Holidays in Ireland with kids – a guide for families

If you’re visiting Ireland with kids, this is your guide to have the best holidays in Ireland with kids! We had 3 weeks in Ireland between March and April 2018!

Planning your holidays in Ireland with kids? We're talking about the best of County Kerry, Clare, and Dublin! Click for more!

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Ireland is one of the best places to visit with kids – full of beautiful sights, fun things to do, historical sites to see, and super friendly people. Keep reading for more!

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What to do with kids in Ireland

I’m gonna start with the fun facts: Ireland isn’t part of the UK, while Northern Ireland is. Therefore, it uses Euro as its currency. Not very practical, but it is what it is. 

Still, it’s just as beautiful as Northern Ireland, albeit larger and therefore, harder to see it all. 

There are many things to when you travel to Ireland for kids, from horseback riding, archery, pottery, hikes, movies, theaters, and more. 

Castlegregory Beach, with its blue waters and rocky shore. Ireland has some lovely beaches all around.

The lovely Castlegregory Beach – too bad it was a bit too cold for a dip. I’d have loved it, surely. Or maybe I need to stop being so greedy.

Below is a list of what we did during our trip to Ireland with kids, so keep on scrolling for more!

The best place to stay in Ireland with kids

We tried booking different places to stay and we really did want to spend longer in Dublin BUT the prices were exorbitant and we nearly considered not stopping there at all. Why is Ireland just so much more expensive than the already expensive UK?

So, luckily, we had a great friend who let us use his house for 2 weeks and we were able to include the country in our trip.

The house is in the calm and quiet town of Castlegregory, in Co Kerry. It’s super small and not much happens there in low season BUT the beach is astonishing – great for some much-needed peace and quiet. 

Ireland is a green country. Green fields everywhere! And, sometimes, there was even the sun.

Driving from Dublin to Castlegregory, we saw this. Oh, Ireland, can you be any prettier than this?

Thank you, Seamus and family. It was lovely. 

So this is the house, and we highly recommend it – even though it doesn’t have the internet. It’s really the only downside of this house. The house is big, very well equipped, clean, warm, and I must say: THREE toilets. We were so spoiled, it was hard to get used to sharing a bathroom after that. 

Ah, and you do need a car to get there. 

If you’re new to Airbnb, click here to get a discount on your first booking! (affiliate link)

By the way, Co Kerry is full of gems, it’s an awesome place to stay when you travel to Ireland. With kids, even more so!

If you prefer hotels or hostels, find some in the box below!



>Booking.com


Places to Visit in Ireland with kids

I’m gonna divide it here by counties because I really think it’s easier, but we based ourselves in Kerry, so almost everything we did was around the West Coast of Ireland with a very quick stop in Dublin. It includes the best kids attractions in Ireland. 


Things to do with kids in Kerry

Kerry offers A LOT for families, so this is going to be the longest section. Here’s what to do in Kerry for kids. 

Ring of Kerry

We basically took a day to drive around the stunning Ring of Kerry (which, let me tell you, made my kids talk a lot about NZ – they are very much alike). It was a bit tiring, but if you don’t stop, you should drive around the Ring in around 3 hours. We stopped often and even detoured a bit to drive around Skellig Ring, so it took us a whole day. 

Ireland's County Kerry seen from one of the mountains - a heart shaped lake in the middle of the photo. It's beautiful everywhere, the perfect place for holidays!

If you get tired of the green, you’ll find heart-shaped lakes, mountains, and dramatic clouds!

 

We didn’t actually stop there, just drove past it. It’s a Heritage Center with many exhibits. My kids weren’t interested in the least, so we didn’t even stop. Maybe next time. It’s pretty and looks very much like a castle. 

  • Reenard Point (with the optional ferry to Valentia Island)

This is also just a drive-by place, but it was stunning! With mountains, the sea, bridges, and boats, make sure to drive by. 

The sea, a bridge, and the islands behind. Ireland is full of gems everywhere. It's a great country for a road trip!

I mean, look at this. It’s just too pretty. If we weren’t driving, we would have missed most of it. I recommend you get a car.

This is the ancestral house of Daniel O’Connor, a very important figure in the Irish history. 

It’s a museum inside the Derrynane National Historic Park. 

We also didn’t enter – but it may be a good stop to stretch the legs and learn a bit more about the local history…

(Visits cost €5 per adult, €3 per child, and a family pass costs €13. It’s free for Heritage Pass Holders)

I’m not sure what we were expecting, but we stopped there to see. They’re boulders arranged in a circle, with a burial ground in the center. It’s said to have been an important ceremonial place during the bronze age (2200 – 500 BC). 

The Stone Circle of Kenmare, Ireland. A tiny planet, with trees on the edges, a large boulder in the middle, and 14 stores forming a circle around it. Click for more!

There couldn’t have been a more-fitting photo. This is all it was. I don’t know if we were disappointed or not.

Entry costs €2 per person. 

We had fun BUT it’s not as impressive.  

  • Moll’s Gap

This was another fun thing. It’s basically a pass in the middle of 2 mountains. And that’s it. 

It’s impressive, very beautiful and all, and we were hoping to stop for coffee and toilet BUT nothing was opened at 6 pm. 

It’s worth to pass by, though. 

A tree, the mountains behind and the cloudy sky on the top. Lady's view, in Killarney National Park, is part of the Ring of Kerry and it's one of the best views ever! Click for more!

Look at this view. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Ladies’ View. It’s so pretty, isn’t it? When we got there, there was a lady with a long blue cardigan facing the mountains, beside the tree, and it was even prettier, but I didn’t take a photo with her because she might not like it.

I enjoyed stopping there quite a lot. It’s one stunning viewpoint of the surroundings – seriously. 

We were there about an hour before sunset and the place was incredible, the lighting was perfect, everything was awesome. 

A bit from the viewpoint, we saw some deer roaming around – the kids loved it! 

And of course, we needed to see at least one of the waterfalls in the area, right?

Torc Waterfall, in County Kerry, Ireland. One of the lovely places to stop while in the Ring of Kerry. Click for more!

I love waterfalls. They’re mostly gorgeous things, so fierce, and yet delicate.

So Torc Waterfall for us! 

It’s easy to find and there’s a carpark and a toilet – all free. 

The waterfall is a VERY short walk from the carpark (around 2 minutes if you walk as slow as we did) and it’s stunning!

The whole – very – short walk is just as stunning. 

Waterfalls have a magic: they always make us feel better and less tired. We took our time there, it was great.
And by the way, I’ve just found out that it has steps beside the waterfall, and from the top, you can see the beautiful Lake Muckross.

A sunset on the back, reflecting on the lake and trees in the front. That's Lake Muckross, in Ireland, and its stunning sunsets. Click for more!

Just look. It was one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen – and I love a sunset. It’s a shame it was one of the few sunsets we were able to witness in Ireland. It rained a lot.

  • Muckross Lake

We were just leaving the waterfall when Melissa told me to look at the sunset. Oh, was it gorgeous! 

It was colorful, bright, serene, and perfect. Besides, it was reflecting on the lake and we had to go there to look at it better. 

So we walked from the carpark of the waterfall to as close as we could get to the lake and watched it for a while. 

Breathtaking. 

if you have the time, take a walk around the park – it’s lovely. 

Ross Castle, in Ireland, at night. The sky is a royal blue and there are spotlights lighting the castle. We weren't even going to stop there, but I'm glad we did. We had lots of fun.

Ross Castle, everybody! Well, those spotlights made my kids giggle so much. They danced, tried to make shadow animals, took shadow selfies and more. Why have toys?

It was already night but we stopped at Ross Castle anyway. It’s open to the public (not all of it, at night, though) and we could enter through the gates and play in the courtyard. 

My kids are silly and they had lots of fun making shadow shapes onto the castle walls. 

(Visits cost €5 per adult, €3 per child, and a family pass costs €13. It’s free for Heritage Pass Holders – the courtyard is free)

The beach water reflecting the clouds on a thin layer of water over the ripply sand. There's a rainbow at the back, can you see it? Ireland rainbow!

That was the first rainbow we saw in Ireland. I had to take a photo. You can see the rainbow, right?

Skellig Ring

Right after we went to Reenard Point, we saw a sign pointing to the Skellig Ring. Well, we had to go, right? A couple of hours more wouldn’t make such a big difference anyway. 

  • Portmagee

This is a lovely village where you’ll find the ferry that goes to Valentia Island (there’s a bridge too, for those who don’t really enjoy ferries). It’s pretty, and it’s also full of people waiting to see if their boats to Skellig Michael will leave. 

Since we don’t like ferries, we took the bridge to Valentia Island. It’s super quick and easy (and free). And it’s a lovely drive. 

Green grass in the foreground, the sea and a cliff in the middle, mountains and blue skies at the back. Ireland at its prettiest. Click for more!

Cliffs, and the sea, and it’s oh so Ireland-y! Except for the blue skies. That is not a common occurrence.

  • Valentia Island

– Bray Head 

Our first stop was Bray Head. It’s a mountain, basically with a beautiful loop walk to the tower. We stopped at the carpark willing to walk but the kids wouldn’t budge so we gave it up. It’s a 2~3-hour walk, easy, but it was very cold and windy and the kids were already tired of the drive. 

– Geokaun Mountain & Fogher Cliffs 

Then we went to Geokaun Mountain and Fogher Cliffs. 

It has a walk, a carpark, and many stunning views. 

It costs €5 per family and you can drive your car up to the summit or climb it on foot. 

Fogher Cliffs, in Ireland. Ireland is a country full of cliffs and they're all impressive. Click for more!

Fogher Cliffs! Even though if you look at cliffs from this angle they all look the same, it’s always impressive. It’s just such a majestic sight! We realize how small we really are.

We drove. We’re lazy. It was stunning, very windy, very cold. 

The cliffs are stunning, impressive, and it’s worth the time. 

  • Kerry Cliffs

The Kerry Cliffs are stunning. It was one of the places where we spent the most time (and maybe because the walks were longish from the carpark). 

It cost €14 for my family of 6. 

Kerry Cliffs, in Ireland. It was nearly empty, comparing to the Cliffs of Moher, and just as impressive. And more expensive. Click for more!

I really enjoyed watching the white traces the water left on the rocks after they crashed. So beautiful! It was almost like a veil.

But just a warning here: you need to walk a bit over half a mile (or 1km) from the carpark to the first viewpoint, and then another half a mile to the other viewpoint. And they’re all upwards. It’s not very hard, but it wasn’t easy peasy either. 

People with mobility difficulties can drive closer to the viewpoints, but otherwise, it’s a walk. 

We were driving when we saw this place and, of course, we had to stop. We entered and were looking around when a very nice lady invited us to try some samples. Well, of course, we wanted to. And we LOVED every single sample we were given. Oh lovely.

We ended up buying more chocolate than one can eat – and we finished them all in less than 3 days. Delicious! And no regrets!

Visit it, you won’t regret it!

Ballinskellig Bay with the shallow waters reflecting the clouds and the blue skies, and the castle ruins at the back. Castle ruins are even more romantic than the actual well kept castles, aren't they? The UK is full of them!

Don’t you just love when the sky reflects on the water? Well, I do. I bet you’ve noticed that already. There are the castle ruins, can you see it?

  • Ballinskelligs Bay and Castle

And our last stop on this very long driving day was Ballinskelligs Bay with a stop to see the Castle. The ruins of the castle weren’t very impressive, after the many stunning ones we’d visited, but it’s always nice to have a while at the beach. Even when it’s freezing cold. 

We loved walking on the sand and playing with the seaweed.

Skellig Michael

It’s the ruins of a monastery. It’s beautiful and a Unesco World Heritage Site BUT you can only see around the island if the sea conditions are good and you can only land in the island between May and October – and only a certain number of people. 

A replica of Skellig Michael's huts at Kerry Cliffs. They do seem to have come from a different galaxy - I can see why they were used for Star Wars.

This is just a model of the little huts of Skellig Michael. Very Star Wars-y, isn’t it? Oh, I wanted to have visited it!

We missed the time, but as far as we read, it’s a bit of a scary hike to the top of the island, maybe not for the little ones. 

Our reason to visit it: Star Wars. That’s where Luke’s village was filmed – on the last movies.

Castlegregory

There isn’t much besides the beach BUT it’s a glorious beach and the sky there is lovely. 

You can rent some gear and surf, or do many of the watersports offered in the area, or learn pottery in one of the shops. 

The sun setting over the sea of Castlegregory Beach, in Ireland. It's a lovely rocky beach with various water sports options. Click for more!

It was a perfect sunset – while I watched it, the kids were playing throwing rocks in the water – everybody had fun and nobody complained or asked if we could go already. There are lovely moments like these.

Most places don’t open unless it’s high season or a holiday, so try to schedule your trip for sometime when something’s up. 

Crag Cave

We wanted to visit a cave and Crag Cave was the closest to us. 

The cave is big but we’re only allowed in a part of it and it’s only in guided tours, so it’s a short visit to it. The tours take around 30 minutes and a family pass (2 adults and 4 kids) cost €35. 

I must say, it’s a very nice tour, full of astonishing sights and learning, and worth a visit – but it is a bit pricey. 

Inside one of the caves in Ireland. There are many caves open for visits throughout the country. Click for more!

It’s so cool inside the cave! It’s all so fragile and yet, so very old! The kids loved it!

Then, there’s the Crazy Cave, which is just a huge indoor playground for kids under 12. It’s an extra fee of €6 per child and it’s only good for 2 hours. 

Coral (5) LOVED it and she spent the whole 2 hours running around like crazy. 

There are a café and lots of seating areas, great for the bored teenagers in the family. 

Things to do in Killarney with kids

Killarney is so pretty – must visit! We had a quick stop, of around 4 hours, and we loved it. It’s a big city – probably the biggest in the area. 

Killarney is one of the biggest towns in Kerry. It's good if you start missing the city life. Click for more.

Sometimes, the best views are in unexpected places. This, my friends, is from the carpark. Yep. The carpark.

  • Downtown

Walk around downtown, get lost, just enjoy. It’s pretty and a nice stroll. Get lost in the alleys and streets, enjoy the scenery, watch the people, and have fun. 

You can catch a movie or spend some time in a pub if the rain gets heavy.

  • St. Mary’s Church

Coral (5) said she wanted to see the inside of the church and so we went. The bored teens didn’t want to, but they took their time reading the signs outside the church while the little one explored it. 

If you plan going on a holiday in Ireland with kids, click here to find all the best of it!

I do seriously mean you need to get lost in the alleys – they’re lovely, unique, and, well, you may find something really nice on the other side. Or you may have to go back, but that’s fine too, right?

She liked it. 

It’s a beautiful church for sure. 

  • Eddies Rocket Burger

We had lunch at this place. It’s very much like Johnny Rockets, even on the decor. 

The burgers are good, the shakes are OK, and the service was great. 

The best, though, was that the kids were given a pretty rich sticker book and oh, they had fun with it. Silly kids, happy kids. 

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  • Muckross Abbey

This is a very stunning place – but super creepy too. 

It’s in ruins and it’s free to visit. 

Walk around, and find the stunning tree in the courtyard. Lovely, lovely thing. Just try to visit during the day. When we went, it was nearly sunset and it left everything a little scarier.

  • Lake Leane

After the Abbey, we went to Lake Leane (yes, the same from Ross Castle above) and it was just as lovely. We caught the sunset again, which is always lovely. 

There are pretty walks around, but very few places to sit and rest – it was muddy and we just couldn’t stay for too long with ‘tired’ kids. 

A path, green grass on both sides of it, and trees on the back. Ireland is a great place to visit with the family! Click for more!

This is the path to and from Muckross Abbey. I liked it even better than the abbey or the lake. It seemed to come from a different time. Pretty thing.

Dingle Peninsula

Dingle is a pretty, lovely, and colorful little town in Kerry. 

It’s quite big for the region and it’s very worth a visit! 

Walk around, enter one of the pubs, or even take a boat to see the lonely dolphin (Fungie). 

Have an ice cream or two, and just get lost! It’s a pretty place to be!

Colorful houses in Dingle, Ireland. The kids had fun with the name (well, Dingle is a funny name), and I feel in love with the colors!

Every single time I find a place as colorful as this, I feel like moving in. Luckily, Ireland is just too expensive but oh so pretty!

Slea Head Drive

It’s said to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. I mean, it’s beautiful, but so is The Ring of Kerry or any drive in NZ (home for us), so nothing too impressive there for us but some really pretty cliffs. 


Things to do in Clare with kids

With only a day trip to County Clare, we had to squeeze a lot in one day but it was still fun and worth it!

Cliffs of Moher

This was my only ‘must see’ on this trip, and was it worth it! I guess it’s on the itinerary of every person traveling to Ireland with kids or without. 

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most iconic places in Ireland. It's truly majestic - and, as one thing leads to another, very crowded. Click here to know more!

The classic view of the Cliffs. You can only know how immense it is if you have something to compare to so… Find the people. There are lots of them in this photo.

The 3-hour-drive as totally worth it, it’s as beautiful as it looks in the photos. 

Between our 4 hours there, we had one hour on the parking lot line – seriously. The lines were super long and slow, and then they wouldn’t let us park on the spots we’d found and we had to go around the parking lot 3 times to find a place to park. 

Make sure you visit early in the morning or after 3 pm – that’s when the lines are shorter.

But it was great. 

Visiting the Cliffs of Moher with kids

The first thing to note is that it’s quite full. It was the low season when we visited, and it was still very crowded. 

Then the viewpoints are great, but the walks are mostly not very nice and they have loads of scary warnings, like ‘from this point on you’re on your own’ or something that sounded like that. 

I’m not very fond of heights, and it made me even more fearful. 

You could probably walk the whole day around the Cliffs of Moher, in Ireland. It's enormous! Click for more info!

As you can see, there’s enough margin to walk safely even beyond the border BUT I’m not a rational being and I was terrified

 

Most of the official path beyond the National Trust borders isn’t very good for sightseeing and people often jump off the fence to get a closer look at the cliffs. We did that too because there was this very narrow part where we couldn’t continue unless the people coming passed first and it was a terrifying moment for me. 

To be really fair, there’s quite a bit of space between the fence and the cliff border, so it’s safe enough anyway BUT the ground is very soft and it seems like it’s gonna fall apart at any minute. 

But it all ended well. 

I’d suggest you keep yourself and your kids to the area maintained by the Trust and enjoy it, it’s just as pretty. 

Entry costs €6 per adult and child under 16 are free. Each adult can bring up to 4 kids for free.

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. We took our kids for a visit and you can see how it was and tips! Click to know more!

The National Trust area is right in the middle of the cliffs. There’s a huge stretch to the right and to the left. We chose to go to the left because I thought the right side was scary by looking at this view. Can you see the line of people walking? Yeah. Well, the other side was exactly the same

Ailwee Cave

We didn’t visit it, as we’d already seen Crag Cave and Coral started complaining of tummy ache in the car. Haha. The joys of road tripping with kids, right?

It’s said to be beautiful and the tour takes around 35 minutes. The price varies, but a family ticket (for 4) costs €29. 

Poulnabrone Dolmen Tomb 

An ancient tomb marked by 2 standing boulders and one on top. It’s pretty impressive, but the best of it was the floor. WOW. 

We had a blast playing on the beautiful limestone floor. 

It’s free to visit – great!

Poulnabrone Dormen Tomb is a portal tomb in Ireland, in Burren National Park. It was a hit with the kids. Click for more!

As you can see, the portal tomb is impressive, yes (and they said there were loads of people buried there), but the floor… oh, this beautiful floor! It was lots of fun

Burren National Park

The Burren National Park is stunning. We actually only drove past it, but it’s stunning. 

It’s a very rocky path and it’s very worth a visit. 

Unfortunately, we had a child complaining of tummy ache and had to hurry back home. 


Dublin

We didn’t linger in Dublin. The prices for accommodation were absurd and, honestly, it was way out of our range.

We did spend a few hours on our first day and had lunch at this pub called Bóbó’s, with good burgers and fries. 

Then, on our last day – we arrived in the afternoon, had lunch at Friday’s because it was close to the hotel, and left in the morning. We stayed in Premier Inn because we found good rates, but it’s not a place to stay for longer, as it’s far away from everything. 

Wandering around the many alleys and streets in Ireland was lovely - when it wasn't raining. Oh, who am I kidding? It rained every day.

This was NOT in Dublin. It’s from Dingle. I just love those stone walls all around the UK.

 

Luckily, I know who has, so here is what some awesome bloggers have to share about Dublin!

Sheep Hearding Demonstration

There is no doubt that children love animals and besides witnessing the adorable interaction between the two, it can also be very educational. In a city where the Pub culture is prevalent, it is nice to know that there are fun activities that can be enjoyed by both parents and children. 

Michael Crowe, a well-known sheepdog handler, in County Wicklow is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable when it comes to sheep herding. During the demonstration, he explains how the Border Collie, the most intelligent dog in the world, is trained from a very early age to herd the Cheviot Sheep. These are indigenous sheep to the Wicklow Mountains, located about an hour outside of Dublin. A border collie looking away with 4 sheep staring at it - sheep bearding in Dublin, Ireland

You will get to interact with Dale, an 11y/o border collie and if you are lucky you’ll also get to see a puppy in training. We had the pleasure of seeing little Maggie, a four-month-old puppy, in action. Watching Michael and the dogs rounding up the flock through various whistles and calls is a truly exceptional experience! If you are a dog lover, you’ll really enjoy this authentic Irish experience. 

By Travel like a Chieff

Butlers Chocolate Factory

Getting off the beaten path in Dublin is easy when your destination includes chocolate! One of Ireland’smost famous chocolate brands, Butlers Chocolates, offers a fun interactive tour of their working factory. On the tour, visitors will get the opportunity to decorate their own chocolate elephant (or other forms!) with even more chocolate! One lucky kid may also be chosen to help pour chocolate in molds as part of an up close demonstration on how the small chocolates are made.

Butlers Chocolate Experience Tour takes visitors through every step of the process as you learn about the origins of chocolate, how the factory operates and how chocolates are made all while soaking up the fabulous aroma of chocolate!

An elephant shaped chocolate from Blutlers Chocolate, in Dublin (Ireland)! A tour through the factory is a great day out for families!
Tours are offered on a regular basis but must be scheduled and booked in advance. The tour costs €13.50 per person or €50 for a family of 4.
Trust me, visiting the Butlers Chocolate Factory will be a fun experience for everyone in the family, but especially for chocolate lovers!

By No Back Home

Saint Stephen‘s Green

Saint Stephen’s Green is located in the heart of Dublin and is the perfect thing to do with children in the city! Saint Stephen’s Green is a free and family friendly park that is open from sunset to sundown. During the warmer months, it is the perfect place to take the kids in Dublin to let them run loose after a day exploring with the adults. The park offers little gazebos, plenty of green space, ponds and pools, fountains, beautiful flowers, and plenty of wildlife! Kids will love feeding the ducks in the park, just be careful as the ponds do not have any railing so keep an eye on children at all times.
A nice park is always a good day out for families! Check Saint Stephens Green in Dublin!
Saint Stephen’s Green also has a playground for toddlers and older children complete with rubbery ground to cushion children from any falls off the equipment. There are plenty of benches and winding paths for families to explore and if you have stroller age children, the paths are perfect for pushing a stroller as well! Saint Stephen’s Green is one of the fun and free things to do with children in Dublin!

By Follow me Away

Dublinia (the Viking Museum)

Dublinia, the Viking and Medieval Dublin museum, is a great way for kids to experience what it was like to live in Dublin during the early days of the city. Located at the crossroads of the medieval city of Dublin near Christ Church, Dublinia is easily accessible from most of Dublin. Kids (and adults!) can try on Viking clothes. pretend to sail in Viking ships, watch demonstrations by period craftsmen, and even see what it would have been like to use the W.C.
Dublinia is the Viking Museum in Dublin. Most kids enjoy vikings, right? Might as well check it out!
In medieval Dublin, kids can learn all about everyday life, from how medicine worked (or didn’t work), crime and punishment, and what happened to a poor soul who gets a toothache. The museum does a great job of combining gritty reality with age-appropriate information and adding in some imagination and fun. Kids are entertained throughout while learning about the history of the interesting city. And while the museum is primarily aimed at kids, even adults can have a great time while learning about Dublin’s interesting past.

Natural History Museum

If you’re looking for an inexpensive activity to do with your family while visiting Dublin, consider checking out the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History Museum which has been welcoming visitors since 1857!
Also known as the “The Dead Zoo” or “The Museum of Museums”, this historic museum houses a variety of mammals and an extensive insect exhibit.
The Natural History Museum, in Dublin, os a great place to take kids who are interested in animals and nature! Click for more!
The “Irish Room” features mammals from Ireland like the giant Irish deer (skeleton) and puffins while the upper floors showcase mammals from around the world like whales, goats, bats, zebras, lions, giraffes, elephants, primates and more.
There’s so much to see at the Natural History Museum in Dublin that you can easily spend anywhere from one hour to a few hours here.
By the way, admission is free and the museum is closed on Mondays.

A day-trip to Kildare

Sometimes the best thing to do in a city with kids is to get out of the city.  Kildare is a village about 30 minutes southwest of Dublin. It has a number of sites and locations that are intriguing, but children love National Stud.  This is Ireland’s premier horse breeding and training center, and it is open to visitors. There are stables and training areas, and a number of horse care chores than can be seen.  A map is given with admission, so it is clear where to see specific types of horses. We were most interested in the foals, and spring was the perfect time to see them.

Being in Dublin also means you get to go on day-trips! Kildare is a good one! Click for more!

In addition, National Stud houses two world class gardens, the Japanese Garden, and St. Fiachra’s garden.  Both gardens are lovely with lots of hidden corners to explore, and they are wooded enough to seem like an adventure.  Of course there is also a children’s playground area that is always popular with little ones. To complete the National Stud experience there is a horse museum, where the entire skeleton of a championship steed can be seen, and a cafe for some delicious snacks.

By Gypsy with a Day Job

So these were the best places to go with kids in Ireland!


Travel in Ireland by Car

Ireland, unlike Northern Ireland, is a big country. It’s easy to travel from one place to the other, but the best way to travel in it is by car. Road trips are awesome anywhere, but in Ireland, it’s epic. 

Ireland is a freaking beautiful and it wouldn’t have been easier or better to have traveled by public transport or tours. 

And we had the chance to stay in far away places (like Castlegregory) free of worries. 

Slea Head Drive, in Ireland, is said to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. I might believe it... so beautiful!

This is one of the many cliffs of the country. We found it while driving around Slea Head Drive (another beautiful loop road). Having a car allows us to stop whenever we want – and for big families, it often is cheaper than any other transport method.

What to know when you road trip in Ireland

Well, you need to know that roads in Ireland are narrow. Some places are so narrow that only one narrow car can fit nicely – but they’re still two-way roads. 

The other thing to note is that most of the fences are made of rocks – some of them are pointy and you may have a flat tire here and there. 

Get a full insurance, even if you never do. Seriously. 

It’s not worth the trouble. 

OH, and bear in mind that you drive on the left side of the road and the driver sits on the right side of the car. It’s the British hand – easy for the Australians/Kiwis/Japs, harder on the rest of the world. 

The town if Dingle, in Ireland, is lovely, colorful, and lively. How not to love it? Click to know more

This is the town of Dingle. Isn’t it lovely? We walked around quite a bit and we only saw this view as we were leaving – from the car. Ha.

To make matters easier, the norm is the manual transmission cars. You’ll probably have to drive on the opposite side you’re used to and use a manual gear. Think if it’s worth for you to pay more, but have an auto-transmission. 


Ireland and Northern Ireland Border  

We were in Northern Ireland and went to Ireland by bus. I thought we’d have to do immigration stuff and we were ready. I mean, we’d be exiting the UK and entering EU, so there must be something, right?

But no. It was like traveling within the UK: no worries, no bureaucracy, no troubles. Easy as. 

There was literally NOTHING. 

I loved it. 

The kids were complaining that they had to tidy things so well to be able to show if immigration asked and blah blah blah, but it was better than actually having to pass through security. 

Killarney National Park, in Ireland, is awesome! Stunning landscape and the wildlife! Perfect! Click for more!

These deer were just roaming around freely by the roadside. We stopped the car, opened the windows and #4 kept screaming asking if she could go pet them – they didn’t raise an ear. But we didn’t let #4 out of the car

 

 

Heritage Pass

There’s a thing called a Heritage Pass in Ireland, which is a pass that allows you to visit a lot of the historical sites for one set price. It’s usually a better price than if you visit them and pay for each separately – but you do need to visit a few of them to be worth it. 

We didn’t get it because we weren’t gonna visit that many sites but check out their site and what they include to see if it’s worth it. 


Ireland vs Nothern Ireland

If you absolutely must only one of them, think carefully. They’re a bit different, as Northern Ireland is part of the UK and Ireland isn’t. 

The currency is different also, with Euro being used in Ireland against the Sterling Pounds of NI. 

The Cliffs of Moher are, definitely, breathtaking. Just like Machu Picchu, the first time you see it is magical! Click for more!

Oh, is there a moment when enough is enough? I seem to not get it. I promise it’ll be the last photo of the cliffs. I’ll try. (This photo was taken from beyond the fence, as my knees trembled)

NI has the Giant’s Causeway (my favorite place in the UK, to be honest) whereas Ireland has the Cliffs of Moher. 

Ireland is a much larger country and it takes a while to travel around it, and Northern Ireland is a smaller country – easier if time is short!

Aside from that, they’re VERY similar and great. 

If you can visit both, do it. 

(We found the food in Ireland to be extremely more expensive than anywhere else we’ve been so far, though)


Travel tips for Ireland with kids

Below are some tips to make your Ireland holidays easier, smoother and better. 

Muckross Abbey, in the Ring of Kerry (Ireland), is one beautiful abbey. It's in ruins, but very well preserved. Click for more

This is the tree in the courtyard of Muckross Abbey. Isn’t it stunning? I’m not even a plant person, but this tree made me forget that for a moment

  • Ireland has a mild weather, usually: not too cold, not too warm. We got lucky, and when we were there, it was freezing. 
  • It’s a rainy place, as is the whole UK, so bring on some rain gear: at least a raincoat that protects from the wind. 
  • We didn’t have any special footwear, just regular winter shoes – which we waterproofed with spray bought in Scotland. Easy, cheap, and efficient. 
  • Almost every activity is outdoors, so better be prepared for the weather, which is crazy. We had warm springy days with super chilly nights and very chilly weeks. Haha. It was winter. 

To conclude Ireland for kids:

It’s a country filled with castles, ruins, and nature. If your kids don’t like those things, chances are… they aren’t gonna like it much. 

Of course, there are the usual things, like movies, arcades, malls, restaurants, the internet, bowling, and many other activities kids may like but mostly, it’s mountains, cliffs, nature, and rain. 

Ireland is full of nature, history, culture, and joy. Click for more!

It was cold, yes, but we love the beach anyway. It always calms me down

Our kids were torn. They said it’s way too much like NZ – and not worth all the travel for it – but it’s cool to visit castles and abbeys and see the differences. 

Try including stuff they like. We did all the drives and visitations and included the stuff they liked too. 

You can read a bit about every place you intent on visiting so you get to know bits of its story and curiosities and tell the kids as you see things – that may sparkle some interest in them too. 

  • Country
  • Minimun Stay
  • $ ~ $$$
  • Child-friendlyness
  • Best local transport option
  • Safety
  • Do we recommend it?
  • Ireland
  • A week
  • $$$
  • Super child-friendly!
  • Car for the small towns and the freedom!
  • Perfectly safe
  • YES!

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1 reply
  1. Dublin Kids
    Dublin Kids says:

    what a lovely blog. valuable insights and useful tips. The photos compliment the post and makes it more interesting and visual.I hope you have a lovely time in Ireland. We have so much things to do in Dublin. If you need any more tips, please visit https://dublinkids.ie to find and entertainment for all the family. What’s lovely about Ireland is that there are lots of FREE things to do. So you can have so much fun without spending a penny. Don’t forget your camera or drone (if you have one) since the landscape is breathtaking. The mountains, the lakes and rivers…You’ll love Ireland! It’s so green all year round.
    I wish everyone to have the best time ever. For those, who are on holidays in Ireland, packing their bags for Ireland or just thinking to land in Ireland for nice time.
    Wherever you go,have fun. Happy TRAVELS to everyone 😉

    Reply

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