While it can be tempting to plan epic summer trips for the family, there’s something rather lovely about a staycation in Ireland. Brief trips within Ireland can get you and your family far away from the stress of the day-to-day without the stress of airports and flights. We’ve put together a list of family friendly resorts to visit this summer.
Fota Island Resort
The best place to stay for family visits to Ireland’s only wildlife park at Fota Island, this resort’s luxury self-catering lodges make the perfect stay for a family trip. They have two, three, and four bedroom options and the lodges are designed to blend seamlessly into the natural beauty of the island. Stays in the lodges include full access to the resort, with golf courses and a spa for the adults. The resort also has its own adventure centre in the forest along the island. Packages include archery and their award-winning obstacle course.
Only a short drive from Dublin, the Avon is nestled between the banks of a beautiful lake and just below the Wicklow Mountains. They take full advantage of this location, offering activities like kayaking, hiking, and biking. In the summers they arrange five-day kids camps for ages 8-14 which run from 10 – 4. And while kids are in camp, parents can relax, or join in the fun or simply relax. If you want to add to the sense of adventure on your trip, book to stay in one of the resorts yurts, which are available to book for two or three night stays from June – October.
For a Dublin-based staycation, consider the Castleknock Hotel. The resort is conveniently located for visits to Dublin Zoo, Tayto Park, The National Aquatic Centre, and the Fort Lucan adventure center. And while the great location makes these visits easy, amenities like golf, a pool with a special kids section, and a children’s playground may tempt you to just relax and stay on the hotel grounds.
The Pillo Hotel & Spa
Also conveniently located for family trips to Tayto Park, The Pillo Hotel has family packages all ready to go for summer. Special kids pools, playroom, and playground are all complimentary for the duration of your stay, but during the summer an additional 10 euro will cover their two hour “kids club” sessions, and during summer evenings they plan special events to keep the entertainment going.
Located along the Wild Atlantic Way in Clare, Hotel Woodstock designs family breaks to be as stress-free as possible. The free kids club and babysitting give parents the chance to spend some time relaxing in the leisure center or on the golf course. Family friendly all-day dining means there’s no need to go far, but if you choose to sites such as Doolin Cave, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Craggaunowen Prehistoric Park, and more are only a short drive from the hotel.
The Hodson Bay Hotel
At Ireland’s largest lakeside resort, settled along the shores of Lough Ree in Athlone, outdoor activities abound and indoor activities are prepared for poor weather. Many of the activities are complementary and some family packages include the fully supervised kids camps, which run all summer. Other activities include Baysport, the inflatable water park or take a ride on a viking ship to Athlone village.
Mount Juliet Estate
At this Kilkenny resort, families can stay in the main manor house or in the Hunter’s Yard, a more casual accommodation on the property. For your stay, kids of all ages can join one of the two youth clubs, the Little Rascals group for ages 5 to 12 or The Jink Club for kids 12+. These clubs include activities like golf, archery, equestrian, movies, or fishing. Families can also find things to do all around Kilkenny like visiting Kilkenny Castle or Jerpoint Park, the site of an abandoned medieval village.
Trabolgan Holiday Village
Unlike some of the other destinations on this list, Trabolgan Holiday Village was designed with families in mind. With self-catering cottages for up to eight people it’s makes a great destination for larger groups. They have special events planned all summer in addition to live entertainment, adventure sports, and an indoor temperature controlled pool paradise.
Amber Springs Hotel and Health Spa
Don’t let the “spa” title fool you, this Wexford hotel is plenty family friendly. Onsite they offer a Kids Club, giving parents time to take advantage of the spa facilities. Kids can enjoy go-karting, mini-golf, and games from 10 am – 7 pm all summer. For accommodation you can choose either a family room or simply two connecting rooms for your stay.
Family breaks at Mount Falcon begin with a stay in a lakeside, woodland, or courtyard lodge with plenty of space for the whole family to relax. Activities focus on classic county activities like golf and fishing, but also include falconry and clay pigeon shooting. The sprawling grounds of the estate make bike hire a wonderful family activity for a sunny afternoon.
Parknasilla Resort & Spa
This resort is located on the coast of Kerry, meaning it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches and natural wonders. Family accommodation includes family rooms, villas, or lodges across the resort. Children are provided with a special activity pack upon arrival, and they have supervised play spaces so parents can perhaps relax a bit more. Hotel activities including kayaking and archery are open to children, while inside they have stockpiles of games and DVDs for families to enjoy.
WRITTEN BY ELIZA SULLIVAN