A conversation that I have with friends and family more and more often these days is how expensive it is to go on a staycation in Ireland. Its so much cheaper to hop on a plane and head off somewhere sunny for the price of a few nights stay in a hotel in Ireland. Think how much easier it would be to pack up the car and head off somewhere that’s only a couple of hours drive away. Ireland’s tourism sector depends on domestic tourism as well as overseas visitors and there are so many activities to do that don’t involve spending any money. Here’s my top five galavants to bring the kids this summer that are absolutely free!
Irish Heritage Sites: On June 28th the office of public works announced that all kids under 12 have free admission to all Irish heritage sites run by the office of public works for the summer. These sites include Cahir Castle in Tipperary, Charles Fort in Cork, Clonmacnoise, Dublin Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, The rock of Cashel and lots lots more. As well as educating the kids on Irelands History its a great day out! I remember when we were younger my mother loading all of us and our cousins into the estate car (those were the days!) and taking day trips off to Cahir Castle and the Rock of Cashel. There was always some sort of picnic involved at the side of the road also! These are the days that your kids will remember!
Local parks and playgrounds:
This may be an obvious one for a lot of us but there are some amazing parks that offer kids activity areas that you may not be aware of. Lough Muckno forest park in Monaghan is seriously impressive. Oak Park Forest Park in Carlow, Con Smith memorial park in Cavan, Cratloe woods in County Clare, Fitzgerland Park Playground in Co Cork and many many more around the country. Sometimes the best day or afternoons out are only a short drive away!
Lets go to the beach!!
This again is another obvious one but it doesn’t have to be splitting the rocks to enjoy a day out at the beach (cause lets face it, we can’t depend on the sunshine in this country). There are over 60 blue flag beaches on the emerald isle to go for a paddle, skims some stones, build sandcastles or just go for a mad long walk to make sure they sleep well for the night!
Visit a Museum!
This is a perfect option for a rainy day during the summer. The National Museum of Archaeology, decorative arts and history and natural history are all located in Dublin and are all completely free to visit. They may be more suited for the older kids but you are getting some education in there too. The National Museum of country life is located in Co Mayo is a definite must see. All of the museums have fantastic free events running throughout the summer for kids also.
Explore the Irish Greenways and Blueways:
Get out there and get some exercise. There are 8 greenways open in Ireland including the great Western Greenway from Westport to Achill in Mayo, the new Waterford Greenway and the great southern trail. Walk, cycle or just take in the amazing view and take some family snaps along the way. The Shannon, Shannon-Erne and Royal blueways all offer water activities as well as walking and cycling tracks so you are completely spoiled for choice. Yet another way to wear them out so that they will definitely sleep for the night.
So if your travel plans this summer don’t involve hopping on a plane then I hope the above ideas might give you some inspiration. Check out the deal sites for some last minute value getaways in hotels all over the country, think of a camping holiday or rent out a mobile home for a week. You don’t have to spend a fortune in this country to have an amazing staycation!
I have attached a few links below to help you plan your trip and as always- Happy Galavanting xxx