50 Heritage Sites Kids Under 12's Can Explore For Free

Summer is about adventure and exploring, getting active outdoors and enjoying time as a family but for many, funds get in the way.

However, unbeknownst to many, children under the age of 12 can visit numerous heritage sites managed by the Office of Public Works across Ireland for free.

The long-term scheme aims to encourage families with young children to experience some of the best cultural and heritage sites we have mapped across the country. 

So why not pack a picnic this summer and visit one of these 50 Heritage sites with free under 12's admission?

50 free Irish Heritage sites for under 12's:

  • Desmond Castle, Limerick
  • Adare Castle, Limerick
  • Fore Abbey, Westmeath
  • JFK Memorial Park & Arboretum, Wexford
  • Newgrange, Meath
  • Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
  • Emo Court,  Laois
  • Ballyhack Castle, Wexford
  • Ardfert Cathedral, 
  • Dwyer McAllister Cottage, Wicklow
  • Farmleigh, Dublin
  • Kilmacurragh, Wicklow
  • Garinish Island, Bantry Bay
  • Glendalough Visitor Centre, Wicklow
  • Battle of the Boyne, Meath
  • Ennis Friary, Clare
  • Ballycroy National Park, Mayo
  • Tintern Abbey, Wexford
  • Glenveagh Castle, Donegal
  • Trim Castle, Meath
  • Cahir Castle, Tipperary
  • Glebe House and Gallery, Meath
  • Jerpoint Abbey, Kilkenny
  • Ormond Castle, Tipperary
  • Parke's Castle, Leitrim
  • Reginald's Tower, Waterford
  • Famine Warhouse 1848, Tipperary
  • Dunmore Caves, Kilkenny
  • Knowth, Meath
  • Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Roscommon
  • Boyle Abbey, Roscommon
  • Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Sligo
  • Derrynane House, Kerry
  • Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre, Longford
  • Desmond Castle, Cork
  • Aughnanure Castle, Galway
  • Old Mellifont Abbey, Louth
  • Clonmacnoise, Offaly
  • Kilkenny Castle 
  • Ceide Fields, Mayo
  • Charles Fort, Cork
  • Dublin Castle 
  • Portumna Castle, Galway
  • Dun Aonghasa, Galway
  • Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
  • Rock of Cashel, Tipperary
  • Sligo Abbey
  • Dungarvan Castle, Waterford
  • Ross Castle, Killarney
  • Hill of Tara, Meath

If your kids are a little older and have hit the teenage years, don't fret, most OPW-managed heritage sites are free for both adults and children aged between 12 to 18 years old on the first Wednesday of every month. However there is a catch, tickets are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is highly advised to arrive early at your chosen destination.

For older children and adults who love educational days out, Heritage Ireland now offers a Heritage Card for families. Priced at €90, the membership allows two adults and up to five eligible children to explore all fee-paying State managed OPW Heritage Sites located across the country for one year with the exception of Muckross Traditional Farms, Killarney. 

Heritage cards can be purchased at most Heritage Ireland sites and directly from their website


Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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