I love Ireland for many reasons, one of those being it’s a very kid-friendly country! Even before I had kids, I would love to see children in the pub with their parents having dinner and talking to the locals. Now that I have two boys of my own, I can’t wait to show them one of my favorite countries and explore all the amazing things to do with kids in Ireland.
While I do bring my kids to tourist attractions when I travel, sometimes you need to carve out a little “kid time” to let them get their energy out. I’ve found that this ends up with the whole family happier, so we always make sure to find parks, museums, and plenty of kid-friendly activities to do each day.
If you’re planning a family vacation in Ireland, here are some fun things to do in Ireland with kids of all ages.
1. Explore Adventure Kids Wicklow
If you’re looking to get your children away from any technology and out into nature, then Adventure Kids in Laragh, Wicklow, is the perfect place to do so.
Each week, an enthusiastic trail running leader known as JuJu Jay holds an adventure session. The session comprises of a running trail, trail running drills, balance exercises, and relay races. If there’s time and the weather permits, the kids will even get a chance to go for a swim in the nearby river.
Parents are also encouraged to participate in the fun, so don’t be afraid to get a little sweaty or uncomfortable at one of the best things to do with kids in Ireland.
2. Climb Up the Cliffs at Giants Causeway
No visit to the Emerald Isle would be complete without visiting one of Ireland’s famous landmarks, the Giant’s Causeway.
There are many theories about how this incredible cliff came into existence. According to local legend, an Irish giant and a Scottish giant tore up pieces of the Antrim Coastline to build a road. The purpose of this was to meet each other halfway and engage in a battle.
This natural wonder is, in fact, the result of an underwater volcanic eruption that formed around 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns. This place is perfect for kids, as they can run around and jump from one column to the next.
In addition to this, there are many other kid-friendly activities in and around the area like the Giant’s Boot, the Wishing Chair, and the Giant’s Causeway & Bushmill. The Causeway Coast is also one of the most scenic drives in Ireland that you can take, and will make for a good bonding experience with your kids.
3. Get Wet at Dunmore Adventure Park
Looking for somewhere with water activities when looking for what to do with kids in Ireland? Then I would definitely recommend a visit to Dunmore Adventure Park. They have got every kind of adventurous water activity that you can think of.
Here you can enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, and even a sea safari. Then there’s an exciting collection of sea slides, wipeout course, water swings, towers, and jumping castles.
If getting wet isn’t for you or your kids, not to worry; they’ve got a number of land activities as well. These include caving, archery, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, and escape caves, giving you plenty of options.
If getting wet isn’t for you or your kids, not to worry; they’ve got a number of land activities as well. These include caving, archery, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, and escape caves, giving you plenty of options for things to do in Ireland with kids.
4. Explore the Cliffs of Moher
If you and your kids are massive Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings fans, then you might enjoy a visit to the iconic Cliffs of Moher. These impressive 700-foot cliffs are one of the most popular attractions in Ireland, and they are also a popular filming location.
You might even recognize these cliffs from the movie Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. The area surrounding the cliffs is astoundingly beautiful with jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a great place for a family day out in Ireland, and both you and your kids can admire the gorgeous landscape and enjoy some fresh air.
Apart from admiring the area’s beauty, there is a lot to do here. For starters, you can enjoy an audio tour where you can learn everything you need to know about these stunning cliffs as well as more about the surrounding County Clare area.
Then there is the exciting Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center. This quirky activity center was built around the Lord of The Rings movie and was built to resemble the character Frodo Baggins’ home.
Inside this cave-like structure, there are a range of fun activities for everyone to enjoy. One of these in particular is the “Cliff-Edge” virtual reality experience, where kids can experience what it would be like to stand on the edge of the cliffs without real danger. This is undoubtedly much to the relief of many parents.
Then there’s also the easy hike up to O’Brien’s Tower, a vantage point built in 1835. It is believed to be the oldest attraction in Ireland and has served as a lookout point for tourists visiting Ireland for years. From here, you and your family can enjoy undisrupted views of Galway Bay and the neighboring islands.
A day trip to the Cliffs of Moher is really the perfect way to spend the day out with your family.
5. Horse Ride in Dingle
Book a horse riding trek with Dingle Horse Riding for a memorable activity with kids in Ireland. They offer scenic horse riding tours along the Dingle Peninsula and Wild Atlantic Way in County Kerry.
Tours last from one hour to full or half day tours. These tours cater to all ages and horse riding levels and are bound to be exciting. You’ll travel along the beach, mountains and the Kerry countryside, and there are plenty of other things to do in Dingle when you’re done.
6. Dolphin Spot Along the Dingle Peninsula
Dingle Peninsula is widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. So, naturally this stunning area of coastline would be the first pick when it comes to enjoying a dolphin spotting tour.
Dolphins are playful and friendly creatures; thus, a dolphin spotting tour is a top children’s activity. Around the peninsula, there is one dolphin in particular that you should keep an eye out for, and that’s Fungie.
Fungie is a bottlenose dolphin that was first spotted in Dingle Harbor in 1983. Since then, he’s become a local resident and loves the attention of humans. He is known to interact with fishermen, tourists, surfers, swimmers, and kayakers.
If you visit between April and September, you’ll stand a good chance of spotting numerous dolphin pods and even some whales. If you’ve been wondering what to do in Dingle the next time you’re there, you may want to book a dolphin spotting tour as it will be a lot of fun.
7. Visit the Trinity College Library
If your kids are keen little bookworms, then there’s no better place to encourage your children’s love of reading than at the Trinity College Library. At first glance, a visit to the library may not seem like one of the most fun family activities in Ireland, but the Trinity College Library really is a special place.
The library is the oldest and largest in Ireland, and it was built back in 1592 and has over 6 million books. These range from a variety of topics, from journals and manuscripts to maps and books about music.
They recently added a section with children’s books about various kids’ experiences of their time in lockdown. The section comprises different materials such as artwork, books, photographs, and poetry from a number of children across Ireland aged four to twelve.
A visit to the Trinity College Library will have kids blown away as they are transported to a magical world complete with spiral ceilings, arched ceilings, and a ton of wonderful books.
8. Take a Trip Down to Kylemore Abbey
The 150-year-old Kylemore Abbey is one of the most idyllic places to visit in Ireland. It’s known for its wonderful gardens and panoramic views of the Connemara area, but it’s also one of the best places for a fun family day out.
The Kylemore Abbey Estate is made up of over 1,000 acres of land and features woodlands, gardens, and historic buildings. It’s a hive of activity, and there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
If you’re keen on spending the day outdoors, there are various hiking trails and a secret walled garden waiting to be explored. What’s great about Kylemore Abbey is they have activities designed specifically for children, so you’ll love these family activities in Ireland.
One of their activities is called the History Hunter, which encourages children to tap into their adventurous side and become little explorers. This treasure hunt gives them a map and takes them all around the estate to find and collect little items.
Then there’s their Wild Play area near the Victorian Walled Garden, where they can play to their heart’s content. If they enjoy cooking, you can take them to the Chocolate Kitchen, where they can watch as nuns make handmade chocolates and even give it a go themselves.
If you have little girls, they in particular might enjoy a tea party at the Tea House, also located near the Victorian Walled Gardens.
For family days out in Ireland, I would definitely recommend a visit to Kylemore Abbey.
9. Day Trip to the Skellig Islands
If you and your kids have ever wanted to channel your inner Jedi and live out your Star Wars fantasies, then the Skellig Islands are a great place to do so. You might recognize these interesting-looking islands from the Star Wars movies: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
The Skellig Islands are a set of two other-worldly-looking rock islands known as Great Skellig and Little Skellig, just off the southwestern coast of Ireland. They are both uninhabited and only the larger one is accessible.
You can enjoy a tour that will take you around both islands and then hop off at Great Skellig. As you circle around the islands, you will get to appreciate and marvel at how beautiful and grand they are. You might even spot a few dolphins swimming alongside your boat as you approach.
Once you arrive at the larger island, you get to explore the historic sites, see various birds and take in the views of the wonderful surroundings, making it one of the dreamiest things to do in Ireland with kids.
10. Zip Line at Zipit Forest Adventures
If your kids have ever wanted to be Tarzan or George of the Jungle, then they can happily do so at Zipit Forest Adventures. Zipit has various outdoor family activities near Dublin, Roscommon, and Cork.
Some of their thrilling adventures include over 1 mile of forest treetop challenges, such as high ropes with wooden platforms that wrap around trees. You can tackle ladders, rope bridges, and swing logs as you make your way around the various circuits.
Then there’s also ziplining, an activity that any adrenaline junkie would enjoy. Feel the wind brush through your hair as you whiz from one end of the forest to the next. What’s great about Zipit is they have various ziplining routes that all vary in length and duration so you can pick one that’s right for you and your child.
Kids who are seven and above are allowed to participate in all activities, and Zipit is really a place to enjoy a family day out when you need fun things to do in Ireland for kids.
11. Spend the Day at Redhills Adventure
Situated just a few miles, out away from Kildare Outlet Village, sits an adventure ground like no other. For more adrenaline-driven activities, this is the place to be.
Redhills Adventure caters to large families with kids who like to be outdoors. Their range of activities includes target tag archery, where you can learn to shoot a bow and arrow. Then they also have adult paintball and junior paintball for children ages seven and up.
If you’re looking for a less painful alternative to paintball, they also have Airsoft Combat Games, which is quite similar to paintball. The only difference is more realistic equipment is used, but it is also low impact so you don’t have to worry about your kids getting hurt.
Kids ages 11 and up can enjoy this activity, which is led by expert marshals and features a number of different game modes.
12. Jump Around at Jump Zone Indoor Trampoline and Adventure Park
There’s no better way to help your kids get rid of any extra energy they might have than at the Jump Zone Indoor Trampoline and Adventure Park. It is Ireland’s first trampoline park and has locations in Liffey Valley, Sandyford and Santry.
Children from the ages of five and adults can enjoy numerous activities, such as free jumping around on trampolines and foam pits. The foam pits allow everyone to try out any acrobatic tricks they may have in mind while ensuring a safe landing.
Then there’s also the dodgeball court that seems to be particularly popular with older kids and adults, as well as various climbing frames. No matter what you’re into, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy at Jump Zone.
13. Enjoy a Canoeing Adventure
As far as things to do with kids in Ireland go, a peaceful canoeing tour down the Barrow River is one of the top things you can do.
Go With the Flow River Safari offers unique half-day and full-day tours that will take you through scenic waterways. You’ll get to enjoy the dramatic landscape around you and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
You and the kids will even have a few opportunities to stop and swim in some of the sheltered pools around the area. And if that wasn’t enough, they also throw in a picnic to keep you well fed during your trip.
14. Get Your Energy Out at Avon Activity Center
The Avon Activity Center is just a 30-minute drive from Dublin in Blessington. It’s the perfect place for a day trip from Dublin, as it’s a place filled with thrilling adventures.
On the stunning Blessington Lake, you can enjoy water activities, including kayaking, swimming, and stand-up paddleboarding. On land, you’ll find numerous hiking and biking trails to enjoy. Then there are also climbing walls, archery, and even air rifle shooting.
After a full day of activities, you can sit down at The Big Blue Bus Pizzeria and enjoy a freshly made pizza of your choice while overlooking Blessington Lake.
15. Go Skiing in Kilternan
If you’ve ever wanted to take your kids skiing, but can’t afford to trek out all the way to the Swiss Alps, then no need to worry. You can do so for a fraction of the cost at the Ski Club of Ireland at the Kilternan Golf and Country Club.
It is situated between Kilternan and Enniskerry and promises to be a fun day out in the snow. The club offers ski and snowboarding lessons for kids of all ages. They also offer full day ski courses, night ski sessions, and practice sessions for those already familiar with the slopes
16. Splash Around at Baysports Athlone
The Baysports park in Athlone is the largest inflatable water park in Ireland, and it even has a Guinness World Record award to prove it. Thus, you can be assured that you and your kids will be in for a day of fun here.
The park is spread over 15,000 square feet and is a huge playground for kids and adults alike. Here you can enjoy water slides, towers, and jumping castles.
In addition to this, they also have boat trips, kayak and pedal boat rentals, and rafting. After a day on the water, you can grab something to eat at their funky food truck called the BayCafe.
17. Go Kart at the Kiltorcan Raceway
Prepare to get your adrenaline pumping at the Kiltorcan Raceway in Kilkenny. If your kids have ever dreamt of being a Formula One driver, there’s no better place to live out that dream than at this race track.
The Kiltorcan Raceway features over 3,000 feet of a race track. It is rated as Ireland’s top outdoor racing track and has sessions available for all ages from five and up.
They have a range of world-class go-karts that can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. You can choose between a one or two-person seater and book the whole track or sections of the track from up to 15 minutes to several hours.
18. Get Lost in the Kildare Maze
The Kildare Maze is one of the largest maze complexes in Ireland, situated in the northern Kildare countryside. They have a traditional hedge maze, as well as a wooden maze, both of which make for an interesting adventure.
They also have an adventure trail, zip-wire, toddler play area, and golf course, making it the perfect place for a family outing.
19. Explore the We Are Vertigo Adventure Park
There is so much to do at the We Are Vertigo Adventure Park that it may even be hard to decide what you want to do.
They have the largest indoor inflatable park, spanning a whopping 30,000 square feet, with a ton of courses and play areas. Then there’s their ninja master course and indoor climbing areas, which are pretty cool.
And if that wasn’t enough, they also have an indoor sky-diving arena. If you’re having trouble deciding what to do here, I recommend booking their multi-adventure package that allows you access to everything.
20. Stop at the Killary Adventure Center
If you’re looking for a place to spend some quality family time together, the Killary Adventure Center in Galway is a great place to do so. They have over 20 different water and land activities to choose from when visiting Galway for one day.
Their land activities include a high ropes course, archery, rock climbing, and gorge walking. On the other hand, their water activities include stand-up paddleboarding, boat trips, and kayaking.
21. Relax at Glencar Waterfall
Ireland has a number of incredible waterfalls, and one worth discovering is the magical Glencar Waterfall near Glencar Lough. A short wooded walk will lead you to this stunning 50-foot-tiered waterfall at one of the most incredible things to do in Ireland with kids..
It’s a great place to sit and have a picnic while taking in the stunning views of the area around you. And there’s a kids’ playground too, where the little ones can run around.
22. Visit Pirate Adventure Park in Westport House
The Pirate Adventure Park in Westport House, County Mayo, has everything you need for the perfect day out with kids.
Think go-karting, waterslides, and carnival rides. Then there are also bouncy castles, swan boats, and train rides. There’s something for everyone to enjoy here, which is why it is one of the top theme parks to visit in Ireland.
23. Stargaze at the Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve
Ireland is well-known for its rugged landscape and stunning natural areas, and the Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve is no exception.
The reserve is situated between the Kerry Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean and is a magnificent area to take your kids too. This 270-square-mile area is the perfect place for stargazing. It offers dark, unpolluted light skies, where you can see star constellations and even planets.
I recommend visiting here to create family memories that will last a lifetime.
24. Learn at the CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory
Located just 15 minutes away from Cork’s city center, sits the CIT Black Rock Castle Observatory. While it is pretty close to the city, it’s far enough away from the city lights to get amazing views of galaxies, planets, and constellations.
The observatory has a planetarium, interactive exhibits, and numerous telescopes to help kids explore the world around them. There’s even a virtual astronaut and a galactic email station where kids can send an email into space and track it.
25. Discover History in the Titanic Quarter
If history is something that intrigues your kids, then a visit to the Titanic Quarter in Belfast might just make for a fun family day out. Most people are familiar with the story of The Titanic, but what better way is there to really get to know this incredible ship than in the city it was built in?
The Titanic Museum is the largest exhibition dedicated to the impressive ship. Here you’ll learn everything about the history of this ocean liner through interactive exhibits, artifacts, photographs, and replicas of its interior.
You can even enjoy a virtual experience where you can walk the decks of the Titanic and go back in time to when the ship launched.
Once you’ve completed a tour of the museum, you can wander around the Titanic Quarter, where you’ll find a range of shops, maritime landmarks, restaurants, and even film studios. There are many other things to do in Belfast with kids if you’ll be there for a bit.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Ireland with kids! Which one are you most excited about?