Best spots for a family day out this summer

Summer is finally here (even if the weather has got the message yet) which means its time for some well deserved fun.

Ireland has plenty of hidden gems when it comes to a great day out. With everything from indoor skydiving to alligators on offer.

But if your stuck for ideas on how to spend your summer, there’s no need to fear. As we’ve rounded up some of the best spots for a day out, guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

Emerald Park


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It might not be the home of Mr Tayto anymore, but rest assured it is still home to plenty of fun!

Located in County Meath, the newly-named Emerald Park offers a whole of attractions to keep both children and adults entertained for the day. From their massive pet farm, play parks, 5D cinema, fairy forest, Robert Fossett’s Circus show, rock walls, zip lines, and their many, many, many, roller coasters and rides!

All that running around might work up a hungry, but not to worry as the park is equipped with plenty of dining option, hosting FIVE restaurants. These being The Outback Chicken Shack, Dino Bites, Argentinian Grill, Pizza Place, and The Lodge Restaurant. So no need to worry about picker eaters, as everyone’s’ tastes are catered for.

The park is also well equipped with plenty of parking, nursing stations, toilets, a gift shop, plenty of wheelchair accessible options, and first aid.

Sea Life Bray Aquarium

A trip to the beach is a summer must, but if you’re looking for something really exciting, why not head under the sea?

At Wicklow’s Sea Life Bray Aquarium you can get acquainted with sea creatures from all over the world. Their Rivers of the World is home to stream dwellers from the Amazon, Southern Africa and South-East Asia. Caribbean Cove introduce fish friends from warmer climates to Ireland, and is the home of Merlin, the first Cow Nosed Ray born in Ireland.

Toxic Terrors is full of poisonous poisson, but not to worry, they are safely kept behind the glass. Meaning you can enjoy seeing everything from the Long-Spined Pufferfish to the Red Lionfish to the Honey Comb Moray Eels to the Golden Pufferfish without worrying about the unsavory stings.

Bay of Rays houses some of the different Ray species found in the waters around the UK, Ireland and the Mediterranean. While Tropical Shark Lagoon, is sure to impress all the baby sharks out there. Housing the likes of the Black Tip Reef Shark, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Nurse Sharks, and more.

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

If deep sea exploring isn’t your thing, then why not take to the stars instead.

There is a lot to do and see at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, including the historic Planetarium, the longest running one in the British Isles. There’s also the Exhibition Area, offering a sensory space experiences where you can touch a real meteorite, spin the clouds of Neptune, create your own solar system, or black hole, and take in all space has to offer.

While their Human Orrery demonstrates planetary motion though their interactive setup which gives us earthlings a chance to take on the roles of other planets. Their Augmented Reality set up allows to experience the wonders of space like walking on the moon, and travelling through the solar system.

Their Astropark brings the whole universe to earth, allowing you to explore their scale model set up in the beautiful natural landscape. They also have a virtual tour, weather station, data visualisation laboratory, and phenology garden.

Plus there is a cafe on site, so you can grab a bit to eat without abandoning your adventure.

Shannon Aviation Museum

If the stars are a little too high, never fear as you can still explore the sky at the Shannon Aviation Museum.

This interactive museum is the best spot to learn all about the art of flying. With an array of vintage plane, engines, and cockpits to explore.

Best of all you can do so in style as they provide flight uniforms to make sure you are fully prepared to take on the sky. And take on the sky you can, with their flight simulation experience showing you what its like at the helm of a plane.

The National Reptile Zoo

Irish summers can be unpredictable with no guarantee of sunshine, but no need to worry as The National Reptile Zoo, an in-door reptile sanctuary, is perfect for those rainy summer days.

Ireland’s only reptile zoo is open seven days a week, and houses plenty of scaly friends to meet. Ranging from snakes, tortoises, lizards, scorpions, tarantulas, alligators.

Its a truly unique attraction, and the perfect opportunity to learn all about the world’s most exciting animals.

Galway City Karting

If you’ve got a need for speed then Galway City Racing is the answer!

The 20,000 sq ft indoor track offers entertainment for everyone seven and up, and will let you live out you Grand Prix fantasies.

All of their karts are powered by Honda Engines with the junior karts having a 160cc engine whilst their adult karts have an engine of 200cc.

Forget Monaco its all about the Galway Gran Prix now!

We Are Vertigo


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We Are Vertigo have two locations, both in Belfast at the the Titanic Quarter, and Newtownbreda, and both are jam packed full of fun.

Each location has the specular inflatables parks, with Newtownbreda hosting the worlds largest inflatable playground, with 30,000 square ft of bouncing to enjoy. While their Titanic location offers all the same inflatable park fun this time with added obstacles and a mechanical dizzy maze.

The Titanic location also offers a Ninja Master Course, which includes ascending steps, punch-bag zipline, rolling log, jungle bars, hanging doors, net bags & lots more! Along with Indoor Skydiving, in their tunnel with  winds up to 120mph propelling you into the air.

While their Newtownbreda location is home to their Adventure Climbing area. Which includes High and Low ropes courses, 30ft Climbing Wall and 3 Tier Soft Play Village.



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