Let’s talk about Limerick – a real hidden gem in Ireland! It’s filled with more than just fascinating history, cool art spots, and enough cafes and shops to entertain us adults. There’s a whole heap of exciting things to do in Limerick with kids, too, waiting for your family to discover them.
No holiday pictures are complete without those beaming kiddo smiles. That’s easy in Limerick, as it’s got everything from quiet, chill-out spaces (like those lovely museums) to all-out, laugh-a-minute adventures. Whatever gets your little ones’ hearts racing, I’ve written this guide to family fun in Limerick to help you find the perfect spots.
I’ve rounded up some of the best attractions when you’re wondering what to do with kids in Limerick to save you the research. Think wildlife farms, interactive exhibits, and even ancient castles! This city is like a real-life fairy-tale waiting to be explored by your very own little adventurers.
So, parents, brace yourselves! Get ready to switch up the everyday routine for an unforgettable family adventure. We’re about to dive into the most exciting places to visit with kids in Limerick. This city is all set to give you family memories you’ll be discussing for years to come. Let’s get started!
1. Drop Into Aillwee Cave
Aillwee Cave is a fascinating cave in County Clare, Ireland. It’s part of the Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, and you can take a tour there. The tour lasts about 35 minutes, which keeps it engaging for the kids and ensures they don’t get too tired.
They’ll love exploring the fascinating caverns, walking across the bridges that span the deep gaps, and marveling at the unusual rock formations. Plus, a thrilling waterfall occasionally sprays visitors, adding an extra element of excitement.
This is a fun and educational experience that children will enjoy, and kids aged four and under can join the tour for free. An adult ticket costs €25.00 ($27), while tickets for children aged 5 to 16 cost €15.00 ($17 US).
2. Step Back in Time at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
There are 26 acres of gorgeous countryside surrounding Bunratty Castle. At Bunratty Folk Park, you can explore a “living” village with over 30 buildings. Developers have recreated rural farmhouses, village shops, and streets just like they were in days long past, which is perfect when looking for things to do in Limerick with families.
The thematic representations range from the poorest folks living in tiny one-room houses to the fancy Georgian residence, with the key building being Bunratty House itself.
Bunratty Folk Park is a fantastic place for families and kids because it offers a delightful combination of rare animals and a glimpse into Ireland’s past. The park showcases various popular animals from the early 1900s, such as special breeds of sheep, cows, pigs, ponies, and poultry. They even have extraordinary creatures like Irish red deer, highland cattle, and pigmy goats.
You can take the kids on a journey through history, encounter fascinating animals, and even attend a banquet.
Side note: There are a fair amount of castle hotels in Ireland, too, that are worth checking out.
Make sure to book your car rental in advance! I love using Discover Cars when I travel.
3. Walk Burren Nature Sanctuary
The Burren Nature Sanctuary serves as an essential education center for the natural history of the Burren. It is situated in Cloonasee, just outside the village of Kinvara in County Galway, along the picturesque Wild Atlantic Way. The Burren provides an accessible experience, immersing visitors in the unique Burren landscape, and is one of the best things to do in Ireland with kids.
The Burren Nature Sanctuary showcases distinct Burren habitats, such as shattered limestone, ancient woodland, and a rare disappearing lake. The meadow is a haven for seasonal wildflowers and orchids, offering a stunning display of natural beauty.
Families with young kids enjoy the enchanting fairy woodland and have the opportunity to meet farm animals, including the friendly goat named Frisky. For a special experience, they can even take a fairy pig walk with Emilia, the Juliana pig.
Families can also follow the mapped-out Burren Walk when looking for things to do in Limerick for kids. They can identify flowers in the meadow, search for fairies in the hazel woodland, interact with farm animals, and explore the farming archaeology in the ancient round field and village.
4. Ride at Clarina Equestrian Centre
Established in 1979, the Irish equestrian center is renowned for its top-notch horse riding lessons and trekking adventures amidst the stunning Limerick countryside. It’s conveniently located just a 10-minute drive from Limerick city center.
Clarina is the ideal place for kids and families to embark on their horseback riding journey. A welcoming and hospitable family runs the center, emphasizing safety while fostering a calm learning environment.
In addition to horse riding lessons, the center offers trekking experiences through the picturesque Limerick countryside. Explorers can visit historical sites like Carrigogunnell Castle Ruins, which offer breathtaking views of the Shannon Estuary.
Need a place to stay? Here are some of the best places to stay in Limerick during your trip.
5. Interact With Royal History at King John’s Castle
Located in the heart of Limerick’s medieval quarter, King John’s Castle is a majestic and historical treasure that brings over 800 years of dramatic local history to life. Step inside its magnificent walls and take the whole family on an enchanting journey through time.
A sizable outdoor courtyard, which was once bustling with activity, will welcome you as you enter the castle. Imagine the vibrant scenes that unfolded within these grounds as you explore the space and soak in its rich atmosphere.
The kids will especially love engaging with 21st-century touchscreen technology, marveling at intricately crafted 3D models, and discovering the secrets hidden within the discovery drawer. It’s easy to forge a tangible connection to the castle’s past through these innovative techniques, immersing yourself in tales of siege and warfare.
King John’s Castle ignites curiosity, sparks the imagination, and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for Limerick’s rich heritage.
6. Horse Around at Clonshire Equestrian Center
Another option for horseback riding is Clonshire, which caters to riders of all levels starting from the age of 8 and above. Clonshire offers experienced coaches in disciplines like dressage, showjumping, and cross country, so you can find exactly the horse riding experience you’re looking for.
Clonshire also offers the opportunity to have a relaxing ride in the countryside, where you can enjoy the serene atmosphere while bonding with these magnificent animals. It’s a fantastic activity for kids and families, allowing them to connect with nature and create lasting memories together.
Renting a car? You’ll want to know some tips for driving around Ireland to help you out.
7. See the Mummified Cat at Limerick Museum
Looking for things to do in Limerick with kids when it rains? Get those young, inquisitive minds going when you take the kids to this unique museum. The Limerick Museum showcases a fascinating collection that brings to life the rich history of Limerick and its people. It offers many exhibits, from archaeological artifacts and exquisite local silver to delicate lace and local printing samples.
The museum has an assortment of one-of-a-kind artifacts. Among these is Ireton’s Cat, a perfectly preserved mummified cat found on Nicholas Street back in the 1890s. This rare discovery never fails to captivate visitors, both young and old.
There is also a fragment of the largest meteorite ever to fall in Ireland, an awe-inspiring event that took place in 1813. And two World War II gas masks are on display, which were fortunately never needed, but serve as reminders of a tumultuous era.
Side fact: The Museum was dedicated to the memory of Jim Kemmy, the esteemed former Democratic Socialist Party and Labour Party TD for Limerick East, as well as a two-time Mayor of Limerick
8. Visit the Stone Circle at Lough Gur
Lough Gur is a stunning lake situated in southeast Limerick, just 21 kilometers away from Limerick City. This enchanting location boasts Ireland’s oldest and largest stone circle, making it a significant heritage site. The magical atmosphere around these sites also seems quite appealing to kids.
To meet the growing interest in Lough Gur’s history, folklore, and archaeology, a local historian named Michael Quinlan established the Lough Gur Guides. This group of around ten well-trained guides is dedicated to offering access to the area’s most historic sites and sharing their extensive knowledge warmly and engagingly.
9. Relax in People’s Park
The People’s Park is a well-liked park in Limerick, Ireland, close to Pery Square. It’s conveniently located just west of the railway station and bus terminal. If you’re looking for a great place to have a picnic or take a stroll, People’s Park is the ideal spot.
Several attractions within People’s Park make it worth visiting. You’ll find a beautifully restored drinking fountain, the Limerick City Gallery of Art, a lively children’s playground suitable for toddlers to 10-year-olds, a charming bandstand, and two park shelters.
For families with children aged 4 to 15, the People’s Park offers an extra treat. Kids can embark on eight exciting treasure hunts using the Adventure Walks app on Google Play and the Apple Store. These treasure hunts are designed specifically for families, providing everyone with a fun and engaging experience.
Another of the park’s standout features is its diverse collection of trees. Visitors can admire a wide variety of mature, deciduous, and evergreen trees, including:
- And so many more
During the summer months, the park comes alive with a stunning display of vibrant flowers.
10. Animals Galore at Stonehall Visitor Farm
Stonehall Wildlife Park opened in 2000 and has become a popular destination for families, school trips, birthday parties, and special events. The park is home to a diverse range of animals, including exotic species like llamas, alpacas, ostriches, emus, rheas, wallabies, meerkats, and a variety of parrots and birds of prey from different parts of the world.
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the nature trail, where they can appreciate the rich flora and fauna surrounding them.
Even in unfavorable weather conditions, Stonehall Wildlife Park has something for everyone. They provide an indoor area where visitors can interact with small pets like chipmunks, chinchillas, parrots, and Speedy, the leopard tortoise.
Families are encouraged to bring their own picnic and enjoy it in the park’s indoor play area. The children will have a blast with various go-karts and a bouncy castle.
11. Feel the Magic at Terra Nova Family Garden
Terra Nova Fairy Garden, located in the heart of Co. Limerick, is a magical destination for kids and families. Nestled in a Hobbit House, it offers the country’s largest collection of fairy houses, doors, and fairy garden accessories – most available for purchase.
Take the kids to visit and indulge in a little magic as they marvel at the garden, and then head inside to meet the fairies and little friends available. Let them pick out an ornament to take home with them to remember the visit. These also make for fantastic Irish gift ideas for the folks back home.
Terra Nova Family Garden has been recognized as the Best Garden in Ireland and has continued to captivate visitors for over two decades. The garden is a dynamic and vibrant space filled with surprises at every turn.
12. Tour the Ground at Thomond Park
If sports is your family’s thing, why not tour Thomond Park? Owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union, the park serves as the home ground for Munster Rugby, Shannon RFC, and UL Bohemian RFC, which is one of the best things to do in Limerick with kids if they love sports.
Take an exciting stadium tour that provides a wealth of historical information about this esteemed club. Led by knowledgeable guides, it takes visitors through the museum and behind-the-scenes rooms, ultimately reaching the tunnel and touchline of Thomond Park.
Tours start from around €10 ($12) but need to be booked.
13. Bear Witness to The Treaty Stone
For a bit of critical history when looking for what to do in Limerick with kids, teach your kids about the Treaty Stone. The Treaty Stone is important due to its connection to the Treaty of Limerick. 1691 this significant document was signed on the stone, symbolizing the city’s surrender to William of Orange.
Limerick earned the nickname “Treaty City” because of this historic event. The treaty marked the end of the war between William III of England (also known as William of Orange or “King Billy” in Ireland, specifically)) and his father-in-law, King James II.
Limerick played a crucial role in the successful ascent of William of Orange and his wife, Mary Stuart, to the English throne. The signing of the Treaty, as per tradition, took place in the presence of both armies at the Clare end of Thomond Bridge on October 3rd, 1691.
Since 1865, the Treaty Stone has been placed on a pedestal at the Clare end of Thomond Bridge. It provides kids with a great educational opportunity about an essential part of world and European history.
14. Get Some Fresh Air at Curraghchase Forest Park
Curraghchase Forest Park is a family-friendly nature-based destination. Spanning 313 hectares, this park encompasses a diverse mix of woodlands, parkland, and lakes, offering a thriving habitat for numerous plants and animals.
The park boasts a variety of looped trails suitable for different types of visitors. For wheelchair users and families seeking a leisurely walk, there are multi-access trails available. On the other hand, those seeking more challenging options can explore the longer Curragh and Glenisla trails, perfect for walking and cycling enthusiasts.
When planning a visit, it’s important to note that the park’s gates automatically close at different times depending on the season. The gates close at 9 pm in summer, while in winter, they close at 6 pm. To ensure a smooth visit, checking the specific gate closure times before arriving is advisable.
To access the park, there is an admission fee of €5 per car, which includes the opportunity to enjoy the park’s diverse range of trails. Here are more details on some of them:
Glenisla Walking Trail
The Glen Inca Trail is great for families and kids who enjoy walking and cycling. While walking or cycling on this trail, you’ll experience a gentle slope, occasional uneven surfaces with loose stones, protruding roots, and dips.
The trail takes you through a beautiful forest with mature broadleaf and conifer trees. You’ll come across an old cave and impressive limestone cliff walls along the way.
The trail also passes by Glenisca Lough, a picturesque lake with changing water levels throughout the year. As an added bonus, an old Yew woodland habitat is in the process of being restored, where you can see some amazing hundred-year-old Yew trees from the trail.
Curragh Walking Trail
The Curragh Trail is another fantastic option for families and kids looking for a multi-use walking and cycling trail. It’s suitable for occasional walkers and cyclists and offers a generally low gradient with reasonably smooth surfaces.
Be mindful of loose stones and protruding roots along the way, as they can cause the occasional stumble or trip-up. The trail takes you through a beautiful forest with mature broadleaf and conifer trees, following old estate drives for a portion of the route.
The trail is shaded by the tree canopy for most of its length, providing a pleasant and sheltered experience.
This multi-access trail is suitable for people of all abilities and offers wide sections of smooth forest roads and trails. Whether using a wheelchair, a bike with stabilizers, or simply walking, this loop is accessible to all.
From the car park, follow the white markers to enter a forest road. Along the trail, you’ll cross over a weir that helps maintain a high water level in the lake.
From there, you’ll turn right onto the lakeside path, where you’ll find benches to rest and enjoy the view of the old house or feed the ducks. Cross the two bridges onto Lady’s Island before returning to the car park to complete the loop.
The Arboretum Trail provides a delightful stroll through the historic arboretum of CurraghChase, where you can discover a variety of trees commonly found in the country’s southwest region.
Visitors to Ireland may be surprised by the diverse range of trees that thrive here, thanks to the warm air and sea currents brought by the Gulf Stream. The trail guides you close to these magnificent trees, and informative “signal signs” are placed along the way, offering interesting facts about each tree.
While the trail can be completed in about 20 minutes, it’s recommended to allow 40 minutes to an hour to fully appreciate and learn about these beautiful trees.
No matter which one of these things to do in Limerick with kids that you pick, you can be sure the whole family will have a blast!