My children are only off school about a week and I have spent most of it on Google looking for answers.
'Why haven't Ireland won the World Cup?' We're the best in the world at GAA instead.
'Why is the sky blue?' Blue light waves are shorter than red ones. No, me neither.
'What are we doing today?'
Fortunately, there are so many things to do around Ireland, especially as the warm weather looks set to stay for a while.
YourDaysOut has thousands of different ideas including beaches, parks, family breaks, best water activities in Ireland and much more. We've selected a few events and activities to suit all families interest and budget that will leave your children asking one more question.
'Can we go again?'
FREE FAMILY EVENTS
1) City Spectacular Cork - July 14th, 15th
The annual Laya Healthcare City Spectacular event heads south again this summer. Entry is free with fun street performers, family activities and lots more.
2) St.Anne's Park Rose Festival - July 14th & 15th
The festival is a mix of live music, arts & crafts stalls, plant sales and hot and cold food vendors, the Biodiversity Hub, the Big Dig archaeology workshops and lots more. Add the beautiful surroundings of St Anne’s and you have a unique and special festival weekend.
3) Liberties Festival - July 18th - 22nd
The Liberties Festival has become a highlight of the summer in Dublin with a series of family-friendly, sporting and community events, and an exciting multicultural and arts programme encompassing visual art, film, dance, comedy, literature and music.
4 & 5) Bray Air Display, Wicklow & Foynes Air Show - 28th & 29th July
Featuring aircraft from an F-18s to Spitfires and displays from the Irish Air Corps, the Irish Coast Guard and the former Red Arrow pilots’ Blades team. On the ground, there will be a funfair, a food and craft village and Helicopter pleasure flights.
The Foynes Air Show, on July 28th, joins forces again with the Bray Air Display bringing more aircraft, thrills and visitors than ever before to Foynes.
6) Durrow Scarecrow Festival - July 29th - August 6th
This is a quirky festival not to be missed, hosting the All Ireland Scarecrow Championships with a week of fun family events, entertainment and lots of different scarecrows!
7) Spraoi, Waterford - August 3rd, 4th & 5th
The Spraoi Festival is a free urban festival in Waterford that will attract nearly 100,000 people over the August Bank Holiday weekend. There will be lots of street theatre, art, music and the popular annual parade on Sunday 5th at 9:30 pm.
8) Carlingford Oyster Festival - August 9th - 13th
The Carlingford Oyster Festival is a four-day celebration for the entire family based around local shellfish. As well as tasting the various oysters, chowders and fish on offer in the markets and local restaurants, there will be a fun programme of events including a magic show, face painting, teddy bear’s picnic, free kayaking in the harbour, a children’s funfair and bouncing castles.
9) Puck Fair - August 10th -12th
Each day, a number of musical, theatrical and comedic street performances take place at various times and locations throughout the town, providing free entertainment for young and old alike with live concerts every night.
10) Festival of Curiosity - July 19th - 23rd
Ireland’s annual celebration of art, science, technology and design is back with the usual mix of Playful Days and Curious Night providing insight and entertainment for all the family.
11) Playstival - August 11th & 12th
A new addition to the summer calendar from the Happy Pear team. This two-day festival for children and their parents celebrates play, imagination and fun with a range of hands-o n and imaginative games and themed play universes in Airfield Estate.
12) Rose of Tralee International Festival - August 17th & 21st
The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals, celebrating 58 years in 2017.
The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee but there is also a week-long programme of activities and events that include street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and Rose Parades.
Bird's Euroshow and Fosset's Circus will also be back in Tralee entertaining families throughout the week.
13) LIttle Festival at the Big House - August 18th & 19th
From puppet making, circus acts and Shakespeare in the Wood to a yummy BBQ and live music there is something for everyone to enjoy! A great way to spend a summer weekend.
14) Elves & Fairies Day - August 19th
The Fairy Queen and Elf King are on their way to Brigit's Garden in Galway for a day of fun and fairy magic including games, treasure hunt, crafts and more.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES & ADVENTURE
15) City Kayaking
Explore Dublin’s most famous river, take in some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and see the city from a completely different angle with top quality and fun kayaking river trips on the River Liffey
16) Zipit Forest Adventures
With five different circuits ranging from 1-20 metres high, Zipit Forest Adventures offers up to 4 hours of fun for all ages and abilities in Dublin, Cork and Roscommon. Climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets, fly down one of their many ziplines.
17) Celtic Adventures
Based in a new centre in Clogherhead they offer a choice of water-based activities including canoeing, kayaking, SUP boarding, and land-based activities including zorbing, climbing, orienteering, archery, archery tag, team building. A fun summer day out!
18) Waterford Greenway Cycle Tours & Bike Hire
Waterford Greenway Cycle Tours & Bike Hire offer reliable, affordable hire of quality bikes on the Waterford Greenway, the spectacular 46 km cycle route along an old railway line between Waterford City and Dungarvan. They also have three depots on the route with a free shuttle service.
19) Bay Sports, Athlone
The popular water park on Lough Ree is back. Every year they add new sections to the inflatable island with its own jungle, towers, trampolines, slides, water-based obstacle courses and even a castle. Other activities are available too but do check before you travel as adverse weather can close the park for the day.
20) Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park
Westport House is the west coast of Ireland’s number one destination for family fun, sky-high action and some of the nation’s most awe-inspiring heritage displays. This summer when you buy a ticket to Westport House or Pirate Adventure Park you also get free entry again for a second day!
21) Fort Lucan Adventureland
Set within a huge wooden Viking Fort, Fort Lucan is designed to get children aged between 2 and 12 years back outside, running, jumping and climbing! Try the famous Waterfall waterslide, Raging River or challenge your children to a game of the Viking-Themed Crazy Golf.
22) SKY PARK, Louth
Day adventures in Ireland's biggest aerial park in beautiful Carlingford, County Louth.
Aerial Courses range from 6ft to 40ft high while the whole family can enjoy a day out with activities to suits all ages from four, with ziplines, quazer, aeroball, footgolf, frisbee golf, climbing wall & much more.
23) Castlecomer Discovery Park
Set in a stunning eighty-acre woodland, Castlecomer Discovery Park has a whole day of fantastic activities for visitors of all ages including Ireland's longest Zipwire, Junior Woodland Adventure Course, Elf & Fairy village, Climbing Wall, Boats & Canoeing and more.
INDOOR IDEAS FOR A RAINY DAY
24) Go Kids Go
One of Dublin's best indoor play centres with activities including laser, go-karting, indoor football and a disco party room. They also have lots of playtime fun and activities scheduled throughout the summer.
25) GoQuest Indoor Challenge
Do you remember the Crystal Maze, the TV show with a series of physical and mental challenges? GoQuest is similar, with challenges for everyone from 8 to 80 in twenty-eight unique challenge rooms for you to try and complete, against the clock. It’s fast, it’s fun and it’s a great family day out.
26 Leisureplex, Dublin & Cork
Whatever the Irish weather throws at you this summer, Leisureplex has all you need for entertainment and fun!
Strike up some craic on the bowling lanes, transport yourself to a galactic battlefield with Q-ZAR, or let the kids wear themselves out in the Zoo Adventureland indoor play centre.
27) W5, Belfast
The science and discovery centre is well worth the trip as you could easily spend a whole day here.
There are over 250 interactive exhibits and this summer you can step into a land that time forgot and meet the most awesome creatures that ever roamed the Earth in their Dinosaur Encounter that runs until August.
28) National Wax Museum Plus, Dublin
The National Wax Museum Plus is more than just wax statues. It’s a modern, interactive experience and a fun introduction to Irish history and popular culture for all the family. The Chamber of Horrors, however, is not for the faint-hearted!
29) Skill Zone
Test your sporting prowess, regardless of the weather, in Dublin’s first multi-sport indoor circuit. With ten different sports including baseball, rugby, soccer, golf and Gaelic, you can test your skills against the best.
30) National Kart Centre Limerick & National Kart Centre Cork
If you fancy a rush of adrenaline hail, rain or shine, then one of the indoor karting venues in Limerick or Cork might be the answer. The track in Limerick is one of the world’s largest indoor karting arenas, with a mix of tunnels, bridges and underpasses.
CULTURE & HISTORY
31) National Museums of Ireland
Covering Archaeology, Natural History, Decorative Arts & History in Dublin and Country Life, Co Mayo you'll see collections from prehistoric times to the present day and discover more about the country's heritage. Lots of family activities, tours and drop-in events throughout the summer.
32) EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
EPIC (The Irish Emigration Museum), which is on the itinerary for Harry and Meghan’s visit, is an interactive experience located in Dublin’s Docklands that tells the story of the more than 10 million people who left Ireland over the centuries, bringing visitors on a journey through the Irish emigration experience, exploring why people left and the adventure, adversity and triumph that awaited them.
Dublinia is history brought to life in an exciting way for all to engage, learn and share. With four exciting exhibitions, you can visit Viking and Medieval Dublin, see Archaeology as a History Hunter and climb the medieval St Michael’s Tower.
34) Doagh Famine Village
A unique experience on the stunning Inishowen peninsula, Doagh Famine Village offers a large selection of life size attractions portraying life in Ireland from the 1840's until the present day including The Irish Wake, Orange Hall, Hedge School and a Republican Safe House that the kids will love, if not understand!
35) The Ark
Popular cultural centre in the heart of Dublin's Temple Bar, where children aged 2 -12 can explore theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. Events over the summer include summer camps, one day circus skills and fun size jazz.
36) GAA Museum
Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year with half price tickets on the 20th of every month, the GAA Museum is like no other sporting museum you’ll ever visit.
It not only celebrates Ireland’s national games, it also vividly brings to life how the GAA has contributed to our cultural, social and sporting heritage. Pair it with an access-all-areas trip through the home of Gaelic games on the Croke Park Stadium tour and walk in the footsteps of your heroes.
37) Cork City Gaol
Visitors are taken back in time with a fascinating insight into day-to-day prison life throughout Irish history from pre-famine times to the foundation of the state.
38) National Heritage Sites
The OPW manages over 700 sites with historical and cultural signifigance throughout Ireland that have seven million visitors a year. With sites including Battle of the Boyne, Newgrange, Dublin Castle, National Botanic Gardens, Rock of Cashel and more, there is something fun and educational for all the family.
ANIMALS & NATURE
39) SEA LIFE, Bray
The perfect rainy day out, SEA LIFE, Bray is an aquatic Zoo with over thrity displays which are home to over 1,000 creatures including Black Tip Reef Sharks, Octopus, Seahorses, Stingrays and Red-Bellied Piranha.
Visit SEA LIFE Bray this Summer to take part in LEGO Ocean Explorers, where you can discover curious creatures of the deep as you navigate a trail to find hidden pieces in the mystery tanks. LEGO Ocean Explorers runs until Sunday, 2nd September.
40) Airfield Estate
Airfield Estate, Dublin’s only 38 acre working farm, gardens, heritage and food experience. A great family day out this Summer.
41) Tearaways Pet Farm & Activitiy Centre
Lots if indoor and outdoor activities ensure a great family day out in North Tipperary, whatever the weather. Open seven days a week over the summer with lots of friendly animals to see including goats, pigs, ponies, emu, sheep, calves and their Scottish Highlander.
42) Secret Valley Wildlife Park
Secret Valley Wildlife Park and Zoo in Wexford is fourteen acres of fun for all the family.
They have a full daily timetable of fun activities to keep the children entertained from bottle feeding one of their giddy kid goats, to holding guinea pigs, insects and lizards or a friendly pony ride. There is also indoor and outdoor play areas and you can have a spin in their quad train and.
43) Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park celebrates 35 years with a series of free summer events including outdoor concerts, educational weekends, art workshops, yoga and the Blue Imaginations Playground. These events are in addition to a programme of wildlife talks, feeding times, arts and crafts and face painting held seasonally throughout the Park.
44) Galway Atlantaquaria
Ireland's largest native species aquarium is set over two floors in Salthill, with over 70 exhibits designed to display the wealth of life along the Atlantic coast of Ireland.
45) Clonfert Pet Farm
A huge variety of everyone's farmyard favourites are waiting to greet you in Kildare including cows, ponies, donkey, pigs, goats, sheep, ferret, peacock, puppies, ducks, turkeys, geese and hens. There is also two outdoor playground areas both with bouncy castles, an indoor play area, mini golf, go karts, a football pitch, plenty of picnic areas and lots more to keep your family entertained.
46) Hidden Valley Holiday Park
Perfect for a family break or a day trip in Wicklow with activities such as kayaking, fishing, swimming, rowing boats, outdoor adventure park, walking, bumper boats, organised football, cinema nights and much more.
47) Trabolgan Holiday Village
Enjoy a family holiday at Trabolgan Holiday Village. July 13th weekend breaks from only €544, July 16th midweek breaks from only €644. All larger houses are already sold out.
48) Quality Hotel, Youghal
Is there a nicer setting for a holiday in Ireland? Voted Best Family Break in the 2017 YourDaysOut awards, the hotel overlooks Redbarn Beach, the only Blue Flag Beach in East Cork but also features a swimming pool, kids camp and even a cinema club.
49) Hodson Bay Hotel
Featuring large family rooms with morning and evening kids camp, Hodson Bay is perfectly located to explore the sights of the Midlands. Bay Sports inflatable waterpark is right outside the door on Lough Ree and there are plenty of other local activities nearby to suit all ages and interests.
50) Nore Valley Park
The campsite overlooks green hills and a gentle river and is the perfect place to enjoy a family break in Kilkenny. On-site is a pet farm with common farm animals as well as ostriches, owl and red deer as well as go-karts, racto rides, crazy golf, indoor 3D Maze and more.
51) Delphi Resort
Make memories this summer Leenane, Connemara, where Delphi Resort has the perfect family break options suitable for different budgets and accommodation needs. There are also summer camp options ranging from single-day camps up to seven nights residential.
52) Amber Springs Hotel
The perfect getaway spot to enjoy the sunny south-east from. The family-friendly hotel may be minutes away from miles of sandy beaches, within walking distance of Gorey town and located near loads of local activities but it also has go-karting, mini golf, the famous Amber Train, kids club and swimming-pool on site.
53) Connemara Maths Academy
With a philosophy of learning through discovery and experience, the week-long residential camp teaches critical-thinking and problem solving through fun outdoor activities, art and technology. Camps take place in either Rockwell College or Delphi Resort.
54) National Sports Campus
I don't think there is a better place for your little stars to feel like superstars than at a camp in the world-class facilities at the National Sports Campus. There are over twenty different sports to enjoy across the week, including fencing, archery, cricket, gymnastics & trampolining,
55) Carlingford Adventure Centre
With over twenty years experience running adventure camps, they now have various options including day camps, residential camps and family camps that includes accommodation in a holiday home.
56) Funtasia, Drogheda
The Pirates Cove Waterpark features over 200 water gushing activities including the adrenalin pumping Super Bowl speed slide and the incredible gravity-defying Boomerang slide. Funtasia Drogheda isn't just a Waterpark, the centre also has 14 lanes of Egyptian themed bowling, Sky Climbing aerial assault course, Atlantis Cove indoor play area, 12 different birthday party ideas and much much more.
57) Aquazone, Dublin
One of the most visited attraction in Ireland and it's easy to see why. This is an indoor fun waterpark in Dublin with loads of wild waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a pirate ship for the littles ones and Flow Rider surf machine.
58) Cork Harbour Boat Hire
A great family tour with a difference. View the beauty of Cork Harbour and its sights from your own easy to drive boat. You can even get up close to some of the huge cruise ships that stop in Cobh.
59) Aqua Dome
Packed with features for the whole family including wave pools, lazy rivers, raging rapids, water slides and more. There is also a mini-golf course for more fun either before or after your swim.
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