An uncommon fact is that Ireland is one of the top family vacation spots in the world. Your children will enjoy climbing to the tops of our numerous round towers and envisioning themselves as lords and ladies in spectacular castles. They can also enjoy the views of ancient and attractive sites and museums.
Choosing places to visit in Ireland may be difficult, whether you’re planning your first or tenth family holiday. There’s so much to see and do.
This article will explore some of the best activities for a family vacation in Ireland. The following are places you can visit, charges, and how you can book online. You can do the activities in order from landing at Dublin Airport to taking off at Shannon Airport.
1. View Dublin city sights in style
Ireland’s population is among Europe’s smallest, and its capital city, Dublin, is exceptionally family-friendly. Parents with infants or teenagers can anticipate a warm welcome in the historic buildings, sandy beaches, and Phoenix Park’s large green area.
In addition, there are multiple unique and creative interior places. Dublin is the most common destination for international flights in and out of the country, making it the starting point for every trip in Ireland.
Let us look at some ways in which you can enjoy the scenic views of Dublin on a family vacation.
Dublin is small, and you can see a lot in a short period. Parents with school-aged children can opt for a walking tour with a guide. The right guide will expose your family to the city’s key attractions as well as its fascinating history.
A walking tour will also allow your children to engage with the locals and become acquainted with the distinctive Irish accent. The people’s kindness will put your children at ease instantly.
If you want to see Dublin through the eyes of a local, you can book a private tour at Withlocals.com Private Tours in Dublin.
The tours last between three to five hours with ranging prices depending on your destinations.
Hop-on hop-off tours
Another popular way tourists can view Dublin is through bus rides by Big Bus Tours around the city. The rides can last up to two hours or longer, and the charges start at €27.
2. Visit Kilmainham Jail and later enjoy Dublin’s food scene
You’ll undoubtedly hear all about Dublin’s remarkable literary and military past from the Irish locals. It‘ll lead you to visit Kilmainham Gaol to learn more about the city’s darker side. You should reserve a time slot to visit because tours are guided in groups of 35 people throughout the building.
Tours run for approximately an hour, and then you’re free to explore further. The experience provides a unique glimpse into the lives of some of the jail’s well-known prisoners, including the leaders of several political uprisings.
However, Kilmainham Gaol was also “home” to many regular individuals who committed common and often minor crimes. The entry charge for an adult is €8.00 and that of a child €4.00.
Later in the day, you can lighten the atmosphere and fill your stomachs with Dublin’s incredible culinary scene. Dublin may not have a well-deserved reputation for fine dining, but it has long been a pioneering centre of the local food movement.
You can take a strolling culinary tour and experience the city’s various delicacies, including chocolate, cheese, and, of course, beer! You could also arrange a chocolate-making class at one of Dublin’s chocolatiers for a more hands-on culinary experience for your family.
3. Ride or walk down Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile
The Medieval Mile connects St. Canice’s Cathedral, Butler Gallery, and Kilkenny Castle, dating from the 12th century. On Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile, you’ll view old houses, streets, and slipways and wind your way through the ages at Butler Gallery.
In the Medieval Mile, you’ll pass through the following:
- 16th-century inn
- 13th-century Dominican Abbey with stained glass windows
- Ireland’s only intact early-17th-century merchant’s townhouse
At Rothe House, you can get a look into the lives of the Butler family at Kilkenny Castle by climbing the 9th century St. Canice’s Tower. You can also listen to tales of witchcraft from locals in Kyteler’s Inn, which has been around since 1324.
Finally, you can tour the Medieval Mile Museum, located in the renovated St. Mary’s Church. It connects all of Kilkenny’s history.
However, it’s not all about the past. Kilkenny is a cosmopolitan and tiny city in Ireland, with a flourishing festival scene and a welcoming populace.
A stroll along the Medieval Mile is as much about taking in the sights, scents, and sounds of the present city as it is about learning about the history that shaped it.
Just 5km from Kilkenny’s Medieval City is a luxury, four-star, three-bedroom self-catering cottage accommodating 7 guests.
4. Visit the St. Canice Cathedral at Kilkenny
St. Canice Cathedral at Kilkenny has a 9th-century round tower that initially served as a lookout and sanctuary. If you ascend to the top of the tower, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views over Kilkenny’s cityscape and surrounding countryside. Of course, this is subject to the weather.
Even though St. Canice’s Cathedral was constructed in the 1200s, Christians worshipped on the site since the 6th century. The church is now under the control of the Church of Ireland.
The current cathedral has been meticulously restored to its original Early Gothic design.
As you approach the church, you’ll see the original baptismal font and a reproduction of an authentic 13th-century stained glass window. The cathedral also has some of Ireland’s best 16th-century monuments, making it well worth a visit.
The St. Canice Cathedral is one of the best visitor attractions in Kilkenny and is entirely free. However, it is vital to check in with St. Canice directly as people sometimes hire the venue.
While at Kilkenny, you can spend the night at the Wallslough Holiday Village cottage that can accommodate up to 6 guests. It consists of two bathrooms and three bedrooms that can accommodate six people.
5. Tour Kilkenny Castle and its grounds
The middle of Kilkenny Castle is made up of a library, drawing room, nursery, and bedrooms adorned in 1830s magnificence and beauty. The east wing consists of the Butler Family’s exquisite Picture Gallery with a great collection of paintings from the 19th century.
Kilkenny Castle was built in the eleventh century. It was the primary residence of the Butlers, Earls, Marquesses, and Dukes of Ormond for about 600 years.
Kilkenny flourished into a dynamic and lively city under the Butler family’s leadership. Its vibrant vibe is still palpable today. The castle, which is surrounded by immense parkland, was renovated in the Victorian era.
It was formally taken over by the Irish government in 1969 and has undergone extensive renovation since then. It currently attracts tens of thousands of people every year.
The castle is open all year; however, a 45-minute guided tour is available between November and January. One hour self-guided visits are available all-year-round where you use a downloadable leaflet to guide you.
Kilkenny Castle’s grounds and gardens are beautiful, especially in the summer. They are well worth a stroll or a long walk if you want to burn off some steam.
6. Tour the Thomond Park Stadium and Munster Rugby Museum in Limerick
You don’t have to be a rugby fan to appreciate Munster Rugby’s history and passion. A visit to the Munster Experience Museum allows you to learn more about Munster Rugby’s history, tradition and the players who have graced the hallowed ground.
The legendary Thomond Park Stadium, home to the Munster rugby team, has seen some of the most outstanding rugby matches ever played.
The whole stadium tour includes:
- A museum tour
- Access to the home and away dressing rooms
- Excursions to pitch-side, including the Munster dugout
During the trip, you’ll explore sites that are usually only open to players and officials. The tour provides you with a unique opportunity to experience how Munster players feel on critical match days, from a seat in the home dressing room to a trip down the tunnel.
New interactive displays let you ‘be the commentator’ and have your action shot taken alongside Paul O’Connell, Simon Zebo, Felix Jones, and Conor Murray, after which you may email both your comments and action photo.
It is advisable to book a tour in advance by contacting Thomond Park Stadium to avoid disappointments. Tours in the museum run from Monday to Friday, while groups of six or more can pre-book Saturday.
7. Learn about the history of flight at The Foynes Aviation and Maritime Museum
In County Limerick, go to the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum to learn about the scary world of transatlantic air navigation. The museum contains a diverse collection of exhibits and graphic representations.
In an actual 1940s cinema, learn about the history of flying boats while watching the award-winning film ‘Atlantic Conquest.’
You can also view the following:
- World’s only Boeing B314 replica
- Original terminal building
- Radio, and weather room
- Transmitters, receivers, and Morse code equipment
The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum vividly shows the narrative of Foynes’ involvement in introducing passenger flights over the Atlantic. The famed flying boats carried everyone from celebrities to migrants who were frequent visitors.
The award-winning Flying Boat Museum pays tribute to this era with a diverse collection of exhibits and artefacts.
If you seek a place to stay for you and your large family in Limerick, you can find accommodation at Dromroe Village. It is a stylish complex overlooking the Shannon River just a short distance from Limerick city.
8. Have fun at Nevsail Watersports and Rock Climbing Adventure Centre in Clare
Nevsail Watersports has been operating for 15 years as Clare’s leading watersports and rock-climbing facility. They provide kayaking, canoeing, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, rock climbing, archery, coasteering, and stand up paddleboarding.
The centre offers activities to children and adults, from beginners to intermediates, weekly or weekend, in the mornings and afternoons. Their crew is helpful and enthusiastic about various adventure activities.
All trainers are fully trained I.S.A (Irish Sailing Association) and I.C.U (Irish Canoe Union) instructors to ensure your safety.
For the outdoor activities they provide, Nevsail Watersports and Rock Climbing Adventure Centre is happy to be certified by:
- Irish Sailing Association Activity Centre
- The Irish Canoe Union
- Mountaineering Council of Ireland.
Nevsail collaborates with teachers and schools to ensure that children and teenagers receive the greatest possible education. For both elementary and secondary school groups, they provide half-day and full-day programs.
All of the activities on tour should boost personal confidence and foster teamwork. They also provide youngsters with the opportunity to try out watersports and adventure sports in a safe and enjoyable environment.
You can book a water or land activity for you or your child, starting at €25. Nevsail Watersports and Rock Climbing Adventure Centre is open to anyone above five years.
After a long day of activities in Clare, your kids will need a comfortable place to clean up and rest. Bunratty West Holiday Homes offers three bedrooms that can accommodate six people.
Ireland is a popular family vacation destination for a reason. There’s so much to see and do, such as touring ancient places and having fun at a watersports centre. Ireland family holidays are a delight with the kids and might become one of your favourite vacation spots.Since you will need affordable and comfortable places to stay as you travel, you can reach out to Relax Ireland for accommodation. We offer multiple places to stay throughout Ireland with various options to choose from.