20 Family Activities in Cork


I have decided to embark on the enormous task of compiling 32 blog posts of things to do in each county in Ireland. I know what you’re thinking.. ‘you will never complete it Tara’, and you’re probably right, but sure look we will give it a bash and see how it goes.

First up, the biggest county in Ireland, and according to many the real capital. I’m a Dub though so I’m not going to get into that debate here.

Let’s crack on and see what Cork has to offer:

1. Clonakilty Park Adventure Centre

Picture By: Clonakilty Park Adventure Centre

Clonakilty’s newest family activity centre.

Located on the grounds of the Clonakilty Park Hotel, this superb adventure centre offers a host of exciting activities for you to choose from, Aerial Trekking High Ropes Course, Adventure Golf, Climbing Tower, Power Fan Jump and 100m Zip Line.

Why not make a night of it and book a stay in the beautiful family friendly Clonakilty Park Hotel while you are there.

Click here to find out more

2. Smugglers Cove

Picture By: Smugglers Cove

With 4 tracks varying in length from 50 to 100 meters, Ireland’s first Tubing Park at Smugglers Cove is Fast, Wild and Plenty of Fun.

The Tubing Park is like a snow-free ski run where people sit into bright coloured tubes and enjoy a unique ride downhill overlooking beautiful Rosscarbery in West Cork. The tracks all offer a different experience that will make people laugh and scream out loud as they get the thrill of a lifetime on the crazy slides.

Other activities onsite include: A maze, Adventure Golf, and a Driving Range.

Click here for more info and to book your tickets

3. West Cork Model Railway Village

Picture By: Cliste.ie

A visit to the West Cork Model Railway Village is a treat for all ages. Ireland’s only Model Village in Clonakilty is a fully scaled handmade model of the historic West Cork Railway Line with fully working miniature trains and the towns that the railway served during the 1940s. Handcrafted model buildings and figurines tell the story of how people lived and worked in days gone by.

Follow the miniature trains through West Cork, steer the remote control boats and play in the colourful outdoor play area. The Village Café serves a selection of teas, coffee and snacks.

Click here to find out more and book your tickets

4. Rumley’s Open Farm

Picture By: Rumleys

The farm which is located just outside Bishopstown, has a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages and has many domestic animals. The farm includes 2km of walkways, petting zone (check times on arrival), tractor drawn trailer rides, zip lines, robotic milking machine and much much more.

Click here to find out more

5. Glenview Gardens & Fairy Trails

Picture By: Glenview Gardens

This 3 acre garden is full of surprises with each garden style flowing into the next. The front garden contains a sunken white garden, an Italianate canal and a Japanese garden. The boundary wisteria walk opens out into the bog garden and woodland area, from where you can continue to the tea house to enjoy a view of the Mediterranean and tropical gardens. Wander over the birch mound, which is surrounded by the wildflower meadow, into the walled kitchen garden to view the seasonal vegetables. 

The kids will have great fun visiting the Fairy Fort built right through the birch mound or searching for the fairy houses in the Fairies woods. 

View the Budgies, Parakeets, Finches, Ducks and Chickens in the Aviary.

Click here to find out more

6. Inchydoney Beach

Picture By: Discover Ireland

Take the family on a day trip to the beautiful blue flag Inchydoney beach. Swim in the sea and try your hand at surfing. The waves here are some of the best in the country. Check out the surf school on the beach, where you can book in for a lesson and hire a wetsuit and board for the day. You will find vans selling everything from coffee to pizza, and Inchydoney Hotel is right on the beach too. There are lifeguards on duty in the summer months. There is a public car park and toilets and access via ramps and steps.

Click here to find out more

7. Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park, part of the Zoological Society of Ireland, is located on 100 acres at Fota Island 10km east of Cork City. It is currently the second largest visitor attraction in Ireland outside of Leinster. Children and adults alike will enjoy exploring Fota Wildlife Park aboard the Park Tour Train, and they have several locations around the park that are ideal for enjoying a picnic or an ice cream. Children of all ages will love to discover the many playgrounds around the Wildlife Park.

Click here to find out more

8. Titanic Experience Cobh

Picture By: Titanic Experience Cobh

Titanic Experience Cobh is located in Casement Square in the heart of Cobh Town. This was home to the original White Star Line Ticket Office, a building steeped in history dating back to the early 19th century and the departure point for many thousands of White Star Line passengers. When you arrive, check-in at reception and learn the story of those 123 passengers.

Click here to learn more and book your tickets

9. Spike Island

a remote monastery in the celtic sea, a fortress built to defend an empire, an island prison that held a nation, centuries of Irish social life…  

Discover 1300 years of Irish history at Spike Island Cork, the island where Ireland remembers. 

Formerly the world’s largest prison, today you can explore several museums, exhibitions, scenic island walks, child friendly areas, a café and gift shop.  visit includes ferry, optional guided tour, free map and a downloadable app.

Click here for more details

10. Gougane Barra Forest Park

Picture By: Extreme Nomads

Gougane Barra Forest Park is located in West Cork (70km from Cork City). It was Ireland’s first National Park, when it opened in 1966. There are a number of walks in Gougane Barra forest park comprising some 350 acres. Nature lovers will revel in the extensive areas of natural and cultivated forestry which abounds in wildlife. You can drive along the ring road in the forest or take some of the very enjoyable walks. Sli Laoi a delightful walk along the floor of Cumrua follows the course of the infant Lee to the head of the valley.

Click here to find out more

11. Mizen Head

Picture By: Discover Ireland

Mizen Head is Ireland’s most Southwesterly Point and a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Don’t miss this unforgettable experience.

At the end of the Mizen Peninsula, the cliffs of Mizen Head rise high above the Atlantic Ocean, where the currents meet from the west and south coasts and waves from the mid-Atlantic crash into the land.

Dogs are welcome at Mizen Head, but they must be kept on a lead and under control at all times during your visit. 

Click here for more info

12. Garnish Island

Garnish Island is located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, in Southwest Ireland. Garnish is world renowned for its gardens which are laid out in beautiful walks and it has some stunning specimen plants which are rare in this climate.

Visit Seal Island on your way to Garnish and see the large colony of harbour seals. The colony is comprised of up to 250 seals resident in Glengarriff Harbour. The seals are very used to the Ferry’s and you will see them basking on the rocks, posing for photographs and swimming around without a care in the world!posing for photographs and swimming around without a care in the world! The Garnish Island Ferry shuttle service is run from the Main Pier in Glengarriff Co. Cork.

Click here for more info 

13. Ballyhass Lakes

Picture By: Munster Vales

Ballyhass lakes is one of Ireland’s premier outdoor experience providers. Offering over 15 different adventure activities from kayaking, Rock climbing, Ziplinning, High ropes courses, low ropes courses, Raft building designed for groups of 10 or more. 

For individuals, there is Ballyhass Wakepark Irelands largest wakeboarding cable park. Offering 2 straight line wakeboarding systems with over 7 different obstacles to hit come down for 1 on 1 coaching with every booking and master Europe’s fastest-growing watersport.

The newest addition to this already impressive venue is Munsters most Unique Aquapark. Think floating inflatable wipeout course with climbing walls, balance logs, trampolines, 3m slides and lots more. Up to 50 people can go on for any given session.

Click here for more info

14. Cork Whale Watch

Picture By: Cork Whale Watch

When it comes to unique wildlife encounters there are few things as breath-taking and humbling as coming face to face with the world’s largest creatures.

Whale watching is one of those activities that comes close to the top of every “100 things to do before you die” bucket list ever compiled — and it’s much more accessible than you might think.

West Cork, attracts minke whales, fin whales, and humpback whales to feed in its rich waters every year, and you have the opportunity to come face to face with them on one of West Corks whale watching tours.

Click here for more info

15. Blarney Castle

Picture By: The Irish Times

For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. There is much more to Blarney Castle than just the Blarney Stone however, from the top of the Castle you can take in the wonderful views of over 60 acres of sprawling parklands which include gardens, avenues, arboretums and waterways. Take a picnic with you and spend the day exploring the estate and gardens.

Click here for more info

16. Barleycove Beach

Picture By: Schull.ie

Barleycove beach is said to be one of the best beaches in West Cork, if not Ireland. It is situated close to Mizen Head on the Mizen Peninsula, with Crookhaven, Goleen or Schull being the nearest villages. The sand dunes were thrown up in the tidal wave that swept Europe after the earthquake in Lisbon in 1755.

Finish the day off with a bite to eat and a glass of vino in Barleycove Beach Hotel. The hotel is situated right on the beach with a large outdoor deck that boasts stunning views across the sand and ocean.

Click here for more info

17. Awesome Walls

Picture By: Awesome Walls

Awesome Walls Cork is Ireland’s newest and most cutting edge indoor climbing facility. With over 800m2 of dedicated climbing surface including more than 150m2 of bouldering, up to 18m lead route length and home to 200+ climbing routes there really is something fun and challenging for everybody to try.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced rock climbing athlete, you will have an amazing experience at Awesome Walls!

Click here for more info

18. The Farm Grenagh

Picture By: The Farm

There are tons of fun family attractions to enjoy at The Farm. Travel around The Farm on the Tractor Ted Trailer Ride, catch a lift on the Barrel Ride or hop on the pedal karts, mini tractors and test your flying skills on the zip wire! Plus there are lots of opportunities for hands on animal encounters with cows, sheep, horses, hens, ducks, pigs, puppies, birds and donkeys. Set on 40 acres, there is plenty of space for the kids to explore.

When you’re ready for refreshments, The Haystack restaurant serves traditionally cooked food, from a full roast to a light bite.

Click here for more info

19. Bridgefield Buggies Ltd

Picture By: Bridgefield Buggies

Venture off the beaten track with Bridgefield Buggies. Located in Castlemartyr in County Cork, it offers you the opportunity to climb aboard an all-terrain vehicle and take on the specially designed 15km course that will take you through some of the most unspoiled countryside in the area.

Everybody will be given instruction before hitting the track. No experience is necessary, they just need to be older than eight years and have a healthy sense of adventure.

Click here for more info

20. Cork City Gaol

Picture By: Cork City Gaol

Corks Most Captivating Experience: A step back in time to see what 19th/early 20th century life was like-inside and outside prison walls. Historical experience brought to life with amazingly lifelike figures, furnished cells, sound effects & fascinating exhibitions. This exhibition fascinates visitors of all ages and nationalities and the tour is available in up to 13 languages.

Click here for more info

And that’s a wrap on our 20 family activities in Cork. I hope you found some inspiration in there for the Summer months ahead.

If you’re planning a family trip to Cork this Summer, check out the Clonakilty Park Hotel.

Last but not least, don’t forget to share this post with your family & friends and lets inspire others to get out there and explore our beautiful country.

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