The kids have been really looking forward to their summer holidays, but now that we’re half way through, we are running out of ideas to keep the young ones amused. Cork (the Rebel county) has a lot to offer in the way of entertaining the kids, here are a few suggestions.
West Cork Model Railway Village…
Kids and trains, you just can’t go wrong! West Cork Model Railway Village is a wonderful day out. At the attraction you’ll see a model of Clonakility, Kinsale and Bandon with model trains running through these miniature towns. You will all be
truly amazed with the attention to detail at this attraction. There’s also a playroom on site, for those energetic kids. And finally you can jump aboard the West Cork Model Railway Village Road Train for a tour of Clonakility town and outskirts.
For more information check out the West Cork Model Railway Village website.
Fota Wildlife Park…
Another sure fire hit with the kids is a wildlife park!
Kids just love animals and no doubt they’ll love the concept of
animals roaming around the park freely and not contained in
enclosures. However, it might only be fair to warn your little ones
that they will not see the usual favourites – lions, tigers, or elephants
at the park. The reason being is these animals are quite dangerous and
need big enclosures thereby encroaching on the limited space that the
park has. For those tired little legs the park provides the Awacachi Tour Train.
A day at the beach…
Return to the simple life’s pleasures with a day at the beach! Cork has a wealth of marvellous beaches, which have achieved the much-coveted “Blue Flag Award”. So pack up the kids and the car and head off to Tragumna, Inchydoney, Garryvoe or Youghal Blue Flag Beaches (to name but a few). The family is sure to have a wonderful time building sandcastles, jumping through waves, strolling along stunning beaches and of course not forgetting the customary seaside picnic.
Find out more about Cork beaches.
The Prince August Toy Soldier Factory…
Situated in the village of Kilnamartyra, the Prince August Toy Soldier Factory is the one and only of its kind in Ireland. With a substantial number of black rubber moulds to choose from, you can model your own war games! However if war games aren’t your thing you could model your own chess set. Wander into the model galleries for an up close look at what the professionals have produced from the humble black rubber moulds. Receive a well informed overview of the factory with casting demos, workshops, factory tours and school activities.
Find out more about the Prince August Toy Soldier Factory.
What you see today at Blarney is the 3rd attempt at building Blarney Castle. The original Blarney Castle was started in the 10th Century and was in fact a wooden building. This was replaced by a stone building in the 1200′s, which was demolished. The 3rd Castle was built in the 1400′s by the King of Munster. Now a lot of people are totally misled and only come to be blessed with the “gift of the gab” (kissing the Blarney Stone!), but Blarney Castle and grounds has so much to offer. For example the witch’s kitchen and witch’s stone, gardens and lakeland walks. Weather permitting, the grounds are an ideal location for that family picnic. Various seasonal events are held throughout the year, so it is advisable to check the attractions website for further details.
The Planet Entertainment Centre…
As we all know only too well, we can’t bank on the Irish weather and this is where The Planet Entertainment Centre in Blackpool, County Cork, may save the day! Glow-in-the-dark-bowling (definitely bowling with a difference) is always a big hit with the kids. Then there’s Cosmos’s Fun World where your young ones can enjoy a 2-hour session in the usual house of fun features. Cosmos has a toddler section as well, so all the gang will be well and truly occupied. However if you have older kids, it’s not the end of the world as there are a number of American pool tables on site and also all the latest video games and simulators.
All this activity is bound to work up an appetite, no need to worry though, the Apollo Diner isn’t too far away to sort out those hunger pangs!
Find out more about the Planet Entertainment Centre.
Lifetime Lab @ the Old Cork Waterworks…
Only a stone’s throw away from the city centre (on Lee Road), The Lifetime Lab has something for all the family. The aim of the attraction is to give information on energy, waste and water. Trained staff are on hand to answer those “burning questions”! On site there’s a Visitor Centre, Exhibition Centre, Steam Centre, Schools Resource Centre and Information Centre. Allow at least one hour to view this attraction, however, because there’s so much involved you’ll find yourself staying more than the hour you have allocated. The kids are definitely the winners at this attraction – there’s an on-site playground where they can burn off some energy. For adults awaken your senses with a leisurely stroll in the sensory garden and not forgetting the fine views, which can be had “by the banks of my own lovely Lee”!
Find out more about Lifetime Lab at the Old Cork Waterworks.
Cork has much to offer in the way of beautiful parks, however the most notable of these being Fitzgerald’s Park, about a 5 minute drive from Cork city. Taking in a massive 18 acres this attraction is sure to keep the kids busy for a while. Stroll through this “slice of heaven” where you will find neatly arranged bedding plants and a pond with fine examples of aquatic plant life. Fitzgerald Park is also home to Cork Museum. On view here is a permanent collection of items made from Cork Silver and a precious archaeological collection, which includes “finds” from the Cork area.
After all that you deserve a break! And like most parks now, Fitzgerald Park has a children’s playground. So relax, and take in your beautiful surroundings while the children run around for a while!
Find out more about Fitzgerald’s Park.
Whale and Dolphin Watching in West Cork…
It’s off to Reen Pier, Castlehaven, West Cork for our next entertainment. Hop on board the RV Voyager for a chance to see Minke Whales, Fin Whales, common dolphins, Harbour Porpoises and if you’re a really lucky person, you may even see a Humpback Whale, Blue Shark, or a Basking Shark. All this of course is in addition to the “regulars” (for example – Gannets, Cormorants, Seals and Peregrine Falcons) on view. The tour takes about 3 to 4 hours. Homeward bound takes in some stunning West Cork scenery – all in all a perfect day out!
Find out more about whale and dolphin watching in West Cork.
A night at the dogs – Curraheen Park, Cork…
Racking your brains, wondering what to do to keep the kids amused on those long summer evenings? Look no further, a night at the dogs will keep everyone happy. The children will get a great kick from seeing the dogs racing although you might have a bit of explaining to do as regards the “fury ball” that’s whizzing in front of the greyhounds! Food and drink isn’t a worry as you have a choice of a proper sit down meal (booking is essential) or a take-away. View the racing from the stands, or really soak up the excitement by going down to the rails for a more up-close-view. You mustn’t forget to have a “flutter on the tote”, all part and parcel of a great night at the dogs.
And if you need somewhere to stay in Cork have a look at our Cork hotels page.