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The Best Family Day Trips in Ireland

Updated: Sep 28, 2021


  1. Tayto Park! Ireland's favorite crisp has now become Irelands favorite theme park. It is located in the townland of Kilbrew, in County Meath. With ever growing plans including a €15million investment in 2 new steel rollercoasters to supplement the wooden Cu Culhain ride and he water based viking voyage, a new 'car driving' school for kids, an ever expanding zoo with lions and tigers and bears oh my... to the huge zip lines, climbing walls, 5D cinema and much more, its easy to see why over 600,000 people come here every year. Tickets are around €30 pp.

2. The EPIC Museum. Situated in the CHQ building on the River Liffey in Dublin this museum is now has a pride of place as one of Irelands leading tourist attractions. Winner of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards 2019 & 2020. A Museum Experience Like No Other. You won’t find leprechauns or pots of gold here, but you will discover that what it means to be Irish expands far beyond the borders of Ireland through the stories of Irish emigrants who became scientists, politicians, poets, artists and even outlaws all over the world. It is specially geared towards giving kids a fun and interactive experience that they won't forget. Tickets are around €16 pp.

3. Go With the Flow Canoeing Adventures

Located on the waters of the Barrow in Co Carlow are perfect for family-friendly adventures.The Barrow is one of the safest rivers in Ireland. Their water-based safaris take you through picturesque and dramatic landscapes, wooded valleys and the odd rushing water thrill ride. Each trip also includes a picnic stop and ample opportunities to swim in the crystal clear sheltered pools dotted along the river.

Go With the Flow safaris are suitable for all ages.

More info: Go With the Flow

4. Loughrew Estate. Perfect for a day out with the whole family, with something for all ages.

You can go for either a half- or a full day, where a half day includes three activities, and a full one includes up to six. There's zip lining, rock climbing, water activities and brain teasers. All set in glorious woodland and only a few minutes from Oldcastle, Co Meath and only an hour’s drive from Dublin.

PS. Bringing spare clothes and shoes as things do get muddy!

More info: Loughcrew Estate 

5. Inflatable Fun in the Sun in Dublin’s New Waterpark

Dun Laoghaire harbour is the setting for Dublin's only inflatable water park. Closed in 2020 it is set reopen in May 2021. This addition to Dublin’s list of family activities will be a great day adventure for hot summer days (when we get them!).

The installation will include an obstacle course, climbing frames, barges and much more.

More info:

6. Adventure Kids Wicklow

Adventure Kids Wicklow is a kids trail running where they get to run, jump and have lots of fun in nature.

Located in Laragh at the St Kevins School Car Park, Brockagh, the sessions are held weekly by JuJu Jay – a fun loving trail runner who is more than able to show the kids how to enjoy the adventure. If the weather permits, river swims are part of the fun and parents are encouraged to join in as well!

More info: Visit Wicklow 

7. Skiing in Kilternan Wicklow

Who needs the Swiss alps? The Ski Club of Ireland at Kilternan Golf and Country Club between Kilternan, Co Dublin, and Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. Kilternan Ski Club offers ski- and snowboard lessons for kids of all ages as well as day courses, freestyle nights and practice sessions for the one who’s already got the hang of the basics. We brought James here for a lesson a few years ago and he loved it!

More info: Ski Club Kilternan 

8. White Water Rafting the Rapids in Dublin

Opened in 2009 by the team at the Canoe Centre in Palmerstown, was established to give clients a unique, fun & safe way to discover the hidden gem that is the the Strawberry Beds & Liffey Valley area from a unique vantage point on the River Liffey. All of their raft guides are all IRF (International Raft Federation) qualified and have countless hours of experience working on the river so guests are in safe hands. If you don’t see an activity that fits with your plans then give the office a call or send an email. The team offer sublime riverside facilities and BBQ options to transform your event.

More info:

9. Climb New Heights in Killiney Hill Park

Just an hour south of Dublin City Centre, located at the seaside, is Killiney Hill Park. Adventure Time, situated at the top of the park in Dalkey Quarry, offers rock climbing activities for families and kids of at least 7 years of age. There is a certified instructor dedicated to your family, and all necessary equipment will be provided. So if you fancy a fun, adventurous day activity for you and your kids, this is the spot! We did this with our rock climbing fan son James and you read all about it on our blog on this site.

More info: Adventure Time

10. Tree Climbing in Slane

Rock Farm Slane in Co Meath is an ecotourism and activity centre as well as an organic farm, on the Slane Castle estate. They offer a range of fun, green, activities including the two-hour long tree climbing experience. When did your kids (or you for that matter!) last climb a tree? Relive your youthful days with the kids!

The instructors will help out with knots, ropes and harnesses to make sure it’s all running smoothly without any broken arms or legs.

From the heights you can really enjoy some sweeping views of the Boyne Valley and if you’re brave enough you can do some branch walking and hanging upside down way above the ground! The activity is available from April to October and is €35 for a small group or family. Glamping, canoeing and more is also available.

More info: Rock Farm Slane 

11. Splashing Fun in Athlone

Athlone’s Baysports in co Westmeath is Ireland’s largest inflatable water park – awarded by Guinness World Records. That's just all kinds of awesome water fun for the whole family!

Spread over 1400 square meters, Baysports is a huge playground for kids of all ages (and of course adults as well!). And if the sun hasn't shown up – just jump into a wetsuit. The park is open from July to August and the cost is €17 for adults, €12 for kids between 6 and 14 and €4 for the really young ones, between 4 and 6 years. Children must be 6 years or older to take part in the fun and kids between 6 and 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Visitors have to wear wetsuits, (which you can hire for €3), buoyancy aids, and wristbands (which are provided).

More info: Baysports,

12. Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum, Dublin

Fancy an adventure mini-golfing in a rainforest. Perfect for a rainy day! Although the rainforest isn’t exactly a real forest (surprise!), it is almost as exciting as being in a real jungle environment.

No booking is required, you simply turn up and start playing on the Aztec and Mayan themed 18 hole courses. Clubs and balls will be provided.

Each course takes approximately 45 mins to play and in between courses you can enjoy pizza, coffee, ice cream or even a beer in the Canopy Café.

It’s €9.85 per adult, €8.75 for kids under 15 years, €4.80 for kids under 5 years and €30 for a family of four.

More info: Rainforest Adventure Golf 

13. Feel the need, the need for Speed... in Kiltorcan

Driving fast is a bad habit, unless you're doing it in a GO-Kart, which is just too much fun! Take the whole family and head to outside located Kiltorcan Raceway in Co Kilkenny for an exhilarating day on the go-karting race course! This huge racecourse is perfect for every F1 fan.

The whole family can race together, and the only requirement is that all kids are older than 10 and taller than 110 cm. You can book the track from 15 minutes up to several hours, just make sure to ring them in advance to check their availability.

The course is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 pm. 30 minutes on the course is €36 for adults and €29 for kids.

More info:

14. Airsoft, Archery and Adventure in Kildare

Most kids love to play shoot em up games on screens but now they can do it for real, and burn off a lot of energy at the same time. Airsoft is closest thing you can get to Call of Duty with teams chasing each over assault courses with very realistic looking weaponry. There is also junior airlift and archery options available. Redhills Adventure is set on what was once a farm, only a few kilometres from Kildare Village Outlet. They offer groups and families an action-packed day out with a range of different, fun and exciting activities.

They are open all year-round, Monday to Sunday, for group bookings for eight or more and individuals can join our open tag gaming sessions every weekend where you don’t need a group.

This place is perfect for big family outings with active kids who like to mix adrenaline with technique sports!

More info: Redhills Adventure

15. Everybody just jump, jump, jump...

Jump Zone is Ireland’s biggest trampoline park with two locations: one in Sandyford and one in Santry, Co Dublin. They have activities like a foam pit, trampoline dodgeball and free jumping – perfect for kids with boundless energy, and there is a lovely cafe for Mum and Dad to chillax, or you can even join in and see why trampolining is a workout!

The prices are as follows:

€14.00 per hour (grip socks included); €12.00 per hour (you have your own grip socks); €18.00 per 90 mins (grip socks included); €16.00 per 90 mins (you have your own grip socks).

Kids must be over the age of 5 and above 1 m to be allowed to jump. The parks are open Tuesday to Sunday.

More info: Jump Zone 


16. Horse riding on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry

For a different type of exploring, swap hiking for riding and enjoy nature from another perspective. Just a mile outside Dingle, Co Kerry, you’ll find Dingle Horseriding, overlooking the Dingle Peninsula. They do everything from one hour tours to full day treks and no matter your former horse riding experiences, they’ll be able to accommodate the whole family.

More info: Dingle Horseriding

17. Family Friendly Hiking, Paddling and Cycling trails

Ireland has endless of opportunities to offer when it comes to hiking, cycling and paddling trails and routes all across the country, and many of them kid-friendly. Sport Ireland have a huge database of the best trails that are family friendly and scenic. They also give great advice on what to bring with you before you start. Along greenways, old railroad tracks and rivers with amazing picnic spots there is trail for everyone.

More info:

18. Thrills and spills at Ballyhass Wake Park

Wakeboarding is a thrilling fun activity for everyone and Ballyhass’s wake park in Mallow, Co Cork, is Ireland’s largest cable wakeboarding centre..

The system suits all levels of riders and is a perfect training tool for getting your jumps and balance right, or maybe just for having some fun. What really makes a wake park though is the obstacle setup underneath the cable – and Ballyhass wake park has nailed that – think floating skatepark or a wet version of a ski terrain park!Not to mention Munsters largest inflatable aqua park, kayaking and more. There are also huge newly built zip lines and skywalks with high nets to traverse. More than anyone could do in a single day!

More info: Ballyhas Wake Park

19. Cycle a Greenway

These off-road cycling and walking routes are springing up all across the country. Most well known are the Western and Waterford Greenways, but the Carlingford Lough Greenway and the Old Trail Greenway from Mullingar to Athlone are also great options for family-friendly bike rides. The latter is soon to be extended to Dublin and all the way to Galway over the coming years.

More info: Western Greenway, Waterford Greenway, Carlingford Lough Greenway, Old Trail Greenway

20. Adventure in Waterford

Dunmore is one of the most picturesque parts of the country and now its one of the most family friendly too. Dunmore Adventure offers their guests a huge range of different adventurous activities, such as SUPing (and giant SUP), sailing, kayaking, caving and climbing, archery and sea safaris to spot dolphins and all forms of ocean creatures.

On top of all this, they also have the biggest wibit wipeout course in Ireland – an inflatable obstacle course built on the water with swings, slides, spinners and a huge action tower.

Make sure to call and book in advance and then its off to the harbour of Nymphhall, in Dunmore.

More info: Dunmore Adventure 

21. Surfs Up Kids!

Over the summer months, Lahinch Surf School in Co Clare offers family surf lessons daily. Kids usually need to be over the age of 9 to join one of these lessons.

If you do have a child under the age of 9, another option is for one parent to supervise, and the wetsuit will be supplied for free. In the summertime, they also do a “Grom Camp” for kids from 6 to 8 years. They will then be part of a tiny group and get lots of attention.

A family package with two adults and two kids is €120 and then €25 extra for each child.

More info: Lahinch Surf School 

22. Mountain Biking in Tipperary

Bike Park Ireland, located in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, is an awesome mountain bike park with lots of fun to be had for the whole family.

If you don't have bikes don't worry, there are bikes and equipment to hire for both kids and adults on site, with different packs to choose between. A kids half-day pack – including bike, uplift service and PPE – is €42, if you book online.

There is a green trail on top that is ideal for families to cycle down together. On top of that, their pump tack (which is the biggest in Ireland) is ideal for kids to rip around in (it’s best suitable for kids over 6 years). For even younger kids there is a mini-pump track.

There is a great café on site as well.

More info: Bike Park Ireland 

23. Fairy Trails in Kerry

Some of the best fun you can have with your little ones is free, and exploring the forest together and in the woodlands of Derrynane House and Darryquin, Co Kerry is just that. There are two magical fairy trails to be found in the magical Kingdom of Kerry: one in the surroundings of Derrynane House and the other on in the woods near Parknasilla Resort. Both are free.

More info: Irish Fairy Trails

24. Zipit Kids!

Speeding down a piece of wire suspended high in the air is thrilling, exciting and appealing to kids, both big and small! With three locations around Ireland – Lough Key in Roscommon, Tibradden in Dublin and Farran Park in Cork – Zipit is an energetic and fun filled day out. Climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets and ride a BMX across a bridge before taking to one of the many zip lines on offer. An adrenaline rush for the whole family!

More info: Zipit


25. Adventure Breaks at Delphi Resort, Co Galway

Speaking from experience we can say that Delphi Resort is the perfect place for an action-packed family break. With a huge range of packages where the emphasis is on fun and adventure. During the day older kids and adults can choose from a wide range of activities including high ropes courses, kayaking, hiking and more. There is a Mini Adventure Club which to keep even the most energetic younger kids entertained with bushcraft survival skills, tunneling and mini climbing all on the menu.

More info: Delphi Resort

26. Killary’s World of Adventures

This is a place for families with adventurous and active kids over the age of eight. Killary Adventure Centre has a range of 20 different adrenaline filled activities, and you could easily spend an entire weekend here. The friendly staff assist you in mixing and matching activities at the centre such as climbing a high ropes course, archery combat, gorge walking, water skiing, electric orienteering and rock climbing as well visits to nearby attractions along the Wild Atlantic Way.

More info: Killary Adventure 

27. Hiking the Waterfalls

Glencar Waterfall is a 50ft high, stunning, waterfall situated at Glencar Lough, located about 11km West of Manorhamilton, in Co Leitrim. It can be reached and viewed from a lovely wooded walk, where there are a playground and picnic areas as well.

There are more waterfalls visible from the road, however, none of them is as spectacular as the Glencar one.

More info: Leitrim Tourism 

28. Adventure awaits in Loughkey

Located in Co Roscommon is the beautifully situated and picturesque forest park Loughkey. A dream for any adventurous family – and if you prefer the calmer, more scenic adventures – get on the 8 km long trail, perfect for young kids on bicycles as there are no steep sections.

Boda Borg is one of the key attractions at Loughkey. Boda Borg is a Swedish concept unique to Ireland and is challenging for both adults and children. Once you enter the two-storey Boda Borg there is only teamwork, ingenuity, trial and skills that count – as you’re progressing through 47 rooms! The course contains fun-filled activities and brain teasers – but no instructions…

Get out in the forest and practice some useful map-reading with the kids in an active and exciting way – by trying orienteering. Coillte, along with local clubs, has created a number of permanent orienteering courses that range from short beginner loops to longer, more difficult routes.

Orienteering combines running and map reading and participants use detailed maps to select routes and navigate through different terrain and find points in sequence, like a treasure hunt!

More info: LoughkeyCoillte

29. Nature and Magic.The Burren Nature Sanctuary is a fabulous way to experience the magical Burren landscape. Experience Burren habitats on the interpretive trails; shattered limestone pavement, orchid meadow, disappearing lake and fairy woodland! There's also a free 10 stop audio tour and magical introduction to the Burren movie. Stroll the ancient green road (boreen) in the footsteps of our ancestors who once led their their animals to the rare tidal disappearing lake (turlough). There is a great kids playground and magical fairy trail too. Visit the Botany Bubble which houses the National Collection of Burren flora where seasonal Alpine, Mediterranean, Arctic and tropical plants grow alongside native Irish wildflowers. Meet Cookie the donkey and Frisky the feral Burren mountain goat. Relax in the Sanctuary Cafe and Waterfall Tea Garden enjoy fresh, local, seasonal food, good coffee, healthy children's menu: no fizz, no fry, hidden vegetables! Open Daily 10am to 6pm Admission: Adults €8, Age 3- €6.

30. Canoeing on Lough Derg

The northern section of the Lough Derg Blueway, that’s splitting the two counties Galway and Tipperary, has got a lot of great paddling possibilities. The section has four trailheads with seven, easy to use, individual trails. As the routes are short enough, they’re perfect for taking the kids out for a day of gliding through the calm waters of beautiful Lough Derg. It can take anywhere from 35 minutes to two hours, one way, depending on the chosen turn-around point. If you want to explore the Shannon you can also try canoeing or stand up paddle boarding with the family from Carrick on Shannon, Boyle and other locations.

You can rent your canoes from Lough Derg Watersports. 

More info: Blueways Ireland

31. The Ancient and wonderful Aran Islands

The Aran Islands are a top destination for rock climbers and cliff divers, due to its dramatic cliff faces. Red Bull Cliff Diving series is hosted at the ‘wormhole’, which is a naturally occurring square that looks like it’s cut out of the rock. It’s a very dramatic and exciting sight! But even without the divers, the wormhole is well worth a visit.

A good walk to do is the Ring of Aran, which will take 3-6 hours. Some of the sights along the way are the wormhole, the seal colony, Kilmurvey Beach, The Craft Village, The Standing Stones as well as great panoramic views. Its a great idea to bring a picnic as more or less anywhere is good for a scenic pit stop!

Cycling is also a popular way of getting around on the island, and the 30-minute bike ride from the Pier on Inis Mor Island to Dun Aonghasa is a superb route that won’t make you disappointed.

More info: Aran Islands, Aran Bike Hire, Aran Island Ferries

32. Ahoy Maties its Westport House

Go-karting, bouncy castles, swan boats, slides, rides and of course – pirate playgrounds. This is all part of Westport House’s Pirate Adventure Park, which is located only a 5-minute drive from the town itself.

There will be no lack of things to get up to when spending a day at Westport House, that’s for sure. The park is best suited for kids between the age of 4 and 11.

Entry to the Pirate Adventure Park is €15.65 for kids and a 1-day pirate pass for the whole family is €71.25 (when you book online). Kids under 2 go for free!

The Pirate Adventure Park is open anytime the kids are out of school: mid-term breaks, bank holidays, weekends in June and daily in July and August. Make sure to check their website before heading there so you know for sure that they are open!

More info: Westport house 

33. Get up close and personal with cute animals

Located in Curryroe, Co Roscommon you'll find Glendeer Pet Farm, homes to loads of cutesy, fluffy, funny, friendly animals that just want to be cuddled and fed, what’s not to like?! Kids love all sorts of animals, and this place has dozens of different exotic creatures: alpacas, parrots, horses, goats, monkeys, donkeys, racoons and pigs.

Glendeer also has guided tours, picnic areas, playgrounds, nature walks and a café to make the day as enjoyable and eventful as possible.

More info: Glendeer Pet Farm 

34. Celtic Gardens and Discovery Trails in Brigit’s Garden

Brigit’s Garden is a family-friendly sanctuary, regarded as one of the most spectacular Celtic gardens in the country. Aside of all the Celtic heritage and mythology in the gardens, there is a nature trail, a fairy fort and a natural playground to explore.

On the site, there is a visitor’s centre and a garden café that serves freshly made food.

Brigit’s Garden is located in Roscahill, Co Galway, just a 20-minute drive from Galway city.

More info: Brigit’s Garden 


35. Dolphins, Whales and Sharks on the High Seas with Aquaholics

Aquaholics runs a fantastic boat trip from Ballycastle. Kids will be kept entertained as they look out for dolphins, whales and even basking sharks. Bigger kids can also opt to hop off the boat and into the North Atlantic ocean swimming right underneath the infamous Carrick-A-Rede bridge. It’s a great way of ticking off some famous sites along this amazing coastline that are impossible to see from the car.

More info: Aquaholics

36. Take Giant Steps in Bushmills

Everybody has heard of or seen pictures of The Giants Causeway. This amazing spot at the very top of Ireland in Co Antrim is a unique place with baffling rock formations and stunning coastal views. Giant’s Causeway is one of the 25 bewildering places in the world that is included on the World Heritage site list. Best location possible for that Instagram pic!

There are two ways to approach the Giants Causeway. The first way is by road, either on foot or by using the seasonal bus service that is accessible for people with disabilities. A longer circular walk follows the cliff path to Shepherd’s Steps and back via the Giants Causeway and is 3 km.

More info: Giant’s Causeway Official Guide 

37. Cave Exploring Around Ireland

If the weather forecast is looking dodgy then don't fret – just bring the family out for a cave adventure, where no sun is needed for a successful day trip. There are several caves spread out around Ireland, all with their own little features and background stories. We have listed some of the best:

Crag Cave - Co. Kerry

Fancy a trip to the 10th longest cave in the country? Situated just outside Castleisland in County Kerry, Crag Cave is well worth a visit.

It is perfectly prepped for visitors, with a sound system and lighting to guide you on your journey through the ancient structure. The beautiful Cathedral and Crystal gallery are impressive sights not to be missed.

More info:

The Marble Arch Caves - Co Fermanagh

The European Geopark in County Fermanagh hold some of the most impressive caves in Ireland. Take advantage of the fascinating 75-minute tours on offer through the intricate caverns. Treat your eyes to the sights of underwater passages and waterfalls. The site is adapted nicely for tourists an includes a gift shop and restaurant so you can really make a day out of it.

More info:

Maghera Caves – Co Donegal – Ulster

In Ardara, one kilometre outside Assaranca Waterfall, which is also well worth a to visit, you’ll find the Maghera Caves, located beneath Slievetooey Mountain. Some of them are accessible at low tides from Maghera Strand, others are reached by kayak or boat. In total there are over 20 caves, 8 arches and 5 tunnels to visit, and the beach is located only 200 meters away from the nearest carpark.

More info:

Bruce’s Cave – Co Antrim – Ulster

In the cliffs of Rathlin Island you’ll find Bruce’s Cave, located beneath the East Lighthouse. There are various caves hiding in the 60 meter high cliff massive, which is home to thousands of seabirds. You’ll reach most of the caves by boat.

More info:

Mitchelstown Cave – Co Tipperary – Munster

This huge cave massive, located over the border from Mitchelstown County Cork, is one of Ireland’s largest cave complexes. It’s situated 40 minutes from Cork City and apart from being a spectacular experience in itself, the cave hosts both concerts and pop up movie screenings.

More info:

38. A cliff with a view - Donegal

Slieve Leage cliffs are the highest accessible seacliffs in Europe, with a height of 1,972 feet/601 metres which is almost twice as high as the Eiffel Tower and nearly three times the height of the famous Cliffs of Moher.

The cliffs are easily accessible, and nowadays you can actually drive almost all the way up, where there is a parking lot. You’ll find lots of picnic tables so if the weather is nice it’s the perfect spot for a lunch break.

There are several lakes to stop by on the way to the summit, and at the base there is a small, white sandy beach. On the right to the beach, there is a quite large cave where seals sometimes make a pitstop, which could be a good show for kids.

More info: We Love Donegal

39. Mountain Biking in Northern Ireland

If your (a bit older) kids are in any way interested in cycling and mountain biking, (or if you’d like to spark an interest for them) – this is the perfect place for it. Blessingbourne Estate has premier mountain biking trails, great facilities and loads of experience.

There is over 13 km of mountain biking trails around this gorgeous estate, designed by Architrail’s Phil Saxena, who also designed trails for the Beijing Olympics and the Downhill World Cup. The trails range from easy and short to long and technical, and they also have a quality pump track. This place will no doubt cater to all ages and abilities.

There is a bike hire at the estate (where you can get all gear needed) and if you’d like to stay for longer (which is totally reasonable) there are well equipped, self -catering apartments to accommodate.

More info: Blessingbourne 

39. Giant Fun in the Slieve Gullion Forest Park