At last, it's here.
The schools are about to close and families around the country are planning how to keep the kids entertained for two months, without the support of the national babysitters.
Unfortunately, in Ireland, we can’t rely on the weather to join in so we have to plan activities around all types of different conditions.
Irish families also come in all shapes and sizes with a mixture of babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and, of course, adults, that can make planning a day out that much harder.
But there’s good news.
YourDaysOut.ie teamed up with the No.1 newspaper in Ireland, Sunday World, to give you a choice of fantastic local businesses all over the island offering a wide range of fun family activities and events to give you, and your family, a summer to remember.
The Pirates Cove Waterpark features over 200 water gushing activities including the adrenalin pumping Super Bowl speed slide and the incredible gravity defying Boomerang slide. There is also bowling, Sky Climbing, indoor play area and much much more.
Indoor fun waterpark in Dublin with loads of wild waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a pirate ship for the littles ones and Flow Rider surf machine. Food also available
The popular water park on Lough Ree is back. Every year they add new sections to the inflatable island with its own jungle, towers, trampolines, slides, water-based obstacle courses and even a castle. Other activities available too.
A completely enclosed indoor waterpark with a wave pool, rapids and a slide pool with 3 flumes; Tornado, Twister and Whizzer. Parents can relax in the Bundoran Seaweed Baths and enjoy fresh seaweed and filtered sea water.
The whole family, swimmers and non-swimmers, will enjoy tropical temperatures regardless of the Kerry weather; wave pools, lazy river, raging rapids, water slides, spa pool, children’s pool, whirlpools, gushers, geysers, sprays and cannons
Enjoy warm pleasant temperatures all year round in the south east's biggest indoor water park! There is a wave machine, water slides, bubble pool, paddle pool, water cannon, rolling rapids, steam room, sauna & 25-metre pool.
Day adventures in the biggest aerial park in Ireland; Courses range from 6ft to 40ft high. There are also adventure activities for everyone 4+ with Ziplines, Quazer, Aeroball, FootGolf, Frisbee Golf, BaseJump & Climbing Wall.
Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park
A family-fun destination with loads of kids activities and the most beautiful house in Ireland. Log flume & Swinging Ship rides, pedalo boats, miniature railway, Giant Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Zip wires, Archery, Falconry & more.
Loads of fun on a working farm in Dublin where in summer kids can join in the daily egg collection, milking & feeding as well as enjoying the garden games, daily crafts, nature play area and healthy restaurant.
Why not hire a self-drive boat and see the views from Cork Harbour? The views of Cobh from the sea are spectacular especially when one the huge liners is in port. Maximum of 5 per boat.
Award winning Celtic Gardens and Café. A great family friendly day out with a kids' nature trail, natural play areas and fairy village. Explore the native woodland, wildflower meadows, ancient fairy fort, crannóg and the largest sundial in Ireland.
For family fun, Russborough is the place to be. Their maze, fairy trail, playground & tree trail is suitable for individual ages. Walk the 2 km Audio trail to hear the local folklore.
Beautiful family park opens every day but some activities dependent on weather. Zip across the lake, fish for trout, race the paddleboats and mini Jeeps, visit the pet farm and bring a picnic for a fun day out.
FARMS & ZOOS
One of Ireland's most popular attractions welcomed over one million visitors last year. The 28 hectare park is home to some 400 animals in an environment where education and conservation combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience.
Tearaways Pet Farm & Activity Centre, Tipperary
Indoor and outdoor activities to keep all the family happy whatever the North Tipperary weather. A 6,000 sq ft Indoor Activity Centre, Pet Farm with lots of friendly animals, Sandpit, Go Carts, Playground & Barrel Train.
Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Wexford
Secret Valley Wildlife Park is set in 14 acres of beautiful countryside only 1.5hrs from Dublin. The family run zoo has a relaxing atmosphere with keeper talks, handling and feeding sessions which happen throughout the day.
Set on 100 acres on the scenic Fota Island in Cork Harbour, Fota is not like an ordinary zoo; here you can come face to face with free roaming animals and birds from different parts of the world.
Great value for money outside Maynooth. As well as all the animals they have outdoor playgrounds, bouncy castles, an indoor play area, mini golf, go karts, a football pitch, plenty of picnic areas and lots more.
A great place where the whole family can spend the day together, seeing the animals and having fun. Loads to do including water slides, tractor rides, indoor & outdoor play areas & a bouncing pillow.
National Wax Museum Plus, Dublin
Recently reopened in a new venue, the National Wax Museum Plus is more than just wax statues. It is an exciting journey with a modern and interactive take on Irish history and popular culture.
A unique visitor attraction showing what life was like for those who ended up behind bars. The cells are home to life-like wax figures and there is even original graffiti on the walls.
The White Star Line Ticket Office was the departure point for thousands of passengers as well as the Titanic’s last stop. Each visitor gets a Titanic boarding pass and finds out their fate at the end.
Covering the National Archaeology Museum, the Natural History Museum of Ireland and the National Museum of Decorative Arts & History in Dublin and the National Museum of Country Life in Co Mayo you'll see collections from prehistoric times to the present day and discover more about the country's heritage. Lots of free events during summer.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, Dublin
An interactive experience located in the CHQ building in Dublin’s Docklands. The whole family will enjoy the history of Irish emigration from early times to today and love the stories of some famous decedents.
Book of Kells & Old Library Exhibition, Dublin
Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript, the Book of Kells is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospel, written in the 9th century. The Old Library must be seen; it contains 200,000 books and is a spectacular sight.
ARTS & THEATRE
A dedicated cultural centre for children in Temple Bar with lots of shows and events. This summer is all about visual arts with free exhibition and activities as well as a series of creative, animal-themed workshops.
Draíocht Blanchardstown, Dublin
A multi-purpose arts & entertainment centre in Dublin. On a rainy day over the Irish summer, you can visit the galleries and get some paper, clipboards and colouring pencils to while away a few hours.
A multi-purpose arts space in Dundalk providing a diverse programme of local arts, national tours, workshops and in-house productions. There will be a production of Wind in the Willows in Anavera House during August.
A vibrant & exciting year-round programme of theatre, dance, comedy, music, film, literature, visual art & children's art. Summer family events including SprOg festival of science, art and craft, theatre, film, dance, exhibitions and more.
Local arts centre with a theatre, gallery and restaurant in Portlaoise. A full summer programme of creative fun for all the family in a series of summer camps & workshops with Lego, origami, film, art and music.
Pavillion Theatre, Dun Laoighre
In a great location, central to any fun family day out in Dun Laoighre. As you would expect, a programme of family summer events that includes The Gruffalo and Hairy Maclary & Friends.
TWEENS & TEENS
Zipit Dublin, Zipit Cork and Zipit Roscommon have ziplines, rope bridges, climbing walls and Tarzan swings. Up to 4 hours of fun and adventure with 5 circuits and over 85 challenges. From 7 to adults.
Tayto Park Theme Park & Zoo, Meath
Located just 30 minutes from Dublin is Ireland's only theme park and zoo, Tayto Park. With over 100 attractions to experience and enjoy, there is something for everyone; young, old and in between.
An indoor, multi-challenge themed arena for older children, teenagers and adults. Compete against the clock in 28 fully-automated challenge rooms with live scoring and a mix of light physical, skill and mental games.
Foylehov Activity Centre, Derry
The only hovercrafting centre in Northern Ireland as well as other exciting activities like Buggies, Footgolf, Target Archery, Laser Tag / Laser Combat and Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting. A perfect family day out for all ages.
Set around two two spring water lakes in the heart of Munster, there are loads of different activities to choose from including Kayaking, Abseiling, Rock Climbing & Zip Lines. It is also home to Ireland’s newest Aquapark.
Inish Adventures provides over 25 water & land activities in Moville, Co. Donegal, including sea kayaking, canoeing, sup, gorge walking, river rafting and archery. They offer reasonable family tasters on beautiful Lough Foyle; just bring a towel and swimwear.
Enjoy Galway from this fantastic hotel situated in Salthill beside the Prom with views across Galway Bay from Ladies Beach. There is also a full kids club programme, babysitters and next door to Leisureland swimming complex.
The perfect location for a family holiday in the Midlands. Large family rooms in the heart of Athlone, great value packages that include visits to nearby popular fun activities, an on-site spa and a good food!
The Amber Springs Hotel in Gorey
This is a brilliant family hotel! Minutes from excellent beaches, adult and kids' swimming pool, a great active kids club, pet farm, mini golf, go-karting, Amber Train & Village, four restaurants including Pizzeria and Steakhouse.
Trabolgan Holiday Village, Cork
Situated on 140 acres of woodland in East Cork it is a popular location for family holidays, short breaks and day visits. There is an Indoor Subtropical Pool Paradise, Playgrounds, Adventure Sports and loads more.
Self-catering accommodation in Kenmare, County Kerry with onsite adventure activities including horse-riding, coasteering, kayaking and more. Houses sleep four to seven people with access to sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
Set in a stunning location in Connemara, Delphi Resort is perfect for family breaks. The outdoor adventure centre (kayaking, archery surfing and more) & luxury spa on site ensures both adults and kids have a great holiday.
The science and discovery centre is well worth the trip. A full day's entertainment with over 250 interactive exhibits, a changing programme of large and small scale events and a daily programme of live science shows!
Perfect venues in Leisureplex Tallaght, Leisureplex Charlestown, Leisureplex Blanchardstown, Leisureplex Stillorgan, Leisureplex Coolock & Leisureplex Cork offering fun things to do indoors for all ages. You can choose bowling, quasar, arcade games, snooker/pool or Zoo Adventureland indoor play centre. Special deals for Summer Project groups.
A welcome new addition, the purpose built indoor play centre in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan provides lots fun for U12’s including toddler area, baby area, football area and a great selection of hot food and drinks.
Galway Atlantaquaria, Ireland's largest native species aquarium has over 100 species of marine life over two floors of exhibits. There are talks and feedings throughout the day, including touch pool tours every day over the holidays.
National Reptile Zoo, Kilkenny
There are snakes, lizards, tortoise, turtles, crocodiles, alligators, scorpions and more, with animal encounter sessions every hour where you can hold or touch some of the reptiles. Also an indoor picnic and soft play area.
Pure Skills has different indoor sporting challenges, with the aim of getting as many points possible. Sports include soccer, tennis, golf, rugby, Gaelic, basketball, cricket and baseball. Fun family day out in any weather. Age 8+