Thanks to school holidays over the summer, we were able to pair up our 3 week Scotland road trip with kids with an equal amount of time in Ireland. Like many of our trips, we were very active during our time in Ireland looking for the best of the hikes and cycling we could do with kids.
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We always dreamed of cycling in Ireland and getting to do it with our kids was such a bonus. It made it even better that the kids loved this portion of our trip. We found a few other fun things to do with kids in Ireland along the way too.
Here are the Top 10 Things to do in Ireland for kids. We are confident that our kids would agree that these were the attractions in Ireland they enjoyed most.
Still working on your Ireland Itinerary with kids? Here is our 3 week itinerary for Ireland with some suggestions for a 2 week Ireland Itinerary and a 10 day Ireland Itinerary.
Top 10 Things to do in Ireland with Kids
Top Things to do with Kids in Ireland
We couldn’t have been more impressed by the Titanic museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Our kids, who were only 6 and (almost) 4 years old at the time of our trip, knew nothing about the Titanic but the museum did a fantastic job at keeping them engaged all the way through.
I guess all it takes is adding a fun ride through the museum to keep kids interested! This fun, interactive museum even had dolls hidden throughout for the kids to find.
Read more on the Titanic Belfast and other things to do in Belfast with Kids.
Cycle the Aran Islands
Our self-guided family cycling trip in Connemara was easily our favorite part of our three weeks in Ireland and a big part of this was cycling on the Aran Island Inishmore. We didn’t expect that we’d get to accomplish our dream of cycling in Ireland with kids so young, but finding a great cycling tour company like Green Marble Tours made it possible.
From our hotel on Inis Mor, we were able to cycle to beaches, hike to an ancient fort and to the famous Wormhole. We highly recommend staying at least two nights on Inishmore to get out before the ferries full of day trippers arrive and to enjoy the quiet that comes in the main town when they all leave at the end of the day.
Read more on Exploring Inishmore with Kids.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher is a must-see when visiting Ireland with kids. We always like when an attraction is as impressive in real life as what we see online.
There’s a great viewing area that can easily and safely be visited with kids. We were able to hike a small portion along the cliffs with the kids where we felt it was safe.
Read more on visiting the Cliffs of Moher with kids.
Of all the places we visited in Ireland, the Dingle Peninsula was one of our favorites for hiking with kids. The hiking on the peninsula has some of the most incredible scenery and the hikes we did were fun for the kids. They were able to run and explore ahead, a luxury they don’t always get at home, with all the bears around Banff National Park.
The kids also love the aquarium and Inch beach is a must-stop. We suggest spending at least a morning if not a full day on Inch beach.
Read all about visiting the Dingle Peninsula with kids.
Climb Torc Mountain
Summiting a mountain isn’t always at the top of our kids list of things to do, but this is a really fun one! The trail switches between wooden boardwalks and climbing rocks the entire way up. And for parents, the views are stunning the entire way, even on a rainy day.
Read all about hiking up Torc Mountain in Killarney National Park.
Imagine exploring around a lake high up in the mountains and not only that but you’ll likely have it all to yourself. Aside from the impressive views, the rocks couldn’t be more fun for kids to climb on.
We originally planned to go for a hike around Barley Lake, but the swamp-like grass had us rethink that pretty quickly. Once we saw how much fun the kids were having climbing the rocks, we figured it was the best place to sit and just take in all the scenery while they played.
Barley Lake is located near Killarney National Park and we give all the details in our Killarney National Park post.
Cycle the Gap of Dunloe
One more fun activity in Killarney National Park with kids is cycling the Gap of Dunloe. It’s a fun bike ride that starts along the bike paths in Killarney National Park, followed by a 2 hour boat ride that ends at the Western edge of Upper Lake.
From there you can expect a steady, steep climb up the Gap of Dunloe. It’s a tough ride, but doable. Besides, you’ll be taking plenty of breaks for pictures on the way up. Be prepared to meet a few cars and horse and buggies on the way.
For the ride down, it’s fast and winding so make sure you’ve tested your brakes before leaving the bike rental. And take it slow. There’s no reason to rush when you’re enjoying this kind of scenery.
Read all about cycling the Gap of Dunloe with kids here.
Lighthouse Loop Walk
One of our favorite hikes in Ireland! You can find the Lighthouse Loop hike on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula. Expect to see plenty of sheep along the way. As the name suggests, there’s a lighthouse about midway along the trail with impressive ocean vistas all along. There’s even a lake hidden up there.
Wildflowers are everywhere, blanketing the hillsides. The kids will enjoy climbing on some of the big rocks along the way. Just be cautious to keep them from the steep drop-offs. It’s best to keep the kids close on the entire second part of the hike.
The Sheep’s Head Lighthouse Loop trail is approximately 90 minutes from Kenmare. We share all the details in our Killarney National Park with Kids post.
We were unsure about a visit to the Blarney Castle. It seemed too touristy, but in the end we are so glad we decided to visit.
We were there early so we didn’t have to worry about a line-up to kiss the Blarney Stone. The kids loved climbing up the castle and thought it was a hoot to see their dad kissing the Blarney Stone.
What we expected to be a short visit ended up taking the better part of the day. The kids loved the Rock Close with the waterfalls, a Witches Kitchen, a Druid’s cave and a Fairy Glen.
After some time at the playground, we took to the walking paths through the forest to a beautiful lake. It was quiet and serene.
Overall, we thought it was a great place for families to visit. We were there for 5 hours and our kids could have played longer.
Read more in our post on Cork with Kids.
Bray to Greystones Walk
One of our favorite things to do is to find incredible spots to get in nature wherever we are, especially the ones that aren’t frequently visited by other tourists. The Bray to Greystones walk is no secret, but what a wonderful way to escape the madness of Dublin and all the tourists.
It’s easy to get to Bray by train and from there the trail is obvious. You start along the ocean front and make your way up the hill along the paved trail. It doesn’t stay paved the entire way, but it’s an easy enough walk. Even on a beautiful sunny weekend, the trail was busy but not so much that it ever bothered us.
Read more in our Dublin with Kids post.
Those are the experiences that top our list of things to do in Ireland with kids, but there really is so much more to see and do. It’s an incredible family friendly destination that we highly recommend!
Not sure what to pack? Check out our full packing list for Ireland with kids.