Staying at home has become the new norm. But as Ireland moves into a phased reopening over the Summer months, we take a look at what options there are for getting out safely. We will update you with the best safe places in Ireland you can visit with the family, where social distance can be maintained and family fun is guaranteed.
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We are all looking forward to the days when we can move around freely, meet our friends, get back to school and work and shopping is not a military operation! The roadmap for re-opening created by the government, covers a series of dates when different sectors can hope to again welcome visitors and customers.
Each family is different and must decide what they feel works best for them. But as the country tentatively comes out of isolation, we wanted to let you know some of the best safe places to visit around Ireland for a family outing.
Please do refer to and adhere to the venues and the government guidelines around travel, distancing, face masks, hand washing and other safety measures so we can all stay safe while we get back to socialising. We have done an amazing job as a nation to curb the spread of COVID 19 so let’s not lose focus now.
Safe Places To Visit With The Family As Ireland Re-opens
Strokestown Park, House & Gardens, Roscommon
Phased Re-Opening: From May 18th 2020, Monday to Friday 10am to 5.30pm
Strokestown Park have announced that they will re-open the front grounds to the public from 10am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday from May 18th. The house, famine museum, café and other areas will open up as per government guidelines.
Learn More: Visit the website for updates and safety guidelines
Fota House Gardens & Arboretum, Cork
Phased Re-Opening: From May 18th 2020, 9am to 6pm daily
Fota House have announced the re-opening of their gardens and arboretum from May 18th. Families can visit with children while adhering to the social distancing guidelines from 9am to 6pm daily.
The full reopening will be from July 1st 2020
Learn More: Visit the website for updates and safety guidelines
Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Roscommon
Opening: Grounds remain open for visitors within the travel zone
Lough Key Forest Park remains open to those who live within the travel distances allowed by the government. For those lucky enough to avail of the stunning surrounds, please do maintain social distance so the grounds can remain open for everyone.
The visitor centre and other attractions remain closed at this time but will be part of a phased re-opening plan as per government guidelines.
Learn More: Visit the Lough Key Facebook page for regular updates on the re-opening and safety guidelines.
Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow
Phased Re-Opening: From May 18th 2020, 9.30am to 5.30pm daily
Powerscourt Estate offers a great family day out and is open again for safe visits. It’s a wide open family friendly place to go to unwind and enjoy nature. There’s lots of biodiversity for kids to observe in the gardens which are now in full bloom.
- The roses in the Walled Garden, some planted over forty years ago are now in their first flush of colour, visitors can look forward to the roses in their more vibrant second flush over the next few weeks.
- The Herbaceous Border, the longest double border in the country is now a haven for biodiversity and has something for everyone to enjoy, especially eagle-eyed kids. It’s looking magical with many vibrant herbs and plants in bloom, attracting bees and other wildlife with their bright colouring.
- The Avoca food hall is also now open and stocked with some of the best homegrown and artisan foods and products. Take-away coffee, treats and ice-cream are currently available.
AND as an added bonus – Powerscourt are also giving all visitors who pre-book tickets online to the gardens a chance to win an exclusive “Powerscourt in Bloom” Summer prize including 1 year annual membership + a beautiful bespoke hanging basket from the Garden Pavilion!
Learn More: Visit the website for further details on safety measures and guidelines around visits.
Birr Castle, Offaly
Phased Re-Opening: From June 8th
Birr Castle in Offaly will re-open the demesne on June 8th for visitors to come and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and get back to nature. The Treehouse Playground is now reopened, you do need to pre book tickets online before visiting.
Irish National Stud, Kildare
Phased Re-opening: From May 18th
The Irish National Stud re-opened to members from May 18th. All visits much be booked in advance. They will re-open to the general public on a phased basis in line with government guidelines.
Learn More: Visit the website for further details on bookings and opening times and dates.
Belvedere House & Gardens, Westmeath
Phased re-opening: From May 18th, 9.30am to 8pm (last entry 7pm)
The grounds of Belvedere House are open to the public to enjoy walks while following all government safety guidelines.
Learn More: Check out the website for further details and booking information.
Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum and Gardens, Wexford
Phased re-opening: From June 8th for members and visitors, 7 days a week
Johnstown Castle estate and gardens have re-opened to Irish Heritage Trust members during phase 1 of the government’s roadmap. They have used this time to ensure the safety measures put in place are the best they can be and are delighted to be able to open up to members and the general public from June 8th.
Learn More: Check out the website for updates and safety guidelines
Re-opening: 12pm to 10pm daily
Leisureplex are so excited to be able to welcome back all their loyal customers for fun with family and friends. All Leisureplex centres (except Leisureplex Charlestown) are now open, with temporary opening hours of 12-10pm every day. All activities except Quasar are currently open, including bowling, Zoo Playland, pool/snooker tables and arcade games.
Upon returning to your local Leisureplex centre, they ask that you please adhere to Government guidelines on social distancing and hand washing procedures, to ensure that each and every customer can enjoy their experience. They will also have limited customer capacity in centres for the time being, so it is recommended to book in advance of your visit by phone.
Learn More: Visit the website www.leisureplex.ie for more details and full Covid-19 Reopening Statement.
National Museum of Ireland Museums Phased Reopening
Phased re-opening: From June 29th
The NMI have announced a phased reopening of their 4 museums. Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks and Country Life at Turlough Park will open to visitors from 29th June.
The Museum of Archaeology at Kildare Street and the Natural History Museum at Merrion Street will reopen on 20th July – you will need to book in advance to visit the Natural History Museum.
Opening hours will be Sunday and Monday 1-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.
There will be takeaway only from the Museum cafés. And please note that the maximum group size they can facilitate is a family or social unit of six people.
Phased Re-opening: From Tuesday June 2nd 2020, 2 daily sessions 9.30am to 1pm or 2pm to 5.30pm
Dublin Zoo have re-opened for 2 Outdoor Safari Trail sessions a day. The sessions must be booked in advance and are in line with government guidelines.
For those that can’t visit yet, do check out our Animal Resources post in association with SEE Airtricity, Sustainability partners of Dublin Zoo, where you will find fun animal downloads, links to the Dublin Zoo webcams and Eco Activities that can be enjoyed at home.
Learn More: Find out more on the Dublin Zoo website.
Killruddery House Gardens & Tea Room, Wicklow
Phased re-opening: From Monday June 1st, 9.30am to 11am for over 70’s and 11.30am to 6pm general public
Killruddery gardens and tea room are open for visitors to visit the 800 acre estate and enjoy tea and treats at the tea room. The Farm Market and Café are due to open on June 29th 2020.
Learn More: Stay up to date with further opening hours and information on the Killruddery House website.
National Botanic Gardens, Dublin
Opening: From May 18th 2020, 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday & 10am to 6pm at weekends.
The outdoor areas at the National Botanic Gardens are open for a reduced number for visitors from May 18th. The paths are clearly marked with arrows to indicate safe movement around the gardens and safety guidelines will be implemented in line with the government guidelines.
Learn More: Check out the website for further information on visiting.
Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny
Phased Re-opening: From June 29th
Castlecomer Discovery Park will re-open some of their adventure activities on June 29th. As government guidelines change, more activities will be included.
To Discovery Park & Beyond! They have created a Toy Story walk around the park with a themed trail, find the Toy Story themed clues as you are immersed in the beautiful outdoor landscape. At the end of the trail each child gets a small toy.
Learn More: Visit the website for bookings and further planned opening information.
Phased Re-opening: From Tuesday June 29th 2020
Galway Atlantaquaria are opening on a phased basis from June 29th. There will be a one way system in place and tickets should be purchased in advance to ensure you get a time that suits.
Learn More: Visit the website for bookings and further details on your visit.
Leahys Open Farm, Cork
Phased re-opening: From Friday June 12th
Leahys Open Farm is a firm favourite with families. They are taking online bookings for set times and will be operating a one way system.
Learn More: To find out more about what facilities are open and how to book, please visit the website.
Clonfert Pet Farm, Kildare
Phased re-opening: From Wednesday June 10th 2020
Clonfert Pet Farm offer a value for money day out with animals, 2 outdoor play areas, mini golf, go karts, sports pitch and much more.
Learn More: Bookings for now must be done online in advance of your visit.
Family Ice Cream Adventures at Causey Farm, Meath
Re-opening: From July 1st to August 30th daily
Enjoy a family day out on the socially distanced Ice Cream Adventure Trail at Causey Farm in Meath. Meet the animals and a few characters, enjoy adventure, games and puzzles rounded off with a scoop of ice cream to enjoy along the way.
Learn More: For bookings and further information, please visit the website.
Fota Wildlife Park, Cork
Re-opening: May 18th 2020
Fota Wildlife Park will open to the public from May 18th. The park will follow strict safety guidelines in line with government guidelines.
Learn More: Visit the website for further details on your visit and to make a booking.
Lough Boora Discovery Park, Offaly
Phased Re-opening: From June 20th 2020
Lough Boora Discover Park is open for all ages and abilities to explore and enjoy nature and biodiversity, sculptures and outdoor activities. There will be a one way system in place to ensure government safety guidelines are met and the visitor centre will not open in the first phase. However visitors can enjoy the café, bike hire (limited) and public toilets are open (limited).
Learn More: Please visit the website for more details before you travel.
Glendeer Pet Farm, Athlone
Phased Re-opening: Glendeer Pet Farm are open from 29th June
They say “There may be some queuing on entry and we will put a one way system in place for entering and exiting the farm and also while visiting the animals.”
Indoor play areas will be closed for now unfortunately and most of the animals will be in outdoor enclosures as indoor viewing will be limited. Holding and feeding of the animals won’t be allowed at the moment either. They may restrict the amount of people and time in the outdoor play area for social distancing reasons.
Croke Park and GAA Museum
Phased Re-opening: From July 20th
Get your GAA fix with a Croke Park Stadium Tour and visit to the GAA Museum with 30% off Stadium Tours in July. Games at Croke Park may be on hold but you can still make your summer pilgrimage to the stadium and Museum. They have implemented a range of new safety and hygiene practices to ensure a safe and enjoyable day out for everyone.
Tours are operating with reduced numbers to make social distancing easy. There’s a takeaway service at the Blackthorn Café. The Skyline Tour experience will operate as normal. It is now essential to book in advance online and walks ups will not be accepted.
Pirates Town Courtown
Re-Open: Daily from 11am
Pirates Town at Courtown has reopened with all activities apart from the Funcaves & Bubble Rollers open every day including the Bowling Alley, Adventure Golf, Bumper Boats, Sea Tractors, Paddle Boats, Go Karts, Pirates Express Train, Casino & Games Arcade.
There is no need to book, however they are taking bookings for Adventure Golf & Bowling as there may be more queues than usual as we adhere to health & safety regulations. Book now by phoning 053 94 25555. Open daily from 11am.
Have your say! Have you visited any of the places on our list? Or do you know of any other safe places to visit in Ireland? Please let us know in the comments box below.