Not only is Cork the only real capital of Ireland (according to Corkonians), it also offers you many fun, entertaining and educational things to do with the whole family. Because let’s be honest; it’s not always an easy task to find a place to spend the day that is amusing for both the adults and the young ones. Even though Cork mostly seems to come to live during the weekends and at nighttime, there are plenty of things to see, do and experience on the regular Monday to Friday as well.
After visiting all the family-oriented locations and events in and around Cork, we’ve managed to narrow it down to the top 5 things to do with children. Whether it’s to fill some days during the summer break, to have an enjoyable holiday for both parents and children, or to just enjoy a lovely, entertaining day with the whole family. From our experience to your benefit, with love for the family life.
5. Fota Wildlife Park
Suitable for all ages, this enormous park inhabits thousands of animals and plants. From Asiatic lions to Eastern Grey kangaroos. Where some animals are home in their enclosed habitat, other animals run free throughout the park – a pleasure for both the young and the old. See the wildlife from up close or let Fota Wildlife Park entertain the whole family during an activity day especially for the young ones. A full list of their events can be found on their website.
4. Fitzgerald’s Park
Nothing beats some good old family fun at the park. Fitzgerald’s Park lends itself perfectly for a day of family entertainment. Enjoy a picnic, bring a ball to play some soccer, walk the ‘Shaky Bridge,’ have yourselves some delicious ice cream (the best ice cream in Cork some might say) at the edge of the park and let the kids enjoy some playtime on the playground. Make sure to do some research as you might just be able to enjoy one of the many events such as the Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular where performers, acrobats, and entertainers will provide a wonderful day of family fun. Not only does Fitzgerald’s Park offer loads of fun; it’s (almost) free of expenses as well!
3. Rumley’s Open Farm
Rumley’s Open Farm in Waterfall offers loads of fun for the whole family. A wide range of animals calls this farm their home. Silver foxes, parrots, cows, emu’s, pigs and lama’s – you see them all, up close and personal. The vast terrain offers a good 4 hours of walking, caressing and petting. But besides the beautiful sights of the animals, Rumley’s Open Farm also provides tractor rides, a zip wire, go-karts, a soccer pitch and many more entertaining things to do for the whole family, but mostly the young ones. Conclude your day with a bit to eat in the restaurant, while the kids get rid of their last bits of energy at the indoor playground.
2. Youghal beach
Not only is Youghal beach one of the longest and most beautiful beaches around Cork; it’s also free of expenses! Bring a picnic basket, swimming suits, and some beach-appropriate entertainment and enjoy yourselves a beautiful day in the Irish sun. Dive in for a swim in the Irish sea, build the most fantastic sand castles, get a tan, read a book or enjoy some family fun with badminton rackets or a football. You can find Youghal beach on a 50-minute drive from the city, and you can get there by car, train or bus. During the summer season, you’ll also find some small snack bars where you can get some good old Irish fish and chips, but you’re more than welcome to bring your own lunch.
1. Blackrock Castle Observatory
Blackrock Castle Observatory is excellent fun for both the young and the older family members. Not only does it offer entertainment for the young ones, but it also gives them the opportunity to open their minds to a whole new part of this world. It’s located on the outskirts of Cork city centre and is easy to reach by bus, but also makes for a lovely riverwalk. Interactive exhibits and activities centred around the universe and outer space make for an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind day of fun and learning. It even makes an excellent place for a birthday party with treasure hunts, a Planetarium show and loads of age-appropriate learning entertainment. Blackrock Castle Observatory also organizes special events with sightings of the Red Moon Eclipse and other spectacular events in our sky that make for a family night that’ll always be remembered.
Written by Myra Kokke