Ireland with Kids Travel Guide
Why we chose to visit Ireland with kids
As a study abroad student more than a decade ago, Ronnie had the opportunity to roam all over Europe. He visited over a dozen countries during those six months, but never made it to Ireland even though he always wanted to. When we met I had barely traveled and had a few countries high on my priority list – France, Spain and Italy – so Ireland was a bit off my radar. Fast forward to early 2016 as we began our discussions for the year’s travel. Our schedules were flexible apart from a preference to travel in shoulder seasons and we batted around a few ideas. We had already taken the kids (4.5 and almost 2) to several far-flung destinations, so we weren’t scared of long flights.
And then a post from The Points Guy came across my Facebook feed announcing that Aer Lingus would begin non-stop from LAX to Dublin in the spring. BINGO! While we don’t mind long flights with the kids, connections are just the pits: everyone is tired, there’s so much to carry, and our luck often has us scurrying to the far corner of the airport (I’m looking at you, Frankfurt). Best of all, these tickets were much less than the typical price to get to continental Europe and they even have a little discount for the kids. Within a week, we were booked. Shoshana would even get to celebrate her second birthday in Ireland (more on that when we get to Kinsale).
When to travel to Ireland
Early June 2016. We experienced gorgeous weather and minimal crowds. Early summer might be the best time of year to visit Ireland!
How to get to Ireland and how to get around Ireland
Aer Lingus now runs non-stop service from LAX to Dublin! Since we were flying with kids, we took advantage of that option and subsequently rented a car from Hertz to get around. If we had less time available or weren’t flying with the kids, we would have taken a one-stop flight to Shannon and spent a full week in western Ireland exploring County Kerry using Killarney as our base. If you’re flying from New York, Boston, Philadelphia or Chicago (or many locations in Europe) you’ll have the option of a non-stop to Shannon.
Driving around Ireland was a natural decision for us since we travel as a party of four, and having a car afforded us the ability to explore at our own pace and go off the beaten track. Check out our tips for driving in Ireland!
Where to stay in Ireland
Dublin – 2 nights
Killarney – 7 nights (find out why we stayed so long!)
Kinsale – 3 nights
What to do in Ireland
- Rock of Cashel
- Exploring County Kerry, Ireland
- Biking the Gap of Dunloe
- Muckross estate
- Ring of Kerry
- Dingle/Slea Head daytrip
- Cliffs of Moher
- Kinsale and County Cork
Resources for Ireland
- Travel capsule wardrobe: what to pack for Ireland in summer
- Rick Steves Ireland
- Airbnb (save $40 on your first rental!)
Have you traveled to Ireland with kids? Leave a comment with your faves.
Some links on this site may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission at no additional expense to you. Using these links helps support the site and keep our family traveling. Please see the full disclosure for more information.