10 Things to do in Cork for Families

Heading to Cork on a family break and at finding yourself at a loss to keep the family entertained? Whether you’re a Corkonian yourself or just visiting there’s no shortage of family-fun to be had in the Rebel County. Here’s our top ten things to do in Cork for families:

1. Blackrock Castle Observatory

black rock castle observatory cork

Known as ‘the Space for Science’, Blackrock Castle Observatory is home to exciting, educational, interactive exhibits and activities that are based around the wonderful world of science. Visitors will learn about the universe, life on earth and life in space as well as taking a tour of the castle itself and hearing about its rich history. During the summer months children can attend the hugely popular Space Camp at the observatory.

Open Saturdays and Sundays only from 10am to 4pm. Pre-booking is essential while government restrictions are in place.

2. Perks Entertainment Centre

Perks brings a world of entertainment to Youghal, County Cork. Here you can enjoy laser tag, bowling, soft play, arcade games and lots more. There’s free parking, no admission costs and over 70,000 square foot of indoor entertainment suitable for all ages. Head to Perks for some family fun – whatever the weather!

3. The Donkey Sanctuary

Some 130 donkeys live at The Donkey Sanctuary – a charity-run centre that cares for neglected and abused donkeys from all over Europe. Since its opening in 1987 the sanctuary has looked after over 5,500 donkeys. Visitors are welcomed to the sanctuary to visit these kind creatures and enjoy one of the many scenic walking routes on the land. The centre opens daily and entry is free with a donation.

The Donkey Sanctuary have decided to close its doors to the public for the time being. More information and updates are available on their website.

4. Toy Soldier Factory

The Toy Soldier Factory in Macroom is home to the world’s largest Battle of Waterloo exhibit that comprises of over 15,000 hand cast figures. There’s also an impressive Lord of the Rings model collection and workshops where you can cast and paint your very own model to take home. You can also learn how to pour metal into spin casting machines with their interactive tour.

5. Blarney Castle and Gardens

hotel near blarney castle cork

What visit to Cork is complete without a trip to Blarney Castle? Home to the famous Blarney Stone which is said to give the gift of the gab, the castle also has beautiful gardens, enchanted woodlands, a cafe and a host of mythical attractions like the wishing steps and the witch’s stone. Full of mystery and wonder, no two visits to Blarney Castle are the same.

6. Fota Wildlife Park

hotels near fota wildlife park.

Fota Wildlife Park is home to over one hundred animals from all over the world. The park’s mission is to provide animals with the highest standard of care and quality of life and so they play a vital part in the global conservation of species such as Sumatran tigers, Asiatic lions and African rhinos. The park has a daily schedule of feeding demos and wildlife talks where you can learn about the animals and the work done at the park.

Pre-booking is essential while Covid 19 restrictions are in place.

7. West Cork Model Railway Village

model village clonakilty near clayotn hotel cork

Step back in time and see life as it was in the 1940’s at Ireland’s only Model Village. The West Cork towns and Railway Line are portrayed in delightful miniature. The models and figurines are handmade on site. Enjoy a trip through the award winning town of Clonakilty aboard the Road Train. Try out the Remote Control Boats. Facilities include indoor & outdoor play areas, Café & Gift Shop in an authentic train carriage.

The Road Train will not be running until further notice due to public health guidelines.

8. Ballyhass Lakes Adventure Centre

Ballyhass Lakes is in no shortage of family friendly activities. Guests can enjoy zip lining, wakeboarding, kayaking, high ropes, low ropes, cliff climbing, raft building and a range of other thrilling activities. There is also a large inflatable water park that covers 40 metres of the local lake where kids can jump, slide and climb to their heart’s content. The kids are guaranteed to sleep well after an action-packed day at Ballyhass Lakes.

9. Leisure World Churchfields

Leisure World have three locations in Cork. Their Churchfields location has a 25-metre pool, a toddler pool and a fun children’s pool with a play zone. Kids will love their giant water slide and astro turf pitches while adults can enjoy a fully equipped gym and sauna / steam room. Leisure World welcomes one-time visitors as well as members.

10. The Farm Grenagh

things to do in cork with the family

The Farm Grenagh has welcomed over 100,000 visitors since it opening in 2012. The Farm spans over 40 acres and replicates what life was like in rural Ireland with its traditional farming methods and 1960’s styled village. There’s also a Tractor Ted Little Farm for younger visitors that is home to a fully motorised Tractor Ted. The Haystack Restaurant at The Farm serves everything from a traditional roast to a light sandwich. There really is something for everyone at The Farm Grenagh.

family breaks cork

Four Star Family Hotel in Cork City

Family holidays are our speciality at Clayton Hotel Cork City. With spacious, modern family rooms, a kids swimming pool and our Krafty Kids kiddie club, you and your little ones are sure to have a wonderful time in with us in Cork. Discover our range of special offers on family stay packages and get ready for a most memorable trip to Cork.

executive hotel room in cork city

Start planning your trip to Cork and book your perfect break at Clayton Hotel Cork City.


minus 1 night-plus 1 night+

Clayton Hotel Cork City is currently open to essential travel only in accordance with government guidelines. During this time our leisure centre is closed.

Reasonable evidence confirming the stay is for essential travel must be provided on arrival, otherwise your booking will be cancelled.

Please contact our hotel team to discuss your requirements by calling +353(0)21 422 4900 or email res.corkcity@claytonhotels.com