1Belfast: W5

Fancy launching a rocket? Dipping your toes in a virtual ocean? Or presenting the news headlines in a state-of-the-art studio?

Well, all of these experiences and more are available at W5, Belfast’s award-winning science and discovery centre, which offers over 250 interactive exhibits across eight action-packed zones.

For instance, farming life in Northern Ireland is explored in the “In Our Nature” exhibit on level four, while other highlights include the interactive science shows on level two: allowing your young Einstein or Archimedes the opportunity to experience their very own “eureka” moments.

• Admission is available from £9.50 (€11.15)/adult and £7.50 (€8.80)/child aged three-15. Visit w5online.co.uk/

2 Dublin: National Museum of Ireland

Is a trip to a museum a bit of a hard sell for your children? Well, maybe the promise of chocolate might sweeten the deal?

On Easter Sunday, the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barrack in Dublin is hosting an egg decoration workshop for families inspired by its Spoon Garden art installation from 1.30-3.30pm, as well as a “Big Barracks Egg Hunt” where participants follow a trail around the museum to solve riddles and hunt out artefacts before returning to reception for an egg-cellent surprise.

• Both events are free, and booking is not required.

Visit museum.ie/en-ie/home

3 Wicklow: Beyond The Trees, Avondale

Head for heights? Then schedule a visit to the treetop walk at Avondale, with the first-of-its-kind viewing platform rising 38 metres above the forest floor. Along the way, you’ll learn about Ireland’s flora and fauna; though we think younger visitors might be more interested in the prospect of whizzing back down the giant spiral slide.

History-lovers will recognise Avondale House as the ancestral home of Charles Stuart Parnell, while Avondale Forest Park also boasts trails, a children’s playground, picnic area and café. Admission to the treetop walk and viewing tower is €16/adult and €13/child aged four-17, with an extra €2 payable on site to use the slide. Expect queues at peak times, while the slide might also be closed in wet and humid weather.

• Visit beyondthetreesavondale.com

4 Roscommon: Strokestown Park

Strokestown Park in Co Roscommon might be best known as the home of the National Famine Museum, which recently underwent a €5 million re-development to bring this chapter of Irish history powerfully to life.

Over the Easter holidays, however, the Victorian walled garden at the estate will host a self-guided Easter egg trail, with junior visitors invited to pick up a map and puzzle sheet and follow the clues to claim a chocolate prize.

• The Easter trail is open from 11am-4pm daily from Saturday 23 March to Sunday 7 April. Admission is €10/child and €8/members, with children under one going free. Booking not required but tickets can be purchased online at bookings.strokestownpark.ie/Event/EASTERTRL

5 Offaly: Lough Boora Discovery Park

Need to blow off some steam over the school holidays? If you are in the midlands, head to Lough Boora Discovery Park.

At its peak, Boora supplied over one million tonnes of peat every year to Irish homes and industries, but today, it has been re-imagined as a wildlife sanctuary and space for the community to explore and enjoy.

Family-friendly attractions include the 1.3km “Fairy Avenue” trail, “An Portach Ciúin” sensory garden and the 3.3km “Sculpture Park Route”, which features 24 innovative works of art: perfect for that Insta-opportunity. Many of the trails are also cycle-friendly if you fancy exploring on two wheels, with bike hire available on site on Saturdays and Sundays during March and April from Mid Ireland Adventure. Pre-book by calling 085-173-5204.

• Admission to Lough Boora is free, but a €5 charge applies to the main carpark, with all funds going towards the upkeep of the parklands. Visit loughboora.com

6 Limerick: International Rugby Experience

Do you think you have the future Johnny Sexton or Nichola Fryday in the family? Then a trip to the International Rugby Experience in Limerick city might be just the ticket.

This recently-opened attraction promises a world-class, interactive exploration of what it takes to become an icon of the game; though we expect that younger visitors will especially enjoy the “Skills Floor”, where some famous faces will put them through their paces with virtual running, kicking, handling and strength trials.

The attraction also offers 360 degree views of Limerick; and if rugby is really not your thing, don’t fear… there’s also a café on site to escape to.

• Admission is €17.50/adult and €12.50/child under 18. Children under six go free, but will need a ticket, which can be allocated at reception. Visit internationalrugbyexperience.com

7 Galway: Wildlands

It might sound like a cliché, but there really is something for all the family at Wildlands adventure centre in Moycullen, Co Galway.

Thrill-seekers, for instance, can get their adrenaline pumping by whizzing through the tree-tops on the popular Zip ‘n’ Trek course, families or groups can set out to unravel 24 puzzles in the Celtic Challenge Rooms, while the smallest visitors can let their imaginations run wild at “Baile Beag”, a beautifully crafted tiny town.

• Activities are charged on an individual basis; for instance, prices for Baile Beag start from €12, with the Zip ‘n’ Trek from €31.30. Some activities also have age/height restrictions and parental supervision requirements. Visit wildlands.ie

8 Tyrone: The Sperrin Giants

You’ve heard of the Giant’s Causeway; but what about the Giants of the Sperrins?

Created by artist Thomas Dambo, these three sculptures showcase the majesty of this mountain landscape, while also highlighting local myths and legends.

You’ll find Nowanois, the storytellers, at Glenelly Valley; Ceoldán, the stargazer, at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory at Davagh Forest; and Darach, the guardian, at the top of Mullaghcarn Mountain at Gortin Glen Forest Park.

Whether you decide to chase all three by driving between the sites or pick just one, pack a picnic for a scenic day out. Note that Nowanois and Ceoldán are both within easy walking distance of their respective car parks, but accessing Darach requires walking or cycling a 7.4km trail (round trip).

Locals promise that the view is worth it though…

• Admission is free. Visit giantsofthesperrins.com/ for information, including the individual locations of the giants

9 Wexford: Hook Head Lighthouse

Paying a visit to the world’s oldest, original operating lighthouse is always a good idea; but this Easter Sunday and Monday will see lots more for the family to enjoy at Hook Head with an array of free and fun events with the Pirate Princess and her posse from 1pm, including an Easter egg hunt, family games and a pirate treasure quest. (Note to grown-ups: if the kids get it wrong, it’s the adults that walk the plank!)

Easter arts and crafts will also be available with Hook’s resident artist Rose over the school holidays, at a cost of €5 per participant.

• Guided tours of the 800-year-old lighthouse are also on offer seven days a week, with admission €12/adult, €6/children and under-fives going free. Visit hookheritage.ie

10 Cork: West Cork Model Railway Village

You don’t have to be a Thomas the Tank Engine fan (or even a trainspotter) to enjoy a day out at the West Cork Model Railway Village in Clonakilty.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2024, this family-friendly attraction boasts a fully-scaled handmade model of the historic West Cork Railway, complete with working miniature trains and lovingly created replicas of towns such as Bandon, Kinsale and Dunmanway.

Children will also love the remote control boats and mini diggers on site, while during the Easter holidays, visitors will have the opportunity to board the “Road Train” for a tour of Clonakilty itself (additional charge applies).

• Admission is available from €11/adult and €7.50/child under 16, with under threes going free. Visit modelvillage.ie

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