Top 10 things to do with kids in Cork

things to do in cork

Planning a visit to Cork? Are you looking for things to do with the kids in Cork?  Here’s our suggestions for the top 10 things to do with kids in Cork (in no particular order!)

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#1. Dursey Cable Car

dursey island cable car

Experience Ireland’s only cable-car, stretching from Bullaghboy in West Cork to Dursey Island – not for the faint-hearted!!!

#2. Old Cork Waterworks & Lifetime Lab, Cork

lifetime lab

Old Cork Waterworks (formerly Lifetime Lab) is a multi award winning visitor centre offering a fascinating insight into industrial heritage and environmental issues.

Visitors journey through Victorian architecture and explore the age of steam, investigate the interactive exhibits and transform into environmental detectives discovering how daily choices impact our world. Suitable for all ages.

Make sure to allow time for the playground and garden overlooking the River Lee.

#3. Fota Wildlife Park

Giraffes places to animals in Ireland

Award-winning and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Munster at Fota Wildlife Park you may come face to face with animals and birds from around the globe as you wander through the 70 acre park.

Home to many of the worlds most highly endangered species such as the Lion Tailed Macaque, Rothschild Giraffe, European Bison and Scimitar Horned Oryx. Explore and learn throughout your day.

Under three’s go free.

#4. Donkey Sanctuary

donkey sanctuary cork

Visit the Donkey Sanctuary near Mallow, and take a stroll around the paddocks to see some of the lovely donkeys that are being cared for here.

Entry is free but you can make a donation towards running costs. They have a picnic area and a gift shop on-site.

#5. Gougane Barra National Park

Gougane Barra National Park

Did you know Gougane Barra National Park was Ireland’s first National Park?

There are walking and cycling trails and also a picnic area and is a beautiful destination in any season.

There are six walking trails to suit all levels of fitness, each one with its own unique story to tell. The 318 kilometre-long Cork City-Beara-Gougane Barra cycle route finishes in Gougane Barra. And there’s a looped 3km scenic drive with spectacular views of the deep valley and its walled sides.

Don’t miss St Finbarr’s Oratory or Small Church on the lake island, it has beautiful old stations of the cross and lovely stained glass windows.

#6. Blarney Castle & Gardens

Blarney Stone Cork Mythical places to visit in Ireland

Spend the day in Blarney: visit the Castle and Gardens and the Rock Close!

Blarney Castle is one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions probably due to the fact that it is the home of the Blarney Stone, legend has it if you kiss the stone you will never again be lost for words.

Built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, King of Munster, who is said to have supplied four thousand men from Munster to supplement the forces of Robert the Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Legend has it that the latter king gave half of the Stone of Scone to McCarthy in gratitude, what is now the Blarney Stone.

#7. Cork City Gaol

family vacation cork city gaol

Get behind bars for a few hours with a visit to Cork City Gaol. The amazing castle-like building gives visitors an insight into prison life with an array of exhibitions bringing it all to life. And don’t miss the wax figures showing what life was like in the 19th and early 20th century in Cork.

As a bonus your entry ticket also gives you access to the radio museum where you can learn more about the birth of Marconi.

#8. Model Railway Village

Fly a kite at Inchydoney near Clonakilty and then stop by the Model Railway Village to see the old West Cork Railway Line (miniaturised) as it was in the 1940’s

#9. Ballyhass Lakes and Adventure Centre

The Ballyhass Lakes Aqua Park is an inflatable water park that covers over 40m square of an old quarry lake where you can jump, slide, bounce and race each other around the wipeout style course. Suitable for ages 6+ (U12 must be accompanied by an adult on the water), you must be able to swim 50m.

They also offer kayaking, raft building, fishing and more at their outdoor activity centre.

#10. Fota House and Gardens

fota house spring walks for families

Fota House and Gardens in Cork offers visitors a look at how life was lived in the past, whether as a servant or as a member of the gentry. When you tour the house you get to see behind the scenes to the bedrooms and a Victorian nursery. Then visit the service wing, where you can see the working conditions of all the servants.

“Where is Mrs Kevin’s Cat?!” is a families tour through the House with a dedicated guide, solving the mystery of where the house keeper’s cat has got to. It’s a great way for children to enjoy learning about the House and the people who lived here.

Or you can go Digging for History in their award winning Victorian Working Garden, with a tour through the Victorian glasshouses with fun facts for kids, finishing off with a chance to pot up their own plant to take home and cherish. Both the Mrs Kevin’s Cat tour and Digging for History are suitable from 4 to about 11.

They also have fantastic trails for kids to follow in the gardens they have some really fun ones e.g. Junior Plant Hunters Activity Trail, Little Explorers Trail, and a Tree Trail.

Do you have a favourite place to go with the kids in Cork? Tell us about it  in the comments below.

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