Take a trip to Killarney National Park
Hike or bike the scenic trails
Set against the MacGillycuddy's Reeks, Killarney National Park is a staggering 26,000 acres of picturesque parkland enjoyed by walkers, hikers and anyone craving nature. Tell animal-loving kids to keep their eyes peeled for the largest herd of native red deer in Ireland. Look out for otters, Peregrine falcons, Pygmy Shrews and Sika deer as you explore.
Cyclists can also enjoy the park’s many routeways and electric bikes are your best friend when navigating this hilly expanse, taking the slog out of the cycle and allowing you to really enjoy the magnificent views. The team at Killarney Rent A Bike can advise on the best routes around the park for kids and offer tag-a-longs and trailers as well as children’s bikes.
Muckross House and Traditional Farms
While you’re visiting the National Park, step back in time at Muckross House’s Traditional Farms. Take the circular trail through three separate working farms, complete with animals, traditional furnishings and machinery, each one inspiring your little ones’ imagination and transporting the whole family back to 1930s and 1940s Ireland.
Just ten minutes from Muckross House, Torc Waterfall is at its most animated after rainfall. Park up and take the short 300m walk to the falls, or trek further upwards for a higher vantage point and bonus views over Middle Lake.
Enjoy fun-filled family time in Killarney
Kayak across the Lakes of Killarney
Nothing quite prepares you for the natural beauty of Killarney’s Lough Leane, Muckross Lake and the Upper Lake, and kayaking across these legendary lakes with Mór Active is the most invigorating way to experience them. Travel to Innisfallen Island and discover its rich history, or paddle your way to Ross Castle, enjoying plenty of family fun on the water along the way.
Fresh fish at Killarney’s Quinlan’s Seafood Bar
After your day on the water, stop off at Killarney’s famous Quinlan’s Seafood Bar, where you’ll enjoy fresh hake, cod, haddock and whiting straight off their boat. Have yours battered or pan-fried using the restaurant’s special recipe and teamed with freshly cut chips of course. Eat inhouse or, if you fancy a picnic, ask for a takeaway and walk back to the National Park just a few minutes away.
Murphy’s Ice Cream
Dessert is sorted with Murphy’s Ice Cream now available at their Killarney branch. World-renowned, but made in nearby Dingle, Murphy’s most famous flavours include Irish Brown Bread, and Sea Salt (made with salt from local waters) — the perfect treat after some epic exploring.
Kennedy’s Pet Farm and Activity Centre
Just a 10-minute drive from town, Kennedy’s Pet Farm and Playground is a family-run centre with lots of pets ready to be cuddled, fed and befriended. The kids can meet pigs and their piglets, calves, lambs, goats and kids, donkeys with their foals, rabbits, ducklings and even a peacock. The farm also has an indoor playground, making it a great option for those rainy days.
If you’ve time to spare in County Kerry
Drive the Ring of Kerry
This scenic 179km loop takes you around the whole Iveragh Peninsula past rugged coastline and rural villages like Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen, and Glenbeigh before returning to Killarney. While you’re exploring the Ring of Kerry, stop off at major attractions including the Gap of Dunloe, Ladies View and The Skellig Experience.
Check out our article on the best things to see on your Ring of Kerry drive and go on an incredible holiday this year.
Take the boat to Skellig Michael
A captivating, rocky island with an abandoned 6th century Christian monastery atop, Skellig Michael is now world-famous after featuring in the Star Wars franchise The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi movies. Boat trips are seasonal and sea condition dependant – may the force and weather be with you. Skellig Michael is closed to visitors for 2020 but it's worth putting on your list for a return visit.
Go horse riding at Rossbeigh Beach
Moving west along the coast, Rossbeigh Beach is a 40-minute drive from Killarney. Book in with Burkes Beach Riding and feel the wind in your hair as you gallop along the seven-mile long Blue Flag beach with the Atlantic roaring by your side. They have adventures to suit all levels of experience and ability and, if you have smaller children, you can choose a leisurely stroll around their farm too.
Whether you pack lots in or explore Kerry at a leisurely pace, you can always extend your holiday or come back again. Head over to our Kerry destination page and get more inspiration for family-friendly fun in The Kingdom.