After an amazing 3 week Scotland road trip with kids, we were super excited to spend an equal amount of time in Ireland with kids. Like many of our family trips, we looked for the best things to do in Ireland with kids, balancing cultural highlights with active pursuits such as hiking and cycling.
We loved visiting Ireland with kids and we’re confident your family will as well!
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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.
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.
Top 10 Things to do in Ireland with Kids
- Top 10 Things to do in Ireland with Kids
- 1. Titanic Belfast
- 2. Cycle the Aran Islands with Kids
- 3. Hike the Cliffs of Moher
- 4. Explore the Dingle Peninsula with Kids
- 5. Hike Torc Mountain
- 6. Play on Rocks at Barley Lake
- 7. Cycle the Gap of Dunloe with Kids
- 8. Hike the Lighthouse Loop
- 9. Kiss the Blarney Stone at the Blarney Castle
- 10. Walk from Bray to Greystones
Top 10 Things to do in Ireland with Kids
1. Titanic Belfast
We couldn’t have been more impressed by the Titanic Belfast museum in 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 Titanic Belfast 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 interactive, family-friendly museum even had dolls hidden throughout for the kids to find.
We loved our visit to the Titanic Belfast and are confident stating it is one of the top things to do in Ireland with the family.
Read more on the Titanic Belfast and other things to do in Belfast with Kids.
2. Cycle the Aran Islands with Kids
Our self-guided family cycling trip in Connemara was easily our favorite part of our three weeks in Ireland. A big part of this kid-friendly bike tour was cycling on the Aran Island of Inishmore.
We didn’t expect that we’d get to accomplish our dream of a cycle trip 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 with our kids to Aran Islands beaches, enjoy a kid-friendly hike to the ancient fortress Dun Aonghasa and to the famous Wormhole.
We highly recommend staying at least two nights on Inishmore. This allows you to enjoy the enjoy the quiet before and after the ferries full of day trippers arrive.
Read more on Exploring Inishmore with Kids.
3. Hike the 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.
The Cliffs of Moher has a great viewing area that can easily and safely be visited with kids. We were able enjoy a kid-friendly hike along the Cliffs of Moher where we felt it was safe.
Read more on visiting the Cliffs of Moher with kids.
4. Explore the Dingle Peninsula with Kids
Of all the places we visited, the Dingle Peninsula was one of our favorite places to hike in Ireland with kids.
The kid-friendly hiking on the Dingle Peninsula has some incredible scenery. Our kids were able to run and explore ahead, a luxury they don’t always get at home, with all the bears around Banff National Park.
Other things to do in Dingle with kids include the Dingle Aquarium and Inch Beach. We suggest spending at least a morning (if not a full day) on Inch Beach with your kids.
Read all about visiting the Dingle Peninsula with kids.
5. Hike 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 hike for kids! Kids will love how the Torc Mountain trail switches between wooden boardwalks and climbing rocks the entire way up. And for parents, the views while hiking Torc Mountain are stunning the entire way to the summit, even on a rainy day.
Read all about hiking up Torc Mountain in Killarney National Park.
6. Play on Rocks at Barley Lake
Barley Lake is a chance for your family to explore around a scenic lake high up in the mountains. Best of all, you’ll likely have it all to yourself. Aside from the impressive views, the rocks around Barley Lake couldn’t be more fun for kids to climb on.
We originally planned to go for a hike with our kids 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 a great 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.
7. Cycle the Gap of Dunloe with Kids
One more fun activity in Killarney National Park with kids is cycling the Gap of Dunloe. This fun family bike ride 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 bike ride up the Gap of Dunloe. It’s a tough ride, but it’s short and quite doable. Besides, you’ll be taking plenty of breaks for pictures on the way up. Be prepared to meet a few cars and/or horse and buggies on the way.
For the bike ride down the Gap of Dunloe, it’s fast and winding so make sure you’ve tested your brakes before leaving the bike rental. And remember… take it slow. There’s no reason to rush when you’re enjoying the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park.
Read all about cycling the Gap of Dunloe with kids here.
8. Hike the Lighthouse Loop
One of our favorite hikes in Ireland! You can find the Lighthouse Loop hike on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula.
Your kids will love all the sheep along this kid-friendly hiking trail. As the name suggests, there’s a lighthouse about midway along the Lighthouse Loop trail with impressive ocean vistas all along. There’s even a lake hidden up there.
Wildflowers are everywhere on this hike, blanketing the hillsides. Your kids will enjoy climbing on some of the big rocks along the way. Just be cautious to keep them away from the steep drop-offs. It’s best to keep your 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.
9. Kiss the Blarney Stone at the Blarney Castle
We were unsure about visiting the Blarney Castle with our kids. It seemed too touristy, but in the end we are so glad we decided to visit.
We arrived at Blarney Castle early, allowing up to avoid a long 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.
We expected our visit the the Blarney Castle with kids to be short, but it ended up taking the better part of the day. Our kids favorite things to do at the Blarney Castle included the Rock Close with the waterfalls, a Witches Kitchen, a Druid’s cave and a Fairy Glen.
After some time at the small Blarney Castle playground, we took to the walking paths through the forest to a beautiful lake. It was quiet and serene.
Overall, we thought the Blarney Castle 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.
10. Walk from Bray to Greystones
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 from Dublin to Bray by train and from there the trail is obvious. This kid-friendly hike near Dublin starts along the ocean, before starting up a hill.
The Bray to Greystones trail doesn’t stay paved the entire way, but it’s an easy enough walk. Even on a beautiful sunny weekend, this family-friendly hike was busy but not so much that it ever bothered us.
Read more in our Dublin with Kids post.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the top 10 things to do in Ireland with kids. but there really is so much more to see and do. Please spend some time digging deeper into our other posts on visiting Ireland with kids. Visiting Ireland with kids will be a family vacation you’ll never forget!
Not sure what to pack? Check out our full packing list for Ireland with kids.
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