Ireland with Children: Reasons to Visit Ireland in 2012



I’m Irish so naturally Ireland is always going to be near the top of my list of places to recommend for family travel but right now is a particularly good time to visit and here’s why…

Legacies of the Celtic Tiger Boom
Dublin Airport’s new Terminal 2 opened in November 2010. It is, as BigB said “Very fancy, futuristic even.” And it is. All shining glass and steel with wide open spaces and lots of great light its a tremendous improvement to the airport. For me, having a smooth and fairly pleasant experience just getting in and out of the country help set a good tone for our visit.

Infrastructure in Ireland has improved vastly over the past fifteen years. It’s easier to get from the airport out into the country and now there are motorways linking Dublin with other major cities (Belfast, Cork and Galway).

Motorway tolls are automatic. You may think this is trivial bu if you’ve ever had to sit in the waiting line for the toll plaza on the M50 (Dublin’s ring road) with an infant screaming in the back of your car you’d understand why, to me, this is a huge improvement.

There are new family-friendly tourist attractions such as the Sea Life Aquarium in Bray and Dublin’s Children’s Museum. Around the country historic sites such as the passage graves at Newgrange have improved visitor facilities with cafes and informative displays so that you can get more out of your visit.


Indirect Legacies
The wealth years have left Ireland with a many great new hotels and resorts and the whole country looks as if it’s been spruced up. Freshly painted and newly whitewashed main streets in pretty villages up and down the country look even more charming.

Side-Effects of the Crash
On our recents visits to Ireland my husband has commented on how surprising it is that the country doesn’t appear more dreary – given the extreme economic deceleration that’s happened. That said, on our last visit (April 2012) we did notice that restaurant food prices appear to be falling which is a nice bonus for visitors: a hearty and filling cooked breakfast for 5 euros anyone?

While driving in Ireland we heard a radio interview with the head of IDA Ireland. This development authority is busy at work trying to bring international investors back to the Emerald Isle. Indeed, during the interview, he says that they have had some “encouraging discussions” driven by falling local labor costs and an educated, English-speaking workforce.

This is another reason why now is an excellent time to visit Ireland. If the IDA is successful, increased employment will create upward pressure on prices. If they are not successful, sadly, there won’t be enough money available for maintenance of those new roads, buildings and tourist facilities.

Right now is a sweet spot for any tourist who’s ever had a hankering to see if that fabled Irish Cead Mile Failte (a hundred thousand welcomes) is real or not.

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Information on traveling to Ireland with kids.

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This entry was posted in Europe, International Escapades, Ireland and tagged , , , on by .

About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

4 thoughts on “Ireland with Children: Reasons to Visit Ireland in 2012

  1. Bobbi Shaftoe

    We’re going for ten days this August. We’ll spend 2-3 days in Dublin then head down to Cork to visit family. With two kids, 4 and 6 yrs are there any must-dos? Dublin Children’s Museum looks great and we”l go see the Book of Kells since the kids have read a book and seen a movie about it. Any other tips?

  2. Jody

    We adore taking the kids to Ireland- in fact we are heading there tomorrow! We’ll be exploring the center of the country and Connemara this time- places we haven’t visited and not “on the tourist track”.

    Re: Bobbi’s question… I have to admit to not being a big fan of Dublin city with little ones, though the zoo is quite nice. The Butler’s Chocolate Experience could be fun for the kids- and it ends with chocolate! Otherwise, I tend to head outside the city to open land- you can’t beat exploring the Wicklow Mountains on a fine day!

  3. Rachelle Weymuller

    I love Ireland, we traveled there with our family and had a wonderful time! I wrote about it in a few posts with photos, if you would like to check them out on our family blog.


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