What to do in Killarney, Things to do in Killarney for Families
Pitch and Putt
For some outdoor family fun, the Deerpark Pitch and Putt Club is perfect for families looking to spend a morning or afternoon participating in an activity together. It is extremely accessible as it is situated less than 800 metres from Killarney town centre. Catering to beginners, experts, children and adults, it has been established for over 40 years and is open daily all year round. It is best to keep an eye on the club’s website for the most up to date opening hours and fees. During the peak season summer months (June to September), booking is advisable. Keep in mind that it is an outdoor activity so it is weather dependent. When you are looking for things to do in Killarney for families, Pitch and Putt is ideal because it only takes 90 minutes for an 18-hole course, compared to four hours for a game of golf (on average).
If you have young children with very short attention spans and you can only spare an hour, then one of the best things to do is to hop on the M.V Pride of the Lakes, a water bus that will take you on a cruise around Lough Leane, the largest of the Lakes of Killarney. On the cruise, you will catch a glimpse of the monastic ruins on Inishfallen Island as well as the majestic waterfall known locally as O’Sullivan’s Cascade. There are four sailings a day subject to weather conditions. If you are celebrating a special family occasion such as a birthday, Holy Communion, Confirmation, or otherwise, a private charter can also be organised.
One of the nicest ways for you and your family to see Killarney National Park is by taking a horseback ride through it. This will give you a unique perspective, while also being a lot of fun for all of your family. Killarney Riding Stables is located adjacent to Killarney National Park and just one mile from Killarney town centre. You can choose from one, two, or three hour treks and horses are chosen based on each rider’s experience so there is no need to worry about a horse going rogue! Guides supervise all of the treks and the company has been in business since the 1960s so its guides are highly experienced. They open seven days a week with daily rides and fees range from €40 to €90 per person, depending on how long the trek is. One thing to note is that children must be eight years of age or older to ride so this is not an activity for younger children.
What to do in Killarney, Things to do in Killarney for Kids
Pet Farm and Activity Centre
One of the best known pet farms in Co. Kerry is located on the main Cork road, five miles outside Killarney. Kennedy’s Pet Farm and Activity Centre is in business for over 25 years and is an all-weather pet farm and playground, making it ideal for those days when the weather causes havoc with your plans. The animals on their pet farm include goats, donkeys, ducks, miniature horses, peacocks, pot-bellied pigs and pheasants. It is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm between February and October and for exact opening and closing dates it is best to keep an eye on their Facebook page where they also feature any special events they are holding. The best part is that toddlers aged under two go free!
Traditional Farms and Petting Area
For a more traditional approach to farm life and to teach children what it would have been like to grow up on a farm in Ireland in the 1930s and 1940s, the Muckross Traditional Farms are well worth a visit. Located on the grounds of Muckross House, it is best to view the Muckross House website for the most up to date and seasonal opening times for the farms. Introduce kids to part of their heritage and educate them about traditional life in Ireland from a bygone era, while also letting them have fun at the petting area on the same grounds. The petting area also includes a bouncy castle, slides and swings. Demonstrations such as butter and bread-making also take place. To see the layout of the tour click here.
Wildlife Park and Sanctuary
Keeping up with the children and animals theme, Coolwood Wildlife Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is set on fifty acres and is located at Coolcaslagh, just outside Killarney. It is open daily from 11am and offers a special family rate as well as a coffee shop that overlooks a playground for close supervision (should mum and dad need a quick coffee stop while the kids play in full view). Animals fall on the more exotic side of the spectrum and include alpacas, prairie dogs, meerkats and ring-tailed lemurs, plus lots more including many different bird species too. Video Caption: Check out this short video clip of Coolwood Wildlife Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, an ideal place to keep kids entertained.
What to do in Killarney, Things to do in Killarney for Teenagers
If your teenager is a ‘typical teen’ and outdoor pursuits are not up their alley, then Killarney town is also home to an independent cinema which is right in the middle of the town. It is the perfect place to drop teens off for a couple of hours while adults and younger children engage in other activities. It is also the perfect place to visit on a rainy day to keep teenagers from getting bored. For up to date show times, it is best to check out the cinema’s website.
Teens who love their brands, their active wear and their accessories, should visit the Killarney Outlet Centre. The centre is home to a Nike Factory Store which is perfect for active teens. Teenage girls who love fashion and beauty will delight in the items on offer in the Claire’s Accessories outlet store. For those with limited pocket money, there is a EuroGiant and plenty of places to pick up a juice or sandwich on-the-go. Killarney is also home to many high street shopping brands that teens will love including New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Boots and Argos which can all be found at the Deerpark Shopping Park just five minutes outside the town. The town itself is very compact and easy to walk around so teenagers can also enjoy the many independent stores (although most of these are aimed at adults and may not be within the average teenager’s budget.)
High Ropes and Paintballing
Active teens will love what is on offer at the Killarney High Ropes Adventure Centre (also known as Play at Height High Ropes) situated on the Ring of Kerry Road in Fossa/Aghadoe, just outside Killarney town centre. The adrenaline ropes course is an amazing Ariel assault course with 27 elements including zip lines, see-saws, cargo nets and lots more thrill inducing challenges. While there is no age restriction, the teenager engaging in this course must be at least 1.4 meters tall in order to reach the ropes.
Video Caption: Click on the video for a look at high ropes in action at the Killarney High Ropes Adventure Centre, a fun activity to excite teens.
The centre has experienced staff on hand to kit out your teen with a harness and helmet. They will also give safety advice and explain the whole course. The safety device is designed so that once it is on the ropes there is no way for it to be removed until your teen has completed the course and they are back down on solid ground. Up to date opening hours and prices are best viewed on their website. The same company also offers paintballing for those aged nine and upwards which is played in the forest surrounding Killarney.
What to do in Killarney? Lots and Lots!
As you can see, Killarney is a fantastic place to visit, especially for families, as there is so much to see and to do. After all the excitement and adventures of the day, why not kick back, relax and unwind, by resting your head for the night in one of the leading family friendly hotels in Ireland to finish up the perfect family fun day out?