Monday, January 06, 2020

Top 10 Places in Ireland To Visit With Kids This Summer ♥

The kids have just gone back to school this morning, but that hasn't stopped me planning ahead and dreaming about summer days and all the adventures we can go on. If you're also dreaming ahead to those balmy and beautiful summer days spent with the kids, here are 10 amazing and family-friendly places to visit in Ireland with kids this summer.

1. Fota Wildlife Park, Co. Cork
This is the most local attraction to us and we're delighted to have it just on our doorstep! Fota Wildlife Park is a not-for-profit, independently run wildlife park and it makes for a great day out for all ages. Fota Wildlife Park is home to rare and endangered species, as well as some well-loved favourites such as the giraffes, zebras and rhinos.

If you fancy an extra special day out to Fota Wildlife Park then I can't recommend their VIP experience enough! You can read about our VIP family experience, which is a day Tyler and I will never forget.

Fota Wildlife Park is now home to a new Madagascan Village too, so there's even more to see and do at the park this summer.

2. Baysports, Hodson Bay, Co. Roscommon
Baysports is Ireland's largest inflatable water park and Jacek and Tyler got to enjoy a visit there during our stay at the lovely Hodson Bay Hotel back in August. The both said it was an absolutely amazing experience and are dying to go back! In fact, Jacek said it was the highlight of his summer!

If you're kids love the water, then getting to experience the inflatables on the lough will be amazing for them! Prices start at just €4 for the junior park and €15 for the water park.

Baysports really is a unique experience in a beautiful setting that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy this summer.

3. Tayto Park, Co. Meath
I don't think anyone could put together a list of top places to visit with kids in summer and forget about Tayto Park! We've been lucky enough to go a couple of times with Tyler and he's absolutely loved it each time - it was well worth the 8 hour round trip from Cork!

Tayto Park offers a whole lot of activites, with rides for all ages, playgrounds and water fountains for the particularly scorching of summer days. There's lots of places to eat, lots to see and do and there's even animals to visit too. You can read about our experience here.

Tayto Park offers free face painting - which Tyler received during each visit and the park is big enough not to feel crowded, even on the busiest of days. We never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a ride. Wristbands are definitely the way to go for family visits as it works out cheaper. Tayto Park is a must-visit with kids this summer.

4. Mitchelstown Caves, Co. Tipperary
 If you're looking for a truly unique experience to have with the kids this summer then a visit to the Mitchelstown Caves is it! I went here on a school tour as a child and still remembered it as clear as day when I visited with my own kids almost 20 years later!

Tyler said it was one of the 'coolest' places he visited all summer and it was his favourite place out of all the places we visited in Tipperary. Again, it makes for a great experience for people of all ages - adults will like the cave facts while the kids will love exploring the caves because they'll have never seen anything like them! You can read about our visit here.

A visit to the caves cost €9 per adult and €3.50 per child or €20 for a family of four and I can't recommend a visit enough - it would be an especially good place to visit on a rainy summers day.

5. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Co. Clare
We visited Bunratty Castle and Folk Park many years ago when Tyler was a baby, but even at such a young age he had a great time there! The playgrounds at Bunratty are fab and have something for all ages.

Children will love exploring the castle and the folk park is great for getting a feel of old Ireland, with a pet farm, fairy garden and beautiful walled garden for all the explore. You'll be sure to spend the whole day enjoying the castle and folk park, making it a great day out for all the family this summer.

6. Lismore Castle Gardens, Co. Waterford
This is such a beautiful place to visit with family, especially in the summer and the gardens offer a whole lot of fun for kids.

With tree swings, a tunnel slide and an assault course playground - as well as plenty of space to run and explore, Lismore Castle Gardens makes for a beautiful setting for a fun-filled family day out this summer. You can read about our visit there last year here.

The gardens are set over two levels, so buggies will have to be carried up a staircase, but it's manageable. The castle cafe provides picnic blankets to enjoy family picnics on the lawn and with lots of different parts of the garden to explore, as well as some chickens to see, it makes for a lovely family day out and for added fun there's a fab children's playground by the car park in front of the castle. My boys love it there and always ask to go back!

7. Kennedy's Pet Farm, Co. Kerry
We stopped here by chance on our way back from Killarney National Park (which also makes for a great day out!) and the boys absolutely loved it here - as did I as it meant that I got to pet a deer, my favourite!

The setting of Kennedy's Pet Farm is absolutely beautiful and the boys loved the playgrounds and the animals there. Kennedy's Pet Farm has indoor and outdoor playgrounds too, meaning if it rains during your visit - which is highly likely in Ireland, the kids still get to have a great day out!

A family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) is €40, under 2's are free. I recommend packing a picnic and enjoying it on one of the picnic benches outside to enjoy the view of the Kerry mountains.

8. Irish National Stud & Japanese Garden, Co. Kildare
The Irish National Stud and Japanese Garden are one of the most beautiful places to visit with the kids on a summers day. The Japanese Garden offers lots of beautiful places to explore for the kids and the iconic red bridge is sure to draw their attention as they make their way through all the beautiful and adventurous areas of the garden. The garden is accessible for buggies too as long as you stick to the easy path - older kids can make their way along the adventurous path.

If your kids love horses then the Irish National Stud will be a great treat for them. There are stallions, mares and foals in the paddocks around the National Stud and face painting and pony rides are available in the Sun Chariot Yard - all of which were included within the cost price of entry.

The National Stud also boasts a fab playground and an Irish Fairy Door Company fairy trail, as well as a lake with lots of ducks which makes for a lovely walk around and St. Fiachra's Garden. You can read about our visit here.

9. Leahy's Farm, Co. Cork
Leahy's Farm is a place I've been visiting since I was a child and it's still an amazing day out for all the family and a place you can enjoy, even as an adult! Leahy's Farm is a fab place to visit during the summer as the kids can make full use of the playgrounds, which include a huge climbing frame, tunnel slide, swings and a whole lot more. There's also an indoor soft play in the eating area too.

There's a museum inside showing items from old Ireland, which my boys love seeing and lots of animals outside too including horses, a camel, alpacas and more. You can see more pictures of Leahy's Farm here, from a visit we had when the boys were small. They both had such a fab day that visit, despite Beau being just a baby!

Leahy's Farm also runs a barrel ride for the kids throughout the day too which Tyler absolutely loves. Horse rides are also available at an extra charge - only €1 or €2, very reasonable. You'll end up spending the whole day here because there's so much to see and do. The owners are very friendly too.

10. Ardmore, Co. Waterford
Ardmore is a beautiful little seaside village with one of the most fabulous family-friendly beaches. There's a great playground situated next to the beach too and it's a great place to spend the day as a family.

Before hitting the beach why not take the kids to see the round tower and tire them out with a walk along the cliffs which takes you back to Ardmore itself. It's such a beautiful spot and there's no better treat than an ice-cream from the pink shop in Ardmore during the summer!

Ardmore Open Farm is just up the road too if you fancy making your trip to Ardmore even more exciting for the kids.

All of these places are sure to give you and the kids some amazing days out this summer. Where will you be visiting?

For more days out inspiration within Ireland check out my list of 10 amazing hidden gems in Ireland you have to visit.


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