At Our Whole Village, we plan meaningful vacations for families who want to create lifelong memories and show their kids the world in a more conscious and intentional manner.
We help families take meaningful vacations so that they can escape everyday life, show their kids the world and make lifelong memories - with care, confidence and peace of mind.
Your (free) guide to the top travel destinations for families with babies, teens and everyone in between.
A vacation to Ireland with kids translates into myriad opportunities for fun and learning. From a walking tour of one of Europe’s most fascinating capitals to chances to explore emerald expanses of countryside, you’ll never run out of family-friendly things to do. After all, the Emerald Isle boasts 30,000 castles! You can even choose to stay in one, savoring the pampering that only an ancient estate can offer. Plenty of opportunities to discover breathtaking landscapes abound, including a visit to Killarney National Park or the fabled Cliffs of Moher.
Not sure where to start planning your Ireland family getaway? We can help! Here’s what you need to know about maximizing your family vacation to Ireland.
Fun and kid-friendly travel spots abound in Dublin, and you’ll want to see the best ones based on your family’s interests and ages. For example, younger kids will fall in love with the Dublin Zoo and Phoenix Park. They’ll enjoy plenty of opportunities to expend a little energy, ensuring a solid nap time later. (Fingers crossed!) In Christ Church Cathedral, you’ll find Dublinia, an interactive museum that lets families explore the city’s colorful medieval past, including the influences of the Vikings.
For older kids, a visit to Trinity College is a must. It contains the famed Book of Kells, circa 800 A.D., filled with masterpieces exemplary of medieval illuminated manuscripts. And you won’t want to miss out on a tour of Dublin Castle. A stroll along Grafton Street invites window shopping and listening to local musicians. And for kids of all ages, few experiences prove more delightful than a walk through St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin’s main park. (Be sure to bring along some bread to feed the ducks.) Finish up the perfect day in Dublin with a visit to a family-friendly pub for dinner and music.
Ireland is renowned for its picturesque scenery and charming rural villages. No place epitomizes this more fully than Kinsale in County Cork. After departing Dublin, spend time at the 100-acre Fota Wildlife Park, where animals roam freely (where possible). From there, continue to Kinsale, where your family can check out historical forts like Charles and James. (FYI, the Charles Fort is more fully restored than the James Fort.) Next, head to the village center, where older kids will enjoy a spooky twilight ghost hunt.
Killarney National Park offers breathtaking views of rustic rolling hills accented by towering forests, spectacular waterfalls, and sparkling lakes. The park sits in the shadow of the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in the nation at 3,280 feet.
More than one million people visit the park annually, which showcases the oceanic climate of southwestern Ireland at its most pristine. The park’s focal point remains Muckross House and Gardens, a late 19th-century mansion featuring spectacular furnishings, landscaping, and architecture.
In 1981, UNESCO made Killarney National Park a Biosphere Reserve, and one of the highlights of a trip remains a visit to Bourn Vincent Memorial Park. Named in honor of Senator Arthur Vincent, his family gifted all 10,625 acres of this expansive property in 1932 to Ireland.
One of the most exhilarating experiences in Killarney National Park is visiting the Killarney Falconry, where you can learn the ancient art of keeping birds of prey. Not only will your family enjoy the chance to explore gorgeous natural scenery, but they’ll also learn about owls, hawks, and falcons. What’s more, they’ll enjoy a hands-on introduction to the art of hunting with these incredible feathered friends.
No family vacation to Ireland would be complete without a trip to the Cliffs of Moher. If you’ve ever seen movies like 1987’s The Princess Bride or 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, then you’re already familiar with this stunning natural wonder. For those after a rugged, panoramic, and raw experience of the Emerald Isle, this is your spot. At O’Brien’s Tower, enjoy expansive views of the verdant island and ocean below. On a clear day, keep an eye out for glimpses of the neighboring Aran Islands.
The cliffs measure more than 700 feet tall and continue for five miles, showcasing the rugged West County Clare coastline. They plunge dramatically into the ocean below, offering incredible vistas just begging you to take photos of the wild, rushing waves below. Declared a UNESCO Global Geopark along with the Burren, get ready to tour more than 320 million years of geologic history.
The Burren represents one of the most compelling landscapes in Ireland, with its vast, moon-like surface naturally paved with rocky limestone. The name means the “stony place.” You’ll soon see how deserving the area is of this title, covered with large flat stones and caves inviting exploration. Your kids will especially love the Burren Nature Sanctuary, where they can explore animal and adventure playgrounds. And you’ll want to check out the Caherconnell Stone Fort and Doolin or Aillwee Caves.
One of the most incredible spots to visit in Killarney National Park is 15th-century Ross Castle. Built by O’Donoghue Mór, legend says he remains in a deep sleep beneath the waters of neighboring Lough Leane. O’Donoghue awakens every seven years, on May 1st, riding a spotless stallion around the lake. Those with the fortune of seeing him are bestowed with good luck for a lifetime.
Legends aside, Ross Castle played an essential strategic role during the assault of Roundheads led by Oliver Cromwell during the Irish Confederate Wars. Ross Castle remained one of the last strongholds in Munster to withstand Cromwell’s troops. Eventually, though, it fell to the English in 1652.
The castle is open to the public during the summer months, inviting your family to soak up more of Ireland’s rich history. To mix things up, consider taking one of two waterbuses from Ross to Innisfallen located on the Lower Lake. Then, at Upper Lake, scope out Lord Brandon’s Cottage. Departure times are posted at the piers.
When visiting Ireland with kids, get ready for a magical journey jam-packed with compelling adventures. To take full advantage of the Emerald Isle, work with an experienced travel advisor specializing in family-friendly destinations. They can help you plan the ideal getaway, crafting an itinerary customized to the ages and interests of your family.
We’d love to assist you in hashing out the ideal itinerary of fun things to do in Ireland. We’ll handle the heavy lifting so you can focus on savoring family fun abroad.
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