The summer is almost upon us and it’s time to get our thinking caps on about where we would like to explore this year with the kids. Luckily for us, our small but exhaustive island is full to the brim of adventures. From dipping our toes into the water and learning a new skill as a family such as surfing, to making friends with an alpaca we have put together our top ten favourite outdoor family fun days for this summer!
1: Explore the Islands
The Aran Islands are Ireland’s gemstones with a rugged beauty and serentity to the unspoiled surroundings. Exploring the cliffs, the stone walls, the sparse landscape and saying hello to the seals, will make a visit to the Aran Islands an experience like no other. Discover the islands, take to the beaches, and delve deep into the history and you will come home having fallen in love with a stunning piece of Ireland.
As one of the most popular destinations in Ireland, Glendalough is often on all of our family day out lists no matter how often we have visited. Steeped in history as well as being one of the most incredible sights our land has to offer, Glendalough brings you on trails that seem out of this world. Pack a picnic, throw on a good pair of walking shoes, and explore as mother nature intended.
3: Causey Farm
Causey Farm in County Meath reopens its Ice Cream Adventure this summer for the old and young to explore their imagination. With storytelling a keen new focus for this summer event, kids will be introduced to Irish folklore as they find their way along the trails, meet the animals (including a camel), play games, and of course taste the best homemade ice cream they have ever licked.
4: Alpaca Trekking
We have all fallen in love with an alpaca or two over the years as their gentle demeanor and loving nature has us smitten. But have you ever thought of going on a gentle hike with one? If this is a longstanding dream, then why not bring the kids (over 12s only) and yourself for a truly unique experience. With alpaca farms popping up across the country, such as The Naked Sheep in Kerry, and K2 Alpacas in Wicklow, alpaca trekking is becoming a firm favourite for a great day out.
5: Find Your Way Out of a Maze
A hedge maze could be your idea of a great day out, or vivid memories of getting lost in the Labryinth. The Kildare Maze is one of those bucket list items and a guaranteed fun day with the family as you all figure out the puzzle together. This old fashioned family fun includes a hedge maze, a wooden maze, as well as the added bonus’ of a playground, crazy golf, and an adventure trail.
6: Find the Fairies
Ireland has a keen relationship with the fairies and many fairy trails have popped up over the years giving us a great excuse to get outdoors to try and spy a pair. They are notoriously hard to spot but where they live is simply magical and every fairy trail makes for a beautiful family day out. From the Kerry fairy trails in Derrynane House and the Parknasilla Resort, to the Wells House trail in Wexford and Erica’s fairy forest in Cootehill, Carlow, there are fairies everywhere.
7: Learn to Surf
If learning a new skill or taking on a new hobby is on the cards this summer, why not give surfing a go! Even better, why not give it a try as a family. Learning to surf is a great experience for kids and parents, and with a great instructor, such as Seamus and his team at Sligo Surf Experience in Strandhill, you simply cannot go wrong.
8: Treasure Hunt at Loughcrew
There’s nothing quite like using a map, figuring out the clues, and finding your way along a treasure hunt. Loughcrew estate in County Meath offers just that kind of excitement as kids find their way along a fairy trail. A promising fun filled family day out, kids have to solve clues to get to the next part of the trail as they use their imagination and detective skills while we get to enjoy the backdrop that includes stunning floral displays and a wildflower meadow.
9: Go Go-Karting
Finding ourselves in a go-kart can feel like being back at Butlins in the 80s for many of us, but go-karting is an action-packed fun experience for the whole family. At Kiltorcan Raceway in Kilkenny, the whole family can race together (provided kids are over ten and taller than 110cm) and no doubt spur up a bit of competition.
10: Go Horseriding
And if go-karting is not your thing, why not go trekking as a family along the beach or through the hills. With so many opportunities available to go trekking, such as the Slieve Aughty Centre in Lougrea, County Galway, a day out with a pony is guaranteed to be a fun family day with great memories and an experience like no other.