- Learn the art of bushcraft in Wicklow
- Become an expert hurler in Kinsale
- Search for fairies in the woods of Kenmare
- Discover Europe's largest stalactite
|Arrive in Dublin, Walking Tour of the City
|Drive to County Wicklow, Working Farm & Zipline Adventure
|Visit Glendalough, Family Bushcraft Activity
|Drive to Kilkenny, Family Hurling Experience, Rock of Cashel, Kinsale
|Scilly Walk, Charles Fort, Kinsale Storytelling Tour
|Explore the Ring of Kerry, Toy Soldier Factory Visit, Drive to Kenmare
|Woodland Fairy Treasure Hunt, Explore Kenmare & Surrounding Area
|Drive to Doolin, Cliffs of Moher
|Ferry to the Aran Islands, Inishmore, Kilronan & Dún Aonghasa Fort
|Drive to Dublin & Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Walking Tour of the City
Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Dublin and settle into your city center accommodation before heading out to explore. Guided by a local historian, you and your family will travel back in time as your guide brings Dublin's history to life, from a small Gaelic village to the arrival of the Vikings, Normans, and English and the flourishing European city it is today. Start at the iconic Gresham Hotel before weaving through historic O'Connell Street and passing highlights such as the James Joyce Statue, the Spire of Light, and the O'Connell Monument.
Cross the River Liffey and admire the contrasting views of Christchurch Cathedral in the city's medieval heart to the west and the gleaming steel and glass towers of "Silicon Docks" to the east. Take in the sight of Dublin Castle and fascinate the kids with stories of its famous guests, including "Dracula" author Bram Stoker, who worked there from 1866 to 1878. Your tour finishes with visits to City Hall, Christchurch Cathedral, and Wood Quay, where kids can let their imaginations run wild as they learn about the site of the largest Viking settlement outside Scandinavia.
Spend the evening at one of the city's many great family-friendly restaurants, and be sure to try a pint of "the black stuff"; no visit to Ireland is complete without a sip of Ireland's famous Guinness!
Day 2: Drive to County Wicklow, Working Farm & Zipline Adventure
Spend a relaxing morning in Dublin before picking up your rental car and setting off to County Wicklow. With mountains, a gorgeous coastline, country estates, and plenty of adventure parks, this area south of Dublin is known as the "Garden of Ireland." It's a natural paradise for families who want an authentic taste of Ireland with a drop of adventure thrown in.
Catch a glimpse of Irish farm life with a visit to a working farm set among the breathtaking scenery of the Wicklow Way; the kids will love being able to hand feed and pet the little lambs and calves. The centuries-old art of sheepdog handling is alive and well in Wicklow. So after a stroll around the farm, meet the resident farm dog and travel back to a bygone era as you and the kids settle down to watch the unique interplay between the handler, sheepdog, and the (hopefully obedient) woolly flock.
In the afternoon, it's time to swap the restful farmyard vibe for an exhilarating experience that'll take you high into the forested treetops at Squirrel Scramble Adventure Park. With four different height levels from 5 feet (1.5 m) to 26 feet (8 m) and over 40 other challenges to complete, kids, big and little, will have a blast climbing, balancing, and sliding along the ziplines and narrow passages. After a day of adventure, you'll relax in style tonight as you make your way to your boutique hotel in County Wexford, set among 36 stunning acres (15 ha) of woodland, complete with peacocks and ponies.
Day 3: Visit Glendalough, Family Bushcraft Activity
Make the most of your stunning hotel surroundings and enjoy a traditional Irish breakfast before heading out to explore the early medieval monastic settlement of Glendalough ("The Valley of the Saints"). Once a great center of learning, the area, founded by St. Kevin in the sixth century, was chosen for its remoteness, beauty, and serenity. The valley has been a pilgrimage site for over 1,000 years. Stroll around the lake and don't miss a walk to the ruins of the Round Tower; standing 98 feet tall (30 m), it's one of the best-preserved monuments in Ireland.
The evocative ruins and location lend themselves perfectly to this afternoon's activity, where you and the kids will practice your bushcraft skills with an expert. Learn the ways of the woods as you build your own shelter, learn how to track animals and identify plants as you spend a few hours devoid of devices and making memories. Later, return to your hotel, where the rest of the evening is yours to spend as you wish.
Day 4: Drive to Kilkenny, Family Hurling Experience, Rock of Cashel, Kinsale
After breakfast, set off on a family road trip to Ireland's southwest, known for its stunning scenery and friendly, welcoming towns. Your first stop is the medieval town of Kilkenny, where you and the kids will get to try your hand at the 3,000-year-old Celtic tradition of hurling. Enjoy some family-friendly competition as you are paired alongside Kilkenny Way coaches. Learn the difference between a hurl and a sliotar as your coaches show you the tips and tricks of the world's oldest and fastest field game, and guide you to victory!
Afterward, toast your success with a pint of Guinness and lunch at one of the town's traditional pubs before heading back on the adventure trail. As you drive toward tonight's destination of Kinsale, you'll pass the small town of Cashel in County Tipperary. Stop for a stretch of the legs and visit the Rock of Cashel, a medieval ecclesiastical site of Gothic and Romanesque-style buildings. Continue south until you reach Kinsale, where the rest of the evening is yours to explore as you wish.
Day 4: Scilly Walk, Charles Fort, Kinsale Storytelling Tour
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your accommodation before taking a guided tour to explore the famous Scilly Walk. Starting in Kinsale, follow the harbor to the star-shaped 17th-century military fortress, Charles Fort. Listen to stories of conquests, smuggling, pirates, and ancient battles as the kids, imaginations fired, explore the tunnels, climb the lookouts, and search for treasure. Happy and hungry, head to one of Kinsale's many award-winning pubs or restaurants and dine on traditional Irish fare.
This evening, discover the Irish tradition of storytelling and spinning a yarn firsthand as you spend a fun, quirky, and enjoyable ninety minutes in the company of two local actors. Stroll the town's colorful streets as your thespian guides entertain you with tales of the town's history and bring to life the colorful characters of centuries past.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Explore the Ring of Kerry, Toy Soldier Factory Visit, Drive to Kenmare
This morning, head west toward Kenmare, and if you can, keep this morning's activity a surprise for the kids. Mid-way on your drive, you'll find the Toy Soldier Factory, the last of its kind in Europe. Indulge your inner child and see the kids' faces light up as they discover how traditional cast iron figurines are brought to life as you watch a live casting and painting demonstration. Best of all, you and the kids can choose your own soldier, fairy, monster, or ornament to decorate and keep.
In the afternoon, discover the breathtaking mountain and ocean views as you take a relaxing drive around the Ring of Kerry. Stop at the picturesque towns of Sneem, Waterville, and Glenbeigh along the way, and don't miss the ancient Cahergall Stone Fort that dates back to 600 CE.
Day 7: Woodland Fairy Treasure Hunt, Explore Kenmare & Surrounding Area
Ireland is synonymous with fairy tales and folklore, and today's adventure is the perfect setting to capture the kids' curiosity and imagination. Stock up on snacks as you stroll through the nearby woods and participate in a woodland fairy treasure hunt. Task the kids with spotting the eighteen tiny dwellings of the mysterious Tuatha Dé Danann (fairies) as you uncover the colorful secrets nestled along the scenic trail and under the shelter of trees. There are also plenty of activities nearby for older kids, including archery, horse riding, and an indoor play zone.
Afterward, head back to Kenmare for a bite to eat before exploring nearby Molly Gallivan's Farm and Cottage. Experience Céad Míle Fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) at the two-hundred-year-old cottage, where you and the kids can get a taste of early 19th-century farm life. Visit the farmyard and pet the animals before stopping at Molly's tea room and indulging in some tasty treats.
Day 8: Drive to Doolin, Cliffs of Moher
It's an early start this morning as you bid farewell to Kenmare and drive north to County Clare. Drive through Limerick and stretch your legs at Adare; with its traditional thatch-roofed cottages, craft shops, and boutiques, it's known as Ireland's prettiest village. Continue on to the colorful town of Doolin, set at the foot of the majestic Cliffs of Moher. The town's position makes it ideal for exploring the famous cliffs, rising 700 feet (214 m) from the Atlantic, and the 350 million-year-old Doolin Cave. Watch the kids' expressions as they find Europe's largest stalactite—a whopping 24 feet (7.3 m) long!
After lunch, continue exploring the area's myriad walking trails and regale the kids with tales of the cliff's myths and folklore involving mermaids, witches, and the mystical lost city of Kilstiffen. Legend has it that the city sank when the chieftain lost the golden key that opened the castle doors. Inspiration, if needed, to get the little ones running around in search of the means to see the city rise from the sea once more.
Day 9: Ferry to the Aran Islands, Inishmore, Kilronan & Dún Aonghasa Fort
After breakfast, you and your family will take a ferry and sail over to the Aran Islands that dot the coastline around Doolin. Spend the day exploring the beautiful Inis Oírr ("East Island"), Inis Meáin ("Middle Island"), or Inis Mór/ Inishmore ("Big Island"). The best way to explore Inishmore (the most family-friendly of the islands) is on two wheels. Hire some family bikes, explore the ancient churches and settlements, and make your way to the island's colossal Iron Age fort of Dún Aonghasa.
One of the most magnificent ancient monuments in Europe, the evocative ruins set among awe-inspiring views make a great natural playground for kids. Enjoy a picnic with a view as you dine atop one of the highest points on the island before making your way to the gorgeous Kilmurvey Beach with its vast stretch of white sand, perfect for kids (and adults) of all ages. As the sun goes down, head back to your accommodation, where the evening is yours to spend as you wish.