Uncover the Viking past of Waterford City
Begin your trip to Waterford City by taking a step back in time to the age of the Vikings. First settled by the ferocious Vikings in the 800s, experience what life was like in Ireland’s oldest city at King of the Vikings, the world’s first Viking-based virtual reality experience.
Just around the corner from King of the Vikings, is Waterford Medieval Museum, where you can keep your little ones busy for an afternoon. Inside the 13th century building are treasures and works of art complete with costumed tour guides to spark your family’s interest in Waterford’s storied history.
Afterwards, take a ten minute drive across the city to Grow HQ and try one of the most unique meals in the county. Kids see where their food comes from as this Grow-It-Yourself café shows you how your food was grown. Watch the chefs cook your meal and then, of course, taste it for yourself. Using organic, seasonal ingredients that grow in the garden just steps from the café, the team here serves up fresh and nutritious food.
Surround yourself in nature on the Waterford Greenway
Make your way back into the city and bring the family on an adventure along the Waterford Greenway, Ireland’s longest Greenway. The 46km trail starts just a few minutes walk from the train station and winds its way along the banks of the River Suir and along the stunning coast to the harbourside town of Dungarvan.
Teenagers may want to cycle the entire route, stopping off at the trailside attractions like the mysterious Durrow Tunnels and the historic Suir Valley Railway. If you’ve got a young family and want a shorter cycle, set off on the 7.5km to Mount Congreve Gardens. Let the kids explore one of “the great gardens of the world” and discover colourful flowers in a garden buzzing with wildlife.
You can bring your own bike or rent bikes for all ages as well as trailers and all the protective gear that you might want from Waterford Greenway Bike Hire at the start of the Greenway. Once you’ve finished your cycle, turn back around for the return journey, stay overnight in Dungarvan or catch a bus back to Waterford.
Have a perfect seaside day in Tramore
No family trip to sunny Waterford is complete without spending some time in lively Tramore’s just a 20 minute drive from Waterford City. Make some memories with the little ones on its immaculate Blue Flag Tramore Beach. Build sandcastles on the golden, sandy beach as the sun begins to set behind the grassy sand dunes before taking a stroll along the promenade with a bag of fresh fish and chips.
Adventurous families can head to Oceanics Surf School or Tramore Surf School and get a surf lesson from one of the qualified coaches. The waves in Tramore are gentle and dependable, making it a fantastic place to catch your first wave.
Amusements have long been a seaside favourite for the whole family so spend some time at Tramore Amusement Park on the promenade for some exciting fairground rides. There’s fun for all ages as the children take a spin on the waltzer, hold on tight on the rollercoaster and whoosh down the mega slides. During the winter or the rare rainy day, you can still have a blast with indoor mini-golf and bowling at Pirate’s Adventure.
Round off your day in Tramore with a visit to The Vee Bistro in the heart of town. Enjoy a contemporary Irish meal in their modern, child-friendly dining room where half portions are available for the kids.
While you’re in Waterford discover Dunmore East
There’s no shortage of stunning beaches in Waterford that are perfect for a family day out but if you have the time it’s well worth making the short drive to the fishing village of Dunmore East, just 20km southeast of Waterford City. Pack a picnic and have a memorable day in the idyllic coves of Dunmore East Beach, the kids will love searching for small sea life in the rock pools.
For an action-packed day bring the whole family to Dunmore Adventure for a day of fun on the water. See if you can master the giant stand-up paddleboard or try your hand at completing Wibit Wipeout, an inflatable obstacle course on the water. Finish off the day with a meal at Azzurro, a family friendly restaurant that whips up tasty Italian and Mediterranean meals for the whole clan.
If you have the time in Waterford explore The Copper Coast
Take the family on a self-guided tour from Tramore to Dungarvan along The Copper Coast and you’ll discover the deserted coves and rugged cliffs of this UNESCO Geopark. Pick your way along the coastline and stop off at viewpoints to snap some unbeatable family photos.
A family holiday in Waterford is full of gorgeous beaches, captivating history, and classic seaside favourites. Visit our Waterford destination page for lots of information on visitor attractions and fun experiences to entertain people of all ages.