101 Of the Best Ideas for Your Family Vacation In Ireland

mulranny beach county mayo

Here are 101 of the Best Ideas for Your Family Vacation in Ireland – packed full of extra-handy tidbits for you and your family. From fun things to do, to family festivals and free things, and hidden gems you just might never have heard of. We have all this and more, to help you plan your best ever holiday in Ireland with children!

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Nothing beats local knowledge when it comes to organising a family vacation. Our team of parents are based around the country so we can highlight those extras that you may not find in the guide books when planning your family vacation in Ireland.

101 Of the Best Ideas for Your Family Vacation In Ireland

Summer Family Vacation In Galway

Maldron Galway Hotel Pool

Head to the Maldron Oranmore this Summer, the perfect destination for you and your family to enjoy what Galway has to offer.

• Sign up to Make it Maldron to receive a further reduction of €10 per night off your stay
• Full leisure facilities with 20 metre pool & extensive gym
• Just a short walk from Oranmore Village and only 10km from Galway City
• Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
• Games Room & Playground on-site also
• Free parking

Book your family stay today

Fun Places to Take Kids on a Family Vacation in Ireland

#1. Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, Roscommon

Head into the Blue Easter Family Activities Zip line in Lough Key

Located in Boyle, Co. Roscommon and set in the grounds of the old King-Harman Estate on the shores of island studded Lough Key, the Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, offers hours of entertainment for all the family. A wonderful enclosed Adventure Play Kingdom will entertain the smallest visitors, while the Boda Borg Challenge will test the mental skills and physical agility of everybody over seven!

Be guided back in time through 19th Century tunnels and stroll Ireland’s only Tree Canopy trail on the Lough Key Experience. Take a well-earned break and enjoy the vista of Lough Key in the Lakeside Café. You can even stay over in the landscaped Caravan and Campsite.

Other fun activities in the park include:

  • Woodland Segway offering fun glides and historical tours
  • Electric Bike trails with traditional and electric bikes
  • Kids Jeep Safari
  • Zipit Forest Adventures
  • Lough Key boat tours
  • Orienteering trails
  • Picnic spots and beautiful walks along the shores of the lake.

#2. Strokestown Park, House, Gardens and Irish Famine Museum

Strokestown typewriter

Strokestown Park houses the Irish National Famine Museum, a must-see visitor attraction for families. Strokestown House is open daily and visitors will get a real insight into days gone by at this Georgian Palladian mansion in which many of the original furnishings can still be seen.

Visitors can take a stroll through the 6 acre walled garden and surrounding woodlands.

Don’t Miss: The Victorian Nursery complete with toys.

#3. Johnstown Castle, Wexford

Johnstown Castle

Johnstown Castle is a spectacular gothic Castle in Wexford and offers an amazing day out for all ages. Surrounded by beautiful ornamental gardens designed by Daniel Robertson, they offer walks by the lake, gothic statues, peacocks and other wildlife and a Victorian Walled Garden to discover.

The Irish Agricultural Museum is housed within the ground of Johnstown Castle and displays one fo the most comprehensive collections showcasing farming and rural life in Ireland with everything from tractors to kitchens!

#4. Delphi Resort, Galway

Located in the heart of the breathtaking Delphi Valley n​ear Leenane in​ Connemara, ​Delphi Resort is one of Ireland’s leading family holiday destinations – ​be prepared for fun​, adventure and creating unforgettable memories on your family holiday to Delphi Resort.

The resort welcomes families back every year, with everything you need for the whole family to enjoy the perfect holiday:

  • Onsite Delphi Adventure Centre with over 20 water and​ land based adventure activities (for all ages and abilities) such as kayaking on Killary Fjord and surfing​ on Cross Beach
  • Delicious, wholesome food served daily in the hotel restaurant and bar with mountain views (with children’s menus and seasonal options)
  • Choice of luxury family rooms in the four star hotel or stay in an affordable private dorm room in the new Wild Atlantic Hostel.
  • FREE morning Kids Club for the little ones
  • FREE movies daily in the movie room during holiday season
  • ​Access to ​Delphi Spa​’s Thermal Suite for the adults – sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and relaxation area with mountain views
  • 20 minutes drive from several stunning beaches and a stone’s throw to some of the Wild Atlantic Way’s discovery points: Kilary Harbour, Aasleagh Falls and Doolough Famine Memorial
  • Perfect base for exploring Connemara and South Mayo​ regions
    – Westport, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park and more

Enjoy all of this with your family, all while surrounded by the mountains of the Delphi Valley and the stunning Connemara scenery ​on the Wild Atlantic Way!

You might also enjoy reading 20 Fun Things to do with Kids on the Wild Atlantic Way

#5. glór, Clare

glor st flannans college trad club whats on

More than just a theatre, glór sits in the heart of Ennis town in Co. Clare and offers ample parking for visitors. They attract the best of local, national and International entertainment for all ages. And have a full line up of family fun and regular events including films, music, dance and theatre performances, classes and workshops. They also boast an art gallery and an on-site café.

And we love their BYOK (Bring Your Own Kids) events, where well behaved kids can avail of discounted tickets and come along to shows with their parents! Saving you money on a babysitter.

You May Also Enjoy Why We Love These Family Friendly Hotels in Ireland

#6. Croke Park Stadium Tour & GAA Museum, Dublin

croke park stadium-tour

The Croke Park Stadium Tour offers you the chance to explore the home of Gaelic sport and take a behind-the-scenes journey through this 82,300 capacity stadium. Enjoy an access-all-areas experience on the guided Stadium Tour, as you walk in the footsteps of legends and visit the team dressing rooms, before going pitch-side via the players’ tunnel and taking a seat in the VIP area.

Explore the GAA Museum with its exhibition galleries that vividly illustrate the story of Gaelic games, from ancient times to present day. Exhibitions include the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups, the official GAA Hall of Fame, and lots more. Test your hurling and football skills in the interactive games zone – a must for museum visitors of all ages!

#7. Belvedere House, Westmeath

Belvedere House Gardens and Park events image

Belvedere House, attracting over 160,000 visitors a year, sits on a magnificent 160 acre lakeside estate with restored Georgian Villa, Victorian Walled Garden, naturalistic designed 18th century parkland, punctuated with Romantic follies including the largest in Ireland; “The Jealous Wall”. A day visitor to Belvedere can explore the restored Belvedere House, Victorian Walled Garden and rolling parkland with its numerous follies.

An excellent day out with a difference, Belvedere House Gardens & Park offers something for young and old. Open daily, all year round, visitors can enjoy 8km of safe and serene walks, a Georgian Villa, a Victorian Walled Garden, Fairy Garden, & 4 Children’s Areas. There is also a Gift Shop, picnic areas and licensed café.

Annual Membership available. Belvedere also has a year round calendar of events – check out www.belvedere-house for more details. 

#9. Irish National Stud & Gardens, Kildare

Irish National Stud Events 2019 Easter Events in Kildare

Enjoy a great day out for all the family at the Irish National Stud & Gardens in Kildare Town. Just off the M7 motorway, the Irish National Stud is home to both wonderful horses and great gardens.

The Irish National Stud offers an unforgettable experience in 800 acres of beautiful Kildare countryside that can be enjoyed by all the family. Enjoy the beautiful Japanese Gardens, St Fiachras Garden, see the magnificent horses, and tour the Horse Museum. Afterwards let the kids run off some steam at the playground. There are free pony rides for kids during school holidays on selected days.

#9. The Cool Planet Experience, Wicklow

Cool Planet Experience Science of Climate Change 2

Based in the picturesque Powerscourt Estate, the Cool Planet Experience is Ireland’s first interactive experience aimed at inspiring the next generation to take positive climate action.

Cool Planet Experience aims to inspire visitors to make sustainability so cool it becomes the norm! This is achieved through a series of interactive and engaging exhibitions, games and competitions.

Visitors to the Cool Planet Experience will see for themselves the highs and lows of our changing climate while discovering new and exciting innovations and how they can put them in place, not just during their visit, but through their everyday life to make a change.

  • Time Travel to 2050
  • Discover how to help in the Disaster Scenario
  • Become an Agent of Change in the Brighter Futures Experience
  • Enter the Forest of Hope
  • Take part in Interactive Workshops, Demonstrations & Activities

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#10. Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow

Powerscourt Estate, just 20km south of Dublin, offers a fun family day out with wonderful family walks around the 47 acres of gardens which include themed Italian & Japanese gardens, tower valley, hundreds of different plants and trees, water features, statues and much more. There are shops and restaurants to enjoy before or after you explore all the Powerscourt has to offer.

You can also visit the Powerscourt waterfall, Ireland’s highest waterfall and explore the countryside surrounding it. Pack a picnic, enjoy the playground and spot many different varieties of birds.

Powerscourt run regular family themed events during school holidays so be sure to check their events page regularly for updates.

#11. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Clare

Easter events at Bunratty Castle and King Johns Castle

At Bunratty Castle & Folk Park everywhere is open for you to explore! The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Kids will enjoy the sights, sounds tastes, scents, of Bunratty Folk Park as you stroll from house to house or around the charming village street complete with school, post office, doctors house, hardware shop, printers and a pub.

The gardens at Bunratty Folk Park have been restored to their former glory. The gardens are modelled on the original Regency period garden which supplied fruit, vegetables, and flowers to Bunratty House (built in 1804) and are refurbished in typical Victorian style. This is your opportunity to experience one of the great gardens of Ireland.

There’s also a Fairy Trail and playground for the kids to enjoy.

#12. The Ark, Dublin

The Ark Easter Camps 2018

The Ark Dublin, based on Eustace Street in Temple Bar, is a unique, purpose built, cultural centre where children aged 2-12 and their families can explore theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. Expect a different experience every visit!

The Ark’s event programme is always a big hit with families looking for creative and fun activities, so be sure to check their website for what’s on during your visit.

#13. Nore Valley Park, Kilkenny

Nore Valley Park Pet Farm

Nore Valley Park in Kilkenny offers everything you need for a family day out, a celebration or a break away from it all. From interactive encounters with the animals, to attractive camping facilities, to fun activities suited to all ages, Nore Valley Park is perfect for occupying an afternoon, or for spending a week or more.

The variety of animals is vast on this working farm, with hens, ducks, turkeys, geese, quails, owl, pheasants, sheep, goats, pigs, deer, ponies, donkeys, cow, rabbits, and even ostriches! Feed, pet and cuddle animals such as lambs, rabbits and chicks for a truly interactive experience.

Enjoy a variety of activities at Nore Valley Park including:

  • Tractor and trailer rides
  • Crazy golf
  • Go-karts
  • Indoor 3D maze
  • Animal feeding
  • Crazy golf
  • Playground
  • Giant chess
  • Indoor straw bounce
  • Nature trails and much more

The campsite at Nore Valley Park is open from March to October annually. For those who want to stay on-site but have no tent or caravan of their own, Nore Valley Park has a number of lovely wooden lodges and spacious mobile homes available to rent, they can be booked in advance.

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#14. 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.

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

#15. Fota House & Gardens, Cork

fota house

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.

And after all that fun you can refresh yourselves in the Bakestone Café!

#16. The Dunfanaghy Workhouse, Donegal

family vacation dunfanaghy workhouse

Visit the Dunfanaghy Workhouse to see a traditional workhouse from famine times. Meet Wee Hannah and hear her story, visit the exhibitions and learn about the history of the workhouse and the surrounding Sheephaven Bay.

The kids can play in the community playground or visit the library or take part in a workshop or class. And you can enjoy tasty homemade treats at the on-site café.

#17. Corralea Activity Centre, Fermanagh

correlea activity centre

At the family run Corralea Activity Centre in Fermanagh your family can enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, archery, caving, climbing and the thrills and spills of the floating waterpark!

#18. W5, Belfast

W5 Belfast for science attractions in the UK

whowhatwherewhenwhy – W5 is Ireland’s award winning science and discovery centre at Odyssey in Belfast. With over 250 interactive exhibits and a changing programme of events, shows and exhibitions, W5 is a great value day out for all the family. Allow at least 2 hours for your visit.

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#19. King John’s Castle, Limerick

King Johns Castle

King John’s Castle delivers a modern visitor experience with a dramatic history of over 800 years of stories, all brought to life in a stunning exhibition.

The busy Castle courtyard is home to a medieval campaign tent, a blacksmith’s forge and scenes from a 17th century siege. An array of colourful characters, reveal the secrets and scandals of castle life. Not to be missed!!!

Read what Jill and her family thought of King John’s Castle.

#20. Westport House & Gardens, Mayo

westport train tour

Enjoy a fun filled holiday experience this summer with a trip to the award winning Westport House and Hotel Westport. Westport House and Adventure Park has activities suitable for all ages to enjoy including:

  • House tours with the new audio app
  • Victorian afternoon tea
  • Ramble through the gardens, parks and visit the lake
  • Cannonball run slide
  • Pirate Queen swinging ship
  • Pirates plunge
  • Activity centre with zip-lining, archery, off-road mini jeeps, kiddy kars, foot darts and more
  • New 24 metre inflatable obstacle course
  • Swan pedalos
  • Go Karts
  • Westport House Express
  • Pony Rides

Things to Do On Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route, passing through nine counties, three provinces, and some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery.

Stay at The Clonakilty Park Hotel, Cork

Quality Hotel Clonakilty Swimming pool

If you are looking for a family friendly hotel in Cork, a warm welcome awaits you at The Clonakilty Park Hotel in Clonakilty, a coastal town on the Wild Atlantic Way, in the heart of West Cork. Families return year after year not just to stay, but to experience the unique facilities and service that is remarkable with a warmth and willingness by staff to make every guest feel extra special.

When you book a break at the Clonakilty Park Hotel everything is taken care of. The hotel will provide not just the travel cot, but the mattress, sheet and blankets if you wish, meaning that busy parents, who have to think of everything during the year, get to relax too.

#21. Clonakilty Beaches, Cork

inchydoney beach

There are 5 beautiful beaches near Clonakilty: Inchydoney, Long Strand, Red Strand, The Warren and Owenahincha. It’s hard to pick one favourite but we love the Blue Flag beach at Inchydoney Island, just a few miles from Clonakilty.

It’s not only family friendly but very beautiful, with plenty of sand dunes and a long stretch of sand ideal for flying kites, paddling, or even surfing for the more adventurous.

#22. Seafari Kenmare, Kerry

seafari seal

Seafari Cruises are a great way to explore the wildlife of Kenmare Bay. You go out on the bay in a comfortable and sheltered passenger vessel, out to one of the largest seal colonies in Ireland. See if you can spot Kathleen, a stunning seal with a red coat. The rumour is that Kathleen is a selkie, a seal which was once human according to legend.

You may also get to see otters, white-tailed sea eagles and other sea-birds. Humour and fun are part of a Seafari cruise and whilst the boat is not often rocked by waves in the calm waters of the bay, it is frequently rocked by laughter. Tea, coffee, squash and biscuits are offered on all cruises and for those feeling a nip in the air there is a medicinal shot of rum.

#23. Valentia Island, Kerry

tetrapod trackway kerry

Valentia Island is well worth a stop on your travels on the Wild Atlantic Way. Valentia Island lies at the end of the Iveragh Peninsula, more familiar to many as the location of the Ring of Kerry. You can drive onto the island at one end via a bridge and stop at the Skelligs Experience to find out about the amazing islands that you may have seen in the latest Star Wars movie.

Then drive around this small island enjoying the scenery, go see the prehistoric Tetrapod footprints and enjoy some Valentia Island Ice cream before taking the ferry off the island back to the mainland.

#24. Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, Kerry

dingle oceanworld

Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium is situated in Dingle town in County Kerry and hosts Ireland’s largest collection of Sharks as well as

  • A Gentoo Penguin display, the fastest swimming penguins
  • Amazonian Displays with creepy crawly exhibits
  • Touch Tank
  • 9m Underwater Tunnel and much more.

Book your tickets online in advance to get 10% off.

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#25. Tralee Aquadome, Kerry

Tralee Aquadome Family Vacation Ireland

The Aqua Dome in Tralee is one of Ireland’s largest indoor waterworlds with tropical temperatures all year round, making a good day out option if the weather is a bit iffy.

  • Swim with the current
  • Surf the Waves
  • Wrestle the River Rapids
  • Relax in the Lazy River
  • Ride the Sky High Flume
  • Plunge down the Outdoor Falling Rapids
  • Enjoy the Whirlpool spas, Bubble seat, Sprays, Cannons, Gushers, Geysers, Children’s pools, Spa pools

#26. Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Limerick

foynes flying boat

The Foynes Flying Boat Museum is the only aviation museum in Ireland and the only dedicated flying boat museum in the world.

This unique attraction preserves the rich history of aviation and the development of passenger travel. It takes you back to that nostalgic era when Foynes became the centre of the aviation world between 1937 and 1945, and you will enjoy

  • an authentic 1940’s cinema
  • the Radio and Weather Room—complete with transmitters, receivers and Morse code equipment
  • the Brendan O’Regan restaurant
  • the only full sized replica B314 flying boat in the world
  • try your hand at flying the B314 on the flight simulators with amazing visuals.

#27. Ferry from Kerry to Clare

shannon ferries

Catch the ferry from Killimer in Kerry to Tarbert in Clare. It is a 20 minute journey across the estuary linking the iconic tourist destinations of the Kingdom of Kerry to the Banner County of Clare. Ferries leave every hour during winter months with extra half hour ferries during the summer.

You will enjoy views of the majestic Shannon Estuary and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the dolphins, which in the summer, can sometimes swim so near the ferry, as if just to entertain you. The captain will announce if he spots dolphins so keep an ear out and your eyes peeled!

#28. Lahinch, Clare


Lahinch is a pretty seaside town on the coast of Clare, well known for its golden sandy beach which stretches for a mile.

Popular with surfers, if you’ve a learner surfer in the family this would be a great beach for them. And the rest of the family will enjoy paddling or even a dip in the sea.

If the weather isn’t so great then stop into Lahinch Seaworld and Leisure Centre where you can while away a few hours having a splash in the swimming pool areas which include a 25-metre pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steamroom and kiddies pool.

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#29. Cliffs of Moher, Clare

things to do in clare with kids

A must see on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher stand 214m (702 feet) at their highest point. On a clear day you will be able to see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, the Twelve Pins and Maum Turk mountains in Connemara to the north, Loop Head and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry to the south.

Be warned that due to the popularity of the Cliffs of Moher as a tourist attraction, during the months of July and August the Cliffs can become quite crowded during the peak times of the day, 11am- 3pm. Here is some advice on planning your visit:

You will want to allow some time to visit the Cliffs Experience to take in the exhibits about the Cliffs, and be sure to stop at Postcard from the Edge, where you can choose a backdrop and make a short movie of yourselves which you can email to friends and family. There’s also a kids area where children can play a fun game and learn more about wildlife at the Cliffs and create some digital artwork to email home.

#30. Ballyvaughan, Clare

fanore beach

We recommend a stop at Ballyvaughan to enjoy the shops and cafés or pick up a picnic to enjoy at Fanore Beach which is one of the best beaches in Clare. The vast expanse of beach is ideal for races, running, walking and making sandcastles.

The Burren Birds of Prey Centre and Ailwee Cave are worth a short detour. At the Cave you can take a 30 minute stroll through caverns seeing all the unusual formations underground including a waterfall. Then enjoy the dynamic flying displays learning about different birds of prey.

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#31. The Burren, Clare

dolmen-burren ireland

As you drive up County Clare towards Galway you will reach The Burren, a unique area of historic, cultural and geographic significance. The landscape made of limestone is crisscrossed with cracks and interspersed with rocks and plants. Kids will enjoy clambering about the landscape.

Here are some of our favourite attractions as you make your way through The Burren:

  • The Burren Centre – explore the flora, fauna, geology, legends, archaeology and natural history of the Burren.
  • Burren Perfumery – perfumery, tearooms and lovely gardens to wander around;
  • Hazel Mountain Chocolate – need we say more 🙂
  • Burren Nature Sanctuary, on the outskirts of Kinvara which has an Adventure Playground, Nature Trail, cafe and soft play area.

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#32. Rinville Park, Oranmore, Galway


rinville park

One of our favourite family friendly spots near Galway, Rinville Park has a beach walk or a forest walk with a playground located in the original castle orchards with some excellent play equipment, suitable for different age groups. There is plenty of parking as well as designated picnic and barbecue areas. Public toilets are situated near the playground.

Often during the summer months you will find a visiting ice cream/coffee van, but do bring a picnic to enjoy the great facilities on offer here.

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#33. Eyre Square, Galway

eyre square Galway family vacation Ireland

Eyre Square in the heart of Galway is a handy spot to take kids. Pick up a picnic at a nearby shop, settle on one of the grassy areas to have your lunch, then make a stop to the mini playground at the side of the Square.

If the weather is warm the fountains at the top of the square may be on, they switch off and on a timer, and the kids will enjoy running about (and in and out of the water).

Afterwards you can always drag them away by promising them a visit to another playground (by the Cathedral) once you have stopped at our next stop Galway Market.

#34. Galway Market

galway market

Open on Saturdays and Sundays, my kids always enjoy a visit to Galway Market, located off Shop Street near St Nicholas Collegiate Church. The narrow space with stalls either side makes it a busy spot so hold tight to small hands. Be sure to find the doughnut stall where you can buy a freshly made doughnut dusted either with sugar, cinnamon or cocoa (or all 3!).

You can pick up the makings of a delicious lunch to enjoy at the nearby Claddagh (and see the swans), or by the canal at the Cathedral (where you can feed the ducks) – both are nice spots to enjoy on a fine day with kids.

You May Also Enjoy Galway City River Walk

#35. Roundstone, Connemara, Galway


At Roundstone in Connemara you will find a pretty little fishing village with a busy little harbour, where local fishermen prepare and return with the day’s catches. You will also enjoy the views of the Twelve Bens and the Atlantic. There are cafes and craft shops and a playground to stop at too.

Nearby beaches at Dogs Bay and Gurteen Beach have pure white sand and clear waters, ideal for a splash and some beach time.

There’s also a playground at the nearby Connemara National Park, and the route up and back from Diamond Hill offers kids of all ages an easy climb which they will enjoy. The route loops back again to the start. It takes about 3 hours to do the route.

#36. Killary Harbour, Borders of Galway & Mayo

killary harbour

When we think of fjords we think of Norway but Ireland has its very own fjord at Killary in North County Galway.

Take a 90 minute boat tour of Killary Harbour (kids go free) leaving from Leenaun and enjoy the spectacular scenery, with mountains and water and birdlife. You may even get to see some dolphins!

#37. Westport, Mayo


Westport is a lovely town to visit with the family. With lots of family friendly accommodation options, this is a nice spot to stop off and spend some time enjoying the town, the shops and surrounding attractions. During your Westport stay we would recommend:

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#38. Strandhill Beach, Sligo

strandhill culleenamore

Strandhill Beach is an area of great natural beauty located 5 miles west of Sligo town with panoramic views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. As well as being an extremely popular surfing spot, there are some great walks to Culleenamore Strand and also to Killaspubrone.

N.B. Due to dangerous currents and tides, it is advisable not to swim from this beach but you will still enjoy your time at Strandhill, especially during the summer months, when dolphins and/or porpoises can sometimes be seen jumping from the waves at sea.

Be sure to stop at Shells Cafe & Little Shop, the perfect beach cafe, bright and airy with wooden floors and fabulous (organic, fairtrade) coffee, plus delicious eats for all the family.

#39. Tropical World, Donegal

tropical world Letterkenny places to see animals in Ireland

Tropical World is Donegal’s very own family friendly mini zoo. Based in Letterkenny and opening seasonally, you can see beautiful butterflies in full flight, lemurs, owls, meerkats, parrots and many more tropical birds and reptiles.

#40. Bundoran Waterworld, Donegal

bundoran waterworld

Bundoran Waterworld is an indoor aqua adventure playground, located on the seafront in Bundoran, County Donegal.

It currently has the fastest slide in Ireland, The Whizzer (9.2 degree drop), a Tornado slide (50m long) and a Twister slide for the younger kids. There are two 24 metre swimming pools, one is a slide pool (the slides finish into this pool) and the other is a wave pool.

You’ll also find a multi slide, a toddlers’ pool, a pirate ship, a speed slide and good changing facilities, snacks and drinks, and picnic tables in the adjacent playground.

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Free Things to do with Kids in Ireland

#41. National Museum of Ireland – Dublin

The three National Museums in Dublin, now open 7 days, are all free to visit and have great collections as well as a wide range of ongoing events for families. They include:

  • National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History is home to a wide range of objects, which include weaponry, furniture, silver, ceramics and glassware; as well as examples of Folk life and costume.
  • National Museum of Ireland – Museum of Natural History has galleries of animals from Ireland and overseas, also geological exhibits form a total collection of about 2 million scientific specimens with a Discovery Zone.
  • National Museum of Ireland – Museum of Archaeology is the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland and displays artefacts dating from 7000 BC to the 20th century. The Irish archaeology collections include The Treasury, featuring outstanding examples of Celtic and Medieval art.

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#42. National Museum of Ireland – Mayo

NMI Country Life Museum May
Turlough_School Tours June 2015. Traditional games

The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Castlebar, now open 7 days, brings to life the traditions of rural life in Ireland. Exhibitions are full of wonderful objects from long ago.

See what schools were like, the toys children played with, and how they marked special events like Halloween & Christmas. Learn about how people lived in the towns and countryside, cut turf, caught fish and worked in the home. Workshops, exhibitions and family programmes for all ages. Free entry – it’s perfect for those rainy days.

#43. Clondalkin Round Tower, Dublin

round tower Clondalkin free things to do in Dublin

For a totally FREE interactive day out with the family head to one of South Dublin County’s cultural highlights, The Round Tower Clondalkin which is built on the site of a monastery founded by St. Mochua in the 7th century, and is one of only four remaining round towers in County Dublin. The recently launched Visitor Centre provides the perfect FREE family day out, as it brings the story of The Round Tower Clondalkin and the surrounding area to life through an exciting interactive experience. Fully accessible and can be reached by public transport.

What’s more, The Round Tower Clondalkin is located close to Corkagh Park, the Grand Canal Greenway and Áras Chrónáin Irish Cultural Centre, which combined together add a different heritage experience, away from the city centre and close to the natural outdoors of Dublin.

#44. Spire of Lloyd, Meath

spire of lloyd

The Spire of Lloyd in Kells is an inland lighthouse designed by Henry Aaron Baker (designer of the King’s Inn, Dublin) for the First Earl of Bective in memory of his father Sir Thomas Taylor in 1791. At 30m high, one can see magnificent views of the surrounding countryside as far as the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland on a clear day.

The Spire was used to view horse racing and the hunt in the 19th century. It is open on selected dates during the summer. Don’t miss the “Paupers Graveyard” in the community park (The People’s Park) in which many victims of the mid-19th century famine lie buried.

#45. Slieve Foye, Louth

slieve foye

According to legend, Fionn Mac Cumhaill hurled the Cloghmore (a forty ton glacial boulder perched on a projecting spur on Slievemartin) from the slopes of Slieve Foye, in a running battle with a neighbouring giant in the Mourne mountains. Slieve Foye has plenty of marked trails, suitable for older kids and adults, with stunning views of the lough.

Or visit Slieve Foye Woods at the base of the mountain, located 3.5km from Carlingford on the road to Omeath/Newry. There are two car parks, lots of picnic areas and beautiful panoramic views of Slieve Foye mountain and the Lough.

#46. Altamont Gardens, Carlow


Known as the most romantic garden in Ireland, Altamont, near Tullow, is an enchanting blend of formal and informal gardens located on a 100 acre estate. Whilst still little known, it ranks in the top ten of Irish gardens and is often referred to as ‘the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown’.

The formal lawns slope down to a romantic lake, and there’s a fascinating walk, which kids love, through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks leading to the River Slaney. There are picnic areas, and a garden centre with tea-rooms, which host free music sessions on Sunday afternoons in summer.

#47. Find Some Fairies, Tipperary & Kerry

The Brehon Hotel Fairy Trail
The Brehon Hotel Fairy Trail

Head to the lovely Town Park in Templemore, Co. Tipperary, and walk past the lake, to find the fairy trail in the woods. Try and spot all the fairy doors, which are updated at seasonal times like Christmas and Halloween. Afterwards feed the ducks and swans and let the kids play in the playground, while you get a “workout” on the outdoor adult gym.

In Kerry, there are two magical fairy trails to be found: one in the wooded surrounds of Derrynane House, Caherdaniel, and the other in the woods of the Parknasilla Resort. Both are free and open to all visitors.

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#48. Glendalough, Wicklow

Glendalough family vacation in Ireland

Glendalough has long been an area renowned for its natural beauty and history and it is one of the most visited places in Ireland.

The Glendalough Valley is located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park and has many attractions to entice, entertain and delight visitors, from its world famous Monastic Site with Round Tower (Can you stretch your arms around St. Kevin’s cross and have your wishes granted?) to its scenic lakes and valleys, as well as a selection of walks and trails in the area including The Wicklow Way. Glendalough has everything to offer the whole family.

#49. Castletown House, Kildare

castletown house

The first, and largest Palladian manor in Ireland, Castletown House, built for William Conolly, is an awesome sight. The Parkland and River Walks are open every day throughout the year. There is no admission fee to walk and explore the parklands. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a lead and are not allowed in the lake, as there is wildlife nesting.

If you plan your visit for the first Wednesday of the month then you can also visit the House for free.

#50. Deer Spotting & President’s House at Phoenix Park, Dublin

deer phoenix park

The Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe, and home to the Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin (President’s residence), Farmleigh House, Visitor Centre, plus playgrounds, cycling trails & lakes. Take bikes/scooters (or rent them) and enjoy the many great cycling or walking trails. There’s a huge amount of wildlife in the Park, so there’s a good chance that you will spot deer roaming around.

The playground and tearooms at the Visitor Centre are well worth a visit. Admission to the Visitor Centre exhibition is free, and visitors can enjoy a historical interpretation of the park from 3500BC, inlcuding the history of Áras an Uachtaráin. Every Sunday morning free children’s workshops on nature awareness, history and heritage and arts and crafts take place, suitable for ages 6-12 years.

Top Tip: Free admission tickets are issued at the Visitor Centre to visit Áras an Uachtaráin on Saturdays only.

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#51. Avondale Forest Park, Wicklow


With 500 acres, Avondale Forest Park in Wicklow has an endless variety of walks with fabulous scenery. The park has four way-marked walking trails as well as a family cycling trail. There’s a lovely wooden playground area with swings, slides and climbing frames. Sure to be lots of opportunities for wildlife and bird spotting!

You can also visit Avondale House, the birthplace of Charles Stewart Parnell – admission cost applies.

#52. Clara Bog Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre, Offaly

clara bog nature reserve

Clara Bog Nature Reserve is free to visit and has many free events for children. The bog itself is reputed to be the best remaining example of a raised bog in Western Europe.

There is a 1 km boardwalk looped walk on Clara Bog which lets you see the wonderful plants, birds and animals which Clara Bog is home to, and to soak up the atmosphere of an exceptional raised bog in the heart of Ireland (NB wear trainers or shoes). The Visitor Centre also organises walks, art and nature activities on a regular basis.

#53. Copper Coast, Waterford

copper coast geopark

A designated European Geopark, Copper Coast has several beautiful coastal landmarks, dunes, cliffs and clean beaches. It offers small, sheltered beaches surrounded by rugged cliffs – ideal for quiet getaways. Annestown Heritage Trail will guide you around a section of the Copper Coast Global Geopark introducing you to its rich heritage and geology.

And while you are there, The Waterford Greenway offers great cycling and walking opportunities for the family.

#54. John F. Kennedy Arboretum, Wexford

jfk arboretum wexford miniature railway

The John F. Kennedy Arboretum near New Ross, has lovely walks and great trees. Feed ducks by the pond and watch the fish dart about. This is a good place to bring the bikes to help small legs get around more easily!

There’s also a miniature railway, and the playground has plenty of picnic tables, a cafe, a small maze, a great slide and a house grown out of hedging! Drop into the centre and take a look at the exhibitions.

#55. Curraghchase, Limerick

Curraghchase Forest Park

Curraghchase Forest Park, located 22km west of Limerick on the N69 coast road, is the woodland estate and lakes around the shell of the 18th century house, which was the home of poet Aubrey de Vere. There are a number of looped way marked trails in the park to suit all visitors. They vary from the multi-access trails suitable for wheelchair users and family walkers, to the longer Curragh and Glenisca trails suitable for those looking for more demanding walking and cycling.

Amenities include Public toilet, Picnic Site, Playground, Barbecue, Boat launch, Orienteering Course, Walking Trails, Cycling Trails, Arboreta/Gardens, and there’s a €5 charge per car.

#56. Kilkee Habitat Trail, Clare

Kilkee Habitat trails family vacation Ireland

The Kilkee Habitat Trail is a scenic walk which follows the beach and cliffs. There are six panels, each one themed to its location, illustrating the diverse wildlife habitats of Kilkee. Be sure to look out for the Pollock Holes along the way.

While you’re in Kilkee, take the nets and try to catch fish in the rock pools, or play the unique local game of Racquets (a form of outdoor squash) against the West End wall on the beach.

#57. Shannon Dolphin Trail, Clare

Dolphins on the Wild Atlantic Way family vacation Ireland

Start at the Shannon Dolphin Information Board in Kilkee’s Market Square. Follow the trail markers and it will take you to the Shannon Dolphin & Wildlife Centre where you can listen to sounds from the bottlenose dolphins, see real skeletons of whales and dolphins, and enjoy many more ‘dol-fun’ educational activities for children.

#58. Enjoy Hidden Sculptures at Gleniff Horseshoe, Sligo

Exploring the Gleniff Horseshoe Family vacation Ireland

Visit Gleniff Horseshoe in North County Sligo and enjoy hidden sculptures along the way. Then carry on walking/driving/cycling (it’s approx a 10km loop) this incredibly scenic hidden valley. If you are driving check out the spot where you car will ‘roll up the hill’ too and keep an eye out for Diamuid and Gráinne’s Cave too.

#59. Glenveagh National Park, Donegal

family vacation glenveagh national park

Glenveagh National Park is one of six national parks in Ireland. Situated in the Northwest of Co. Donegal, Glenveagh encompasses some 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains.

The award-winning Visitor Centre incorporates a living heather roof mimicking the surrounding landscape causing minimum disturbance. The extensive displays contained within provide an introduction to the parks natural and built history as well as providing information on walking trails, events etc. Guides on duty will also be happy to provide visitors with information about the park and surrounding area

#60. Lough Muckno Leisure Park, Monaghan

walking at lough Muckno family vacation Ireland

A day out in Lough Muckno Leisure Park in Castleblayney is a must for all the family. Walking Trails, Waterski & Wakeboarding Club, Fishing, Nature Walks and Picnic area.

It is open all year around and there’s no admission fee.

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#61. Birr Castle, Offaly

Image with Treehouse

Birr Castle is an experience of discovery for the whole family – home to extensive gardens and parkland, as well as the Historic Science Centre and the great telescope of the 1840s.

Kids will adore the play area, complete with picnic areas, sandpits, and the most spectacular tree house – in fact you may find it hard to pry them away! There is also a lovely cafe on site.

#62. Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny

Castlecomer family vacation Ireland

Located 18 km North of Kilkenny City, Castlecomer Discovery Park has a range of exciting recreational, cultural and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Attractions include pedal boats and Canadian canoes on one of the picturesque lakes, a Tree Top Adventure Walk course nestled 10m high in the great Sycamore and Lime trees, a ‘Leap of Faith’ and Climbing Wall.

The park has 80 acres of natural woodland with 6km of trails throughout, a fishing lake, an interactive coal mining museum, design craft workshops and award winning Jarrow café.

The Elf & Fairy Village at Castlecomer has a small yellow sweet shop, cute café, an underground bunker, and an amazing Head Quarters for the fairy folk! It’s full of colourful hand-carved toadstool mushrooms where children can meander through the woodland paths. Visitors, of all ages, can enjoy the woodland village which is FREE and is a short 7-10 minute walk from reception.

#63. Waterford & Suir Valley Railway

Waterford & Suir Valley Railway

The magic of rail’s golden age has been brought to life in Kilmeaden on the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway. Experience the beauty of the Suir Valley from a partially opened carriage as you take in the panoramic views of the river and rolling farmland of Waterford and across the river to County Kilkenny on return trips on Saturdays.

The track runs mostly along the picturesque banks of the River Suir offering a glimpse into the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens (which you can also visit), and across the river to County Kilkenny. You will also see The Magic Wood, a magical Fairy glade – sometimes the fairies can be seen among the trees but you have to look carefully!

#64. Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal

slieve league cliffs

Almost 3 times higher than the Cliffs of Moher, the Slieve League Cliffs in Co. Donegal reach to a height of almost 2,000 feet making them some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. With 2 car parks families can opt to leave their car at the lower level and walk the road to the base, or drive along the winding road to the upper parking level.

From here enjoy the view across the Atlantic to Sligo, Leitrim and Mayo. The cliffs cater for all levels of climber, with a rocky path leading you to the top. The more adventurous can climb to one man’s pass, and discover early stone dwellings and sacred sites.

#65. Marble Arch Caves, Fermanagh

Marble Arch Caves Family vacation Ireland

The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is located in the rugged mountainous uplands and the gentle rolling lowlands of counties Fermanagh and Cavan. Taking in the world-famous Marble Arch Caves, the Geopark boasts some of the finest natural landscapes in Ireland and offers a window into the area’s 650 million year past.

Be sure to stop by Lough Navar Forest, located approximately 5km outside the village of Derrygonnelly, and undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. Truly a spectacular forest.

#66. Lough Boora Discovery Park, Offaly

lough boora

For something unique, visit Lough Boora Discovery Park, one of the most important Mesolithic sites in Ireland – go to the site of the ancient settlement by following the Mesolithic Route. There are walkways and walking trails, a fairy trail, sculptures, picnic benches, cycle tracks, angling, bird watching and a bike hire facility. Guided tours also available.

#67. Leprechauns & Fairies, Louth


Image via Leprechaun & Fairy Cavern

Head to Carlingford’s Leprechaun & Fairy Cavern and meet the Leprechaun Whisperer who has built the underground cavern to connect with two old tunnels, one linking with the fairy glen in Rostrevor Co. Down, and the other with Foy mountain and the home of Ireland’s last remaining 236 leprechauns. It is only belief that keeps them alive now.

You may also enjoy reading – Journey into our Past with Our Favourite Mythical and Folklore Places to Visit in Ireland 

#68. Trim Castle, Meath

Trim Castle

Did you know that Trim Castle in County Meath took more than 30 years to build, back in the 12th century? It’s the largest, best-preserved, and most impressive Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, and it’s a fascinating place to explore. You may remember it better as the backdrop to the Oscar-winning film, Braveheart.

#69. Loughcrew Cairns, Meath

Loughcrew cairns

Image via Loughcrew Cairns

The Loughcrew Cairns, also known as the Hills of the Witch, are a group of Neolithic passage tombs dating to 3000 BC. The tombs are located on three different hills and Cairn T, one of the largest tombs in the complex, is situated on Cairnbane East. A visit to Loughcrew Cairns is more suitable for older children as it’s a fair hike up to the top of the hills, but it is worth it for the amazing views.

#70. Iveagh Gardens, Dublinthe cascade waterfall at The Iveagh Gardens mazes in Ireland

Why not plan a picnic in Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2, arguably the most beautiful park in the capital and not all that well known, so it’s trully a hidden gem! Stunning grounds, beautiful waterfall, so much space to run around and it’s always peacefully quiet – a real oasis in the city! Located near St. Stephen’s Green and Luas stop.

#71. The Little Museum of Dublin, Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin family vacation Ireland

The Little Museum of Dublin conveniently located on St. Stephen’s Green, is truly a little gem, telling the story of the capital over the last 100 years from the visit of Queen Victoria to modern day.

Over 5000 items are displayed over 3 floors. Entry to the museum is by guided tour only, so book online to be sure of entry. There are worksheets available for children of all ages, and interactive artefacts that they will enjoy.

#72. Boda Borg at Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon

Unusual things to do at Lough Key Forest Park

Basically the Boda Borg is like a physical version of a computer game. It’s not completely unlike the Crystal Maze, for those of you who remember that show. There are about twenty quests to choose from. Each quest is made up of between three and five rooms, each with different tasks to be completed.

What is really interesting is that there are no instructions given and you have to work together as a team (groups of 3-5) to complete the task before the time runs out. You are not told how much time you have, although most rooms give you between two and four minutes.

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#73. Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum, Waterford

waterford museum of treasures

Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, founded by the Vikings in the last 9th century, is home to the Viking Triangle, a collection of museums dedicated to the history of this ancient city.

The Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum is a tribute to Medieval Waterford and life in the city during that period. Carefully preserving several medieval structures within its walls, the Museum was opened to the public in August 2012. Guided Tours available from historic characters in period costumes.

Afterwards, stop for a bite at the magnificent Bishop’s Palace, and relax in the stunning gardens surrounding the Bishop’s Palace, which are based on a design by celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin.

#74. Shandon Bells & Tower, Cork

shandon bells

Image via Shandon Bells

Head up the steps into the old part of Cork city and ring the world famous Shandon Bells in the beautiful surrounds of St. Anne’s Church – one of the oldest churches in the city built in 1722. Climb 132 steps up the tower to get a spectacular 360 degree views of the city. You can view the internal workings of the clock (the Four Faced Liar, so called as every face tells a different time) and see the 18th century bells.

#75. Dursey Island Cable Car, Cork

dursey island cable car

Originally opened in 1969, the Dursey Island cable car remains, to this day, the most used means of transport across the turbulent waters of the Dursey Sound and offers a truly singular experience. Ireland’s only cable car, and one of the very few cable cars that traverses seawater in all of Europe, it is one of the great attractions of the island. As long as you and the kids have a good head for heights, that is, as it can be a wild ride over the waves!

There are no shops or restaurants on the island so pack a picnic and enjoy a walk around the island.

#76. Lough Gur, Limerick

Lough Gur Heritage Centre

Lough Gur is a magical and mysterious place that is rich in folklore, along with a wealth of archaeology and history dating back to Stone Age times. The Heritage Centre provides a fascinating interpretation of the sites associated with Lough Gur.

At the Heritage Centre you will find interactive exhibitions with touch screens. There’s a fully guided tour and also audio guides and outdoor acoustic guides to help you enjoy your visit. For children there’s an activity sheet, dressing up, and a neolithic pot building section. Check out the Archaeology Dig where kids can try out some digging!

#77. Loophead Lighthouse, Clare

loophead lighthouse

Visit the iconic Loophead lighthouse in Kilbaha, West Clare, from May to September, and experience the remarkable panorama extending as far as the Blasket Islands in Co. Kerry and the Twelve Bens in Co. Galway, from the top of the tower.

A wonderful guided walk around the Loophead Peninsula will bring you by the fabled Diarmuid and Gráinne’s Leap. You might also spot some of the whales and dolphins along the Shannon Estuary too.

#78. Vandeleur Walled Garden, Clare


Beautiful old stone walls enclose the sheltered gem of Vandeleur Walled Garden (2.158 acres) near Kilrush, which is set among 420 acres of native woodland. Formerly part of the Vandeleur Family Demesne, this garden has been restored around the old path system with a horizontal maze, unusual water-features and a free-standing Victorian-style working glasshouse which is accessible to visitors.

Chess enthusiasts can test their skills by playing the giant outdoor Chess game, and children will enjoy the living willow structure, sand area and follow the butterfly trail. There is a garden centre and coffee shop also.

#79. Athenry Heritage Centre, Galway

Athenry Heritage Centre

The Athenry Heritage Centre is the ideal place to experience history the fun way. The ‘Medieval Experience’ provides visitors of all ages the opportunity to dress up in medieval costume and become a Knight, Princess, a Lord or Lady of the Manor. Discover your inner Robin Hood with our exciting Have-A-Go Archery activity and engage with history using interactive exhibits, which includes weapons and armour from the middle ages.

Experience the market street and see the dark side of life in the centre’s medieval dungeon. Relax in the picnic area afterwards, and don’t miss exploring the wooden maze.

#80. Glencar Waterfall, Leitrim

Glencar Waterfall family vacation Ireland

Glencar Waterfall is 50ft high and is situated in Glencar Lough, 11km west of Manorhamilton. It is particularly impressive after rain (shouldn’t have to wait too long in Ireland for that!), and can be viewed from a lovely wooded walk. There are more waterfalls visible from the road, although none is quite as romantic as this one. Pack a picnic to use at the on-site picnic facilities and an information kiosk.

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Fun Festivals & Events

#81. Riverfest Limerick

riverfest limerick bank holidays in Ireland events

Riverfest 2020 will be in Limerick again this year and takes place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. Festival highlights include water activities and shows, a BBQ competition, Fashion Friday, Arts and Crafts a Festival village in Arthur’s Quay Park, a fireworks display and the Great Limerick Run.

When: May 1st to 4th 2020

#82. Bloom in the Park, Dublin


Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family event, Bloom in the Park is back this year at Dublin’s Phoenix Park in Dublin City this June Bank Holiday weekend. Families visiting the event this year will once again be entertained by the outdoor entertainment stage and highly enjoyable and educational Kids Zone.

When: May 28th to June 1st 2020

#83. Seafest, Cork

SeaFest 2018 Kids Exploring Marine Life

A weekend of fun and free events is just on the horizon as SeaFest takes place in Cork city.

Cork Harbour will be transformed into an ‘open air sea world’ and will be ‘awash with free family-friendly activities, entertainment and attractions both on and off the water’ for the three-day festival.

The three-day festival will cover all things marine – from seafood cookery to science, exploring the ships that transport us to discovering the creatures of the deep.

The free festival also hosts exhibits and talks on marine life and fun educational activities that bring children on a journey of discovery when it comes to the mysteries of the ocean. Foodies can get tips from seafood cookery experts and sample some tasty bites.

When: May 15th to 17th 2020.

#84. Baltimore Pirate Festival, Cork

baltimore pirate weekend family vacation in Ireland

Image via Baltimore Pirate Festival

All pirates (past and present) are invited to celebrate and commemorate the demise of 108 settlers taken away as slaves by Algerian Pirates on 20 June 1631 at the Baltimore Pirate Festival this June. Highlights includes visits to the thirteenth century fully restored O’Driscoll Castle, pirate dress competition, pirate boat trips, a family treasure hunt, and pirate bouncy castles and games.

When: June 19th to 21st 2020

#85. Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork

cork midsummer festival family vacation in Ireland

Cork Midsummer Festival is Cork’s largest annual multi-disciplinary arts festival for all ages along the banks of the river Lee, with many national and international theatre and music events, and the return of family favourite, Picnic in the Park.

When: June 12th to 21st 2020

#86. Trim Haymaking Festival, Meath

trim-haymaking-festival family vacation in Ireland

Find your inner farmer and try your hand at some sheaf tossing at the National Hay Making Festival in Trim, Co. Meath mid June. Just a stone’s throw from Dublin, this is a fun day for all the family with working horses, vintage tractors, a pets’ corner, kids play area, and folklore and tales.

When: June 2020

#87. Wexford Maritime Festival, Wexford

wexford maritime festival family vacation in Ireland

At the Wexford Maritime Festival in June, you’ll find a celebration of Wexford’s rich maritime heritage, and can enjoy maritime activities, family fun, artisan food and music. Children can enjoy dance and musical activities, arts and crafts, science workshops, circus workshops and shows at the Children’s Village. Discover Wexford’s Viking past in the Viking tent where children can try their hand at brass rubbing and sword making.

When: June 27th – 28th 2020

#88. Féile Brian Ború, Clare

Feile brian boru family vacation in Ireland

Image via Féile Brian Ború

Féile Brian Ború celebrates the life and legacy of Brian Ború (founder of the O’Briens) –  the most famous son of the historic twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina. Fun activities include historical guided tours on lake and land; fireworks display over the River Shannon, traditional street games, garden party, children’s art competition, street theatre and much more! There really is something for everyone in the family at this fun event.

When: 8th to 12th July 2020

#89. Galway International Arts Festival, Galway

galway arts festival family vacation in Ireland

See Galway City come alive for the annual Galway International Arts Festival this July. Showcasing street performers music and theatre, there are events for all ages, and surprises around every corner. This is a great time to visit Galway.

When: July 13th – 26th 2020

#90. Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular Cork

Laya city spectacular titan the human robot Free family friendly festivals in Ireland family vacation in Ireland

Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular is going to be even bigger, better and more spectacular than ever as it takes Cork’s Fitzgerald Park, Cork city this July.

Featuring some of the best street theatre performers around, and with a host of exciting events, fantastic exhibitions and absorbing interactive workshops, there will be plenty to entertain the whole family. And it is completely free to visit.

When: Cork: 18th & 19th July 2020

#91. Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, Dublin

Laya City Spectacular family vacation in Ireland

Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular is going to be even bigger, better and more spectacular than ever as it takes to Dublin’s Merrion Square

Featuring some of the best street theatre performers around, and with a host of exciting events, fantastic exhibitions and absorbing interactive workshops, there will be plenty to entertain the whole family. And it is completely free to visit.

When: Dublin: 24th to 26th July

#92. Earagail Festival, Donegal

earagail festival family vacation in Ireland

The Earagail Arts Festival which runs in July in Donegal is a unique bilingual cultural festival with events from music to outdoor events to theatre and visual arts, taking place in a mix of venues. Every year the festival includes family friendly events.

When: July 9th to 26th 2020

#93. Festival of Curiosity, Dublin

festival of curiosity bubbles show family vacation in Ireland

From free events to family friendly workshops, shows & events the 2020 Festival of Curiosity takes place in various venues around Dublin. Check out the full line up and enjoy a fun filled weekend of curious fun with a host of not to be missed shows!

When: July 16th to 19th 2020

#94. Enniscrone Black Pig Festival, Sligo

family vacation ennsicrone black pig festival family vacation in Ireland

Head to Enniscrone this July for the Enniscrone Black Pig Festival, where you can enjoy treasure hunts, fireworks, music, street performers, great food and a Market Day at this family friendly festival.

When: July 23rd to 27th 2020

#95. Durrow Scarecrow Festival, Laois

durrow-scarecrow-festival family vacation in Ireland

The Durrow Scarecrow Festival is a fun family event for young and old, with over 300 scarecrows to see around the village, in many different designs and themes. There’s plenty more on offer too including live music, craft workshops, country market, adult, teen and children’s entertainment, and scarecrow treasure hunt.

When: July 31st to August 3rd 2020

#96. Birr Vintage Week Arts Festival

Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival runs from Friday 31st July to August 8th 2020 with free entertainment for children including music, markets and fairs, arts and craft activities and more.

When: July 31st to August 8th 2020

#97. Spraoi International Arts Festival, Waterford

spraoi festival family vacation in Ireland

The streets of Waterford play host to the Spraoi International Street Arts Festival from August 1st to 3rd 2020. With an amazing parade, free music events and street performances.

When: August 1st to 3rd 2020

#98. Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival, Wexford

Enniscorthy Rockin Food Festival family vacation in Ireland

At the Rockin’ Food Festival in Enniscorthy you can expect an impressive schedule of chefs, producers and special guests in the FREE Food Marquee, an impressive Artisan Food Market with over 80 of the best local and artisan vendors, a superlative International Line-up of Rock ‘n’ Roll artists for our FREE outdoor gigs, a jam-packed program of food and drink workshops, events and classes as well as lots of FREE and exceptional value packages for our younger festival goers!

When: July 21st to August 3rd 2020

#99. So-Long Summer Carnival, Wells House Wexford

little festival at big house Wells House family vacation in Ireland

Wells House in Wexford run regular events for families. This Summer enjoy live music, fair rides a BBQ and entertainment galore at their So-Long Summer Carnival.

When: August 16th 2020

#100. Playstival Spectacular Family Festival at Airfield Estate Dublin

Playstival 2019 The Market family vacation in Ireland

Playstival celebrates play & discovery, fun & excitement, live music & great food at Airfield Estate, Dublin.

Families will enjoy a two day 100% interactive and ‘screen free’ summer festival with themed ‘play universes’ and activities for children to immerse themselves in. Playstival offers an unforgettable day of pure fun, with over fifteen activity areas and three themed play universes designed to foster the imagination and inspire creation while having lots of fun. Some of the highlights include:

This hands-on festival is the must attend event of the summer!

When: August 2020

#101. Loughrea Medieval Festival, Galway

Loughread_medieval_festival family vacation in Ireland

The 3 day Loughrea Medieval Festival held during National Heritage Week, comprises scenes of everyday life in Medieval Loughrea, as well as being jam-packed with fun events and performances that will entertain the whole family.

Celebrate Walled Towns Day with re-enactments, craft demonstrations, medieval music, food and craft market, boat trips, traditional ‘have-a-go’ craft workshops, children’s traditional games, grand parade and lots more.

When: August 2020

What are your must-see spots for your family vacation in Ireland? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

holiday in ireland family vacation in Ireland

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