Sometimes play centres don't cut it and you want something a little more action-packed or even educational to keep the kids entertained.
Located in the heart of Dublin's Temple Bar, The Ark is a unique purpose built culture centre for children aged 2-12. Here they can discover, explore and learn about theatre, literature, art, music and so much more. The cultural hub hosts regular exhibitions, creative workshops and world-class performances for the whole family. Prebooking is highly advised.
Inspire curious minds to discover the wonders of science through sport located in Ireland’s first sport and science centre located in Sandyford, Dublin. An afternoon at Explorium is the perfect day out for kids of any age with over 300 interactive experiences to explore including the world’s largest manmade indoor caving structure, a movie world, live demonstrations and a sensory room. Complete with a magical blend of exhibits and programs, it is perfect for everyone with colour, bubbles and light shows for the smaller ones to virtual reality and wall climbing for the older kids and adults alike. Prices vary per exhibition and booking is advised.
It doesn't matter what Zoo you choose, in fact, you may struggle to narrow it down with options like Dublin Zoo, Belfast Zoo, Tayto Park, Foto Wildlife Park, Dublin Falconry and The National Reptile Zoo in Kilkenny just to name a few. Each location has their own learning and discovery centres, exhibitions, informative talks and of course, they have animals on display. Each Zoo has a huge variety of animals to learn about from mammals, reptiles and birds.
In search of Nemo or Dory? Check out Sea Life Bray, Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium and Galway Atlantaquaria. Enjoy each aquarium at your leisure or check out tour times ahead of your visit but make sure you stop by the numerous talks throughout the day and big fish feeding times. Aquarium staff are usually on hand to assist and answer questions you or your kids may have.
Go back in time and discover one of the many castles dotted all over the Irish landscape. Popular castles for families include King John's Castle, Bunratty Castle, Blarney Castle, Trim Castle, Birr Castle and Malahide Castle. Explore the ruins or take a castle tour and simply enjoy the surroundings at these stunning visitor attractions. Some have been revamped with visitor centres, playgrounds and even cafes so it can make the perfect day out for the whole family - weather providing, of course.
It's something I regularly say to friends and family. we are not short of museums here in Ireland, in fact, chances are you won't know half of them even exist and some of them are free too. Personal favourites of mine are The National History Museum of Ireland, Dublinia, Titanic Belfast, Foynes Flyingboat Museum, Tara's Palace Museum of Childhood and the Museum of Transport in Tipperary. Each museum offers something different so you can be guaranteed to find something that will tickle your fancy. Museums regularly hold family-friendly events so make sure you check out the events guide listed on their website ahead of your visit.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of kids aged 2, 3, 4 and 8 (and she is expecting baby #5 in May). A self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee and she loves to travel and share every day true to life moments on Instagram of her expanding family. Follow her daily adventures on Instagram.