Despite all the difficulties local Irish businesses continue to have, especially our favourite indoor venues, the summer is in full swing with plenty of things to over the Bank Holiday weekend and throughout August.

Whilst the recent heatwave helped showcase the best that Ireland has to offer, most venues are able to host your family's day out whatever the weather.

Who doesn't love creating memories of an Irish staycation when any of the four seasons could be on offer on any given day...and if you are lucky all four seasons might show up on the same day!

With families looking for activities to keep the children amused and provide a change of scenery, many of the venues below are an ideal choice for a day trip or even as part of your family holiday.

Stay safe, support local and have fun!

1) Tearaways Pet Farm, Tipperary
After reopening outdoors at the start of the month, Tearaway is a fantastic venue for a family day out with games, activities, outdoor playground, games area, pet farm and outdoor dining. Daily entry is staggered with bookings online now open.

2) Hidden Valley Resort & Splash Valley Aqua Park, Wicklow
Hidden Valley Holiday Resort is the perfect place to enjoy some outdoor family fun including the popular Splash Valley Aqua Park. The Lakehouse will be open for takeaway food, drinks and treats to help you warm up and you can camp on-site and make a weekend of it.

3) Zipit Forest Adventures, Dublin, Cork, Roscommon
If your children are like mine, then after being locked up with their parents for a year, they are desperate to burn off any excess energy and push their boundaries. Zipit is perfect as with five different circuits ranging from 1-20 metres in height, I can stay low while they go high! Climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets, fly down one of their many ziplines at a choice of venue in Dublin, Cork and Roscommon. Booking online, in advance only.

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4) Fota Wildlife Park, Cork
Home to Ireland's only wildlife park, Fota Wildlife Park is where you will find elephants roaming freely alongside ostriches, kangaroos and giraffes. The animals are as exotic as the park itself, with flora and fauna all replicated from the African plains. They have extended their opening hours from 9am in the morning, with entry up until 6pm allowing visitors to enjoy the Park until it closes at 8pm. There is also summer BBQ Combi package available now too!

5) Castleview Open Farm, Laois
There will be a fun Scavenger Hunt all weekend with a chance to win some fantastic hampers. OXMAN the clown and Cinderella will will entertain the children and handing out treats and gifts on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Entry is €8 per adults and €8 per child for the first two kids and €4 there after. Under twos and carers are free. Admission includes entry to the farm and all activities, scavenger hunt, a small bag of carrots to feed the animals and free mini golf. Open Thursday to Sunday 11am to 6pm for the rest of August with no need to book in advance.

6) Bay Sports, Westmeath
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.

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7) Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park, Mayo
The Pirate Adventure Park at Westport House is the west coast of Ireland's number one destination for family fun! The jewel in its crown is the historic house itself which is closed for renovations but tickets have just gone on sale for its intimate and fascinating Restoration Tour starting August 11th. Be sure to pre-book your visit to avoid disappointment.

8) Fort Lucan Adventureland, Dublin
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.

9) West Coast Aqua Park, Clare
With two venues to choose from in Kilrush and Killaloe, West Coast Aqua Park is an epic adventure for all the family to enjoy. Jump, slide, climb and bounce your way around our inflatable obstacle course on the water. Beat the obstacles, race your friends and family and watch them get totally wiped out!

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10) SKYPARK, Louth
Day adventures in Ireland's biggest adventure park in beautiful Carlingford, County Louth. The whole family can enjoy over 20 activities including aerial adventures, quazer, aeroball, water wars, axe throwing & much more. New for 2021 is the Ireland’s Ancient East Maze & they have new activity passes to suit all ages & abilities, with a new café & delicious new hot food menu.

11) Dublin Zoo, Dublin
A summer in Dublin is just not a summer without a trip to Zoo. While this year will continue to be different than normal, the staggered check-in times and one-way system ensure your family can safely visit all your favourites. Bookings can be made 2 weeks in advance only from 11am every Thursday & 11am on Wednesday for annual pass holders.

12) Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny
Set in a stunning eighty-acre woodland, Castlecomer Discovery Park has a whole day of fantastic outdoor activities including a trip down Ireland's longest zipwire, a walk in the clouds or unleash your inner Robin Hood!

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13) 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!

14) Clara Lara Fun Park, Wicklow
Clara Lara is the place to come for a day away from the world of screens. Children can play outdoors, run around, use their imagination, stretch their physical fitness and not notice time going by. This is the perfect getaway for families from a busy bustling world. Clara Lara Fun Park is the ultimate escape to the wilderness. Open daily from 10:30 - 18:00 until the 29th August. No advance booking required.

15) Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Wexford
Secret Valley Wildlife Park is set in 14 acres of beautiful countryside with 38 species of animals including meerkats, monkeys and reptiles and you can hand feed their baby Goats, Llamas and Alpacas. There is a one-way system to help keep everyone safe. The Quad train, peddle tractors and outdoor play area are running as normal. Booking online.

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16) Ardmore Open Farm, Waterford
Located just minutes from the sea-side village of Ardmore in Co. Waterford, this is the perfect place to break free from lockdown. Featuring a new extended walkway, there will be a one-way system around the farm with lot of different animals to see. All outdoor playgrounds are also open with hot food, drinks and ice-cream available too. Booking in advance only.

17) Kinderama Summer Camps, Online
Kinderama goes virtual with safe and secure online virtual Summer Camps for under 6’s. Kinderama is bringing their usual in-person summer camps for under 6’s online. Included in the Kinderama Summer Camp will be 5 Kinderama Classes – Space Adventure, Insects, Mermaids & Dragons, Gymnastics, Music and Animals. You pay just once per household and you can access all the content for the whole of July and August.

18) EPIC and the Jeanie Johnson | Dublin
This summer kids can visit EPIC and the Jeanie Johnston free of charge. Climb aboard the Jeanie and be transported back in time to relive the gruelling journeys of Ireland’s emigrants. In EPIC discover why they left, where they went and how they shaped the world. Children can travel the world with them, unearthing fascinating stories of pirates, inventors, pop stars, presidents and even vampires.

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19) Brigit's Garden, Galway
Engage the children and have lots of fun on the kids' Earth Quest trail at Brigit's Garden. Working as a team, you will navigate the Garden and solve science-based challenges on your quest. There are several science-based installations around the Garden including a water engineering play area, a pedal-power generator, a geodesic camera obscura and a weather station to reveal a few. Families work together to discover, observe and identify things as they explore Brigit’s Garden, recording their findings on our special "Earth Quest" guide. No need to book online, just arrive and reception will be happy to look after you. Open daily 10am - 5.30pm.

20) Wild Ireland, Donegal
Already one of the North-West’s must do destinations, Wild Ireland is fast becoming one of the top visitor attractions in Ireland. Based on the simple, but crazy, idea of one man, Killian McLaughlin (as featured on the RTÉ One documentary Return Of The Wild) to reintroduced brown bears, wolves, artic foxes, lynx, wild boar and more to the island. Wild Ireland offers sanctuary to many animals which have been exploited and abused in circuses, roadside zoos, illegal pet trade and laboratories. Open daily for morning or afternoon sessions. Bookings online, in advance only.

21) Newgrange Farm, Meath
Quite possibly one of the most stunning settings for a family day out, Newgrange Farm stands in the shadow of the ancient cairn. The farm has plenty of space to allow your family enjoy a safe and fun day out. Visit the new arrivals, walk around the large paddock, play in the sandpit, hide in the straw maze, try and take the corner in the go karts and enjoy a family picnic. Perfect! Open daily for morning or afternoon sessions. Bookings online, in advance only.

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