Whether you are planning a trip to Cork or are a native Corkonian at a loss with what to do with the kids, we have collected 10 of the best activities, attractions and fun ideas suitable for all ages.
1. Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park is a must for any visitors to Cork – and locals too! Suitable for all ages, the 100-acre park is home to thousands of animals and plants, both native and exotic. Enjoy a family day out meeting Asiatic Lions, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and the Harbour Seal and learn more about their natural habitat.
Some of the animals live in paddocks while others roam freely around, which is always entertaining for the young ones! Fota also runs activity days for children and a full list, ranging from African drumming to art classes, can be found on their website.
See a review of Fota Wildlife Park by The Travel Expert.
2. Cork City Gaol
Cork City Gaol is a former prison which now houses one of Cork’s loved museums. The castle-like building will certainly entertain and engage history buffs as they are guided through day-to-day life as a 19th-century prisoner.
The cells are furnished as they were back in time as a functioning prison and include lifelike wax figures and original graffiti on the walls.
3. Fitzgerald’s Park
There is nothing like a bit of old fashioned fun and Fitzgerald’s Park in Cork City provides just that. Grab a picnic basket and head on down for a family day out.
The park can be accessed through a number of gates but the locals’ favourite is by crossing the “shaky bridge” (even if it is not so shaky anymore!).
There is a great playground where kids can play on swings and slides, but there is also a lot of free space throughout the beautifully landscaped gardens to play sports.
Guests can also visit the Cork Public Museum here and discover more about the local history.
4. The Farm Grenagh
Everybody loves a trip to the farm and young visitors will very much enjoy getting close to the animals. The Farm, Grenagh has something for everyone across its 40 acres.
Guests can experience life in rural Ireland on a traditional working farm where only Irish animals live and native crops grow. There is also a 1960’s village showcasing what farms of the past were like. This is also a unique venue for birthday parties.
5. Blackrock Castle Observatory
Blackrock Castle Observatory is located right on the outskirts of the city centre and is easy to reach by car or bus. It offers interactive exhibits and activities on outer space, the universe and more, which make learning a lot of fun.
A daily schedule can be found on their website so that guests can easily plan their visit. If you really want something special, you can plan your little one’s birthday party here. Included are an age-appropriate science workshop, a trip to the science exhibition, a Planetarium show and a treasure hunt.
For the best baby gifts: hover here.
6. Trabolgan Holiday Village
Families can enjoy a fantastic day out or a longer stay in one of the self-catering homes at Trabolgan Holiday Village. It provides a safe and friendly environment for toddlers and has indoor and outdoor activities for everyone from the youngest to the oldest.
Available to enjoy are a swimming pool complex, adventure sports, live music, fancy dress parties and the Trabolgan Bird of Prey Educational Centre. Peppa Pig and other TV friends can often be found wandering around!
7. West Cork Model Railway Village
Clonakilty offers one of the most fun-filled family activities Cork has to offer, the West Cork Model Railway Village. Kids will enjoy the miniature sized West Cork towns that grew along the old railway line between 1930 and 1950, and the fascinating facts that come along with each one.
However, the most exciting part is perhaps the road train which takes guests through the streets of Clonakilty to see the life-sized versions of the buildings at the model railway village. Again, this is another place to hold a birthday party or simply enjoy tea and a scone while enjoying a spectacular view of Clonakilty Bay.
8. Blarney Castle
Kissing the Blarney Stone is not just for foreigners and Blarney Castle is a great day out even if you don’t want the gift of the gab. Children’s imaginations will run wild as they roam landscaped gardens and the castle itself.
No doubt they will also love Rock Close where there are the Wishing Steps, an ancient Druid circle and potentially fairies in the garden!
9. LeisureWorld Churchfield/Bishopstown
While there are many beautiful beaches to enjoy around the county of Cork, one has to be prepared for the arrival of rain. In that case, head to LeisureWorld in either Churchfield of Bishopstown.
In Churchfield, you can find 3 pools, including a 25-metre pool, a children’s pool and a toddler pool with a play zone, and a large water slide. Bishopstown has 3 swimming pools: a 25-metre pool, an 18-metre pool and a toddler pool.
10. Charles Fort
The kids will love being outside in nature if it means a trip to 17th-century Charles Fort. Start the day with a stroll along coastal Scilly Walk.
Once at the fort, the entire family will be enthralled by the stories of the soldiers who lived here and the comparatively different existence of the officers.
We hope that this list of leisure with children in Cork is complete enough to keep you and your little ones entertained for a long time!