There are ample activities to do in Ireland when you visit the country. See the beautiful harbors and beaches, take a walk along unspoiled cliff sides or spend some time at one of the many castles or historic structures of the area. All well and good for adults, but what if you have kids? Specifically tweens.
That delightful and yet sometimes awkward age where your children are not quite children, but not quite adults either. Usually it is defined by wanting to do grown up things but being slightly too young, and too old to be entertained by the typical activities that the younger set would enjoy.
Just suggest to your tween that they go on the bouncy castle with their kid brother or sister and watch as their upper lip curls in derision….’Really, Dad?’ (or Mom)
So here’s some suggestions for you that should help keep your tweens suitably entertained while you are on your trip, and be plenty of fun in the process:
One of the most popular family attractions in Dublin is the Dublin Zoo. Almost 70 acres of exhibits, animals and interactive activities to explore. It is one of the oldest zoo’s in the world and boast over 400 animal exhibits.
One of the recent star attractions are the endangered tiger cubs that were recently born in captivity, and have proved to be a big hit with visitors. There are plenty of animals to see with the usual mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
There is also a discovery school and learning center on site and the zoo does a lot to educate people on their conservation efforts. Your kids will enjoy the participation in groups and they can have the chance to feed and interact with animals at certain times.
The Galway Atlantaquaria has the distinction of being the biggest Aquarium in the country of Ireland. It boast 2 floors of sea life exhibits. The stingray pool is a popular attraction among guests and there is a wealth of educational information about conservation and sea life.
The aquarium hosts a wide array of aquatic saltwater and freshwater fish and there are places to get snacks and meals on site. There are several opportunities for kids to get involved and they can enjoy fish feeding and a variety of tours while at the facility.
Whale & Dolphin Watching
Staying with the sea life theme why not book a boat tour from one of the many available on the coast of Ireland? The main ones are concentrated on the southwest and southern coastal areas of the country.
Here you can schedule a tour and take the kids on an unforgettable Whale or Dolphin watching cruise. At the right time of year you may be lucky enough to see dolphin, porpoise, humpbacked whales and even killer whales.
This is a day out that is sure to keep your kids entertained while providing a truly memorable experience. It is fun, educational and exciting all at the same time.
Adventure Center, Louth
Over in Louth there is a fantastic adventure center for those of us whose kids seem to possess almost boundless energy. It is the Carlingford Adventure Center.
This is a great way to keep the kids engaged and run off a ton of their excess reserves. The park offers a seemingly endless assortment of activities, archery, golf, zip lining, kayaking, to name just a few. The Skypark is an extensive aerial obstacle course for the adventurous types and there is a Crystal maze for the thinkers.
The choice of activities is excellent and whatever you kids decide to try they will have lots of fun here. Tickets can be booked online and there are also group activities to be enjoyed.
Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park
For those wanting to spend the day with their family in a more environmentally friendly location the Lullymore Park has lots to offer. It is a park covering around 60 acres of fields and woodlands and there are an array of walking trails and tours to participate in.
The park provides entertainment and activities for all the family and include a pet farm, a train ride, golf, and outdoor play areas. There is a large cafe on site and this is a location that you can easily spend an entire day exploring.
The park strives to provide education and diversity, and examples include a Stone Age Village and an early Christian exhibition.
Tayto Park, County Meath
If you are the kind of family that is seeking thrills and an adrenaline rush then Tayto Park should suit you perfectly. It is the unusual combination of both a theme park and a zoo and provides several high octane and exciting thrill rides.
Experience the large roller coaster or the Rotator – a large towering ride that propels passengers over 100 feet into the air. Not for the faint of heart! There is also the usual array of typical fairground rides for you to enjoy.
When you have had enough excitement on the rides, you can relax and stroll through the animal enclosures and view a selection of big cats and monkeys among other exhibits. There are also a variety of tours to choose from that operate throughout the day.
Basecamp Action Adventure Park
This park will provide budding army officers and strategists a place to test their skills. Instead of playing Call of Duty on the Xbox the kids can run, jump, slide, shoot and experience tactical games in real life.
Basecamp Adventure Park is set in a large forest and covers an area of around 80 acres. It provides Paintball combat zones, Archery activities, and Splat ball games. It is an active and high energy way for the kids to spend the day and if they are not exhausted after being at this park then nothing will tire them out.
Tickets are available online and the park offers play and stay packages which includes hotel.
Adventure Park is set in a large forest and covers an area of around 80 acres. It provides Paintball combat zones, Archery activities, and Splat ball games. It is an active and high energy way for the kids to spend the day and if they are not exhausted after being at this park then nothing will tire them out. Tickets are available online and the park offers play and stay packages which includes hotel.
The Aquadome, Tralee
This water park is based in Tralee and has been in operation for many years. It is a popular attraction with locals and tourists and enjoys a large complement of visitors each year.
The Aquadome is suitable for all ages and caters to kids and adults alike. Send your young adventurers to play in the selections of water based activities; water slides, games, and activities are assorted and varied.
While the kids go off to play you can enjoy the sauna, spa, or fitness room that is available onsite. If you would simply like to sit back and relax there is a large cafe where you can get a meal or enjoy a cup of coffee.
National History Museum, Dublin
For a day of education make sure you stop by the National History Museum in Dublin. It has been operational since 1857 and has earned the nickname ‘The Dead Zoo’ due to the large number of stuffed animal on display.
View the large examples of mammals, reptiles, and insects and enjoy the ever changing exhibits that rotate regularly through the museum. There is currently a large Jurassic dinosaur display with many assorted examples of dinosaurs of the ground and air. This museum should provide a fascinating and entertaining day for all the family.
However you decide to spend the day with your family one of these options is sure to educate and entertain. Ireland provides a wealth of option and activities for all ages and there is much to choose from during your visit.
From history and education, to fun and excitement, Ireland has it all and will provide plenty of ways for you to keep you tweens entertained.