- Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park (Dublin, Dublin County): Kids love this sympathetically designed zoo featuring wild creatures, animal-petting corners, and a train ride. The surrounding park has room to run, picnic, and explore.
- Irish National Heritage Park (Ferrycarrig, County Wexford): Millennia of history are made painlessly educational for children and adults at this engaging “living history” museum. It’s a fascinating, informative way to while away a couple of hours or more.
- Fota Island & Wildlife Park (Carrigtwohill, County Cork): In this wildlife park, rare and endangered animals roam freely. You’ll see everything from giraffes and zebras to kangaroos, flamingos, penguins, and monkeys wandering the grassland. Add in a tour train, picnic tables, a playground, and a gift shop and you have the makings of a wonderful family outing.
- Muckross House and Gardens (Killarney, County Kerry): Today the gateway to Killarney National Park, this impressive mansion has been preserved in all its Victorian splendor. Nearby, people on the Muckross Historic Farms engage in traditional farm activities while dressed in authentic period clothes.
- Fungie the Dolphin Boat Tours (Dingle, County Kerry): Every day, fishing boats ferry visitors out into the nearby waters to see Fungie, the friendliest dolphin you’ll ever meet, swim right up to the boat. You can even arrange an early-morning dolphin swim. The kid-friendly Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium is right by the harbor as well.
- Bunratty Castle & Folk Park (Bunratty, County Clare): Kids love Bunratty, which looks every bit as satisfyingly medieval as an old castle should. The grounds have been turned over to a replica 19th-century village, complete with actors playing Victorian residents going about their daily lives. It’s great fun to wander through.
- Marble Arch Caves (Marlbank, County Fermanagh): Adventurous families are guided by boat through well-lit underground waterways to explore caves and view amazing stone formations.
- Galway Atlantaquaria (Galway, County Galway): Formally known as the National Aquarium of Ireland, this is the place your kids will remember long after they’ve forgotten the hundredth dolmen you saw by the roadside. Highlights include a tank full of sharks and “touch pools” where kids can touch curious rays.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.