fun things to do with kids in killarney ireland   Travel for Kids
Ireland
  | County Kerry
     
   

Killarney

Ross Castle
  Ross Castle – On a promontory above Lough Leane, Ross Castle looms large, a 15th century stronghold with a really fine castle keep that's in great shape – no crumbling ruin here. On the 35 min. tour of the keep, you'll see the great hall, musician's gallery, bed chamber, parlor and store room. And don't miss the exhibit with a cool castle model which provides a fascinating glimpse of daily life in the 1500's.
      Lakeshore walk – From the castle parking lot, pick up the trail for a delightful 3km walk through the woods and along the lake. For a longer walk, where the trail forks, bear to the right and stroll into Killarney town (from Ross Castle to town and back is about 5 miles).
    Innisfallen Island – Take a motorboat trip to Innisfallen Island in the center of the lake, Lough Leane. Wander around the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey, founded in the 7th century and a great monastic center – the great king Brian Boru (who trounced the Vikings once and for all) studied at Innisfallen Abbey.
 

Boats on Lough Leane – Next to the castle, rent row boats to explore Lough Leane (Lough Lein) for yourself. Or, go out on a lake cruise – one hour cruise with the Killarney Waterbus or Lily of Killarney (the boats are covered so it's fun even if the weather isn't sunny).

    Muckross Abbey – Muckross Abbey was constructed in the 15th century, on the site on an earlier 6th century monastery. The abbey has been newly restored and it's worth a stop to see the ancient yew tree that was planted when the abbey was built. This tree is over 550 years old and is the oldest living tree in Ireland.
Muckross House and Gardens – Tour this grand Victorian home of the landed gentry, ornate rooms filled with 19th century furniture and walls decorated with rows of deer heads, bristling with antlers. The emerald green lawns, stretching down the lake, are a great place to stretch your legs (or just relax) if the weather is nice.
Muckross Traditional Farms
    Muckross Traditional Farms – In contrast to well-polished Victorian furniture, kids may be more impressed with the traditional farms, a taste of farm life in the 1930's. Find out what it's like to live in cottages with no electricity, baking bread over an open fire, and farming with horses. Plenty of farm animals – cows, sheep, hens, ducks and geese, plus hand-milking and butter-making demonstrations.

Jaunting cars – Pile your kids into a "jaunting car," not a car at all, but a horse-drawn cart that's perfect for families. Take a ride along the lake or through the woods, you'll be on a special path that's car-free. Look for "jaunting cars" in the center of Killarney town, at Muckross House, and along the road near the car park for the Torc Waterfall.

Walks and hikes – The area around Killarney offers walks and hikes for everyone in the family. You'll enjoy leafy green forests, filled with giant old oaks yew, and beech trees, rhododendrons, moss covered rocks, and tranquil lakes and rivers. For a short walk to a spectacular location, the Torc Waterfall is your best bet (older kids will want to keep hiking to the Upper Falls for viewpoints of the lakes). Or from the car park on the N71, take the trail along Muckross Lake (Middle Lake) to the Old Weir Bridge. With bigger kids, take a longer day hike all around Muckross Lake, you can pick up the loop trail at Muckross House. Stop at the tourist office in Killarney town for detailed hiking maps.
Killarney Museum of Irish Transport – If the weather suddenly turns dreary, stop into the Museum of Irish Transport, check out everything with wheels – cars, bicycles, horse carriages, fire engines, from antique cars to the sleek and silvery DeLorean with it's spiffy "gull wing" doors. Museum is located in Killarney town.
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