Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Top 10 Fun Things To Do in Cork With Kids


If you're planning a day out in Cork with the kids then you have a whole host of fun options available to you! 

With a beautiful coastline and great days out to be had further inland too, Cork has it all for families.

Here are some of our favourite fun things to do in Cork with kids. 


See the deer at Doneraile Park or Farran Woods

Going to see the 'Bambis' as my boys call them, is one of the loveliest things to do in Cork with kids. Not only do Doneraile Park and Farran Woods give kids the opportunity to see deer up close (behind fencing, but bring a bag of carrots or pick some ivy for them and they'll come right up to you!), they also boast great playgrounds, lovely walks and lots of places to explore.

Pack a picnic and have a great day out in these beautiful outdoor areas. Doneraile Park is free to visit and has ample parking, Farran Woods costs €5 to visit. Both have toilet facilities. 


Go wild at Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park is probably Cork's top family attraction and it makes for a great day out. I highly recommend trying the Fota Wildlife VIP experience if you want to have a very special visit. With this you get to go up close with the animals - feeding the giraffes and rhinos was one of the best experiences we've had and get driven around the park in one of the buggies. 

There's lots to see and do at Fota Wildlife Park - hopefully the playgrounds will be open again soon too. The kids just love it there. You can pack a picnic or visit the café situated halfway through the park. Toilet facilities are available.


Spend the day at the beach

Cork has a beautiful coastline full of stunning beaches that make for great family days out. Some our favourites include Inchydoney and Barleycove in West Cork and Inch in East Cork. There are lots more beautiful beaches dotted along the Cork coast - make sure you check the tide times in Cork before going to the beach.

Inchydoney and Barleycove have toilet facilities (although Barleycove's were locked during lockdown, hopefully are reopened soon).

Go on a hike

If you have kids who love the outdoors then going on a hike is a great way to spend a day in Cork. One of our favourite spots for hiking is the beautiful Gougane Barra. There are six walking trails to suit all levels of fitness. Our boys love climbing across the waterfall to reach the highest viewpoint area. It's always an adventure to them.

Pack a picnic and enjoy a day out in this stunning forest park. Toilet facilities are available.

Visit The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary, located near Mallow, makes for a lovely day out with the kids. Visitors are welcome The Donkey Sanctuary during the months of August and September on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Admission is free but I highly recommend letting the kids adopt a donkey (this costs €25 for a year) and there's always great excitement when the letter comes.

Parking is available at The Donkey Sanctuary as well as toilet facilities.

Enjoy historic sites together

Cork is full of history and there are some great sites to visit with the kids. Charles Fort in Kinsale makes for a great day out (it was one of our first family days out with our eldest son) and one steeped in history.

There's also Cork City Gaol for some spooky fun with it's holographic ghosts, Spike Island which is a unique experience in itself and the kids will enjoy the boat ride and Blackrock Castle Observatory.

Visit the end of Ireland at Mizen Head

Mizen Head was one of the most memorable days out we've had as a family. It's such an amazing place and the kids loved it! There's a small playground by the car park overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean.

The kids loved exploring Mizen Head with it's famous bridge and viewpoint areas. There's also a small museum with lots for the kids to look at and learn about Mizen Head. It made for a great day out and it's so close to Barleycove Beach (mentioned above), which is a great place to visit after exploring Mizen Head. It's a beautiful part of Ireland.

Toilet facilities are available as well as a café and gift shop.

Enjoy stunning historic houses and gardens

During the summer months, there's nothing lovelier than packing up a picnic and enjoying the grounds of stunning houses and gardens. Two of our favourites, and ones which our boys always enjoy, are the beautiful Bantry House and Gardens and Fota House and Gardens.

There's lots to explore in these gardens and house tours are available too if you fancy taking a peek inside. Fota House does a lovely Christmas experience each year too.

Toilet facilities are available at both locations.

Discover a mini world at West Cork Model Railway Village

If you're looking for a fun day out for the kids, especially if they love trains, then you have to visit West Cork Model Railway Village. Based in Clonakilty, the model railway village is a delight to kids, with trains running around it's tracks constantly.

The beautifully done to scale mode villages are great to look at and kids can also have great fun with the self-drive boats and mini diggers (bring coins for these!). There's also a small playground to enjoy and the road train - which you can go on for an extra cost.

Toilet facilities and a café are also on site.

Have fun at an open farm

Leahy's Open Farm is one of Cork's best loved days out and one which my boys really enjoy. You will spend a whole day here enjoying the museum, animals, play areas and so much more. 

There's food areas on site, as well as an indoor play area (may be closed due to current restrictions) and toilet facilities.

Cork is also home to Rumley's Farm and The Farm Grenagh - both of which we have yet to visit but come highly recommended by parents I've spoken to.

Hopefully this post has given you some inspiration on some fun things to do with kids in Cork. Whatever you get up to with the family, I hope you have the best day ever exploring the beautiful Rebel Country and all it has to offer.


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