Ireland is a fantastic place to visit with kids- especially if you’re newer to international travel. Because English is spoken in Ireland, there are fewer language barriers to overcome. Ireland is full of beautiful castles, picturesque coastlines, and delicious food. Ireland is a kid-friendly country with so much to see and do, plus the weather is pretty pleasany nearly all year long!
Tips for Traveling to Ireland with Kids
There’s no bad time of year to visit Ireland! The temperatures aren’t extreme in any season- rarely falling below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (most likely in January or February) or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (in the summer months). The summer months have the best weather but are also peak tourist season- so tourist spots may be more crowded. Spring and summer are shoulder seasons and still offer nice weather but with fewer crowds. Ireland is known for being rainy, though long and soaking showers are not all that common. You’re more likely to experience quick bursts of rain. Be sure to pack rain boots and rain jackets so that the showers don’t ruin your fun while exploring Ireland!
The best way to see Ireland is by car. If you are planning to see different parts of the country (and you should!), renting a car is your best bet. However- be aware that in Ireland, the driver sits on the right side of the car and drives on the left side of the road! The roads are also known to be quite narrow, which can be intimidating at first. Sher She Goes offers this awesome guide to Driving in Ireland that you should definitely read before renting a car in Ireland. While it’s possible to stay in a major city, like Dublin, where you can rely on public transportation for the duration of your trip- there is also a LOT of Ireland to see that is outside of the cities, and a car is the best way to get to those locations.
If you’re looking for something magical for the kids, consider spending at least a night or two of your trip staying in an Irish castle! Ireland Travel Guide offers this awesome list of 15 affordable castle hotels to help you find a magical place to stay during your trip.
Irish pubs (public houses) are a quintessential experience when visiting Ireland- and traveling with kids doesn’t mean you have to skip the pubs! Children are welcome in Irish pubs before 9:00pm. They must be accompanied by a parent or adult and children under 9pm must exit by 9:00pm- but before that time, you can take your whole family into a pub for some traditional fish and chips and Irish music!
10 Things To Do In Ireland With Kids!
- Visit Phoenix Park in Dublin: Located inside one of Europe’s largest walled cities, Phoenix Park is home to beautiful gardens, a giant playground and cafe, and the Dublin Zoo. The Dublin Zoo has a special focus on the conservation of endangered species- so it’s a great learning activity for the whole family.
- Explore The Ark- This beautiful children’s theater and exhibition space in Dublin hosts numerous musical and theater performances as well as kid-focused exhibitions and workshops with a focus on kids ages 2-12. You’ll also find fantastic festivals at The Ark, including the Dublin Theater Festival and the Dublin Dance Festival- both great cultural experiences for the whole family.
- Take a Viking Splash Tour of Dublin: Ride on an amphibious vehicle on both land and water to explore all the main sites in Dublin! You’ll see many of the popular tourist sites on this 75 minute ride, with a comical viking tour guide who makes learning about Dublin fun and exciting!
- Walk the Howth Cliff Walk Loop: If you’re sticking to Dublin, just outside of the city you’ll find stunning views on the Howth Cliff Walk Path. It’s recommended to keep younger kids in carriers or strollers for safety, but everyone in the family will appreciate these dramatic views. The loop is about 6 kilometers and mostly flat- so it’s an easy walk for everyone.
- Explore the Cliffs of Moher: The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction and for good reason. Here you’ll experience dramatic cliffs and the lush green’s that Ireland is so famous for. Older kids can handle some of the hiking, while families with younger kids may want to stick to the designated viewing areas that are much safer than walking the cliffs! Happy Potter fans will be excited to recognize some of their favorite movie scenes as the Cliffs of Moher were a filming location for the popular series.
- Drive the Ring of Kerry: The Ring of Kerry is another top tourist experience in Ireland and one of the most scenic drives in the world. It is a 111 mile circular route that wanders through the rugged coastline of County Kerry. It’s best to plan two days for this trip so you can make lots of stops along the way. If you have kids who get carsick, don’t forget to pack the Dramamine and make lots of stops- which shouldn’t be a problem because there are so many quaint villages, castles, and hiking trails to explore along the way.
- Visit an Irish Castle: Ireland has so many beautiful castles (more than 30,000!) that it doesn’t matter which part of the country you are visiting- you’ll be able to find a castle to visit! The Blarney Castle is arguable the most popular castle in Ireland but some of the smaller and lesser known castles may be less crowded. Road Affair compiled this awesome list of the 20 Best Castles in Ireland to help you narrow down your tip choices!
- Visit Limerick: With many family-friendly activities, Limerick is a great location to visit on your trip to Ireland. The Field of Dreams Wildlife Sanctuary is a great stop for younger kids while older kids will enjoy the Hunt Museum and the Limerick Museum which have excellent historical and art exhibits.
- Explore the Titanic Museum in Belfast: The Titanic Museum in Belfast is a great place to learn all about the famous ship that sank on it’s maiden voyage. It offers a truly immersive experience that explores everything from the ship’s construction to survivor stories.
- Take a Train Tour: If all of these activities sound exciting, but you’re not super keen on learning to traverse a new country while driving on the wrong side of the road- consider taking a train tour of Ireland! Rail Tours Ireland offers a six day tour that covers all of the top sites the country has to offer- and you get to just sit back and enjoy it all!