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Ireland with Kids

Almost all of my blogs are oriented towards adults. Ireland with children is a different experience, but still very enjoyable for all. This blog is a summary of my experiences with my grandsons and other under-18’s touring around Ireland. This is a tough blog to generalize since I don’t have current experience with young granddaughters that probably see things differently than grandsons. Additionally, the interests of children can vary significantly even at the same age.

 

Fooling Around at Dublinia

My grandsons are very curious and smart (of course, they’re my grandsons 😉), and enjoy different types of transportation and sports. Other children may be interested in animals like horses, sheep, etc. or other areas like dance and music. You’ll have to keep this in mind when planning your trip. Additionally, during your trip try to be looking for things along the way that would interest your (grand)children. First, I'll generally talk about a few areas to consider when planning your Irish tour with kids, and then I’ll list a few places where I’ve had success with the under 18 crowd.

Pubs

Pubs and Kids are NOT mutually exclusive. Children are welcome in most pubs at the appropriate times. The general rule of thumb: if the pub is serving food, then the children are welcome (until about 9 pm). Later teenagers (15-17 year olds) will usually not be asked to leave a pub at 9 pm as long as they are with their parents and are not drinking and are not obvious.

Many pubs have an “early” music session and Sunday afternoon is a popular time for a Trad session in many pubs. These are perfect times for the younger crowd.

Restaurants

Almost every restaurant has a children's menu, even the pubs serving food. The favorites for my grandsons were chicken goujons (chicken fingers or strips). Milk is a very popular beverage at meals, even for adults, and Mi Wadi is widely available.

Scenic Sights

The scenic sights are usually a hit with the 5-18’s. They usually enjoy the sights as much as the adults. My grandsons particularly liked the sights if combined with some form of “new” transport, like a boat ride to the Cliffs of Moher or a ferry ride to Inishmore.

General Transport

Kids are always excited by new forms of transportation. All kids like a horse and buggy ride to see Inishmore or a train ride from Dublin to Galway.

Irish Rail Train

The main memory my two older grandsons have of their first trip to Ireland is the day we went to the island of Inishmore. During that day we took a train, a double-decker bus, a ferry, and a carriage ride. I’m not sure how much they remember about Dun Aonghasa, but they can remember almost every detail of our transportation experience getting there.

Playgrounds

All the 4-12 year olds (and maybe the adults) are intrigued by the slightly different playground equipment they find in Ireland compared to North America, and the younger kids may find it intriguing to talk and play with the Irish kids. So, keep your eyes open for playgrounds.