Ireland is a top vacation location and there are a wide range of activities suited to the smallest members of the family. Here's some inspiration.
Whether it’s exploring the beauty of nature or exploring castles, children of all ages will enjoy learning all about Ireland.
Great fun outdoors
The Giant’s Causeway located in Northern Ireland is a great place to visit with children. The 50-60 million years old basalt hexagonal column formations are fun to climb. The legend that goes along with this unique landscape is sure to inspire hours of imaginative play among the small ones.
The Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot-high cliffs are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland. These cliffs are the infamous Cliffs of Insanity in the movie The Princess Bride, any daring child will love walking along the trails and taking in the breath-taking view. Be sure and check the weather before making this trip, it is not one for rainy, windy days.
If your children love animals, then they will not be disappointed while vacationing in Ireland. Some unique experiences await while visiting the Emerald Isle.
Crag Cave and Kingdom Falconry, located in County Kerry, provides an exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with birds of prey and exploring caverns. The whole family can explore the stalactite-ridden, million-year-old tunnels. Then, treat yourselves to a guided hawk tour or flight demonstrations of trained hawks, owls, and falcons.
“Take a trip to the Dingle Peninsula for some dolphin and whale spotting. Home to Fungie the Dolphin, there are many different tours offered to take advantage of seeing this friendly dolphin, as well as whales and dolphin pods,” recommends Samantha Nicks, a travel blogger at Writinity and Last Minute Writing. Not to mention caves and fossils as well. It has got something for everyone!
Exploring the past
If hands-on history interests your children, the following activities will have your kids learning about Ireland while still being active and on the go.
Muckhouse Abbey and Traditional Farms, located between Cork and Dublin, is one of the coolest places to visit for kids, giving them a look at what life was like 200 years ago. There are fun activities to dive into, such as a Gaelic games workshop and a traditional baking class to name a few.
No trip to Ireland can be complete without a visit to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Many interesting legends surround the stone itself for inquisitive young minds. Also, being hung upside down to kiss the stone is sure to be a giggle-fest for children and adults alike.
Ireland boasts plenty of haunted places to visit, a must for the harder to entertain mature child or teenager.
Hook Lighthouse is the world’s oldest working lighthouse. At 800 years old, regular daily tours are sure to be a fun activity for older kids and teens. However, for something utterly unique, head over for the annual Halloween ghost tours of this spectacular building.
“If you need to see more spooky sights, take a six-minute journey up to Loftus Hall, the most haunted house in Ireland. People have long been reporting mysterious happenings while touring this old mansion, sure to entertain young minds,” says Harry Matheson, a journalist at Draftbeyond and Researchpapersuk.
City dwellers, do not worry, there are many delightful things to do with the whole family while keeping close to the action.
Trinity College Library in Dublin is a family favorite, home to the Book of Kells. After admiring this beautiful work, the kids will be astonished by the floor-to-ceiling books in the Long Room, truly a sight to behold! A perfect bit of sightseeing on a rainy day in Dublin.
The Waterford Crystal Factory boasts a fun family day out in the city. This fun-filled tour details the entire process of creating a Waterford Crystal piece, which fascinates young minds. Ireland has an endless mix of variety for the whole family to enjoy, whether it is romping through nature or exploring its cities. Be sure to plan for the trip, as some of the above activities are seasonal and weather permitting. Wherever you visit in Ireland, your family is sure to have an incredible time.
* Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Lucky Assignments Cardiff and Gum Essays and has been working as a journalist and travel writer for fifteen years. She winters across India and Nepal each year, traveling, exploring, and learning about the diversity of cultures.