From zip lining to kayaking safaris, there is no shortage of action-packed family-friendly activities in Ireland.
Ireland is a great place to bring up kids. There is an abundance of fantastic outdoor activities on offer right across the country that are guaranteed to keep kids (big and small!) entertained. And if you don’t believe us, read on. We have rounded up 50 of our favourite family-friendly activities in Ireland.
Family-Friendly Activities in Ireland:
1. Go With the Flow Canoeing Adventures
The peaceful waters of the Barrow in Co Carlow are perfect for family-friendly paddling adventures. Go With the Flow offers fun-filled half and full day excursions. The water-based safaris will take you through dramatic landscapes, wooded valleys and the old navigations used by the Guinness barges to deliver Ireland’s favourite tipple! And if that’s not enough to keep the kids entertained, trips also include a picnic stop and ample opportunities to swim in the glorious sheltered pools that the river has to offer.
Go With the Flow safaris are suitable for all ages. The Barrow is one of the safest rivers in Ireland.
More info: Go With the Flow
2. Loughcrew Adventure Centre
Perfect for a day out with the whole family, at Loughcrew Adventure Centre there is something for everyone.
You can go for either a half- or a full day, where a half day includes three activities, and a full one includes up to six.
From zip lining and rock climbing to team building games, water activities and brain teasers – this place is truly made for (family friendly) fun and challenging adventures.
These guys are based a few minutes from Oldcastle, Co Meath, only an hour’s drive from Dublin.
PS. Bringing spare clothes and shoes is a must if you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the designated driver, because things do get muddy!
More info: Loughcrew Estate
3. Inflatable Fun in Dublin’s New Waterpark
Dublin is getting an inflatable water park this summer, and its new home is set to be Dun Laoghaire harbour.
Although Dublin mightn’t be the first place you think of when you hear ‘water park’, this addition to Dublin’s list of family activities will be a great day adventure for hot summer days.
The company behind the plans is Big Splash Water Park and the installation will include an obstacle course, climbing frames, barges and much more.
4. Adventure Kids Wicklow
Adventure Kids Wicklow is a kids trail running fun session where kids get to run, jump and have lots of fun in nature – far from iPads and TV screens.
They’re located in Laragh, and you’ll find them at the St Kevins School Car Park, Brockagh.
The adventure sessions are run every week by JuJu Jay – a playful trail running leader who’s not afraid to get in on all the fun.
If the weather permits, river dips are a common feature and parents are encouraged to participate in each session as well, as the kids love seeing them jumping around in the mud with them!
More info: Visit Wicklow
5. Skiing in Kilternan
Ireland mightn’t get buckets of snow in the winter time, but fear not – you can still take the kids skiing! The Ski Club of Ireland is situated at Kilternan Golf and Country Club between Kilternan, Co Dublin, and Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. Kilternan Ski Club offers ski- and snowboard lessons for kids of different ages as well as day courses, freestyle nights and practice sessions for the one who’s already got the hang of the basics.
For kids aged 7 and over they have classes at 11 am and 3 pm on Saturdays and the same hours on Sundays. Kindergarten classes, for kids between 4-7, run throughout the season at 1 pm on Sundays and last for an hour.
More info: Ski Club Kilternan
6. Rafting Down the Rapids in Longford
If you feel like treating the kids to an adrenalin-rush, take a trip to Longford and try out water tubing. Floating down the rapids in River Inny is suitable for anyone looking for a rush – as long as you’re prepared to get wet. Outdoor Discovery in Ballymahon offers whitewater tours for the whole family in seven different rapids. The minimum age is 8 and children between 8 and 9 need to be accompanied by a parent.
More info: Outdoor Discovery
7. Climb New Heights in Killiney Hill Park
Just an hour south of Dublin City Centre, located at the seaside, is Killiney Hill Park. Adventure Time, situated at the top of the park in Dalkey Quarry, offers rock climbing activities for families and kids of at least 7 years of age. You’ll have a certified instructor dedicated to your family, and all necessary equipment will be provided. So if you fancy a fun, adventurous day activity for you and your kids, this is the spot!
More info: Adventure Time
8. Check Out Some Exotic Animals at an Open Farm
For a guaranteed jackpot of a family day out, pay a visit to Wallaby Woods in Donadea, Co Kildare. They are a family run open farm with over 60 different – amazing – species to see, learn about and cuddle with.
The farm stretches over 16 acres of woodland and is open between 10 am to 6 pm every day from June to August. Aside of all their exotic animals, they also have long nature trails to explore, playgrounds with climbing frames and a zip line.
It’s €6 per person (under 2’s go for free) and there is also family day passes. Why not bring some picknick and enjoy a nice BBQ together in one of their private BBQ areas, after all the exploring?!
More info: Wallaby Woods
9. Tree Climbing in Slane
Rock Farm Slane in Co Meath is an ecotourism and activity centre as well as an organic farm, on the Slane Castle estate. They offer a range of fun, green, activities but the best of the bunch might simply be the two-hour long tree climbing experience. When did your kids (or you for that matter!) last climb a tree?
Well at Rock Farm Slane you can, and the instructors will help out with knots, ropes and harnesses to make sure it’s all running smoothly without any broken arms or legs.
Well up you can enjoy some sweet views of the Boyne Valley and if you’re brave enough you can do some branch walking and hanging upside down way above the ground!
The activity is available from April to October and is €35 for a small group or family.
More info: Rock Farm Slane
10. Splashing Fun in Athlone
We just can’t get enough of quality water parks, and why should you?! Athlone’s Baysports in co Westmeath is Ireland’s largest inflatable water park – awarded by Guinness World Records.
Spread over 1400 square meters, Baysports is a huge playground for kids of all ages (and of course adults as well!). And if the weather isn’t showing its best side – just jump into a wetsuit.
The park is open from July to August and the cost is €17 for adults, €12 for kids between 6 and 14 and €4 for the really young ones, between 4 and 6 years.
Children must be 6 years or older to take part in the fun and kids between 6 and 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Visitors have to wear wetsuits, (which you can hire for €3), buoyancy aids, and wristbands (which are provided).
11. Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum
Yes, you heard that right – head to Dundrum Town Centre, in South Dublin, and you can go adventure mini-golfing in a rainforest. Perfect for a rainy day! Although the rainforest isn’t a real forest (surprise!), being in it is almost as exciting as being in a real, mysterious, jungle environment.
No booking is required, you simply turn up and start playing on the Aztec and Mayan themed 18 hole courses. Clubs and balls will be provided.
Each course takes approximately 45 mins to play and in between courses you can enjoy pizza, coffee, ice cream or even a beer in the Canopy Café.
It’s €9.85 per adult, €8.75 for kids under 15 years, €4.80 for kids under 5 years and €30 for a family of four.
More info: Rainforest Adventure Golf
12. Catch Some Speed in Kiltorcan
The saying goes that competition brings out the worst in people… But how fun isn’t it?! Take the whole family and head to outside located Kiltorcan Raceway in Co Kilkenny for an exhilarating day on the go-karting race course!
The whole family can race together, and the only requirement is that all kids are older than 10 and taller than 110 cm. You can book the track from 15 minutes up to several hours, just make sure to ring them in advance to check their availability.
The course is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 pm. 30 minutes on the course is €36 for adults and €29 for kids.
More info: Kiltorcan Raceway
13. Archery and Adventure in Kildare
Redhills Adventure is set on what was once a farm, only a few kilometres from Kildare Village Outlet. They offer groups and families an action-packed day out with a range of different, fun and exciting activities.
They are open all year-round, Monday to Sunday, for group bookings for eight or more and individuals can join our open tag gaming sessions every weekend where you don’t need a group.
This place is perfect for big family outings (the more the merrier!) with active kids who like to mix adrenaline with technique sports!
More info: Redhills Adventure
14. Jump up, jump up and get down!
Jump Zone is Ireland’s first trampoline park and has two locations: one in Sandyford and one in Santry, Co Dublin. They have activities like a foam pit, trampoline dodgeball and free jumping – perfect for practising jumps and tricks!
The prices are as follows:
€14.00 per hour (grip socks included); €12.00 per hour (you have your own grip socks); €18.00 per 90 mins (grip socks included); €16.00 per 90 mins (you have your own grip socks).
Kids must be over the age of 5 and above 1 m to be allowed to jump. The parks are open Tuesday to Sunday.
More info: Jump Zone
15. Views From the Back of a Horse at the Dingle Peninsula
For a different type of exploring, swap hiking for riding and enjoy nature from another perspective. Just a mile outside Dingle, Co Kerry, you’ll find Dingle Horseriding, overlooking the Dingle Peninsula. They do everything from one hour tours to full day treks and no matter your former horse riding experiences, they’ll be able to accommodate the whole family.
More info: Dingle Horseriding
16. Family Friendly Hiking in Crosshaven
Ireland has endless of opportunities to offer when it comes to hiking, and many of them kid-friendly. Carrigaline to Crosshaven Greenway is an easy-to-do trail with lots of picnic spots along the riverside. The 5km long trail runs along the old railway line, and Crosshaven Greenway is a nice spot for finishing up with a rewarding ice-cream. You’ll find Carrigaline about 10km south of Cork.
More info: Irish Trails
17. Get The Thrills at Ballyhass Wake Park
Wakeboarding is a fun activity for everyone, young as old (well, maybe not TOO old) and Ballyhass’s wake park in Mallow, Co Cork, is Ireland’s largest cable wakeboarding centre, and it’s tons of fun.
The system suits all levels of riders and is a perfect training tool for getting your jumps and balance right, or maybe just for having some fun. What really makes a wake park though is the obstacle setup underneath the cable – and Ballyhass wake park has nailed that – think floating skatepark or a wet version of a ski terrain park!
More info: Ballyhas Wake Park
18. Cycle a Greenway
These off-road cycling and walking routes are popping up across the country and we are delighted. Most well known are the Western and Waterford Greenways, but the Carlingford Lough Greenway and the Old Trail Greenway from Mullingar to Athlone are also great options for family-friendly bike rides. The latter is due to be extended to Dublin and all the way to Galway over the coming years.
19. Embark on (Any Type of) an Adventure in Waterford
Dunmore Adventure offers their guests a range of different adventurous activities, and by a range, we’re talking SUPing (and giant SUP), sailing, kayaking, caving and climbing.
On top of all this, they also have the biggest wibit wipeout course in Ireland – an obstacle course on the water with swings, slides, spinners and a massive action tower.
Make sure to call and book in advance, and once you’re all booked – you’ll find them in the harbour of Nymphhall, in Dunmore.
More info: Dunmore Adventure
20. Geopark For All in Waterford
The Copper Coast Geopark in Waterford offers insane rock formations along Waterford’s Copper Coast, and you don’t have to be a geologist or of any certain age to get amazed by them. You can walk it or cycle it – the area is free to get explored.
The rocks of the Copper Coast recorded different geological events over 460 million years (!) To get a good sense of the area, pop your head into the visitors’ centre and get yourself a map of the routes. The colours of the cliffs, the incredible views and the opportunity to explore the caves will keep the whole family entertained. Some of the highlights include Knockmahon and Stage Cove.
More info: Copper Coast Geopark
21. Gaze Into the Star-Studded Skies
The Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve is located in Co Kerry, in an area that is called an ISTHMUS – a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas, usually with water on either side.
The reserve is surrounded by the Kerry Mountains on one side and the Atlantic ocean on the other, is approx. 700 sq km in size and offers dark un-light polluted skies – perfect for star gazing. So gather the family, bring a rug and a picnic basket and enjoy an evening of stargazing at the reserve, which is one of only three gold-tier reserves in the whole world!
The dark-sky area stretches from Kells to Valentia Island to Castlecove, all in Southwest Kerry.
More info: Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve
22. Dolphin Spotting in Clare
Is there anything more enticing and thrilling than waiting, looking out for and finally SEEING rarely spotted animals in their natural habitat?! In Carrigaholt in Co Clare, you’ve got the chance of spotting the amazing sea creatures that are dolphins from a close.
Check their website or call them to find out what the conditions are like, and if a trip will be organised or not (sometimes due to bad weather forecasts or sea conditions as well as depending on the location of the dolphins, there might not be an outing on that day).
While the main objective is to spot Ireland’s resident group of bottlenose dolphins, there is much more to experience on this journey around Shannon – historic landmarks, spectacular cliffs, pelagic seabirds and Grey Seals are just a few.
The tours run between April and September, and if you’re lucky – you might even spot a whale out there!
More info: Dolphinwatch
23. Island Discovering in Cork
Garnish Island is a flourishing, quirky, little island situated in the harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, Co Cork. It’s famous for its green gardens, squiggly walking paths and rare plants.
You’ll get to the island by the Garnish Island Ferry shuttle service which runs from the main pier in Glengarriff. The charming little boat ride includes a trip to the seal island, which is the local colony of wild harbour seals – that are happy to pose for photos in their natural habitat! The ferries leave every 30 minutes from Glengarriff during high season (April-October).
The island is open for visitors from April through October, generally from 10 am to 5:30 pm but the times vary from month to month so make sure to check their website ahead of your visit.
PS. Remember to bring cash, as there is no ATM in Glengarriff or card machine service operating on the ferries!
More info: Garnish Island
24. Families That Surf Together Stay Together
Over the summer months, Lahinch Surf School in Co Clare – run by ex-pro surfer John McCarthy – offers family surf lessons daily. Kids usually need to be over the age of 9 to join one of these lessons. The reasoning behind this is that the risk with younger kids is that they end up grabbing all the instructor’s attention, and the old folks won’t get the proper coaching.
If you do have a child under the age of 9, another option is for one parent to supervise, and the wetsuit will be supplied for free. In the summertime, they also do a “Grom Camp” for kids from 6 to 8 years. They will then be part of a tiny group and get lots of attention.
A family package with two adults and two kids is €120 and then €25 extra for each child.
More info: Lahinch Surf School
25. Take a Trip out to Barley Cove Beach
Situated in Cannawee, Co Cork, you’ll find what arguably is one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches: Barley Cove Beach. This place is perfect for a family beach day with a picnic, and if you want to get up to something before sitting down to eat, there’s loads of that too: surfing, cycling, horse trekking…
There is excellent hiking in the area as well, such as the walks to Brow Head, Mizen Head and Three Castles Head.
26. Mountain Biking in Roscrea
Bike Park Ireland, located in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, is an awesome mountain bike park with lots of fun to be had for the whole family.
If you have bikes and helmets, do bring them, but if not there are bikes and equipment to hire for both kids and adults on site, with different packs to choose between. A kids half-day pack – including bike, uplift service and PPE – is €42, if you book online.
There is a green trail on top that is ideal for families to cycle down together. On top of that, their pump tack (which is the biggest in Ireland) is ideal for kids to rip around in (it’s best suitable for kids over 6 years). For even younger kids there is a mini-pump track.
There is a café on site as well, serving burgers and delicious hot chocolate!
More info: Bike Park Ireland
27. Fairy Trails in Kerry
Some of the best fun you can have (for free) with your little ones is exploring the forest together and in the woodlands of Derrynane House and Darryquin, Co Kerry. There are no less than two magical fairy trails to be found in Kerry: one in the surroundings of Derrynane House and the other on in the woods around Parknasilla Resort. Both are free and open to all visitors.
Even when it’s raining, you will be in the shelter of the woods, making this an all-weather, year-round family fun activity!
More info: Irish Fairy Trails
28. Ziplining and High Ropes with Zipit
Nothing quite compares to the thrill of whizzing down a piece of wire suspended high in the air. It is thrilling, exciting and appealing to kids, both big and small! With three locations around Ireland – Lough Key in Roscommon, Tibradden in Dublin and Farran Park in Cork – Zipit is always a great day out. Climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets and ride a BMX across a bridge before taking to one of the many zip lines on offer. Kids as young as seven right up to adults will love this adrenaline-filled day out.
More info: Zipit
29. Adventure Breaks at Delphi Resort
Delphi Resort is the perfect place for action-packed family breaks. Offering a range of packages there is a huge emphasis on fun and adventure. During the day older kids and adults can choose from a wide range of activities including high ropes courses, cycling, kayaking, hiking and lots more. Smaller kids are also catered for in the kids club where they will partake in arts and crafts and nature walks. There’s even a Mini Adventure Club which promises to keep even the most energetic kids entertained. Offering bushcraft survival skills, tunnelling and mini climbing, it will definitely appeal to adventurous kids.
More info: Delphi Resort
30. Killary’s World of Adventures
This is the place to be for families with adventurous and active kids over the age of eight. Killary Adventure Centre has a range of 20 different adrenaline filled activities, and you could easily spend an entire weekend here.
The staff is very helpful and can assist you in mixing and matching activities at the centre with visits to local attractions along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Some of the exciting stuff you can get up to at the centre is climbing a high ropes course, archery combat, gorge walking, water skiing, electric orienteering and rock climbing.
More info: Killary Adventure
31. Chase Waterfalls
Glencar Waterfall is a 50ft high, stunning, waterfall situated at Glencar Lough, located about 11km West of Manorhamilton, in Co Leitrim. It can be reached and viewed from a lovely wooded walk, where there are a playground and picnic areas as well.
There are more waterfalls visible from the road, however, none of them is as spectacular as the Glencar one.
More info: Leitrim Tourism
32. Enter a World of Adventures in Loughkey
Located in Co Roscommon is the beautifully situated and fun-packed forest park Loughkey. A dream for any adventurous family – and if you prefer the calmer, more scenic adventures – get on the 8 km long trail, perfect for cycles and even buggies, as there are no steep sections.
For some more lively fun, divide the whole family into groups and get competitive – Boda Borg is one of the attractions at Loughkey, suitable for kids from 7 up to… Nope, there is no age limit!
Boda Borg is a Swedish concept unique to Ireland and is challenging for both adults and children. Once you enter the two-storey Boda Borg there is only teamwork, ingenuity, trial and skills that count – as you’re progressing through 47 rooms! The course contains fun-filled activities and brain teasers – but no instructions…
Get out in the forest and practice some useful mapreading with the kids in an active and exciting way – by trying on orienteering. Coillte, along with local clubs, has created a number of permanent orienteering courses that range from short beginner loops to longer, more difficult routes.
Orienteering combines running and map reading and participants use detailed maps to select routes and navigate through different terrain and visit control points in sequence. It’s almost like a treasure hunt!
And it doesn’t stop there, in Loughkey Forest Park there is LOTS to do!
33. Family Cycling Trail in Limerick
The family cycling trail Curraghchase to Glenisca is a perfect way to introduce easier cycling to younger kids, as the route is only 3.6 km long and won’t take longer than 30 minutes.
Although most of the loop has a low gradient, there are some parts with loose rocks, narrow path and roots to pass – making the route a little bit more exciting!
The loop starts and ends at the carpark and you will pass through broadleaf forest, an old cave and majestic limestone cliffs. The trail also passes through an old Yew woodland habitat where some of the massive Yew trees are a hundred years old!
More info: Discover Ireland
34. Canoeing the Lough Derg
What’s better than bringing the whole family out for a day of canoeing, when the sun is shining and everyone’s off school and work duty? Not much, according to us!
The northern section of the Lough Derg Blueway, that’s splitting the two counties Galway and Tipperary, has got a lot of great paddling possibilities. The section has four trailheads with seven, easy to use, individual trails. As the routes are short enough, they’re perfect for taking the kids out for a day of gliding through the calm waters of beautiful Lough Derg.
Portumna Recreation Park to Hayes Island is 4.75 km round trip and will take around 1.5 hours back and forth. Another route, starting from the same spot, is Portumna Water Recreation Park to Portumna Forest Park. This one is a good option if the younger ones aren’t experienced canoers and might not last that long, since you can decide when to turn back. It can take anywhere from 35 minutes to two hours, one way, depending on the chosen turn-around point.
You can rent your canoes from Lough Derg Watersports.
More info: Blueways Ireland
35. Aran Island Excitements
Outside Galway Bay in Co Galway are the Aran Islands, consisting of the three islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. On the biggest one of the three – Inishmore – there is plenty to see.
The Aran Islands are a top destination for rock climbers and cliff divers, due to its dramatic cliff faces. Red Bull Cliff Diving series is hosted at the ‘wormhole’, which is a naturally occurring square that looks like it’s cut out of the rock. If you manage to time it, it’s a very dramatic and exciting sight! But even without the divers, the wormhole is well worth a visit.
A good walk to do is the Ring of Aran, which will take 3-6 hours, depending on your pace and how you lay it out. Some of the sights along the way are the wormhole, the seal colony, Kilmurvey Beach, The Craft Village, The Standing Stones as well as great panoramic views. The walk is starting at Kilronan Village. Make sure to bring a nice picnic as more or less anywhere is good for a scenic pit stop!
Cycling is also a popular way of getting around on the island, and the 30-minute bike ride from the Pier on Inis Mor Island to Dun Aonghasa is a superb route that won’t make you disappointed.
However, there is loads of spectacular places to see and you can easily spend a day or a full weekend exploring all the ancient sites across the islands!
36. Pirate Fun at Westport House
Go-karting, bouncy castles, swan boats, slides, rides and of course – pirate playgrounds. This is all part of Westport House’s Pirate Adventure Park, which is located only a 5-minute drive from the town itself.
There will be no lack of things to get up to when spending a day at Westport House, that’s for sure. The park is best suited for kids between the age of 4 and 11.
Entry to the Pirate Adventure Park is €15.65 for kids and a 1-day pirate pass for the whole family is €71.25 (when you book online). Kids under 2 go for free!
The Pirate Adventure Park is open anytime the kids are out of school: mid-term breaks, bank holidays, weekends in June and daily in July and August. Make sure to check their website before heading there so you know for sure that they are open!
More info: Westport house
37. Meet Some Fluffy Friends at Glendeer Pet Farm
Fluffy, funny, friendly friends on two and four legs that just want to be cuddled and fed, what’s not to like?! Kids tend to love all sorts of animals, and this place is just crowded with different exotic creatures: alpacas, parrots, horses, goats, monkeys, donkeys, racoons and pigs.
Glendeer also has guided tours, picnic areas, playgrounds, nature walks and a café to make the day as enjoyable and eventful as possible.
Located in Curryroe, Co Roscommon, the price for one is €8 and children under 18 months go for free.
The opening hours are Monday to Saturday 11 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 12 pm to 6 pm. The farm stays open between 17 March through September.
More info: Glendeer Pet Farm
38. Celtic Gardens and Discovery Trails in Brigit’s Garden
Brigit’s Garden is a family-friendly sanctuary in the West of Ireland, regarded as one of the most spectacular Celtic gardens in the country. Aside of all the Celtic heritage and mythology in the gardens, there is a nature trail, a fairy fort and a natural playground to explore.
On the site, there is a visitor’s centre and a garden café that serves freshly made food.
Brigit’s Garden is located in Roscahill, Co Galway, just a 20-minute drive from Galway city. The gardens are generally open between 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and admission in is €8 for adults and €5 for kids. During the months October-March it’s a few euros cheaper.
More info: Brigit’s Garden
39. Introduction to Sea Swimming (and Jumping!)
If you happen to be into sea swimming and are looking for a good way to introduce your kids to your favourite pastime, then taking them to Salthill in Galway could be a good idea!
The surroundings get busy over the summer months but Salthill is a fun place to take the younger ones to, as the Blackrock Diving Tower is perfect for some exciting jumps into the big blue.
Salthill is located on the northern inner shore of Galway Bay.
More info: Discover Ireland
40. Hit the High Seas with Aquaholics
A recent trip to the Causeway Coast uncovered a host of incredible activities for all ages. Aquaholics runs a fantastic boat trip from Ballycastle. Kids will be kept entertained as they look out for dolphins, whales and even basking sharks. Bigger kids can also opt to hop off the boat and into the North Atlantic ocean swimming right underneath the infamous Carrick-A-Rede bridge. It’s a great way of ticking off some famous sites along this amazing coastline without having the kids cooped up in the car.
More info: Aquaholics
41. Take Giant Steps in Bushmills
If Giant’s Causeway in Bushmills isn’t worth a visit, then what is, really?! This amazing spot at the very top of Ireland in Co Antrim is a unique place with baffling rock formations and stunning coastal views. Giant’s Causeway is one of the 25 bewildering places in the world that is included on the World Heritage site list.
There are two ways to approach the Giants Causeway. The first way is by road, either on foot or by using the seasonal bus service that is accessible for people with disabilities. A longer circular walk follows the cliff path to Shepherd’s Steps and back via the Giants Causeway and is 3 km.
Entry to the visitor’s centre is £4.25 for kids, £8.50 for adults and £21.00 for a family. The prices include car parking. For the ones with smaller kids in buggies, there is plenty of accessible paths for them too.
More info: Giant’s Causeway Official Guide
42. Cave Exploring Around Ireland
Is the weekend weather forecast looking dull and grey? Not to despair – just bring the family out for a cave adventure, where no sun is needed for a successful day trip. There are several caves spread out around Ireland, all with their own little features and background stories. We have listed our three favourites:
Maghera Caves – Co Donegal – Ulster
In Ardara, one kilometre outside Assaranca Waterfall (which is also a good place to visit) you’ll find the Maghera Caves, located beneath Slievetooey Mountain. Some of them are accessible at low tides from Maghera Strand, others are reached by kayak or boat. In total there are over 20 caves, 8 arches and 5 tunnels to visit, and the beach is located only 200 meters away from the nearest carpark.
More info: http://ardara.ie/maghera-caves/
Bruce’s Cave – Co Antrim – Ulster
In the cliffs of Rathlin Island you’ll find Bruce’s Cave, located beneath the East Lighthouse. There are various caves hiding in the 60 meter high cliff massive, which is home to thousands of seabirds. You’ll reach most of the caves by boat.
More info: http://www.rathlincommunity.org/travel
Mitchelstown Cave – Co Tipperary – Munster
This huge cave massive, located over the border from Mitchelstown County Cork, is one of Ireland’s largest cave complexes. It’s situated 40 minutes from Cork City and apart from being a spectacular experience in itself, the cave hosts both concerts and pop up movie screenings.
More info: http://mitchelstowncave.com/
43. Cliff Exploring With a View
Slieve Leage cliffs are the highest accessible seacliffs in Europe, with a height of 1,972 feet/601 metres which is almost twice as high as the Eiffel Tower and nearly three times the height of the famous Cliffs of Moher.
The good thing about taking the family here is that the cliffs (with their amazing views) are easily accessible, and nowadays you can actually drive almost all the way up, where there is a parking lot. And if the kids are filled with energy, you can walk up instead!
You’ll find heaps of picnic tables at the top as well, so if the weather is nice it’s the perfect spot for a lunch break.
There are several lakes to stop by on the way to the summit, and at the base there is a small, white sand, beach – however, the beach is only approachable by boat. On the right to the beach, there is a quite large cave where seals sometimes make a pitstop, which could be a good show for kids.
More info: We Love Donegal
44. Mountain Biking in Northern Ireland
If your (a bit older) kids are in any way interested in cycling and mountain biking, (or if you’d like to spark an interest for them) – this is the perfect place for it. Blessingbourne Estate has premier mountain biking trails, great facilities and loads of experience.
There is over 13 km of mountain biking trails around this gorgeous estate, designed by Architrail’s Phil Saxena, who also designed trails for the Beijing Olympics and the Downhill World Cup. The trails range from easy and short to long and technical, and they also have a quality pump track. This place will no doubt cater to all ages and abilities.
There is a bike hire at the estate (where you can get all gear needed) and if you’d like to stay for longer (which is totally reasonable) there are well equipped, self -catering apartments to accommodate.
More info: Blessingbourne
45. Giant Fun in the Slieve Gullion Forest Park
Take the whole family exploring in the Slieve Gullion Forest Park in Co Armagh, where you’ll be walking right into a fantasy land for young and old. Slieve Gullion is Ireland’s own Mountain of Mystery: the forest park offers walking trails, a scenic drive, an adventure playpark, Giant’s Lair children’s story trail and a courtyard where the parents can get their daily coffee fix.
On a good day, you might even be able to see all the way to Dublin from the top of Slieve Gullion!
The Slive Gullion Adventure Park includes a toddler’s area, adventure and play equipment for older kids, the “Slieve Gullion ZIP” and a trim trail for the adults, yes, adults! Burn off some energy on the slides, by climbing frames and with the outdoor gym equipment.
The Giant’s Lair Story Trail is a must-see cultural attraction and an innovative magical living storybook. The art in the Giant’s Lair is all inspired by the local legends and mythical folklore from all across the Forest Park.
Go on a journey of intertwined fairy house and arts features in a land of mystery, dragons, giants, witches and fairies. It’s free to roam around at your own pace but also possible to embark on a guided tour from Fairy Bluebelle Blossom, available through Sticky Fingers.
The Forest Park is open every day from 08:00 until sunset.
More info: Discover Northern Ireland
46. Get Active in Corralea
Corralea Activity Centre in Fermanagh is a family run activity- and holiday centre perfect for nature lovers, being set in the unpolluted and beautiful Fermanagh Lakelands.
The Corralea Centre is suitable for a little older, peppy kids that love to stay busy. There is no shortage of things to get up to, as the centre offers anything from archery, mountain biking and climbing to canoeing, windsurfing and orienteering. Being situated where it is, there is no surprise that the centre also has a fun waterpark with water trampolines and waterslides!
Corralea also offers accommodation for the ones who want to stay longer, with several different packages to choose from. The self-catering cottages are located in Belcoo, which is outside Enniskillen.
More info: Corralea Activity Centre
47. Body Boarding at the Causeway Coast
Get all family members a body board each and get surfing – laying down. Bodyboarding is a good family activity in the way that it’s less technical than for example surfing, which is making it easy for all ages to take part in the fun without previous experience.
Hit the beach in Portstewart or Portrush, both situated along the Causeway coast in Co Londonderry. Downhill Beach is part of an 11 km stretch of sand, surf and scenic walks – for the perfect family day out.
Apres surf can be spent along the Portstewart promenade, where you can get some tasty fish and chips.
More info: Google Maps
48. Go on a Forest Adventure in the Tollymore Forest Park
Head to the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, where Tollymore Forest Park is situated, just a 10-minute drive away from the seaside town of Newcastle, in Co
There’s lots to do to keep the kids entertained in the park: hop over the famous stepping stones, cross ancient bridges or have a blast at the Big Deer play area featuring a giant timber fallow deer, castle turret, folly tower and hollow tree.
The forest is open every day of the year from 10 am until sunset.
Head into Newcastle when you’re done adventuring and get yourself a nice meal in Anchor Bar, where kids eat for free (!)
49. Water Activities on Lough Erne
Waterways Ireland are planning a new blueway water activity zone in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, that will be open to the public from the 1 July 2018.
It will be situated in the two connecting lakes Lough Erne and a range of fun water activities will be on offer, such as kayaking, Canadian canoeing and boat hire possibilities.
50. Hike Cave Hill and Overlook Belfast
Situated in the outskirts of Belfast is Cave Hill, a beautiful hill of 370 m, in the Cave Hill Country Park. On a nice day, you can get brilliant views over Belfast from the top.
The trails start from Belfast Castle and there is a green route of 7,2 km and a blue route of 3,9 km to choose from. Both are looped. Stop at the top of the hill for some view gazing or even a picnic.
The hiking can be a bit challenging on the way up but will be doable even for little hikers with a snack break or two along the way. It’s also well worth the trek with rewarding views as soon as you reach the summit.
On your way down, make sure to stop by the Belfast Castle where you can enjoy a nice lunch or coffee either outside on their patio with a view, or inside on a rainy day.
You can either park your car in the carpark, located by the castle or take bus number 1 from the city centre.
More info: Walk NI
By Elsa Anderling
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