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March 15th Today Show
What’s on for families this Easter? Here are 5 Easter Things for Families to Do that we have picked out.
Round Tower Clondalkin
The first place I’ve picked is a brand new visitor attraction in South County Dublin, it’s the Round Tower, Brú Chronáin, Clondalkin. At the new Visitor Centre, they bring the story of the Tower and the surrounding area to life through an exciting interactive experience. It covers 8 different spaces and explores the monastic setting, the Vikings, the 19th and 20th Century setting of Clondalkin. I think families will love this.
There are public gardens, an exhibition and gallery space and then if you’re hungry after all that, there’s The Happy Pear onsite café. And when the weather gets a bit warmer, you can also dine outside and enjoy the gardens. They’ve also got some upcoming events including St. Patrick’s Day festivities and an Easter Egg hunt for young children on Sunday 1st April at 11.00 am. Nearby is the beautiful Corkagh Park with playpark, fairy wood, petting farm, sports facilities, walking/jogging, orienteering, cycle track, fishing and picnic area. It’s completely free to visit! and it’s close to public transport including Dublin Bus and the Red Luas line. Open daily.
King John’s Castle Limerick
This is one of my favourite places, it’s King John’s Castle in Limerick. It is a super modern visitor experience where over 800 years of dramatic history is brought to life. As you move around the exhibition, there’s plenty of things for kids to look at, discovery drawers to open, artifacts to touch, shoot a canon, crawl through a siege tunnel and costumes to try on.
Then you go out into the busy Castle courtyard and you can climb up some of the towers of the castle, walk the castle walls there’s a blacksmith’s forge, characters in medieval costume doing medieval crafts, archery, playing medieval music.
I particularly loved the audio visual characters from the past – they literally are designed to talk to you as if they are there in real life. It’s amazing.
They also run loads of seasonal events and camps during school holidays. There’s a big Easter family event at the Castle on Easter Sunday 2nd April including circus, percussion show stiltwalkers, magic shows and more.
The Attraction is recommended for 5 years upwards but their Easter event is suitable for 2 years and up.
It’s worth booking online as it’s a bit cheaper. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids is €23, a ticket for 2 adults and up to 6 kids is 33.50. Under 5s are free.
Birr Castle, Gardens and Science Centre
Next I’ve chosen Birr Castle, Gardens and Science Centre in Offaly. It’s really a great place for families, obviously the Castle is there and you can visit it, the Gardens are fabulous to walk around, but it’s got lots of other things for kids to enjoy.
So as well as the gardens, you can visit the Science Scentre and the Great Telescope but the star of the show for kids has to be the play area with Ireland’s largest treehouse along with a big bouncy pillow sort of like a trampoline that you can jump on. They have sand pits, climbing frames, slides and much more.
There is also a lovely cafe on site and at the Treehouse area there’s a little sweetshop that sells sandwiches and coffees too.
They also run lots of events, and for Easter, this looks great, it’s the Family Easter Quest which you can do between Saturday 24 March to Sunday 8 April, and that takes young explorers on a journey through time, from great engineering feats to wildlife discoveries, and many more highlights in between. Once the young explorers complete the quest they return to the playground kiosk and choose from a sweet or fruit treat. For those doing the Quest on Easter Sunday there will be Easter Eggs. The Quest included in admission price and that will be available from reception.
Suitable for all ages. The Easter Quest would be for kids who can read, write and understand clues so maybe from ages 4 up.
Family (2 adults and 2 children): €25.00 with additional Kids tickets €5, 4 and under go free. Admission tickets give you access to the gardens, great telescope, science centre and treehouse adventure area.
Strokestown House & Gardens
So I’ve chosen something a bit unique, it’s Strokestown House and Walled Gardens in Roscommon. First you’ve got the beautiful Strokestown House where you can take a tour to get an insight into life in the Big House, upstairs and downstairs. Then you can visit the National Famine Museum, obviously a sad time but important for everyone to know about and hear the stories.
Then you’ve got 6 acres of Walled Gardens with Woodlands nearby, perfect for a bit of exploration outdoors. There’s also a cafe and shop.
They run all sorts of fun events during the year. So for example coming up is a Fly a Kite Event on Sunday 25th March, this is a completely free event, kites are provided, or you could bring your own of course. And that’s in Strokestown Park.
They’ve also got their Secret Garden Easter Hunt at 1pm on Easter Sunday, 1st April, kids will search through the clues in the garden to find the chocolate egg treasure. There’s also a Custard Pie Puppet Show and you can see spring lambs.
The Easter event costs €7 per child if you book in advance or €10 on the day and adults go free which is nice.
A family ticket costs €28, and that includes the House tour, Walled Gardens, Irish Famine Museum. So you’re getting a lot for your money which is great too.
February 15th Today Show
Here are 5 things that we have picked out for families to do. The weather as we know at this time of year is a bit iffy, so we have focused on places that you can go indoors with the kids.
The Lifetime Lab in the Cork Waterworks has interactive exhibitions, a themed playground, and they also run open days and events for kids and families. What’s nice about this place is it’s a mix of history and engineering and science too, so educational but fun. You get to wander through their Victorian buildings, discover some of Cork’s industrial heritage, have a go at their interactive exhibits & enjoy a coffee in the playground & garden.
And for anyone with a bit of interest in steam engines, they also have a steam experience, where you can see original engines working away, so that’s kind of cool. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids costs €15.00 with kids’ tickets at €3 so it’s very reasonable too. They are open Mondays – Fridays during winter months and then also open at weekends and on Bank Holidays from May.
Cool Planet Experience
Cool Planet Experience is Ireland’s first interactive climate change experience. When you visit, you will discover what it is making our climate change, the science behind it & how you can help create a healthy future for you and the planet. But in case you think it’s going to be worthy and boring, the organisers assure us it’s totally fun and interactive and designed really to highlight climate change in a fun way.
Cool Planet Experience will be open from the 28th of February and promises to be a really interesting place for families and kids. Family tickets for 2 adults + 2 kids will cost 25 euro. And of course the good thing about Powerscourt Estate is there’s loads of other things to do while you visit, take in the Waterfall, visit the Pepperpot Tower etc
National Museum of Ireland Museums
Then for something completely free, I’d recommend the National Museum of Ireland museums, so in Dublin there’s the 3 Museums: Museum of Archaeology, Museum of Natural History aka the Dead Zoo and at Collins Barracks the Museum of Decorative Arts & History and then there’s the Museum of Country Life near Castlebar.
These are all free to visit, they are very child-friendly – you can pick up activity sheets at reception to find things in the museum and they also run regular events for kids, e.g. they have workshops around different themes. There is one on glass at the moment at Collins Barracks with an artist in residence Roisin de Buitlear. She will have a wide range of events for families to make them appreciate glass even more.
3 of the museums have cafés in them too so you can make a bit of a day out of it. And the grounds of the Museum of Country Life are lovely for a walk around the lake there too. Just don’t plan to visit on a Monday as they are all closed on Mondays.
Moving westwards, if you’re going to be in County Clare, then you should definitely stop by glór in Ennis. It’s maybe familiar to people for the events they put on. They run a lot of music, theatre, workshops, and they also have a St Patrick’s Day Family Festival with loads of fun for kids and families.
But the reason we have picked it is because it’s also a lovely place to stop by on a rainy day – there’s a really family friendly café, they have an art exhibition space upstairs, a reading corner and something quite unusual a fresh pizza vending machine! So somewhere a bit different to take the kids. It’s free to visit, aside from paying for any shows or workshops that you go to and it’s open every day apart from Sunday.
The Jackie Clarke Collection
Finally, we have picked out The Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina in Mayo, where you can discover 400 years of Irish history through self-guiding family friendly interactive touch screens. Jackie Clarke was a businessman and collector and his widow gifted the collection to Mayo County Council and to the people of Ireland.
The main exhibit space showcases the Collection’s treasures and you can see things like an original 1916 Proclamation, objects belonging to Wolfe Tone and letters from Michael Collins. He was a big map fan as well, so the collection collection contains maps that date from the 1600s up to the late 1900s.
Also very cool is their Memory Pod which is a space where you can record and share your stories and memories, if you’ve been inspired by the collection. There’s also a Walled Garden and a café, so you can visit the exhibition then go for a stroll in the garden then grab a bite to eat. Admission to the collection is free and it’s open Tuesday – Saturday.
More ideas for things to do with kids:
- What’s on for Kids every month – we update this every month
- Things to do in Ireland with Kids for Easter 2018 – we run special What’s On features for holiday times.
- Best Places to Discover Science for Kids in Ireland
- Best Places to See Bluebells in Ireland
- 30 Magical Harry Potter Places to Visit
- Best Escape Rooms for Adrenaline Fuelled Family Fun
- Low Cost Things to Do in Ireland recommended by Parents