Family holidays to Ireland can be a fantastic experience for the whole family. With so many places to visit with the kids, including a variety of attractions to go both paid and for free covering Museums, Castles, National parks and much more all over Ireland, there is sure to be something for all ages to enjoy. If you are looking to stay in one of our family holiday cottages in Ireland then you will want to read on to see what you can do with your family during your stay:
Butlers Chocolate Experience is the ultimate chocolate tour based in Ireland and it is a huge hit with children and adults. Just 6 kilometres from Dublin City centre and easily accessible by car or public transport it is an absolute must-see for Chocolate lovers with its many different activities to offer it will suit all ages. It is simply heaven for any sweet tooth. You can watch a chocolate movie, see chocolate being made in the factory and decorate your own chocolate treat to take away with you. As chocolate is such a hit with so many people around the world booking in advance is essential. Children less than 3 years of age get to experience this magic for free.
Dublin Zoo is the number one tourist attraction located in Phoenix Park: with its 5-star rating it’s a certain 'must see' for all ages, the kids will love it. The zoo attracted over 1 million visitors last year and has been open since 1831. You can catch many buses from the City and the zoo is a 20-minute walk from Heuston Station and the LUAS Red Line stop. It covers 28 hectares and showcases over 400 animals. This is a great place to visit in Ireland with the kids. There are daily talks and feeds at various enclosures including Lions, Elephants and Giraffes. There are several kiosks and cafes located around the zoo for those hungry tums and a picnic setting if you fancy bringing your own lunch. The zoo recommends at least 4 hours to look around. You can buy tickets online to avoid the long queues at the gate, with great value family tickets on offer and children under 3 years of age go free.
All of the national museums of Ireland are completely admission free. The first being the Natural History Museum which is located right in the centre of Dublin. The museum is famous for its two million species, of which roughly half are insects. It is a fantastic chance to experience the natural world through life like zoological models, samples and activity areas. This zoological museum encompasses outstanding examples of wildlife from Ireland and the far corners of the globe, some to be seen today and others long extinct. The opening times for all the museums are Tuesday to Saturday 10-2pm and Sundays 2-5pm. The next museum showcases Archaeology and it is just a 12-minute walk from the history museum. It features displays on prehistoric Ireland, including early work in gold, church treasures and the Viking and medieval periods. There are special displays of items from Ancient Egypt, Cyprus and the Roman world, and special exhibitions are regularly mounted. Discover Cashel Men, Ireland's oldest of bog bodies dating from the early Bronze Age of 2000BC. Another great way kids can learn more and interact is that the museum offers a small selection of activity sheets or to ensure you have a copy of the sheet you wish to use, print off a copy in advance of your visit.
The third museum is a short 20 minute journey via car or public transport. The National Museum of Art and Decoration. You can discover weaponry, silver, ceramics, folklife and costume artefacts. There are many exhibitions on display. The military display traces Ireland’s military history from 1550 into the 21st Century and has over 1,000 objects from all over the world. The Irish Silver Collection is one of the largest in the world. These are great places to visit in Ireland with the kids.
Crag Cave and the Kingdom Falconry Centre based in County Kerry is a true delight for all ages. Wonderful stalagmites and stalactites in the largest cave system in Ireland covering 3.08 kilometres and only discovered in 1983. An all-weather tourist attraction that has dramatic sound and lighting effects to give the visitors a lifelike experience. Here you can step into 1 million years of history and wonder at Crag Cave. Ticket prices for the cave start at €30 for a family ticket (2 children and 2 adults) and under 4’s go free. There is also a huge 3 tier soft play area for both adults and children to bring out the child in everyone. You do have to pay for the soft play at €8 euro per child with adults going free or combine a crazy cave tour and soft play ticket for €11 euros.
To accompany Crag cave is the Kingdom Falconry Centre which offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of our majestic and awe-inspiring birds of prey – eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. The aim of Kingdom Falconry is to provide education and entertainment to all ages and give an appreciation of the natural world. Two fantastic places to visit in Ireland with the kids. Kingdom Falconry has family tickets at €20 euros and 4 years old and under go for free. Or enjoy a hidden gem of a discounted bird of prey ticket when you purchase a Crag Cave or Crazy Cave ticket.
This beautiful national park based in County Kerry is amongst Ireland's most amazing rugged mountainous countryside with spectacular views. McGillycuddy's Reeks is the highest range in all of Ireland, reaching over 1000 metres in height. With over 26,000 acres of woodland to discover this will keep the children occupied all day long with many hidden gems along the way such as Ross Castle which located at the lower lake of the park and Killarney House and gardens. At this location, there is a fantastic and very informative education centre which has numerous activities to promote knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the natural environment. Unfortunately, the house isn’t open to the public but there is 24 hours access to the park all year round and admission is free.
Moving to the county of Blarney near Cork, we arrive at Blarney castle. A medieval building and dates from before 1200 AD. The castle was rebuilt by the King of Munster (one of the four provinces in Ireland) after it was destroyed by a fire in 1446. A chance to get hands-on with learning about the medieval history period and the myths that surround the castle such as the Blarney stone. A must see place to visit in Ireland with the kids for sure. Allow them to live in the magic and legend of the Blarney stone which is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of the castle. Legend has it kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab. Kiss it for yourself and see. The children can also dress up in similar clothes of the time and purchase some lovely souvenirs from the gift shop. A café is on site to quench your thirst and cure your hunger. If you really want to get a feel for Irish history you couldn't ask for a better location.
Bridget’s Garden in the town of Galway is a place of true beauty with Celtic gardens, a kids discovery trail, nature trail and beautiful flowers and gardens. This award-winning '2017 Family Destination of the Year' deserves a visit. Widely regarded as the most spectacular in Ireland and covers 11 acres of woodland and meadows. There is also a discovery science centre for little curious minds. This is certainly worth a visit for only €18.50 a family ticket ( 2 adults and 3 children) and four-legged friends are very welcome too. Another fantastically hidden gem money saver is that if you arrive by bicycle or via public transport you can enjoy €1 off an individual ticket or €3 off a family ticket.
Fungie Dolphin tours/boat tours are in County Kerry. A hugely popular attraction bringing visitors of all ages. Trips are to see Fungie the Bottlenose Dolphin of Dingle Bay. His age is unknown but he has lived in the bay for 32 years and he is a whopping 13 foot long and weighs 250 kilograms. Tours operate all year round, every day. The trip is approximately 1 hour and there is no charge if Fungie is not seen. A great place to visit in Ireland with the kids, where you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the harbour of Dingle bay and try to spot this iconic Dolphin. Be sure to ask for discounts for students and families.