Activities for families on Dublin's Doorstep including Kildare and Wicklow brought to you by Discover Ireland
The counties surrounding Dublin are brilliant for families and are just a short hop from the city which makes them perfect for breaks and staying in top-class accommodation
Enjoy great days out at beaches, exploring lakes or even hiking on mountains. Visit top heritage and fun attractions, go to the races or why not learn a new activity from kayaking to horse riding?
Powerscourt House, Gardens and Waterfall
City Centre in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. The garden was begun by Richard Wingfield in the 1740’s and stretches out over 47 acres.
An audio visual brings to life the rich history of the Estate. The house is now home to the best of Irish design in gifts, clothes and furniture. You can also treat yourself to a dish from the Avoca Cookbook in the Terrace Cafe.
Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens
Established in 1946, the Irish National Stud is the only stud farm in Ireland open to the public and is a must see for any visitor to the area. The state of the art horse museum tells the story of Ireland’s long love affair with horse racing, and horse racing’s love affair with Ireland.
Visit the internationally renowned and acclaimed Japanese gardens created to symbolise the ‘Life of Man’. With so much to see and do, a trip to the National Stud is an unforgettable experience.
Irish National Sea Life Centre
Dive in and be wowed by the many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep as you journey through the amazing underwater world of Sea Life.
Prepare for astonishing close views of everything from humble starfish to tropical sharks, all in displays which recreate their natural habitats. Hold a crab or touch a starfish in the Rockpool Experience.
Kids can partake in the quiz trail. Watch the fun talks and feed shows every hour on the hour throughout the day.
The Straffan Butterfly Farm
This Kildare farm continues to run during June, July and August and introduces people to the world of butterflies with amazing insights.
The idea is to let visitors have a window into this world and enjoy the magic of butterflies as they fly freely all around. In the tropical house, you can walk through a mini jungle with amazing butterflies flying freely all around you.
Explore many of the tropical butterflies breed and observe the entire life cycle of a butterfly.
Wicklow’s Historic Gaol
On entering the building of one of Ireland’s best and most interactive experiences, you will be transported back in time and meet face to face with some of the most notorious characters to have walked the floors of this dramatic and history filled building.
As you travel back in time, you are entering one of the cruellest, most historically shameful places in Ireland.
Greenan Farm Museums and Maze
This tricky celtic maze will puzzle the family! A stream flows through it to the pond in the middle and a viewing tower overlooks the excitement below. Unique in design, this hedge maze is the highlight of day.
The Dragonfly Walk is a raised wooden walkway leading through native woods and wetlands and has three ponds with raised viewing platforms. It is an unspoilt area which supports an abundance of wild life such as wild deer, moorhens, frogs and dragonflies.
Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park
Set in the heart of Ireland’s largest bog land, The Bog of Allen, in Co. Kildare, the Park is a blend of history, nature and fun. Historic exhibits and replica houses tell the fascinating story of the Irish people over nine millennia.
Explore the woodland and bog land walks with themed gardens famous for their vibrant colours throughout the summer. Plus, an extensive outdoor and indoor play centre, an 18-hole crazy golf and a beautiful road train.
Glendalough, Co. Wicklow has long been an area renowned for its natural beauty and history and it is one of the most visited places in Ireland.
The Glendalough Valley is located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park and has many attractions to entice, entertain and enthral visitors from its world famous Monastic Site with Round Tower to its scenic lakes and valleys, as well as a selection of walks and trails in the area including The Wicklow Way. Glendalough has everything to offer the whole family.
Clara Lara Fun Park
In the spectacular surroundings of oak trees and water are assault courses in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, water slides, boating lakes, kiddie-karts, tree houses and playgrounds. Have a go on the breath-taking Aqua Shuttle, the biggest water slide in Ireland.
Children can sail away on the Pirate Galleon. For the less energetic there are riverside picnic areas and barbecues, mini-golf and miles of hill walking through the spectacular countryside. There is also a junior playground.
Glenroe Open Farm
Situated in the picturesque village of Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, this farm offers easy access to a wide selection of farm animals from March to October each year.
Children can enjoy the outdoor playground and find their favourite furry animal to hold such as rabbits and guinea pigs.
A 300 year old thatched cottage on the farm offers a nostalgic look at the way our ancestors lived. Bring a packed lunch to enjoy outdoors or in the indoor picnic area a.k.a. The Piggery.
For more fun family activities on Dublin's Doorstep, visit www.discoverland.ie/dublinsdoorstep
Have you been to one of these fun places? Let us know what you thought in the comments box below.
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