the Atlantic re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan. To get away from the hustle and bustle of life stop into the wonderfully relaxing Tea Room and enjoy a fresh scone and other homemade fare on offer. It’s fun for all the family!
Don’t miss: Lughnasa Festival in August
#38. Titanic Experience Cobh, Cork
The Titanic Experience, Cobh tells the story of a legend and her connection to Cobh. Situated in the original offices of The White Star Line, retrace the footsteps of the 123 Queenstown Passengers who boarded Titanic from Cobh.
Upon check-in at the White Star Line Ticket Office you will receive your boarding card. Your boarding card will have the details of one of the 123 passengers who came to the White Star Line Ticket Office on Thursday April 11th 1912.
After check-in, experience life on board through the innovative audio visual technology, and replica set designs and discover the facts surrounding the tragic sinking of Titanic.
Don’t miss: the end when you will find out if you are a survivor or not!
#39. Toy Soldier Factory, Cork
The Toy Soldier Factory, located at Macroom, Co Cork, is where visitors can come along and cast and paint their very own toy soldier or miniature figure to take home.
They can also see the world’s largest model scene of the famous Battle of Waterloo, which includes in excess of 15,000 hand painted model figures.
Don’t Miss: The Family Workshops which take place throughout the year.
#40. 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 our interactive exhibits and transform into environmental detectives discovering how daily choices impact our world. Lifetime Lab is suitable for all ages.
Don’t Miss: Make sure to allow time for the playground and garden overlooking the River Lee.
#41. Lough Gur Heritage Centre
Lough Gur is a magical and mysterious place that is rich in folklore along with a wealth of archaeology and history dating back to Stone Age times. The Heritage Centre provides a fascinating interpretation of the sites associated with Lough Gur.
At the Heritage Centre you will find interactive exhibitions with touch screens. There’s a fully guided tour and also audio guides and outdoor acoustic guides to help you enjoy your visit. For children there’s an activity sheet, dressing up, and a neolithic pot building section.
Don’t Miss: The Archaeology Dig where kids can try out some digging!
#42. Waterford & Suir Valley Railway
The magic of rails golden age has been brought to life in Kilmeadan on the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway. Experience the beauty of the Suir Valley from a partially opened carriage as you take in the panoramic views of the river and rolling farmland of Waterford and across the river to County Kilkenny on a 40 minute return trip and 1 hour return trips on Saturdays.
The track runs mostly along the picturesque banks of the River Suir offering a glimpse into the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens and across the river to County Kilkenny. You will also see The Magic Wood, a magical Fairy glade, where the fairies come out to play and enjoy the sunshine during the day and at night they curl up to sleep in their little houses. Sometimes they can be seen among the trees but you have to look carefully!
Don’t Miss: the Family Fun Events every Wednesday and Sunday at Kilmeadan Station.
#43. Fairy Trails, Kerry
There are two magical fairy trails to be found in County Kerry. One in the wooded surrounds of Derrynane House, Caherdaniel, and the other in the woods of the Parknasilla Resort. Both are free and open to all visitors.
Searching for the fairy homes on the Irish Fairy Trails is a great family fun adventure. Walking through the woods you will hear laughter and excitement as children on the trails discover yet another little house! On a rainy day you will still be in the shelter of the woods, making this an all-weather, year-round, magical family fun activity!
Don’t miss: the fairy house made out of a boot!
#44. W5, Belfast
whowhatwherewhenwhy – W5 is Ireland’s award winning science and discovery centre at Odyssey in Belfast. With over 250 interactive exhibits and a changing programme of events, shows and exhibitions, W5 is a great value day out for all the family, we recommend you allow at least 2 hours for your visit.
Don’t Miss: Climbit, an unusual mixture of physical fun, exploration and art!
#45. Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal
Almost 3 times higher than the Cliffs of Moher, the Slieve League Cliffs in Co. Donegal reach to a height of almost 2,000 feet making them some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. With 2 car parks families can opt to leave their car at the lower level and walk the road to the base, or drive along the winding road to the upper parking level.
From here enjoy the view across the Atlantic to Sligo, Leitrim and Mayo. The cliffs cater for all levels of climber, with a rocky path leading you to the top.
Don’t Miss: The more adventurous can climb to one man’s pass, and discover early stone dwellings and sacred sites.
#46. Donegal Castle, Donegal
Donegal Castle, Donegal Town, was built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century. The O’Donnell clan held it until until 1607, when they fled Ireland following a failed rebellion – becoming part of the so-called ‘flight of the earls’. Red Hugh O’Donnell was the leader and one of the Earls that fled to Spain after the defeat at the Battle of Kinsale.
A few years later the King granted the castle and its lands to Basil Brooke, whose descendants owned it until 1898 when it was donated to the state. It was partially restored in the 1990s. Guided tours available.
Don’t Miss: The suits of armour – see how many you can count!
#47. Cavan County Museum, Cavan
The Cavan County Museum is located at Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan. The museum houses a medieval dug out boat and sheela-na-gigs, galleries on folk life in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the great famine, Percy French & the GAA.
Don’t Miss: the World War 1 Trench Experience, the largest outdoor replica WW1 Trench open to the public in Ireland and the UK.
#48. Marble Arch Caves, Fermanagh
Taking in the world-famous Marble Arch Caves, the Geopark boasts some of the finest natural landscapes in Ireland and offers a window into the area’s 650 million year past.
Don’t Miss: Lough Navar Forest, located approximately 5km outside the village of Derrygonnelly, and undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, it is a spectacular forest.
#49. Giant’s Causeway, Antrim
The Giant’s Causeway provides a glimpse into the Earth’s most ancient past, and thus was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Made up of over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the Giant’s Causeway is the result of intense volcanic activity millions of years ago. Climb the Shepherd’s Steps and hike along the cliff-top trail to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful causeway coast.
Don’t Miss: The award-winning visitor centre, there are also guided tours/audio guides available.
#50. Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh
The Ulster American Folk Park is an outdoor museum which tells the story of emigration from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Follow the emigrant trail, meeting an array of costumed characters on your way, as you journey from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship, leading to the log cabins of the American Frontier.
Did you visit any of the 50 places we recommended? Tell us how you got on in the comments below!