Rain, rain go away all the children want to go play! Sound familiar? Are you looking for activities for a rainy day in Cork? Need some ideas for things to do to keep the kids occupied when it’s wet outside? Then we have lots of suggestions here to make your job a little easier!
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Indoor Centres in Cork
Monkey Maze, Glanmire
This is the largest indoor activity centre and party venue for kids in Cork. They have a giant 4 level adventure play maze for the older kids and also a soft play area for younger children and toddlers. Admission on weekdays is €6.50 and €8.00 at the weekend.
At Planet Family Entertainment Centre on Old Mallow Road in Blackpool, you can take the whole family bowling! With cosmic lanes, pins and balls it will be a fun day out for all. ‘Cosmo’s Funworld’ is their soft play area with slides, rope bridges, a huge ball pool and 2 bouncy castles. They also have laser tag with 10 built-in game missions, including a vampire-themed one!
National Kart Centre
You won’t need to worry about the weather at the National Kart Centre, Cork, where you can experience the thrills of championship on an adrenaline filled indoor kart track. Located at Marina Business Park, each corner of this track gives you a different challenge. The track has some suspended sections, giving the feeling you are floating above the karts passing beneath you!
Rock Climbing at the Mardyke
Put your skill and technique to the test as you attempt to climb the walls at the Mardyke Arena Health and Leisure Centre. Challenging and fun from ages 5 and up. They have a Children’s Session, suitable for 5-14 year olds, which is an hour of climbing, fun and games!
Located at the old Cork City Waterworks, Lifetime Lab is a unique visitor attraction for all ages. Activities include interactive exhibits, a steam centre, science camps, workshops, a themed playground and gardens with a picnic area, plus a coffee dock for mums and dads to relax.
Museums, Galleries & Culture
You’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice when looking for things to do to experience the culture and history of Cork with countless museums.
Titanic Experience, Cobh
Retrace the footsteps of the Queenstown passengers at the Titanic Experience, Cobh. Situated in the original offices of The White Star Line, the location marks the departure point for the last 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage to America. The story is told using innovative audio visual technology bringing the characters to life through cinematic shows, scene sets, holographic imagery and touch screen technology.
Located on the banks of the River Lee, the Museum at Fitzgerald Park houses a collection of some of the memories of Cork’s commercial, political and ancient history through old glass, coins and general local memorabilia. Micheal Collins exhibition and items relating to Thomas MacCurtain and Terence McSweeney, two martyred Lord Mayors of Cork. The oldest pick and shovel in Ireland from the Bronze Age and the Cobh Famine Relief Book are housed here. There is also a small cafe on sight with great views over the river.
Cork Butter Museum
Celebrating one of the great success stories of Ireland (the butter trade), the Cork Butter Museum begins with the central role of the dairy culture, the Butter Exchange and the success of Dairygold. They also have butter making demonstrations at 12.00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday. Admission is €4.00 for an adult and €1.50 for a child.
Crawford Municipal Arts Gallery
This wonderful art gallery comprises of over 2,000 works, ranging from eighteenth century Irish and European painting and sculpture, through to contemporary video installations. Admission is free.
Cork City Gaol Heritage Museum
Cork City Gaol is a magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th century prisoners. Take a trip back in time and wander through the wings of the Gaol, accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates and the jingle of the warders’ keys. There are life-like wax figures and an audio-visual show. The Radio Museum at the Gaol also houses a small collection of radios and exhibits on communication. Tickets are €6.00 for children and €10.00 for adults.
Triskel Arts Centre
This is an innovative forum for the arts including live music, literature, visual art, education and theatre. Their cinema shows both new and old films from across the world, and before 5pm, ticket prices for a child under 14 are €5.50.
Blackrock Castle Observatory
Learn about history and science through the interactive exhibits at Blackrock Castle Observatory. Kids can explore the dungeon and hear the cannon fire, visit the planetarium, explore the formation of the Universe and how life developed on Earth, send an email to space and much more! Adult tickets cost €7.00 and children €5.00, but you can buy a family ticket for €20.00.
Catch a Movie!
When outdoor activities just don’t appeal to you, let the cinema be your warm, comfy haven. The Omniplex Cork will have you spoilt for choice with 13 screens and a large variety of food to munch through the film.
If you’re in the mood for something new and innovative, why not try the 9D cinema at The Planet? It is the only one of its kind available in Ireland. Overwhelm your senses with these exciting 9D animated movies with surround sound and active motion seats! Generally it lasts approximately 7-10 minutes.
Overwhelm your senses with the stimulating and exciting 9D animated movies with surround sound, coupled with “active motion” luxury seats and dramatic effects such as rain, fog, lightning, wind, snow, touch, feel and more. You will enjoy this genuine “action ride” visual experience like you have never enjoyed on any amusement ride before.
Or why not let your livingroom become the cinema? Nominate someone to load the DVD or find a film on Netflix, to collect the tickets and to be a food vendor. Then once you have been directed to your couch, sit back and enjoy the show! But don’t forget the all-important “shush!!!”
Reccomended Reading: Make Your Own Home Cinema
When spending a day in the rain just does not appeal to you, another option is to head to your local library. Children are full of questions and the library is the one place they are guaranteed to find those answers- in a book!
All libraries now cater for young children as well as school age. With a vast array of books of books to choose from, let your child lose themselves in the joy of choosing their own book.
Many libraries offer free events or activities such as storytime and run bookclubs. As Groucho Marx said “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend”.
Swimming Pools in Cork
I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love splashing in water so swimming pools are always a hit, whatever the weather!
Aura Leisure Centre, Youghal
Enjoy some family fun at Aura Leisure Centre. In addition to their children and adult swimming classes, they offer family swim times and family fun time events, with water-based inflatable bouncy castles, treasure hunts and raft races for all the family to enjoy together.
At LeisureWorld, the pool is open for public swimming throughout the day in their 25 meter pool and also in the toddler and learner pools. They also have a sauna and steam room to allow you to relax and unwind. LeisureWorld also provide Swimming Lessons.
You know the saying, if you can’t beat them, join them! So go grab those wellies and raincoats and head outside. Act your shoe size, not your age and jump in those puddles! Kids love seeing their parents being careless and carefree. It’s nothing a hot shower and load of washing won’t sort out but the joy and laughter you all will share will be worth it! Have a game of catch or football. Slipping and sliding all over the place will just add to the fun. Or get a paper plate and sprinkle a few drops of different coloured food colouring on it. As you walk in the rain, swirls of fantastic colours will form. Lots more ideas in our Top 10 Things to do Outside in Rain. Create your own masterpiece on the footpath with chalk. Chalk looks more paintlike when wet so the colours will appear more vivid. Then later, as you sip your hot chocolates, watch it being washed away leaving you a blank canvas for the next wet day.