Family Holidays in Ireland That Won’t Break the Bank
It’s looking like 2021 is to be another staycation year for most families in Ireland, but where can you get the best bang for your buck? We take a look at some wallet-friendly destination ideas to see more of our wonderful country this summer.
Day Trip to Dublin
Our capital city has so much to offer when it comes to family entertainment for all ages. If a hotel stay is out of the budget, there are plenty of options for a day trip or two.
Dublin Zoo attracts over one million visitors per year and is suitable for every animal fan, young and old. It’s a fun day out, as well as a great opportunity to learn more about the world’s wildlife.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is another very interesting place to visit and learn more about Irish history and heritage. Check out their website here to see what they have coming up.
There are also some great free options such as the National Museum and National Gallery. The Natural History Museum is currently closed for works but hopefully it’ll reopen in the not-too-distant future.
Located at the very heart of the country on the River Shannon, Athlone offers some excellent adventures.
For water lovers, Baysports is home to Ireland’s largest inflatable water park. Hours of endless fun can be enjoyed by all age groups. Other water activities include kayak rental, pedal boat hire, rafting, dragon boat racing, boat trips and sailing and powerboat rental/courses.
For history buffs, Athlone Castle teaches us about the Williamite Wars that brought soldiers from Europe to fight on the site, culminating with the Great Siege of Athlone in 1691.
If you’re more inclined to stay dry on the water, try a cruise on the Viking Ship with Viking Tours. The whole family can enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Shannon while they hear about Viking hoards, high kings and big battles in this 21-metre long replica of a Viking Knarr, the longest serving passenger ship in both Ireland and the UK. There’s something to spark the imagination for every passenger, young and old.
Strandhill - Sligo
The home of W.B. Yates, Sligo has a lot to offer, from breath-taking beaches to guided mountain biking.
Strandhill has numerous fun activities for any visitor. Strandhill Surf School can look after your family’s surfing needs from beginners to the more experienced surfers. Paddle boarding is also on offer if surfing is not on the agenda.
After all the physical adventures it’s time to refuel the body with some nice local food. Located right beside the Strandhill Surf School, The Strand Bar offers a wide range of homemade dishes with an emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Perhaps save some room for dessert and enjoy a nice treat from Mammy Johnston's Ice Cream Parlour. A family-run business for nearly 100 years, they’re renowned in Sligo and across Ireland for their amazing ice cream – it’s well worth a visit.
The VOYA Seaweed Baths are a great way to rejuvenate those aching legs after a fun-filled day exploring Strandhill.
Fota Wildlife Park is part of the Zoological Society of Ireland. Home to thousands of animals from monkeys to zebras, there’s sure to be something for everyone, with plenty of opportunities for fun and learning too. The park is located in the east of Cork City on 100 acres and hosts an impressive 460,000 visitors each year.
If you travel to the west of lovely Cork, you could go for a spot of mammal watching on the “Voyager” with Visit Whale Watch West Cork. You and your family can be on the lookout for dolphins, seals, basking sharks, minke whales and the great fin whales. Make sure to take warm clothes, snacks and even sunscreen, just in case.
Castlecomer Discovery Park has a wide range of fun, challenging and exhilarating activities for all age groups. From adventure games to discover-and-play activities, there’s lots to do, regardless of the weather. Check them out here to see what adventures await you and your family.
Kilkenny also has the National Reptile Zoo full of amazing creatures, with over 50 exhibits as well as a coffee shop, souvenir shop and a play area for the kiddies. There’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained and educated.
Belfast is full of fun things to do for all the family. Visit Belfast has lots of excellent ideas to keep everyone entertained, such as immersing yourselves in the famous TV show with Game of Thrones Sightseeing Tours or learning all about the trials and tribulations of the Titanic in Titanic Belfast.
For something a little different, why not try Vertigo Titanic Park? Ages 4 to 94 can enjoy flying without wings in the only indoor skydiving centre in Ireland. If flying is out of your comfort zone, perhaps bouncing is in order… they also have a huge inflatable world full of fun. They even have an adults-only session for the big kids in your group.
No matter what destination or adventures you and your family decide on, make sure you check out the venue’s availability and protocols in place so you’re fully prepared to have a safe, fun, and memorable holiday this summer.
An Post Insurance Annual Multi-Trip European Travel Policy offers cover in Ireland as well as Europe, as long as you spend at least two nights in accommodation you have booked before your departure.
An Post Insurance Travel Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Chubb European Group SE.
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