The kids are off school, and you finally have a couple days holiday. You want to get away with the family, have some quality time with your partner and children. You’re ready for a change of scene, maybe a bit of relaxation, but there’s a catch. You know you need to travel somewhere where there’s actually something for the kids to do! Activities to keep them entertained. Places they can expend their energy. Locations that are enough of a novelty to hold their attention. And it doesn’t hurt if it’s interesting for you as well!
A getaway to The Maryborough in Cork can offer all that and more! Conveniently situated 10 minutes from the City Centre, there are a number of nearby attractions to keep you and your family entertained on your break. There are also onsite options for parents and kids alike.
The following is a list of different activities and attractions located near The Maryborough. The list is by no means exhaustive as there are also plenty of shopping, cinema and dining options nearby.
1. Fota Wildlife Park
Fota is a massive 70-acre park with loads of different animals, some of which are free roaming. It is unlike any animal attraction you’ve ever been to. Weaving through the park are different paths you can walk to see various monkeys and birds along with cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, and even bison. Wander around the park for a few hours, grab lunch in one of the cafes, and stop to play on the different playgrounds. Be sure to stop by Fota House and Gardens before you leave.
2. Blackrock Castle Observatory
The castle fort was built on the River Lee over 400 years ago to stand as protector of the narrow channel leading into Cork City. At various points of the day, there are guided tours offered, informing you about the history of the castle and surrounding area. They’ll even take you down into the dungeons! You also have the opportunity to go up to the tower where a large telescope sits, used by CIT for research. The views of the river and city are worth climbing the narrow stairs. The castle also houses an interactive, self-guided exhibition of Earth and Outer Space. In the summer, there are always plenty of events on Cork heritage, the cosmos and even moonlight movies.
3. Lifetime Lab
Enjoy the view when you arrive as Lifetime Lab is located on the banks of the River Lee. It is the site of the old Cork City Waterworks. While water had been supplied from this site to the city for the past 300 years, the current restored buildings date from the 1800 and 1900s. Explore the carefully restored old buildings and machinery depicting the story of how water moved from this site to supply the City. There’s also an interactive exhibition revolving around the themes of water, energy and waste. If the weather is nice, lunch in the picnic area where the kids can explore the playground.
4. Mardyke Entertainment Complex
Need an emergency rainy day activity where the kids can still burn off some energy? Consider the Mardyke Entertainment Complex in Cork City. With multiple floors of food and fun, you could easily while away an afternoon. There’s a 7-lane bowling alley, pool and snooker tables, and a number of ping pong tables downstairs. In addition, there’s a pizzeria and restaurant. The Woolshed restaurant shows a wide variety of different sports, with one massive screen and 15 plasma TVs.
Another alternative for a rainy afternoon or evening is the RollerJam. It’s an indoor roller rink in Ballincollig, the largest in Ireland. Strap on some skates and hit the floor for an entertaining adventure the whole family will love. Ask us about our RollerJam special family rate.
6. Maryborough Pet Farm and Onsite Activities
Opening for the season in April, visit Ali’s Pet Farm on the Maryborough grounds. Come out during the animal feedings where your kids can feel a part of taking care of the animals. During the summer months, you can also play badminton, boules, and croquet in the upper garden. Or heat up the competition with our 9-hole crazy golf course. Simply ask at Reception for the equipment, and they will be happy to point the way. New this year, we’re also offering onsite archery activities led by a GNAS qualified instructor. Make an afternoon of it and have us pack you a picnic, made to order. The Maryborough also has an indoor pool, with a separate kids area, an award winning Spa for mum and dad, and babysitting services onsite.
What's your favourite thing to do as a family when your on holiday?