Last Updated on June 15, 2023
We have accumulated the best of the best places you should not miss out on when you are planning your holidays or a day out with the family. We love travelling in Ireland. The landscapes are breathtaking, you can get from the top of a mountain to the sea within minutes and there are always some local attractions that surprise you on the way. Shoes on, snacks packed, buggy folded; getting everyone ready in the car with kids is a proper effort that can take quite some time. That’s why you have got to make most of your travels. Here, we want to show you child-approved and honest reviews about the best family-friendly places. Have a great day out with your family, take some cute photos and make unforgettable memories.
1. Dublin Zoo & Phoenix Park
When visiting Dublin Zoo, you get to see everything from cute and cuddly to dangerous and exotic animals in a great setting for the whole family to enjoy. If you ever wanted to look eye to eye with a giraffe, you should definitely go to Dublin Zoo. The savannah setting where you can find giraffes, rhinos, zebras and ostriches is exceptionally well designed. You are on a heightened platform that overlooks the entire habitat and is on the same height as giraffes heads. Visiting Dublin Zoo is like getting two experiences in one. There is the zoo which is great, but also the zoo is located within Phoenix Park where you can see wild deer running around a vast grassy area and have fun on the playground for hours.
|Price||€50.50 per Family|
|Food||Meerkat Restaurant, The Cove and Nakuru Cafe got you sorted for full meals and snacks|
Unfortunately, this location was reported permanently closed.
Imaginosity is an exceptional place to visit for anyone who wants to play and learn about life in Ireland creatively. Kids can freely explore the attractions in any order. The first part of the exhibition is designed as a typical Irish town with all its service buildings such as a garage, post office, ice cream shop, doctor and supermarket just that they are all child-sized. It is basically a city for kids. Each of the exhibits has fun wooden toys for kids to play with and create their own story. All exhibits are interactive, encourage playing and trying out new activities. Every visit to Imaginosity is unique to every child because you decide what you want to interact and play with.
|Price||€8 per Person for 2 hours|
|Age||0 – 12|
|Food||Small Café in the museum|
Did you enjoy this little insight into the must-visit places to visit for a day out in Dublin? There are so many things to do in Dublin with kids from go-karts to beautiful castles you can spend days exploring and find something for everyone.
3. Tayto Park – A Must Visit
Visiting Tayto is for many a childhood dream come true. Mr Tayto is everywhere in this park and so are his famous crisps. Apart from that, there are hundreds of rides and places to explore. The park’s layout is very convenient, in one part you’ll find a small zoo, an area for younger kids and on the other side an area for older kids and in between, there are ginormous dinosaurs. You can spend the entire day at this park without having tried everything. There are special wristbands that enable you to go on some of the rides and attractions. If your kids love to go on most rides at funfairs, I would recommend buying the wristband in advance, but for our kids, it was not necessary. You can purchase tokens for €2 per ride to go on the rides you want. We absolutely loved our trip there and are planning to come back soon.
|Price||Entry Fee Only €18 per Person|
All-Access Wristband including Entry Fee €36.50 per Person
|Food||You’ll find plenty of freshly made crisps, pizza, burgers and a restaurant in the park.|
4. Clara Lara Funpark – Active Kids are Happy Kids
When the sun is out pack your bags and jump in the water. This place is a perfect combination of playing on land and in water. You can get heated up climbing on a treehouse and mastering an obstacle course and afterwards cool down in the nice lake water. You have a water slide, small go-karts, mini-golf, rowing boats, canoes and a spot to have a BBQ to keep your nourished. This park promises lots of fun, active movement and spending time in nature for the whole family.
|Price||€16 per Adult, €22 per Child|
Children aged 4 and under go free
|Age||4 – 13|
|Food||Bring your own and have a BBQ or get some burgers, sandwiches and ice cream at the picnic restaurant|
5. Castlecomer Discovery Park – Nature and Adventure in One
This Park is exceptionally outstanding because it has such a great variety of activities on offer that you can spend the entire day there without noticing how time passes. Time flies when you’re having fun, but at Castlecomer, you can actually fly on a zip-line through the trees. There is a tree-top walk for kids seeking an adrenaline kick, canoeing and archery for older children and teens. For younger children, there is also a woodland course similar to the tree-top walk, a playground and a fairy village. You can also spend time together as a family visiting the coal mining museum or completing a digital scavenger hunt which my kids particularly enjoy. Long story short, at Castlecomer Discovery Park, should definitely be on your travel bucket list. On top of that the park is a not-for-profit organisation, how great is that?
|Price||€5 Parking |
Tree-Top Walk €13 pp. , Woodland Course €5 pp. , Zipline €16 pp. find more info here
|Food||Bring your own or visit the Canopy Café to get some coffee and snacks|
6. Wells House & Gardens – Meet the Gruffalo
Going to Wells House is one of our favourite weekend activities. It is relaxing, you can go for walks through beautiful woodlands and gardens, and the kids have a great time looking at the animals and playing on the playground. It’s a great option for a family day out. Older kids can try themselves out by shooting some bow and arrow, the small animal farm is cute for everyone to look at and the fairy walk in the woods is the best one I’ve seen so far. Fairy doors are everywhere, whenever we come back we spot some more that we’ve missed before. On the walk, you can find beautiful wooden sculptures that take you into a world of enchantment. Wells House also offers guided tours of the house to bring you into a different century and listen to the long history of being home to powerful families. There are also speciality craft stores perfect for getting a small souvenir that is handmade and locally produced.
|Price||Parking €11.50 |
House Tour €8 per adult, €4 per child
|Food||Great picnic area or visit Mrs Stone’s Restaurant for traditional Irish cuisine|
7. Irish National Stud & Gardens – Beautiful Gardens
Meet legendary, award-winning horses and lose yourself in the beauty of idyllic gardens at the Irish National Stud. A must-visit for every horse enthusiast and great for a peaceful family day out. Get to know Lola, Bumble, Glimmer and many more of the residential fairies on a Fairy Trail around the Stud. There is also a small playground for kids to let out their excess energy. Don’t miss out on the Japanese Garden; it is a must-see! Follow the journey of a ‘Life of a Man’, each part of the garden is a named after a different part of every person’s journey through life. You will get mesmerised by its beauty and peacefulness.
|Price||Online price €31.50 per family, Stud and Gardens included|
|Food||Japanese Garden Restaurant serving Irish cuisine including lunch and treats|
8. Lough Key Boda Borg – Challenge Accepted
Enjoy a walk among the treetops on a comfortable wooden platform walk that allows you to view the beautiful landscapes of Lough Key from high up. This tour also includes entering underground tunnels and a 5-story viewing tower. There also offers a great adventure playground for small children. Lough Key has many more adventurous activities to provide such as ZipIt forest adventure or renting an electric bike for a spin around the park.
Solve the quests by overcoming 47 exciting challenges and obstacles with ingenuity, strength and teamwork at Boda Borg. This unique experience is similar to an escape room just much larger, with lots of fun activities along the way. Solving the quests is going to get everyone involved and is good for a day out together.
|Price||Treetop walk €22 family price|
Playground €5 pp.
Boda Borg €17.50 pp.
|Age||Treetop walk: All Ages |
Boda Borg: 7+ Years-Old
|Food||Lakeside Cafe offering pizza, sandwiches and snacks|
9. Eagles Flying Centre – Face to Face with Birds of Prey
If you are looking for a great family day out, this place is for you. Eagles Flying Centre is home to over 100 birds of prey and altogether more than 450 animals! You can view the animals around the park and twice daily there is an hour-long interactive bird show led by scientists. The bird show is going to amaze you and your children. You will not only learn valuable information about the life of these birds they will also be flying right over your heads! Not to worry, the birds are very well trained, but nothing gives you quite the same rush as a bird’s feathers nearly touching the tip of your hair. Some of the owls, hawks and eagles are so friendly. Visitors are allowed to pet them. The pet zoo allows children to handle under supervision guinea pigs, raccoons, pigs and even foxes. The staff is very involved in this experience to make sure every family has a great time out.
|Price||€49.50 per Family|
|Food||BYO or visit the Coach House Hotel (5 mins down the road) and get a discount when showing your Eagles Flying Centre Tickets at Lunch|
10. Fota Wildlife Park – Welcome to the Jungle
We had to mention this fantastic zoo on Fota Island with so many different animals, including big cats like cheetahs, lions, tigers and small animals like meerkats. Going on a tour through the wildlife park can be extra fun by going on a ride on the park train. You are also able to feed ducks with duck food, and a visit to the playground should not be missed out on. If you want to watch seals and penguins being fed, no worries, the feeding times are twice daily. Fota also offers an optional guided tour through the park for an extra fee. Kids will definitely have a great time at this wildlife park and learn along the way valuable information about all their favourite animals.
|Price||€45.50 per Family|
|Food||Plenty of space for picnics or eat at the Savannah or Oasis Café offering hot meals and snacks|
11. West Cork Model Railway Village – All Aboard
Is your child a fan of Thomas and Friends or just generally obsessed with trains? Take your train fanatic child to this place, and you will make him or her the happiest little person on this planet. West Cork Model Railway Village is great for a visit for anyone on holidays in West Cork because it shows a miniature version of the West Cork railway line as it was in the 1940s. For older kids, this is a great history lesson as they can see how life was back then. You can explore the life-sized models of some of the landmarks displayed by going on a ride on the Road Train through Clonakilty village. For the kids, it will be extra exciting to find the miniature versions of the buildings they passed on the train ride in the model village. There is an indoor and an outdoor play area, and you can steer remote control boats along a model harbour with your family.
|Price||€8.50 per Adult, €5 per Child|
|Age||0 – 10 and all train enthusiasts|
|Food||Bring yourself some food or have a treat and coffee at the Village Café|
12. Toy Soldier Factory – Make Your Own Toy
What child would not love to make their very own customised toy? In Kilnamartyra, this dream can come true! Make a fairy, ballerina, soldier, werebat or football player yourself at the Toy Soldier Factory. Get inspired by walking through the shop and the astonishing display of old fashioned hand-made toys. You might walk away with more toys than you anticipated. The staff is there to guide you along the way on a 60 min workshop. You choose a cast of the shape of toy you would like, and after you get to paint it in any colour, you would like. Themed toys are available to be made depending on the season such as Easter bunnies, pumpkins or Christmas ornaments. It’s an excellent idea for a handmade gift for granny and grandpa or to have a lovely souvenir from a trip to Cork.
|Price||€12 per Person|
|Age||4 – 14|
|Food||13 mins drive away from Ballyvourney, visit Mills Inn for a delicious lunch|
13. Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium – Swim with the Fish
Visit the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium and learn all about exotic species of sea life. For adventurous visitors, there are also piranhas, sharks and crocodiles to look at. This aquarium offers not only sea creatures but also butterflies, penguins and otters, which makes it feel more like a small zoo. What I love about this place is that it offers the cinematic experience of walking through a water tunnel and having fish swim over your heads. For little ones, there is also a fun indoor play area. Kids love animals, and looking at fish up close is fascinating for everyone.
|Price||€47 per Family|
|Food||Grab a little treat at Coffee Dock at the entrance of the Aquarium|
*Prices are accurate for August 2020