Family Staycation Attractions.

imokyrok

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With the school holidays beginning in earnest and with more people having to find inexpensive ways to amuse their children at home this year, I thought it might be worth having a thread listing attractions that entertain families without costing a fortune.

Here's a few that I've found good over the years.

All children seem to enjoy the museums especially the Natural History museum. These are free although donations are welcome, so train/bus fares are all the expenditure needed.
National Museum of Ireland

There are some free excellent playgrounds for smaller children such as Newbridge House in Donabate, which also has an open children's farm costing €10 for a family. (It's discrete so if you just want the free playground your smallies won't know the farm is there.) I can also vouch for the playgrounds at Malahide Castle and Ardgillan Castle.
Dublin Tourism - Parks & Gardens - Newbridge House and Farm

I like the Reynoldstown Farm open farm at Naul as well. It's more rough and ready but it has a lot of charm. I don't know what they are charging these days. They also have a poultry sale in September and I got a gorgeous couple of sussex hens there before.
Reynoldstown Farm - Home

There used to be a Butterfly Farm near Swords which sadly has closed. However there is one at Straffan, Co. Kildare and if it's anything like the Swords one it would be a magical experience for children and adults alike.
€25 for a family of five.
Dublin Tourism - Parks & Gardens - Newbridge House and Farm

Another attraction I enjoyed with one of my children was the Viking Splash.
It is more expensive though at €60 euro for a family of five. Not suited to children who fear water but anyone else will love it. Seeing Dublin from the river is fascinating for adults too and I brought a visiting relative from the UK when I went.
Viking Splash Tours - Dublin Sightseeing Tours ? Dublin Tours ? Dublin Attractions

If I think of any others I'll list them and I hope some of you will do the same. I need ideas - especially for older children and teens now that my baby has just graduated from National School. :(
 


farnaby

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You're right, there's plenty of things to do for free/on the cheap in Ireland. We neglected them during the tiger years but you found lots of our immigrant population enjoying such places rather than spending all their time in the shopping centre (just put off a certain section of p.ie posters now...).

Regarding Newbridge, it is possible to walk around the farm and see all the animals for free, never even knew about a €10 fee. Also they have a section filled with deer in another area of the park.

I recommend Ard Gillan near Balbriggan - another great (free) kids playground with stunning views from Skerries right up to the Mourne mountains.
 

brughahaha

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Botanic Gardens ...free and utterly beautiful (and a friend just told me the tour of Glasnevin graveyard is excellent...not free though)

And watch out for the "Rose Festival" in St Annes park ..... one of my never miss events
Remarkably uncorporate , low key and friendly day out (with a small country fete vibe in Dublin) with free guided tours of the rose garden (largest enclosed rose garden in Europe!) by the Gardeners ........ if that doesn't grab the kids attention its a short stroll to beautiful Dollyer (where you can watch the kite surfers strut their stuff)

Alll free unless you grab a beshoffs and sit on the wall to eat it.....nice :)
 
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spidermom

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Love to take the kids to the Botanic gardens in the autumn, hundreds of thousands of leaves to kick into the air....spidey does it every year...mind you the scaries look aghast at me doing it now...which is even more fun!!!...:)
 

brughahaha

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Love to take the kids to the Botanic gardens in the autumn, hundreds of thousands of leaves to kick into the air....spidey does it every year...mind you the scaries look aghast at me doing it now...which is even more fun!!!...:)
Ever time it around the "sculpture in context" exhibition ? usually october I think...some amazing things

Particularly remember some "swimmers" set in the grass like they were swimming across the lawn..... a lot of the stuff kids can climb inside or play with....highly reccomended (Im a big fan of the Bots!!!! any time of the year)
 

spidermom

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Meant to say...cannot forget Kilmainham jail and collins barracks..both free...and the scaries love em...so has to be good!!

wicklow jail worth a visit...and if you're down in Wexford....the heritage park,(reasonable cost....would fill a good few hours)...johnstown castle....beautiful and a nominal cost
 

hammer

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The worst thing about staycations is the Irish Media negativity. If you can avoid that were fine :)

Newspapers, radio etc....reporting on the most recent Fianna FAIL .........up and the most recent HSE scandal.
 

spidermom

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Ever time it around the "sculpture in context" exhibition ? usually october I think...some amazing things

Particularly remember some "swimmers" set in the grass like they were swimming across the lawn..... a lot of the stuff kids can climb inside or play with....highly reccomended (Im a big fan of the Bots!!!! any time of the year)
Aye....spidey dream would be to do the horticulture course in the Bots and work and be there everyday!!..but sigh..the bank manager and my patients call.....!
 

yellowfish

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Could anyone recomend a good place to go camping with young child, With good facilities and plenty of safe cycle paths? We live in kerry so know about killarney park, and i am a fan of lough key (spelling?) near boyle. but can anyone recomend something closer?
 

imokyrok

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Botanic Gardens ...free and utterly beautiful (and a friend just told me the tour of Glasnevin graveyard is excellent...not free though)

And watch out for the "Rose Festival" in St Annes park ..... one of my never miss events
Remarkably uncorporate , low key and friendly day out (with a small country fete vibe in Dublin) with free guided tours of the rose garden (largest enclosed rose garden in Europe!) by the Gardeners ........ if that doesn't grab the kids attention its a short stroll to beautiful Dollyer (where you can watch the kite surfers strut their stuff)

Alll free unless you grab a beshoffs and sit on the wall to eat it.....nice :)
The Rose Festival is coming up soon. 17th and 18th July. St. Anne's Park Rose Festival, Raheny, County Dublin, Ireland St. Annes has a playground and lovely woodland walks as well.
 

orbit

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You're right, there's plenty of things to do for free/on the cheap in Ireland. We neglected them during the tiger years but you found lots of our immigrant population enjoying such places rather than spending all their time in the shopping centre (just put off a certain section of p.ie posters now...).

Regarding Newbridge, it is possible to walk around the farm and see all the animals for free, never even knew about a €10 fee. Also they have a section filled with deer in another area of the park.

I recommend Ard Gillan near Balbriggan - another great (free) kids playground with stunning views from Skerries right up to the Mourne mountains.
+1 We don't know how lucky we are having those two parks in the vicinity. Even Malahide castle, which is a bit busier, but still a really nice place to visit. The Fry model railway is worth a visit, but I have to admit, my 12 year old, wasn't as impressed as I was. It seems to be a generational thing. :-(
 

imokyrok

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Could anyone recomend a good place to go camping with young child, With good facilities and plenty of safe cycle paths? We live in kerry so know about killarney park, and i am a fan of lough key (spelling?) near boyle. but can anyone recomend something closer?
I'm planning on taking a couple of mine to Kilkenny camping. It has two camp sites which seem good though I haven't been there myself yet. One even has a pets corner which I imagine your young child would love. Caravan and Camping Parks in County Ireland
 

oggy

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Ten to fifteen years ago Gay Byrne radio show had a man on who said every year for his two weeks holidays he stayed in Dublin. Made a lasting impression and though never actually spent main holiday in Dublin did make a point of exploring parts of the city, county and surrounding counties at weekends and week.s off Mountains, beaches, countryside, towns and city we have so much. My favourites are, Phoenix Park, Howth, Dun Laoghaire, city centre, Mountains, Museums. Nothing like going to Howth and getting the DART to Bray and so spending the day in two great areas. A drive through Tallagt to Blessington to Glendalough is very relaxing. This thread is making me think I should sit down and make a list of the attractions in the Dublin and immediate area. Used to drive the kids mad when they were younger when I said to them, "boredom results from the lack of a creative mind ! " . Have no doubt they will be saying the same thing to theor own kids as they get older

Will watch this thread just in case something is mentioned I should know about. Already has when someone mentioned Rose Garden in St Annes Park
 

imokyrok

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brughahaha

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Aye....spidey dream would be to do the horticulture course in the Bots and work and be there everyday!!..but sigh..the bank manager and my patients call.....!
;) its all that and more ..... tired of the celtic tiger I took the plunge ....je ne regrette rien
 

spidermom

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Ten to fifteen years ago Gay Byrne radio show had a man on who said every year for his two weeks holidays he stayed in Dublin. Made a lasting impression and though never actually spent main holiday in Dublin did make a point of exploring parts of the city, county and surrounding counties at weekends and week.s off Mountains, beaches, countryside, towns and city we have so much. My favourites are, Phoenix Park, Howth, Dun Laoghaire, city centre, Mountains, Museums. Nothing like going to Howth and getting the DART to Bray and so spending the day in two great areas. A drive through Tallagt to Blessington to Glendalough is very relaxing. This thread is making me think I should sit down and make a list of the attractions in the Dublin and immediate area. Used to drive the kids mad when they were younger when I said to them, "boredom results from the lack of a creative mind ! " . Have no doubt they will be saying the same thing to theor own kids as they get older

Will watch this thread just in case something is mentioned I should know about. Already has when someone mentioned Rose Garden in St Annes Park
Speaking of Tallaght.....A stroll up to the hell fire club is absolutely free...and opposite is Masseys wood, which no matter what age the kids are they should enjoy..lots to clamber over and swing out of. Great on a hot day too..its all dappled shade!!
 

yellowfish

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I'm planning on taking a couple of mine to Kilkenny camping. It has two camp sites which seem good though I haven't been there myself yet. One even has a pets corner which I imagine your young child would love. Caravan and Camping Parks in County Ireland
Pets corners are very popular in our house, thanks for the link, perhaps people could use this thread to post reviews of places they visit in the future, could develop into a useful tool. (hope the op doesn't mind)
 

spidermom

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;) its all that and more ..... tired of the celtic tiger I took the plunge ....je ne regrette rien

You're bank manager a little more forgiving than me it seems...One day!!..:)
 


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