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Family Friendly Attractions
The unique karst landscape of the Burren Region is home to Aillwee Cave and the Burren Birds of Prey, located in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. This stunning creation of nature was formed by the melt waters of a prehistoric ice age. The cave, carved out of limestone, cuts one third of a mile into the heart of the mountains. The story of Aillwee Cave began millions of years ago when streams sinking underground on Aillwee Mountain started dissolving channels through the lines of weakness in the limestone. About one million years ago the ice age began and from then until fifteen thousand years ago Ireland's climate alternated between arctic coldness and warmer periods, freezing and melting, freezing and melting over the centuries. This melting water roared and crashed its way through the Aillwee Cave greatly enlarging the passage and bringing with it large quantities of sand and silts which are still present in the inner cave. The earliest history of the cave is preserved in its roof. Aillwee is one of the most ancient caves in the Burren and perhaps in Ireland. ...read more
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin. The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy, the King of Munster. It is currently a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and the battlements. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned.The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney about 8 km from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the Stone and tour the castle and its gardens....read more
Visit the Butlers Chocolate Experience - the ultimate chocolate discovery tour in Ireland! Learn about the history of chocolate as you watch the Butlers chocolate movie in the private cinema, wander around the chocolate museum and enjoy the aroma from the chocolate gallery as you see Butlers Chocolates being made in the factory below. See up close the techniques of chocolate decoration in the experience room and then try your own hand at decorating a chocolate novelty to bring home as a treasured souvenir! Afterwards, enjoy an award winning hot chocolate in the onsite Butlers Chocolate Café or relax in the picnic area. A visit to the home of Butlers Chocolates is an experience not to be missed! ...read more
CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory - the Space for Science is Cork’s fun and exciting location to learn about the Universe. Today the Castle is a science centre and is home to Cosmos at the Castle, an award winning interactive astronomy exhibition which highlights recent scientific discoveries and their implications for life in outer space....read more
Step back in time to see what 19th/early 20th century life was like in Cork - inside and outside prison walls. Amazingly lifelike figures, furnished cells, sound effects and fascinating exhibitions allow the visitor to experience day to day life for prisoners and gaoler. Situated in the unlikely setting of the former Governor's House the "Radio Museum Experience" deals not alone with the early days of Irish & international radio broadcasting but with the impact of its invention on all our lives. Stepping inside visitors are taken back in time to the 19th century wandering through the wings of the goal. The atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre-famine times to the foundation of the state. the cells are furnished with amazing life like wax figures: original graffiti on cell walls tell the visual tells the innermost feelings of some inmates while a very spectacular audio visual and social history and contrasting lifestyles of the 19th Co. Cork and why some people turned to crime and some ended up in Australia....read more
Crag Cave is a colourful wonderland of Stalagmites and Stalactites. It is one of the longest cave systems in Ireland, with a total surveyed length of 3.80kms The existence of the cave was known locally for years, but it was only discovered by cavers in the 1983. Kingdom Falconry offers visitors the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of majestic and awe-inspiring birds of prey - hawks, falcons and owls. The birds of prey will provide an educational and entertaining experience....read more
Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre is a premier and unique tourist destination in Ireland. A fun day out for all the family. This interactive History tour takes the form of a Live Re-enactment. The actors play their parts and stay in character constantly. All the characters work in Goat Castle (as Dalkey Castle was called then) in the 1500s and 1600s....read more
Dublinia, located at the crossroads of the medieval city at Christchurch, is history brought to life in an exciting way for all to engage, learn and share. Go back to Viking times in Dublin –what was life really like onboard a Viking warship? See their weaponry and the skills of being a Viking warrior. Try on Viking clothes, become a slave and stroll down a noisy street. Visit a smokey and cramped Viking house. Learn of the myths and the mysteries surrounding the Vikings and their legacy....read more
At Fota Wildlife Park You can come face to face with the animals as they roam freely around the park and see them feeding and foraging for food. Our specially-constructed Cheetah Run is a popular hit as crowds can witness the speed and power that makes the Cheetah such an incredible predator in the wild while they try to catch their prey. The park hosts endangered and exotic species from around the world including giraffes, penguins, zebras, gibbons to name but a few. ...read more
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum, housed in the original terminal building in Foynes, recalls that nostalgic era when Foynes became the centre of the aviation world from 1939 to 1945. On July 9th 1939, Pan Am's luxury Flying Boat, the "Yankee Clipper" landed at Foynes to become the first commercial passenger flight on a direct route from the USA to Europe. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, this quiet little town on the Shannon became the focal point for air traffic on the North Atlantic. Now the "Yankee Clipper is back - our latest exhibit is the world's only full scale replica of the Boeing 314, "Yankee Clipper". You can travel back in time and see for yourself what it was like to be a passenger in one of these wonderful flying boats....read more
On the famous Ring of Kerry you and your family can visit a traditional, family run sheep farm with approximately 1000 mountain sheep and lambs. Farmer John Kissane is fifth generation on the farm and shows you how he rounds up the sheep with the help of his working sheepdogs (border collies)....read more
This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape. Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two hundred years. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was responsible for its design. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843....read more
The National Wax Museum is a remarkably original attraction, which has been designed to bring a truly interactive experience. Your tour of the museum will take you on a voyage through Irish cultural tradition, through a captivating children’s zone of discovery and Ireland’s only dedicated tribute to our top scientific inventors, a recording studio, a green screen video room and all the exceptional life-like waxwork characters that you would expect to see at The National Wax Museum....read more
My recent trip was excellent! The voucher system worked out fairly well. I had made reservations at only our first two destinations as I wanted to be a bit flexible as to how long we stayed anywhere. Therefore, arriving in a town and then attempting to find anyone of these addresses was a bit challenging. All of the B&Bs we found were excellent, we even found very helpful people at those locations we didn't stay...making phone calls to find us accomodations...very helpful.
Thank you for all of you help, we had a wonderful time!
Susan, Chicago IL