Killarney, the 2nd largest town in County Kerry is the answer to your prayers when it comes to keeping your kids amused! Nestling at the foot of the McGillicuddy Reeks (which includes Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntoohil) and surrounded by magical lakes, it’s one of Ireland’s most breathtaking holiday destinations. No matter what time of the year you come to Killarney, you can always sense a “buzz” around town. And if you’ve the kids in tow there’s no shortage of things to do. Here are a few suggestions…
Muckross House and Gardens…
Killarney’s top visitor attraction has to be Muckross House and Gardens. Kids will enjoy wandering around the “old house”. Although it may be a bit nerve racking if your kids are on the inquisitive side. With a treasure trove of artefacts, heirlooms and antique furniture, it’s a great experience for the children. And with staff in attendance in most rooms those busy little hands will not pose too much of a problem! A major hit always with the children is seeing the children’s room in Muckross House. After all that history a walk through Muckross Gardens is more than welcome. The kids will have a marvellous adventure on the Rockery, inventing all sorts of games, whilst running up and down the rugged steps of this feature.
Hunger pangs are bound to surface and there’s no end of fabulous spots for a picnic, surrounded by Muckross’s stunning flora, or perhaps you could all treat yourselves to some refreshments in the on-site restaurant.
Find out more about Muckross House.
Muckross Farms and play area…
Step back in time to Ireland of the 1930′s and take a leisurely stroll through Muckross Farms and experience what life was like for our forefathers. The kids will enjoy speaking to the farmers as they go about their daily chores. They will be enthralled by the farmer’s wife who can bake bread on an open turf fire. They may also have an opportunity to taste the finished product. This really is a fantastic day out and the children will get to see farm animals up close. This attraction has a playground, which can be a site for sore eyes for both parents and children. Adults get a welcome sit down, as it’s quite a trek around the farms and children get to use up a bit of that boundless energy!
Find out more about Muckross Farms.
This attraction can actually be accessed through Muckross Gardens. But be warned though, it’s a bit of a walk to Torc Waterfall from Muckross Gardens and the little ones may not be too keen!
When you arrive there, please ensure to have a look at the sign at the entrance to the attraction. There are 3 different routes to take, which have varying degrees of difficulty. However you may be more than satisfied to just go to the base of the waterfall and take those essential holiday snaps of a truly magnificent waterfall.
On the other hand, the family may wish to go up as far as the bridge to see the waterfall from another angle. There is no doubt about it the views to be had are absolutely amazing. Please be aware that the steps can be quite steep and it is advisable to take your time, as it can be quite busy on the route up.
Here’s an ideal solution when the weather takes a turn for the worse, a trip to Buddies! This “house of fun” is situated just outside Killarney town on the Woodlands Industrial Estate. A couple of hours at Buddies will no doubt keep the kids happy while you have a welcome sit down and enjoy refreshments from Buddies café.
On site there are the usual “house of fun” ingredients such as, ball cannon, astra slide and toddler area.
Kennedy’s Pet Farm…
Located in Glenflesk, near Killarney, this is an all weather attraction with the added bonus of an indoor and outdoor playground.
Children and animals – you just can’t go wrong!
They’ll be so excited to see deer, pigs, piglets, calves, sheep, lambs, goats, donkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, puppies and of course not forgetting our resident feathered friends in the pond!
Included in the admission price is a free pony ride for the children. Honey, Silver or Saoirse will be doing the honours.
Kennedy’s farm is in a stunning location. Take time away from all those wonderful animals to enjoy amazing views of Killarney’s famous mountains.
Find out more about Kennedy’s Pet Farm.
Coolwood Wildlife Park…
Staying on the theme of children and animals, Coolwood Wildlife Park is another attraction to put on the “to do list”. Situated just outside Killarney, this is a great “outdoors” day.
This wildlife haven comprises of 50 acres, which take in a wildlife park and sanctuary. On view here are red squirrels, maras, llamas, raccoons, monkeys, lemurs, meerkats, a substantial collection of birds of prey, a pets corner and even reptiles!
The attraction also has a children’s playground and a coffee shop.
Find out more about Coolwood Wildlife Park for further information.
Killarney Riding Stables…
Now if you’ve visited Kennedy’s farm and the children had their pony ride, maybe it left them feeling they would like to get a bit more experience! If that’s the case look no further than Killarney Riding Stables.
Experienced guides are on hand to take care of nervous or beginner riders and you’ll be placed in a group specific to your level of experience. A session can be 1, 2, or 3 hours and you canl take in the panoramic views of Killarney National Park.
Find put more about Killarney Riding Stables.
Fishing in Killarney…
Here’s a lovely idea for quality father and son time. Indeed the girls of the family may want to join in too, but somehow I can’t see them being very enthusiastic about “fish bait”.
After sorting out who’s going and who’s not, the next burning question is where do you choose to fish, a river or a lake?
This is where Killarney Fishing Centre comes in. Staff will advise you on the best spots to catch “the big one”. The centre also has a full supply of fishing gear for whatever level you are at.
Find out more about Killarney Fishing Centre.
Now, if we are to believe all we hear and read, it would appear that we are in for a few right “balmy” days in September. This being the case, a trip to the beach is definitely in order.
Close at hand is Cromane Beach, Dooks Beach and the Blue Flag Beach at Rossbeigh.
Even with a dull and overcast day there’s still the potential for loads of fun. Bring along the bucket and spade to create your own little village or indeed just mould the sand to your own liking with your hands and add stones and shells for definition.
A bracing walk along the sea shore is quite refreshing and if you’re feeling brave enough, dip your toes in the wild Atlantic waters.
A boat trip is another good activity for the kids. As well as the spectacular scenery, tour operators will also take you to Dinis Cottage, Lord Brandon’s Cottage, Meeting of the Waters, O’Sullivan’s Cascades, Muckross House, Gap of Dunloe and Innisfallen Island.
Innisfallen Island could prove to be the jewel in the crown. As you can make a day out of this boat trip, setting out early in the morning, and returning on the last boat in the evening is a good idea. What will you do here for a day? Well there’s “only” 21 acres for the kids to roam around, a family picnic would be nice and a bit of history thrown in as well with a meander around the ruins of a 12th century monastery!
As for accommodation we have an excellent range of Irish tourist board approved Killarney hotels to choose from.