Your summer holiday survival guide

1. Leahy’s Open Farm, Dungourney, Co Cork. Farm and exotic animals, go-karting, boat rides & other activities, small heritage museum. Open: July/August: Mon-Sat, 11am-6pm; Sun, 1pm-6pm. Price: €8 per person, no charge for under twos. Tel: 021-4668461/086-8560461. Age: all ages but best for 2-12.


2. Aquadome Tralee. One of Ireland’s largest waterworlds, no time limit to stay. Open: July/middle of August; Mon-Fri, 10am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-9pm. Price: Adult, €15; Junior, €12; Under 2s, free; family (2 adults, 2 children), €43.20. 24hr info line 066-7129150/ All ages.

3. Clonakilty Model Railway Village. The Station, Inchydoney Road, Clonakilty, West Cork. Handmade models of locality and old railways & ‘Tschu Tschu’ train tour of Clonakilty town. Open: July/August, every day, 11am-5pm. Price: Adult, €8; Seniors, €6; Student, €6; Child, €4.25; Infant (under 5), €2.25; Family, €22.50. Tel: 023-33224/ All ages, best for 4-12.

4. Ailwee Cave, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare. Underground caves, bird of prey centre with displays, award-winning restaurant and food retail outlet. Open: July/August, 10am-6.30pm (flying displays 12pm, 2pm and 4pm, weather permitting). Price: Cave only, family (2 adults, up to 4 children), €25 when booked online; Bird of Prey Centre only, Family (2 adults, up to 3 children), €15 when booked online. See website for detailed pricing. Tel: 065-7077036. All ages, best for 5-16 yrs.


5. Crag Cave, Castleisland, Co Kerry. Underground cave, children’s activity centre, restaurant. Open: July/Aug, every day, 10am-6pm, tours every half-hour. Price: Adults, €12; Seniors / Students, €9; Children, €5.00; Combined Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children), €30; Combined Ticket (2 Adults & 4 Children), €35. Discounts for online booking. Tel: 066-7141244. Age: best for 2-12.


6. The Titanic Experience, 20 Casement Square, Cobh, Co Cork. Permanent audio-visual display on history of the Titanic. Open: July/Aug, every day 9am-6pm (last tour starts at 5pm). Price: Adult, €9.50; Child, €4.75; Senior/Student (With Valid ID), €7.50; Family (2 Adults & 4 Children), €24. Tel: 021-4814412. All ages, best 7-16.

7. Tayto Park, Kilbrew, Ashbourne, Co Meath. American-style theme park with exotic animals, numerous activities and restaurant. Open: July/Aug, every day, 10am-6pm. Price: Children under 3, free; Children over 3 & Adults, €12; 2 Adults & 2 Children, €40; 2 Adults & 3 Children, €50; 2 Adults & 4 Children, €60. Tel: 01-8351999. Ages: 2-16.

8. Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. One of Ireland’s most popular attractions, housing over 600 animals. Open: July/Aug, everyday, 9.30am-6pm (Last admission 5pm). Price: Adult, €15.50; Child, €11, under 3s, free; Senior Citizens, €12.50; 2 adults & 2 children, €44.50; 2 adults & 3 children, €50; 2 adults & 4 children, €53. Tel: 01-4748900. All ages.


9. Galway Atlantaquaria, Ireland’s largest aquarium and native Irish fish marine centre, top family attraction. Open: July/Aug, Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun, 10am-6pm. Price: Adults, €10.25; Children (3-16 years), €6.25; Under-3s, free; Students & Seniors; €7; 2 Adults & 2 Children, €29, 1 Adult & 2 Children, €20; each additional child, €4. Tel: 091-585100. Age: All ages, best for 4-16.

10. Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, An Choill, Dingle, Co Kerry. Aquarium with sharks and other exotic fish, over 1000 species. Open: July/Aug, every day from 10am. Price: Adult, €13; Child, €7.50; Senior / Student, €9.50; 2 adults & 2 children under 16, €32; 2 Adults & up to 4 children Under 16, €38. Tel: 066-9152111. Age: all ages, best 4-16.


11. Perks Family Entertainment Centre, Seafield, Youghal, Co Cork. One of Ireland’s largest indoor funfair entertainment centres, with rides, games and attractions. Open: July/Aug, Mon-Fri from 2pm; Sat, Sun & Bank Holidays, from 1pm. Price: €2 per person per ride. Tel: 024-92438. All ages.


12. Playcentres in Cork: Supernova, Ballincollig,; Monkey Maze, Glanmire Business Park.; Go Safari, Fota Retail Park, Carrigtwohill,; Jungle World, Market Green Retail Park, Midleton,; Cosmo’s Funworld at The Planet, Fitz’s Boreen, Old Mallow Rd, Blackpool,; Chuckies Playzone, Doughcloyne Ind. Estate, Sarsfield Rd, Wilton,; and Little Rascals Funworld, Majestic Business Park, Gouldshill, Mallow,

13. Ballyhass Lakes Activity Centre, Cecilstown, Mallow, Co Cork. Huge range of water and outdoor activities, including kayaking, fishing, climbing, archery. Open: July/Aug. Price of summer camps: €45-€299 per participant. Tel: 022-27773. Ages: 8-16.


14. The Sports Village & Little Rebels Play Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork. Indoor sports centre (tennis courts, football pitches, fitness studios) and children’s activity centre including Toddler’s Area. Open: Sports Village, Mon-Fri, 9am -10pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 10am-5pm; Little Rebel’s Play Centre: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun 10am-5pm. Price (Play Centre): 9am-6pm, under 1 yr, free; over 1 yr, €4 and €2 for each extra child. Tel: 021-6010521. Ages: Play centre, 1-10 yrs; Sports Village: 5-16 yrs.

15. Fota Wildlife Park, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork. Probably Ireland’s premier family attraction with free-roaming animals on 70 acres. Open: Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm (last entry 5pm). Price: Adults, €14; Children (U16), Students (only with valid student cards), Seniors and Disabled, €9; up to 2 yrs, free; 2 adults + 2 children, €44; 2 adults + 3 children, €50; 2 adults + 4 children, €56. Tel: 021-4812678. All ages.


16. Cork Butter Museum, O’Connell Square, Shandon, Co Cork. Museum devoted to history of one of Ireland’s most important exports. Open: Jul/Aug, 10am-6pm. Price: Full, €4; Seniors/Students, €3; School Students, €1.50; Children under 12 (no charge). Tel: 021-4300600 Age: 12-16.

17. Lifetime Lab, Lee Road, Cork. Interactive exhibition and steam plant in beautifully restored buildings, children’s playground. Open: Jul/Aug, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat/Sun/Bank Hol, 11am-5pm. Price: Admission: 2 adults + 2 children, €7; Adult €3; Child/Student/OAP €2. Tel: 021-4941500. All ages.

18. Cork City Gaol Heritage Centre, Convent Ave, Sunday’s Well, Cork City. Waxwork-based museum/heritage centre detailing life in and outside the prison in 19th and early 20th century Cork. Open: Jul-Aug, 9.30am-5pm. Price: Adults, €8; Student over 17 yrs with card, €7; OAP, €7; Child/second level student, €4.50; 2 adults and up to 4 children, €24. Tel: 021-4305022. Age: 7-16.

19. Duncannon Sandsculpting Festival, Duncannon, Co Wexford. Sandsculpting, fireworks, beach party, magic and puppet shows, beach games and street theatre. Open: Aug 10-12, 2012. Price: free. Telephone: 087-2355478. All ages.

20. GAA Cúl Camps, nationwide. Week-long summer camps for boys and girls with fun activities centred around GAA. Open: Jul/Aug, 10am-2.30pm. Price: 1st child €55; discounted 2nd child €45; discounted 3rd & 4th child, €40. See for details of nearest centre. Ages: 6-13.


21. CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Castle Rd, Blackrock, Cork. Award-winning space and astronomy exhibition on science, cosmos and history, also dungeon and castle tours. Open: Mon-Fri & Sun, 10am-5pm; Sat & Bank Hol, 11am-5pm. Price: Adults, €6; Students, Seniors and Children (5-14 years), €4; Family (2 Adults, 2 Children), €16; Groups (10 plus), €5; Children under 5 are free with families and admission is always free for members. Tel: 021-4357917. Age: 5-16.

22. Viking Splash Tours, St Stephen’s Green North, Dublin. Fun tour by amphibious vehicle of Dublin City on land and water. Open: Price: Adult, €20; Child (Aged 3-12), €10; Student/OAP, €18; Family (2 Adults + 3 Children), €60. Under 2s must be pre-booked in advance by calling office and are not allowed on water section of tour. Tel: 01-7076000. Age: 3-16.

23. The Millennium Maze, Ballinafagh Farm, Prosperous, Naas, Co Kildare. Fully grown hedge maze plus crazy golf, sandpit, pets corner with donkeys, goats, hens, rabbits, etc. shop and large picnic area. Open Daily — June, July & August, 12pm to 6pm Price: Adult, €6; Child, €4; Family (2 adults & 3 children) €20. Tel: 045-868151 M:086-0630584. All ages.

24. The Ewe Sculpture Gardens, Glengarriff, West Cork. Imaginative and stimulating interactive sculpture gardens, café and bead workshop for rainy days. No dogs. Open: July/Aug, 10am-6pm. Price: adults, €6.50; children, €5; family (2 adults, 2 children), €20. Tel: 027-63840. All ages. Not suitable for buggies.


25. The Butler’s Chocolate Experience, Butlers Chocolates, Clonshaugh Business Park, Dublin 17, Ireland. Chocolate museum, movie, factory and a chance to make your own chocolates. Open: Tours at 10am, 12pm and 2.30pm, advance booking. Price: €12.50; 2 adults & 2 children under 12, €45; 2 adults & 3 children under 12, €55; 2 adults & 4 children under 12, €65. Tel: 01-6710599. All ages.

26. Wesport House and Pirate Adventure Park, Westport, Co Mayo. One of Ireland’s best family attractions with a huge range of heritage, family-fun, camping and adventure activity. Open: Jul/Aug, daily, 11am-6pm. Price: Adult, €20; Senior, €18; Student, €18; Child, €16.50; 1 Day Pass (2 Adults & 4 Children), €75; 1 Day Pirate Pass (2 Adults & 2 Children), €59. Tel: 098-27766. All ages.

27. Killarney Summerfest 2012, Killarney, Co Kerry. Arts workshops, summercamps, some of the worlds leading street musicians, performers, puppeteers, comedians and magicians. Open: July 27-Aug 5. Price: street events, free; summercamp, €80 for 5 days; workshops €5-7. Tel: 064-6671560. All ages.

28. Play at Height Climbing Centre, Baile Na Buaille, Dingle, Co Kerry. Indoor and outdoor climbing centre, including climbing walls, beginners to experienced. Open: Jul/Aug, 11am-7pm, daily (1.5hr time limit at peak times). Price, starting from: Adult, €10; Junior; €8; Family, €32. Age: for rock climbing 5-16.


29. LeisurePlex Bowling Centre, 1 MacCurtain Street, Cork City. Bowling and entertainment centre, including quasar and children’s parties. Open: daily, 10am-late. Price: see website Tel: 021-4505155. All ages, 7-plus for Quasar.


30. Leisureworld, Rossa Ave, Bishopstown & Knockfree Ave, Churchfield, Cork City. Swimming pools and fitness centres. Open: daily, see websites for detailed opening hours. Price: see website for prices. Tel: B’town — 021-4346505/Ch’field — 021-4397868.

31. Cork Bridgefield Quads, The Barn, Bridgefield, Castlemartyr, Co Cork. All-terrain quad-biking, family groups welcome. Open: 11am-4pm (check in advance) Price: On application. Tel: 021-4667533 Mobile 086-8206869. Age: 8yrs up.

32. Pirate’s Adventure Family Centre, Units 1-4, Bayside, Riverstown Business Park, Tramore, Co Waterford. Mini golf, electric motorbikes, bowling and mini-bowling, bouncy castles, café. Open: Jul/Aug, daily, 10am-6pm. Bank hols, 12pm-6pm. Price: 1-3 yrs, €4.95; 4-12 yrs, € 8.95; 13+ years, €5.95; accompanying adults, free or €5.95 to play golf and bowling. Tel: 051-393651. All ages.


33. The Oysterhaven Centre, Oysterhaven, Kinsale, Co Cork. Multi-activity watersports centre, incl sailing, windsurfing, and summer camps. Open: 5-day summercamps from beginning of July, 10.30am-4.30pm. Price: summercamps from €220 per child, see website for further details. Tel: 021-4770738. Age: 4yrs up.

34. The Donkey Sanctuary, Liscarroll, Mallow, Co Cork, Ireland. Sanctuary for rescued donkeys. Open: Mon-Fri, 9am-4.30pm; Sat, Sun and Bank Hols, 10am-5pm. Free. Tel: 022-48398. All ages.

35. Atlantic Seakayaking summer camps, Atlantic Seakaying, West Cork. Summer camps available alongside regular programme of night paddles, city paddles and sea paddles.

Also seaweed foraging paddles. Open: daily throughout summer, Summercamps: Reen Pier, near Union Hall, Jul 23-27 & Jul 30-Aug 3, 10am-1pm or 2pm-5pm. Price: summercamps, €130pp, family reduction available. Tel: 028-21058. Age: 8yrs up, (summercamps 8-12 & 13-16).


36. Cookery Classes, Brennan’s Cook Shop, 7 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork City. Cookery classes for teens and pre-teens, basic baking, main courses, pasta & sauces, soup, desserts and much more. Open: Mon-Fri, pre-teens, 10.30am-1pm; teens, 2.30pm-5pm. (see website for starting dates). Price: €145 per child. Tel: 021-4278283. Age: 8-12 & 12 up.


37. Young Archaeologist Summer Camps, The Hunt Museum, Rutland Street, Limerick. Week-long archaeology summer camps including materials, activities and tuition. Open: 10am-4pm, Jul-Aug (see website for dates) Price: €75 per child Tel: 061-312833 Age: 5-7 & 8-12.

38. The Prince August Toy Soldier Factory, Kilnamartyra, West Cork.

Tour for boys and girls in Ireland’s only handmade toy factory, modelling and painting workshops of cast figures. Open: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun 10am-5pm. Price: €5-7. Tel: 026-40342 Age: 6-16.

39. Whale and Dolphin Watching, Whale Watch West Cork. Four-hour boat tours from Baltimore Harbour, spotting whales and dolphin. Open: July/Aug, tours run at 9.30am & 2.15pm. Schedule sunset tours, 7pm and sunrise tours, according to demand.

Price: 12 yrs plus €50; under 12s, €40; family/group rates available on request. Tel: 028-33357 Mobile: 086-1200027. All ages.

40. Let’s Go summer camps, nationwide. Summer camps with huge range of games and activities. Open: Jul/Aug, see website for nearest location. Price: €85-95 per child. Tel: 1890-538746. Age: 5-6, 7-13.


41. Theatre Summer Camp, Wolfe Stage School, Douglas & Blarney, Cork. Summer camps of dance, drama, singing, musical theatre, face painting, arts’n’crafts culminating in showcase performance. Open: July/Aug, see website for details. Price: €80-90. Tel: 021 4367 967/021 4891249. Age: from 4-16.

42. Sports Summercamp, Garryduff Sports Complex, Garryduff, Cork. Variety of sports including hockey, soccer, tennis, volleyball, badminton, basketball, football, dodgeball. Open: 9am-2pm, July 16-20 & July 23-27. Tennis camp: 7-10 Aug. Price: €100 per child. Tel: 021-4891978. Age: 5-12.


43. Gaiety School of Acting Summer Camps, South Parish Community Centre, Cork.

Fun drama camp/workshop culminating in showcase performance. Moviemaking workshop leading to professionally edited DVD of film. Open: extended details on website. Price: €150-200. Tel: 01-6799277. Age: (drama) 7-11 & 12-16; (moviemaking) 12-16.

44. Gtown Surf School Summer Camps 2012, Garretstown, near Ballinspittle, West Cork. Surfing, bodyboarding and other water-based activities, three camps for three different age groups, including pickup from Kinsale bus depot if required. Open: Jul/Aug, see website for different dates for each camp. Price: €55-115. Tel: 021-4778884. Age: 4-7, 8-12 & 12-17.

45. Cork City FC Soccer Summercamps, Bandon FC, Bandon & Bishopstown Leisureworld, Rossa Ave, Cork. Each participant gets CCFC training top, match tickets, expert coaching, meet CCFC players and a chance to play at CCFC’s homeground Turner’s Cross. Open: Bandon FC Camp, July 4-8; Bishopstown Camp, Aug 8-12. Tel: 086-1527774. Age: 5-14

46. Sailing Summercamps, SailCork, East Hill, Cobh, Co Cork. Variety of sailing, yachting and boating courses. Open: July/Aug, see website for extensive details. Price: up to €350 per child. Tel: 021-4811237. Age: 4-8, 9-12 & 13-18.

47. Science Summercamps, Cork city & county (see website for locations). Adventure & Science camps for boys and girls combine ziplining, zorbing and archery with science. Future Techie camps, strictly science. Lego education a big feature of camps including LEGO© MINDSTORMS© and LEGO© WeDo©. Open: 9.30am-2pm, see website for dates and camps. Price: €80-110 Tel: 087-2575734. Age: 7-15.

48. All Aboard at Cork Week 2012. Head to Crosshaven on July 7 and 8 for a weekend of free kids’ activities, water-based attractions and shoreside entertainment. Oceanworld Aquarium is sending its touch pool creatures from Dingle, the Star Dome is coming to bring the wonders of the solar system to life, and there’s high speed rib-trips and Dragon Boat racing.

49. Munster Rugby Summer Camps, 24 venues in Munster (see website for detail). Skill training in fun camps with IRFU accredited coaches, including Adidas bag, t-shirt, shorts, socks, mouthguard, a match ticket to a pre-season game. Open: 9.30am-1.30pm, daily, July-Aug (see website for specific dates). Price: €85 per child, €75 per each additional child. Tel. 021-4323563. Age: 6-13.


50. Summer Saturday Family Workshops, The Hub, Limerick City Gallery, Pery Square, Limerick. Summer Family Art Workshops where children and adults the gallery together, learning about and making art in the gallery and the beautiful surrounding People’s Park. Open: 11am-12pm, Every Saturday, July/Aug. Price: free, first come, first served. Tel: 061-310633. Age: 4-10, must be accompanied by an adult.

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