We’ve been enjoying some absolutely incredible weather in Ireland this summer, with temperatures soaring at one point right up into the early 30s. It’s fair to say sunshine lightens the mood – what can be better than donning shorts and heading to the beach for a day of sun-soaked family fun! Luckily, that healthy, happy summer feeling doesn’t have to end just yet. Before the kids go back to school, why not head out on an adventure together? Here, we’ve put together some fun, budget-friendly activities the whole family will enjoy, come rain or shine!
A Trip to the Zoo & Picnic in Phoenix Park
Dublin’s Phoenix Park is one of Europe’s largest walled gardens, and a fantastic amenity to have in the city. It’s the perfect place to while away a Sunday afternoon, as it’s home to ponds, wooded pathways, playing fields, and even a friendly herd of deer! Why not pack a picnic and relax in these lush green surrounds, before making your way to Dublin Zoo, also located within the park. Set over 69 sprawling acres, the Zoo houses a variety of exotic animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, chimpanzees and elephants. Kids of all ages will enjoy exploring all it has to offer.
Visit an Open Farm
Another option for animal-lovers is an open farm like that at Newgrange, Co. Meath, Glenroe in Wicklow or Clare’s Moher Hill. Unlike the zoo, kids can get up close to animals, with adorable options at Newgrange like ‘hold a chick’, ‘bottle-feed a lamb’ and ‘milk a cow’. It gives city-based children a great opportunity to learn about country living, while getting familiar with various breeds of animal.
If yours is a more adventurous bunch, maybe they’d prefer to make a splash at a waterpark. There are several options in Ireland, depending on where you’re based. Aquazone, the National Aquatic Centre, is located in the west Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown. There are sweeping slides for parents and older kids, while little ones will love the fun pirate play areas. Funtasia meanwhile is in Bettystown, Co. Louth. In its waterpark section you’ll find over 200 activities, as well as other fun options on dry land, like bowling, crazy golf and a video arcade. In the charming town of Tralee, Co. Kerry meanwhile you’ll find the Aqua Dome. While kids try out its thrilling rapids and slides, mums and dads can relax in the centre’s sauna health suite; a real win-win!
If the likes of Tralee or Clare are too much of a trek for one day, why not make your adventure an overnight stay? Opt for midweek before the summer holidays finish, and you’re more likely to find a competitive rate for a family hotel room. Camping is another budget-friendly option; why not pitch a tent or rent a yurt in the gorgeous surrounds of Doolin, Caherciveen or Creeslough in magical, far-flung Donegal.