31 Things To Do In Ireland This Summer

The Bray Air Display attracts 140,000 over the weekend.
The Bray Air Display attracts 140,000 over the weekend.

There is so much to do in this country, hail rain or shine and YourDaysOut.ie is bursting with local venue and events from all across the country. The site is also User Generated, so if you have an event you want to promote you add it to the site for free.

As Summer really kicks off now, we've narrowed the list down to a nice selection to suit all ages and interests while also keeping an eye on the pockets to help fill in those blank dates on your calendars.

Free Family Events

1) Swords Summer Festival 

The festival returns for the third year this weekend (July 20-23) with lots of entertainment, family fun and the competitive Fingal 10km. Activities include Live Music from the Rat Pack and the Dublin Gospel Choir, Family Fun Fair all weekend in Swords Town Park, a Puppet Show headlined by Bosco and much more.

2) Bray Air Display, Wicklow

Ireland’s Biggest Air Festival takes place on Saturday, 22nd and Sunday, 23rd July 2017. Featuring aircraft from an F-18s to Spitfires and displays from the Irish Air Corps, the Irish Coast Guard and the former Red Arrow pilots’ Blades team. On the ground, there will be a funfair, a food and craft village and Helicopter pleasure flights.

3) Enniscrone Black Pig Festival

A weekend of fun activities and events that starts with Mike Denver and ends with the Black Pig Fun Run. The festival will launch with a Sky Diving Spectacular when the team of Black Pig Skydivers parachute onto the beach on Friday 28th July.

On Saturday 29th July there will be a huge fireworks display and on Sunday there will be a family fun day.

4)  Durrow Scarecrow Festival

The 8th All-Ireland Scarecrow Championship takes place in Durrow, Co Laois at the start of August. It’s a quirky festival not to be missed! There are loads of fun events during the week including clowns, castles, camps, fairies, workshops and, of course, scarecrows from all over the country.

5) Spraoi, Waterford

The Spraoi Festival is a free urban festival in Waterford that will attract nearly 100,000 people over the August Bank Holiday weekend. There will be lots of street theatre, art, music and the popular annual parade on Sunday 6th at 9:30 pm.

The Garter Lane Arts Centre also presents SprÓg Children's Festival, during Spraoi week and over the weekend with lots of free shows and exhibitions.

6) Carlingford Oyster Festival

The Carlingford Oyster Festival is a four-day celebration for the entire family based around local shellfish.

As well as tasting the various oysters, chowders and fish on offer in the markets and local restaurants, there will be a fun programme of events including Magic Show, Face Painting, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Free Kayaking in the Harbour, Children’s Funfair and Bouncing Castles.

7) Rose of Tralee International Festival

The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals, celebrating 58 years in 2017.

The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee but there is also a week-long programme of activities and events that include street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and Rose Parades. 

Bird's Euroshow and Fossett's Circus will be back in Tralee entertaining families throughout the week.

Paid Events

8) Festival of Curiosity, Dublin

Now in its fifth year, the annual celebration of art, science, technology and design is one the most exciting and innovative festivals you’ll go to this year. Forty-five thousand people will enjoy the various shows and installations from Playful Days (family programme) to Curious Nights (adult programme).

9) Dublin Horse Show, RDS

One of the largest international equestrian events in the world that feature the finest horses has always been a favourite family day out.

This year they are introducing new acts for the whole family to enjoy throughout the RDS venue. Music and circus acts will be roaming around the Showgrounds and a Kids' Zone will keep everyone entertained with an inflatable slide, bouncing castle and face painting. 

10) The Tullamore Show

Over 50,000 people will once again decent on Tullamore for a fun-filled family day out featuring highly-contested livestock competitions.

There are also loads of workshops from the art of jam and jelly making to the Do's & Don'ts of photography, live music, fashion shows, local food and crafts, dog shows & agility, as well as €175,000  in prize money for the 1,000 different classes.

11) Groove Festival

Set in Kilruddery Estate at the end of August it’s billed as a family friendly festival with designated activities for kids. There will be live music from headline acts like The Hot House Flowers, UB40 and Primal Scream but there will also be designated areas for family activities and children Under 12 go FREE! 

Camping

12) Sunrise Children’s Festival, Galway

Sunrise Children's Festival is a unique weekend festival dedicated solely to children and their families that takes place in Brigit’s Garden in Galway. There will be four tented entertainment areas with loads of activities and games for the children to enjoy. Camping on Saturday night is included in the price of a weekend ticket.

13) Sunnydaze Children’s Festival, Meath

A two-day children’s festival at the end of summer in the popular Rathbeggan Lakes in Meath. Weekend ticket holders can camp overnight. There will be three covered stages with live music and entertainment, giant wooden games, puppet shows, magicians and workshops.

14) Morriscastle Strand

Morriscastle Strand Holiday Park is a four-star tourist caravan and camping site and private mobile home site. It is in a beautiful location beside Morriscastle Strand beach with its long beach and tall sand dunes and there are plenty of activities on-site to keep all the children amused.

It's also close to loads of fun days out around Wexford including Pirates Cove Adventure Park, Blackwater Open Farm, Kia Ora Mini Farm and Wells House.

15) Westport House & Pirate Adventure Park

Westport House Caravan and Camping Park is situated on grounds of Westport House Estate just a five-minute drive and a 15-minute stroll from Westport town.

Activities located right beside the caravan and camping park include table tennis, a recreation room with movies, games and a jukebox, and the Pirate’s Den indoor soft play area. Guests can also avail of a 20% discount to Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park with loads of kids activities including a Log flume & Swinging Ship rides, pedalo boats, miniature railway, Giant Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Zip wires, Archery, Falconry & more. 

Summer Camps

16) Designer Minds

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Maths (STEAM) are subjects that can help shape a child’s future and the Designer Minds camps throughout Munster are the perfect place to have some hands-on fun.

The classes are best suited to seven to thirteen-year-olds and the emphasis is on learning through fun with challenging experiments and projects.

17) Starcamps

Celebrating 10 years STARCAMP run their performance, fun & games based Summer Camp in over 200 towns across 32 counties.

STARCAMP is aimed at all boys and girls aged 4-12, and it is so much more than a performing arts Summer Camp. Their whole emphasis is on making every child feel confident, to make them truly believe in themselves and in their own thoughts and abilities. This is done through music, dance drama with some arts & crafts and fun games thrown in too. 

18) Fitzone - Clontarf & Sandymount

Sometimes, camps are just a place to send the kids while both parents are working. However, in this case, they still need to be fun and offer some variety to keep children entertained for a longer day and sports camps are a great idea.

One of our kid's favourites is Westwood - we have used Clontarf in Dublin, but they also have one Sandyford and indeed there are also lots of sports camps all around the country including GAA Cúl Camps, FAI Summer Soccer Schools and National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown.

Fitzone is a multi-activity camp for 4-12 year olds from 9am - 3pm (longer hours can be arranged) and activities include Swimming, Soccer, Basketball, Adventure Play Zone, Arts & Crafts, Outdoor Play, Tag Rugby and much more.

Outdoor Adventure

19) SKYPARK, Louth

Day adventures in the biggest aerial park in Ireland; Courses range from 6ft to 40ft high.The whole family can enjoy a day out here with activities to suits all ages 4+ with Ziplines, Quazer, Aeroball, FootGolf, Frisbee Golf, BaseJump & Climbing Wall.

It is based in beautiful Carlingford, County Louth and you can enjoy some fun on Sea and Land too with more activities in the Carlingford Adventure Centre.

20) Dublin Zoo

One of Ireland's most popular attractions in Ireland that welcomed over one million visitors last year. The 28-hectare park is home to some 400 animals in an environment where education and conservation combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience. Summer would not be summer without a trip to the Zoo.

21) Tayto Park Theme Park & Zoo, Meath

Located just 30 minutes from Dublin is Ireland's only theme park and zoo, Tayto Park. With over 100 attractions to experience and enjoy, there is something for everyone; young, old and in between. They have just opened the new Viking Adventure water flume ride as well as having the largest wooden Rollercoaster in Europe.

You can have a great fun day out with loads of activities included in the admission price or pay extra and enjoy some of the exciting theme park rides.

22) Bay Sports, Athlone

The popular water park on Lough Ree is back.

Every year they add new sections to the inflatable island with its own jungle, towers, trampolines, slides, water-based obstacle courses and even a castle. Other activities are available too but do check before you travel as adverse weather can close the park for the day.

23) Adventure Park, Cork

Adventure Park has been purpose built for year-round outdoor entertainment in Cork

From Karting to Paintball, Archery to Bubble Football and lots lots more, Adventure Park offers action-packed activities for the whole family. Children 8+ can drive on the fun National Track while those over 16 can go on the high-speed International Track so it really does suit families with children of different ages.

Indoor Activities

24) Aquazone, Dublin

One of the most visited attraction in Ireland and it's easy to see why. This is an indoor fun waterpark in Dublin with loads of wild waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a pirate ship for the littles ones and Flow Rider surf machine.  Food is also available and it's a great venue for a birthday party.

25) Leisureplex, Dublin & Cork

Who doesn't enjoy bowling?

Leisureplex have perfect venues in Dublin & Cork offering fun things to do indoors for all ages. You can choose bowling, quasar, arcade games, snooker/pool or Zoo Adventureland indoor play centre. Special deals for Summer Project groups.

26) W5, Belfast

The science and discovery centre is well worth the trip as you could easily spend a whole day here.

There are over 250 interactive exhibits, a changing programme of large and small scale events and a daily programme of live science shows!

27) National Wax Museum Plus, Dublin

Recently reopened in a new venue, the National Wax Museum Plus is more than just wax statues. It is an exciting journey with a modern and interactive take on Irish history and popular culture designed to be a lot of fun. A great way to spend a few hours in the city.

28) We are Vertigo, Belfast

Do you want to go Skiing this summer?

We are Vertigo has a continuous ski slope that is perfect for learning or refreshing your skills. There is also a huge Trampoline Park and an Adventure Centre with High Ropes, soft play area and even electric quads. Perfect for an Irish summer day-in!

29) Funtasia, Drogheda

The Pirates Cove Waterpark features over 200 water gushing activities including the adrenalin pumping Super Bowl speed slide and the incredible gravity defying Boomerang slide. However, the centre also has bowling, Sky Climbing, indoor play area, 12 different birthday party ideas and much much more.

Culture & History

30) National Museums of Ireland

 Covering Archaeology, Natural History, Decorative Arts & History in Dublin and Country Life, Co Mayo you'll see collections from prehistoric times to the present day and discover more about the country's heritage. Lots of free events during summer.

31) Irish Heritage Sites

The new Minister for State, Kevin Boxer Moran announced that all children under 12 will be admitted free to any fee-paying heritage site in Ireland until the end of 2017. Sites include Clonmacnoise, Kilkenny Castle, Newgrange, Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol and the Rock of Cashel.

Don't forget to leave reviews of any trips on YourDaysOut and have fun!

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