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Traveling with Children...

Traveling with Children...

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Group: Community Member Last Active: Thu 3 Mar 2016 10:08 PM Visits: 6
My husband and I spent 10 nights in Ireland in 2011 and have been planning to go back since our first day there. We have decided to take the kids this time, they will be 14, 11, and 8 next summer (2017) when we plan to go. We were very excited and then mentioned our ideas to a friend who flat out told us that we are wasting our time because there is nothing very interesting in Ireland for children.  She caught us off guard and now my husband is second guessing our plans. We are thinking 10-12 nights, self-drive, with mostly B&Bs and one night in a castle.  (Last time we stayed at Ashford Castle and LOVED it!)  Our kids are well traveled, having been all over Germany, Amsterdam, Paris, London, etc, and many, many places in the U.S.  I still think our plan is a great one, but looking for some ideas from others for what would interest our kids. We aren't looking for theme park entertainment or similar.  We want an authentic Irish experience where the kids can be immersed in culture (hence B&B accommodations) and learn about their ancestry, yet enjoy their vacation. 
Posted Thu 3 Mar 2016 9:46 PM
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Northern Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Thu 10 Jan 2019 9:44 AM Visits: 129
Bridget, you MUST MUST MUST include the Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh on your itinerary.  The Centre tells the history and archaeology of one of Ireland's most important archaeological sites, the legendary Emain Macha, home of the famous Red Branch Knights.  The centre allows you to examine this history and archaeology of Navan, to experience the Ulster Cycle of Tales and to meet with and be immersed in life as a Celt in our Iron Age Dwelling.  Have a look at our webpage - Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh
Armagh also has a plethora of attractions which would be perfect for your family including a Planetarium, museums and as the Christian Capital of Ireland we also have 2 beautiful Cathedrals.  The City is an excellent base for travelling throughout Northern Ireland, we are 45 mins from Belfast, 2 hours from Causeway Coast, 1.5 hours from Dublin! 
I really hope you get to visit Ireland and we would look forward to welcoming you and your family to the amazing Navan Centre & Fort.

Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 10:51 AM
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Northern Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Tue 22 Aug 2017 10:17 AM Visits: 46
Hi Bridget,

If you are planning to visit Belfast as part of your trip to Ireland you may like to consider visiting Titanic Belfast - the world's largest Titanic visitor experience, to explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the City and people which made her.

Located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock – the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912, Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.

Our self-guided Titanic Experience extends over nine interpretive and interactive galleries, perfect for children aged 8 and above. While you can also visit SS Nomadic - the world’s last remaining White Star vessel and RMS Titanic’s original tender ship, to walk the decks, explore the ship, and take journey through over 100 years of authentic maritime and social history.

Our iconic building is located at the heart of Titanic Quarter - only a short walk from Belfast’s city centre, and only 90 minutes from Dublin. For further information please see www.titanicbelfast.com

 

Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 11:01 AM
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Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Mon 31 Jul 2017 11:47 AM Visits: 135
Hi Bridget,

Can't believe your friend told you that there is nothing to do with children in Ireland. You will have the time of your life with your family!

You sound like a very active family, so I would suggest you spend a day in an Activity Centre. There are a good few in Ireland (Delphi Resort, Killary Adventure Centre, and of course, Eclipse Ireland - that's us!). They are very family-friendly.
Here at Eclipse for instance, you can do archery, horse riding, take part in the Assault Course or Bog Run challenge, go Coasteering or kayaking... We even have self-catering Holiday Houses if you need accommodation.



You mentioned Ashford Castle - wonderful place! They have their own equestrian centre, which is great. They also have a number of other activities that you can do with children, so make sure to ask them for their recommendation. 

Why don't you have a look at the following websites. I am sure you will find lots of ideas!
- Fun.ie
- Fundays.ie
- Dayout.ie
- Family Friendly HQ
 
You have plenty of time to plan your perfect Family holiday, so don't worry - trust the community! 

Safe travels,

Iris


 
Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 11:16 AM
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Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Tue 10 Jan 2017 3:51 PM Visits: 52
Hi Bridget, 

You wouldn't be wasting your time at all! There are so many wonderful activities for children all around Ireland and they're at the perfect age too to really take it all in.  I'm sure the advice about activities for children will keep rolling in here so I'll move on to the accommodations aspect. 

May I suggest Manor House Hotels for your castle stay.   We have some fabulous historic castles in our collection: 

Abbeyglen Castle
Ballynahinch Castle
Ballyseede Castle
Cabra Castle
Lough Rynn Castle

Also, our other hotel collection (Irish Country Hotels) offers great family run hotels, almost like B&Bs in that they are owner operated and managed so you can really immerse yourself in the Irish people and culture - guests at Carna Bay Hotel in Connemara love to hear the local staff speak in the native Irish language for example.  These hotels have restaurants, pubs (with traditional Irish music sessions)  and some have leisure facilities which the children may enjoy too.

If you would like more information you can email reservations@manorhousehotels.com

Best wishes,  
Mary


Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 11:23 AM
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Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Tue 8 Jan 2019 10:55 AM Visits: 439
Hi Bridget,

There are lots of things to do in Ireland for kids, especially in the summer months.
Ireland is full of family festivals in the summer where your kids can experience the Irish culture.
Galway Arts Festival is one that is wonderful to experience. Apart from festivals, there are many outdoor activities they can partake in eg. swimming, surfing, canoeing, fishing and adventure activities.
Regarding accommodation - staying in a bed and breakfast will be a wonderful cultural experience for the kids. We have over 800 B&Bs to choose from on our website.http://www.bandbireland.com 
Staying in one of our bed and breakfasts offer you the chance to stay in an Irish family home gaining an insight into Irish family life. We have different types of B&B homes and one which goes down very well with families is our farm stay experience - http://www.bandbireland.com/activity-breaks/farmstay-welcome-homes-map
We have Farmstay homes in numerous destinations throughout the country where you can experience life on a working farm first-hand.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-03-2016/f549f57f-859a-4bb9-9aaf-0c0c.jpghttps://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/04-03-2016/67852174-034a-410b-98ff-907c.jpg

Karen - B&B Ireland



Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 11:29 AM
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Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Mon 5 Sep 2016 4:01 PM Visits: 157
Helllo Bridget,
Indeed you and your children will not be disappointed with Ireland.  I get the impression from your introduction and that as a family you love adventure and activity and Ireland and Kerry will not certainly not disappoint.  As Iris from Eclispe Ireland has written and provided you with many valuable links for you to research and they have a wonderful place a ten minute drive from our resort which is Parknasilla Resort & Spa.  I know you mentioned B&B's as a preference, however you might like to consider spending a few days in South Kerry and form here you can discover all of South Kerry, including the wonderful Killarney National Park, Muckross House & Farms, Ross Castle & the newly restored Killarney House and Gardens.  My favourite excursion in Killanrey is The Gap of Dunloe Tour with Dero's Tours. There is no more perfect way to experience the awe and ruggedness of the Kerry Mountains & Lakes of Killarney than a boat trip on the lakes and then picnic lunch in the Black Valley at the base of Ireland's highest mountains and from here a jaunting car ride through the mountain Gap and return to Killarney.  South of Parknasilla and in the opposite direction you have the wonderful beach at Derrynane and then on to Valentia Island & Bray Head and the opportunity to view the now famous Skellig Michael where the new Star Wars was filmed.  With your 8 year old, climbing Skellig would not be recommended but you can organise to take the boat excursion around the rocks and The Skellig Experience Centre is worth a visit. 

The town of Kenmare is only a 21km drive from where we are located and this is the gateway to the Beara Peninsula and some of the best views on the Wild Atlantic Way.  The cable car to Dursey Ireland and the viewpoint here is amazing.  Then on to Castletownbere, famous for it's fishing port , on to Glengarrif and back to Kenmare. 

From Parknasilla the best part is our 500 acre estate that offers so much for family to enjoy.  Hours of walking trails and best of all a Fairy Trail & Treasure Trail the the younger folk just love.  The next best thing is the Eco Sea Kayaking trips which leave from the pier at the hotel.  These are very safe and are electrically charged and battery operated. Also on alternate days for families we organise a guided coastal discover walk with  Vincent or resident expert on all matter marine life, where children are encouraged to collect and discover and share their treasures with the group.  A real fun learning experience.  In addition we have Fun Golf, Play Ground, 12 holes of golf and tennis.  Full Spa & Pool.
We offer luxury hotel accommodation by the sea, and within the resort we also offer Self Catering options in our two bedroom Lodges and three bedroom Villas. 

Take a minute to check out our website: www.parknasillaresort.com Our reservation team will be delighted to assist. 

Hope this helps you with your travel plans.

Good wishes,
Carmel
Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 11:43 AM
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Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Wed 24 Jan 2018 9:06 AM Visits: 13
Bridget,
Ireland is such an interesting place for kids. The country is just so full of History -from Newgrange  in Co. Meath,which is older than the pyramids , to castles and grand houses and estates. The "Ancient East " of the country is worth exploring as it is full of Viking, medieval and Victorian history of these areas. In Cobh Heritage Centre , for example, the exhibition tells the story of Irish emigration from the 1600's to the 1900's and also tells the connection between Cobh and the Titanic and The Lusitania.
Make sure to visit Kilkenny City for castles and medieval history, Waterford and Wexford for stories about our Viking heritage and of course Cork for Maritime history . So much to do - so little time!!! Best wishes Jack
Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 12:18 PM
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Northern Ireland
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Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Tue 12 Dec 2017 11:02 AM Visits: 5
Hi there - delighted to be able to respond to your query, i can highly reccommend a visit to fermanagh and the beautiful lakes of lough erne.  I have three children too14, 12 and 10 and we love fermanagh, stay at Dulrush Fishing Lodge for bed and breakfast, hire a boat and a ghillie who will take you to some of his favourite fishing spots, take a trip to the Marble Arch Caves, (my kids love them) take a boat from dulrush to the village of Belleek and a tour of Belleek Pottery.  book the kids and yourself in for surf lessons at bundoran surf company, stay self catering at Finn Lough Resort and hire some hobie kayaks. come to an irish dancing class or enjoy and evening of traditional irish music at the Black Cat Cove in Belleek.Driving time to fermanagh from Dublin 2.5 hours and in a part of ireland you really cannot afford to miss out. 
Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 12:40 PM
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Great Britain
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Group: Community Member Last Active: Thu 17 Jan 2019 3:27 PM Visits: 724
How lovely that you’re planning on showing Ireland to your children next year Bridget! There are already some great suggestions in this thread to choose from, and you will find even more ideas and tips in these other threads:

- What is there to do with young children in Dublin?
- What can we do in Belfast with kids?
- What is there to do in Derry with children?
- What is there to do in Dingle with kids?
- An Evening of Food, Folklore and Fairies in Dublin's oldest Pub, The Brazen Head

The Irish landscape is perfect for exploring. Broad beaches, green hills and forests make it one big playground for the whole family. There are a lot of walking trails, with everything from castles, cosy towns and hidden gems along the way. Indoors you will also find there is a lot to see and do. With (interactive) museums, castles and historic houses all over the country you can dive into Irish culture. Take a look at 'Ireland for families and children' for more handy information.

I hope these were the suggestions you were looking for. If you're interested in researching your Irish roots, you might like the Ireland Family History section. :)

Posted Fri 4 Mar 2016 2:41 PM
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