We reached out to parents across Ireland to find out the best wheelchair-friendly and wheelchair accessible days out in Ireland.
We are coming up in the world in terms of accessibility and inclusion, and rightly so. I strongly believe barrier-free adventures should be available to all. Considering I don't have a child who relies on a wheelchair, I reached out to parents across Ireland to find out their most recommended wheelchair friendly and top accessible days out in Ireland.
Most if not all of the places listed below offer discounted rates for carers and/or for children and adults with disabilities or special needs. So to be sure on prices and documentation, please do your research ahead of your visit. Some places like Tayto Park require a GP letter or named association membership card to avail of discounted rates.
Ireland's only theme park is set across 55 acres of Meath farmland and is home to Europe's only wooden rollercoaster, The Cú Chulainn Coaster. With more than 100 attractions including The Rotator (which soars 31 metres into the sky), there's so much to get excited about. You can also keep things low key with the Ladybird Loop and Honey Pot. Either way, there is a heap of exhilarating experiences to keep your kids in the good books all year round.
In addition, Tayto Park offers wheelchair hire, fully equipped and spacious disabled toilets, accessible changing room and mobility scooters and they also offer ride assistance passes available from the reception desk at the admissions office.
At Dreamland, they believe every child has a right to play at their all-inclusive play centre for children under the age of 9. Advertised as a dream come true for disabled children all over Ireland, kids can shop in the mini market, operate on teddies in the toy hospital, meet Captain Jack Sparrow or kick back in their beautiful sensory room. Disabled children can visit the centre free of charge any time of the year and there are wheelchair accessible toilets on site.
A magical day out with a difference, Airfield is Ireland’s largest urban farm and food gardens experience, designed to inspire people to reconnect with food and the land it comes from. The 38-acre estate includes a wheelchair accessible working farm and dairy, food gardens and food production tunnels that supply the destination restaurant, Overend's.
There are also ornamental gardens, a state of the art interactive heritage centre, a display garage for the Rolls Royce and vintage cars, and educational facilities. It's a wonderful inclusive day out for all. We highly recommend you arrive early for the egg collecting and cow milking experiences.
Described as an oasis of peace and tranquillity by many, the majestic themed gardens are fully accessible. The Delta Sensory Gardens are complete with various water features including the famous Kugal, one tonne of pink marble floating on a cushion of water. It is a little gem of a place worth visiting especially throughout the spring and summer months.
Inspire curious minds to discover the wonders of science through sport located in Ireland’s only dedicated sport and science centre in Sandyford, Dublin. A day at Explorium is the perfect day out for kids of any age with over 300 interactive experiences to explore including a movie world, live demonstrations and a sensory room.
Complete with a magical blend of exhibits and programs, it is perfect for all abilities as it wheelchair accessible throughout. As well as that, for those wondering what life is like on wheels, Explorium has an exhibit showing the obstacles wheelchair users face daily and it's a real eye-opener.
An award-winning Celtic Garden and Visitors Centre set within 11 acres of native woodland and wildflower meadows. Enjoy the enchanting nature trail, an ancient ring fort, thatched roundhouse and crannog, and the largest calendar sundial in Ireland. The building, gardens and a section of the nature trail are wheelchair accessible and there is a fully accessible toilet.
A family favourite for years, the Dunbrody Famine Ship is a reproduction 1840s emigrant vessel with exhibits, guided tours and costumed interpreters who will explain the harshness of conditions taken by famine emigrants many moons ago. Located in New Ross, it offers full wheelchair accessibility to the ship, visitor centre and Captain's Table restaurant.
Located on a 28-hectare park in the heart of Dublin, the zoo is a safe home to hundreds of animals where education and conservation combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience. With daily animal talks and feedings and the newly added Zoorassic World, Sea Lion Cove, Orangutan Forest and of course, the Eco Explorers Trail, it is perfect for ages and abilities. The park is fully accessible with nine unisex accessible toilet facilities and there are 10 manual wheelchairs located at the Zoo entrance.
However, Dublin Zoo does not allow assistance dogs into the main area of the zoo but they do offer a sitting area which provides temporary accommodation for assistance dogs while their owners visit the zoo.
Fota is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Munster, set on 70 acres where you can come face to face with free-roaming animals and birds from all around the world. The wildlife park is home to various highly endangered species such as the Lion Tailed Macaque, Rothschild giraffe, European Bison and Scimitar Horned Oryx. Wheelchair users can safely explore and learn throughout the park and the tour train can accommodate wheelchairs subject to availability. There are four wheelchair-accessible toilets located within the park.
Other places coming in with top marks from wheelchair users and their carers include Arigna Mining Experience, Blarney Castle, Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Newbridge House and Farm, Greenham Maze and of course, Lullymore Heritage Park who now have a wheelchair space on the little train that brings you round the peatlands.