Free Family Things to Do in Ireland with Kids

Jill Holtz

February 23, 2014

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Are you looking for free family things to do in Ireland with the kids? We’ve got it covered, with the Mykidstime guide to Free Family Things to do in Ireland with the Kids.


Housing an extensive collection of Irish and International art, the National Gallery is dedicated to family friendly education and fun. The 3 National Museums in Dublin are also free to visit and have some fabulous family events throughout the year, Museum of ArchaeologyMuseum of Decorative Arts & History and the Natural History Museum. On Saturdays free tickets are issued to visit Aras an Uachtarain, home of the President. Stop by and say hi to the Seals at Howth.

More IdeasFree Things to do with kids in DublinFree Things to do with kids in Dublin North and Free Things to do with kids in North County Dublin.

wicklowAvondale Forest Park, with 500 acres, has an endless variety of walks with fabulous scenery. The park has six way-marked walks and trails as well as a lovely wooden playground area with swings, slides and climbing frames. There will also be lots of opportunities for wildlife and bird spotting! Wicklow Mountains National Park covers 20,000 hectares of mountain scenery and features a fabulous 6th century monastic Round Tower and the ruins of St. Kevin’s Church. A full schedule of Free events take place year round including a Family Fun Day every Tuesday & Thursday for the summer months. For some unrivalled views, bring your bikes on part of the Blessington Lakes Loop Cycle.  ..Read more


In Kildare, The Curragh is perfect for walks, cycling, watching horses training and kite flying. While you’re there, check out some of the historical sites such as Donnelly’s Hollow.

In Laois, Emo Court Park and Gardens, has over 100 acres of parkland and gardens to explore – pack a picnic for a fun day out.

In Offaly, take a walk or cycle through Lough Boora Parklands, a beautiful landscape of reclaimed bogland.

In Westmeath Mullaghmeen Forest is a great place to have picnics and there are long and short walks depending on level of fitness.

In LongfordHow did they get it up there? must be what everyone asks when they visit Aughnacliffe Dolmen, the impressive Stone Age portal tomb.

More Ideas: Kildare, LaoisOffalyWestmeath, and Longford. 

northeastIn Meath, one place that we love to visit is Loughcrew Cairns, which does require a steep climb, but it is worth it for the magnificent views from the top!  Check out lots of nature at Kells Girley Eco Bog Walk – a unique and magical place.

In Louth, Ravensdale Loop is a great trail going past the river, bridges, large trees, standing stones and old coach roads, and the long pier and castle ruins at Clogherhead are a favourite of ours!

In Monaghan, Rossmore Forest Park has several forest walks, a Nature Trail and a Yew walk with picnic sites, and viewing points.

In Cavan, why not pack a picnic and head to Dun a Ri Forest and make a wish at the wishing well? The dramatic Tullydermot Falls are also well worth a visit.

More Ideas: MeathLouthMonaghanCavan

northwestIn Mayo, Ballycroy National Park is an amazing free place to visit with the children. Follow the nature trail up to the viewing point and have fun looking for various flora and fauna along the way!

In Roscommon, don’t miss Lough Key Forest and Activity Park in Boyle, for miles of biking trails and orienteering courses and lots of picnic spots.

In Sligo, hike up Knocknarea to bring a stone to Queen Maeve’s Grave, or take a trip to a Enniscrone Beach, with 5km of dunes,water sports and activities.

In Leitrim, take the Nature Trail at Fowleys Falls – a real little hidden gem and an easy walk for young kids.

In Donegal, Donegal County Museum is open all year round and displays a number of exhibitions throughout the year.

More Ideas: for MayoRoscommon, SligoLeitrimDonegal

galwaySalthill may be very familiar to many people but how about walking one of three family trails in Salthill before heading to the beach? Only 15 minutes from Galway city, Renville Park is lovely – fly a kite and visit a playground in an old castle orchard or take a beach walk nearby.

Did you know there was a leaning tower in Galway? Well there is – it’s near Gort, and worth a visit! Portumna Forest Park has a Coillte cycling trail, suitable for all levels of cyclist, and you can hire bikes at the park too. Visit Doughiska (Merlin Woods) Playground and Park which offers loads of space to run around and different parts to explore.  There is also a skating section, a place to kick a football and a fitness trail around the edge of the park.  …Read more

southwestIn Kerry, Killarney National Park has great amenities for walking and cycling. In Clare, Fanore Beach, in the heart of the Burren and near Ballyvaughan, is one of the best beaches in Clare. The vast expanse of beach is ideal for races, running, walking and making sandcastles. Or how about walking the Shannon Dolphin Trail in Kilrush? In Tipperary, the Sensory & Mobility Garden in Church St. was specially created to be accessible and enjoyable to all, but particularly for people with disabilities. Follow the Fairy Trail in Templemore Park, and see if you can find all the hidden fairy doors in the woods.

More Ideas: KerryClareTipperary


With dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, goats, pot-bellied black pigs, donkeys, ponies and rabbits the Field of Dreams Sanctuary is as good as any Pet Farm. Visit The Hunt Museum on Sundays between 2 and 5 pm – it’s free and ask for their Treasure Hunt sheet for the kids. The museum also runs a free Arts and Crafts club the first Sunday of most months. The recently reopened Limerick City Gallery of Art is free to visit. They often hold Saturday family Art and Craft workshops. Try Entrance to Tir Na Nog for something a little different, and the Peoples Park is a favourite spot to enjoy a picnic ...Read more


Blackrock Castle Observatory has free open evenings once a month with fun astronomy activities. The Lough in Cork is a lovely shallow freshwater lake with lots of swans and other wildfowl, bring along some crusts to feed the birds. There are nice walks, grassy areas and a playground too. Free Astronomy open nights are held on the first Friday of every month at Blackrock Castle Observatory with inspired activities for visitors of all ages including family friendly workshops, lectures, stargazing with Cork Astronomy Club and the award-winning interactive astronomy exhibit, Cosmos at the Castle, which has free admission on these open nights...Read more

southeastIn Wexford, take a day-trip to Kilmore Quay. There is a state of the art playground there,which we always hit first as it’s just beside the car park which overlooks the beautiful Saltee Islands. In Waterford, see the 6 Medieval Towers of Waterford CityMahon Falls has a beautiful walk and magnificent waterfall. Also “The Magic Road”! Stop at the fairy tree and turn off the engine. Magically your car will travel backwards up the hill! In Carlow, enjoy exploring some of the wonderful gardens & parks, such as Altamont Gardens and Delta Sensory Gardens.  In Kilkenny, visit Gairdin an Ghorta in Newmarket.  This is a garden of remembrance dedicated to the victims of the famine, and every single inch has been thoughtfully and carefully designed and selected.

More Ideas: WexfordWaterfordCarlowKilkenny

northNorthern Ireland 

Enjoy the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, visit the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine to see a range of tropical plants and flowers and say hi to the goldfish too. While you are there, drop into the Ulster Museum, for some indoor free time. Head off for a family walk to Roe Valley Country Park . This scenic and tranquil park on the outskirts of Limavady offers spectacular riverside views and woodland walks. Lots of outdoor activities are available such as fishing, canoeing, climbing and orienteering too. Slieve Gullion Forest Park offers walking trails, as well as a walled garden, a mountain top trail to two megalithic cairns and a lake with stunning views. There is also a children’s playpark. …Read more

Related100 Free Activities for Kids and 50 things to do for your children that cost nothing but time

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Published On: February 23rd, 2014 / Categories: Things To Do / Last Updated: October 19th, 2021 / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

About the Author: Jill Holtz

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls

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