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Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

Cold Spring...
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Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

Hello,

I'm hoping to get some advice for planning a 10 day June vacation to Ireland. I will be traveling with my husband and 2 young children aged 1 and 5, which certainly makes the planning a little more complicated. We are thinking this will likely be the only time we are able to travel to Ireland, so are trying to pack in a lot, as we want to see "everything". I realize this will be hard on our kids, but we have traveled with them before with a lot of driving time, and they have done very well, and we never had any regrets.

Initially I came up with the following itinerary, but now I am second guessing all the driving this will entail.

Fly into Dublin and stay for 1 night

Antrim Coast for 2 nights

Back to Dublin for 1 night

Then Kenmare for 2 nights

Dingle for 2 nights

Doolin for 2 nights

Fly out of Shannon Airport.

We are debating taking Northern Ireland off the itinerary, because of so many extra hours of driving and we also want to be able to enjoy our time and not rush through the whole vacation. Instead we would have a little more time in Dublin, and would consider some added time in Kinsale since it wouldn't be that far out of the way for us on our drive to Kenmare. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! I just don't want to regret that we didn't see the Giant's Causeway/Antrim Coast. So, part of my question as well is, is this area worth that extra drive (and potentially very crankly kids) to see?

North Coast, N...
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for Northern Ireland
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1. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

The Antrim coast is gorgeous and two nights means you are doing it justice but you are right in that I think that plan is unrealistic with small kids so either do Dublin & northern half OR do Dublin and southern half. If flights are already booked and you're flying out of Shannon, then to me the decision is made. The thing with Ireland is that there is so much beauty, so much to see and do (lots of places are very child friendly eg Dunluce castle on the antrim coast has a treasure hunt for kids to do while they explore the ruins & I"m sure other places do similar), that you will have a great time no matter where you go! You will never see it all so just pick a few "must sees", find a few activities for the kids and then just enjoy!

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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2. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

Makes no sense to drop from the airport to Dublin and go back past to go north. Head straight north form the airport on arrival,,Yes the North is worth the time. Stay just outside Dublin for the next couple of days so you can get in without a car. Dingle, Doolin, Kinsale are the tourist hyped must tick boxes.. No, forget Kinsale you can eat everywhere on the island. Kenmare for a couple or 3 nights fine, Dingle to tick the box but Lahinch would be my recommendation with young children for the Clare coast.

North Coast, N...
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for Northern Ireland
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3. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

If you include the north, stay in Portstwart

or Portrush. Both cater well for small kids with great beaches, free outdoor playparks, rockpools, walks, Portrush has the coastal zone - a free centre great for half an hour or more - colouring in stuff, indoor rockpool with lots of creatures, fun exhibits of shark etc. Dunluce castle is great and has the story of the big storm causing the kitchen part of castle to fall into the sea (my 5 yr old nephew loves that story!), at the causeway, look for stones with wee notes for kids eg it shows the chimney formation and tells you that if you see smoke, the giant is at home... Kids seem to love these sort of things!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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4. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

Having travelled to Ireland with a 20-month-old traveller, I'd offer this bit of advice...don't go back to Dublin. That doesn't mean don't stay in Dublin, but adjust your plan so you're not doubling back. Also, don't rely on the kids cooperating. Our kiddo didn't adjust to the time difference and slept in the car seat most of the day, meaning mom and I took turns seeing the high crosses that were on our list and only pulled her out of sleep when it was something we had to see together. That also means I'd recommend putting the long driving stretches to the front end of your trip before the kiddos have adjusted..

I'd also suggest that, when you're in Kenmare, you make the trip up to Muckross and go to the farms. The large one is likely to have baby animals in June, and your kiddos will love it. One of the highlights of our trip was when our babe yelled PIGS! and went running and squealing when she saw the baby pigs.

One other tip - for the 1-yr-old, use something like an ergo and don't plan to use a stroller. They're generally inconvenient unless you're in a city, and in several sites they weren't even allowed.

Ventry, Ireland
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for Dingle Peninsula
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5. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

There are lots of things to do with the children when in Dingle.

Here is a list of activities I put together

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i24770-Dingle_f…

Cold Spring...
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6. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I think we decided to be ambitious and go to Northern Ireland too especially since we'll only be able to do this once. We'll probably head there right away instead of spending the first night in Dublin, so thanks for that suggestion tony2phones. Can't wait!

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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7. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

Might be some points up north on this plan http://goo.gl/maps/gl8uv , sure Poinaire can add to the possibilities.. be careful though not to over plan and overdo. that map was a road trip for a young Australian couple with no bairns along

8. Re: Ireland in 10 days with 2 young kids

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