A visit to Ireland is a great family experience! Children remember family trips which bring families together for fun and amazing experiences while building many happy memories.
Ireland is a perfect destination for families and kids because it offers a variety of fun and educational activities that cater to all ages. Known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and friendly locals, Ireland is a safe and welcoming place for families.
Ireland Activities for Kids
Popular family-friendly activities in Ireland include visiting historical sites, such as castles and museums, exploring the great outdoors through hiking and cycling, and enjoying the country's famous music and cultural festivals. Ireland offers a range of kid-friendly accommodations, from family-run B&Bs to large resorts, making it an easy and comfortable place to travel with children and teens.
The best family experiences include children and teens in the planning . Here are a few ideas of great activities for kids and teens to get you started planning your Ireland family vacation.
Game of Thrones Studio Tour
This Game of Thrones Studio Tour provides an immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore authentic sets, such as the Iron Throne Room, King's Landing, and the Dragonstone Throne Room, seeing how they were all created. The immersive experiences and interactive exhibits are ideal for children, allowing them to step inside and see the sets, costumes, and props that brought the show to life.
Titanic Belfast can be a delightful experience for kids who are interested in history and the story of the Titanic, as well as a great outing for the entire family. The museum offers interactive exhibits and displays that bring the history of the Titanic to life, including a visit to the shipyard where the Titanic was built, a virtual tour of the ship, and an exploration of the story of the Titanic and its passengers. These interactive elements can make the experience educational and engaging for kids.
However, it's important to keep in mind that the story of the Titanic is also a tragedy, and some aspects of the museum's exhibits may not be suitable for young children.
The Mourne Mountains
The Mourne Mountains offer an endless variety of outdoor activities that can be enjoyable for kids and the entire family. Popular activities in the Mourne Mountains of interest to kids of all ages include hiking, rock climbing, nature walks, fishing, biking and water sports.
The best activities for kids and families are the nature walks, hiking, and biking. The Mourne Mountains are home to a rich variety of wildlife, making them a great place for a family nature walk. Families can also choose from many scenic bike trails, just perfect for that family ride!
An extremely popular and scenic tourist destination in Northern Ireland, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is a site you won't want to miss along the scenic Antrim coast. The bridge spans 20 meters across a deep chasm and offers panoramic views of the Northern Ireland coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. On clear days, you can gaze across the water and see the shoreline of Scotland. Considered one of the most picturesque attractions in Northern Ireland, visitors can walk across the bridge and enjoy the views, as well as explore the nearby coastal path and the nature reserve on the island.
The famous rope bridge can be a thrilling experience for kids. However, it is important to keep in mind that the bridge can be a bit challenging for younger children and people who have a fear of heights. Overall, Carrick-a-rede is a great destination for families with older children who are able to handle the physical and mental challenges of the rope bridge.
Note that Carrick-a-Rede is very busy during peak seasons so plan well in advance and make reservations as far out as possible. A private tour is also a great option to consider for families and groups up to seven, as local guides will always know the best times to visit and often combine Carrick-a-Rede with the Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and the Dark Hedges.
The Giant’s Causeway
The Giant's Causeway is a great destination for families with children. This natural wonder, located in Northern Ireland features unique rock formations that have been created by volcanic activity.
The site is easy to explore with a number of paths and trails leading through the area, making it suitable for families with children of all ages. Besides immersing into the myth and legends of Finn McCool and the Scottish giant Benandonner, children will love discovering the unique shapes and textures of the rocks and will also enjoy playing in the rock pools. There is an onsite visitor center with interactive exhibits and a café, making it a convenient and fun day trip for families.
Guided tours are offered from both Dublin and Belfast.
The Seven Wonders of Fore
Have the kids engage their imaginations as you explore the Seven Wonders of Fore.
- The monastery in the bog
- Water that flows uphill
- The tree that won’t burn
- Water that won’t boil
- The anchorite in a stone
- The mill without a race
- The lintel raised by St Feichin’s prayers
Fore Abbey, also known as Fore Friary, is a medieval monastic site in County Westmeath, an easy 45 minutes from Dublin. The seven wonders of Fore Abbey refer to a list of seven remarkable features or events that were said to have taken place at the abbey during its history.
The site is quiet with plenty of places for the kids to roam around, explore, and engage their imaginations. Of course, this is all part of Ireland where history, magic and myth all converge!
Belvedere House and Gardens
Nearby the tiny Village of Fore, spend a family afternoon at Belvedere House and Gardens, a restored manor house. The delightful gardens are one of our favorite hidden gems and a must see during the spring and summer seasons. Young children, and adults young at heart will also appreciate the fairy garden.
The grounds are extensive with plenty of space to walk, picnic or relax on the shores of Lough Ennel. Scattered throughout the estate are many follies, which are fake architectural structures, including the infamous "jealous wall."
Belvedere House also has a nice cafe in the visitor center which makes the perfect place to pause for lunch while exploring Ireland's hidden heartlands.
Boating in the Hidden Heartlands
You might just enjoy Logh Ennell and the hidden headlands so much that you decide to stay for a day or more. The town of Mullingar makes a great home base for exploring central Ireland, as well as Dublin and Galway.
Why not spend a day exploring the crannogs of Lough Ennel and the rich history of the high kings of Royal Meath? Lilliput Boat Hire offers a great day out for young or old. Boats are ideal for family fun, fishing, or just chilling out. These safe easy-to-use boats are available as rowing boats or with outboard engines
Situated along the shores of Lough Ennel, the Bloomfield House Hotel is a nice, family friendly hotel with plenty of open ground for the kids to play, as well as a spa for the adults. The hotel is near Belvedere House and next to Mullingar Golf club so there is plenty in the area for the family to enjoy. Plus, just s short 8 minute ride into town to enjoy the pubs and shopping of Mullingar.
Donegal and Glencolumbkille Folk Village
The kids are sure to love the Glencolumbkille Folk Village as many children enjoy learning about the history of Ireland and seeing historic houses and artifacts. The village, situated in Ireland Gaeltacht, or Irish speaking region, is a cluster of six small cottages, called the "clachán," perched on a hillside overlooking a sandy curve of nearby Glenbay beach. Each cottage recreates a different era of Irish history, from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries and offers a unique and educational experience that provides a glimpse into rural life
Jurassic Newpark Kilkenny
A perfect option for families or groups seeking a fun day out, Jurassic Newpark is a leisure and entertainment center located in Kilkenny that offers a range of activities for kids and visitors of all ages. It features an indoor play area, an outdoor play area, laser tag, mini-golf, and an arcade, among other things.
Set on 25 acres of landscaped gardens & parkland, Newpark Hotel is already a resort like destination with so many on site attractions meaning you don’t have to leave the hotel unless you want to!
A highlight of any visit to the Newpark is a visit to the mini wildlife farm where the kids can make friends with llamas, alpacas, emus, highland cattle, goats, sheep, ducks, guinea fowl enjoy ‘feeding time’ on the farm, and much more.
Kerry Dark Sky reserve
A protected area in County Kerry. the Kerry Dark Sky Reserve has been designated as a reserve for its exceptional quality of darkness and starry skies. The reserve was established to help preserve the night sky and reduce light pollution, making it an ideal location for stargazing and astronomical observations. It offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the beauty and majesty of the night sky, and provides opportunities for scientific research and education. The Kerry Dark Sky Reserve is open to visitors year-round, although the best viewing conditions are typically during the winter months. Visitors should check with local authorities for information on viewing conditions and any possible restrictions before visiting.
Accommodations Near Dark Sky Reserve
Birr Castle Gardens and Science Center
Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre is a popular destination for families and visitors who are interested in history, science, and gardening, and provides a unique opportunity to learn about the rich scientific heritage of Ireland. A historic castle and estate located in County Offaly, the castle dates back to the 17th century and has been the home of the Parsons family, who were prominent scientists and inventors, for over 350 years.
The castle and its extensive grounds feature a range of attractions, including a Victorian walled garden, an arboretum, and a science museum that showcases the scientific innovations and discoveries of the Parsons family. The Science Centre also features a large telescope, which was one of the largest in the world when it was built in the mid-19th century.
Popular Hotels Near Birr Castle
National Museum of Natural History Dublin
The National Museum of Natural History in Dublin offers a variety of educational and interactive activities for children. Some of the activities that kids might enjoy include:
Hands-on exhibits: The museum has a range of interactive exhibits that allow children to engage with science and nature, including displays of Irish wildlife and geology.
Guided tours: The museum offers guided tours for families and school groups, which provide a fun and educational experience for children.
Workshops and events: The museum regularly hosts workshops, events, and educational programs for children, including science camps, holiday programs, and hands-on workshops.
Discovery Zone: The museum has a dedicated Discovery Zone, which is designed to be a fun and interactive space for children to learn about science and nature.
There is so much to do and see in Ireland that it can be tempting to try to do it all. But taking in too much can require many hours driving which can be boring for teens and younger children. Instead of seeing Ireland from the car window, involve the whole family in the planning and choose a home base near your selected activities and attractions. The kids will be more engaged and have a better time when they are involved infamy decisions around what to see and do.
Packing, unpacking and moving to a different hotel each night can be stressful and detract from your Irish experience. Seeing less can actually be more since you will truly immerse yourself and enjoy your Irish vacation.