Top 8 family activities for the summer in Ireland
Activities and crafts

8 family activities for summer in Ireland

Stuck for day out ideas for the whole family? Well we’re here to help you out with our list of family activities for summer in Ireland.

Dublin – Butlers chocolate experience

For all budding chocolatiers and chocoholics a visit to the Butlers Chocolate Experience in Dublin is a real treat. Perfect for adults and children alike, this makes for an interesting and unusual family fun day out. You will learn about how chocolates are made, and how they are packed in beautiful gift boxes to be shipped all over the world.  You will also be able to observe the factory in operation and find out how they fill and decorate the chocolates!

Butlers Chocolate Experience

Cork – Fota wildlife park

Fota Wildlife Park in Cork is Ireland’s premier wildlife attraction. They have specifically chosen animals, which thrive in a free-range environment that allows them to roam free, while mixed with other species – and with us human visitors too! A wonderful experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Foot Wildlife Park

Wicklow – Greenan maze

Greenan Maze is situated in the midst of the Wicklow Mountains at the foot of the beautiful Glenmalure Valley, only 6 km from Rathdrum. You can spend the whole day wandering around the farm in a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere.

8 family activities for summer in Ireland

This is a working farm and is packed with a lot of varying attractions that incorporates the garden maze, an old farmhouse, a farm museum, bottle museum, sculptures, nature trail, craft shop and tea rooms. It is guaranteed that the day will be packed full of things to see and do and will keep the kids fully occupied.

The Greenan Maze is suitable for all ages and has something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Greenan Maze

Kildare – Lullymore Discovery Park

Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park is a family oriented attraction set in the heart of Ireland’s largest bog land, The Bog of Allen in Kildare. There is a great variety of activities, that will interest visitors of all ages.

The woodland/bog land walks and theme gardens are famous for their vibrant colours throughout the summer period. Paired with an extensive outdoor adventure play area and the funky forest indoor play centre, an 18 hole crazy golf course, the pet farm with the famous Falabella horses and a beautiful road train make Lullymore the kind of attraction you can’t miss when visiting the midlands.

Lullymore Discovery Park

Kerry – Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium

Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy, as it is always packed with fun. Gaze in wonder as you get to go up close to their magnificent marine life inhabitants, and you even get to touch some of them! Submerge yourself and the family in the wonderful enchanted underwater world that will take your breath away!

Dingle Oceanworld

Limerick – Stonehall Visitor Farm & Wildlife Park

Stonehall vistor farm and wildlife park is a must for all the family when visiting Limerick and around the Shannon Region. The farm is located in a tranquil and beautiful rural setting where the visitor can experience a wide variety of animals.

This attraction provides an enjoyable and educational event, even on rainy days, as the children can enjoy the indoor playarea with tractor & trailers, rough riders & bouncing castle!

You can also bring your picnic!

Stonehall Visitor Farm

Meath – Tayto Park

Tayto Theme Park in Ashbourne Co. Meath is a fairly new activity park with an excellent programme of activities for kids and adults as well, that will provide an unforgettable day out for the whole family.

8 family activities for summer in Ireland

The park has many attractions and an abundance of facilities to make your visit more enjoyable. The park and play area guarantees hours of fun for all the family.

The full visitor experience takes approximately 4 hours from start to finish and is wheel chair accessible except for the Teahouse in the Tree House and the Buffalo viewing platform. Wheelchairs are also available on request.

Tayto Park

Mayo – Pirate Adventure Park – Winner of “Best Family Visitor Attraction”

The Pirate Adventure Park is a treasure trove of family fun with its Grace O’Malley-themed amusement park, that offers rides and activities ideally suited to families with children under the age of 12.

You can enjoy the log flume water ride, swinging Pirate’s galleon, a ride on the miniature railway, Swan Pedaloe Boats, Cannon Ball Run slide, pitch & putt, indoor soft play, paint your own pottery and outdoor playground in this beautiful parkland setting.

8 family activities for summer in Ireland

Make sure to arrive early for a full day’s fun and don’t forget to dress for the weather as most activities are outdoors!

Westport House

For more information and attractions, visit: http://www.familyfun.ie/family-tourist-attractions/

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ASK LUCY

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

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ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.