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I am planning a visit with my daughter (2 years) and wife around Ireland (and Northern Ireland) for ten days. We start from Cork and finish in Dublin. What are the most interesting places to visit? In particular we are not interested in stuff not suitable for children (night-life, etc) and we would prefer to see something different from that in the UK and the rest of Europe.

We have a Rough Guide, but I found it almost impossible to figure out what is really worth seeing. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

EDIT: Regarding historic sites, usually (mostly) outdoor sites are OK, it's just the museum type sightseeing is too boring for the little one.

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I've re-tagged this for you - tipping is used for queries around tipping=tips=money, rather than tips=ideas=suggestions. planning looks to be our current closest one to what you wanted –  Gagravarr Jul 16 '11 at 15:09
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5 Answers 5

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Wow, interesting question. Nature-wise there's SO much to see in Ireland - Cliffs of Moher, Giant's Causeway, the Dingle Peninsula. There's sights from Blarney Castle to the amazing history and sights of Belfast.

However, if you're after things specifically that children may enjoy - 'history' stuff is probably out ;) I'd suggest the following to include in your itinerary:

1) Dingle Peninsula - as well as being a beautiful place and a charming town, you can look for Fungie, Dingle's resident dolphin. And if you can't find him, his statue is down by the boats as well :)

2) Giant's Causeway - a spectacular place with over 40,000 columns of basalt rock, it'd be fun for kids to climb all over as well.

3) The Exploris Aquarium in Northern Ireland: http://www.northern-ireland-travel.com/exploris-aquarium.html

4) Belfast - the night-time Black Cab tours - sure the history won't mean much to the kids, but Black Cabs can be a fun and different vehicle to ride in. And it's a brilliant tour for adults!

5) Blarney Castle - castles are fun for everyone, and you get to hang off the top and kiss the Blarney stone! ;)

6) The Cliffs of Moher can't be skipped - absolutely spectacular! Plus when you see the Cliffs of Insanity in The Princess Bride, you'll be able to say you've been there :)

Finally if you're after some places to eat and stay that are kids friendly: http://www.ireland-guide.com/ten_of_the_best/for_kids.5831.html

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Thanks for a great answer! Regarding historic sites all the outdoor stuff should be fine, only museum type attractions are too "boring". –  Grzenio Jul 16 '11 at 16:38
    
No worries. I spent a week with the Paddy Wagon tours going around about 20 months ago, really fantastic country and had great fun, despite the flood that was on at the time :) –  Mark Mayo Jul 16 '11 at 16:58
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The model railway at Clonakilty is worth seeing and if you are touring by car, it is worth while being open to distraction, as a lot of very interesting sites can just pop up - visits to islands, the Clonakilty Elvis festival, children's farms, butterfly farms, hawk sanctuaries, caves and so forth. Ireland has some very interesting old places such as Dunaonghasa, Poulnabrone and the Ceide fields. Clare is famous for its wild flowers and limestone paving, and every county has wonderful gardens, some more wonderful than others, depending on the time of year. You could easily spend ten days enjoying West Cork alone!

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In Cork, Fota Island Wildlife Park would be well worth a look, and Dublin Zoo when in Dublin.

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I have very happy memories of Fota. We went there a few times as kids (and I've been once more, on my own, as an adult). –  TRiG Sep 18 '12 at 19:43
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As well as some of very scenic areas mentioned by @Mark Mayo, there is the Aqua Dome in Tralee, Co. Kerry. It's basically a small indoor waterpark/swimming pool. It could be a suitable afternoon activity if you want to give the little one something fun and the weather is rainy.

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I'm from Dublin, here's some of the things I loved as a kid:

  1. Children's Wax Museum (http://www.waxmuseumplus.ie/)
  2. Dublinia Medieval/Viking Dublin Recreation (http://www.dublinia.ie/)
  3. Dublin Zoo (http://www.dublinzoo.ie)

Never liked all the geographical features like the Giants Causeway etc!

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