Are you looking for fun things to do with kids in Cork? Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens in Cork offers a great day out for all the family. From digging for history to Queen Maeve’s honey bee adventure, you are sure to find fantastically fun things to do with the kids when you visit this stunning spot.
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Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens in Cork is operated by Irish Heritage Trust, an independent charity. In addition to the fun things listed below, they run regular events for families to enjoy including outdoor theatre shows, markets, workshops and tours.
#1. Go Digging For History
Take a trip to the Victorian walled garden and go Digging for History! Your history lesson begins with a tour around the award winning Victorian working garden.
Next venture into the glass house where kids will learn fun nature and history facts. And finish off with the opportunity to pot their own plant to take home and look after or take away a packet of seeds to plant later.
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#2. Have A Honey Bee Adventure
Queen Maeve’s Honey Bee Adventure is the perfect introduction to bees with an activity based talk which will have children buzzing around the farmyard doing their waggle dance and discovering how the hive works.
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#3. Take A Fun Nature Trail
There are several fun nature trails to enjoy at Fota House including:
- Junior Plant Hunters Activity Trail collect your activity book and take the trail to discover everything there is to see and do in the gardens and arboretum. A fun way to spend a morning or afternoon discovering nature.
- Little Explorers Trail is a fun trail around the gardens and arboretum to explore the wonders of nature.
- Plant Hunters Tree Trail is a trail to identify rare and unusual species at Fota. It is a free-ranging trail suitable for families with older kids and teens and adults.
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#4. Help Find Mrs Kevin’s Cat
Where is Mrs Kevin’s Cat? – Mrs Kevin, the housekeeper at Fota House has lost her cat! Can you help solve the mystery and find where the cat has gone?
#5. See How The Other Half Lived!
From the exquisite boudoir to the charming Victorian Nursery, a guided house tour is a must when you visit Fota House. One of the highlights is a visit to the service wing.
Here you will see the working conditions of the maids, footmen, cooks and butlers who supported the lavish lifestyle of the gentry. You will get to see the extensive kitchens, scullery and even the head butler’s quarters!
There is even a special house tour for children, where they get to take fun quizzes and discover places in the house that will inspire the historian in them!
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#6. Become An Art Critic
You may not be aware that Fota House is home to one of the finest collections of landscape paintings in Ireland outside of the National Gallery.
Everyone in the family can become an art critic as you discover paintings by Robert Carver, Thomas Roberts, Jonathan Fish and William Ashford PRHA. Which one is your favourite?
Don’t forget to look up too when you visit, the ceilings have been restored to their former glory with beautiful plasterwork and paintings. See if you can recreate the intricate designs on paper!
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#7. Travel To Fota House By Train
Have a family adventure by travelling to visit Fota House and Gardens by train. There is a station at Fota and it will take approximately 15 minutes to walk to Fota House. The route is well signposted. Trains to Fota run from Cork city centre.
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#8. Get Back To Nature
The Arboretum at Fota House is home to many rare species of trees, flowers and plants. Be sure to take a stroll around it and see if you can discover a tree, plant, flower or shrub you many not have known before. Don’t miss the fern garden!
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#9. Spot The Ducks
You will find ducks on the pond in the Arboretum. See if you can spot any ducklings. And count how many different colours are in their feathers.
Over to you now. Have we inspired you to have a fun day out with the kids at Fota House Cork? Or perhaps you have already visited and want to add to our list? Please let us know in the comments box below.