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04th Aug 2022

Planning your next getaway? Here are 6 fun family activities to try this summer


Brought to you by DiscoverIreland 

Planning your next day out with the kids? We’ve got some suggestions…

Family fun awaits across Ireland this summer, from treetop walks to tramping through fields, mining adventures, and heritage centres.

Avondale Beyond the Trees – Ireland’s Ancient East, Co. Wicklow

At the end of a beautiful walled garden in Avondale Forest Park, you’ll find a unique and breathtaking 12-storey-high tower surrounded by nature. Welcome to ‘Beyond the Trees Avondale’, the longest treetop walk in Ireland.

This elegant, elevated boardwalk gently winds its way through the Yew and Giant Redwoods until you are standing 38 metres above the forest floor at the top of a spectacular viewing tower where you can bask in the glorious panoramic views. Adventurous types can whizz back down to the ground on a giant spiral slide before wandering the walking trails and relaxing in the sensory garden.

Top tip: The boardwalk is fully accessible for wheelchairs and buggies.

Patrick Kavanagh Visitor Centre – Ireland’s Ancient East, Co. Monaghan

The Patrick Kavanagh Visitor Centre is an exciting and educational attraction. The carefully curated exhibition is a beautiful way to engage them in the life and works of the Irish poet and novelist who appears on both the Junior and Leaving Cert curricula.

From the Visitor Centre, you can also walk or cycle the Kavanagh Trail, which takes in the unique drumlin landscape of South Monaghan and numerous sites associated with the poet.

Top tip: Get more out of your visit with a guided tour of the Centre, including a visit to Patrick Kavanagh’s grave.

Arigna Mining Experience – Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Co. Roscommon

The village of Arigna sits in a picturesque valley some 20km from Carrick-on-Shannon. It is home to breathtaking scenery, an unspoiled landscape, and Ireland’s first coal mine museum.

The Arigna Mining Experience tells the story of the region’s 400-year mining industry. You’ll discover the miners’ exhausting and hazardous work as you follow in their footsteps into a real-life mine with a tour guide who happens to be an ex-miner. Kids will love wearing a miner’s helmet and being inside a coal mine.

Emerging from the dark mine into daylight, you’ll be even more appreciative of the panoramic views of Lough Allen, Sliabh an Iarainn (The Iron Mountain) and the surrounding mountains and deep valleys. This activity really is a day out with a difference.

Top tip: The fully accessible café is a great place to grab a snack and enjoy the views, especially if the weather isn’t great.

The Great Blasket Centre – Wild Atlantic Way, Co. Kerry

Situated on a clifftop in Dún Chaoin on the Western edge of the Dingle Peninsula lies the Blasket Centre (Ionad an Bhlascaoid). This beautiful cultural heritage Centre celebrates the story of the Blasket Islanders and highlights their language and culture, including the extraordinary literary legacy they left behind.

Through engaging exhibitions, interactive displays, artefacts, audiovisual presentations and artworks, you’ll learn about Peig Sayers (remember her from school?) and her neighbours who lived on the rugged Blasket Islands.

Top tip: Visit the viewing platform for sweeping vistas of the wild Atlantic coast and Great Blasket Island.

Ceide Fields – Wild Atlantic Way, Co. Mayo

Step back in time and marvel at Ireland’s most extensive Neolithic site. The Ceide Fields is a fascinating archaeological treasure nearly 6,000 years old and contains the oldest known stone-walled fields in the world.

The Ceide Fields Visitor Centre has excellent exhibitions and audiovisual displays. On a guided tour, there’s even an opportunity to try out a centuries-old method of probing to uncover buried walls. Kids will love this! They’ll also love the 4,000-year-old pine tree unearthed from a nearby bog that soars from the floor through the roof of the Centre. It’s like something out of a storybook.

Top tip: The Visitor Centre has baby changing facilities and a café. However, the tour of the fields is over uneven terrain, so it isn’t suitable for buggies/strollers.

Custom House Visitor Centre, Dublin

Inside one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings, you’ll find a brand new historical exhibition created by award-winning designers and curated by some of Ireland’s leading academics.

The Custom House Visitor Centre is a riveting attraction that will delight anyone looking to brush up on their knowledge of Irish history. Again, great for exam-aged children.

The exhibitions take you on a fascinating journey through Ireland from the 1700s to the 21st-century and also tell the story of the Custom House’s history, including its building, burning and restoration.

Insightful, informative and interesting, you’ll walk away from this experience with an excellent overview of Irish history and a deeper appreciation of this architectural icon.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to make summer plans that involve the whole family.

The Leave No Trace principles help us make as little an impact as possible on the incredible Irish landscape as we explore the outdoors this summer and beyond. Keep outdoor areas safe, clean and free from waste/hazards, and help protect the natural environment. Love this place; leave no trace.

Brought to you by DiscoverIreland