Kerry, home to the most westerly point in Ireland, and the start (or end) of the Wild Atlantic way which also incorporates the Ring of Kerry. If you are thinking of taking a holiday or weekend break in Kerry, here are 40 Fun Family Things to Do on The Ring of Kerry and Beyond.
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The Ring of Kerry can be completed in a few hours of driving, but why not have some stops along the way and enjoy all that is on offer for families and kids.
Fun Family Things To Do On The Ring Of Kerry
#1. Killarney National Park
Situated just outside Killarney is this gem of a park. It consists of over 26,000 acres offering some of the most scenic views in the county and you can easily spend a whole day walking or cycling in the Park.
Or you could take a ride in one of the many traditional pony and traps. Be sure to include a visit to Muckross House while you are there.
#2. Blasket Island Boat Trip
The Great Blasket Islands situated to the West of the Dingle Penninsula is a very special place indeed. Packed full of history and culture and it’s home to one of Ireland’s best kept beaches – An traigh Bhán, which is a must see. Boat trips leave Dunquin pier daily.
#3. Crag Cave
Located in Castleisland, Co. Kerry, Crag Cave is renowned as one of the finest examples of a limestone cave in Ireland with incredible examples of stalagmites, stalactites, and underground water channels to be seen.
Crag Cave is also home to Crazy Cave, a three-tiered indoor adventure centre suitable for children complete with a mega astra slide, cannon guns, spiral slides and mazes.
#4. Torc Waterfall
Located on the main Killarney to Kenmare road Torc Waterfall is part of the Killarney National Park. It is approx 20m high. There are some beautiful trails all around the waterfall that give stunning views of the surrounding area.
#5. Gallarus Oratory
Built in the 7th or 8th century and still standing to this day. The Gallarus Oratory resembles an upturned boat.
This unique structure was built using just stone and mud.
#6. The Lartigue Monorail
The original steam-powered monorail was the world’s first true passenger monorail, transporting passengers, livestock and freight for nine miles between Listowel and Ballybunion from 1886 to 1924.
Nowadays, you can take a journey on a full-scale replica of the original monorail and observe its unique features as well as models, displays, memorabilia and a film of the original Lartigue.
#7. Kerry County Museum
Uncover the forensic archaeologist in you with a visit to the Kerry County Museum, full of interesting exhibits and historic artefacts, with lots of fun activities for families.
Each object on display in Kerry County Museum tells its own story from a beautiful sunflower pin worn by the fashion conscious in the Bronze Age, to dueling pistols used by the Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, in the early 19th Century.
Located in Tralee in the Ashe Memorial Hall it houses various exhibits from the award winning Antarctica Exhibition depicting many colourful characters including the heroic Annascaul man, Tom Crean’s Antarctic journey to the excellent Geraldine Experience.
#8. Go and see Fungie
Take a boat from Dingle harbour and go and see Dingle’s most famous resident. They offer a money back guarantee if Fungie decides to do a no-show!
Or take the coastal walk out to Slaidín to the mouth of the harbour and take in some of the wonderful fresh air.
#9. Surf some waves on Banna Strand
Surfing is becoming all the rage and here in Banna Strand just outside of Fenit in North Kerry you can catch some of the best surf in the whole of Ireland.
#10. Get up close to nature in Tralee
The Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre is proving really popular with people of all ages. Take a nature boat tour, view the wildlife exhibition or check out the fun activities on offer in the lake and activity zone – plenty to suit all the family.
If you have a favourite place that you think should be on our list, tell us in the comments below.
#11. Glentennassig Woods
Glentennassig Woods is located just off the Tralee to Dingle road at Castlegregory. It offers spectacular walking along wooden trails surrounded by a lake and Annascaul mountain.
#12. Gap of Dunloe
The Gap of Dunloe in Killarney offers breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes and mountains. When we visited, we parked at the famous Kate Kearney’s Cottage and walked up into the gap.
You can drive, but the road is narrow and you will need to be prepared for the local traffic! Alternatively you could re-live the olden days and take a jaunt in a horse and cart.
#13. Valentia Island
Valentia Island lies at the end of the Iveragh Peninsula, more familiar to many as the location of the Ring of Kerry. And on the island you will find one of only 4 sets of prehistoric footprints in the world! The footprints give an invaluable view of the transition of life from water onto land.
#14. Blue Flag Beaches in Kerry
Kerry has 13 blue flag beaches and many more that are almost as good. Why not pack a picnic and head off to the beach and get away from it all.
Some of my favourites include:
- Inch Beach, which is much longer than the name suggests
- The Castle at Minard, with the walk across the boulders to reach the beach
- The Beal, too dangerous to swim at, but great to get a feel for the full force of the wild Atlantic ocean.
#15. Tralee Town Playground
An excellent modern playground with the usual equipment. Highlights include the wonderful rose gardens. Parking is available nearby. Click here for a full list of all the playgrounds in Co Kerry
#16. Kennedy’s Pet Farm & Playgrounds
Located just outside of Killarney on the Cork Road. Kennedy’s Pet Farm & Playgrounds are well worth a visit, and can accommodate large numbers of people.
Bring along a picnic to enjoy in the converted bus! Don’t worry about the weather as there are indoor activities. Plenty of parking available but check website for opening times.
#17. Outdoors Ireland
From learning bushcraft skills to kayaking on some of the many lakes, Outdoors Ireland can offer your family an amazing outdoor experience in Kerry.
#18. Coolwood Wildlife Park
Coolwood Wildlife Park in Killarney is one of Kerry’s best kept secrets. Go along and get up close to Alpacas, Prairie Dogs and so much more.
#19. Star Outdoors Adventure Centre
The Star Outdoors Adventure Centre is a purpose built facility on the waterfront of Kenmare Bay. They offer a wide range of adventure sports at their state of the art facility in Kenmare. Watersports activities include Water Skiing, Wakeboarding and Donut Rides.
You can also partake in Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery and 7 A Side Soccer. Land Activities include Archery, Team Challenges, Orienteering, Mountain Walks, Paint balling, an 18 hole Crazy Golf as well as a Mountain bike track.
#20. Skellig Michael
Skellig Micheal is a designated wilderness World Heritage Site and nature reserve. It lies 8 miles (12 KM) off the coast of South Kerry. It can be accessed by boat from Portmagee, Valentia or Ballinskellig. At the summit you will find a well preserved 6th century monastic settlement.
#21. Visit The Skelligs Chocolate Factory at St Finians Bay
The Skelligs Chocolate Factory is a family run, working chocolate factory that invites you to come along and have a look at what they do. There is currently no charge to visit and they don’t have a tour, but do welcome visitors to see their delicious chocolates being made!
They have a seasonal treat Café, where you can get a ‘real’ hot chocolate, coffee, tea, cakes and desserts. And of course, you are welcome to taste and buy some of their chocolate range when you finish the tour!
#22. The Playdium
The Playdium in Tralee is a unique entertainment centre and the largest indoor play centre in Kerry.
The large play frames, a large soft play area, go-karting, slides and much more, make The Playdium a real treat for the whole family. Relax at the café with its delicious menu while the kids are busy letting off steam.
#23. Seafari Kenmare
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.
#24. Tralee Aqua Dome
The Aqua Dome is the largest waterworld in the west of Ireland, and fun day out for all the family. A haven of tranquility can be found in the adult-only health suite, if you need to escape for a while from the kids.
Test your putting skills on the 18-hole miniature golf course and many other activities. In the summer season the Aqua Dome offers a home baking café, smoothies, hot chocolate and ice-cream.
#25. Louis Mulcahy Pottery & Visitor Centre
In the extensive showroom at Louis Mulcahy’s studio in Clogher, find the full range along with eccentricities, prototypes and other experimental pieces peculiar to the workshop.
Also, there is a dedicated area to experience the craft in workshops – perfect for the family. Take a break from the workshop with some locally produced food in the café – all served on our handmade pottery.
#26. Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium
A trip to Dingle would not be complete without a visit to Oceanworld. View the incredible Amazonian Display and come face to face with sand tiger sharks – the most feared creatures of the sea. Explore the Antarctic Gentoo Penguins and historic explorer, Tom Crean, at the Polar Penguin Exhibition.
Get hands-on in the Touch Tank as you hold starfish and stroke friendly rays. And newly added in 2015, the Creepy Crawlie Display!
#27. The Blasket Centre
This is an interpretative museum looking at the unique community who once lived on the Great Blasket Island in Dingle, detailing the fishermen and farmers, their traditional way of life and the extraordinary amount of literature.
View the flora and fauna of the islands and surrounding sea. The Great Blasket Centre is the perfect stop for the family at the halfway point of the Slea Head Drive.
#28. Eclipse Ireland Activity and Adventure Center in Kenmare
The Eclipse Ireland Activity and Adventure Centre in Kenmare offers the family or group activities from horse riding to mud surfing and everything in between! Enjoy a fun day out with plenty of laughter and adrenaline!
#29. Bonane Heritage Park
Bonane Heritage Park is on the N71 Kenmare to Glengarriff Road. The park is a credit to the local community in Bonane. They have taken a really historic area that was covered in forestry and transformed it into a most wonderful historic park.
Here you can see a stone circle, a magnificent ring fort, fulacht fia and a pre-famine house. You can pick up an Activity Park Pack at the entrance and young and old will have an informative and fun visit.
#30 Blueberry Hill Farm
You and the kids will love all that is on offer at the weather independent Blueberry Hill Farm in Sneem.
Along with visiting the animals you can take a fun family tour, take part in a course, from baking to wood turning, help with feeding, learn about milking and bees, or visit during special holidays for seasonal events.
Free & In-Expensive Things to Do in Kerry
#31. Beara Way Walk
Covering 48 km the Beara Way Walk is a strenuous loop starting and ending in Glengarriff. You can pick sections to walk with the family, including a section from Crow Head in the Garnish area which is ideal for whale and dolphin watching.
#32. Visit a Playground
With more that 24 playgrounds throughout the county you will be spoilt for choice. The playground beside the Cathedral in Killarney is a favourite with my girls.
#33. Gleninchaquin Park
Gleninchaquin Park in Kenmare is the ideal place for a family who loves nature. It has parking on-site and is surrounded by the McGillicuddy Reeks.
Be sure to visit the spectacular 140 metre high waterfall as you stroll through the accessible walking routes, woodlands and lakes. Under 6’s are free of charge and a family rate is available.
#34. Connor Pass
The steep Connor Pass runs through the mountains just outside Dingle. It is restricted to cars under a certain size as the road is narrow and not for the nervous! But the views are spectacular and well worth the drive.
#35. Kerry Way Trail
If you are feeling adventurous you could tackle some of the mighty Kerry Way trail a spectacular 230 km walk, taking in the best of what the Ring of Kerry has to offer.
You will need to be well equipped and prepared to take this trip on.
#36. Take a Bike Ride
Pack the bikes and cycle on some of Kerry’s most popular scenic routes you can find out more information on planning your trip from Kerry Cycling website.
#37. Visit an OPW Heritage Site for Free
Kerry has 14 OPW Heritage Sites to choose from.
It is currently free to visit all OPW Heritage Sites on the first Wednesday of the month. But do check before you travel.
Take time out and relax with the papers or a book at one of the 9 libraries in Kerry, Ballybunion, Caherciveen, Castleisland, Dingle, Kenmare, Killarney, Killorglin, Listowel and Tralee.
#39. Go on a Fairy Hunt
Kerry has 2 magical Fairy Trails where all the family can enjoy looking for little people. The Fairy Trails can be found in the woodlands of both Derrynane House and also in Darryquin, part of the demesne of Parknasilla, near Sneem, on the Ring of Kerry. Both are free of charge to visit.
#40. Staigue Fort
The well preserved Staigue Fort on the Iveagh peninsula is thought to date from between 300 and 400 AD. It is a great example of the traditional dry stone walling technique and show true craftmanship.
It is currently free to visit and if you are driving the ring of Kerry is a must.
Have your say! Any other family favourites on the Ring of Kerry that you would add to list? Please share your suggestions in the comments box below.